Elder Jarom Travis Odom

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Philippines Cauayan Mission

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Missionary!

Elizabeth texted me this picture Monday (11/12/12)
He looks so happy!!!

October 30, 2012

This may be hard to read.  Jarom drew this at the end of a letter:
It says, "Here is something to give y'all strength!" Then then drew his name tag!
The actual name tag - I LOVE it!

The First Email!

Jarom's "P" day is on Tuesdays and we received the first email October 16th:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I will go ahead and say that the first day was extremely hard!  Going to sleep that night was tough and that's when it really hit me hard.  Right before I left, Elizabeth gave me a letter she wrote to me the day before I entered the MTC.  That letter made all of my fears go away and I felt peace...I have two companions...one is elder Slater from Utah and the other is Elder Clarke from New Zealand...
Elizabeth has a friend who works at the MTC and she took this picture of Jarom and his two companions, I don't which is which!  My favorite part of this picture is the missionary tag!


Jarom reported to the MTC 10 Oct 2012 at 1:00pm.  We arrived in the parking lot across the street about noon and visited until the moment arrived.
Skyler Cutler - our cousin - came by to see us while we waited for Jarom to report.  What a wonderful surprise!!!
Jarom and his cousin, Ashley.  They grew up together and have always been great friends!
Oh, they are so cool!
From left to right: Elizabeth, Jarom, Tanner, Ashley
Crazy kids!
Elizabeth and Jarom
It is very fitting that they are together at the MTC.  This young woman is every mother's blessing.  Every word and every action has been to encourage Jarom to serve a mission, and to push him to reach higher and to be everything that Heavenly Father has planned for him to be.

Looking at the entrance to the MTC from across the street.

I dreamed for nineteen years of this day: the day our son would arrive at the MTC.  It was wonderful and very traumatic at the same time!  For days I had asked Jarom if he was getting nervous; his reply was always the same, "No! I'm ready!"  The morning before he reported I asked him the same question and his answer was, "I don't know".  The moment he reported he looked like he was about to cry - the expression on his face broke my heart.  I kept asking him if he was okay, but he didn't answer - he looked like he was in shock!  His escort was Elder Richardson from Dallas, Texas. I'll never forget him. He kept telling me Jarom was going to be okay; that he was going to show him around and take care of him; not to worry.  And then, as I clung to my son sobbing, an older gentleman walked up and with such sweetness and tenderness and patience said to me, "I'm sorry mom, you have to go"!  That's Jarom walking away (in the gray suit).


Look what we found there...my sweet little Ashley!
Look what else we found...Elizabeth!!!  So many treasures found on the BYU campus!
The "Y" on the mountain overlooking Provo

Provo Temple

 The Missionary Mall is awesome!  We went in on Monday and got Jarom's suit, all his slacks and white shirts, and other misc stuff he needed.  They had all the pants and the suit tailored and ready for us to pick up on Tuesday.  The shoes he needed for the Philippines had to be ordered and when they came in, they delivered them to the MTC!  They also have a registry so friends and family can help get your missionary ready to go!

This is a big map inside The Missionary Mall
 Elder Tanner Arsenault: California Los Angles - Spanish speaking
Elder Jarom Odom: Philippines Cayauan
They will be serving on opposite ends of the earth!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Temple Square

 Temple Square!!!
The beautiful Salt Lake City Temple

Another view... 

And another view...
From left to right: Jarom, Elizabeth, Me, Sister Pilmer, Milton
Sister Pilmer was one of our missionaries who served in Woodville. 
It was awesome to spend time with her in Utah!
The grounds on Temple Square during General Conference
The beautiful conference center. There were I don't know how many tens of thousands of people in the Conference Center, but the moment President Monson walked in there was instant and complete silence and everybody stood.  It was an amazing experience.
 Jarom and Elizabeth in the Conference Center
 From left to right: Elder Boddie, Elder Odom, Elder Arsenault

 From left to right: Brother and Sister Boddie, Ian Boddie,
Tanner Arsenault, Jarom Odom, Betty and Milton Odom

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

America! America!

We took a route to Utah that took us through the Rocky Mountains.  They were spectacular - words cannot express and pictures do not do them justice...

Snow in Colorado

On 05 Oct 2012 at 5:07am we left for Utah to take Jarom to the MTC.  The first day we drove about sixteen hours and made it to Auroa, Colorado to spend the night at the Arsenault's house.  Thank you so much to Dennis and Becky for their generosity and hospitality.  We woke up the next morning to snow on the ground!
Tanner and Jarom

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Farewell Dinner

 It's a tradition in our branch to make these pillowcases and send them with our missionaries.
 Lots of good food!
Aunt Marilyn admiring Elder Odom's muscle!

 We had all the Philippino colors: red, yellow, blue, and white.  Everybody looks happy!
 The plates are never big enough!
My handsome sons!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Houston Texas Temple/Elder Odom

I am FINALLY updating Jarom's blog!  29 Sep 2012 we had the opportunity to attend the Houston Texas temple with our son.  He is our second child to take to the temple - what an amazing experience!  It gives me a glance into the joy Heavenly Father feels when His children are making right choices that bring them closer to returning home to Him.  Besides Jarom, and Milton and me - we had eighteen of our family and friends come to share this experience.
03 October 2012 we had the opportunity to go to Beaumont with Jarom as he was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines Cauayan mission.  He will serve from October 2012 through October 2014.  His name officially changed from Jarom to Elder!  (not really :)  I have to tell you - he signs his letters: Love, Elder Odom - I LOVE it!!!