Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

I am doing so so so good here in Ecuador! 
   A few little changes here and there! On Monday night we got a call from the President informing me of my changes! So I packed my bags Monday night and headed to Guayaquil at 4:30 in the morning! Just a little early!
I was kinda sad...Empalme was such an amazing sector...but I guess DURAN is where I am needed now.
I am in Duran, Panarama...about 20 minutes outside of Guayaquil...and it is awesome! It is a little less "Tarzan" than my two other sectors...but the house is bad news bears! haha!
So the house didn't have power for four days straight...then finally it came on, but the owners of the apartment put the electric voltage at 350 when it should have been at about a pillar of light! We were blinded! Then things started blowing up left and right!
The fridge...gone! Exploded.
The microwave...gone! Exploded.
I thought we were done with the explosions until I was ironing my shirt...then again! Explosion! 
It was quite funny but we ended up having to find another house and we are moving down the street later tonight.
   I still have the mystery marks on my arms...and it moved to my eye! But they are slowly but surely getting better...SO WE GOOD!
My new companion is Elder S out of Murray, Utah.
He is DOPE! Such a stud. He finishes his mission this July and wants to be a pilot in the Air Force just like me! We are super alike!
   I don´t have tons of time today, so I will sum up all the cool stuff and then get to the most important part!
I saw Elder Johnson! He is doing great! So good to see that dude! We met up in Guayaquil and got to talk for a sec before departing our separate ways.
   One of the members here loves to play the guitar...and he has a piano too! So we had a pretty good jam "sesh" together. Ed Sheeran, One Direction...but we finished with I Know That My Redeemer Lives! It was such a good time!
   When we were looking for a house one night we came across a deserted day care center that was up for we decided to check it out...
The power didn't work...there were paintings of children all over the had been deserted for over 10 years...and all we had was the light from out extremely outdated telephone...I thought I stepped myself into a horror movie...but we made it out alive!
   Sorry for the briefness of today...I promise next week will be better!
   I have been thinking tons about what you all are in need of and for some reason two punks just keep running through my mind...Laman & Lemuel.
Let´s reflect a little on their life for a second...
they complain when their father leads them away from harms way and delivers them out of a city that was going to be destroyed, they murmur when they are entrusted to retrieve a sacred record from King Laban, they are upset with The Lord even after he "makes their meat sweet, that they need not cook it" and "lights the way in the wilderness and prepares the way."
I think we could all ask ourselves some questions to find out whether or not we are a modern day Laman or Lemuel.
Do I complain when I have to give up something for The Lord?
Do I murmur when The Lord trusts me to be His hands?
Am I upset when things get hard?
If the answer to any one of these questions is yes...vamanos mejorando! (Let´s get better!)
   It is a commandment to "be strong and of a good courage, to be not afraid and neither dismayed."
Be strong! Give the Lord some muscle! He is going to give you more but He has to know that you are willing to put your trust in Him first... after all, "you receive to witness (no light, strength, testimony, deliverance, NOTHING) until after the trial of your faith."
If you tell yourself you are too weak for a task Satan just won. Do not say "it's just me", "it's too hard", or "I can't do it", because you are denying the Almighty God in whom you trusted and accepted before you came to this world and trusting the father of lies in whom you denied and have already defeated once.
God is the creator of your body and your soul...if you don't trust in yourself you don't trust in your Heavenly can do all things...all things are possible through your hands through our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ...YOU WERE CREATED BY THE HAND OF A KING.
Are we murmuring?
When we murmur "the devil laughs and his angels rejoice". When we smile and laugh the devil crumbles and his angels cry.
If we could just focus eternally on our existence for a small moment...
How long do we have here on earth?
Forever in the past and forever into the future makes this life nothing. On an eternal timeline you were born a second grew up and got married half a second ago...and you are going to have children and die in this very moment. 
How do you want to spend your second? This precious second that our Heavenly Father has given to us.
Spend it smiling. Spend it laughing.
"Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in Heaven."
In summary Brothers and Sisters...
Don't trust in Satan.
Do not murmur or permit Satan and his angels to laugh.
Be the reason that they fall. Be the reason that they fail.
Do not eat, drink, and be merry of the world.
Instead...Eat, drink, and be merry The Lord's way.
Receive your reward in Heaven by being like Nephi.
Smile and rejoice for this small second that you are dying right now according eternities time watch...
How are you going to spend it?

