Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Never gives us feelings of Fear.....Fear comes from a different source.

There is so much to love in life.
Never let fears or trials overwhelm you.
God gives us so much to be thankful for each and every day.
As we see that... our joy keeps on growing and the light we see in our life
will rise until it is a perfect beautiful day.

Many times the spirit will guide us to do something but we are afraid to act. 
God never gives us feelings of fear
Fear comes from another source... Satan will implant any thought that will deter us
from blessing others. Always push out fear with your faith that
Heavenly Father will take care of you. 

He will guide you in any righteous action you are doing! 
Always remember that He loves you!

This week was so sweet!
I feel like the Lord is blessing us so much here in NKC.
I'm grateful I get to play a part in what God has in store for people.

The people we are working with are doing so well! Glen should be
baptized within a week or two, Al has read up to 2 Nephi 30, and the
Beckwiths are already planning to go on some campouts with the youth!

So much has unfolded this week that is just another sign that this is
God's work and he will bring his children in once they are ready!

And since little girls are always mesmerized by the missionaries hahaha...
I'll tell you another funny experience.
There is the cutest little girl named Ana-Leah and we were doing service for her Dad
and she kept coming up to us to try to give us hugs... and eventually just hugged our legs.
Her mom tried to explain that missionaries can't hug
children but she didn't really understand. Ana was like, "what?? Will
they be able to when they are older??" And we were all like, "Yeahhh we
need to grow up about two more years then we can hug you!"
She wasn't too satisfied with the answer and then she changed the subject.
She then came up to me and started asking me, "Are you married yet??" hahaha
Ana then spent the next good while talking about how she is only a
princess and will become Queen once she is married in the temple!  :)
I thought it was adorable.
She is definitely one of the cutest kids I've ever seen.

Saturday the ward had a BBQ and it was great! When we showed up it was
raining a tiny bit but we were hoping it would just pass by but it
ended up raining pretty good hahaha. We have been anticipating this BBQ
for a while and invited all of our investigators to it! ANDDDD we had
8 non-members come!! It was so awesome! Glen was able to come and had
a great time getting to know the members. Al came and talked to almost
everyone haha, he is quite the talker. The Beckwith family came and
had a blast! It was the most successful ward activity that I have ever
been to and the members were all over getting to know the people we
are working with. It was a great time overall and the food was
delicious of course!
Beautiful Storm clouds

So we thought Saturday was great and then Sunday came...
Toni and the Beckwith family all came to church and they had such a great time.
The Beckwiths are an awesome family! They have a young man and a young woman
aged kids and they are so excited to get involved with the youth!
It has been such a blessing to work with these awesome people and help
them take steps in their conversion. This ward is so awesome and I'm so
happy to be serving here. God puts us where we need to be, either to
help someone else or to teach us something.

Love you all and hope you have a sweet joyful week!

 Elder Odland
Our NEW investigator!  :D

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Skyping Home and Hearing the Lord thru 3 x 5 cards!!

It was SO GREAT to Skype home for Mother's Day....Love you Mom

Thanks to the McCalls for welcoming us into their home
so we could have access to the internet so
we could Skype our Moms.

There is a recent convert in our ward her name is Jillia and she is
super cool! She is Sister McCall's sister. 
She has been going through a hard time lately.
Well, as we were cleaning out our car we found a stack of 3x5 cards that were
addressed to Jillia, written by friends and family at her baptism! 
She was baptized 7 months ago! 

So we went and took them to her and she was so excited. 
She had no idea that they had been written and
she just had so much joy reading these little encouraging messages
from those people that she loves. 
It was a great little tender mercy to be a part of!:)

I'm so grateful for all of the blessings Heavenly Father has given me.
I am going to keep on counting them the best I can.... 
That's when the joy comes!

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Odland

Mother's NOTE....here is the rest of the 3x5 story from Sister McCall....

 These two are extremely fun together, in the door picture....
 they had just stopped by to drop off some index cards they found in their car. 
The cards were notes members and family wrote for my sister on her baptism day. She is older than me and just got baptized last November. She had been struggling and feeling discouraged. 
Finding these cards and notes of encouragement could not have come at a better time. 
Your son and Elder Merrill literally brought an almost tangible Spirit when they brought the cards. 
It was indeed a tender mercy moment that was felt by all in our household. 
Then of course we had to end it on a bit of a fun goofy note as they were leaving 😊.
Thank you for sending your son on a mission! 
Not too many missionaries attend to the recent converts as I've seen Elder Odland and Elder Merrill do for my sister (including myself when I was a missionary). 
Loraine McCall

Monday, May 15, 2017

We are All in this Together

Paul teaching Timothy said, 
"I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

We not only endure trials for our own learning and experience
but as we do so we are to help others along their path. 
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have as a missionary to play a direct part in helping people find Christ and experience God's love. 
We are all in this together. 
Lift each other and experience the joy of the Gospel together. 
It is truly such a wonderful thing!

