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 happened...it landed on it's head and I think lost all sense of life...it 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 occurred...it 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 Duran...it 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!
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