With so much love you can´t even handle,
Elder Noll

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

¿COMO ESTAN, Americanites!?
I am sure everyone is really good as the weather starts to get warmer and warmer each day...but I highly doubt it is as hot as it is here! Haha!
I can´t remember if I told you guys but April is the rainy season in rains all through the night and up until the about 11ish the rain stops and the sun comes out. It comes out so hard! That Ecuadorian sun don´t play games! We get cooked! Haha!
Way too much fun!
Another car story...we were in a taxi and the same deal passed again...
he took a corner WAAAAYYY to sharp and the door swung open and I was pinned up against the door that flung open...nearly lost my life again...
I am going to stick to walking now ;)
An experience a little interesting to say the least...
We were teaching a Hermana...and she is super super tough! Like a miracle if she let´s us come into her house...but she has so much potential so we just can´t give up on here...anyway...she went into the kitchen to go finish frying the bananas and we were sitting on the couch...I could only see her head because the counter was covering her body...suddenly her head strait up magic...not long after I heard a huge crash and a scream!
We rushed over to the kitchen and the Hermana literally fell through the floor. I thought she died! We ran out side to see where she fell to but by the time we got out there she had already crawled out of the dungeon from whence she fell...with spatula in hand...running to make sure her bananas didn´t burn...pretty impressive right!? ;) I guess she landed on her feet and everything....
It took me every fiber of my soul not to laugh...but we are going to help her out with rebuilding her kitchen.
Other than those two stories...not a whole lot of craziness has been passing!
We are finding the most incredible people!
We found one woman...she is so awesome!!! We taught her ONCE...she went to church the next day...and is already pretty far along in the Book of Mormon! We are so excited and feel so blessed to have found her. It is so amazing how our Heavenly Father is preparing so many to hear the true and restored is just up to us to find them and save them.
There is another woman...who gave me so much fear when I first met her! Just a stern, grumpy, banana selling, mean lady (bless her heart). We tried to teach her one time but she completely rejected us and told us never to come back. The other day we passed by her little store and she told us to stop and come over. A little hesitantly we went over. She told us that she was sorry and that she wants to learn more. She wants to change. And that she had a dream in the which she saw her deceased parents in a state of happiness...everything was white...and she saw a tree with fruit. Her parents were begging her to partake of the fruit and be happy like they were. She didn´t know what the fruit was...what the tree meant...or why they were all so happy...but it sounds a heck of a lot like a dream that a Book of Mormon prophet had. We shared Lehi´s vision of the tree of life with her and she instantly BEAMED! Needless to say...she is pretty excited for our next visit. ANOTHER miracle from our loving Heavenly Father.
Hmmm...what else?
I got attacked from some type of creature...some bug...idk really. But it destroyed my arms. It started out as just little mosquito bites but has turned into flesh wounds! As if it is eating my skin or itches really bad. But life itches sometimes! ;) Just something we gotta deal with, right?!
Ate another chicken foot!
I became a seamstress...I sewed most of my white shirts by hand because they are really big now...I felt pretty good about myself! ;)
That pretty much sums up this week!
Listos por lo mas chevere parte de la semana?
How can we have peace with God?
´´Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God...´´
How are we justified by faith?
´´...through Jesus Christ:´´
How are we justified through faith in The Lord?
´´By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.´´
We are justified by faith in and of our Savior Jesus Christ.
It is only in and through Him that we have access to faith.
But how do we rejoice? When does the peace come? How do we access the faith?
´´...and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.´´
I am here today to testify that peace, joy, success, and love don´t come easy. Tribulation is a required prerequisite.
So let´s brake down these verses a little...
GLORY IN TRIBULATION: How on earth could we ever do that? Why would we do that? To glory in tribulation is to face your tribulation; Don´t fear it, don´t shy from it, don´t avoid it! Whether is be physical, mental, or spiritual, our Heavenly Father is trying to teach you something to help you become a better you. Every trial we will ever face in this life is God lovingly and carefully helping us become the God that we were meant to be. Glory in God´s way of glorifying you!
TRIBULATION WORKETH PATIENCE: The majority of our trials don´t just come and go. Heavenly Father did not sent His Son to earth just for a brief moment...He sent our Savior here 33 years. 33 years to be ridiculed, judged, denied, bruised, beaten, and killed...a 33 year trial and tribulation with a divine purpose: to save the children of men and to live again so that we might live again. Our loving Heavenly Father always has and always have a purpose behind every difficult thing that we go through. What ever difficulty you are facing...there is a divine purpose behind it...
Our Heavenly Father would NEVER give you a test if you didn´t have the capacity to achieve a high score. The high score will come! Just have patience until then.
We will obtain experience...through experience hope will come...and when you have hope, the love of God will penetrate your will steal your heart.
There is no better blessing in this life than to let Him who created your heart steal it back.
Let our Heavenly Father steal your heart.
I will close up with one last verse...
´´For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.´´
Notice the phrase...IN DUE TIME.
When you are without strength, without confidence, and feel without purpose...TRIUMPH IN TRIAL. We all need to pay our time...that´s a given...but in due are promised to be delivered from your struggles. In due time the love of God will be shed abroad. In due time you will be relieved. In due time you will be lifted. But during this due time...access your faith.
My amazing mother sent me an amazing quote...
´´He is not waiting to love you until after you have overcome your weaknesses. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles.´´
Access your faith in Christ though hope. Through patience. Through leaning on Him that knows you and feels you...Him who descended from a glorious thrown to a garden and a cross. Him who descended from the presence of our Heavenly Father to the presence of murderers and sinners...Him who descended below all ungodliness to give us ungodly people a chance to overcome our ungodliness and become a God.
Let thy soul be still...
Elder Noll

