Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One more thing....

I just started a new blog a couple of days ago.  You can check it out at:

www.natalieblackmilne.blogspot.com


Also, I had Dallin's blog made into one book.  I am so excited to give it to him for Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Final Post!

Well, Dallin has been home for almost two months now.  His health is much improved and he is doing fantastic.  He has had the opportunity to speak in several Sacrament meetings on assignment with the High Council and has done a superb job.  It is so neat to hear of his missionary experiences in Sweden and his testimony.  When he speaks he doesn't even use notes - it is so impressive.

He is right now preparing to start school up in Cedar City, Utah at Southern Utah University.  He has two scholarships there (what a blessing).  He is currently staying up there on and off with his brother Carter so he can work at the Pizza Factory (thanks Aunt Kim!).  He loves working there, and it has been very helpful in transitioning back to gentile life!  He is really excited for January to get here so he can get into school and on with his life.  Carter is putting his mission papers in on Sunday so he will not be going to school with Dallin this next semester, but he is fully supportive of Carter going right now.  Dallin will be moving into an apartment with other roommates so that will be a great way to meet more people.

As for us, we have really enjoyed having Dallin back home.  We are so excited to have the upcoming holidays to spend with all of our family members.  Dallin has been a big help around the house and yard, and he most likely at times feels like a servant instead of our son, but he never complains.  He has always been such a good son.

Thanks to Aunt Kim we have some photos of his arrival into the St. George airport from Sweden.  I was too busy preparing food to take photos at his homecoming dinner.  He has had a lot of friends and family here to love and support him.  We are all so grateful that his health has improved and he is back to his happy self.  I know that he is feeling better because he sings when he thinks no one is listening, just like when he was a little boy!



Anxiously waiting at the St. George Airport


Crying before he even arrives


The plane has landed


There he is through the window


Mom's first!


Then Dad!


Carter and Ty


And then on down the line


There's Aunt Kim!


There's some of the gang!

Welcome to Home Sweet Home...  A much smaller home he returned to than the one he lived in before he left.  But there is nothing like the Old Adobe...  He earned money for his mission by helping restore his great-grandparents' home.


The brothers together again at last


First family photo at Uncle David's Wedding

Thank you to all of my faithful followers over the past two years.  I will be starting my own blog soon, and then we will do one for Carter as well, so you haven't heard the last of the Milne's!  Love you all!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Quick Update!

Dear Followers,

I am so sorry to keep you waiting.  Needless to say, my life has been absolutely crazy as of late.  I just returned from a ten day trip to Colorado looking at job opportunities for Blaine, and I have been working on my book every spare second that I have as well.  Good news with that is it is nearing completion and we have already sent several chapters to the editor.  I am finishing up the final chapter this weekend.

Anyhow, as far as Dallin is concerned he is doing well. His diagnosis as of now is that he is still healing from the effects of a virus that lodged in his lower intestines and caused his stomach issues, a low white cell count, and hypoglycemia.  He has had several doctor visits since his return on Monday, September 7th.  The hematologist confirmed that it was most likely a virus, but if his white cell count hasn't improved considerably over a two month period then he will want to do a bone marrow biopsy.  Dallin had some swelling in his neck that the hematologist attributed to the virus. The biggest obstacle he has is the hypoglycemia.  He has to eat every 2 hours, and when I say eat, I mean eat a lot, especially proteins.  I have never seen anyone eat so much in my life.  He is slowly gaining weight, but at the rate he is eating you would think he would be at least 200 pounds by now. He has gained about eight pounds since returning home, so that is a good sign.

When I get a few extra minutes (hopefully soon) I will post some pictures of his homecoming and his family dinner.  Thank you for your patience!

Warm Regards,

Natalie

Monday, August 31, 2015

Aldste Milne's Health Update

Dear Faithful Followers,

I am so sorry that you have been disappointed every time you've checked Dallin's blog for an update. I have no excuse other than we are still waiting for one.  Our emails the past three weeks have all been about his health and what needs to happen.  We have had the opportunity to Skype with Dallin a couple of times with his president's permission, and we even spoke with President Beckstrand at 4:00 am one morning to discuss Dallin's situation.  This has all been a very interesting and a stressful process.  When things in life go awry, it is fascinating to me the things that we learn about each other, and especially ourselves.  This situation is new to me and Blaine.  We have never had a child of ours 5,190 miles away from us when he has been sick.  It is awful.  Your mind fills with all sorts of thoughts, questions, and concerns.  You go from wondering if it is leading into an emergency situation that could be life threatening, if it is something that will just pass with some extra rest, if all he needs is an antibiotic and a little reassurance, to wondering if sin is the cause of it, or if it is all in his head and he just needs to get back to work.  Trust me, we have traveled down everyone of these roads during the past three weeks as we have tried to sort through all of this.  At times, I am not going to lie, it has not been pretty. I would surmise that all involved have done one of three things: over-reacted, under-reacted, or not reacted at all.  Here-in lies the human conundrum, and nothing really gets accomplished.  All the while my son is still sick, continuing to lose weight, and we are no closer to a solution than we were three weeks ago.  Throw in the socialized medicine aspect of Sweden and the problem only intensifies.

