Monday, February 20, 2017

The Mission is Full of Things So Very Valuable in Life!

Elder Odland with Melissa's Uncle

This week was pretty great! I love it here in Liberty. The members in my new ward are awesome!
Most of them are Medical students, so they are pretty busy, but they are very missionary minded! That makes our job a lot easier haha.

This week we had a sweet experience down at the Independence Visitor Center! Well actually had two experiences! The first one; we took Mr. and Mrs. Moss through the presentation of "God's Plan". It went super well! 
I love how that presentation focuses on the importance of families and how they can be together for eternity. 
Mrs. Moss said she would do anything to have that in her life. 
They both really felt the Spirit and she said she would like to be baptized!
Elders Anderson and Odland with the Moss'

The second experience we had was somewhat similar, but we went down to the Visitors Center in Independence with Melissa. She is a niece of a member in our ward. We took her through "God's Plan" as well, and she too wants to be baptized. But her mom right now isn't feeling it. She is catholic and is pretty solid in her church. So we will have to continue to work with them. Melissa comes to church with her uncle a lot and she loves it. 
So in time I think her mom will let her join:).

Also this week we had a nice Valentine's Day dinner! 
I took my date out to dinner... haha yeah that didn't happen.  :-D
 But! We did go to these sweet members home! Their name is the Edwards and they are a recently married couple that is super nice! 
We had a blast talking about funny/weird mission experiences as we ate yummy homemade pizza. It was a lot of fun! And sister Edwards also made some delicious chocolate cake! So it was a great
Valentines day and I'm glad that they were willing to spend it with us!:)

I wish I could tell you about all the people we were able to talk with this week but I'd have to make it into a novel! haha. 
The mission is definitely full of things so valuable in life. 
And being transferred to the North Kansas City ward has made me realize that this could be my last area, and I want to make the best of the time I have left. I know I still have plenty of time to do some sweet stuff, 
but time is so very valuable. 
I hope I am able to continue to use it to the best of my ability!:)

I hope you are all having a sweet beginning to your week! And keep on
keeping on! I'll talk to you all again soon!

With Love,
Elder Odland

Monday, February 13, 2017

I was Transferred to Liberty! I am SO Blessed.

My New companion...Elder Anderson from California

So we had transfers this week, anddddd I definitely wasn't planning on
being transferred buuttt I was transferred! 
I am now serving in the North Kansas City ward up in Liberty, MO! 
So I basically moved 20 minutes north. 
But now I am really close to the Historic Liberty Jail! 
I am definitely so blessed! 
I got to serve near the Independence Visitor Center and now the Liberty Jail! 
And also the Kansas City Temple is in my new area! 
How cool is that! 
Also my new companion is Elder Anderson from Northern California! 
He has been out for about 10 1/2 months now:). He is a really nice guy and we get along really well! 
This transfer will definitely be a good one!:) 
Saying Good-bye
Elders Blake and Odland  ...  Sisters Crocket and Wilkey

I also got to see some awesome friends at transfers and had to see some of the coolest
people I've met on the mission, go home  :(. 
It's so weird to see them go, but I guess life moves on for each of us. 
You will be missed in the M.I.M! 
And these sisters that are going home came out at the same time
as I did... so that's just a little weird to think about haha :p 

I've gotta make the best out of these last 6 months that are in front of me!

I will miss you Murphy
and I'll miss Gary

and I'll miss the Johnston Family

and I'll miss Josh

and I'll miss Pres Cato
and ALL the many wonderful people I have met over the past few months.
I wish I could have gotten pictures of each and every one of you.

The first few days here have been really good! 
We got to visit a lot of members and I feel very welcome here! There are so many nice
members here and there is a medical school right here in our ward. 
So there are a ton of college age people! Especially young families, I
don't think I have seen so many little kids at church in my life
hahaha  ;p

We met this sweet part member family this week, the missionaries have
worked with them in the past but we are going to be working with them
a lot more! And we have plans to go to the visitor center with them this
week! There is so much potential in this area. I love it!

