Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

Hey All! How's the cold?? I keep waiting for the snow but I have to remind myself that I won't be seeing any of that any time soon! Haha! It is actually starting to heat up here! 
I am still at it with Elder A! It is the bomb! Tuesday was quite the adventure I'd say...
Elder A headed over to a small town called Naranjito to help out two Elders who are working over there. I headed off with Elder B from Columbia and Elder A went off with Elder M from Peru. We ended up having a great day! We talked with tons of people and ended up finding some pretty prepared souls. There is no doubt that the Lord is with us when we is incredible how we run into the most prepared is almost as if God has us by a leash and is leading us and guiding us EXACTLY along His prepared path for us and others. So it was a great day of work! 
We spent a large majority this week in Triunfo doing various interviews and interchanges too which went awesome as well. 
One of the coolest lessons we had was with a family that had lost their father/husband a little while back. We taught them of baptisms for the dead and the look on their face and the joy and peace in that room was something that would lead me to live with this plaque for the rest of my life. What an incredible miracle. The lesson came to an end and we didn't invite them to be baptized for themselves...but we invited them to prepare to be baptized for and in behalf of their father/husband...they gladly accepted. Then, very shortly after, accepted to be baptized themselves to be qualified to enter the Lord's temple and do their father/husband's work. Amazing what ``the most glorious of all subjects``, as Doctrine and Covenants explains, can do to a family in need.
Elder A and I were suffering one particular day...just looking and not finding. Knocking and not being accepted. Calling and not being answered. A prayer was said in our hearts and we continued walking. We found ourselves in a rather deserted part of the sector and we heard from quite a ways away and honk...and the honk did not cease. Haha! Finally this super old dude pulled up right by us and yelled some words that we did not expect..."HEY! When are you going to come visit me?! I have been waiting for you guys for months. All I want is to follow God and for you two angels sent here by God to tell me how! So when's it gonna be?!" I cannot wait to play this moment back in the heavens on the big screen and see the reaction of Elder A and I. Our jaws dropped but there was a slight grin on the both of us...we slowly turned our heads and looked at each other...then we looked back at him...then back at each other...then read each others minds...then telepathically talked...**dude...did you just hear that? Someone wants us to visit him? What is happening? We should probably say something before he bounces because we have been silent for about a minute now talking telepathaically** ;) We replied..."TOMORROW AT SEVEN!" This is one cool dude let me tell you guys. He stopped smoking...yesterday he gave us the last bottle of liquor he had to dump out...and he went to church. What led us to that street...I don't know...what put us in that moment and that time...forever a mystery...but what I do know and what is NOT a mystery is that it came from God. And this man will be baptized on the second of January.
We have had some funny times this week...I guess that is expected when you are with Elder A! Haha! He almost abandoned me...well I guess I almost abandoned him. We were going to get into into a three-wheeler with a little carriage in the back and I got in soon as I got in Elder A had only managed to get an arm in and a hand grasped on a handle but the driver took off. They take the mufflers off of everything so our screams and shouts could not be heard telling him to stop so that Elder A could jump in the moving vehicle! Haha! I was laughing too hard too seeing the look of fear in Elder A's eye that 1) He was going to eat it...and 2) We were going to break the mission manual code by not "being together always" because I would have been long gone had he not jumped in. Not sure how he did it...maybe it is the Tapout DVD's in the morning...? Haha!
We had another chance to give an amazing Priesthood blessing, this time to a deaf woman. She is not completely deaf but we have to write a lot of what we want to say. We explained to her what blessing for the sick was and she immediately got super nervous. So scared. She was trembling and crying and we were not sure as to why. But we followed through with the anointing. The anointing was done and then we both put our hands on her head to seal the anointing and bless her. Before we said anything she was shaking profusely...the fear and doubt was not only present spiritually but physically. As we sealed the anointing it was a physical change that was felt first. The whole world stood still it seemed...the cars stopped passing by out the door...the music seemed to turn itself the words were spoken, her shaking and trembling body slowly was calmed...Elder A and I (I asked him after if he felt the same) both felt as if all fear and doubt she had flowed from her body and into our hands. The power was palpable in our hands as we represented the Savior, Jesus Christ in healing this woman. Our hands began to almost pulse...and then the spirituality of it all came in...the biggest feeling of love and peace overcame us all...when the blessing came to an end the woman jumped out of her seat with the biggest smile on her face..."I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU GUYS SOME CHOCOLATE AND TOAST!" Haha! It was the neatest thing...and Elder A and I are convinced that she heard each and every word and promise made to her in that blessing. Boy do I love the Priesthood!
There are so many more incredible experiences but not enough time to say it all...
We bought like 50 bananas today and made chocolate covered that was neat. You know what we will be snacking on for the next little while! 
We bought a soda before heading over to Triunfo because we figured we would be parched on the way over...we poured our cups and waited and waited until the bus came to a stop...we were really nervous to take a sip because the buses are all over the place...finally we hit a light and I took a small sip and played it safe but Elder A kept going...before I could swallow and in the blink of an eye the bus took off and the rest of his soda was all down his shirt and pants and the rest of mine was in and out my nose from laughing so hard. That was a good time. 
I am pumped for the many miracles to come and the good laughs that are right in front of us...