I will share with you what little I know at this point. First of all, Aldste Milne is still not well.  He has lost over 20 pounds which does not look good on his already thin frame.  Remember how we all thought he was gaining weight and his brothers even thought he was looking fat!  Well, not anymore. He weighs the same as he did when he was a sophomore in high school.  He has bloating in his lower abdominal cavity almost always, and he becomes very sick whenever he eats something, if he is able to eat at all.  When we last Skyped with him he told us that all he had eaten the day before was a piece of chicken because that was all he could tolerate.

The next thing that I know is that his mission president is finally on board with Dallin's healing. Don't get me wrong, we love President Beckstrand, but he had to call Aldste Milne to repentance for not alerting him sooner of how far this had progressed.  Dallin had been trying to deal with it on his own, and back and forth in emails to us.  President Beckstrand is diligently contacting everyone he knows in the healthcare system there to speed up the process of having Dallin seen by a GI specialist. This is where it gets tricky... We are currently praying for a break through on that end.

Next, I know that if something doesn't happen soon then Aldste Milne will be given a medical release and he will be returning home as early as next week or sooner so he can receive the proper medical care in a timely matter.  Because he is so close to finishing his mission this could likely be what happens.

Lastly, I also know that none of us want to see Aldste Milne's mission cut short, but this is where many differences of opinion lie.  Some say he should just have enough faith and stay there even if it means he dies.  Others say that the Lord expects us to remain prudent in our decision making and rely on the counsel of those who are with Dallin at this time as they and he are directed by the Lord. Those of you who know our family can probably guess who wants him to gut it out and not come home until the fat lady sings.  I understand this person's reasoning.... We don't want our kids to quit anything that they have started - especially something they have looked forward to their entire lives. However, this attitude is not always the most prudent.  I do not believe in giving a child an out when the going gets tough, but when that child has exhausted all of his resources and his health still continues to decline, then it is time to call off the dogs and let him come home to get the help that he needs if that is the only remaining solution.

Aldste Milne has served a faithful 22 months of his mission.  It is in the Lord's hands how this plays out.  I want to apologize to Dallin for the times when I wrongly judged the situation.  I jumped to some pretty bold conclusions at times and this was not helpful at all.  I have many weaknesses....  the Lord shows them to me everyday.  As Dallin's mother I just want what is best for him.  I will forever be grateful for the Lord sending him to me to raise despite how broken I am now and how broken I have been in the past.  Dallin along with my other two sons have been incredible gifts to me.  They have taught me so much and even healed my broken heart.  Please continue to be patient with me as your mother Dallin.  I have faith that all will be well, and we will all see you when we see you!

Please continue to pray for Aldste Milne and for all those involved with his care at this time. I do not feel that his life is in jeopardy, but I do believe that he needs to receive the medical care that he deserves, so whatever that takes is what I am praying for! I just want my son to be his happy, healthy self again.  I don't believe this is asking too much!

I want to share with you an article that some of you may find interesting...  It is by a New York Times columnist and author by the name of David Brooks. I will be referencing it in the book that I am co-authoring, which by the way will be finished by the end of September for sure!  Anyhow, it talks about suffering and I thought in thinking of Dallin, we all could learn something from this:

