Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

What's good team? I don't have much time today. Just a funny experience and then a spiritual message maybe!! I will let you all know that this week was incredible as usual! We spent two days in Guayaquil in the Conference of Zone's and traveled quite a bit with President Riggins which is always an incredible chance to learn and grow. 
The other day we had lunch with the newly called Bishop. He is losing his mind. He is super stressed out...with reason! But his wife was gone and he had forgotten about the lunch appointment so he was running around with his head cut off while he was trying to prepare something for us. I am not sure what it was exactly that he did but I heard an explosion and turned around and saw a flame from the stove that reached all the way up to the ceiling! Haha! He totally fried the chicken! It was hilarious. I don't know what was more funny...his singed eye brows, his scream, the black chicken, or the fact that I did not feel even a degree of a temperature change in the house with a 6 foot flame because it was already so hot! ;) So I guess that was a funny experience. Obviously there are so many amazing stories and miracles that we were able to witness but they will have to wait!

"Follow Him and find a new life" is the name of the video that was released for this Easter season and it has touched me. I think one of the first things that comes to a child's mind on Easter Sunday is the Easter egg hunt. The prize is a candy or money but the trick is finding the egg. Just as small children rejoice in searching for eggs with chocolate, it is my prayer that we can rejoice in "looking for our Savior" to find a prize that only a God can give. In the 12th chapter of Ether, the Prophet Moroni commends us to "seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written". In the 5th chapter of Mark, a man with unclean spirits, just as we all have unclean spirits, would not settle for not finding his "Easter egg"...instead, "when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped Him." In the 19th chapter of Luke, a man of "little stature", just as we at times feel little, weak, broken, or insecure, could not see Jesus. "And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way." What are we doing to search and find the Christ? How can we come to know Him? How can we come to feel His love? How can we come to hear His voice? In Doctrine & Covenants 93:1 it is revealed unto us how to see the face of the Lord. "It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments shall see my face and know that I am." In Junior High I literally COULD NOT talk to a certain girl I had a crush on because of how beautiful she was. I was SO nervous! But every once in a while...a burst of courage and a flame of bravery gave me the guts to present myself in her presence. Just as my nerves, because of the beauty of this girl, separated me from her...our sins separate us from Christ because of His perfection. But the miracle is that we have the miracle to obtain this burst of courage and flame of bravery every second of every day to be capable of presenting ourselves to Christ. The miracle is repentance. Just as this courage enabled me to stand before this girl, repentance enables us to stand before our Savior. "Calleth on my name" is a simple yet crucial lesson of prayer. We cannot know Christ if we do not talk to the Father through Him. It is through His grace that we can talk to our Heavenly Father in the first place and we must use this divine gift of prayer to come to find Christ. "And obeyeth my voice and keepeth my commandments". As a small boy, my dad and I went to an Easter egg hunt. My dad gave me a pep talk and got me all fired up to go get more eggs than any other kid out there when the gun went off. But me being my timid and shy self...stayed put when the gun sounded. Looking around, nervous, uncomfortable, sad while watching all of the kids load their baskets with the candy I wanted, my basket stayed empty. The others came to find their eggs while I was left with none. What would have happened if I had listened to my father's voice? What would have happened if I had "kept the commandments" that my dad gave me? How often do we not listen to the Savior's voice? When we fail to listen to the Lord's voice...we fail to find Him just as I failed to find eggs. I promise you that your basket will not stay empty as mine did if you listen to Him. You will come to know Him.
Brothers and Sisters, I know He lives. 
He breathes even as I do...but He does it perfectly.
His heart beats just as mine does...but His heart is filled with more love and compassion than I nor anyone could ever offer.
His hands are of flesh and bone just as mine are...but His have prints.
The prints that He offers us to touch. The prints that will help us find a new life. The prints that have given me a new life.
He bled just as I have...but He did it from every pore with perfect humility, love, and succor to give us life.
Just as I wake up each morning...He woke up the 3rd day and overcame death...but He does and will not lay down again as I will...
Hallelujah that the Lord has risen and hallelujah that He will be forever.
Find Him this Easter. Come to know Him. Search for Him.
Love you all! :) <3
Elder Noll

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