Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

I could probably finish the weekly report up with that. Elder Johnson and I are having the best of times sharing the gospel and spreading the Lord's love. The experiences that we are having are far to awesome to share over email! They will have to wait until we can share them in person! Much more interesting! We are still kicking it in Vinces and getting after it! Vinces is a little tiny District made up of 2 branches in Vinces itself and 1 branch about 2 hours away. Working with branches is always a bit different but I love it so much. Some of the most bright, loving, and dedicated members of Christ's church I have ever met in my life assist the smallest of branches.

We are living with an Elder from Bolivia and another Elder from Salt Lake so that is a good time! Each morning we pump out some circuits, drink a protein shake, and get after the study grind! It is so awesome! What I love most is to see and feel the change that has taken place in our relationship. There is nothing in this world that will bring a friendship closer than the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

One night we ended up getting out of a visit a bit later than we expected. We only had about 5 minutes to get back to the house to make it home in time. It has been years since I have run head to head with Elder Johnson! Haha! But we strapped on the laces and got after it. It was super late at night and raining but it didn't hold us back! We made it in time! :)

We are teaching some of the most amazing people. There is one woman and her children that are progressing so amazingly! We left her with the Book of Mormon and asked her to read the introduction. When we passed by the next day she was already asking questions about Nephi and his journey to Jerusalem to get married!! Haha! She is great.
If I start with the best stories I will never stop! So stay tuned for the next few months!!! ;)
I have been thinking a lot about how I can become what the Lord wants and expects of me. I have thought about what I want to become and how I can get there. As I thought about what it would take to become what the Lord wants of me,  I soon realized that it is a process...a process that requires patience, trust, steps, and practice. Those four words (patience, trust, steps, and practice) define a 4x100 Meter relay to a dime. 

The baton in a relay race is what delegates change. We must be patient as we wait for our baton or change. If we enter a race with desires to receive a baton or truly search for a change in our lives, change is what will come and better is what you will be. But some batons take longer than others. Be patient with yourself and with those around you as you become like your Savior. Change takes time!
A 4x1 is compiled of "blind exchanges". When it is your turn to receive the baton you are not to look back. You are not to look to your left nor your right. Rather, you are expected to trust in him with the baton and that he will deliver it to you with accuracy and precision. As we look to become "changed" or "converted" we must develop trust in the Lord that He will deliver the change to our hearts and get the baton in our hands. 
If you have a desire to change - are your eyes forward? Do you look back or to the side? Or are you set on who you want to become and what the Lord wants of you? How do we permit the Lord to deliver us the baton or the change? How do we permit the spirit to show us how to change?

In the book of Matthew a young man is searching for eternal life. He is looking for the baton and trying to figure out how to receive this change. He has waited ever so patiently and "he goes to the Lord", showing trust and faith in Him, and says, "all these things  (the commandments) have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"
 Returning to our 4x1 relay...In order to have a perfect hand-off you have to measure steps. Each runner comes in at different speeds and whoever is receiving the baton has to find the perfect point to begin to run. For this reason it is required of whoever is going to receive the baton, to take an exact number of steps, depending on his speed and the speed of his teammate - to discover exactly when and where he should start running to receive the baton. This is a brutal process. As a track runner, I remember asking myself the same question that the young man asked the Savior. "What lack I yet?" As I asked myself this question, I ALWAYS KNEW. ALWAYS. I knew how many steps I needed to take off or how many I needed to add. After practicing and practicing and asking myself "what lack I yet" time after time a perfect exchange was developed. Brothers and Sisters, if you want to hear the voice of God...if you want to feel of His perfection...if you want perfection, eternal life, and simple question will get you there.
"What lack I yet?"

The heavens will open and you will know EXACTLY what to do. EXACTLY what to change. The spirit will tell you exactly how many steps to take back or how many to add to help you have a perfect "hand-off" in your process of change. The Lord will tell you what is keeping you from eternal life - just as the Savior told the young man what was holding him back; "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor...". This young man found out just how many steps he was lacking in order to have the perfect hand-off.
I testify that the Heavens are open...God's voice is real...changes are possible...eternal life is reachable...and perfect hand-offs are attainable. All the Lord requires is that we ask Him, "What lack I yet?". After we ask the Lord this question we must wait for His loving and perfect correction in order to give us the perfect amount of steps to get to His Kingdom and to take home the gold in the 4x1 relay called life.

Be accepting and humble when the Lord tells you...because He will! Don't "go away sorrowful" like the young man did. have patience and trust. Measure and ask the Lord what your steps are and what you lack, and put it to practice. 

I have experienced miracles in my life with this question. I have felt the Lord's presence like never before as I have asked Him what I lack. He never fails to get me the baton and He will never fail you.

Love you all tons! Until next week!
Elder Noll :)

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