What Suffering Does

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself in a bunch of conversations in which the unspoken assumption was that the main goal of life is to maximize happiness. That’s normal. When people plan for the future, they often talk about all the good times and good experiences they hope to have. We live in a culture awash in talk about happiness. In one three-month period last year, more than 1,000 books were released on Amazon on that subject.
But notice this phenomenon. When people remember the past, they don’t only talk about happiness. It is often the ordeals that seem most significant. People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering.
Now, of course, it should be said that there is nothing intrinsically ennobling about suffering. Just as failure is sometimes just failure (and not your path to becoming the next Steve Jobs) suffering is sometimes just destructive, to be exited as quickly as possible.
But some people are clearly ennobled by it. Think of the way Franklin Roosevelt came back deeper and more empathetic after being struck with polio. Often, physical or social suffering can give people an outsider’s perspective, an attuned awareness of what other outsiders are enduring.
But the big thing that suffering does is it takes you outside of precisely that logic that the happiness mentality encourages. Happiness wants you to think about maximizing your benefits. Difficulty and suffering sends you on a different course.
First, suffering drags you deeper into yourself. The theologian Paul Tillich wrote that people who endure suffering are taken beneath the routines of life and find they are not who they believed themselves to be. The agony involved in, say, composing a great piece of music or the grief of having lost a loved one smashes through what they thought was the bottom floor of their personality, revealing an area below, and then it smashes through that floor revealing another area.
Then, suffering gives people a more accurate sense of their own limitations, what they can control and cannot control. When people are thrust down into these deeper zones, they are forced to confront the fact they can’t determine what goes on there. Try as they might, they just can’t tell themselves to stop feeling pain, or to stop missing the one who has died or gone. And even when tranquillity begins to come back, or in those moments when grief eases, it is not clear where the relief comes from. The healing process, too, feels as though it’s part of some natural or divine process beyond individual control.
People in this circumstance often have the sense that they are swept up in some larger providence. Abraham Lincoln suffered through the pain of conducting a civil war, and he came out of that with the Second Inaugural. He emerged with this sense that there were deep currents of agony and redemption sweeping not just through him but through the nation as a whole, and that he was just an instrument for transcendent tasks.
It’s at this point that people in the midst of difficulty begin to feel a call. They are not masters of the situation, but neither are they helpless. They can’t determine the course of their pain, but they can participate in responding to it. They often feel an overwhelming moral responsibility to respond well to it. People who seek this proper rejoinder to ordeal sense that they are at a deeper level than the level of happiness and individual utility. They don’t say, “Well, I’m feeling a lot of pain over the loss of my child. I should try to balance my hedonic account by going to a lot of parties and whooping it up.”

The right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness. I don’t even mean that in a purely religious sense. It means seeing life as a moral drama, placing the hard experiences in a moral context and trying to redeem something bad by turning it into something sacred. Parents who’ve lost a child start foundations. Lincoln sacrificed himself for the Union. Prisoners in the concentration camp with psychologist Viktor Frankl rededicated themselves to living up to the hopes and expectations of their loved ones, even though those loved ones might themselves already be dead.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Health Concerns

Ugh! I hate getting upsetting news from Sweden.  Aldste Milne has been having some health troubles on and off for the past few months with his stomach.  He has lost 10 pounds and counting, and he is experiencing a lot of discomfort.  He has visited a physician in Stockholm and plans to follow-up on the 21st of August.  Hi mission president contacted me today and told me that they will try and get him an appointment with a doctor in Germany soon.  All of your prayers are appreciated.  We are frustrated because he is on the other side of the world, and it is difficult to know what to do other than pray.  He is even more frustrated I am sure.  His President Beckstrand told us that he could tell that this was affecting Aldste Milne's spirit as well - he could tell that he was somewhat depressed.  It is so difficult to be sick and still feel the responsibility and mantle of being a missionary.  He is in good hands.  I know our Heavenly Father will watch over him and bless him.  Hang in there Dallin... We love you and we only want what's best for you no matter what that entails.
This morning Blaine and I was reading from the New Testament and we came to Ephesians 6.  This is one of my favorite epistles of the Apostle Paul.  He opens the chapter by reminding children how important it is to obey their parents (which of course any parent loves to hear).  Did you know that the commandment to Honour thy father and mother is the first commandment with a promise?  I talks about how it will be well with those who do, and then promises that they will live long upon the earth.  Dallin has always been obedient to his parents.  The Lord will bless you tremendously for this Big "D"!  The very next verse, however, warns fathers to not provoke their children to wrath, but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Blaine has tried to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but I also know that he has provoked his sons to wrath from time to time (I as well).  Dallin, you will have to continue to forgive both of us.  But my favorite part of Ephesians 6 is the part about putting on the whole armor of god.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of thedarkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
May we all contemplate what it means to put on the armor of God that we might become impervious to the fiery darts of the adversary!!!!

