Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

 (I decided not to fix this email because I love that Jessi wrote this entire letter without the use of the "p" key :))
Hey All!!
I feel like it has been forever! Holy has been quite the adventure! The past few days have been nuts! We flew out at 2:15 am last Monday and after a couqle of flights we landed in Guayaquil! (the letter after o does not work on this keyboard so i am using q as a reqlacement) Guayaquil is beautiful!! It reminds me a lot of some of the bigger cities in the US. Tall buildings, tons of qeoqle, and everyone looking at the dudes with nametags like they are aliens! haha! Tuesday was really chill...we made it to the mission home, had interviews with the qresident, and ate...idk what it was...but it was good! haha! We sleqt in a qretty nice hotel right outside of the temqle on Tuesday night and attended a session on Wednesday morning...a much needed temqle visit! It was absolutely incredible! Ask me if I understood anything...NADA! HAHA! But I sure did understand the sqirit! And that is all that really matters! :)

From there we got our trainer is Elder G...from Guatamala...and he sqeaks absoluletly zero English! He is the biggest stud ever though. I have not sqoken ANY English since I have been with him so I aqologize for errors in this email!
The language is qretty dang difficult! Everyone talks a thousand miles an hour! It is just nuts! All i can do is testify...which is not a bad thing...I just have a whole lot to learn! You would think that I would be discouraged but I honestly am SOOOO HAQQQQYYYYY!!! I have never smiled more in my entire life! I cannot communicate verbally so I am sure to smile and wave to everyone that I see! It is the best thing ever!

Anyways...after staying the night in Guayaquil in a suqer nice hotel... I was like... Elder Noll... you can do this! This is not nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be!
I sqoke too soon!

And it came to qass...that I dwell in the Jungles of Ecuador! haha!

I am in a city called Ventanas. It is about 2 and a half hours outside of Guayaquil. Suqer duqer qoor. The most humble homes I have seen in my life. With the most loving qeoqle I have ever met. I have comqletely fallen in love with all of the ninos! One little girl is two years old and she officially has my heart! My first day in Ventanas she saw me and ran uq and gave me the biggest hug! After that she would not let go of my hand! So adorable! We ended uq teaching her family and as I was holding her hand... trying to talk to this family... I started to feel little sqlashes of something on my qant leg... I finally looked down and she was qeeing her qants!! It was Hilarious! She had the biggest grin on her cute little face! Too funny!

I got my first Baqtism! I would talk more about that, but it was just too amazing of an experience to qut into words!

Anyways...we are working hard! Sweating! Laughing! Teaching! Walking! Qlaying soccer! and LOVING! NOTHING BETTER!

About 15 years ago, myself, my older brother Ryan, and my qarents were dressed in white in the Sealing Room of the Manti Temqle. I was too young to remember the day very well... but it has been said that it was the first and last time that I ever looked like an angel! HAH! Just because I am a weird looking dude now...eseqecially with this CCM haircut...does not change anything that occurred in the temqle that day. The Noll family were sealed together for time and all eternity! Through the Gosqel of Jesus Christ and sacred temqle ordinances we have the oqqortunity to live with our families forever. I was sealed to my beautiful mother and incredible father forever. I was sealed to my incredible brother forever. My qerfect little sister and the biggest stud on the qlantet were then born under the covenant and I could not feel more blessed! I have never missed a mother's hug or a father's voice more than I do now. I have never missed an older brother's advice more than I do now. I have never missed being an older brother more than I do now...But knowing that through the Gosqel of Jesus Christ I can have all of that makes the now not hurt as much. 

I can not wait to look a beautiful daughter of God in the eyes and know that I have forever with her. I am even more excited to hold a qerfect baby girl who looks just like her mother or a baby boy who looks just like his father (qoor kid) and know that I have forever with them! There are few qlaces that I feel closer to my Heavenly Father than when I am holding an infant child who has just left His qresence. Attending the temqle on Wednesday was unreal! I just cannot even begin to exqress how blessed we are to have the Lords home on the earth today!

