Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

Hey All!
Another great week! Filled with incredible experiences!
How is everyone? It's been a while!! ;) Anything new? Marriages? Children? I hear that Springville is tearing it up! Super pumped to hear that the 'Ville is still representing!
I guess a plus was that I got my haircut and for the first time it didn't turn out TOO bad! They didn't cut me! And I am not embarrassed to look in the mirror! ;) Haha! 
We were walking to one of our appointments and we passed by a HUGE tree. We were just about to make it out from under the tree when a flying dinosaur fell right before our eyes!!! But seriously...A massive Iguana fell right in front of us! It scared us so bad! I thought it was mama iguana coming back to claim revenge on me for what I did to her little baby! But nothing landed on it's head and I think lost all sense of just scurried and leaped into the field of bananas. 
There is such an incredible family that we are visiting! I love them so much! They have been less active for quite a while but they are starting to get back into the grove of things! They are a very humble family in the most humbling circumstances. They lost a child about 5 months ago and have another child with the same disease that took the first. They live a hard life...but every morning...without fail...the Hermana cooks breakfast for the construction workers just to be nice. I am so touched by the pure love of Christ & The never failing charity that these people teach me day in and day out.
Quite the miracle is the small things that hit me the most sometimes.
We were visiting a recent convert family that live pretty far away from where we live...and when we finally made it out of the lesson we had about 10 minutes to get back to the house in order to be on time with a 20 minute walk...boy did we get on our horse!!! I said a silent prayer in my heart that we could make it on time...and BOOM! Around the corner comes trucking the most hideous looking car. Hardly running... Christmas lights as headlights...and the passenger door was broken...but somehow it is a taxi serving car. And on a street where cars do not pass...let alone taxi...and at an hour that taxi's stop working...the Lord answered a small prayer and we were able to make it home safe and sound...and on time! :)
I ran into some Empalme homies! It was rather strange...they got really really embarrassed when they saw me. I was super confused why they were in is like 4 hours from Empalme. They finally told me that they were secretly dating and that they didn't want anyone to know. So I broke the secret...they are dating!! Don't tell anyone ;) But it was good to see some old and friendly faces. 
I am loving life! The ward I am in is incredible! I pulled out some brand new shirts at my one year mark to use for this next year of my mission. The only problem is that I have the biceps of a 10 year old so my shirts drown me. I ran them over to an Hermana and she hooked me right up! The next day I had brand new shirts...custom and tailored to my scrawny body! ;) 
Other than that...just waiting anxiously for what is to come this week! 

Christ once said; "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."
But what are the "expedient things" in the Lord?
Moroni 7:34 gives us a clear answer:
"And He hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved."
I have thought a lot about this: Why it is that through faith, repentance, and baptism we are brought to salvation? The answer is in the same chapter but in verse 32!
"And by so doing (FAITH, REPENTANCE, AND BAPTISM), the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof;..."
The Holy Ghost having a place in our hearts is what leads us to being saved. The Holy Ghost is among one of the most sacred gifts we could ever possibly receive.
"But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth..."
This gift is sent directly from the Heavens above in the name of Jesus Christ Himself. Created, packaged, and sent from God Himself "that we may be saved."
I love the story of Nephi and Lehi while preaching to the Lamanites. We learn so many characteristics and traits of the Holy Ghost. They preach with power and authority. The spirit activates God's power in our life. It does not give us power but, rather, gives God's power the chance to work through us. 
Nephi and Lehi are encircled and protected by fire.
The Holy Ghost is a protector. He will lead and direct us to safety. He will encircle us with the everlasting and merciful hands of our loving Heavenly Father and His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from the wickedness and danger of this world. 
The spirit also speaks over all darkness. The Lamanites are "overshadowed with a cloud of darkness, and an awful solemn of fear... and it came to pass that there came a voice as if it were above the cloud of darkness..."
It does not matter where we are, how deep into a tunnel of darkness we can get, or the immensity of a cloud that is over our head... the voice of the spirit will speak "as if it were above the cloud of darkness..." The clouds that Satan puts over our heads are so easily penetrated. So easily destroyed through the Holy Ghost.
We know the Holy Ghost as a "still small voice of perfect mildness... a whisper that pierces to the very soul." The spirit has a voice ever so meek... ever so soft... that pierces to the very soul. Though it is still and small... within our heart it is a thundering and a quaking that can overpower all.
It is though this spirit that so many are converted unto Christ and convinced unto repentance. The spirit converts us. Whether we have 20 years as a member or 20 seconds. The spirit is the converter. He is the giver of all testimony. 
I testify that the spirit carries these traits... he authorizes God's power. He protects us. His voice overpowers all darkness and fear. Any dark cloud, fear, tremble, struggle, or pain will be overpowered by this Holy Ghost, gifted by God, for our salvation. 
Let us hearken to this still small voice. Despite the mildness of the voice... it will pierce you to the very soul. Let us all live worthily of this spirit. Let it "change our faces" as it did the faces of Nephi and Lehi. Let it change who we are as children of God. Even unto the change of our appearance. The goal should be to have the spirit so strongly within us that there is a visual change. An outer glow. Let us let the spirit pierce us. This pierce of love is Heavenly. This pierce of perfect mildness is Godly. This pierce is a pierce to the heart "that ye may be saved." Let it save you. Earn this gift every single day. Cherish this gift every single step you take. Thank the Lord God for His willingness to give this Heavenly counselor a place in our Heart.
Elder Noll <3

