Hoping that you are all doing so so good! What's new? I hear that the Ville is tearing it up! So exciting to hear! Keep at it boys! I am sure it is starting to get a little brisk outside...I can't imagine what brisk feels like...I have kind of forgotten...but HEY! Let me know how it goes!!;)
This week has been...LEGEN...DARY! As usual. So let's get to it!
We had the chance to give two blessings this week...and both really touched me.
The first one was to a recent convert. He is preparing for his mission this coming winter and always comes with us to make visits. He came down with a super high fever and body aches and so we headed over there to give him a blessing. We then headed in the other direction down the street for another appointment and we ran into the Relief Society President making a visit with one of the Sisters in the ward who was really sick. Her husband is not a member and as a result she had nobody to give her a blessing. So there was blessing number 2! PRIESTHOOD POWER! Love it! Later that night the recent convert called us and told us that he was perfectly fine. He was all ready to preach the gospel with us!! We didn't hear from the sister but she showed up to church and is doing tons better. It is so incredible to see the blessings that come from the Priesthood. I know that it is God's power. I know that it blesses lives. I know that with proper authority, worthiness, and faith, children of God can receive miracles and experience the tender mercies that come from the Priesthood power by God, given to man, to act in the name of Jesus Christ, to bless the lives of everyone.
We are working with a mother and her three children. The mother was having an interview and Elder C and I were in the nursery room of the chapel making sure that the children didn't cause any mischief. The youngest daughter was BALLLING. I truly have no idea why. I was touched when I witnessed the other daughter make a special decoration out of blocks and invite the crying child to play with her. The child instantly ceased to cry...to complain...and got the biggest smile on her little face that absolutely melted my heart. To see these two sisters play together...to see them laugh together...to see them love together...is such a tender mercy from the Lord for me to witness. It does not matter what their circumstances are...the tin roof above their head...the distance they have to walk every day to get to school...the lack of food in the home...the love overpowers all. After the crying child was playing with the blocks the daughter then went to her other sister to play with her. The oldest has special needs. I think she has Cerebral Palsy. I could not help but weep as I watched these three sisters laugh and love together. If there is one thing that is for sure it is that the people and the experiences in my mission have changed me more that I have changed the people.
On Friday we had to go to Guayaquil to renew my Visa. All the office told me was to go to the ministry and that it is a big gold building. So we went forward with faith! haha! We asked someone in the bus and it just so happened that they were headed to the big gold building too!! So she just told us to follow her...we were in the bus forever!!! I was starting to get a little nervous...she suddenly said, "HERE! We get of here!" We got off the bus and there was not a big gold building nor the ministry. She then said, "I am sorry. I thought the big gold building was close to where I was going. Good luck!!" THANKS MISS!! Haha! So we were stranded in the depths of the city for a bit until we could get a solid direction to the golden building...and we eventually made it. So it was a great experience overall I guess!
We went to visit a very humble home...like...I did not know homes like this existed before my mission...but the people inside are what counts! They are an incredible family. So faithful. They are just struggling with going to church...and they lost a daughter a little while back. Struggling with financial circumstances and such...but they always accept us and light up whenever we go to visit them. She makes breakfast for the construction workers ever morning to be nice (if that tells you anything about how incredible she is). But they ran out of supplies to make the breakfast. She told us that she prayed that Heavenly Father would give her the means to provide this food for the workers and that she too would have the means to provide for her family...she then handed her money jar off to her daughter to go buy the food for the workers...but right as she left to make the purchases an Hermano came to the door...with a big bag of food and cooking supplies. EXACTLY what she needed too. So incredible to think of the power of prayer and the mercy of our Heavenly Father. So amazing to see God's children on His errand. I doubt this humble Hermano had the slightest idea that a struggling daughter of God was on her knees begging for exactly what occurred.
How many of God's children are begging for us to be their rescue??
Those are some of the great experiences from this past week...with so many more!!! But we would be here for days if I were to share all of the many times I saw the Lord's hand.
We had the chance to teach a Jehova's Witness this past week who had very strong feelings on the Resurrection of man and where we will go after this life. He even doubted the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It saddened my heart so much to listen to someone so disbelieving in the gift that our Savior has given all of us, that is, a guaranteed and perfected resurrected body.
What a blessing it was for my companion and I to share a message and testify of the eternal life of man in a perfected body of flesh and bone. What a testimony builder it was for me to testify that Jesus Christ lives.
I love the words in 1 Corinthians 15. "For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised...and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."
If we ourselves cannot arise after death then Christ Himself did not rise. If Christ did not arise the third day then all faith we have is vain. It is invalid. His Atonement is incomplete without His rising, therefore forcing us to remain and dwell in sin eternally.
I know that He is risen...I know that He lives. I know that we too shall rise. For "the soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair on the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame".
What an incredible promise that is!
In Philipians 3 it explains to us how this is possible: "...the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body..."
Our potential is perfect. Our potential is like unto His.
So cast out all doubts, insecurities, and negative self-images.
Imagine yourself without sickness, pains, or illness.
Picture yourself "fashioned like unto His glorious image".
I bare testimony that our potential is perfect and that we shall be perfect and restored in and like unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
More than anything...
I testify with all of my heart that Jesus is the Christ. As I live, breathe, and exist...so does He. I know that He overcame death by His power and Godly divinity....and we too have this in our future.
Incredible to think of the opposition in all things.
We were sent to earth by Heavenly Father only to return in His presence. We descended so we could rise. We fall to be lifted up. We live that we might die...and through the Lord God, Redeemer of the living and dead, Prince of peace, and Savior of the Universe, we die that we might live again.
"For the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."
Of this I testify in the name of the living and breathing Brother of us all, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Love, Elder Noll
|The birthday package finally arrives!|