All i can say is...GO TO THE TEMQLE!!! It does not matter what for... a session, baqtisms, marriage, or just to drive by.... just go! The blessings are endless and eternal!
I know that the temqle is the house of the Lord and that you will feel of His endless and eternal love if you attend! If you do not have time... MAKE TIME! The Sqirit is constantly making time for you... MAKE TIME FOR IT!

Love you ALL! :) Count your blessings!

Elder Noll

Thursday, September 25, 2014

He made it to Ecuador! September 25, 2014

Dear Noll Family,

    We are grateful you have entrusted your son to our care in the mission field. He has arrived safely and it has been our pleasure to meet him and spend some time with him. What a choice experience it was to be able to attend the temple with all the new missionaries that came in with your son. We feel blessed to have him serving here in the Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission.  We want you to know that we love him and will help him in anyway possible.

President and Sister R

And here is the letter from Jessi that came with this lovely email...

Dear Fam Bam,
   I am so sorry Columbia didn't have any access to telephones! I was and am still shattered...but hey, it will make Christmas THAT much better:) So, I made it safe and sound. I can already tell I am going to LOVE it here! So AMAZING! President R and the assistants were waiting for us at the airport. We piled into a TINY car and headed over to the stake center. We had the most amazing meal - not sure what it was - but all that matters is that it was good. haha After lunch...they don't eat dinner here so that will take some getting used to...we had our interviews with the president. He is such an amazing guy! I already love him. His wife is incredible...the AP's are legendary and life is good so far! We went through an all-day orientation which was really that they just gave us the run down of all the in's and out's of Ecuador! Very insightful and helpful. We are staying in a hotel tonight...whatever that means...? And then we will have an early temple session tomorrow morning and be assigned to our areas and our companions and then I start getting to the real stuff! :) They say not to send a package over 4 pounds or it will take over 4 months to get here! Other than that...It's just time for me to devote myself to the Lord and let him work through me. The Church is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ is HAPPINESS...It is LOVE. It is PERFECTION. Families are forever. Christ suffered for our sins. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the Spirit of God. I know it with all of my CORAZON :) Love you guys with every ounce of love that I can offer! Be safe! Be missionaries!
Elder Noll Junior <3 
Jessi's first companion

