Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Araceli's Baptism

¡Hola Amigos!
Este semana fue muy interesante! Las personas aquí están muy amable.
Tenemos muchos lecciones en la semana y nuestro investigadores están
progresando bien. También tenemos una servicio bautismal con nuestro
investigador Araceli Reyes. Es fue una muy bien experiencia. Ella fue
muy entusiasmado por su bautismal. Y ella fue confirmó en domingo.
Entonces yo siento muy bien para nuestro investigadores especialmente

There is a little Spanish for you all.  It may be a little rough 
but I'm learning.   :-)

Early in the week we went to a members house and to our surprise as we walked in we saw a parrot just sitting there on top of his cage! He was a very large bird and, with the owners permission, we tried to pet him. As long as we would just hold him, he was fine. But when we tried to pet him he reacted with a nip at our arms! It wasn't at all painful but still a bit intimidating. He was really an amazing bird!
Just a LITTLE exaggeration here!  :-)

Well I went on another exchange this week with Elder Katoa. I learned so much from him. He is such an awesome missionary and is fearless when it comes to talking to random people on the street. His example strengthened me and I strive to conquer my fears and shyness and be more like Elder Katoa.
On Saturday of this week we had an awesome day! Our investigator Araceli was baptized! 

It was such an amazing and heart warming experience. She was super excited all week and especially on Saturday. We had a nice meeting for her where Elder Bagley and Sister Rollins gave awesome talks about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 
The spirit was felt so strongly that day as Araceli made her first covenant with her Heavenly Father. She has been an awesome person to teach each week and it's been awesome to 
see her progress up to baptism. 
Our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and when we make these covenants (promises) with him, we show how much we love him.
Araceli's baptism

I know God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he wants us to make and keep covenants with him throughout our lives. His love is sufficient for all.
I was excited as Araceli was confirmed an member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am so happy for her to make this step in her life! We had a great time at church and were called in to teach Sunday School last minute. So Elder Bagley and I talked about missionary work. WOW being a Sunday School teacher is more difficult than giving a normal lesson as a missionary haha... Kids do not want to listen! It kind of made be feel bad for how I acted as a kid from time to time. So sorry to all those patient Brothers out their who have been my teachers in the past.

After church we went over to the Collins house to give their aunt a blessing, a request from the family since she was nearing the end of her life. As we arrived we walk in and sister Collins said "well your too late." Her aunt had already passed away. She had had some kind of disease and looked very dead.... a bit scary to me since I had never seen a dead person before. Then sister Collins said, "well you guys can still give her a blessing." Elder Bagley and I just looked at each other for a moment as we thought to ourselves....but she's dead! But we did as the family wished and give her a blessing. It was probably one of the strangest experiences I have ever had. Giving a dead person a blessing and touching this dead lady on the I said.... This was the first time I had ever seen a dead person, let alone touch one.  It was very apparent this lifeless body no longer housed the spirit it once had and that it was now just an empty vessel. The Aunt had departed her earthly body and was now on the other side of the veil, happy and at peace. Afterwards I felt bad that we hadn't gotten their soon enough and we were feeling a bit uneasy about the whole situation. Elder Bagley and I felt super sad on the drive home so we called our bishop to talk to him about what had happened. He said something that eased our minds, "Heavenly father is in control of time, and if he wanted you to give her a blessing before she passed he would have permitted it. But it wasn't meant to be that way. So you shouldn't stress about it. You did your duty and Heavenly Father will take care of the rest." After the counsel of our bishop we felt a piece of mind and we were able to go on with our day and teach an awesome lesson to our investigator Logan :). 
He is a super cool kid and we were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation during that lesson. He was intrigued with hearing about the Celestial Kingdom and voiced his desire to attain the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven when he leaves this Earthly life. He wants to be baptized but has a terrible fear of water. With Heavenly Father's help, we will try our best to help him overcome his fear. He has also started praying at night and watching "Mormon Messages" on It's awesome to see him progress in the knowledge of Our Savior Jesus Christ and God's Plan of Happiness for all of God's children.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ and each day I look for different ways I can help someone. Sometimes people need service. Sometimes they need more doctrinal knowledge. And sometimes they just need to be loved.

We show our love for our Heavenly Father by loving others and taking care of them. Love one another and you will forever be blessed.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (1 John 4:7).

Until next week mi amigos. ¡Adios!

- Elder Odland

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