Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

   Okay...this week was too fast? Who fast forwarded? I feel like I want to push pause for a sec!! Haha! It was another great week filled with incredible and unforgettable experiences! I am still here in Panorama and loving it! Elder C and I have been blessed so much over this past week it is unreal. The Lord is so mindful of us and never fails to give us what we need and desire. It is so interesting how we spend our lives striving to follow God's will...we spend our lives trying ever so hard to live according to what God wants when God's glory is our happiness and He exists and lives to give us what we want. It almost seems like when we follow God's will and plan He follows our will and what we desire. He is so loving. I invite all to strive to live His perfect and personalized plan! And as you do so you will find that He is ever so willing to bless you with what you need...even if you don't make it known to Him or anyone!
   We came across the sweetest man. He has special needs and was sitting in a park all alone. We went and sat by him and put an arm around him and gave him a bunch of little pictures of Jesus. We kicked it with him until someone came to pick him up. What a humbling moment. I was almost brought to tears as I watched a man...alone...lost...unable to walk or talk...with the BIGGEST smile on his face as he GLORIED in little photos of our Savior. 
   I am so so so so excited about one of the families we are teaching. We found them a little while ago and they have been nothing but GOLDEN. Everything we teach them they accept...and everything they accept they complete. They are such prime examples of faith. One of the biggest worries we had was coffee. Just to put it into perspective; when you enter the house there are countless bags of finished off coffee beans...then you make it into the kitchen and there is a mountain of coffee containers. We were so nervous to bring up the Word of Wisdom but it was time we tried. They were a little bit "ify" about things, but accepted. The following day I not only got a good laugh...but I was taken back by their Christlike example of obedience. When they answered the door they both had dark circles around their eyes as if they had not slept in days. They were SO tired. They said, "WE ARE SO TIRED! This no coffee thing is killing us!" But they told us that they know it is a commandment and that they are going to continue on with their promise to God. 
   The Jaramillo familiy invited us over for Tacos which was super fun! We had a little family night there with some recent converts! I had the chance to meet this family. Man are they something else! 

   We ran into a man who was having a tough time. He opened up quite quickly to us. He told us a story about his son that ripped my heart. His wife left him four years ago and took their little boy with her...apparently the wife does not treat the child as a mother should and she sent pictures of the little four year old boy crying to the father who we talked to. He was pretty shaken up. He told us that nobody could every understand what he was feeling. What a father feels as he sees his son suffer. What a father feels as he sees his son cry, as he sees his son humiliated. What a blessing it was to testify of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us all and that he knows us perfectly. That our Heavenly Father watched His son be rejected. He watched Him take upon Himself the pains, doubts, and sins of mankind. He watched His son bleed from every single pore. He watched His son be nailed to a cross and be spit upon. He watched as His son was tortured. Do you think our Heavenly Father knows what it feels like to watch a son struggle? I testify that He does. I testify that He knows us perfectly. This seemed to help this man and I know that God will comfort him through our prayers and the prayers of you all!
   That was a quick rundown of the week! 
   In the 49th year of the reign of the judges the Nephites experience something incredible. "And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out among the people that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure." The work of the Lord prospers...even to the "uniting of tens of thousands of souls". 
How can we obtain such great prosperity as a family?
How can we unite all of the souls in our home?
If we analyze what the Nephites did to obtain this prosperity and these blessings the answer becomes very clear.
"And it came to pass in the 49th year of the reign of the judges (the year that they experienced this prosperity and uniting), there was continual peace established in the land..."
A peaceful home is a prosperous home.
There are so many ways to establish peace but I would like to focus on three crucial requirements to have continual peace and to be prospered as a family and receive the pouring of blessings as the Nephites did.
1) In Alma 24:19, the Lamanites "buried their weapons of peace, or they buried their weapons of war, for peace". We must bury our weapons of war. Negative, hurtful, and mocking offenses wrought contention. We must bury these weapons and uncover the tools of encouragement, love and praise to achieve this prosperity.
2) In Psalms 119:165 we learn that "Great peace have they which love the law: and nothing shall offend them". CHILDREN: LOVE the laws that your parents set. We will obtain great peace when we develop great love for the laws and standards that our parents set for us. Do not be offended by restrictions, limits, or curfews. LOVE the standards and KNOW that they are what you need as a son or daughter of God. 
3) The last step is in Romans 8:6. "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." The family that obtains the spiritual mind obtains also peace. ALL THINGS are spiritual in the eyes of our Heavenly Father and we should strive to have the same outlook on things. We too must think, work, and act in a spiritual manner. 
   It is my prayer that all families can prepare themselves spiritually in the morning with the scriptures before preparing physically. It is my cry that a child will never again exit the front door without kneeling with their family in prayer. It is the Lord's promise that peace will fill your homes as you do so. All things should be done in a spiritual manner and the center of all activities, conversation, and or traditions should be based on a spiritual mind and becoming more like our Savior through His teachings.
The gospel of Jesus Christ saves people but exalts families. I testify that as families BURY THEIR WEAPONS OF WAR, great will be their prosperity. As families LOVE THE LAWS SET BY PARENTS, so many will be the blessings poured upon them. And as families strive to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED, the souls within the home will unite. As we strive to have a peaceful home the prosperity, progression, uniting, and blessings that poured upon the Nephites will too be ours.
Love you all! May peace be unto you! :)
Elder Noll

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