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

Hey All!!
How are things going in the promised land?? Things here are super good! Just writing you all while sitting next to Elder Johnson! Haha! We are going to eat lunch and kick it together today until we have to go to our own sectors later to work! So that is always a highlight!!
This week was truly incredible. So many daily miracles and so many tender mercies that the Lord showed me...I always feel so bad at the end of each email each week because I have to leave out so many things that the Lord blessed me with. This lifestyle and these routines of daily scripture study, prayer, and dedicating yourself to defending the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ creates miracles...there is no doubt about that in my mind.
We had to be in Guayaquil the other day and we were in the Taxi on the way back to Panorama. The Taxi conversations are usually the same...
Where do you live? Have you ever talked to the missionaries? What is your family like? And then we share a spiritual message. This one was a little different...he said that he didn't work on Sundays. That really caught me off guard! Not ONCE has that happened over this past year! Haha! So we got talking a bit...and I asked him if he has ever talked to the missionaries...he said "Yes! Once a LEAST!" I was thinking that he was an investigator but he turned out to be the Elders Quorum President! Haha! So cool to be apart of this spreading wild fire of the gospel. Who would have thought that in a world with so much iniquity, evil, and contention...a missionary could wave down a random Taxi and find a President of an Elders Quorum. Watch out world!!! God's Kingdom is coming and we are coming fast!
On Wednesday I was in another sector which was cool! It is always awesome to meet the investigators of the other missionaries and see the goodness of the word of God be spread throughout every ear.
We got to pass by a Less Actives house and teach him about Family History to help prepare him for the Temple. I was so touched to hear him talk about the temple. How beautiful it is. How peaceful he feels when he is near it. How sacred the Lord's house is...and he has never even entered! The temple truly is so sacred...and that perspective is from the outside! Imagine what we feel when we enter...imagine the intensity of the spirit. It is something that cannot be put into words. So grateful for the temple.
We watched a movie with a couple the other day that really touched my heart. It is called "To This End Was I Born". It is a movie about the final hours of Christ's earthly ministry and crucifixion, mission in the spirit world, and His Resurrection. I was so touched by a question that the Herman asked us...
¿What was Christ guilty of?
 How blessed we were to share our testimonies of the Atonement and Christ's willing sacrifice for us...despite not being guilty of any crime. His only crime was being guilty of His undying love for us as His brothers and sisters.
Hmmm...those were the major events of the week!
Super happy birthday shout out to my older brother, Ryan! Love you man! Miss you more than you know! 3 years is a long time...and we are going on four! But hey...we have an eternity to play catch, punch each other, and eat In n out!
Nothing super crazy happened this week I don't think...
We have a pet frog that just kicks it in a crevice on the door of our house. His name is Carlito...he is the nicest dude but he pees like a horse and stinks up the Elder C laid out some salt because I guess that kills them...and he hasn't showed up since. Hopefully he found a new home...but if he is dead...
Better that one frog perish than two Elders dwindle in the stench of urine ;)

