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 croak...as 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! So...in 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