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

   Sending tons and tons of love here from Ecuador! 
I hope everyone had an incredible week just like I did! Filled with adventure, new experiences, and The Lord's loving hand!
   One night we had a Family Home Evening with the First Counselor in the Stake was a blast! His little girl just turned 2! She is adorable...I say that about every single little girl here...but it is most true with this one! Haha! Too cute! And her favorite song is by Ed Sheeran! A little odd...but they set up a microphone and played the song on the Karaoke Version and I sang it for her! Haha! She was loving it! It was super fun. 
   We ran into a guy from New Jersey...he spoke English really well...we started sharing a message with him in English and I ALMOST couldn't do it...Haha! WAAAAYYYY too weird to not do it in Spanish. Looks like I might need a translator to come home with me in a year and a half! ;)
   Man some days out here are tough! The other day we tried to visit EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of our investigators and menos activos (less actives) and not a SINGLE ONE was there...
most discouraging thing ever! 
But we kept trudging the end of the day we had done almost nothing...
but the miracle of missionary work is that there is always tomorrow...the miracle of life is that there is always tomorrow! So we got on our knees...planned for the next day...and kept on keepin' on! And of course all turned out well! The Lord is so mindful of us...sometimes all it takes is to ask. Sometimes all it takes is to feel a bad day, a little bit of pain, or a little failure, to be brought to success, peace, and glory.
   We had to take a taxi to lunch one day and on the way there we nearly were killed twice. 
The first time we were flying...clearly speeding...and he didn't see the MASSIVE speed bump ahead...I think we could have cleared 15 diesels with the air we caught...and as my head drilled the top of the car I think I lost all memory of my first 8 months in the mission! Haha
Then not too shortly after...we saw a big ol` thingy in the we got closer and closer we noticed it was was covering the entire was a snake! The biggest snake I have ever seen in my entire existence. Man that sucker got torn to shreds though...we were going too fast to stop and we couldn't swerve around the thing because it was covering the whole entire snake guts got all over everywhere...and some poor dude is probably going to go eat his banana now and get a little snake savor in there! ;)
And then another car experience...
the bishop was taking us home from a visit out where he lives...but we had Elder B and I, the other two Elders in our Sector, the Bishop`s two daughters, son, and another member...all piled in his 4 person car! I had a window seat...and when Bishop made a turn on the Highway the Hermano who was laying across us accidentally caught the door handle with his foot and the car door swung open...with me nearly flying out the car to my death! Luckily I had about 5 different ties flopping in the wind to grab to save me from falling...
   April is the rainy is raining TONS! But it gets super hot in the afternoons...I love it!
   Our house is being invaded by ant-spiders. I am not exactly sure what exactly they are...but there are millions! You can feel them crawling in and out of your ears and nose when you sleep and you kinda just learn to drink the little buggers after they get in your water...but other than that WE GOOD!
   We had to cross a darker area of our sector late at night on our way home...and one dude we passed told us to hurry home because the guy behind us had a knife...that sure made us kick it in gear! Haha! 
Then we ran into a super drunk guy...luckily he was drunk as could be or else his attempted robbery might have succeeded! But he failed and we got away safe and sound.
   The work is moving along is not easy...but it isn`t supposed to be! 
   Thank you for all of your constant prayers...your thoughts...your everything!
I am so blessed to have all of you in my life!
   Please pray for the people here! They need all the blessings that they can get...physical and spiritual! 
Not just here but everywhere in the world...all the way from Empalme, Ecuador to St Raphael, France... we are...
   I know I am a little behind in the department and as an 18 year old boy I do not know a whole lot about marriage but I do know that it is of God, I do know why, and I know, though I cannot fully comprehend, what we can receive though marriage.
I love in Matt. when Christ gives ´´the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven´´ to Peter. The Lord then explains...´´whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven...´´ 
What an incredible promise and blessing The Lord has given us. If we are truly worthy to enter the temple, we have the capacity, with the Lord´s power and authority, to bind a husband and wife together for time and all eternity. To bind and never separate a family for a forever long and never-ending state of happiness.
And the perfectness of this gospel allows those who are not worthy...TO GET WORTHY! Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all are subject to the same blessings and privileges. You too have the capacity to achieve this never-ending state of happiness with those who you love the most.
We learn that ´´if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by The Lord nor by His word,...their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead...´´
´´Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife...that the earth might answer the end of its creation;...according to his creation before the world was made.
Every single on of us was foreordained to take a son or daughter of God by the hand in the temple and covenant and be sealed to them for time and all eternity. We were created for the very purpose! The earth cannon answer its creation without this kind of marriage. A man cannot fulfill his destiny without a daughter of God and a Temple. A woman cannot achieve her potential without a Son of God and the binding power and ordinances of the Priesthood.
I cannot think of better promises or blessings that the ones that come from obeying this commandment of marriage...
´´Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; for they shall be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.´´
THAT is your purpose, Brothers and Sisters! You were foreordained, created, sent to earth, and brought to existence to become a God.
To become everlasting with power without end. 
To be above all.
To give angels someone to be subject unto.
So don´t look for the perfect one...look for the one who makes the perfect you! Who will help you become the God or Goddess that you are to become.
I am so grateful for my parents who have shown me the way and the example. 
And I am forever in debt to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with the chance to be sealed to one of His beautiful daughters. Though I am far from blessed I feel to become closer to perfect through the help of an angel of Zion and the Atonement of our Savior...and with that become God´s together. What a blessing it will be to help a daughter of God become perfected, though she will already be close, thought the blessings of the Temple and marriage directed by the Almighty God.
Live up to your potential!
And help that one live up to theirs!
Love you all so much!
Elder Noll