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hey All!
How is everyone?! I miss you all so much! Thank you all for your constant prayers and support towards me and my family! I can feel the Lord´s hand in my life more than ever before!
This week was pretty stellar...I will say though...I could not be more excited to get to Ecuador next week! A little nervous...that is for sure...Similar to how I felt before we played Timpview for our Senior Homecoming! HAHA! I sure hope the outcome is a whole lot better than that game though;)
The first thing that happened to me this week...I was attacked by the biggest cricket I have ever seen in my entire life. As I entered the shower I heard a loud if a frog was in the shower with  me...I looked down and to my astonishment this GOD-ZILLA/GORILLA/ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER cricket jumped right on me! After screaming like my little sister, Macy, and falling right on my booty, I killed the sucker! So that was the start of my week...Honestly though, this entire week has been absolutely great!
Our District went undefeated in volleyball, I ate a real life American muffin, the language is progressing, we don´t teach with notes anymore, we visited the temple, partied hard during Mexican Independence Day, Sunday was absolutely INCREDIBLE, ahhh! I could go on for hours! Just a brief overview of Independence Day and the temple earlier this morning: I don´t have a whole lot of time and I still have to get to the most important part of my weekly emails! summary:
Mexican Night was LEGENDARY! A whole lot of singing, dancing, and Fiesta-ing! ;) I literally lost count of how many times I yelled ´´VIVA LA MEXICO!´´ We basically got zero sleep because of the fireworks and chants just outside the walls of the CCM! But it was awesome! 
The temple was so neat! It is getting worked on right now but we still got to go visit the visitor center which was really cool! It was absolutely beautiful!
The drive to the temple was very  humbling. It was, by far, the poorest place I have ever seen in my entire life. People begging for money, trash all over the streets, stray dogs. There was a man without a leg, on crutches, carrying his little girl on his back. How on earth these people still manage to do everything they do with a smile on their face is beyond me. There are people who have it a lot worse than you. So count your blessings! 
The visitor center itself was incredible! The spirit was so strong! They played a video on Eternal Families that made me cry a little...ok, a lot a bit. My heart has been softened so much already...I can´t imagine how it is going to be two years from now! Before I left I would have thought that would be a bad thing...but I now realize that it is a blessing from the Lord! The guy who could not get through Titanic or any Nicholas Sparks movie without crying is becoming even more of a softy! And it is awesome! haha! Well...I would talk about Eternal Families but there is no way that I would be able to hold it together so that will be a spiritual message for another week! As for now...
I think the best way to teach is to testify...
A broken-hearted 9 year old boy, who sent his hero off to the middle east, BEGGED his Heavenly Father to keep his earthly father safe and that 9 year old boy received the most overwhelming, warm, pulsing, and peaceful feeling of love that he has ever felt. A 12 year old boy, who was experiencing more pain that he ever had before due to a severe leg fracture, got on one knee (because the other was casted) and pleaded for help from his Heavenly Father and he received a physical relief from pain and a spiritual earthquake in his heart. A 16 year old, dressed in white, took his entire world by the hand and into the waters of Baptism, and in the name of Jesus Christ, raised his little brother out of the water and into perfection. In doing so, he felt the Spirit of The Lord overcome his heart and the Light of Christ filled his entire soul. An 18 year old, scared to death of the future, hugged his mother for one of the last times in two years in the Celestial Room of the San Diego Temple and was filled with an immeasurable amount of love and comfort. That same 18 year old, in that very same place, looked his father in the eyes and told him that he loved him...and received an overpowering, life changing, and heart warming amount of love as well. Just in case anyone is wondering, this boy is me! And my message this week is on the Holy Ghost, the comforter, and the teacher of all things.
The Holy Ghost is such a special gift, and I know that it is there for you and for me...ALWAYS. I know that when you are struggling with the whirlwinds that this life brings, you can pray to your Heavenly Father for His spirit and you can feel of His love in your own special and unique way. Don´t expect to be surrounded by fire like the sons of Helaman or for someone to appear to you and say ´´Homie, what´s good?! I´m the Holy G!´´Instead, dig deep within your soul and listen ever so softly to the voice of the spirit and I promise that you will feel of the Almighty God´s messenger personally touch your individual heart. Every single night for the past month...when the day is over and my energy is spent...I kneel down before my Heavenly Father. I start out by simply saying ´´Heavenly Father´´...and then I wait. Sometimes 5 seconds and sometimes 5 minutes...but I wait. I wait until the spirit penetrates my soul and as soon as it does all of my stress, concerns, and discomforts fade and are substituted with relief, surety, comfort, and above all...LOVE. I then talk to my Heavenly Father who is kneeling right beside me even though I can´t see Him. But I can promise you that I can feel Him. And so can you! 
I can´t quite put a finger on how or why the spirit works the way it does...but I do know that the Spirit is a direct messenger from our Heavenly Father, it is a comforter, a guide, a protector, and a friend.
The spirit is the power by which the sons of Helaman were delivered out of the hands of the Lamenites and protected by fire. It is what led Nephi, ´´Though he did not know before hand the things which he should do´´, to safety and to eventually achieve the brass plates. It is the power that Moroni promises you will feel if you ask. It is the power that can lead you to the promised last. I testify that the Heavens are opened. Wide open. And the Spirit is ready whenever you are to touch you heart and change your life if you will ask for it.
Yo digo estas cosas, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Love you ALL!
Love, Elder Noll


