Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Transfer Day... 17 Nov 2016....I'll Never Forget Olathe....but New Memories are on the Way!

Olathe Zone...We designed these great shirts!!  :-D

So Last Sunday I knew that I was going to be transferred so I was able to say goodbye to a lot of the members at church. I also stopped by a few other families before Thursday to get a picture with them and talk with them one last time before I headed out. 
Mamma Lyons ...always helped the missionaries, played volleyball and took
such great care of us

Stake President Boyack...taught me so much and was a great example

And let me say....Elder Blake will be missed. He was so great to work with. I wish him well and hope to see him again in the near future and after our missions are over.

We had 2 sweet lessons with Claudia and Tammy before I left.
The first one we taught about the Restoration again and Claudia had done quite a bit of studying for the lesson. She had read the section about the Restoration in the Gospel Principles book and wrote down this huge outline! And when we were talking to her about her impressions and feelings, she holds up the Book of Mormon/D&C/Pearl of Great Price and says, "Do you know what we have here???" with tears in her eyes. She has gained such an amazing testimony of the Restoration. It is so amazing!! She also was telling us how she loves Joseph Smith because of everything that he did for us. She has grown so much these past few months and she has learned so much as well! So sad I'll have to leave, but at least I'll be able to come back for their baptism!

So we had transfers on Thursday!
Andddddd I got transferredddddd.... toooooooo.... Raytown, Missouri
and my new companion is Elder Kelly.
Raytown is about 10 minutes away from the mission office and I am in President and Sister Vests ward! That's pretty neat haha:)
I'm still serving as a Zone Leader in the Independence Zone with Elder Kelly!
He is a really cool and hard working elder so I'm sure we will have a wonderful time! And... if I thought I had a lot of missionaries in the Olathe Zone... I was wrong haha. There were about 28 missionaries in Olathe and there are 33 here in Independence. It's the biggest Zone in the mission:). It will be so fun to get to know all the missionaries! And we have the Visitor Center right around the block so we have lessons there all the time! It's going to be a sweet time serving here:).

The first day in Raytown was a little rough, just a bit tough leaving my great companion and old friends  :,(     but I'm adjusting and I look forward to my new area, new companion, and the work I have to do here. :-)
And do you know the person I taught a back in Lee's Summit named Mac Moananu?
I'm now serving in his actual ward ....the Raytown Ward....
so I'll be meeting with Mac again!! And we have been invited to have Thanksgiving with his family! It's going to be crazy HUGE... like 150 people! There are so many that we will be gathering at the church for a huge feast   haha  :D
So it will be a great Thanksgiving.
And there are also 2 other families that moved to Raytown from Lee's Summit!

So there are some sweet familiar faces! That makes the transition a lot easier!

We recently had a sweet lesson at the Visitor Center with James!
We taught him the Restoration and it was great to use the Visitor Center to help teach.
The awesome environment is so inspirational and it is super easy to teach there. James really felt the Spirit and will be praying about joining the church.
We always encourage investigators to pray to receive their own answer about joining.
This is their choice and never something we wish to push on them.
We are also teaching this guy named Charlie, he really enjoys church and learning about the scriptures. He has already read over 50 pages of the Book of Mormon and is loving it. He will definitely make the decision to be baptized soon. He really wants to be baptized, he just needs to pick a date! I'll keep you updated on his situation!

Church went awesome! Charlie came to church and he loved it! I'm getting to know the ward little by little, and I can definitely tell this will be a great area to serve!

Elder Kelly and his past companion always got up pretty early to work out and do some extra study. So Elder Kelly and I are keeping that schedule and have been waking up at 5am as well. We are then able to work out for 45 minutes at the Assistants to the Presidents apartment, because they have tonsssss of weights!
It will be super sweet to be able to really work out again!:)

So things out here in Raytown are going great!
I'll continue to get accustomed to everything and it will be a great transfer!
And here is my NEW ADDRESS:  4324 Northern Ave  apt 1034 Kansas City, MO 64133

I am doing great out here! And I hope you guys are doing well! I love and miss you bunches! Can't wait to Skype you in December! What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Make sure to take some sweet pics and email them:)
You guys are the best!! I love youuuuu!!

Love, your
- Elder Odland

Olathe Zone

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This Life is about So Much More than just Living; We are Preparing to Meet God!

There is so much more depth and importance to the gospel 
that I have never realized before. 
I’m grateful for the knowledge that I am gaining while on my mission 
and I hope never to forget any of it.
This life is about so much more than just living;
we are preparing to meet God.

And we have been told exactly what we need to do, but so many times we get distracted and forget the things we have learned and felt.

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:... (Proverbs 23:7)"

Keep the eternal importance of our lives in our heart
and we will remember and achieve it.
The Gospel is TRUE and it’s here in its fullness.
 Let us all work and use it to Our fullness:)

Hey Mom and Pops!
Glad you like long emails haha, because sometimes they just happen to be really long, depending on what happens during the week, 
and I love sharing everything with you guys!