April 6, 2015

HEY ALL!!! Long time no see...or talk!
Sorry about last week...when I logged on the first thing I saw was that Zayne left One Direction...I could not see the computer screen...I couldn´t heart broke to millons of pieces...but if he is going to walk out on us Directioners...he doesn´t deserve to dismotivate me...haha ;)

The power in all of Empalme actually went out and we couldn´t write...
or do laundry...
or see in our house...
haha! But it made up for a fun time I guess!
I do, however, sincerely hope that all of you Directioners are hangin' in there!

This week truly was a great one! The past two weeks were awesome actually!
Last Monday we cleaned the house...that´s about how crazy our P-DAY got! Haha! But it is pretty darn clean! We went to town in that casa of ours!
One night we ran into a super super drunk man...we contacted him because we couldn't tell that he was drunk...he was giving us quite the scare...he wanted to come to our house and was getting upset with us because we wouldn't tell him where we lived...but he eventually carried on with his drunk self across the street and out of sight.
The other Saturday we had quite the experience...
we have been working with the biggest stud...and he has been having the most difficult time with making a decision to be baptized or not...he knows the church is true...he has a testimony of everything...he just hesitated because he doesn't want to fall away after making such a sacred covenant with our Heavenly Father.
Anyways...he called us last Saturday around 6:30 and told us he was ready!
...then he told us we had to do it before 7 though...
We were losing our minds!
I am sure the people of Ecuador were getting quite the show watching us white dudes run through the streets with white clothing in our arms and dying as we gasped for breath.
We made it to the church and then we couldn't find the plug to fill the font...
So we put out thinking caps on and got a plastic bag and filled it with toilet paper and stuck it down there...and voila! :)
that didn't last too long...eventually the bag got sucked down the drain and we couldn't reach it! Haha! Finally the mission leader showed up and told us that it plugs automatically when you turn on the water to fill it...
so i guess those thinking caps didn't work too well...haha...and there is a bag deep deep in the despairs of that drain...hopefully it doesn't cause future problems!
   He eventually showed up and he forgot to bring a white shirt so I had to lend him mine and I had to wear his blue dress shirt...the rest of the night!
People were giving me the weirdest looks...I looked like I was headed out to the club or something...
but the baptismal service was incredible all around!
The Lord is so mindful of us...we had been asking so fervently for him to make a decision and for The Lord to give him the confidence to go through with this covenant...and The Lord He always does and always will.
Last week a member in our ward passed away...
We went to the funeral to pay our respects and the daughter kind of surprised me with a request...
´´Elder Noll, you wouldn't mind dedicating the grave, would you?´´
So that was a neat experience to say the least!
I had never seen one done before...but I will say...the spirit was so strong I can't put into words. It was incredible.
KNOWING where this member was going and to whom he was going to live with comforted us all and ´´death had no sting´´. How blessed I feel to have had the opportunity to perform that sacred ordinance and how truly lucky I feel to be capable to act as God´s hands with the power that He has blessed me with.
   Conference was least the parts that we saw!
Saturday was really neat! It was a little different in Spanish for the first time...but the messages were all the same and how blessed we are to have a living Prophet!
Sunday we set up the projector...everything was ready to roll...the opening hymn started...and the power went out again!!!
What you want, Satan?!
But we beat him out and figured things out as fast as we could and got things up and rolling again!
I feel like there is so much to say and not enough time to say it!
