Here is Natalie's letter this week to Dallin:
2 Nephi 32:3,5.... Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
You sure sounded great in your last letter. That always brings peace and comfort to my heart to know that you are happy and doing well. I undoubtedly know that you will also experience times of trial and frustration, this is a normal part of life, and especially mission life. I have always admired the positive attitude you have always tried to maintain, regardless of the circumstance. I think of how many times we moved you away from friends, family, and your home, and you never put up a fight. You were always willing to do what was best for our family. Your positive attitude always helped you quickly make friends, and you spent very little time feeling sorry for yourself. That trait will serve you well as a missionary and throughout your mortal journey. Keep up the great work Dallin and always keep your chin up! You have so many people that love you and care about you. You are in all of our thoughts and prayers.
I know you are in a difficult part of the vineyard for sharing the gospel. I cannot even fathom not having a belief in God. How empty my life would be without the knowledge that I have loving Heavenly Parents and a Savior who is my older brother, that I have the companionship of a member of the Godhead to bring peace, comfort, testimony, and knowledge through the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that families are eternal, and life goes beyond this mortal state. To believe otherwise is right down depressing. I know there are many in Sweden who do not believe that way, but I also know that there are many in Sweden who are hungering for that very knowledge, they just don't know where to find it (D&C 123:12). The great news is - you will find them as you rely upon the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost! Live each day to be worthy of His companionship. What a wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon us - the Holy Ghost. We are blessed beyond measure by His peace, comfort, joy, love, guidance, direction, and His sure witness that God is our Father and that Jesus is the Christ.
This week for us has been pretty good. However, Ty was sick for three days with probably the same virus I had last week. He had a fever and vomited a few times. He seems to be much better today. We also attended the open house on Saturday for Aunt Irene's 94th Birthday. It was a beautiful day and even though Aunt Irene doesn't really know what is going on, she was her jovial, humorous self. She is still very quick with a joke even though she can't even remember who you are or where she is! She looked great and we all had a lot of fun. It was fun to meet Mary's five children and her grandchildren. The highlight was probably when dad started up the old tractor and gave all the kids a ride around the pasture area. The old adobe house looks really great Dallin! I think about all your hard work every time I go in there.
Dr. White and I are still working hard on our book. We are developing eleven chapters. We have the chapter titles and outlines, and we are now finalizing the questions we will be using for our interviews. It has been a very interesting and rewarding experience. I have on so many occasions felt the guidance of the Spirit in helping me determine topics we should cover, questions we should ask, and how to word things with greater sensitivity to those we are seeking to help. It is amazing how and when the inspiration comes.... usually while I am doing household chores. I keep a paper and pen on my dresser so that every time I have a thought I run in and write it down so I can remember it when I have more time to elaborate. It is truly an unbelievable opportunity I have been given. I have also received much guidance during the endowment ceremony at the temple. Our mother Eve was absolutely incredible. We have so much to learn from her example of womanhood and motherhood. Our bodies are a sacred gift given to us as a reward for keeping our first estate. I find it so interesting that Satan does everything he can to demean and destroy our bodies.... the one thing that he will never have. Pornography is truly one of his greatest tools yet. Pornography is so destructive on so many levels. It dehumanizes, demoralizes, objectifies men and women alike. It destroys marriages, families, and individuals. It is the most addictive drug available and the most difficult addiction to overcome. It is truly one of the greatest scourges and plagues of our day. It is everywhere, and it is only through the use of our agency - choosing to turn away from it, when it is staring us in the face that we can truly be free from it. This same agency is destroyed when one becomes addicted to it. And sadly, it just doesn't affect the agency of the addict, its damaging affects spill over into the lives of those closest to the addict, and they in turn lose an element of their agency because of the ill feelings it elicits. The victims have to cognitively chose to reclaim their agency and refuse to let this destroy their lives. So, so very sad.
Anyhow, I am getting too long winded. However, I do need to explain why I chose the scriptures from 2 Nephi 32. As I'm sure I have told you before, this chapter is one of my very favorite in the Book of Mormon. Within this chapter lies our key to success in this life and eternal glory in the world to come. It simply comes down to this: The words of Christ will tell and the Holy Ghost will show all things which you should do. I really reflected on this a lot this past week. As always, dad is trying to determine which direction to take with the remaining years of his career. He is still going back and forth with either owning his own practice or continuing to work where he is. He just can't seem to get a sure answer. I, in growing a little frustrated and tired of this same old scenario, decided to take this matter to the Lord at the temple. I was so excited because now they have a 2nd new film. I love this one equally as much as the other new one. It is so awesome how they can be the very same words, but because of the actors different portrayals, different things stand out in each one. I absolutely love them both and have learned so much from both of them. Anyhow, as I sat pondering your father's predicament, the Spirit gently taught me this very important lesson: It is not good that we are commanded in all things. The Lord has given us our free agency, and even a brain, and expects us to use it. Yes, He has promised that the words of Christ will tell you all things and the Holy Ghost will show you all things, but I have determined that these are things that pertain to our eternal progression. Any other choices we make the Lord can certainly direct us in, but the spirit taught me that the bottom line is this- the Lord wants us to make decisions based on what will make us the happiest. When we feel the answers are not coming, it could be for a myriad of different reasons, but one thing is for sure - when we are making decisions that will impact our eternal life and progression the Lord will most assuredly answer us, and in ways that we will understand. So, feeling satisfied with my answer I came home and told your dad that maybe it doesn't really matter what he direction he chooses. He will be able to aptly provide for his family either way, but I challenged him to determine what would make him the happiest, choose that direction and then seek the Lord's approval. This reminds me of the experience I had when I was dating your dad 20 years ago. We were starting to really like each other, and so I began entertaining thoughts about marrying him. I counseled with my bishop and one of his concerns was that your dad wasn't a returned missionary. I wasn't sure if this really bothered me or not, but I thought I had better find out the Lord's view on this. I knew that your dad was a good person and that he was faithfully attending church, serving in the elder's quorum presidency and preparing to take out his endowments. So his worthiness was not an issue, but the fact that he hadn't served a mission might be.... I wasn't sure. I decided to fast and pray the next Sunday to find out the mind of the Lord. There are a few times in my life when I have received an immediate and direct answer to my prayers in which I literally heard the voice of the Lord, and this was one of them. After I ended my fast by praying, the Lord simply said, "Natalie, you know Blaine's heart and that is all that matters". We became engaged shortly after that, and then we were married in the St. George Temple on January 28th 1994. This Tuesday will be our 20 year anniversary. I am so grateful that the Lord answered my prayer that day. I love your dad, and I wouldn't have you or your brothers if I hadn't listened to the Spirit that day!
