Dearest Family and Friends,
Things are off on the right foot here in Youngstown. I have to tell you that from the first day it has felt so good to be working with my brother Elder Chapman. He is a missionary that truly serves with all he has and I am so privileged to be his companion right now. I have seen many miracles this week. I have been in the area on previous exchanges in my mission and it seems that all of the people that I had only brief moment to meet in the past are the people that I have been able to connect with in a deep way already in only a few days time. There is so much that has happened I don't have sufficient time to explain it all but I have had some cool experiences that I will touch on lightly.
My first night in the area I had the privilege of going to Youngstown University to teach a class on social diversity. We did a cover of our religion and had the opportunity to bear testimony to a class of 40 students and then opened up our time to a Q&A session. I love being able to testify to others and to clear up all of the misconceptions that people have. I was joking around, fist bumping and getting heartfelt all in the same setting; it was alotof fun.
We are teaching a young man who we received through media referral last week and he is so prepared to hear the gospel! His name is Shawn and he has such a contrite spirit. Through the course of the week we have been able to teach him and to listen to him bear testimony of how he has felt as he studied the gospel has been inspiring. He said he has not had a particularly happy life and that some two months ago he found a Book of Mormon in his house and began to read. He said I have been happier in these last few months than at any other time in my life. We have committed him to baptism and he came for the first time this Sunday. He expressed to us that he would like to work towards being a missionary one day! We will keep you posted on Shawn!
Also, we are working with a part member family; the Smeltser's. After a Word of Wisdom lesson this week they encouraged us to follow them home because they wanted to surrender all of their tobacco, liquor, tea and coffee and all paraphernalia! It was such a humbling act of faith to watch these two humble people comb their house and handover over three grocery bags of materials. We promised them blessing for their faith and game them a priesthood blessing. They allowed us to come in this week and help them clean up the whole apartment; I felt like I was on the crew of a home make over show! The whole place was night and day different and they were so appreciative.
There have been other miracles. Elder Chapman and I are so excited to be working together. We are living, laughing and loving and fulfilling our purpose all the day long. I feel like this whole scenario is a tender mercy straight from the Lord. Elder Chapman and I were in tears last night as we stayed up talking about our commitment to the gospel and our appreciation and love for each other. I don't know why I have been so fortunate to have these blessings but none the less I can testify God lives! I am serving on borrowed time and truly finding that all the experience of the last 23 months and past that is culminating into a special ending here in Youngstown; the field is white! I know that we may be released as full time missionaries at some point but we are never released from being servants of God! I am happy and fortunate!
Love, Elder Prince