I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We just finished our morning devotional where Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife each spoke to us. Elder L. Tom Perry visited the first week I was here and gave a talk too. There have also been three members of the Seventy since I have been here that has spoken to us as well. All very powerful!
Anyways, I just wanted to use this little bit of time that I have until Thanksgiving lunch to write you guys a quick letter to let you know how much I love and miss you all. Don't worry, I'm not homesick and crying myself to sleep every night; I really love this whole mission thing and cannot wait to get to Sweden. I get better and better at the language each day, and my testimony is constantly being strengthened.
I am so grateful for you, mom and dad, for how you raised me making sure I was doing the right things, and loving and supporting me in everything that I did. It is true that you don't realize how great your parents are until you leave. I see how I was so blessed to be born of goodly parents.
And Carter and Ty, I love you both so much. You are the two best brothers that anyone could ask for! Keep working hard in school and sports. School of course over sports. But don't just go through the motions when you have the opportunity to play. Always do your best and don't ever be lazy. But most importantly, I would exhort you both to learn to love and appreciate the gospel each day. I know it is hard with school, and you are not at church everyday like I basically am, but you should always strive to be an example of righteousness to your friends. Obey mom and dad in everything they ask you to do, and always avoid contention with each other. Treasure every moment you get to spend together.
Anyways, I've got to wrap this up. Just know that I love all of you. Keep praying as a family and have family home evening every week. That is so awesome!
Elder Dallin Blaine Milne
P.S. Mom, if you could send me a silver looking tie clip that would be awesome. Like an inch and a half long. I think it would really complete my European slick missionary look, haha!!! Plus it will keep my tie from flying around all over and getting caught in subway doors - ha! Thanks!
He sounds so awesome and upbeat! Ty says, "He has really changed!" Maybe a little. Dallin has always been a pretty good boy. He has always loved the lord and been an obedient and loving son and brother. We are so grateful for his testimony and his example of service and love.
Natalie was reflecting today on how he gained a testimony very early on about the Savior and his mission. One evening, while living in Louisville, Kentucky, we were reading the scriptures. Carter was just a newborn baby and was sleeping. So it was just Blaine, Natalie and Dallin reading together in their bedroom. Dallin was not quite three years old. Blaine read, then Natalie, and then Dallin said he wanted to. Mom and dad waited anxiously to hear what their very young son would come up with knowing he couldn't read. We just about fell over when he started reciting very profound words about the Savior and his life. It truly was as if he were reading. We just stared at him in disbelief. Not knowing what else to say we said a prayer, gave him a big hug and went to bed. It wasn't until the next morning that we realized what had happened. Dallin was once again watching his favorite video "The Lamb of God". It is an LDS church video about the last week of the Savior's life and his resurrection. The beginning of the video begins with a narrator who testifies of the Savior and the great things that would take place during those final seven days. It was this that Dallin had quoted to us the night before. He had memorized all of it word for word. He has always been a very auditory learner. He was masterful at giving talks in primary at a very young age because he could memorize very lengthy talks with just a few small pictures as prompts. He even spoke in Sacrament Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky at the age of five. He spoke for about three minutes and had the entire talk memorized. The bishop and the congregation were amazed. This must be why the language at the MTC is coming along so well. Not to mention the help that comes from the Spirit. He has often commented on how he is catching a glimpse of what the gift of tongues must be like! We are so proud of Dallin and pray for him everyday. We have already received so many blessings as a family because of his service.
Below you will find a copy of something very neat that his mission president sent us awhile back. It is about the second harvest of converts that will take place in Sweden. We pray everday that the hearts of the people in Sweden will be softened so they will be ready to receive the message that Dallin and the other missionaries will share. Elder Milne wants so badly to be part of this second harvest. You might also find it interesting that his mission president, President Gregory Newell served as the US Ambassador to Sweden 25 years ago. He and his family became very good friends with the King of Sweden and his family during this time. Dallin is so excited to meet him. Here is the Second Harvest letter:
The Second Harvest
"In the middle 1800's when the first missionaries came to Sweden, thousands of people joined the church. It was a great and mighty harvest. I want to tell the members that there will be a new harvest, a second harvest in Sweden that will bring thousands of Swedes into the Church." - President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign July 2008.
The Lord has revealed that the time has now come when this will happen, but He has not revealed which day it will begin. The time has finally come when the Lord will say "yes" and many of those who have been in contact with the Gospel throughout the years, but never fully received it, will be baptized. The day will come when everything will fall into place and many will gladly accept the Gospel and will become part of the second harvest, when thousands upon thousands will join the Church.... The second harvest will be much greater than the first. Moving pioneers across the plains to Utah was a miracle in itself, but bringing even more new members through the Church program during one single year will be an even greater miracle. It will happen... The second miracle which will happen, in connection to the work of the harvest, is that those who convert will remain active in the church on a completely different scale. The members will be better prepared to take care of them, and the new converts will love the Gospel, remain faithful for the rest of their lives, and never fall away. Elder Eyring has emphasized: "We need faith to bring to pass this miracle in our stakes of Zion. My words have power, thanks to your faith. Through the faith of the members, our words and actions will have power to realize this."
What a wonderful promise! May our combined faith and prayers enable this to happen!