Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Skype with Elder John Odland

Elder John Odland...Christmas 2015...Independence, Missouri Mission

The highlight of our Christmas was being able to Skype with our cute missionary.
We had a great time hearing of his great adventures and service
to the people of Missouri and Kansas.
He loves serving the Lord and teaching the people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is THE Reason for the Season
and Jesus is THE Reason for EVERYTHING!

It was hard to say good-bye. No one wanted to hit the hang-up button!

We LOVE YOU Johnny!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

"For God So Loved the World" is a piece of art by Simon Dewey. (Matt Crossley, Altus Fine Art)

Hello everyone!

I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary and
spread this Gospel of Jesus Christ that I hold so dear to me. 
As I have been out on my mission for about 4 1/2 months now, 
my testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much! 
I wish I had read even more before my mission. 
There are so many great stories that teach true doctrine of Christ. 
I absolutely love when I have time to read it. I really value the time I have to study
the teachings our Heavenly Father has given us. 
It helps me find answers and it helps me help others find answers as well.  

I'm glad Elder Bagley and I are together for Christmas also! 
We went to the store to get each other a small gift. But we had to do it without the other knowing what we got... which is super hard as a missionary because you cannot go out of sight of your companion... But we managed and I still don't know what he got me!  haha. 
We were in the toy section of course ;p and I got him a little Spongebob Lego mini figure and a 3 pack Star Wars ship thing :D All together it was only 8 dollars :D  …we had a max of $10. 
It was fun to be able to shop for someone! I love getting things for people and I can’t wait until I have kids to shop for. There are so many sweet toys out there! haha! 
I can't wait to buy my son all of these sweet Lego sets! :D  haha
So yeah, Elder Bagley and I are excited for Christmas :)  We will open each others gifts on Christmas Eve and then our families gifts on Christmas Day morning  :) and then we will skype! Then we will be having dinner with a Spanish family I have not yet met. So that will be fun. 

I have truly enjoyed visiting with families during this time of the year 
sharing a message about Jesus Christ....because that is what Christmas is all about. 
What Christ did was for each and every one of us. No matter our age or situation in life, we are always able to accept Christ and use the atonement in our lives. 
I am so very grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and all that he has done for me. 
I am so very grateful for my loving family also. 
Without them and their support I don't know where I'd be. 
Our families are so important. 
Heavenly Father has given us families in order for us to be happy. 
We experience so much joy through our families and I wouldn't trade mine for anything! 
During this Christmas season, remember our Savior and tell the ones you love how much you appreciate them. Always have a heart full of gratitude and you will rarely have a negative day! 
Endure well, Persevere, and love everyone you meet. 
Merry Christmas Everyone and I hope you have a fantastic time with your families.  :) 

¡les amo y Feliz Navidad!

With Love, Elder Odland

¡Hasta viernes!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"A Savior Is Born"

Hello everyone!

We had transfers last week and I am staying in Kaw River with Elder Bagley! 

I am excited to stay for a 3rd transfer and celebrate Christmas with him and 
the good people of this area. 
It should be fun!

This week has been great. 

We visited with a lot of people and shared the video: 
"A Savior Is Born"
It is a great video where kids explain what Christmas is really all about. 
I invite all of you to watch this video if you haven't yet! 
You can find it on  or click the link below

This week we met this lady who has a daughter in Nevada.
The daughter had given us her mom's contact information
and we went to see her.
She speaks only Spanish and she told us that she is very sick and
unable to talk much at this time. We felt impressed to ask what was ailing her.
She told us she has cancer. She asked us to come back another
day when she is feeling a little better.
When we returned we brought a native Spanish speaking member
with us. We knocked on her door and she gladly invited us in.
We explained a little about the church and the priesthood authority we hold
and how we can give blessings to people who are ill.
She was excited about the idea and wanted a blessing of healing.
We anointed her with oil and then gave her a blessing.
She was so grateful and said she will finally be able to sleep peacefully tonight.
I am so very grateful for the priesthood and all that we can do through it.
It is truly powerful and it can bring so much peace to people's lives.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to help people by using the priesthood which I hold. What an honor it is to me to hold the priesthood office of Elder and to be able to exercise my priesthood to bless others.
We will be meeting with her again this week and I will update you on how
she is doing.

We had a big service project Monday.
This project was called the Red Bag Project. It is where organizations donate toys and we put them in big red bags and give them to kids
that are in foster homes.
It was such a great experience to see all of the cool stuff that
these kids will be getting for Christmas.
They will be so happy to receive them. And I am so glad and humbled
to be able to play a small part in the Christmas for those children.

We also had our ward Christmas party! 
I tried out for the part of Santa and I was so close to getting it, but we found someone that fit the part a little better.  haha  :D

I was just a little too skinny!!

We also made ginger bread houses for a Family Home Evening activity with the

Andrade Family!

That's my gumdrop snowman... kind of melted a bit...:p

I hope you all have a wonderful week and have a wonderful Christmas

season! Enjoy your families and enjoy what is possible because of our

Savior Jesus Christ!

¡Hasta próxima semana! 

Love, Elder Odland!