Elder Jarom Travis Odom

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Philippines Cauayan Mission

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last MTC Email


While in the MTC, Jarom's P-day was on Tuesdays, so each Tuesday evening we  could look forward to an email from him.  The last email received was a surprise - I found it Monday morning!  Each week his emails were becoming deeper and more spiritual, and you could feel the growth of his testimony and in his level of preparedness and excitement to serve the Lord.  This last email was so powerful I wanted to share parts of it...
Dear Family,
So this is the time!  I am rejoicing in the experience and this wonderful time like my blessing says...I am getting on a plane today and this is my last night in America!!!  This is so intense and AWESOME!!!!!!  Ever since being here...I now hold everything about the church sacred in its own individual way.  I can't wait to read out of my spiritual journal for y'all one day and give a talk when I return.  I jump for the opportunity to give a talk, bless the sacrament, and pray in front of people because I believe in what I'm saying and I want to share that with others.  I learned yesterday about conversion.  If you have a testimony, are you converted?  No, you are not converted.  Not truly.  Not an everlasting conversion that happens through the Lord.  A testimony is what you know to be true.  Real conversion is when you apply, live, and follow all of the truths you know to be true about the gospel in a way that you never fall away.  We never know when our last day will be so I plead with you that if you are not truly converted you need to get there because there is no time.  I also learned about being outward.  This is from a talk that Elder Bednar gave last Christmas I believe.  Turning outward when the natural man would turn inward.  Putting others before ourselves at all times, in all things, and in all places.  This is what Christ did, does, and will always do for all eternity.  When He suffered in The Garden he returned to see His apostles sleeping.  He was betrayed.  What did He do when He suffered the worst pain in the world for us?  He healed the soldier's ear.  We need to turn outward when the natural man would turn inward.  Being selfish is the sure way to being unhappy in life.  Turning outward leads to a lasting conversion through the Lord, puts off the natural man, and brings us joy.  When life's trials and tribulations come along and we are hopeless and need help, we can't think of ourselves and we need to serve others.  Every time.  This is what will help us most.  When we serve selflessly, we will receive what we need.  Never think about what you are receiving, think about who you are serving.  The natural man is an enemy to God and has been since the fall of Adam.  Put off the natural man and become a Saint of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Yield to the ENTICINGS of the Holy Spirit.  Turning outward is just one character of Christ and I would encourage you, like Elder Bednar, to search more about the character of Christ.

  If there is a question you have about something dealing with the soul, The Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul.  Get a new regular paperback Book of Mormon and read all the way through with that one question in mind and highlight everything that you learned about that one thing.  Do that for each question you have...there is power in this book.  There is a spirit in the Book of Mormon that you cannot get anywhere else.  I have come to love Ang Aklat Ni Mormon.  It is my greatest resource for love, comfort, and for answers.  I pray that my questions may be answered, then I start reading.  Please never wait.  Being patient is good, but Heavenly Father wants to see that we want it. Faith is an action word.  Take action.  I just can't stress enough how short this life is.  How short our mission is.  We came here to return to Heavenly Father.  Our mission is to do so and build up His kingdom.  We need to realize this and do it.  We cannot be afraid.  I fear no man.  I fear God.  My strength is in no man. My strength is in God.  I will not boast of myself.  I will boast of my God who strengthens me.  That is my spiritual message for today.
I can't believe I leave today.  This is amazing.  Seeing that his time has gone by fast...I don't remember myself.  I am completely opposite from how I was just nine weeks ago.  I am so much better.  I can't wait to return.  I will Return With Honor.   I will.  I am very grateful for my Heavenly Father.  I am very grateful for The Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost...we need to pray every morning to Heavenly Father...
I leave this email with you all in hope it has helped you in some way and Til We Meet Again. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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