Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25, 2016

Hey All! I think my number 1, Elder Nadauld, could not have said it any better.
“How is everyone doing? I say it every week, but I can't
thank you enough for everything. In my extensive 19 year old
vocabulary… You guys are the sickest! I love you all and I'm super
grateful for you!”
Sorry Nicklaus...I had to steel those lines from you! Haha! I really do hope everyone is doing so so good and that you can all forgive my vocabulary as well when I say that you guys are the bomb!
Love you tons!

This week was...do you think you can guess? ;) Of course it was LEGENDARY! I guess that’s what you get when you wake up with an Elder you grew up with, you are serving the Lord, you are in the best country in the world, and the Lord never ceases to extend His merciful love towards you and those you come in contact with each and every day.

The past week has been BUSY. We have been running around a million miles an hour since the last time we wrote! However, this week seemed to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Some great things happened...and like Elder Nadauld also said in his letter...some pretty devastating things happened as well. But the good always overcomes the bad. The opposition of this life is the most real thing EVER...but when the blessings of the Lord comes it just makes you realize that the tough times were just as much blessings as the peaceful times...because without the down we would not know the ups!

On Monday night we were having a hard time finding people to teach. We seemed to be walking around without a cause. I guess I took a step back in my Free Safety days and I started to observe everything that was going on. The world kind of stood still just like the field did...out of my peripheral vision I saw a house kind of far away with a light on. When I looked a little closer I could see a family...quite a large one! So Elder Ashman and I went on offense and committed ourselves to the ready! What a great family it was that we found. A family of 10 is always a good find! Especially a family like the one we found! They are Catholic but as soon as we shared a message of the Book of Mormon they seemed to really feel of the spirit and of God’s love to mankind for giving us another testament of the Savior, Jesus Christ. We gave them two copies and they committed themselves to reading it! We are really excited to see where things go with this family! They even hooked us up with some birthday cake because the Grandma had completed another year!

It was super funny...the phrase “ask and ye shall receive” really came into play this past week. Elder Ashman said...”you know what? I think I am going to buy some eggs this week. That sounds really good.”  Later that day we saw a woman carrying a big bag of corn and we decided to help her out. So we helped her carry her big ol’ bag of corn back to her house and she ended up gifting us 10 eggs! Later on Elder Ashman says, “I am kinda feeling like some bread right now”...so we decided we would go grab some bread after the lesson we were going into...but low and behold...when we finished the lesson the Hermano gave us some bread! Then right before we found the big family of 10, Elder Ashman said, “If someone invited us into their house right now and gave us something to eat...I would not even be mad.” Haha! And BOOM...Birthday cake! Too funny! I think my companion is magic!

On Wednesday we had a worldwide missionary conference. It was kind of wow moment for me. These servants are called of God...so many answers and ways for me to become a better missionary were given to me. It was such a neat experience to listen to the brethren and the revelation that they are receiving for the missionary work around the world.

We had a really cool lesson with a deaf Hermana that really impacted me deeply. I realized that the spirit does not need words to speak...but gentleness, true intention of heart, and love...truth. We wrote a question on a napkin and gave it to her. “What is your greatest fear?” She replied, “Being alone. I cannot stand the thought of not being with my boys. I lived in the United States alone for years without my children...and I never want to be separated form them again. I never want to be alone.” What a great experience it was to write the simple words...
“Thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you don’t have to be alone. Thanks to Jesus Christ and HIS gospel that He restored through the Prophet, Joseph Smith, you don’t have to be alone. You don’t have to be separated from your boys.” It was a very spiritual moment for everyone. I am not sure if Elder Ashman knows it...but my eyes were sweaty for sure! ;)