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 9, 2014

Hola Hola!
First off...I am forgetting how to spell words and format sentences in English so cut me some slack! Not to mention I am typing 1,000 miles/hour on a Spanish just take it easy! haha! Thanks!
This week has honestly flown by! I can not believe that I have already been out here for a month and that I will be in Ecuador in less than 2 weeks! I could not be more stoked. The CCM is legit...but there just is not a whole lot of life within these walls. STUDY STUDY STUDY!
Holy smokes...we had two ´´SOLO ESPAÑOL´´ days. Translation: ONLY SPANISH. I do not know how I am still living right now. It was unreal. But somehow I made it through the day. It really is crazy how much the language has come though! There is no doubt in my mind that The Lord blesses me immensely day by day. Especially in regards to the Gift of Tongues. We have three upcoming ´´SOLO ESPAÑOL´´ days this wish me luck!:)
Our District is still sooooo awesome! And each day we grow closer and closer! Especially during our Abdominal Parties! ;) HAHA! We all gather in our room as a District at night to do my Dad´s LEGENDARY Ab workout! Way fun!
Elder S is the coolest Compañero EVER! He reminded me of someone for the longest time and I could  not figure it out. But I FINALLY figured it out. He reminds me of my older brother, Ryan. In other words, he is one of the most Christlike, funniest, most awesome dudes I  have ever met. I definitely feel blessed. I have not seen my brother in two years...and it will end up being four! So that has been really hard for me. And I am convinced that the Lord knew that. That is why I am with Elder S!
Mexican Independence Day is this week! I am super pumped! The streets have been ever more crazy because of it! Still falling asleep to sirens, loud booms, and Mexican Folklore. I LOVE IT!
We get to go to the temple a week from today! I am getting out of here, Ladies and Gentlemen! Hallelujah! haha! Only for a couple of hours...but I am still really excited.
Anyway...a week filled with rain, getting attacked by a devil bird/butterfly/bat thingy, and progress made up for a great week!
I have grown so much this week and felt the spirit so strongly that it is pretty difficult to narrow my spiritual message down to just one though! I do feel prompted to just simply testify of our Savior and His infinite love.
I know...with every ounce of my spirit and every portion of my soul...that Jesus is the Christ and that He is the Only Begotten Son of God. I know that He is our Brother, our Shepard, our Savior, and the perfect example to all mankind. I know,that in the Garden of Gethsemene, He suffered for you and for me. I know that our Brother experienced more pain, agony, and struggle during His Atonement than we can ever possibly imagine or comprehend. And I know that He endured this sacrifice because he loves you. Our Savior took upon himself ever single pain, affliction, and sorrow that the world would ever feel...and He did it for you. He was thinking of you when He bled from ever pore. He was thinking of you when He was whipped and beat. He was thinking of you when He was crowned with thorns. When He carried His own cross to His death, while being ridiculed and despised, He was thinking of you. When His hands, wrists, and feet were nailed to the cross, you were on His mind. When His spirit left His physical body and ascended to our Heavenly were on His mind. He did ALL of this with you in mind because He loves you. I know that through His Atonement He turns sorrow into joy. Sadness into happiness. Stress and confusion into peace. Through His Atonement He comforts the weak, qualifies the unqualified, gives life to the dead, and gives hope to ALL that will come unto Him. He was born. He taught. He healed. He loved. He Atoned. He Sacrificed. He died. He lived. He still lives. And He loves you more than you can possibly imagine. He will strengthen you in your weakest moments of despair and will rejoice with you in your moments of glory and happiness. It is through Him that we are capable of living in the presence of our Heavenly Father with the ones we love the most. Because of Him our potential is endless.
I testify of this in the Sacred name of Jesucristu, Amen.
Love you all!
Elder Noll

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Half Way done with the MTC September 2, 2014

