Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"What We Insistently Desire over time, is what we will Eventually Become and what we will Receive in Eternity."

I Love Service Projects

Something I have really been pondering this last week is the topic of the true desire of our hearts and how that effects who we become.
About 6 months ago, sister Crockett, out in Olathe, gave a training on this topic at zone training and I’m pretty sure I’ve gone over those notes like 10 times 
this past week alone! 

"What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity." 
What happens in our life is because of the desire of our hearts, if we truly desire something we will do what is sufficient to achieve our desire. 
Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us, but we just need to do our part by praying, asking and acting. 
(Check out Alma 29:4-5)

This week was a nice exciting week! We had some great changes that
came to our missionary life!

So this week we had zone conference where we watched another world wide mission broadcast!  They taught us some awesome stuff and changed a lot of things that affect our day to day missionary life.
Now we have a lot more flexibility with our daily schedule, so instead of being told exactly when to do things, you can make a schedule that best fits you. 
There are still things you must do each day, like study and plan, but you have the option to do it during a time that best fits! 
I am so happy for this change because that old schedule was wearing on me. 
But now it’s awesome, we wake up at 6am and have personal study and plan a little and then we go workout at 7:30.
It works with my body soo much better and I get such a better workout now :D

They also changed the indicators that we report so now we only report on baptisms, people coming to church, new people we begin teaching, 
and people with a baptism date. 
I think this is an awesome change because we will get missionaries to work out of motivation  to truly help people and not just get numbers. 
So, I’m super excited with these changes. 
It's taking a little bit of getting used to but it’s great!

Kimberly, the lady we met last week and who also came to church, is doing well!  More things in her life are going wrong but she is staying strong spiritually. 
She is beginning to recognize the promptings of the spirit more in her life and she knows that he is telling her when she is doing something that she shouldn't. She has such a sincere desire to change and progress. It has been hard to meet with her frequently this week because she has had a lot of work come up.
But she keeps in touch with us daily which is all a missionary can ask for haha. 
I’m super excited to continue meeting with her!

This sunday we are starting something new with our ward! 
We got those wrist bands that you get from like a skate rink or trampoline park and we gave each member one to put names of people that they would like to pray for. And the purpose of doing this is so that they will be able to see the names of real people that they can 
pray for and help throughout the week. 
The ward really liked it and we will see how it evolves!:D

Everything is going great! I’m having fun and am enjoying our new
pday schedule which starts at 8am instead of the usual 10am. 
More time more fun!:D

Hope your week is awesome.
With Love, Elder Odland

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

He Loves You and Wants You to have Faith Building Spiritual Experiences.

Our NEW Investigator!!  :-D

This week I was really able to feel Heavenly Father's love. 
I am so grateful for the experiences that we had this week. My email this week
is going to be focused on someone that came into the picture this week
and was definitely a blessing to me and Elder Slesk.

On Wednesday we get a referral from a member in another stake and her
friend was going through a really hard time and said she wanted to
meet with some missionaries. So we call the member's friend and she
sets up a time to meet with us in about 2 hours at the visitor center.
We met with her at the visitor center and she has gone through so
much. Just a brief overview; her mom passed away last week, her aunt
died recently, her son got shot (is okay though), her house had burnt
down a month ago and her utilities have been shut off. 
She had hit rock bottom and said that she is ready to just give it all up. 
We took her through a presentation at the Visitor center about God's plan for
us and she broke down and really opened up to us. 
She was really able to feel the spirit and feel a little bit of hope in her life.
I also truly feel like Heavenly Father was watching over her and brought her to us. 
And I truly needed this experience and needed her.

It's amazing how you can feel how much Heavenly Father loves his children. 
I had only known her for like an hour but felt such so much
love towards her and a desire to help. And I truly needed that.
She wanted to meet the next day and talk some more. So we met back up
at the visitor center the next day and had a great lesson were we
showed her the Mormon Message called "Mountains To Climb". It really
touched her and helped her know that she can make it through her
trials. It was a great discussion and she really wanted to come to church.

So Sunday came around and she came for all 3 hours, and all the talks
and lessons were exactly what she needed! It was so amazing how
everything worked out. She truly was touched and is ready to learn more.

