Saturday, January 30, 2016

Transfer Tuesday

Farewell to Elder Bagley...You will be missed
Tuesday night we got the transfer roster, and we found out that Elder Bagley will be opening a new area in Olathe, Kansas and training a new missionary!
That will be super hard since he will be starting from scratch and 
have no teaching pool.
But I know he will do well. He's a great missionary.
I will be staying in the Kaw River area and
I will soon learn who my new companion will be that I will be training.

Wednesday we went and visited a bunch of awesome members that have played a big role in either feeding us or coming out on team ups.
We had a great time sharing a nice spiritual message and 
taking some pictures with them.
It really made for an enjoyable last day I had with elder Bagley!

Thursday we got up early and Elder Bagley packed his bags and
we headed off to the chapel near the mission office.
There we sat in the chapel and president called each of the new missionaries one by one and paired them with their new companions.
And my new companions name is......... Drum roll please.......... Elder Duerksen 
from California!
Hello Elder Duerksen
He is a pretty cool elder. He is very different from Elder Bagley.
He is a little quieter and just a totally different personality.  :-D
But I think we will hit it off just fine.
I hope I can be a good trainer for him and I will do my very best.

Being a trainer is very different from what I was used to haha!!
I had finally gotten into a groove with Elder Bagley were it was almost stress free.
We both knew each others expectations and how each other worked.
But now everything is up to me, and for these first couple weeks it will be a little difficult since Elder Duerksen doesn't know any of the investigators or members 
and is still learning the basics. 
So I have been a little bit stressed out!  haha :p
We had a few awkward moments in our lessons when I would finish my thought and then leave a pause so Elder Duerksen can say something.
(That's kind of how teaching as missionaries go. 
You just take turns going back and forth)
but many times he didn't know what to say so it was just an awkward pause...... so 
I would then just keep teaching.
But as I look back that is pretty much how "I" was when I was new!!!  :-D
So it's all good haha
Elder Duerksen's Spanish is actually pretty good! He took four years in high school
and he is basically as good as I am now haha.
Which is great! So he helps me out and I help him! :)
My Spanish is actually progressing pretty well! I really saw it this Sunday during missionary correlation meeting since our ward mission leader speaks only Spanish.....and during that meeting I was able to understand everything 
we were talking about.
Heavenly Father is definitely helping me out!
It is still difficult at times, but I'm improving!

This week has been rough for me keeping my motivation up.
Once Elder Bagley was gone I started to see how much I miss that guy haha.
He is so funny and just an awesome friend! 
We have so many inside jokes that I miss.  :-D
But once Elder Duerksen and I get to know one other a bit more, I'm sure we will have our own inside jokes and will have a great time together also! 
Just for now it is difficult.

Soooo, about me training ..... to put it in simple terms..... it is very difficult 
and stressful.
It makes me sympathize for when Elder Bagley was training me!   ;p

We had an inspiring experience this week I want to tell you about.
We were trying to visit a referral but found that he wasn't home,
so we decided to tract a few of the homes around the area.
We tracted for about 20 minutes without any luck of finding anyone home.
We had only about 10 min before we needed to get to our dinner appointment, 
so we started heading back to our car.
I then saw a lady get off the bus and start walking in the opposite direction of our car.
I suddenly had a prompting that we should go talk to her.
So we hurried and turned around and went to her house.... 
by then she had already gone
inside and was greeted by her husband.
Her husband saw us and beckoned us to come in!
We had a very nice discussion with them and they have asked us
to return and teach them more this week!

I love the spirit and the promptings he gives us.
If only we could open our ears every minute of the day.
Just think of how many of God's children we could be bringing blessing to.
I love this work and I love my Heavenly Father.

With Love, Elder Odland

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Power from Heaven

One of the interesting happenings of this week was
a lesson appointment we had with a potential investigator named Eric.
Upon our first meeting, which was at his home, Eric expressed his desire to change to a later time and for the location to be at a nearby restaurant.
We agreed and eagerly arrived at the restaurant a little early 
and waited patiently.
We soon saw him come in and he came over and greeted us.
As we shook his hand we saw another guy ...wearing a shirt and tie, 
holding a bible and a bunch of papers, also enter... 
In my mind I was thinking.... greatttttt! 
....For at that moment I knew that we were about to get bible bashed!
At first they were nice and let us talk for a little 
while as Gary, Eric's friend, took notes.
Once he had sufficient notes he began to try to disprove each point we taught.
Everything he was saying was so wrong and he 
contradicted himself numerous times.
It all just made me realize how much more solid our church is.  :D    
So while he was giving his spiel, I sat there with all my sincere confidence 
just looking him in the eye.
When he finished we bore testimony of the true Church of Jesus Christ 
and then ended the conversation.
People like that are always looking for contention.... and contention drives away the Spirit. 
And we didn't want anything to do with that kind of situation.
But it was kinda funny, before we went into the restaurant,
we were sitting in the car and I just had this feeling and I told Elder Bagley,
"We are about to get roasted in there... I just know it."
I wasn't exactly sure what was about to happen but I knew it was something the Lord was giving me a warning of preparation for... :-D
.... so I was mentally prepared for the barrage. 
Elder Bagley was a little distraught afterwards 
but he recovered and we are fine.  :-)  
It is something unfortunate that every missionary has to go through
a couple times during their mission.

On a fun note..... Thursday we had the privilege to go to a retirement home
and sing hymns for all the sweet people who live there!
It was awesome!
Our piano player didn't show up so we decided just to sing a cappella.
Our singing wasn't too shabby and the seniors loved it!
There was one lady, named Faith, who was singing along with each song  :).
It was so much fun.
After we sang a few songs they wanted to know a little bit about each of us.
So each missionary told where they were from and 
what they enjoy most about serving.
When it was my turn they were all so surprised that I was from Maine
 and they were all wondering what I was doing way down in Kansas!  haha  :).
They were all so nice and so interested in what we do.
After we all introduced ourselves we sang some more songs before finishing up.
They were so grateful and enjoyed it so very much.
 It warmed my heart to bring a smile to so many faces   :-) 
 We then went around and met each senior individually 
and talked with them for a little while. 
It was a great experience!
They can't wait until we come back again...and neither can I.

Last week Elder Bagley and I gave a blessing to a member's baby girl
who has been sick for a little over a month.
And we just found out today that her baby is finally sleeping well 
and is getting better!
I love being able to exercise the Priesthood and help people in any way I can!

I am thankful for my testimony of the Lord's true gospel
and I am truly thankful for this wonderful
opportunity I have to do the Lord's work and testify of Christ...

The Savior of the whole world.

My 3rd pair of shoes!
Hope these last longer than the others!!
How do you like my snazzy new suit from Elder Bagley?
He said I needed a new color.  :-)