Hmmm...One more AWESOME experience. So in early November we left a goal with an Hermano so stop drinking by the first of December. It would have given him about a month to stop drinking and prepare for baptism. He agreed...but my companion and I in that time never went back for some reason. The first of December passed and Elder Ashman and I did not go back to visit him either. I am not sure what it was but every time planning session rolled around at night we just did not feel like we belonged in the house of that family. However, the other day planning session rolled around and their name popped into my head...so we threw them in the agenda! They live quite a ways away and when we got there they were not there :/ We were pretty disappointed. We had come from far and felt prompted by the spirit to go there and we had failed. But right before our eyes we saw them. The hermano was holding his wife (member) by the arm and were walking very slow and carefully to the house. The wife did not look so good either. Come to find out the wife had been really sick. We had NO idea. They had been in the Hospital all of that week and the EXACT DAY we decided to go there...and the EXACT hour...she was released from hospital and they made it home...and there ran into us. We had a short talk with them and the husband told us that in the hospital he received his answer. He decided that he needed to be baptized. Talk about the right place at the right time!

I continue to be changed each and every day. I continue to be more blessed than I deserve. I continue to pray for each and every one of you every day. The Lord lives. I know it!
I am excited to see what this week has to offer! Now on to the spiritual message...
I absolutely love Christ’s invitation to the Nephite mothers and fathers, “Behold your little ones” (3 Nephi 17:23). How do you behold your children? What is it you see in your little ones? What role do your kids play in your life? Who would you be today without your children? How these Nephites behold their children teaches us such a marvelous lesson. In the following verse it says, “and as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven...”. Do you see your children as Heavenly gifts? As the Nephites look to behold their little ones the first place they look is to the Heaven. These verses teach us who and what children truly are and what parents should see them as...as Heavenly sent angels. When I came across this principle I was caused to go back in the Book of Mormon to find out how it is that the Nephites saw their children this way. How can you come to see your children this way? What do you need to do as a parent or future parent to behold your children by first looking to the heaven? What is needed by a parent to have a child from heaven? All throughout the Book of Mormon we see incredible examples of how the Nephites came to see their children as heavenly gifts and blessings. You could spend a lifetime finding teachings but I would like to look at a couple of the ones that I found though there are countless. At the very beginning of the Book of Mormon, in 1 Nephi 1:2, Nephi “makes a record in the language of his father...” Knowing the language of Lehi and his many revelations and testimonies I would assume that the language of Lehi was quite influential. How is your language? How do you speak to your little ones? In the 3rd chapter in the 1st verse of 1 Nephi, Nephi “returned from speaking to with the Lord, to the tent of his father.” Are your heavenly angels speaking with the Lord? Do your children converse with you often concerning the tender mercies that the Lord has shown unto them? Do you talk to them concerning the tender mercies that the Lord has blessed you with in your life? ``And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy, and also my mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad...” (1 Nephi 5:1). Do you rejoice in the presence of your children? Do you make your happiness from their presence known unto them? “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26) Do your children know of Christ? Do they trust in the remission of sins through Him? Is your home a Christ centered home? Do you read the “prophecies and preachings” of Christ daily with your little ones? “...and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, suck deep into my heart.” (Enos 1:3) Do you speak of eternity often with your children? Do you often express the joy you feel for the chance you have to live with your little ones for forever? Do you speak often concerning the joy that comes from being a “saint” and what life would be without being one? “And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone from the sins of the world.” (Alma 36:17) When these Heavenly gifts of yours are “racked with torment” are they reminded of your testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ? Do you share your testimony often with your children? Do they see you share your testimony with “the people?” “They had beed taught by their mothers they if they did not doubt God would deliver them.” (Helaman 56:47) Do you instill in the minds of your little ones the delivering power of God if they “doubt not”? Do your words remind your children to not doubt in a world where doubt is all there is?
The list could go on forever. I invite all parents and future parents...which basically sums up every living creature...to look in the Book of Mormon to find what it was the Nephites did, or did NOT do, to make their children into angels...to behold them in the heavens.

I want to publicly thank my incredible Nephite-like parents. I hope one day to be half the parent that they are. I hope one day to behold my own child...a perfect child of my own, directly sent from the presence of God, by casting my eyes to heaven from where they came and to remember what they are. I hope to become a Nephite parent through the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ...also known as...
The Book of Mormon: Readers Guide and Instruction Manual on “How to be a dad” Haha!
Love you mom and dad! And love you all!
Elder Noll

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