I know I am forgetting so much but 2 weeks built up of pure awesomeness causes for some left out details!
hmmm...saw a dead pig in the road...we had no food on Sunday and we couldn't buy anything so we went 100% strait up Pioneer...flour and water...NEVER AGAIN.
...a giant toad jumped on my foot and wouldn't budge! I had to kick my leg like a maniac until the dude went flying!
I am doing so so so so good. AMAZING! I love it here and I love this work!
 There is no better blessing and no better place I could be!
   Here we go...I am already holding back the tears...
I know I frequently talk about Christ and His Atonement but there is no event in the history of time that even slightly compares to the divinity and heroic final hours of our Saviors earthly ministry and His resurrection. For that reason and the fact that we are celebrating Easter, I would like to just simply bare my testimony of our Master and Shepherd.
I know with every fiber of my soul that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lived. I know that His birth was a miracle brought to pass by our loving Heavenly Father through the virgin Mary. I know that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. I know He was perfect in every way possible and more before His life, during His earthy life, and He continues to live without a single fault or flaw today.
I am forever grateful for His Atonement for mankind.
I believe that as Jesus ´´took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy´´ (Mat. 26:37), our Brother was faced with a decision. Our Brother was faced with a choice.
A choice that would mean life or death for the children of men.. A choice that would mean life or death for you.
I believe for a moment time stood still. As time stood still, one by one, each and every one of you entered His mind and His heart.
Jesus Christ saw you. He saw your tears. He saw you fall. He saw you in agony. He saw your fears, your insecurities...He saw it all.
He looked you directly in your beautiful eyes and KNEW you.
He then heard you. He heard your cries. He heard your doubts. He heard your struggles.
He came to know you perfectly.
Then time returned...
He had to make the decision...
´´then He saith unto them...tarry ye here...´´ ´´and He went a little further...´´ (Mat. 26:38-39).
The second Jesus Christ made the decision to ´´go a little further´´ was the second that He changed from our Brother to the Everlasting Savior and Redeemer of the world and universe.
So after seeing you...and after hearing you...
He felt you.
´´He went a little further, and fell on His face.´´
Every single tear that has filled your eyes, rolled down His cheeks first.
He fell on His face before you were even capable of falling for yourself.
He faced your fears so you wouldn't have to.
He sweat your blood and sins from every single pore in His body to give you eternal life.
He was beaten and smitten to give you a light and a way.
He was punctured with a crown of thorns so that you could have a crown of glory.
He was pierced by nails on both hands and was risen to die on a cross so that your heart could be pierced by love and you could rise up to eternal life.
He did it all.
He did it all for you.
He did it all after knowing you...
Finally...I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ overcame death with His power and faith and arose to live once live again for time and all eternity.
He lives.
He breathes.
And He loves.
He has saved you and I from captivity and from the grave.
I am not sure what the words from Elder Holland were exactly in English...but the translation goes a little like this...
´´A garden stained with sweat, a cross driven with nails, and an unfilled tomb´´
...take a moment to picture those three things in you mind.
And KNOW that it was all for you.
There is no way to put an end to this message...
All I can say is that Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of this world and others, the most perfect human being to ever walk the earth, the resurrected and living Son of God...
And His love has no limits...
and that alone...should make you feel pretty darn special.
With as much love as I can possibly offer,
but nothing compared to what our Savior has to give,
Elder Noll