Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Day - 2013!

Christmas Day finally arrived!  We enjoyed a nice Christmas breakfast and then read the Nativity scriptural account accompanied by some Christmas songs.  We talked about how wise men still seek the Christ today and do all they can to follow him!  We expressed our love and gratitude for the beautiful gift our Father has given us in the life of His Only Begotten Son!  We shared the gifts we can give our Savior this coming year.  We are so grateful for the knowledge that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ gives us, especially that of eternal families.  We are so very blessed!

Right on schedule Elder Milne called us at 11:00 am (7:00 pm Sweden time).  We were elated!  We chose to not open presents until after we spoke to him.  Talking with him would be our first gift of Christmas this year (can't think of a better one - Blaine's idea).  Thankfully we had the Skype all set up and we had no glitches.  He looked so great and sounded amazing.  Mom's first concern was if he had enjoyed his Christmas day.  He said that indeed he had.  So many members had been more than generous to him and his companion.  They showered them with gifts and food.  They attended a 6:00 am Christmas program at the local church and ate breakfast with members.  They then went to the relief society president's home for a Christmas Brunch, lunch at another members home and then to the Carlson's for Christmas dinner.  That is where Dallin Skyped us from.  He told us all about his new area - Umea, Sweden.  It is in the Northern part of Sweden on the coast of the Baltic Sea.  It only has about 4 hours of daylight this time of year, and Dallin says it is cold but not as cold as he expected it to be.  He said it reminds him a lot of Minnesota.  Very beautiful!  Umea is a city of about 112,000.  It has a University of 36,000 students.  There is a Branch of the church there with about 80 members who he says are awesome, very educated, and have super strong testimonies.  He says they are all very supportive of the missionaries.  He is very blessed.  His companion is from Salt Lake City.  He graduated from Bingham High School, attended BYU prior to his mission, and has been in Sweden for 9 months.  Dallin said he has a very nice apartment, and he says he is being treated very well, and wants for nothing.  This made his mom feel very relieved.  She told him that she hoped that would be the case.  Our family has fed the missionaries for years on a regular basis, and Natalie thought that should count for something when it came time for her own sons to serve.

We were able to talk to Dallin for an hour.  We all maintained our composure pretty well until Ty tried to speak to Dallin.  He could not get a single word out.  His eyes welled up with crocodile tears and we all lost it.  Ty really misses his older brother but he is so proud of him.  Dallin told us goodbye and that he would later send pictures of his arrival, Stockholm, and Christmas.  Elder Milne we are so proud of You!!! We love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas.  Here are the words to a Christmas song Natalie wrote shortly after her mission:

Who is this Child
  lying in a manger?
Is He the One they
  promised would come
to save the world
  from sin and suffering?
The stars in Heaven
  witness He's the One.

Who is this boy
  teaching in the temple?
He's telling them
  of His Father's plan.
They're asking questions,
  He knows the answers.
His divine mission
  He begins to understand.

Who is this Man
  kneeling in the garden?
Sweat and blood
  fall from every pore.
Who is this Man
  dying on the cross for me?
He has completed
  what His Father sent Him for.

Who is this God?
  His arms are outstretched toward me.
His eyes
  beckon me to come.
He is my God
  He is my loving Savior.
His hands and feet
  witness He's the One.

Who is this Child....?

Love You Dallin!

The Three Wisemen!
     We spent the rest of the day rejoicing in our blessings, and at Grandma Susan's house.  We enjoyed dinner with Susan, Raymond, and the Morgensen family.  We also were able to visit Natalie's Uncle Wayne.  He reminds us so much of Grandpa Ty.  What a wonderful day we had!

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