Hey guys!
Another week has flown by an I am falling in love with this place! I hope everyone is doing awesome! Hopefully school is going great for all of you smart people out there! Springville better be tearing it up on the field! How was the Dixie game? I heard about Corner Canyon :/ Keep playing hard homies! I am not quite sure if life exists beyond the 12 foot walls and barbed wire fences here! So feel free to fill me in on anything and everything going on in America! 
It was an awesome week...AGAIN! The language has sky rocketed, our District is soooo tight, and I have felt the spirit so strongly! 
The other night there was a huge spider hanging from its web from the ceiling! One of the Elders thought it would be funny to go directly under it and open his mouth to ´´pretend´´ to eat it. Its web ended up breaking and the monster-spider fell right into his mouth! It gives me the heebie jeebies every time I think about it! haha!
Our teacher, Hermano Vargas, is the coolest guy I have ever met! We can only take pictures on Tuesday here at the CCM and Tuesday is the only day where I do not see him! And words can´t describe how awesome this guy is so maybe a picture in a couple of weeks will do justice! 
We have started getting up super early to go running...I don´t think everyone is too happy about that. But I am not allowed to go alone so I just have to drag everyone out of bed which is super fun and awesome! It is so brisk outside in the mornings I guess it wakes everyone up too! :)
One of the Hermanas in our zone...IS PRINCESS ANNA from Frozen. Literally identical. So I guess the only English song I have sung since I have been here has been
Anyways, I am doing great! I miss all of you and pray for you all daily!
I guess that leads me to my spiritual message! :)
When I was in 7th grade our family was blessed with the opportunity to invite the missionaries to our home to teach my cousin (who was living with us at the time) about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Watching and listening to the missionaries got me sooo excited for my own mission! However, it was my cousin that impacted me the most.
I do not remember the exact lesson but I do remember the concluding prayer. I do not know if my cousin had prayed before or not but she offered up her heart and soul to our Heavenly Father and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.
I can´t help but think of the story of Enos when I think of her prayer.
In the words of Enos, he had a ´´wrestle before God.´´ He goes on to say that his ´´soul did hunger.´´ 
So what does Enos do? He knelt down to our Father in Heaven and cried unto MIGHTY prayer. In fact...he prayed ´´all the day long.´´ When the noche (night) rolled around...´´Still did he raise his voice high.´´
There came a voice unto Enos giving him comfort, love, and peace. He talks to The Lord about how his spirit is struggling and how he is concerned for a number of reasons and he begins to develop an ´´UNSHAKEN FAITH IN THE LORD.´´ Enos continues to pray and labor.
In the concluding verses of the chapter, Enos is not the same person he was before. He testifies of the power of God and prayer, missionary work, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
How does one go from having a ´´wrestle with God´´ to defending and testifying the faith of Jesus Christ?
How does my cousin go from wherever she was at to baptism and becoming one of the most loving, caring, most amazing mothers I have ever seen?
How does an 18 year old missionary in Mexico who could not roll his R´s suddenly learn how?
How does an investigator in Ecuador go from being lost in darkness to finding the light of Jesus Christ?
How does a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints go from being a ´´member´´ to having an ´´UNSHAKEN FAITH IN CHRIST´´?
The answer is prayer! MIGHT prayer!
The prayer of a young and concerned 14 year old boy led to the restoration of this perfect and true church. The prayer of Jesus Christ began his everlasting, loving, and infinite Atonement.
Everyone needs to make it to their Sacred Grove.
Everyone needs to make it to their Garden of Gethsemene.
Brothers and Sisters, your Father in Heaven misses you. The creator of your soul and spirit misses you!
Talk to HIM!
The absolute supreme being of the universe encourages us to talk to Him. As we pray we should recognize that He is near. He is kneeling right beside you with His hand on your shoulder and His spirit in you heart.
There is nothing more powerful that the prayer of a convert. It is my prayer that we can ALL be ´´converted´´. We ALL need to be ´´converted´´ every single day! Pray like it is the first time...every time.
No matter how alone you feel, as a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify that as you pray to your Father in Heaven He will bless you. He will help you. He will guide and comfort you. Through prayer you can develop an ´´unshaken faith´´. Through prayer you can see your ´´pillar of light´´.
You always hear the phrase ´´When life knocks you down, get right back up.´´
I have learned over the past three weeks that it´s not 100% true.
Brother and Sisters, when life knocks you down, stay there for a little while. Stay there just long enough to offer your heart and soul up to your Heavenly Father. I promise that when you do this you will not have to get up. You will not have to get up because the Everlasting, Savior and Redeemer of the world, the Beloved and only Begotten Son of our God, Jesus Christ, will lift you up.
I love you all! Have an amazing week!
Love, Elder Noll