How is it going over there in civilization?! Hopefully TOO good! :)
I can´t remember if I told you guys about my backpack incident...so, I will tell it again anyway just in case...
I started out the week with buying a new backpack...but I wasn´t going to buy anything for more than $5! Haha. We missionaries run on a tight budget! ;) But I was bargaining with this dude forever! And he wanted like $15 or something...
So i just decided to throw in the towel...but Elder Dn was like..."watch this"...
within 20 seconds he bought the bag for $5. Having a little midget Latino has its perks I guess!!! :D
So I am always talking about the family Liverio...they are the coolest family ever! They feel like my own family...they are my own family. There is Hermana R (56), L (30), J (22), A (15). L has 3 little girls and they are my reason for life! Haha! Seriously the cutest girls ever! Anyway, we are super tight with this family. They are all our converts and it has been so cool to see the change within their home. I can´t really explain how close we are with them. R lost her husband a number of years ago and L´s husband works far away so we help them out with a lot of things because the younger two are always working to provide for the fam bam. The other day I was on a split with J...and I was STARVING. I walked in their house and said, "I AM HOME!!" Then I walked strait to the fridge and ate the Bolon and queso (which is banana and cheese: don´t judge...it is better than it sounds). Haha! Hermana R just laughed and told me to enjoy! They are seriously so awesome!
We had quite the scare though! L fell from the top of the house because they don´t have stairs. They are always using this super sketchy ladder. And L is like 38 months pregnant! She had to spend a few days in the hospital so we spent some time over there with her and R and the kids and got to give her a blessing. Somehow she went from unbearable pain and almost losing the baby to being totally fine and back at home. THE PRIESTHOOD IS THE POWER OF GOD! That I testify of! Its power is of the Heavens and miracles are wrought through it. It has been such a tender mercy in my life and it was so cool to see it work in the life of this beautiful family.
I will say...I hope I never have to spend the day in a hospital like this one...no AC...super dirty...and I forgot the word in english but her room was right next door the place where the dead people go...and that about sums it up! Haha!
So last week I put my Tracy Noll Apron on...
This week I put my Gary Noll tool belt on!!!
We helped them build stairs! It was SWEET! They turned out pretty good too! So now they have a safer way to get up and down.
It was tough work...I was sweating, sawing, and bleeding...but don´t worry...Elder D is quite the measurer!! :)
Lunch the other day was interesting...they have this thing called Yapin Gachu or something like that. It is potatoes, sausage, corn, and peanut butter. Yummy, right? NOT! The peanut butter isn´t even real peanut butter...how many of you like to eat peanut butter with onions, pepper, and garlic in it?? So I am still facing the affects of that meal if you know what I mean...
I had an intercambio the other day...I went to Catarama which is about 30 minutes from Ventanas....and I hope I never have to return! Haha! It is cool and all...but Ventanas is obviously just better! And we taught these 2 investigators who are absolutely in love with the Elder I was on the intercambio with...well...they WERE in love with him until I came...I was kinda getting sick of them staring into my soul and laughing and everything I had to say...I wasn´t even trying to be funny...I was talking about prayer for Pete sakes!
But I guess it´s still cool to know that I still got my swag... ;)
We were blessed with another Baptism! The only problem is that the font was clogged since our last one last week...there were cockroaches, spiders, hair, leaves, and other little brown things that I am not going to investigate what they were...just FILTHY. We ended up having to buy this soap and drop it in the water. Within 30 seconds the water was completely blue. Too blue. Haha! Blue to the point where you could not see the bottom of the font and when you came out of the water you looked like Marty from Big Fat Liar. But we followed through with the Baptism! The Baptism was incredible! One of my favorites actually! We have been teaching Hermana D for quite a while and she finally made the decision to be baptized! We are thrilled! I was so humbled when I had the blessing of raising her out of the water...she was speechless...and so emotional. AH, it was unreal. The spirit was incredible. The changes that this gospel can bring never fail to amaze me. And HEY! I guess there are some pretty holy cockroaches now too! ;)
I got to teach the sunday school class which was really fun!
I lent someone my pen and when they gave it back I put it back in my pocket without the lid...and then I got smashed in the door (don´t ask) and the pen exploded all over my white shirt...that was a bummer! I got a good laugh out of it though!
One of our converts gave a talk! It was incredible! It was truly amazing to see someone who has less than 2 months with the gospel in their life give a talk and bare witness of their savior better than anyone ever could. The joy that I experience and that everyone has the ability to experience is unreal. It is so sweet and so joyous.
I am loving it here in Ecuador! Elder D (Elder of Lion) and I are loving it and working hard!
Someone tell me about life in the US! I hardly hear anything from over there! Hit me up!
I guess it´s just that time! My favorite part of the week probably...SPIRITUAL MESSAGE!! :)
There are not many things that I love more in this life than looking into a child's eyes. Number one, they are adorable. All of them...that´s a given. But more than anything, being in the presence of someone who is so ´´submissive, meek, and humble´´ is something that I thrive off of. Someone who is so loving. So trusting. So teachable.
It´s no wonder The Lord has asked us to become like one!
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yieldsto the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the naturalman and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
As a human being, the natural desire of our heart is to live contrary to the teachings and commandments of God. But as I think of the natural desire of a child's heart all that comes to mind is their desire to walk, to learn, to love, to laugh, and to grow. Little children have literally just left the presence of our Heavenly Father. That is probably why they are so much like Him. PERFECT. Let us all become like one! The more childlike we become in our spirits the more Christlike we become in our souls.
It is hard to put aside the natural things of the world. It is hard to put off the ´´natural man´´. But it is something we have to do...it is something that we were born to do. Because YOU are NOT natural.
YOU are anything but natural. You are a child of the Almighty God of the Universe with the capacity and foreordination to become just like Him.
That is not natural.
So put every single natural desire aside...
when you are tired and don´t want to pray or read your scriptures...
DON´T BE NATURAL!
when your patience is at its final straw...
DON´T BE NATURAL!
When the natural man tells you to put off a mission...
DON´T BE NATURAL!
DON´T BECOME LIKE SATAN AND GIVE INTO THESE NATURALIZATIONS!
Become like a CHILD...like CHRIST...and SUBMIT and LEARN.
When you fall...physically, spiritually, or emotionally...don´t give in to that natural voice who tells you to stay down. Become like unto a child who picks themselves up time after time after time and walk! Strive to be better.
as you set your child down for the night, as you clean the crayon off of the wall, as you buy your daughters special designer jeans, and as you clean your sons sweaty football jersey, thank your Heavenly Father for your sacred calling and humble yourself enough to learn from your children. To become like your children. I hope that when I have the special and sacred calling to be a dad I can follow in the footsteps of my children and be ´´willing to submit to all things´´.
I testify that as we strive to live the live of a loving, humble, selfless, submissive, and perfect child of God, we are only becoming more and more like God Himself. As we become like a child we are inheriting all that God has in store for us...and what He has in store for you is a whole lot more than natural.
DON´T BE NATURAL!
Love, Elder Noll