The mission has been focusing on testifying of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. There is no combination more powerful than those 3 subjects together and, when heard, the Holy Spirit is bound to testify of their truth. I have been meditating a lot on what it means to have the Book of Mormon. What is it that these words do for us? From who do these words come? What is the eternal outlook on this book? In the 33rd chapter of 2nd Nephi we are given a pretty clear explanation. "And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayer for the gain of my people...for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in Him, and to endure to the end, which is eternal life." I love what comes as a result of this book and what it is. As Nephi writes his words he begs the Lord that what he writes will be for the "gain of his people". It is for out gain and benefit. The Book of Mormon also "persuadeth us to do good". Every word, principle, precept, and doctrine found is to help us do good. It is to help us become perfected in Christ and live as He did. The Book of Mormon "makes known unto us of our fathers". It shows the miraculous and merciful hand of the Lord in leading our fathers to the promised land as well as life changing examples of individuals and groups of people that rejoice in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Examples and stories that have placed us where we are today and without them...we would be completely lost. It "speaketh of Jesus" and "persuadeth them to believe in Him". I testify that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and that "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book". This book will help us "endure to the end"...which is eternal life. A BOOK...Brothers and Sisters...can give you eternal life. What does that mean to you? If eternal life is a natural desire to all living beings how often are we reading the Book of Mormon that will lead us there? If eternal life as a family is God's goal and the end vision of a family how often do we read the Book of Mormon together as a family to prepare us for that so called eternity? 
At the end of the chapter there is a principle that is so fundamental and that I absolutely love! "Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye will believe in Christ ye shall believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and He hath given them to me..." If you believe in the Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ you will believe in the Book of Mormon because it is of Him who this sacred and soul saving book testifies of. This book testifies of the everlasting power, love, and mercy of Jesus Christ. One of its last teachings from the Prophet, Moroni, is of God's grace and the Savior's infinite Atonement. If we deny this book we deny the Lord's power, love, and mercy. We deny God's grace. We deny the premortal existence of Jehovah. We deny the birth of Emmanuel, a Savior of us all, brought to us through a Virgin named Mary. We deny all that He did during His life and we deny the fact that He arose the third day after Atoning for the sins of the world. 
Nephi then explains and eternal principle..."And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye-- for Christ will show unto you with power and great glory, that these are His words at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before this bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of Him to write these things...". The time will come when Christ will manifest himself unto us in great glory...with that manifestation will come His testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and His witness of the revelation received by those who wrote it...then we will stand face to face with do you want to feel at that moment? Sadness, guilt, and regret for not believing or not reading it? Or do you want to pass by...maybe sneak in a high five and a knuckles...and say...
"Dude...Nephi...your SO tight!"
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. A man would be completely and totally unable to write or make up such miraculous, powerful, and truthful teachings. Every Book of Mormon Prophet and modern day testament in the bringing to pass the Book of Mormon would not have died for a lie. They would not have left their families, suffered, and been murdered for a cause that they did not KNOW with a surety to be true. 
Love you all!
Until next week!
Elder Noll

running around in 90 degrees with 80% humidity...but they got the lizard!!


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