It will also be cool to look back on all this stuff after my mission:).
I hear some missionaries at p-day sports say things like,
"Uh man, I still need to email my family!" 
Then they email them just a short message with a picture or two.
I enjoy emailing my Family :D. 
It sometimes takes a while to write the emails, but its all worth it:).
I definitely know that I am loved, and I love it!:D 
You ALL are the best!! 
I love you ALL SO much.

I’m glad that you are looking out for missionary opportunities! And all we truly need to do is just be listening to the spirit. Because he will prompt us when we are to talk with someone about the gospel or do something for someone. And we just have the obligation to follow those promptings, therefore becoming more sanctified, and then we will be able to receive more promptings!
Keep being an awesome example Mom and Pappa!
It doesn't go unnoticed:)

It was sweet to get my teeth cleaned that Sister Lyons arranged for us! 
And Sister Lyons, aka Mama Lyons, 
is a member that always does stuff with the missionaries! 
She comes and plays volleyball with us every P-Day and she is a ward missionary. Missionaries used to live with her and her husband in the past but they don’t have any living with them currently. And they always have us over for dinner. They are super nice and sweet people. 
You'll meet them one day:).

Our week was busy and great!
Monday, we had a fun Halloween! We carved pumpkins and then we planned for the week that evening because they didn't want us out 
walking around with all the other trick-r-treaters :D.

Tuesday, we had stake reports like usual and then 
did some service in the evening.

Wednesday, we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and it was awesome! There were some great trainings given about, Following the Spirit, The Vision of Missionary work, and The Book of Mormon. That took up most of the day, then we had some yummy Thai food at Brother Sanner's house. 
Then we tried to meet a few new people after dinner.

Thursday, we met with President Boyack as usual, and we were able to go over our stake reports and make some plans for the zone. 
President Boyack taught us some awesome stuff about the Gospel! 
Every time we go over there for our meeting about missionary work we end up being taught sweet stuff about the Gospel! 
It’s so amazing!!    I love it. :) 
He has been teaching us a lot about Zion and how/when it will be established. 
It is some pretty remarkable stuff! :) 
I could listen to him all day.

We had a great lesson with Tammy and Her mom, Claudia that evening. 
They were curious about temples and how the church is organized. 
We were able to answer most of their questions and they thought it was fascinating. They both were able to pick a baptismal date in January. 
They are so ready for baptism but Tammy will be going into surgery soon and she will have to wait until afterwards, and her mom wants to be baptized with her. So, when January comes I'll have to come back to Olathe and see them be baptized:) I’m really looking forward to that.

Friday, we had Zone Training!! It went really well! 
I trained about our Vision as Missionaries and Revelation through the Book of Mormon. Elder Blake and the sisters did awesome on their trainings as well! 
And we got some zone pictures again that I’ll be sending:). 
After zone training we went on exchanges with the Assistants to the President and a funny thing happened. I was to pare up with Elder Beyeler in their area for the day....but while we were at my apartment to get my stuff Elder Beyeler was unaware that his phone slipped out of his pocket when he was sitting on the couch. We then drove up to his area, which is about 45 minutes away, and when we get there he realizes he doesn’t have his phone... So, we go to the mission office to use their phone and try to call Elder Blake who is still in Olathe, but there was no answer. The thought of having to drive all the way back to Olathe was disheartening since we knew it would hamper our ability to do any significant work but we had no choice therefore we needed to head back to Olathe right then.... So, we hopped back in the car and drove 45 minutes back to Olathe and his phone was right on the couch where we thought it was going to be... we then drove back to Elder Beyelers area. :D 
Consequently we spent a lot of that exchange in the car just talking. 
Which was actually great, 
because we were able to get to know each other a lot better! 
But we had a good exchange and got to teach a few new families:).

Saturday morning we began our day early to get ready to go to the Temple! :D
We began with an Endowment session and there was so much more that stood out to me this time. President Boyack has taught us so much about the Endowment and what it teaches us.
I can’t wait to tell you all that I have learned! 
It’s really awesome and eye opening:). 
Elder Bagley and I were able to complete the Endowments for our ancestors that you sent me Mom….Emil and Arthur Braatz…so that was great. 
Then after the Endowment Session we went to the Sealing of the Andrade Family! It was so awesome to see them be sealed as a Family for Eternity 
and they were just so happy!

One day I will be at that alter…
 but I’ve got a little time to wait so I can’t get too ahead of myself :D
 But being on a mission definitely makes you Marriage trunky... now I understand why RMs (Returned Missionaries) go home and get married so fast!! :D
 It was truly a special day. 
I got some awesome pictures and I’m going to get some more from the Andrade’s soon! It was so sweet, one of the little girls, named Emma brought the birthday card Elder Bagley and I gave her over a year ago! It had been opened and closed so many times that she had it all taped back together. She was so happy to show me it again and see me and Elder Bagley. They are definitely a special and sweet family and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to meet them and build the bond I have with them. :D.
I wouldn't trade it for anything! :)
I hope you have had a wonderful week Mom and Pappa!
 I can’t wait to see the pictures that you are mailing!
I definitely had a GREAT week and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for me.

I love and miss you guys SO much! Stay well and enjoy every day:)

Love, Your Elder Odland

Andrade Family Temple Sealing