Saturday, July 30, 2016

Golden Nuggets

There's a Storm a brewin!
Look just above Elder Hinrichsen's head....

WHOA!!   Did you see that lightning!!

This week we were especially blessed. We got to hear from Elder Neil L. Anderson  from the Quorum of the twelve apostles!
He came to our mission last Monday and gave us guidance on what we needed.
I really like how he began by asking us what we wanted to learn and then
wrote down a list as we replied.

He said, "I don't want to give you anything that you don't want,
so tell me what you want to learn today."

There were many topics that were addressed but I would like to
mention a few that stood out to me!
I loved a point he made about
how the Book of Mormon  contains the power of conversion.
It really helped me understand the importance
of the Book of Mormon
and why we invite the people we teach to read it.
I love how no one needs to take my word for it...they can themselves ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true...and then KNOW for themselves.
I always love going back to the Book of Mormon.
It's where I gained my testimony and as I read it my testimony of it always GROWS.
Another thing I really liked that he talked about was that there are thousands of people in our mission that are prepared to hear and accept the gospel and it is our duty to find and teach them about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
It gave me a little more hope, knowing that even though it is hard to find people who will listen, that there are people out there waiting to hear our message....and as I approach my one year mark, I want to try to hold on to as much HOPE as I can.
HOPE that I can share the joys of knowing Christ with as many people
as I am able.
HOPE is what keeps us going, in missionary work and in life.
Elder Anderson is an awesome man and his wife bore a great testimony of her husbands calling as an Apostle and how he truly does receive revelation for the people he addresses, and
specifically us, the missionaries of the Missouri Independence Mission.

It was an awesome Conference.
I wish I could have recorded it and then just listen to it over and over again
not to miss any golden nugget.
I am so thankful that he was able to come here and give us the guidance
that we needed.
It will truly help me be a better missionary.

The work here in Olathe is going well!
We are working with multiple Hispanics that are preparing for baptism.
I love being able to teach Hispanics.
They are always so kind to us.
They are such hard workers and are just trying to take care of their families.

Family is so important and I love it when I am able to see families grow together and become more unified.
That's one huge blessing of the gospel.

It's awesome being a missionary.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep on loving life!

Love - Elder Odland

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Miracle Filled Saturday

Helping the sisters at a Relief Society Activity

I read this really great talk by Elder Holland called
“The Inconvenient Messiah”.
It really helped me understand how to overcome temptation and do what Heavenly Father wants us to do. He talked about how life today is so convenient making it is easy to do wrong. But looking at the Savior’s life, he never took the convenient way. He always chose the right path which most of the time was inconvenient. In our lives we need to choose the inconvenient path and follow our Heavenly Father in every aspect. This reminds me of a quote from President Thomas S. Monson from last conference, "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."      

Everything that happens in our life is dependent upon our choices.
I hope that I can always remember the importance of that and keep making the best decisions I can possibly make in my life. :).

We had a miracle filled Saturday!

We had a lot of reports to finish so we were doing those all morning. Then out of nowhere Sergio calls! He tells us how the case against him was dismissed and that he is now out of the hospital! He told us how he had been beaten up by some bad guys and was so injured he was hospitalized for a few days. But he is now recovering well and the hospital has released him, and he is on track to come back to Kansas this week! It'll be so awesome! So that instantly made me happy and gave me the strength to finish the reports that we had.
After we finish the reports and went to go visit Bro Roman, who just got out of the hospital after having surgery on his leg. We took him some mandarin oranges, his favorite snack. We were glad to see he was doing well and we enjoyed our visit with him.
He expressed how thankful he was that we stopped by.
Later that night we received a text from his wife asking if we could come over and give Brother Roman a blessing. We were a bit puzzled at first because he was doing so well when we saw him earlier that day. We headed right over and saw Brother Roman was laying in his bed wheezing and could barely move his body. So we give him a priesthood blessing as he lay there shaking and trembling. Within minutes he opened his eyes and reached out his hand to Elder Hinrichsen. With his help Bro Roman sat up and asked for some water. We felt inspired to feed him something. So we offered him small bites of Mac n Cheese. He let us feed him a spoon full, and he just started going, "Mmmmmm" as if it tasted super good! :) We continued to feed him since he could barely lift his own arms. He then continued to gain more and more consciousness and was able to speak a little better.
It was amazing to see the drastic change after giving him a blessing.
His wife was so scared. She had never seen him this sick before. She was very grateful for our help and that we were available to come when she called.

I love experiences like these.
These miracles are what keep me going and why I am out here serving a mission. I love being able to be a tool for our Heavenly Father to help his children.
The priesthood is real and it is here today….just as it was when Jesus was on the earth. It is our duty to bring that priesthood power to the people and use it to bless the lives of others. My testimony of my purpose and the priesthood have grown so much this week. How thankful I am for this great blessing.

Love, Elder Odland

Friday, July 1, 2016

Our Goal....A True Conversion to Jesus Christ

We had another great week! It was a little hectic but it is all good, I like it when things are busy! I want to thank my Father in Heaven for helping me grow and for giving me the strength needed to do this wonderful work of the Lord.
He has caused me to grow and become more proficient in my training lessons as a Zone Leader. I have grown so much in the last 11 months.
I love the challenges I am given and will do my very best to tackle them…
…all with the help of the Lord.

We began with a Zone Conference with many of the other Zones where we got to hear from Elder James Hamula, a General Authority Seventy. I learned some awesome things!
Elder Hamula talked about the scriptures in Jacob …..

Jacob 5:65-66 ….and I wanted to share that with you!

65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.

66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.

This principle and this scripture really stood out to me. Contemplating if we have a bad tree in our garden, we try to graft good into it. But if we graft or cut away too much at one time it will kill the tree. And it is the same with people.
Elder Hamula said that almost always when the scriptures talk about trees it is referring to people. So as a missionary, if there is an elder or sister that is doing things they shouldn't be doing, we need to try to help them change, little by little, remembering if we graft too much it will kill the tree. It's such a simple yet amazing principle! I think this knowledge will help me be more considerate of others and help me know how to work better with them.
I really loved Zone Conference.

Then Wednesday came around and we had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) where we again received great counsel[D1]  from Elder Hamula and his wife. We received great guidance and direction on how to improve our missionary work and become more effective. One principle that he talked about that I love is; We shouldn’t let our numbers define us, BUT… to let the love we have for the people we come in contact with and teach define us. So many missionaries get caught up in the numbers and in doing so tend
to forget the people themselves.
We must not focus on just getting a Baptism but to help create a
true conversion to Christ.
For if someone is not truly converted to Christ, there is no point in baptizing them.
If they are baptized without a true conversion to Jesus Christ
then they are making covenants and promises they don’t actually understand.
So in our training we were admonished to see people with sincere love and desire for them to truly come unto Christ.

Friday’s Zone Training went well. I gave a training session on how our investigators can receive revelation through Sacrament Meeting. During Sacrament Meeting they can feel the Spirit of Christ as the Sacrament is served.
They can gain testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and of the Scriptures through the talks given as Jesus Christ witnesses to them that what they are hearing is true.
I am thankful that no one has to merely take MY word it.
They can ask God himself and He will answer.

I am truly thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and enjoy this privilege to be able to do Missionary work. I am very grateful God has blessed me with this opportunity to teach others of His great Love and of the wonderful work of the Lord to bring happiness to others and make their lives more fulfilling, selfless and Eternal.
Families CAN Be Together Forever!

With Love, Elder Odland

P-Day BBall

Oh SO Close! But look...I can jump higher than the van!! :-D

These shirts were not planned!!  :-D