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

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