Letter From Home:
Alma 13:10-12
10 Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;
 11 Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.
 12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.
Dear Dallin,
I shared these scriptures because this is what dad taught today in his High Priest group lesson.  He shared all of Alma 13 with them because it is specifically talking about high priests, but he focused on these three verses because they are so powerful, and they teach that being perfect is not what makes you a high priest, but that you have exceeding faith and repentance - and that you are willing to choose repentance and work righteousness rather than to perish.  He really was excited about this lesson and said he had a great time teaching it today.  In church today I bore my testimony, and I also had the opportunity to speak to the entire Aaronic Priesthood about serving a mission.  It was an awesome experience, and it brought back so many precious memories.  It of course made me think about you and the many experiences you must be having!  Can't wait to get you home and to hear them all in more detail!
This week was busy as they all seem to be.  On Tuesday dad and I drove all the way to Logan to watch Carter pitch for 23 minutes.  He pitched well, but the other team just kept getting these little bloopy hits and then there were a few errors and before you knew it they had scored 6 runs.  They lost to this team, and this team turned around and won the championship.  Carter however was able to pitch a complete game on Thursday and gave his team a big win and a chance to make it to the championship.  They lost a close one right after and then they were finished.  He made it home the evening of his 18th birthday so we celebrated by going to Red Lobster.
On Friday and Saturday Ty and his team played in a baseball tournament in Cedar City.  Thankfully Ty's legs are feeling better.  He played great both days, and they ended up playing Lehi in the championship.  They lost 7-6.  Ty played both catcher and pitcher in this game and he went 3 for 4 hitting.  It was definitely one of his best games!  Grandma and Raymond were there as well as Uncle Jack and Gayle.  It was a real treat to have them all there!  We visited with Jack and Gayle in their home between games.  He showed us pictures of the new Cedar City temple.  It is going to be gorgeous.  The ground breaking for it is next Saturday the 8th.  The temple sight is not too far from his house.

Today we headed up to Minersville for dinner with the fam.  Chad and his family were in town and we were also joined by Nanette's family and David and his new little family.  David is now with a girl from St. George named Misty and she has four children.  One who just graduated and will be attending SUU, a 7th grade daughter (the same as Davee), and a five year old boy and a three year old girl.  He seems really happy so I hope everything continues to work out for them.  
School starts here on the 13th of August which is next week - Yikes!  This summer has flown right by.  Ty is getting nervous and excited.  He will be playing Fall baseball and getting ready for basketball.  Carter starts at SUU on the 26th.  I will be joining him as well as I start the Master's program in professional communication.  It is going to get crazy here pretty quickly!
I hope that you are doing well Dallin!  Is there anything that you need from home?  How is the work going?  Take good care of yourself and continue to work hard and be obedient.  I know the Lord still has much for you to do before you get home.  Leave it all in the field as they would say!  My thoughts and prayers are with you everyday!
All My Love,
Mom
PS...  Ty says to tell you hello and that he can't wait for you to get home and play some one on one with him!  You'll have to work him over pretty good to get him ready for basketball!
This Week's Letter From Dallin:


Volleyball with the Zone


Karlskrona Friends


Stockholm


The District

Dear Milne Family,

Well its been an interesting week for us here in Stockholm.  The weather is still crazy.  One minute it'll be pouring rain and the next minute clear skynajd sun shine.  Right now it's gorgeous out.  Sunny and 65 degrees.  Perfect weather.  We are hoping that it stays like this (probably won't) because a member invited all the missionaries over for a barbeque today!  

This week we worked mostly with less active members.  I love the less actives that we meet with.  Some of the nicest people and they all have really interesting life stories.  This week I got to meet some more friends from past areas.  Lina, Elisabeth, and my man Jerry were visiting Stockholm from Karlskrona this week and we got to meet up and have lunch together.  Elder Silvennoinen also served in karlskrona after me for 6 months so it was one big reunion for everyone.  On Thursday we taught district meeting on understanding prayer.  Prayer has been one of the more interesting things that I've studied about.  obviously we do a lot of praying as a missionary but it is still so easy to just "go through the motions" and "cover all your bases" whenever you pray.  During the district meeting we passed out a lot of quotes about prayer from past church presidents, discussed them, and then I finished with a little gospel according to Call in on how I understand prayer.  In order to explain I need a whiteboard or something so ya'll can hear that later haha.  But everyone thought it was good and the spirit was there.  Me and silv love being the district leaders.  Oh and we also found out that we will be staying together another transfer! We are both super happy about that.  

In other news, I've kind of been struggling with my health lately.  I've lost 10 pounds and I've been having stomach problems.  Saturday and Sunday was really bad and I ended up missing church.  I've noticed that something is up since I was in Kungsbacka but its slowly got more and more serious.  I'm feeling fine today though.  It kind of comes and goes I guess.  Don't worry too much about me though I'll figure it out.

Sounds like y'all had a good week though.  its crazy that its august already!  I can't wait to hear about all the back to school stuff.  You guys are so blessed to be able to meet with family so often.  I'm glad to heat that Ty is playing good ball and that Carter had a nice birthday at the traditional red lobster haha.  I love you all! I should be able to send pictures this Thursday when we go to the church for sports night! 

Vi ses snart!

