Elder Jarom Travis Odom

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Philippines Cauayan Mission

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


This picture was taken while we were waiting to drop Jarom off at the MTC.  From left to right: Elizabeth Ashworth, Elder Odom, Tanner Arsenault, Ashley Livingston
I remember standing on the curb of the MTC clinging to Jarom, sobbing, and thinking that two years was an eternity!  It was one of the most difficult moments of my life, but I would not trade it for anything.  October tenth was the one year mark.  Unbelievable!  After spending eight weeks and five days - SIXTY-ONE days - in the MTC he flew for hours and hours to the Philippines.  After that he rode on a bus for hours to the mission home - ready to serve!  His first year was...eventful!  He suffered from Typhoid Fever twice - the second time he was seriously ill and spent several days in the hospital.  He had an experience with his heart that nearly got him sent home.  With faith, prayers, and fasting a miracle happened and he is perfectly fine.  On top of that - he was in the middle of a typhoon!
It hasn't all been trials though.  He has had many amazing experiences and many blessings.  He has eaten Balut - which is basically a fertilized and formed duckling - yuk!  He has served in three areas and has had four companions.  He has been a trainer, a district leader, and with a transfer last week - a zone leader!
It is amazing to read his emails week and after week, and to hear and feel such tremendous growth in him, in his testimony, in his faith, and in his capacity to serve The Lord and those around him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013




Yahoo for Sister Rahlf's blog!

 My sweet missionary
 Solono Zone


Q & A

I get the most information from Jarom when I send him an email of questions.  This is the last Q & A we had!
Mom: Tell me about your companion...
Jarom: Elder Thayn is from a 3000 acre farm in Utah...he is the eldest of four...was a huge video game nerd...his sport is chess...and his favorite food is pizza and corn flakes.
Mom: Tell me about your apartment...
Jarom: We have a nice apartment compared to a lot.  There are frogs, bugs, lizards, rats, mice, and a giant spider in it along with mosquitos that carry Dengue.
Mom: Tell me about your town...
Jarom: Lagawe is a little town - surrounded by mountains and rice terraces.
Mom: Tell me about your branch...
Jarom: We have an average of 40 to 60 that come to church every Sunday, and they all stay for all three hours.  They are great!  I love the members here!
Mom: Have you seen the drunk guy again?  (I'll have to post that story later!)
Jarom: We haven't seen that drunk guy yet, but we have seen many more and we get excited every time we encounter one because they are so nice - and sooooo funny!
Mom: Can you believe you have almost hit the one year mark?
Jarom: Yes and no. I try not to think about that very much or I get depressed because I don't want to  come home.
Mom: Are you keeping your journal?
Jarom: I am keeping a journal.  Large and small plates.
Mom: What happened with your heart was such a miracle.  How did that affect the people in your area?
Jarom: They were fasting for me and really concerned, and when I would share a message about prayer and fasting I would share that story - it was something that really got them listening.

Obedience Brings Blessings...Exact Obedience Brings Miracles!


email from Jarom dated 8/13/13:
"What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger!"
Dear everyone,
After recovering from Typhoid Fever, I started having problems with my heart.  I was getting short of breath and couldn't hardly work.  I then had to go see two cardiologists in Cauayan - that is a six hour ride on jeeps, vans, and buses.  The first test that was done already told me that my heart is messing up.  Every few beats my heart would pause and it would try fixing itself and by the time it did it would mess up again.  I went to another specialist and did a thyroid test and it was good, and then had an echo cardiogram done.  It showed back-flow of blood coming back into my heart and some messed up places in some arteries.  The doctor said that my heart's battery is messing up and I need to go to St. Luke's Hospital in Manila and get at least a pacemaker, and maybe get other things done that I would have to get done in the U.S.  I was really out of it and upset because I really didn't want to leave my mission or anything.  I just wanted to stay here.

The members put my name on the temple prayer roll, and they were praying and fasting for me.  This was all on a Monday.  Later that night I got a random text from a Sister in our branch who had no idea that I was going through these things.  She sent a scripture to me: Mormon 9:21...

"Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth."

I read it and started praying and fasting, applying what it says.  When they were doing the echo cardiogram, they saw messed up things and abnormalities.  The doctor told me that they would print out the results of the echo and send it to Manila in a few days - after they had read over it again - and get back to me.  A few days later the doctor sent us a text and was astounded.  When they read over the results again - they said the structure of my heart is somehow perfect now and that every problem I was having is just gone.  Every little problem with my heart was just fixed.

If you ever have a problem, read the promise in Mormon 9:21 and apply what is taught.

Elder Odom