Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Hey All! What's good? Anything new? How was the Day of Fathers for all of you studs out there? Hopefully SO SO good!
 
Elder S and I have had a great fantastic amazing awesome super buenis√≠mo week! 
 
Monday night started out so great! We had a family night planned with a recent convert but she told us that we couldn't visit her anymore. I was heartbroken. She then followed up by saying..."My husband and I changed our job schedule so that we could go to church every Sunday now." I was so humbled by their willingness to follow our Savior and sacrifice to fulfill their covenants and promises to the Savior. Such humble and diligent followers and examples of Jesus Christ. 
 
On Tuesday night we got to go to the temple and help with the confirmations for Baptisms for the Dead. What an incredible experience. I love the peacefulness and stillness within the temple walls. There is nowhere on this planet closer to the gates of Heaven than a dedicated house of the Lord, Jesus Christ. GO!
 
We had an investigator who would not accept us, the Book of Mormon, or even the fact that God exists. So we simply invited her to pray and to ask. We figured we would give her a little while before passing for her again but we felt obliged to visit her. Upon doing so, she told us that she had the opportunity to kneel...to pray...and to ask God, if there was one, if He existed and what it is that He wants for her. She then told us that she has never in her life felt more love fill her heart than the amount that filled hers at that exact moment. She explains that she was brought to tears as she gained this profound testimony that God does exist. I love this story because it applies to us all so well. Our Heavenly Father answers prayers. Maybe he does not talk to us, tell us He is there, or show evidence that He exists...but He WILL fill your heart with more love that you can possibly imagine. Prayer is the most divine blessing! Let us all lean to Him through kneeling and allowing him to succor us. 
 
Well...here in Ecuador it is apart of the culture to shake hands and then for the homies and the chicas to kiss on the cheek...but obviously as missionaries we have to refrain from it. The thing is...EVERYONE KNOWS...so it is not a big deal.
"DON´T KISS THE WHITE BOYS OR THE GUYS WITH BLACK NAMETAGS."
The other day we met a friend of a less active who had never met missionaries before. When I went to shake her hand...and only shake her hand...she started to lean in for the cheek smooch...
My life flashed before my eyes! I didn't know what to do. Good thing my reflexes came into play! I said, 'NO PUEDO! NO PUEDO! NO PUEDO!" (I CAN'T! I CAN'T! I CAN'T!) and curled up in a ball on the couch. Haha! She thought I was quite the goofball. We explained to her that we were missionaries and that we have specific rules and guidelines that we have to obey. So long story short...I escaped the kiss! VICTORY! Never thought that would be a win until I got here... ;)
 
¿Que mas?
 
We got to give a blessing of health to two little children, a brother and a sister. They were both super sick. We gave them the blessing and that night the parents called us and were so happy to tell us that the two little dudes where completely fine! We were so humbled by God's power and so grateful for the miracles that our Heavenly Father can work through the Priesthood!
 
So those were the major events this week!
I am super pumped for more adventures and stories this week!
 
My testimony has really been strengthened in the topic of the sacrament and the sabbath day as a whole. I love focusing on a few self-reflecting questions.
 
1) Who does this day belong to?
"Therefore the Son of man is the Lord also of the sabbath." This day is His...and all that belongs to the Lord is to be perfectly respected, cherished, and sanctified. 
 
2) How is it that we are able to sanctify this holy day?
Sanctifying the sabbath day DOES NOT START when the Priests kneel to bless the sacrament. It requires preparation, spiritual meditating, and much more. Keeping the sabbath day holy does not just mean to take the sacrament. This day is COMPLETELY dedicated to HIM and His name. We pray in His name. We read about His name. We learn from His name. We feel of the spirit that is sent in His name.
 
3) What is the importance of the sacrament?
The sacrament is the only ordinance that we are able to do over and over again for ourselves. The only ordinance that we can repeat. As soon as we realize that and comprehend that it should help us come to the realization of just how important this ordinance is and just how important your covenant with our Heavenly Father matters. 
"He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
As we partake of the sacrament, partake of our Savior, He becomes a part of us...and we become a part of Him through taking one step closer to inheriting His glory. What a blessing it is to be promised a part of our Savior. What a blessing it is to have a King...the only true King of all the universe want to dwell within you. A Redeemer who offers His Kingdom for you to inherit. And it all comes through the sacrament.
 
I know often times when we take the sacrament we fail to listen. But what about what your Heavenly Father is trying to tell you? I used to think of the sacrament as my ´´chastizement´´. Is that a word? Or as my time to reflect on what I have done wrong. The sacrament means much more than this. I promise that as we partake of this holy ordinance...as we become a part of Him and as He becomes a part of us...our Heavenly Fathers voice will be heard. Our Heavenly Father is so content with us as we partake of His son. He is so content and the sanctity and purity that we obtain through doing so. Every time we partake of the bread and water, your Father in Heaven is saying, "Well done my child. Look at you grow. Look at you become. Good job."
 
The name of Jesus Christ is also so much more than I thought...
Christ´s name is forgiveness. His name is the essence of the church. His name is eternal. His name is power. Love. Humility. His name is salvation. Every single time we take that little piece of bread and the tiny sip of water we promise to God to take upon ourselves that  name...those attributes...His traits. 
 
With 168 hours in a week we have ONE single hour...ONE moment...ONE chance to step into Gethsemane. As you are seated in a padded pew think of your Savior kneeling in a garden. As you reach for the bread think of God's beloved son reaching out to you. While the water goes down your throat keep in mind the blood that flowed from every single pore of our King for YOUR sins. Do this and listen closely,
"Well done my child. Look at you grow. Look at you become. Good job."
 
Love you guys so much!
Elder Noll
 

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