Love 
Dallin

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Embrace the Light Within

Another late post - sorry!  I don't know where the week went or where the Summer went for that matter.  Time is flying!  Do you know that Aldste Milne will be home in less than three months?  So excited!  I promised Dallin last week that I would post some pictures from our Laguna Beach trip so you can see those at the end of the post.  While we were in Laguna Beach we had the opportunity of attending Sacrament Meeting at the Laguna Beach chapel.  It was amazing!  There was something that the speaker shared that really hit home.  He was talking about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy and the importance of partaking of the Sacrament.  He shared the story of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and how he asked his apostles to watch with him.  He returned an hour later only to find them all asleep.  He said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with me one hour?".  He likened this to us as we attend Sacrament Meeting.  Do we sleep through the meeting, do we play on our phones, day dream, doodle, or do something else?  Can we not watch with the Savior for that one hour out of the week?  Can we not spend that time reflecting on all that He has done for us, and what we can do for Him in return?  Can we not listen intently to the speakers, the hymns, and the prayers that the Spirit might teach us and inspire us?

I really loved this!

Letter From Home:


“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; “For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High” (D&C 59:9–10).

This is a commandment with a promise. By participating weekly and appropriately in the ordinance of thesacrament we qualify for the promise that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77). That Spirit is the foundation of our testimony. It testifies of the Father and the Son, brings all things to our remembrance, and leads us into truth. It is the compass to guide us on our path. This gift of the Holy Ghost, President Wilford Woodruff taught, “is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man” (Deseret Weekly, Apr. 6, 1889, 451). - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. It is the only Sabbath meeting the entire family can attend together. Its content in addition to the sacrament should always be planned and presented to focus our attention on the Atonement and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Howdy Dallin,

I loved the pictures that you sent.  Stockholm is beautiful!  I will update the blog on Monday.  Dad and I have been in Southern California since Thursday so I haven't had a chance to do a new post.  I pray this finds you happy and well.  How was your week?  I just love hearing all about it!  How are you and the Fin getting along?  How is the work going in that part of the vineyard?  

This week ended up being a little crazy.  Carter's team played two games this week.  Carter pitched against Desert Hills on Wednesday and did a really great job.  He has really had a successful summer thus far on the mound.  His true test will come this next week as he heads into the Legion State Tournament up in Logan.  Dad, Ty, and I will drive up on Tuesday to watch Carter pitch and turn around and come home and then drive up on Thursday night so we can be there for his 18th birthday which is on Friday.  He will probably pitch on Friday as well - hopefully it will be for the championship!  Ty will also be playing in a baseball tournament this next weekend in Cedar City.  

On Thursday of this past week dad and I headed to Southern California to watch Keaton play baseball with the Marshalls and to stay at the beach house in Laguna Beach.  It was awesome.  We watched four of Keaton's games.  He did an excellent job.  He hits in the three spot for the Marshalls and plays left field.  His batting average for this weekend was over .500 and he hit a homerun over the right center field fence.  Keep in mind that he was using a wooden bat and he was hitting at sea level.  He is looking real good and he is such a good kid.  Rebecca, Kyson, Jada, and Kyson's girlfriend Brooke met us at Keaton's games on Saturday in Oceanside.  That is the day he hit his blast.  The rest of the time dad and I enjoyed the beach house to ourselves, eating out, and of course the beach.  The water was warm and the weather was perfect.  

One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely Sacrament Meeting at the Laguna Beach ward.  There is only one ward there, but they have a beautiful smaller building on some very prime property right there in Laguna Beach.  It was one of the neatest Sacrament meetings I have ever attended.  All of the people were so friendly and the Spirit there was so strong.  A returned missionary who had served in Florida spoke and a high council member.  The missionary's name was Elder Kimball.  He and his family are relatives of Spencer W. Kimball.  His dad is a dentist ther in Laguna Beach, his uncle and his grandpa are both orthodontists there.  Their family has lived there for many years.  The church at one time owned a home there where George Albert Smith, David O'McKay, and other prophets would stay.  Both President McKay and President Smith had health problems and actually lived in the home for quite some time during the final years of their lives.  The value of the home increased so much over time that when President Kimball was president he determined that the home should be sold and the money used for other things.  I'm certain it was worth several million dollars because property is so expensive there.  There were so many neat people there.  I will post some pictures on the blog.  The church is right across the street from Laguna Beach High School.  Dad also ran into one of his BYU teammates and his family who were also visiting there - Tony Smith.  It was so fun to meet him and his cute family.  They have a darling four year old down syndrome daughter that reminded me so much of sweet little Amy Robinson in Minnetonka.  Remember how she would come and sit by me every Sunday?

