Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

   What a week! On Monday and Tuesday everyone in our house was super sick. We can not figure out what it was though! We think it has something to do with the millions of mystery bugs flying around the house...just a guess though!? I will let you all know after further investigation! :)
   So, we ended up going to Quevedo again for another conference which was awesome! It is so good to hear from Presidente Riggins...he is such an incredible man! And seeing your #1 homie since Kindergarten is always a plus! Elder J is still doing great! Still a stud! Still a goof and I am still better looking...but he is doing great!
   Good grief...I was on a split with the Ward Mission Leader and walking in the middle of the street was a HUGE man. Absolutely GIGANTIC...and I guess he was so big that the dude on the motorcycle did not see him! This giant got DRILLED by the motorcycle from behind and went FLYING. I thought he was dead. NO LIES. After causing a shock-wave after hitting the ground he bounced right back up and just strutted his stuff off. What on earth does he put in his rice? So that was quite the visual experience!
   On Wednesday night there was a big soccer game...we were walking back to the house and passing a restaurant right when Barcelona (a team from Ecuador) scored. Everyone in the streets and in the restaurant...and everywhere really...went absolutely nuts! Throwing tables and flipping chairs! They take things pretty seriously here! Haha! We made it out of the rush and I felt a little tickle on my arm...when I looked down there was a huge cockroach crawling on my arm. I tried to swipe it off but it eventually made it up onto my shirt, up to my neck, and DOWN MY COLLAR! I lost it! Luckily it crawled right back out and I eventually smacked it off...Unluckily...I think I peed a little...those things are scary.
   The other day Elder P and I taught a guy from the 666. I was really timid at first...but we should NEVER judge. This man was INCREDIBLE! He was the nicest and most receptive guy ever! He already has a testimony of Joseph Smith! How cool!?
   Ah man...I woke up the other day with painted nails...PINK! Haha! Freaking Elder P! I couldn't scratch it off so I had to go ask around for nail polish can imagine the looks I got when they saw me with my pink nails...I am going to get him back though! Don't worry! ;)
   We got to do service again! I was kind of back in the football days! I was on top of the roof and the Hermanos below would chuck the bricks from below up to me and I had to catch them and put them in place. So that was a good time. I got to throw a couple up too...lets just say I should stick with Receiver! 
   We had a super fun family night with a super cool family with all 4 of the Elders in our house. When we were on our way home Elder P snuck up behind me, un-tucked my shirt, and then took off down the middle of the street...such a punk! But I went after him. Gringo VS Gringo...We were getting all sorts of stares! Haha! I eventually caught him...I could not do a whole lot so I just un-tucked his shirt too...hahah. Then we bought a role of toilet paper and played football on the way back to the house. People from Guatemala should probs stick to soccer! Haha! But it was super fun and super funny!
That was pretty much this week!
The mission had cambios...I honestly can't remember the word in English...but I am going to kick it with Elder G for a little longer! We are pumped to still be working together! 
   This weeks message is on our obligation to sacrifice...and boy is it hard! How can we possible be expected to "straightway leave our nets, and follow Him." or to "offer up our whole souls unto him"? Brothers and Sisters, I believe it is pretty simple. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has and ALWAYS will require sacrifice. In the history of the church some pretty incredible people have been asked to do some pretty incredible things. Incredible things that require incredible sacrifice. Let's take a massive hike into the wilderness with murmuring brothers and as soon as we make it to our destination let's turn around and put our life on the line to obey the Lord...pretty tough right? Without hesitation though ... Nephi proceeds forward and sacrifices. Joseph Smith gave everything to this church. Eventually his life. He was tarred and feathered, beaten and scourged...and it was all for our Savior. I am sure at many times "their hearts were depressed, and they were about to turn back." -Alma 26:27. However...continue on in this verse and "The Lord comforted them" and "promised success". I know that The Lord will guarantee you the same promise if we sacrifice our all for Him. Your depressed heart can turn into a successful one with The Lord. Don't fear sacrifice! Look for it! Desire it! We LEARN as we DO. We can not progress as spiritual children of God without exercising our spirits and our willingness to follow our Redeemer.
Presidente shared this awesome quote with us in the conference the other translates to...
´´Vision without action is a waste of time. Action without vision is a sleep. The two together work miracles.´´
ACT, Brothers and Sisters. Sacrifice. Sacrifice with a vision and with a purpose. When asked to sacrifice 2 years or 1 1/2 years to save souls accept it gladly and willingly! We should feel honored that our Heavenly Father trusts us with so great a call. Sacrifice everything you have for your family, your friends, and for others. Sacrifice everything you have for everything but yourself. More than anything...sacrifice your soul to this Gospel and to our Savior...because he sacrificed his entire soul and every ounce of spiritual, physical, and emotional pain for you.
Take a moment to enter as your brother cries out to our Father in Heaven in pain for you. Watch His trembling hands clench as He endures your excruciating pains, deepest fears, and natural imperfections. Watch as His white robe turns to red after bleeding from every poor. Watch as He is ridiculed, beaten, and spit upon...and crucified. Watch as He begs our Heavenly Father to forgive those who have afflicted Him, Now after watching your Savior do this for you...what are you willing to do for Him?
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
To sacrifice is to struggle. To sacrifice is to willingly endure challenges because you love. To sacrifice is to become more like Jesus Christ. And at times we are going to feel cast into a pit with fierce winds against us...but it is for an eternal purpose. When we are forced to endure a fraction of what our Savior had to endure or have to suffer a fraction of the physical or mental pain that Jesus Christ had to feel...endure it well. 
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
I testify that the Son of Man did indeed descend below them all and did, in fact, atone for us all. There is nothing greater than His love...His example...or His light. After all that He has done for you, me, and is our sacred obligation...and a give it ALL back to Him. All that is in our power. Devote your heart and soul to this truth and to this faith. Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Sacrifice! 
The more you give the more you will get!
Love you all! 
Have a stellar week! And stay safe during the Holiday season!
Elder Noll


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