Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Three updates in one!

I've posted Josh's last three emails here in one post from oldest to newest. He didn't send a group email on Sept 14th, so that week is missing.  Enjoy!

September 7, 2015

This week a young lady named Sierra was baptized! It was good to see her come out of the water. I was very nervous though because I was the one that she wanted to do the confirmation on Sunday. I spent all Saturday and part of Sunday worrying about it. I really am not a fan of speaking in front of a lot of people. But it was a good experience because when I got up to do it, I closed my eyes and imagined that it was just Sierra, Christ, and me. The words just seemed to flow and I tried not to think or second guess myself. If anyone in that room truly knew me, they would know that I could never have offered a more eloquent, specific, and well thought out blessing unless I had spent hours thinking about it and writing it down. I know now that I shouldn't have worried about it. Maybe the promptings of the spirit were so clear because it was fast Sunday, maybe it was because I had just finished two sacrament meetings, maybe it was because I had been trying extra hard to be obedient because I knew I was needed for the blessing. Regardless, I know that the spirit was there and that Heavenly Father cares about all of us despite our current circumstances. I love you all and hope you are doing well!

September 21, 2015
"Peace and Blessings"
This week was a pretty good week. I had so many opportunities to recognize the Lord's hand in my life and not only was it there but it was also a testimony to me that He knows exactly what we are going to do and ask for before we even do.

The first example of this was on Friday. Thursday night I set some goals for myself, which is something that I try to do daily. The goals that I set were to:

1. Find at least 1 new person to teach
2. Talk with everyone
3. Be ready for those that God has prepared

As we went about our day trying to contact old former investigators in one of the apartment complexes by the Birch, it seemed as though there was nobody to talk to. Then someone pulled up in their car and began to walk to their apartment. So we talked to them even though it didn't seem it would go anywhere and, in fact, I was right. They said they weren't interested. But this is where it gets exciting. Because I personally made a point to attain that goal that I set for myself, we were blessed. About as soon as the one lady we had just talked to went inside, someone else came out of the apartment right next to us and we talked to them! Suddenly it seemed as though the dead complex that we were in was alive. Everywhere we went there was someone coming outside or coming home. There were no people anywhere except for where we went. I saw God's hand in the work that day and we found one new person to teach out of all those people and along with that, two former investigators were willing to meet with us again!

Another miracle that occurred was with our investigator Lorenzo attending church. Lorenzo has been wanting to attend church for the past two weeks and because of circumstances, he wasn't able to come until this last week. Even though he was about forty minutes late, he made it to sacrament meeting with his three small girls (he's a single father). The last talk of the meeting seemed to be geared towards him and his girls were all very well behaved.

In Gospel Principles we taught about prayer and in this class we all introduced ourselves. When Lorenzo introduced himself Brother L. realized that they were first cousins and instantly made a connection! Brother L. who has been kind of a Debbie Downer in our class was now excited and making friends with our investigator! So much so that for the rest of the class and Priesthood meeting we didn't even interact with him much because Brother L. was taking such good care of him. Lorenzo was so impressed that he told us that he would be back next week and for an hour there I almost forgot that Lorenzo wasn't a member yet because he fit in so well. It was surely a miracle that the connection would be made and not only did it bless Lorenzo but it also blessed Brother L. I truly gained a testimony of member missionary work that day.

You all are so great and you make my day when you write! 

Love, Elder Norrell

September 28, 2015
"Interesting week"

Hey! So all is well in Nampa! I hit my six month mark in three days and transfers are today and Elder Goodsell is leaving :( He's going to Caldwell. Not sure who the poor unfortunate soul is that will be my next companion but he should be getting off the airplane tomorrow morning. It'll probably make him feel better about being new when he finds out that his trainer has no idea what he's doing as a District leader! Hey it's okay to not be perfect because God multiplies our efforts when we rely on him. In other words we will both be learning by the spirit of God and it is only by the grace of God that we will be able to succeed.

Our investigators are awesome! Lorenzo is doing well and it's like he's just super ready for the Gospel. Ashley went to church even when she was out of town (which is kind of super amazing) and we taught Oscar another lesson! Oscar definitely notices such a change in his home when we come because we strive to bring the Spirit of the Lord with us!

I know that this Gospel is true and the Jesus Christ lives. There is truly nothing that can stop the work from progressing! I know that when we choose to turn our lives over to God, He will guide us and protect us from more trials than we can handle. Come unto Christ all ye that labor and are heavy laden and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In other words, allow Christ to shoulder your burdens and as long as you stay neck and neck with Him, going the same direction, our burdens will be made easier. It doesn't mean they will go away but they will be made lighter. 

Do all that you can to be the best you can be. "Try a little harder to be a little better." - Gordon B. Hinckley

May the light of His love continually be a lantern unto your feet!
You are all super amazing. 

Elder Joshua Norrell

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