Carter and Ty did not go to Beaver for the weekend.  They decided to stay here and hang out with friends.  Carter didn't want to go with us because he thought it would be too much driving - due to him having to leave for Logan tonight, and Ty didn't want to go if Carter wasn't going.  Boy did they miss out.  It is actually a pretty quick drive - only about five and a half hours.

I have once again changed my mind about school.  I will be starting into a graduate program this Fall up in Cedar City in professional communication.  I will also start the Seminary teaching class.  I am still working hard on the book and making some great progress.  We have had a few family therapists look over our work and they love it.  They are already asking for permission to share some of the chapters with their clients.  That makes me feel good.  I am also going to be helping dad get his own practice going.  There is a big chance we may move to Cedar.  I am going to get his practice set up there first and then expand into St. George.  It would be great if you went to SUU and you could live at home for awhile to save you some money and to also spend time with your family that loves you so much.  Listening to that returned missionary today made me trunky to get you home.  Work hard to the end - only  three more months!  What are your thoughts on SUU? - No pressure!

Have a super fun p-day and a fantastic week!  Love and miss you so much!  Take care of yourself and stay safe!

Much Love,

Mom


Dallin's Letter Home:


Hello Milne fam,

Well another week has come and gone.  And the month of July is just about over as well.  Summer is just about over but it feels like it never really started here in Sweden this year with all the wind, rain, and cloud cover.  The nice part about that though is that I haven't had a lot of sweaty days walking around in the long pants and shirt and tie.  But I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to sunny southern Utah when I can wear shorts and flip flops haha.

Anyways we had a pretty decent week.  Spent most of it trying to find new people to teach.  A lot of the members and our investigators have been on vacation this month so we haven't had as many people to teach as we normally would.  But its been alright, we've been able to explore Stockholm and see a lot of cool places and meet people from all over the world.  And as you saw in the pictures I got to see some friends from past areas this week.  Our Irish convert from Boden was down visiting the temple with the branch this week so we got to meet up and catch up on things.  She is doing very well and thought the temple was really cool.  She met a lot of other missionaries and they were so impressed with her.  And our Persian friends from västerås were in Stockholm this week and attended sacrament meeting in our building. They were so surprised to see me and elder Dahle (who was also in Västerås at the same time as me and is also here in gubbängen). Crazy to think that it was a year ago that I met them.  Meeting everyone this week reminded me just how blessed I have been on my mission.  Heavenly Father has been good to me here.  

On Thursday I taught district meeting on the importance of gaining a relationship with Jesus Christ by obeying the light of Christ within us.  We talked about how there is a difference between knowing Christ and knowing about Christ.  We start by learning about Christ from the scriptures.  Reading God's word gives us light, we can then continue in that light by following Christ's example by loving and serving others.  As we obey these promptings from the Spirit to love and serve we receive more light.  As we continue in that light we will get "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little" through obedience upon obedience until our eye is single to God's glory and we are sanctified and filled with light (2 nephi 28:30, D&C 88:67).  The Lord says that when that day comes we will comprehend all things, being quickened in and by Him, and that He will unveil His face unto us in his own time and own way (88:49,68).  That is an amazing promise, let us not take it lightly.

D&C 50:24
That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Proverbs 4:18
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Embrace that light within you everyone, it doesn't matter where you start, its all about where you finish.

Anyways that's enough of my discourse.  Sounds like you guys had an awesome week traveling around and meeting great people.  Thanks for updating me on everyone! Right now I'm very open to going to school at SUU, especially if you guys are going to be living there. If you stay in St. George, I will probably attend Dixie State for a couple of years and then transfer up to SUU or up north somewhere to set me up nicely for medical/dental school.

Love you all! can't wait to hear from you next week!

-Dallin 

This Week's Pictures:




Met up with my two favorite Persians


Visited with Rhiannon after her temple visit


Awesome Beach House in Laguna Beach...  Thank you Facer Family for letting us stay here!


Ocean View from the beach house


Blaine's nephew Keaton playing for the Marshall's in Oceanside, CA


Kyson, Keaton, and Blaine


Kyson, Brooke (Kyson's girl friend), Keaton, and Jada...  Happy Birthday Kyson!  Rebecca and her two awesome teenagers visited us during Keaton's second game on Saturday.  Keaton hit Kyson a homerun for his birthday.  It flew over the right-center field fence.  He hit it with a wood bat and at sea level!  He is a beast!  It was so awesome!


We visited this old mission church just as we were leaving Oceanside to head back to Laguna Beach....  Notice that it was built in 1798 - Wow!


There's my handsome husband


Very old and very beautiful


It is still used as a church today...


