Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Trust in His Promise and Let the Blessings Flow

The work out here keeps on getting better and better!

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about sacrifice. It was great
to ponder on the sacrifice of our Savior and what He did for us. 
I truly believe that as we come to know more about His sacrifice it is
easier for us to make the small sacrifices that He requires of us. He
only requires us to do things because He wants to bless us. 
Trust in his promise and let the blessings flow!

On Friday we had a sweet opportunity to be part of a youth conference
that came down from Iowa! Elder Reber, Sister Dawson, Sister Orton and I 
got to hold a mission prep class for the youth. We had 4
groups that we taught and it was great! 
    We got to share with them what helped us prepare for missions and answer any questions they
                             had about missions. There were some stellar youth in those groups! 
I wish I was half as good as some of those kids before my mission haha. 
But hey I'm living proof that you don't have to be
perfect or a scripture wizard to go on a mission! 
We got to eat lunch with the youth and the sisters afterwards and we were 
blessed with some delicious smoked meat  :).

This week I got to do probably my last Baptismal interview... it
was such an awesome one though! There is a man named Derek that some
Elders have been working with and he is so prepared to take the next
step with his relationship with God. We were able to go to his baptism
on Saturday and it was a great spiritual experience! We brought 2 of
our investigators with us to the baptism and we think they enjoyed it!
They both started talking about all their war stories together after
the baptism so it was a great time for them to bond! Then as we were
riding home with one of them and a member, 
he stopped at Culver's and bought us all ice cream!

This week for youth conference the stake went on a trek! And Natalie
and Dwane were able to go. They had such an awesome experience!
Before trek Dwane was a little unsure if he believed in God. But on
Sunday when we were talking to him about how he liked it, he said it
was so amazing! And that he is an 80 on his conversion scale of (1-100)
and he was only a 12 before he left. He is so pumped to keep learning
                        and be baptized in a few weeks! Natalie loved trek as well and is moving
smoothly towards her baptism!

Keep on loving life and I will talk to you again soon!
Have a sweet week!

With Love, Elder Odland


Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Tribute to President and Sister Vest....Thank You so much.

My mission president, President Vest and his wife, Sister Vest 
have done so much for me on my mission 
and am so glad I was able to serve with them
for almost my entire mission. 

President Vest has taught me so much about leadership
 and being submissive to Heavenly Father. He has helped me learn so many principles that I know will help me throughout my whole life. 
Both President and Sister Vest have helped me overcome some of my trials during my mission and I hope that I can help others 
in a similar way as they have helped me.

President and Sister Vest have sacrificed so much to serve here in 
The Missouri Independence Mission. 
I am grateful for all they have done.
 As they soon leave to return home and as I prepare to head home next month, I want to give them a big heartfelt THANK YOU. 
You have changed my life. 

with Love, Elder Odland

Monday, June 19, 2017

Farewell Elder Merrill and Elder Bagley. Hello Elder Reber

This last week with transfers some changes happened that I didn't expect! 
So Elder Merrill actually got transferred out and I will be staying in North
Kansas City until the end of my mission! I got that wish of mine to stay, but
it was hard to see Elder Merrill go. We learned so much together and
we were having a blast being goofy hard working missionaries. 
Now we are on to learning new things and having new experiences. 
(You're the bomb Elder Merrill!)

So my new companion is..... Drum Roll Please..... 
Elder Reber from Gilbert Arizona! He is a super fun guy and
we have been getting along great. He will be a great companion for me
to be with for my last transfer!

Just a few days ago at transfers my trainer, Elder Bagley, completed
his journey out here in Missouri. It was so weird to see him head
home. He has been in the mission during my whole time here and we had
been fortunate to see each other at MLC each month for the past year.
He is such a great example for me as someone who follows their sincere
desires to do what God wants. 
Thank you Elder Bagley for training me right and being a buddy until the end! 
(And yes that means your still
my buddy cuz there ain't no end #ETERNITIES)

So we have made some great progress with Dwane and Natalie! We had
challenged Dwane to have a question while he reads and he has been
doing it! His question was, Will I ever know that there is truly a God
out there? And when we had our lesson with him this week he was like,
"Elders, my question has been answered!" 
While he was on a campout with the young men he left his scriptures outside of his tent 
and a huge rain storm came. The only thing that wasn't soaked by the water
was his scriptures and he was so amazed! It was a little miracle that
he needed to know that there is a God out there. He also was saying
that he loves reading the Book of Mormon. He says he isn't sure why
but he just feels good when he does so. He is like halfway through 2nd
Nephi by the way! So Natalie and Dwane are doing awesome towards their
date of the 8th of July! I am so excited to see them continue to
progress and learn about their Savior.

Our other investigators are doing great and I am so happy I am able to
spend one more transfer here in NKC. The people and the members here
are amazing. And, Yeah I'm gonna keep on working on it right up until
the end! I'm excited to see the miracles that come.

I hope you all have an amazing week and keep blessing the lives of
those around you!

with Love, Elder Odland

Monday, June 5, 2017

It has been Fun to Grow and Learn True Joy! AND a Special Thank you and Farewell to President and Sister Vest

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week
because I know I am ...and as missionaries we have our pday!:) 
It's funny, after you have been on your mission for a considerable amount of time
you find more consistent joy in your normal days than you do pday... Don't get
me wrong I love emailing my friends and family and playing a good game of bball. 
BUT.....what can compare to simply helping others all day? 
Not much really.
It has been fun to grow and learn how to experience True Joy!

This was another banner week! We had some great lessons with some of
our investigators, had zone conference, did some service for some members... 
ahhhh it was GREAT!

Let's start with Zone Conference!

This Zone Conference was the last one with President Vest as my
mission president... That is a hard thing to grasp for me as he has
been my mission president since I started my mission. Envisioning the
mission without him is pretty hard... But I know that President Love
will come in with a burning desire and really give this mission what
it needs. President Vest and Sister Vest went through their experience
as they were called to lead this mission and it is amazing how they
are prepared to come lead a mission. And the craziest thing, President
Vest only got to sit down with the previous mission president for
about 2 hours before everything was turned over to President Vest...
Sounds a bit daunting huh!? I know I would be just a tad nervous! 
The Vests have such great testimonies
and it has been the best experience to rub shoulders with President Vest so much
during my mission and especially this past year. 
He truly does care about each missionary so much and is willing to do so much for each of us. 
I was tired after our 6 hour Zone Conference... but he has to do 4 of them back to back
across the mission!! 
He has led by such a great example for me and I
hope to model many things in my life after him. 
Thanks President and Sister Vest!  :D 

Ever felt like you were going through something that was very
difficult? Or that you are facing something difficult in the future? 
We will all face difficult trials in our lives. 
Always remember...

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2
 Corinthians 4:17

God has all intention to bless us. 
He works in His time, His way and by His power. 
Simply trust that God is there and is teaching you with every step of your life. 
Each step sheds new light on the staircase leading to eternal life. 
He wants us to have the blessings that He has, just as every father would. 
Always remember that He loves you!

I am blessed to be a missionary at this time and I'm soaking up every
minute of it. I hope you enjoy some of my little experiences and
things that I have learned. You all have a wonderful week and think;
Who are you going to bless this week?:)

Love, Elder Odland