Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 18, 2015

Hey All!
Another super duper busy crazy day so I don't have tons of time!
Let´s get to it!
Actually I don't even know where to start.
On Wednesday we had our annual interviews with President in the morning and we had a Zone Conference in the afternoon. I woke up on Wednesday feeling a little off...then it just seemed to get worse throughout the day...by the time we went back to the Zone Conference...I WAS FREEZING! I I was cold for the first time in 9 months! Haha! I was so cold we went back to the house before heading off to the Zone Conference to get a poncho made of Llama fur. 
Walking in the conference was quite the sight I am sure...everyone got a pretty good laugh. 
The words of President Riggins: "Quien es este loco?" (Who is this crazy?) Haha!
So I ended up coming down with something called Dengue...we have the same thing in the US but it is called West Nile Virus. Those darn Zeebra-Squits at it again! Haha!
But HEY! I survived! And I guess it is a lot harder to get it a second time so that's good, right?!
But that took up quite a bit of our week, sadly :/ 
Sunday was a miracle though!
   We have been working so so so hard with so many people to get them to church and they have not budged an inch...not even a centimeter! We have taught and taught and taught and they just don't want to grasp the importance of going to church and participating of the sacrament. 
   On Sunday we were really nervous because we had not had the chance to visit the majority of our investigators because I had been sick...and if they didn't come with us teaching them every day the chances were even less if we didn't see them at all throughout the week...or so we thought.
   We prayed and prayed and prayed on Sunday morning and when we showed to the chapel we ended up having
1) One of the better attendances the ward has had in a while.
2) TONS of Less Actives 
3) Many Investigators
How is that possible!?! I was so taken back and humbled for that which the Lord gave us. It really made me think too.
In reality, The Lord has all power to do all things. I was reminded of who this work belongs to and who it is that governs it. The Lord is All Powerful, Knowing, Doing, and Everlasting. 
So we can learn some valuable lessons from good ol' West Nile Virus! ;)
For lack of time...I am skipping to the message!
   I love the example of Alma the older in the Book of Mormon. He is so faithful and obedient...ALWAYS. But one of my favorite lessons from him is his example of ´´how to repent´´. Alma and his people have finally arrived somewhere where they can settle for a short time and the people are desirous of a King. They are desirous of Alma to be that King. He HUMBLES himself and tells them that there should be no King. Then he RECOGNIZES that ´´he fell in the trap of the wicked King Noah´´ and that he did ´´many abominable things´´. These two steps are crucial. The repentance process begins with HUMBLY RECOGNIZING that which we have done. When we HUMBLY RECOGNIZE we WILLINGLY ACCEPT.
´´Nevertheless, after much tribulation, The Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me and instrument in His hands...´´
The next thing Alma does is cry. In fact...he CRIES. When we come unto repentance we must feel true agony and regret in regards to that which we have done. Then The Lord needs to hear your voice. Your prayer. Your ´´apology´´. Our apology shows Him we have un-waivering faith in the Atonement of His son, Jesus Christ, and that we believe in the miracle of forgiveness...and that is needed. The AGONY and the APOLOGY.
´´After much tribulation´´ is something that is hard for us to wrap our minds around. Presidente Riggins taught us something that really put it into perspective for me...´´The Lord can take away guilt, pain, and struggle. He can free us from misery and sin...but we WILL NOT take away the consequences of that which we have done.´´
That is the tribulation. There are consequences to all things and we have to fight them. We must FIGHT and OVERCOME.
Finally, after cries and prayers, humility, and much tribulation...The Lord makes Alma an instrument in His hands. The Lord won´t accept a normal you...because you are not normal. He will not accept an average you...because you are not average. Nor will He accept you to be the same person you were before you fell into transgression...because you are meant to progress. As we fully repent we bury our personal weapons and BECOME a weapon in The Lord's hands. We leave our sins for eternity and become ´´sanctified by the Holy Spirit and bring forth works...´´
I testify that as we live these principles and this process of repentance everyday we will become sanctified and purified.
More than anything, I testify that it is only in and through Jesus Christ that this is possible. That it is through His divine Atonement, infinite love, forgiving power, and merciful heart that sinners like you and I can be received in a throne beyond capacity of description.
Put aside where you have been, where you are, and what you have done...
All that matters now is this:
Don't focus on "I am currently"...because what you ARE is in the world. 
Focus on "I can become" a child of God and a carefully crafted soul made by an Eternal King who leaps like none other. 
And carefully crafted souls only leap forward!
Elder Noll

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