Monday, August 29, 2016

Hey everyone! this week had more ups and downs but it is still good to be here. 
The language is coming along still. Lots of times, it's still pretty hard for me to understand what my teachers and "investigators" (teachers pretending to be investigators) say and it takes me a long time to get my point across. It is tough sometimes, but I've already learned so much. Portuguese is kind of similar to Spanish, and even though I didnt think i learned anything in Spanish class (I'm looking at you Jayk and Sam!) I've been able to use it a lot to learn Portuguese.
My teachers here are great. I have 2 of them right now, and we're getting another one soon. They both went to brazil on their missions and they have taught me so much about the gospel and about Portuguese. 

Here in the MTC, they really emphasize teaching the "Doctrine of Christ" and that is 1. Faith 2. Repentance 3. Baptism 4. Receiving the Holy Ghost and 5. Enduring to the end. We have to ask them to be baptized on the first lesson, and through every lesson invite them to make commitments and in turn, repent. We had a devotional about this last night and it made me realize I have sooo much to learn, not just with Portuguese but with teaching as well!

I keep getting to know my zone better, and I am super lucky to get put with such great guys. They have really helped me adjust to the MTC and are always willing to help me. This past wednesday, we got a new elder named Elder Evens from Mesa, AZ and he's a great guy. In fact, he may be my companion next week because my current 
companion got his visa and he's being transferred to the Brazil MTC on Monday.  I'm super excited that my companion gets to go, he's going to love it! He's way pumped too. My visa should be here soon as well, and if I do get it this week then I'll most likely fly out with my companion. I would love to get it, but if I stay here for the whole 6 weeks then that would be okay too!

The hard thing for me this week besides the language was I got sick. I got a sore throat, and now it hurts to talk and it's always dry! Also, I sound like batman too so that's funny! But it makes it tough because here, all you do is talk. And when you can't talk very well it makes it hard to learn the language and to practice teaching. This morning it was the best it has been all week, so let's pray I'm better by tomorrow!

Anyway, that's about it for me this week. Have an awesome week everyone!

Elder Odom

Sunday, August 28, 2016

First Official Email

Hey everyone! I made it to my first P day! The MTC has been a lot of fun. They put me in a zone with all the other elders that are speaking Portuguese, so we have elders going to Cape Verde, Brazil, Mozambique, and Portugal. They are all such cool guys and I am getting along with them really well. When you get here, you're sitting in a classroom learning Portuguese within 30 mins. The language is coming alright, I'm still trying to get the hang of it but I know that I need to be patient and I will be able learn the things I need to. My first night here I had a really funny experience. When I met my zone, they told my companion and I that we were in for a treat later that night. So after a day of orientations and classroom study, we went back to our dorms and the elders had a wrestling ring set up made of mattresses, complete with comentators with headsets, contracts that the fighters had to sign, special effects with the lights, seating for the rest of us to watch, the whole deal. The 2 elders who wrestled were both under 115 pounds, and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen! That was definitely not something I expected to see my first night here.
My companions name is Elder Scowcroft. He's from New York City and grew up right in the middle of the city. He's a good guy and we get along pretty well! One thing about the MTC is how differently they teach you the language compared to school, and you need to learn a lot though just listening to your teacher speak! I think I've heard my teacher say 5 words in english since I've started. Yesterday we watched a talk that Elder Bednar gave on Christmas in the MTC a few years ago, and it's called "Character of Christ". I think every missionary here is suppose to watch it, but it's one of the best talks I've seen! It really put into perspective how much you need to rely on Christ in order to be a successful missionary. The MTC is pretty great, and I'm excited to see what's next! I love you all and have a good week!

-Elder Odom

First Day in the MTC

Elder Odom and companion Elder Scowcroft.  They are the only missionaries in their district and have a room to themselves. So far so good!