Nice rear view!


In the church's garden we saw the oldest pepper tree in California...  It was planted sometime in 1830 - Who knew?


There's the pepper tree in the background.....


This is the LDS Chapel in Laguna Beach.  There is only one ward that meets there.  You have to get there early so that you can get a seat!  They don't use an air conditioner.  It is so neat because in the summer they just open all the doors and windows and you get to enjoy the ocean breeze as you sit in Sacrament Meeting.  There people there were absolutely amazing!  Blaine even ran into a BYU baseball teammate of his - Tony Smith.  He and his family were there on vacation as well.


This is the ocean view from the church house.  The church sits right across from Laguna Beach High School!


This is a picture of Ty's last baseball game of the Summer.  Blaine and Ocey Leavitt were the coaches.  They took second place in their tournament this weekend against Lehi.  They lost 7-6.  It was a great game and Ty played so well.  He was 3 for 4 hitting and he played catcher and pitcher!






Monday, July 27, 2015

Being Obedient to the Spirit and the Light of Christ

I am delinquent, and I am so sorry....  We took a last minute trip to Laguna Beach on Thursday and it has thrown off my groove, but it was so worth it!  Just Blaine and I went.  I will post pictures on the blog with Dallin's next letter which we should receive tomorrow.  He sent only a quick note today saying that they were having a special p-day with President and Sister Beckstrand playing volleyball and eating pizza! Sounds fun!

Anyhow, not much to talk about other than the boys are still playing a lot of baseball and summer will be over before we know it.  I have decided to apply to a graduate program at SUU in professional communication to begin this Fall.  I am really excited about this, and I will still be pursuing Seminary teaching.  Somehow both schedule's work together - so it shouldn't be to impossible to accomplish both.

Dallin sounds really great this week!  He always makes my heart smile!

This Week's Letter from Home:


"The family is one of God's greatest fortresses against the evils of our day.  Help keep your family strong and close and worthy of our Father in Heaven's blessings. As you do, you will receive faith and strength which will bless your lives forever." - President Ezra Taft Benson

Dear Dallin,

How's my favorite missionary today?  My thoughts and prayers are with you always.  How's the work going?  I bet the weather is really getting nice right now.  We had a really impressive rain storm here on Saturday.  It kept the temperature down which is nice.  It certainly hasn't been as hot as it was a few weeks ago.  We added another mason wall on the other side of our property this past weekend.  It looks really nice.  It's nice when the neighbors on both sides of you agree to share the cost.  The people here in old Washington proper really are great.  In fact, there are members in our ward that have never met you before but in their prayers in public and private they pray for you by name - most impressive.

This week was a typical busy week.  I had to lay low a couple of days because I caught a case of the stomach flu that has been going around - UGH! Thankfully I am feeling much better.  Ty spent all week up at EFY and absolutely loved it.  He texted home half way through and said that he had just listened to the best speaker he had ever heard.  He then texted and said that he had just emailed you because they just finished talking about missionary work and he was really feeling the Spirit. He then said that he thought that you should come back and teach at EFY because you would be awesome at it.  I thought that was cute.  He came home with a stronger testimony and a conviction of reading the scriptures everyday.  I could tell it really made an impression on him. He is such a good boy.

Carter played in three ballgames this week.  Two up in Beaver where his team played the Price Legion team.  They had to win one of the two games in order to advance into the state tournament.  They won both.  Carter played first base in the second game and went 3-3 hitting with a walk.  Afterward we ate at the Timberline.  Then we stopped in Cedar City on the way home to a wedding reception - Abbey Eyre. She is my friend Angela's daughter (I grew up with Angela in Beaver).  You might remember Abbey - very beautiful girl.  We had a lot of fun visiting with all the Cedar people we know.  Carter even met some CHS girls that will be going to SUU.  He took their numbers.  On Saturday he played at Canyon View against the Park City varsity team.  He pitched all seven innings and he got the win on the mound. He pitched awesome.  What was neat about that is that Ty also got to play on their team because they were short on players.  Ty was the DH. He was responsible for the two runs that a their team scored.  The final score was 2-0.  They played in another game a few hours later against CHS and we lost 6-2.  It was a very windy and rainy game.  Carter played first base and Ty played a few innings at second base.  Another busy weekend of baseball.

Today we had a wonderful Sabbath Day.  The talks in Sacrament Meeting were on our pioneer heritage.  The speakers each spoke about their ancestors and they were all very faith promoting stories.  It was a wonderful reminder of how grateful I am for my pioneer heritage and the many sacrifices they made for us and the hardships they bore.  We have a rich heritage - honor them and make them proud.  They are there to help you.  I pray each day that the Lord will surround you with His holy angels - surely they are your angels.

