Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19, 2015

Hello friends and family from all around the world! What a stellar week! One of the fastest weeks in my mission I think... not sure what made it so different. It was filled with miracles left and right just like every single other week! But nonetheless... HERE I AM! :) 

Super congrats to the Ville! I am so pumped to hear that you guys are doing so well! Keep tearing it up! 
I am trying to think what else could be going on in that far distant land of yours....?? But nothing is coming to mind! COLD maybe?? Haha! I think that is how you spell “cold”... I have forgotten what that word even means ;) Good thing we have fans at night that help us remember a portion of what it means! Hah! 

Like I said... this week was great! And was filled with so many tender mercies from our Lord.
One night we had ward visits and my companion and I headed out with the Ward Mission Leader to the banana fields where an INCREDIBLE family lives. The wife is a less active but her husband is not a member. He had put off baptism for years up until now... we thought the result would be the same... but we taught him about the importance of baptism anyways! We asked him to say the closing prayer and out of his own mouth, he said, “thank you Heavenly Father for finally helping me feel ready for baptism.” I was amazed! So we were blessed enough to set a baptismal goal with this amazing man. I was so touched at his humility... and fervent prayer of gratitude for how the Lord was able to touch his heart and help him feel ready. To see this family who lives such a hard life... with so many trials and tribulations and difficulties... in my mind dressed in white in a Temple of the Almighty God is something that gives me the chills! 
We are also working really hard with a less active family... but they are not looking so less active now!!! As we taught them of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, we asked them to ponder, meditate, and reflect on when they received their testimony of the restoration of the Gospel. When they received their testimony of their Savior, Jesus Christ. Their first time in church. The first time they felt their burden “lifted” following their first time repenting. Tears filled the room and the spirit filled all of out hearts. It was also a self-reflecting moment for me to ask myself the questions I was asking. I invite all to think deeply of when you were converted. When you felt the Lord`s love for the first time. When you first believed. I promise that you will be reconverted as I was!

Anyway... the week passed and yesterday a “less active” family brought a non-member friend to church! In less than a week a “less active” family put on a name badge and  became a “missionary” family! What great examples they are to all of us!!!

Thursday night was kinda funny. The day came to an end and on the way home we passed by an ice cream place and we gave in. It was one of the ones that you can try flavors with the little spoons. So OBVIOUSLY I am going to try all of the flavors. There was one flavor that was written in Chinese so I had no idea what flavor it was (where is your older brother when you need him?) but I asked for it anyways. The worker said...”OH! You will love this! It is my favorite! I will give you a big spoonful of this one!” So she gave me and big spoon. Before I put it in my mouth I asked what flavor it was...she said...”Coffee!” 
ahhh nuts...
I played it smooth and asked her for another flavor and when she turned around to get the spoon the door opened and I chucked the spoon out the door! I really had to thread the needle so that it made it out the door without her noticing! But I came up clutch just like Brett Favre in the NFC Championship against the Saints ;) Haha! Just kidding. I didn’t throw an interception. We got the TD! And I avoided coffee!

I avoided quite a few things this week! Another family was about to give us “hose soup” again. The pig heart, liver, intestine, foot, etc soup...but we told them we were super full so they gave it to us in Tupperware bowls. Thank goodness!!

Got a visit from some friends in Panorama! They came to visit me and give me a package that my family sent to me! And one of the ward missionaries who I worked with quite a bit there made me some brownies that I shared with the other Elders in the house last night! So that was fun. 
The new area is good! There are amazing people all over this country. Just gotta find them! It is truly incredible to feel the guidance of the spirit and find the people who are so prepared to listen to this gospel and accept our Savior. Not much is new! 

Not sure why but I am feeling like I need to dedicate a little more time to the spiritual message this week...so I better get on that!

When the brother of Jared and his brethren go to work to build their barges they do so according to the instruction of the Lord. I imagine the Lord saying, “make the bottom tight like unto a dish”...and they did so. “Now peak the edges”...and the edges were peaked. “Now tighten the top like unto a dish”...and the top was tightened. “A bit longer”...so they made them to the length of trees. “Oh...almost forgot...make a door too! So that when it shuts it is tight like unto a dish so that water doesn’t get it”...and the brother of Jared and his brethren did it. After the barges are made the brother of Jared not just prays...but CRIES unto the Lord. “Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we see? For in them there is no air and we cannot breathe.” So yet again the Lord comes to them with an answer. “Thou shalt make a hole in the top, and in the bottom...” So they go back and make a hole in the top and in the bottom and they solve that problem thanks to the Lord’s counsel. However, I LOVE how the Lord withholds the answer for light. And again the brother of Jared cries, “Wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?” This time the Lord answers a little differently.
“What wilt ye that I should do...?”
I find it a little funny when I try to put it into today’s terms.
“Uh...dude...Jared’s bro...I had to tell you to make the sides tight, peak the edges, tighten the top, lengthen it, make a door, tighten the door, put holes in it, and now you want light? What else do you want me to do for you? Would you like fries with that?”
The Lord has given us so much instruction in our lives...and He will continue to do so through His holy spirit. The majority of times when we lack “air” and we ask Him how we can breathe...He simply tells us. 
But sometimes we lack more. 
But Lord, there is no light. Whither shall we see? But Lord, where do I go to school? What do I study? Who should I marry? Are they the one? Do I go on a mission? But Lord, should I accept this job? LORD, I CANNOT SEE! TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
And sometimes the Lord is going to say...
“Uh...what do you want me to do? With all that I have already given you...would you like fries with that?”
The Lord requires of us faith just as He required faith from the brother of Jared. We learn later on that the Lord did not just supply light. It was required of the brother of Jared to go up to the mount, gather stones, reflect upon his life, repent, pray fervently, and MAKE A DECISION. He made a decision and brought it to the Lord. “And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power...therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger that they might shine forth in darkness...”.
Brothers and Sisters, some things don’t just come. Sometimes the Lord won’t give you the fries! He requires you to make a decision and take it to Him. I promise that as we take our “stones” (decisions) to Him, He will touch them with His finger and cause them to light (Ether 6:2). Sometimes He knows that the choice we will make will follow His divine plan so He refrains from “answering” so that we can have a faith building experience. If you are not receiving an answer it is because the Lord knows you will make the right choice. As we make our own decisions and take them to the Lord He will touch them and make them shine to their greatest capacity. As the brother of Jared took his faithful decision to the Lord and trusted that He would touch it, he literally saw the Lord and was led to the promised land. Don’t worry if you have not received your answer. If you don’t know what to do, if you don’t know what to think or feel, if you don’t know where to go or how to get there… MAKE A DECISION as the brother of Jared did. Make a decision and wait patiently until the Lord touches it to make it shine. I promise that it will...and you too will be led to see the Lord God in the “promised land”.
Love you all! 
Elder Noll

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