I would like to start off with a verse from Doctrine and Covenants; 
``Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it...``
``And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead,...and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead:...``
Joseph Smith, through divine revelation, revealed ``this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel``and often times we do not realize the importance of it.
Ephesians teaches us that ``in the despensations of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ; both which are in Heaven, and are on earth; even in Him:`` This gathering together in one all things in Christ is done by being submerged for and in behalf of our brothers and sisters who are wating ever so anxiously on the other side of the veil.
When Christ came to the Americas He invited all ``to be perfect even as He, or our Father in Heaven is perfect`` (3 Nephi 3:48). Not only was this invitation extended to all who lived in the Americas at that time but for all who lived in the eastern parts of the earth during His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. This invitation is for all...east and west, living and dead, now, forever in the past, and for the eternities to come. 
God is such a loving God. He knew that some of His children would not have the chance to partake of baptisimal ordinances in their earthly life...some of His children would not be capable of utilizing the atonement in their life which was given to all men.
That is where this ``most glorious`` miracle comes in.
In Hebrews 11:40 it says ``God having provided some better thing for us...``
Whatever we are doing in this moment...God has something better. The end of the verse explains to us what this ``better thing`` is.
``...that they without us should not be made perfect.``
This ``better thing`` is to help others become perfect. There are so many souls in the spirit world waiting for the chance to be made clean for their sins. However...they cannot be made clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ...and they cannot utilize the Atonement without Baptism...and they cannot be baptized without this ``most glorious of all subjects`` and certainly can`t do it without our help.
I testify that the living God is the living God of the living and of the dead. I testify that this glorious subject is true and it is sacred. The Heavens won`t be the Heavens without the people we take along with us. Let us be more dedicated in helping our brothers and sisters partake of the Atonement throught the sacred, authorized by God, and holy baptisms for the dead in God`s holy temples. Let us do this ``better thing``. Make someone perfect today! Be the reason that one of God`s souls entered into a state of happiness and peace. Be the reason that someone can utilize the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. Be the reason that someone inherits eternal life. 
Love you all so much! You are all in my constant prayers. 
Elder Noll

The celebratory "burning of the shirt" - a year mark tradition for missionaries

The Elders - some things never change :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Hey Fam Bam and Friends!
 I have a bit more time this week so I can give a quick recap on the past two weeks! And boy have they been great! As usual!
I was super humbled 2 weeks ago...we were with a family in the ward who lives in an invasion. Not sure if that is a thing in English?? It is just out in the middle of nowhere, with no source of light, water, or electricity. We had Family Home Evening there and got there around 8ish. PITCH BLACK. We could not see anything! We found our way through the dense beam of our little tiny Nokia cellphone that I think is old enough to have been used by Nephi...but we made it! That's all that matters. And I was hit with such a feeling of peace. Which was so, so confusing. We were sitting around a candlelit table, dripping in sweat, fighting of the millions of mosquitoes...but all I felt was peace. I felt so joyous and grateful. I guess that is how the gospel works though, right? No matter where we are in this matter how many mosquitoes there are...a small candle, the scriptures, and a Christ-centered family can make peace in moments and places that we didn't think were possible for peace to dwell.
Last Sunday I ate baby lamb. I felt really guilty. I was sad...I could not get the picture of a cute little baby lamb frollicking through the woodland lands out of my mind...but it was really good! So I was okay with it ;)
We had a movie night too this past week! It was SWEET! We invited every single person we came in contact with. Quite a few people showed up. We watched "Meet the Mormons". It was such a neat experience to see the reactions of the people. They had absolutely NO idea that we are normal people! That movie is definitely a blessing...and it helped us gain quite a few new investigators. 
Last week some ward members from one of my old wards came to visit me in Duran! It was awesome to see them! It was really interesting because Elder C and I had been talking about prayer so much. The power that prayer brings. When the family came to visit me we all had lunch together and talked about...PRAYER. How powerful it is and how open and submissive God is to our cries to Him. Then we had Family Night with the J family...and the Hermana put on a talk from the April General Conference...about prayer. I had quite a moment of reflection...and I took it as something I need to work on. Perhaps prayer is something that we often take for granted. Let us all realize the power and gift of prayer that our Father has given us. Let us never forget this sacred privilege. 
Elder C had his birthday this past week which was cool too. Quite a few cakes!!
We had a conference in Guayaquil earlier on in the week. I got to sit by my friend!! 
One of the assistants came to our sector the other day to work in our area for a day which was really cool. So it was Elder S, Elder C, me, and we had 3 ward missionaries! 6 Elders decked out in white shirts and ties was SICK! So grateful for the members of the church who are so willing to help the matter how hot it is or what they have going on in the day. Some of the biggest studs and most faithful testimonies I have ever come across.
It was kinda funny...we were with one of the members named Junior. We were visiting a family who has a dog name Junior too! The owner of the dog said, "JUNIOR!! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! GET OUT!"
I don't think Junior...member Junior...knew that the dogs name was Junior too...he got really sad. Haha! We all had a good laugh because he thought the owner of the dog was talking to him. But we resolved the misunderstanding! ;)
Well...I have officially been out a year. It feels really really weird. I honestly feel like I just barely gave my mom and dad one last hug. Kissed my sister on the cheek one last time. And popped my little brothers back one more time. Time sure has flown by. I burned a shirt! It caught fire so so fast. I burnt my hand!! haha! I guess it was symbolism of how fast the mission goes by...I hope to give it my all for the second half! The second half wins a football game and I hope the second year of my mission wins the happiness of as many people possible!

