Friday, October 16, 2015

A Letter Home.....I'm So Thankful I Chose to Serve a Mission

Here we are at zone training. While there we took some snazzy pictures:) can you spot me??;)

Hey Mom and Pops! :)                                                                                      12 Oct 2015
Elder Bagley and I are doing great! I can act pretty much myself around him, which is awesome :)
And now our apartment has that home feeling to it. Not home as in where my family is, but the comforting and familiar feeling of home which I am blessed to feel. It helps after a long day being able to go home and feel comfortable instead of feeling like I'm staying at someone else's house or a hotel or something.
It's also super nice to have an awesome companion. He helps me so much each day and I learn new things every second of the day haha. 
And my Spanish is progressing too. I am currently the one in charge of the cell phone so I call people, confirming dinners, appointments. etc...... which are mostly in Spanish. I say dumb stuff sometimes but that's why we practice:)  To make these mistakes only helps us learn from them :-D and the people here are very understanding since they know that I am still learning. It is still difficult for me to understand everything that they say,but I will just keep studying and praying for the gift of tongues. :-)
So this week was a bit hectic haha.
Earlier in the week we met with Logan Villegas but his dad wasn't home so we couldn't go inside, so we gave him a nice door step lesson for about 30 min. He had a lot of questions and we enjoyed helping him better understand. We also just had another lesson with him last night. We arrived for our 7pm appointment but found only his sister to be home.
Though disappointed Logan was not there, we talked with his sister for a bit just standing outside. I had a strong feeling we should wait just a little longer so we talked for about 25 more minutes and then Logan and his dad pulled into the driveway!
I was like "Sweeeeet"!! So we were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. He was a bit tired and had a hard time staying focused. He still asked some very good questions and we did our best to answer them.  We felt the need to focus on how much our Heavenly Father loves us. The spirit was SO strong during the lesson and his mom really realized the importance of the Gospel in our lives.
It was an awesome lesson and we are seeing him again tomorrow. Logan is excited to learn more.
We also met with Felix again, and this time we were able to teach him a lesson. Just as we began, his friend came over and joined in.... but he just kept telling us that we are wrong! But, while that guy was talking, Felix continued to listen to us and to read the pamphlet ....and he started tearing up. You could tell the Spirit was witnessing to him the truthfulness of what we were telling him. Felix had a lot of great questions and we enjoyed answering them and seeing his delight in the message and the calm assurance of the Spirit. I am so grateful that he didn't listen to what his friend was saying and instead listened to what Heavenly Father was telling him.
This lesson was in Spanish, by the way! ;p But despite my lack of proficiency in Spanish, Heavenly Father still witnessed to him through the spirit of the Holy Ghost and Felix was able to understand all that I had said to him. What a great feeling it was to feel the Spirit with us so strongly. I am truly thankful for our Father in Heaven and all he does to assist me in my missionary work. I love teaching these wonderful people. I want them to know of this true joy that I have in The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are planning to see Felix again this week. He desires to know more about the gospel and I am excited for our next lesson.
I also had an "Exchange" this week. An Exchange is when our district leader swaps out with a missionary so you have a new companion for a day. We went down to Hickory Hills and I was with the district leader for the first day. They didn't have a car so we got to ride bikes! You know I always wanted to bike on my mission and it was actually super fun. We had great fun cruising down the big hills. :D We rode all over the place and visited people along our way and also some less active families. One of the people we spoke to told us all of these stories about his previous way of life. It was really interesting and it is awesome to see the faith people have and the desire they have to change. Many of these stories about how they have changed can be very inspiring!
By the time we began heading home it was about 8:45pm and so it was pretty dark. I only had this little dinky light on my bike and at some spots it was so hard to see! But elder Midgley (our district leader) knew his way and I swear he has night vision and he guided me wherever we went! :) I had an awesome time with him and learned much. We will be doing another Exchange on Wednesday so Elder Midgley can be with Elder Bagley for the day. (The district leader has to go on an Exchange with every missionary in his district every month.) I will be with Elder Katoah this Wednesday and I am really looking forward to another bike day!:D
The day after my Exchange we had an event that we called "Gathering the Lost Sheep". It was where all the missionaries from our zone came to the Kaw River Ward (my ward) and we paired up with a member and went knocking on inactive members doors. I was paired up with a super sweet older couple that are also serving here for their mission. They were so sweet! We had some success and talked with two inactive families and as a result of this big activity we now have a bunch of referrals and less actives to visit!  ...which is a blessing! The more work we have the better! Having nothing to do as a missionary is the worst!
That activity was on Saturday and then Sunday was a fantastic day for me personally. Church was just awesome and it felt so good to take the sacrament and feel the spirit. :) We had ward coordination meeting and we are getting ready for our baptism this coming Saturday. I won't be baptizing Araceli since she wants a friend of hers to perform her baptism. This is her choice and I am totally fine with it. This will be a very special experience for her.
Today we helped a family move all of there stuff out of their house, sadly they had been evicted. I enjoyed helping in the way I was able. Service is the best! :D
Well I'm doing awesome and I thoroughly enjoy everything I do here :)
Every day we find someone to help. I definitely needed this in my life and I am so glad I made this decision to go on a mission.
Mission life is totally not what I expected.... It's even better :D
Just always know that I am safe and Elder Bagleys always got my back :)
Thank you so much for your letters, and I am where I am because of you. :) You taught me and raised me right. :D I love you so much! :)
I'll talk to you next Monday!   :)
Tenga un buen día!

Love your, Elder Odland

Got some NEW shoes Mom. Ahhhh these feel better.  :)

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