I'm so grateful for how much Heavenly Father comforts his children. He
loves each and every one of us and he wants us to have Joy. And in
order for us to know true joy we have to experience trails. 
Trails last but a moment and when we focus on our Savior we can find Joy in all things. 
If we focus on our inconvenient situations we wont be able
to find joy, but through the savior we can lift ourselves. 

"We are not earthly beings having a spiritual experience, but we are Spiritual
Beings here having an earthly experience" (Brother Townsend).

Always remember that you are a Child of God. He loves you and wants you to
have faith building spiritual experiences.
I'm so grateful for the experiences I have had on my mission and I pray
that I may continue to refine myself to be an effective tool in the
hands of our Heavenly Father.

 I hope you
all have an amazing week and seek spiritual experiences!
They will uplift you and fill your cup.
Life is good in the M.I.M. (Missouri Independence Mission)
Love, Elder Odland 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ellsworth, Maine to Raytown, Missouri

Elder Odland and Elder Vanway

Hey...to all my friends from the Ellsworth, Maine.
Do you remember Elder Vanway who served as a missionary there.
He taught my Sunday School class almost 2 years ago!!
Well he just got home from his mission....his home is where I am currently serving!
What a small world.

I know Heavenly Father is Aware of Our Situation

I had another great week out here in Raytown :). We got to start off

the week with interviews with President Vest, which went very well!
And then went out, with a member, and ate some Square Pizza out on the
Independence Square. The food was super good and it also was Elder
Slesk's Birthday!! So the member got him some chocolates and a card! 
Sweet. :)

Happy Birthday Elder Slesk.

Wednesday we went to two district meetings and they were both super
awesome! They helped me see what I needed to work on and also helped
me feel as though I have been doing things right. 
One of the district leaders had
the missionaries share things they liked about zone training and it
was really cool to see that the trainings Elder Slesk and I gave were
able to bless the lives of the missionaries in so many different ways:). 
It’s so awesome to have the opportunity to help others, and in
the process it helps me. I’m so grateful for the lessons that I've been
able to learn and that I am still learning. 
I know that Heavenly Father is fully aware of our situations 
and knows what we need. 
He puts us in situations that teach us the skills and lessons that we 
need. And through that process he gives us chances to
bless others with those skills we develope. Heavenly Father is so
personable to us, sometimes the hardest part is recognizing that.
He truly does know you, and he's made a plan for you!

On Sunday, there was a potential ice storm and church throughout the
stake was cancelled. So, we wanted to try to do something for the
missionaries. So, we got permission from President Vest to give the
Sacrament to all of the missionaries. We held a mini Sacrament meeting
for all the missionaries in the zone! It was pretty cool! We had a few
talks and also a cool musical number by some of the elders.
It was a really spiritual meeting!
I wish we could do this every week.

Hope you have a great week.
With Love, Elder Odland

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life is Good and the Gospel is TRUE!

LDS Visitors Center Independence, MO

Another great week out here in the mission field has passed by! 
Some interesting things have happened and here are the highlights!

On Pday, Elder Slesk and I began feeling sick and throughout the week I had a sore throat, a cough, my face swelled, and my lips tripled in size! 
That made it all so much more fun! ;p  

But on Tuesday we had a good lesson with a family that have kids that just got baptized last year. They are all really kind and want to get closer as a family. So we have set up weekly visits with them to try to help in any way that we can. And the kids grandfather passed away this week 
so they are heading out to the funeral this coming week. I hope they are able to stay strong during this time. It has got to be hard for the kids though.  :/  

Later that evening we saw Korinda at the assisted living home! 
She is doing well and I had to wear a sick mask so as not to infect anyone….haha …it was actually kinda fun. 
I don’t think I have ever worn one before! :-D
We shared a message with her about the sacrament and used the Children’s Bible video about the sacrament. If you haven’t seen the Children’s Bible videos you should go watch them on LDS.org ... the kids are adorable!  ;p

Wednesday we had MLC (Mission Leadership Training) which went really well, as does it always. We learned some awesome things and started planning for Friday’s zone training.

Also on Thursday we had a lesson with the Tapasoa family. 
They are doing well, and they were able to come to church this week too! 
They were happy to be coming back. Now that our church time has changed to 9am they are able to make it since this works better with their schedule.