Today was awesome! I met up with Elder Johnson and we headed to Guayaquil! We went to a light house and hiked to the very tippy top! We ate lunch...and just had a good time! Super awesome to see the homie and talk for a bit!

I was hit really hard with such an incredible lesson. So many times we talk about and read about miracles. An ancient prophet parted a sea, Alma and Amulek were delivered unharmed from the prison, Nephite missionaries worked miracles abong the Lamanites, and the brother of Jared parted a mountain. "And God has not ceased to be a God of miracles". -Mormon 9:15
Now if we think of the fountain where all miracles flow from it would be our Savior and His atoning sacrifice. The grandest miracle we have is the salvation of our souls through a blood stained garden, a cross on calvary, and an empty tomb. 
"...remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that He cometh to redeem the world."
"...the Lord surely should come to redeem His people, but He should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins."
"And He hath power given unto Him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance;...which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls."
Repentance needs to be considered as a "mighty miracle". 2 Nephi 27:23 teaches  us; "For behold, I am God, and I am a God of miracles; and I will  manifest unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever;..."
I testify that God is a God of miracles. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will work miracles yesterday, today, and forever. We have the capacity to experience this "mighty miracle" of repentance. TODAY. FOREVER.
Those who feel lost in sin...YOU ARE NOT LOST. You simply need to put to action the "mighty miracle" of repentance. I promise that as you do so your joy in the Heavens will be unimaginable and the angles will rejoice in your name (Luke 17).
The Lord suffered...fell on His face...and did so more that once. I strongly believe He did so and it was necessary because He knew we would fall more than once. It does not matter how many times we have fallen. How many sins we have committed. What we have done. Or the voice from satan in your mind telling you that you can't be forgiven...
There is always hope. Always forgiveness. Always a miracle. 
We just have to give the miracle the power to redeem our souls through repentance.
Love you all so much! Talk next week!! :) 
Elder Noll
We were talking to one of the sweet families one day - sharing a picture back and forth...when I realized that Elder Noll was actually there with them. Here are the pictures that were shared with us :)


Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

Hey All! I sure hope everyone had an incredible week!
To be super short because we don't have much time and I need to get to the more important part of the weekly email...
I HAD AN INCREDIBLE WEEK! I am loving every second of every day! As hard as it is harder NOT to have the time of your life in the mission...despite all struggle...the miracles are far more powerful!
Before the spiritual message...
Happy Birthday to my grandma Linda. I did not get the chance to meet my grandma due to the cancer that took her life when my mom was just 15 years old. How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and the opportunity I have to reunite with my grandmother for eternity. I can feel of her constant light in my life, even though I do not know her. At about 6:30ish each night the sun sets in Ecuador...and I don't know if a 5:45 afternoon has passed when I don't think of my grandmother who is in the Heavens above. I draw so much strength from those much strength from thinking of an angel who is looking down upon her grandson and strengthening him with every step. I just can not wait until the day comes when I give my grandma a big huge giant bear resurrected hug! To meet the woman who gave my mother life will be worth a lifetime wait. Happy Birthday Grandma. Thank you for your sunset.
We had the chance to talk to a man this past week who really helped me strengthen my testimony of our Savior in an interesting way. I don't know if I have ever talked to anyone so unbelieving, hopeless, or confused. He asked us why we would ever believe in a Savior who had fear. He asked us why we would believe in a Christ who was scared to die and give His life. I soon came to the conclusion that, often times, the biggest increases in our testimony and beliefs come from the disbelief of others. I felt an overwhelming gratitude for our Redeemer and His everlasting love. My testimony of Him and in Him grew...and my appreciation of His perfectly FEARLESS COURAGE pounded in my heart.
If we examine the words of Isaiah through the Prophet, Abinadi, we are taught by a teeny tiny fraction of what the Lord experienced, suffered, and how He went about it.
He was "despised and rejected of man", "acquainted with grief", actually "bore our griefs", "carried our sorrows", was "esteemed of man", and "smitten", "afflicted", "wounded for our transgressions", "bruised for our iniquities", "oppressed", and crucified.
Let us all remember that the Lord knew perfectly well what He had embarked on...what was to come...and what He was to feel and endure.
"...yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth...He was taken from prison...cut off out of the land...made His grave with the wicked...neither was their any deceit in His mouth."
A perfectly innocent Lamb...a perfect and innocent man...better said...a perfect and innocent GOD was brought to what He KNEW to be His slaughter with a closed mouth and with no deceit in His mouth.
THAT, Brothers and NOT fear.
That is courage.
I testify that the Lord is merciful, loving, obedient, humble, patient, governing, ordered, perfect, and powerful. He is the Savior of the Universe and much more...
But what the Savior is NOT is fear.
The Savior of the Universe is no fear. 
The Lord commands us to "fear not", "be not dismayed" and "not doubt". The Lord NEVER gives commandments that He Himself would not keep...because the Lord God certainly is NOT a hypocrite.
I testify of the Lord's courageous, un-doubting, and fearless protection. Through a fearless Redeemer of all existence our fear should too fade. 
Let us take on this world with a closed mouth and with not deceit in our mouth. Let us march forward with full faith and un-waivering courage as Christ did...
For faith destroys all fear...
For testimony destroys all terror...
"Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not, fear not."
He only gives us this invitation because He was the first to NEVER fear.
n His sacred name, the name of the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ, I bare witness that He lives. And as He does so He does not fear. He never did. He never will.
Elder Noll