Sunday night a member was in the hospital so we went down with another
member to give her a blessing. We were able to find the place just
fine and give her a blessing that she really appreciated. But then as
we were walking out that's when the interesting stuff happened haha.
Right when we get to the exit door there is this guy that security is telling to leave and he is 
just cussing them out as he leaves. 
So we are like okay we will wait inside for a minute while that guy leaves and cools off. 
And I then start talking to this guy that is chilling in
there and I go to give him a picture of Christ and he says, "I've got that, That's me." 
As he shows me a necklace that says Christ on it. 
And then he hands the picture back to me. But then I handed it back to him
showing him the back side that had the Articles of Faith on it and
invited him to read some of it. He was then like, "I wrote this." Haha
so that's when we thought it was time to leave! 
As we were leaving, the guy that was cussing the cops out started looking at us and started
cussing us out... so we took a little short cut back to our car
through some grass and scenery so we didn't have to cross his path. 
And in the end we got out safe and sound hahah;p 
Truman hospital is a pretty interesting place! It's like smack in the middle of Kansas City,
so that's why it's a little knarly!

But things here are going great! Liberty is a great place to be and we
have some awesome plans for today! We are going to go to Kansas City
Joes BBQ with the whole zone and then go to Union Station and the WW1 Museum!
It's gonna be saweeeeet! 
Hope you are all having a great Monday! 
Love you all and
Talk to ya again soon!

- Elder Odland

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I Love the Gospel and the Strength it Brings into Our Lives

We had MLC this week and it was awesome! 
The topic that stood out to me the most was about the desires of our hearts and how we are here to work on molding them to the will of God. 
At zone training we had a sweet activity where we tried to help each missionary know 
how much they are loved and appreciated. 
We had each of the parents of all the missionaries in the zone  to send us a letter of appreciation 
for their missionaries. 
 We had them read their letters and there were many tears shed, but there was so much love in that room. Just watching them read their letters made me tear up! 
President and Sister Vest came to our zone training and we made them some cards as well. 
It all went super well! 
I love it when we have these meetings and are all edified together. 
The spirit was so strong there and I was definitely invigorated to go and do the Lord's work! 

We also had a great appointment with James and Sivita this week! 
We went up to the visitor center and watched the movie, 
"Joseph Smith The prophet of the Restoration". 
It was such a good movie. It's so well done and the spirit was so strong! 
If you haven't seen it recently, definitely go watch it! 
There's no way you can watch it and not believe that it is true. 
Joseph was such a great example of happy perseverance. I hope I can be half of the man that he was and IS. I love the gospel and the strength it brings into our lives. 

            As I was preparing my training this week I read an awesome quote from one of my favorite talks, "Each assertion of a righteous desire, each act of service, and each act of worship, however small and incremental, adds to our spiritual momentum. Like Newton’s Second Law, there is a transmitting of acceleration as well as a contagiousness associated with even the small acts of goodness. Fortunately for us, our loving Lord will work with us, “even if [we] can [do] no more than desire to believe,” providing we will “let this desire work in [us]” (Alma 32:27). Therefore, declared President Joseph F. Smith, “the education then of our desires is one of far-reaching importance to our happiness in life” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 297). Such education can lead to sanctification until, said President Brigham Young, “holy desires produce corresponding outward works” 
(in Journal of Discourses, 6:170). 
Only by educating and training our desires can they become our allies instead of our enemies! 
"(According to the desire of our hearts)"

            I love this principle of, training our desires so that they are our allies, because most of the time we are the victims of our own wrong desires. As we do things that are against the will of God they begin to be habits and then we continually desire those things. But if we do things that are righteous and we pursue righteous things, then our desires will change. They will then be our allies. I’m grateful for my mission and the opportunity it has given me to train my desires to be focused on more important things. There is so much out there to distract us, but its our choice 
whether we hold onto those things. 

This week we have transfers, so fingers crossed I stay here in Raytown. But I will let you all know what happens next week! But whatever happens will be sweet! 

Hope you all have a wonderful week and keep lifting others :).

With Love,  Elder Odland