Friday was Zone Training day and we are both still sick! 
But we did all we could to prepare and I thought it went well! Sister Vest, the mission president’s wife, came to our first Zone training (we do two in one day due to the sister missionaries shift at the Visitor Center). The first one went well. We had it at the visitor center and used the beautiful Statue of Christ for part of our training. I trained about a mission wide study that we have been doing, about the Life Of Christ and I shared something I learned when I was reading in Matthew 23:25.
Christ is talking to the Pharisees... telling them how they clean the outside of their cup but the inside is still filthy. 
It made me ponder on how clean my cup is, inside and out. 
Because it truly matters how clean you are on the inside because that is what God looks at and cares about. The outside of the cup is only viewed by man. How clean is your cup?
The training was really well taken by the missionaries!  :)

And Funny thing that happened during the second training!! 
Right before it started, I was looking at some cold medicine that a member had given me called Theraflu (it is like a packet that goes in water)….and one of the sisters offered to warm it up for me. She brought it out to me and I was drinking it during the first part of Zone training. Then about 15 minutes after I drank it I started feeling super drowsy... like I felt I was physically there but only half mentally there!! hahha. It was the weirdest feeling! 
Idk what was in that Theraflu but my body did not like it 
and one of the sister missionaries, that was training with us, was also
sick and she had some and she said she felt the same way! 
So I did my best to give my training while I felt like I was floating in the clouds!  :-D  But I think it went alright!  I’m just
glad Sister Vest wasn’t in attendance to that one!  :-D  

But we survived Zone training day and ended the day with some sweet burritos from Ponchos with Mac! :D
Never too sick to eat!!  :-D

One last cool thing that happened this last week was we had a lesson at the Visitor Center with two of our investigators and 5 of their kids! 
It was so awesome to have such a big family at the visitor center learning about the Gospel. And they all loved it! 
The visitor center is such an awesome place! 
If your ever near Independence, check it out because it is saaaweeeet!! 
…and the sister missionaries there will hook you up!  :)

So as of right now I have almost overcome my sickness, 
and I am happy to be a missionary! 

Life is good and the Gospel is true.
Hope you all have a wonderful week!

With love,
Elder Odland

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year 2017 and New Companion

Elder Odland and his new companion Elder Slesk

Sooo we had transfers this last week and Elder Kelly got shipped off to Lenexa and my new companion is Elder Slesk.  :D    He is a really cool guy from Washington state! 
I've never served with anyone from Washington haha ;p  But he is really cool and 
I’m looking forward to this transfer!

Elder Slesk had a family from his past area that was sealed in the Temple this past Friday! 
So I got to go to the temple with them and see the sealing! 
It was so awesome! 
The temple president did an awesome job during the sealing which really invited the spirit. 
I hope my sealing is an awesome spiritual experience like that!  :D.

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years! 
Ours was pretty fun! 
We had Tony come out with us for about 2 hours! He is a pretty cool kid. 
He's preparing to go on a mission in the summer so we are giving him all the practice we can!  :)    But we met two new people that day and were able to teach them about some sweet things.
 So Hopefully we will be able to go back and meet with them again! 
We also had a lesson with James and Sivita. They really want to learn more and find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is true, but they just haven't been reading it lately.
Hopefully this week they will find an answer  :).   
After our lesson, we got a call from the Theime family saying they have a bunch of spare food 
and want us to come over to eat some of it!  ;p   and of course we couldn't turn down free food! haha, so we went over and enjoyed some yummy food and sparkling cider! 
It was a good little New Year's Eve party.  :D.

On the day of transfers a member took us out to lunch and took us to Big T's Barbecue. 
It was soooo good! I pounded soo much food haha I was stuffed! 
And then afterwards he took us past the Union station and let us run in real quick to look around! 
It was so cool inside! And it is huge! So, I got a few pictures in there then he showed us a couple other cool things and then finished the trip off with Christopher Elbow... which is a chocolate store. And its like super expensive chocolate! The pieces of chocolate that you could choose looked like little glass pieces of art! And they tasted amazingggg! But 12 pieces
of the chocolate cost as much as the big BBQ dinner we had just prior... It was insane! 
But delicious haha:)

Overall this week has been great! 
Change is good and it keeps me on my toes! I hope you all have made some sweet goals for 2017, because I know some awesome things are going to come this year!

Keep on lovin life!

Elder Odland