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Hi Friends! What's going on?! All good in da hood?! I sure hope so. Things here are great! Super great! We are hitting up email a little earlier than usual because we are going to go meet up with my best friend. How many people can say that while in Ecuador?? ;) 
This week has been just great! As usual...
A ward member just got his call to Chile...I think it is the same mission as Max Terry but not 100 percent sure. He is a stud though. He always companions us and visits with us to help him prepare for his mission. He is so faithful and has the strongest testimony. There is no doubt that the Lord has prepared the strongest of missionaries for the coming days. It seems as if every generation gets stronger and stronger! 
We had a reference from a couple weeks ago that we hadn't contacted yet. They were old investigators from about a year ago that the missionaries had just left. So we thought we would give it a shot! When we knocked the door the father of the family lit up! The biggest smile! 
"BROTHERS!!! OH HAVE I MISSED YOU GUYS!!" He threw open the door and gave us the biggest bear hug ever...kinda caught me off guard a little bit...haha! We are not used to the opening of doors! Turns out that this family is amazing! So we will see where things go! We feel so grateful to have found them and so grateful to the Lord for softening their hearts enough to receive us.
One day this past week we walked...and walked...and walked...and then...we walked a little more! Haha! We were hoping to find a less active family but we had no line of communication with them. We really felt deep down that we needed to visit them...and it just so happens that they live quite far...but we made the journey anyways. I have been to the house over and over and over again...and not once have they been there...but when we arrived soaking in sweat and catching our breath...they were there! And we were able to share a message with them. One of the millions of tender mercies that we experienced this past week. 
We visited the house of the sweetest lady...a less active family who we have been working really hard with. When we passed she was reading the Liahonna. We sat with her and just talked. She started to break down completely. She had been having a really tough day. She had been praying for the spirit...praying for peace and comfort...wanting nothing more than to just feel love. She said that she felt as if she should go outside and when she did so she realized the Liahonna she opened it up and right as she did, we passed by. So we talked with her about the message in the Liahonna and about life. Her sweet testimony touches my heart and her faith in the Lord helps me obtain a faith more profound and dependent on my Father in Heaven.
On Friday we got our cooking jam on! We did an activity for an incredible family so that they can get married! I don't even know or remember if Empanadas exist in the United States??? Are they things? Just fried tortillas with cheese or chicken or meat inside? Anyways...we made TONS! And we sold them to all of the members of the ward and had quite a bit of success! The ward was so willing to help and the Hermanas who helped us cook were so sweet to offer their homes.
I truly LOVE the area I am in!
One pair of my pants was getting too long...I do not know that is possible but one of the pant legs started to drag on the ground so I assume I am getting shorter...but I took them over to an Hermana who sews and she stopped her whole day just so that she could finish fixing my pants as soon as possible. These people are so selfless! So Christlike! Love Panorama so so much.
I guess something kind of cool is that I captured an Iguana. I had the sucker in my bare hands! Okay...I had a glove...but still! It was right outside of the church and I chased the little guy down and caught him by the tail! They are fast little buggers! And their tails hurt really bad when they whip you by the way. I called just about every Mamaita in the ward to see if they knew how to cook Iguana but nobody that was a bummer. I was looking forward to finally eating Iguana...maybe next time! But I let him go free...his tail got a little messed up but other than that he scattered away happy as could be.
Now on a more important note...
I love the Lord's invitation of "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect".
In order to obtain this perfection so much is required. The Lord lived a perfect life, with perfect love, exercising perfect patience, powered with perfect purity, and so much more. The list of his glorified attributes could go on and on...but I would like to focus on just one.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Are we the same person today as we were yesterday? Will we be the same person tomorrow as we are today? Not in the sense of a spiritual or physical stall or plateau but in the sense of being YOU...and NOBODY else...yesterday, today, and forever. In the sense of not changing YOU because of what your friends or the world want. In the sense of sticking to and accepting who you are and not letting anyone or anything change that.
The Lord made us all perfectly in His perfect image. He gave us perfect spirits and then sent us to earth to overcome imperfection and find that perfection once more. Who we REALLY are is a child of God Almighty, carefully crafted and uniquely formed by His very hands. We are not toys conformed by man and changed by the worlds deception and wickedness. We must be the person we are and trust in God who made us the way we are..Regardless of our imperfections. As we separate ourselves from the world and resist the worlds attempts to separate ourselves from who we really are we will come to know Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father more fully and deeply. 
In the book of Nahum, he teaches us that "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him". By accepting who we are we show trust in the Lord and we can come to truly know Him. 
As the Lord suffered in Gethsemane I believe He saw us in two stages...the first being a filthy, stained, sad, hurt, lowly hearted, and without purpose soul. 
But then He began to suffer...
Our filthy, stained with sin, garments were washed clean.
Our sadness turned to a never before felt joy.
He watched our pains mend.
He saw us in a lost and lowly heart state rise to a glorified Kingdom found with our Heavenly Father.
He saw ALL imperfection turn to perfection. 
The Lord KNOWS us by this second view...when we trust in ourselves and Him we will become liken unto this second view and liken unto this glorified being. Satan, however, only knows us by that first state, and wants to keep us there...and will do so by telling you that you're not good enough. That you can't do it. That she's skinnier. He's stronger. She's better. He's smarter. He will try to get you to change. He will try to make a different you. He will control your mind to make you think that you need to be different..when all we need to do is be US!
So the invitation is to put aside the opinions of others. To tune out the commercials, magazines, and movies. Throw away the negative input of our brother who fell and never got up...and focus on WHO created you. Because that brother who created you fell below all and got up. Raised up. Exalted up. And you can do the same when you stay true to YOU. The you who was carefully crafted and uniquely formed with more love that we can comprehend.
Love you all so much! I am so grateful for the example that you have all set for me. Keep keepin' on, Brothers and Sisters. 
Elder Noll