This afternoon dad and I had to head over to the dental office to see a patient.  She is an older Hispanic lady who has very little money.  She needs all of her teeth pulled and then a full set of dentures.  Dad is offering her a very low price.  I really admire dad and the service he continuously renders to those who are in need.  He really is a great guy!

I spoke to Aunt Nanette tonight - her family just returned from a week vacation in San Diego.  It sounds like they had an amazing time.  However, on their first day at the beach Courtney was stung by a stingray on her big toe.  She is lucky that is where it stung her.  She was sore for a couple of days but is doing fine.  Bless her heart.  

We had FHE tonight and the lesson was on charity.  We read several scriptures on charity and then went through everything that charity is.  We then talked about how we as a family can improve in this area - especially with one another.  Ironically the lesson ended in an argument - LOL!  All is well however.  Not too much damage done, and once we all worked it out things are even better than before.  I'm sure this sounds all too familiar!

We will be heading to Beaver for the 24th of July celebration.  Grandma and Raymond just bought another new trailer.  This one is bigger and actually expands.  We will probably head up on the Beaver mountain to do some camping over the weekend.  It is always fun to spend time with the family in the beautiful mountains.  Wish you were here with us, but you will be home soon enough.  

How's the new face stuff working for you?  Have you noticed a difference?  How's the new diet of food?  That is basically what I am supposed to be doing for my diet.  I have a gluten intolerance so basically the only grain I eat is corn as well - rice and oats once in awhile.  It does make a big difference, but then there are days like today when I ate a few too many homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Oh well, I'll do better tomorrow.  Take care of yourself Big "D"!  We all love and miss you very much.  Keep up the great work!  Is there anything that you need right now?  Please let me know!  Godspeed!

All My Love,

Mom


Dallin's Letter Home:


Greetings from Stockholm, Sweden!

Mom, I'm so grateful that you are a good writer and that you take the time to tell me about everything that's going on at home.  My most precious time of the week is reading your email from home.  Thanks for being so good these last two years with writing such high quality emails and helping me feel closer to home.

Sounds like you guys had an exciting summer week.  I'm happy for the boys, Carter playing good ball, Ty having a good experience at efy, and dad rendering some Christlike service. I was so touched by Ty's sweet email this week.  That kid literally has a heart of gold. I can't wait to see the young man that he has become. And dad's example helping that Hispanic lady out is what the gospel is all about. I think that we can get so easily caught up with our duties in the world and the church, and forget the message of love and service that Christ taught. I think of the Savior's parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Yes the ordinances in the gospel are vital but they do us no good if we do not live the higher law that Christ teaches which can be summed up with 'Love God and love your neighbor as yourself' (Galatians 5:14).  Way to go pops. That's big.  Haha I love the story of your guys' last FHE, classic Milne family, keep working at it.  

Anyways we had a fun week running the streets of Stockholm.  I love it here because there is always something going on and someone to talk to.  And man I'll tell ya, there are some interesting people here haha wow. Its been rainy and kind of chilly but the last couple of days the sun has been shining. I've decided that I prefer the cold to the heat.  Maybe its just because I'm a missionary to has to walk around in pants and wear a neck tie.  adjusting to the weather at home will be interesting. I'm glad that it'll be fall time when I make #TheReturn.  But yeah me and the fin taught district meeting this week and it was super good. We felt inspired to talk about obedience and what we should be obedient to, namely the spirit or the light of Christ. The book you sent influenced this quite a bit. But we talked a lot about Christ example of obedience vs the pharisees example of obedience. It is important to realize that the Pharisees were basically exactly obidient to the law of moses and to church policies and traditions at the time, but they missed the point of it all obviously. We talked about how we need to keep the rules and stuff but that we need to keep in mind that the rules are there to help us keep the higher law. We opened up the scriptures to these missionaries and they loved it. I had never got such great feedback from a group of missionaries after a district meeting before.

We had a nice Sunday and were able to build up relationships with the members.  They do a good job taking care of us missionaries.  I hope you guys have a fun time for the 24th. I have so many good childhood memories on that day in Beaver with the family.  Enjoy it all and enjoy the time together!  And mom the the diet is good but its a little more expensive. we've had to cut out eating-out and stuff but that's turned out to be a good thing.  I'm turning into quite the cook haha.  Thank everyone in the ward for their prayers on my behalf, I'm really touched hearing that they pray for me without even knowing me personally.

Until next week,

Dallin


This Week's Pictures:




Downtown Stockholm


Beautiful Stockholm


My Handsome Son


Summer looks good on Stockholm