This week was full of awesome experiences. 
One evening last week we were leaving an investigator's home and her little girl loves the missionaries. And as we were leaving she ran out to us and wanted to give us a kiss on the cheek. We tried to tell her we can't. She then started crying and was devastated and ran back into her house. We basically destroyed this little girls dreams! But we did what we were supposed to do! 
Then, the next day, Elder Merrill and I were just exercising in the morning
when we got a text from a member. 
She said that her boyfriend, Glenn, wants to meet with us and become a member of the church! Of course we were super excited and couldn't wait to meet him. It was truly a blessing....Especially after making a little girl cry the night before. :-)  Well we had our first lesson with Glenn and he is awesome! 
He loved the first lesson and set June 3rd as his baptismal date! 
He wants to be ALL IN and not do this half way or only for a month. 
He then asked for a Book of Mormon so he could start reading. 
I'm so excited to see how his testimony grows in these next few weeks! 

We also had an awesome discussion with this guy named Brian. 
We knocked on his door a few weeks ago but finally touched bases again this week. We had a solid hour and a half conversation on his porch about these questions that he has had since he was a teenager. He has a hard time truly believing that there is a God and that one man, Jesus Christ, died for our sins. We talked a lot about spiritual experiences and why we are on missions. 
As we shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon with him
his face just lit up and he seemed like a kid that just saw
his new bike on Christmas morning! 
He wants to believe that there is a God but is struggling to understand that. 
We assured him that even having only a desire is enough to get started
on the path back to Heavenly Father. 
It was probably the most heartfelt conversation I've had
with someone I have just met outside on their doorstep. 

I truly appreciate those that are searching for what is true. 
We cannot simply accept what we have always heard. 
We must search for ourselves and build our own beliefs. 
Without truly believing in something on our own we will eventually fall. 

My mission has given me the atmosphere that I have needed to develop my own testimony and has solidified my beliefs. 
The joy that has come from it is amazing and I am forever grateful for the people I have met during my mission. They have taught me so much! 

This Sunday was a great way to finish off the week! 
Toni and Hussein (he is being taught by other missionaries but came to our service) came to church! 

I had a great time skyping my family too. 
They are such a wonderful support for me and it is so crazy to think that was my last skype call home. 
Now as I approach the home stretch, I hope to keep pushing as hard as I can
to do what I know is right. 

Thank you all for your support! 
I won't be able to email a whole lot tomorrow because we will be going on a church history tour almost all day. I will send a bunch of pictures later in the day! 

Have a wonderful week and Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mother's that help this world go round!:) 
I love you Mom!:) 

- Elder Odland

We designed these awesome Zone T-shirts

A picture from MLC (Merrill, Roberts, Bagley, Odland, Deurksen, Evans.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Open your arms, Look up, and Receive the Love and Blessings God has for You.

The Missouri Independence Mission is basically the best place ever!

We had a lot of cool things happen this week and we were able to meet
with a lot of our investigators.

Brian is doing awesome! We were able to meet with him and establish
some of his expectations. He is such a humble guy and willing to
learn. During one of the prayers he said, he is thankful for being
humble and that he is ready to learn. He really wants to start reading
the Book of Mormon and learn what we believe.
I'm excited to see where it goes with him!

We also met with Al again this week, and he is continuing to read the
Book of Mormon fairly quickly! He has now made it to 1 Nephi Chapter 13. 
He retains so much from his studies, it is awesome! 
We have been focusing on helping him see the spiritual side of things and
not necessarily just the historical side. 
He has some awesome questions and it gives us awesome things 
to focus our studies on!

We did some service for this Lady we are meeting with, her name is
Thu. We had a couple from the ward come and help us make
these cards for kids with special needs. 
It was a lot of fun to just sit down, chat and make the cards! 
And the members that joined us had a great
time getting to know Thu. Thu was very grateful for the service and we
are going to continue meeting with her to teach her more
about the church:).

One day this week we tried a potential and no one answered so we
were looking around outside and wondering where we should go. 
We felt like we should try this one house that was a little rundown but still
looked like someone lived in it. So we go up and knock on the door and
for a moment we saw someone inside but he didn't come to the door. 
We figured he wasn't going to answer... until we heard a door slam in the
back yard and he came walking around to where we were. 
We were able to talk with him for a little bit and when I asked him, 
"do you attend a church around here?" 
He responded, "Yeah, the Latter Day Saints church up in Liberty." 
Haha   So, come to find out, he had been taking
the discussions from the missionaries up in liberty until he moved
to our ward and the missionaries lost contact with them. 
And now, a year later, we were able to stumble across their path again! 
They both want to be baptized but have a few things they have to work through. I hope that they keep on pushing through and reach their goals!

I'm so grateful that the Lord is mindful of his children and leads us
to them. It's so exciting to hear stories about people in need of
the gospel and receive it just in the nick of time.

The gospel is such a wonderful thing, 
we just truly have to open our hearts to it. 

After many experiences, 
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and he truly did restore his church. 
He has so much love for us and all we have to do is accept it. 
Open your arms, look up and receive the
love and blessings God has in store for you!

Have a blessed week everyone!:)

With Love, Elder Odland
SERVICE:  Ripping out old carpet at the local Presbyterian Church