Anyhow Dallin, I love you, I miss you, and you are forever in my heart! Keep up the great work. Please stay safe, happy, healthy and warm. My favorite time of the week is Monday morning. We read your email before we even get out of bed. It is the best way to start our week! Take care!
Here is Blaine's Letter (he is not as long winded as Natalie, but he always makes powerful points):
How are you? Are you making it? Are you going to be able to get through it?
Things here have been quiet. Carter and Ty are still going to school and I am still working at Half Dental.
Your mom is working on a book on pornography and how it affects the wives and daughters of the addict.
Me and your mom will be celebrating 20 years of marriage on Tuesday January 28th. We were married on January 28th 1994 in the St. George temple. What a blessing that is for us and our family. I always wanted to be married in the temple and more specifically the St. George temple. It is such a beautiful temple. I feel at home here in St. George. It is such a blessing to be a member of the church and have our heritage of perseverance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. It is such a blessing to be a member of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and have the priesthood keys back on the earth again. President Monson holds all the keys to administer in the church and his apostles hold those same keys of presiding and administering. It is the keys of the priesthood that separate us from other churches. We believe that Peter, James and John restored the Melchezidek and John the Baptist restored the Aaronic priesthoods through the prophet Joseph Smith.
I hope you're doing OK. You're a wonderful young man Dallin. We love you very much and miss you.
Do your best not to become homesick. Remember you can do it.
Here is Elder Milne's Letter home this week:
Dear Milne Fam
Well we've made it another week. Not really sure where to start. It has been very interesting. Early in the week we were on cloud 9 as far as missionary work goes. We had set 2 baptismal dates with investigators who were progressing really well, and we were teaching more lessons than I had ever taught since coming to Umeå. But then the last couple of days things kind of seemed to fall apart sort of. Our first investigator with a date had been having problems with the Word of Wisdom in his life, but he knew everything we taught was true, and he loved the BoM and all of that. We set up a baptismal calendar with him and were meeting with him everyday to help him overcome his addictions. He was doing really well early on, and we were really excited, but then out of the blue one day he basically told us that there would be no way that he could give up beers with his brother and sister and decided that he didn't want to meet with us anymore. So that really sucked, but we kept a good attitude, and we were still really excited for the other one who had a baptismal date. He was progressing really well, and we could tell that he knew it was true, but then it came to our attention that he is involved in a homosexual relationship, and then he decided not to show up to church as well. So that date is done for as well. And on top of all of that we were canceled on like crazy these last couple of days and had no success in contacting on the street or knocking doors. But you're right, the mission life is definitely a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. I'm just trying to keep a good attitude. And don't worry I'm good, I have a good time and have really noticed a huge difference in the language so that has made me really excited. I just feel bad for my trainer because he has been out a year now and hasn't baptized anyone, and I really wanted to be the one to help him get his first before he left Umeå, and everything was going so well, then it all fell apart and now he is really depressed. Like I said last week, he will be transferring right in the middle of my training so this will be our last week together. He's a great kid and I have learned tons from him. We'll just keep working hard, good things will happen.
And those two scriptures are awesome Mom I've used those a few times while sharing a message with a member family at dinners. One of my favorite parts of the mission has been all of the time I have had to study the scriptures. So great, they truly do tell you all the things what ye should do. And the Holy Ghost as well. Easily the most important thing to have on a mission is the Holy Ghost. Without the spirit we can't teach, and for me it's been that if I am down on myself with a bad attitude, I don't have the Spirit with me and when I need to speak Swedish it doesn't come. But on the other end when I have a good attitude about things Swedish comes a lot easier. We rely on the Spirit every single day.
But congrats on the Anniversary! 20 years dang! Glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that the book is coming along good. I love hearing from both of you. Haha and don't worry dad I'll be able to get through it no problem. It's a lot of fun, but it is really cold - haha.
All is well, thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. And be thankful for everything that you have, I realize more and more everyday how nice we have it back home and all of the blessings that this gospel brings.
Here are the pictures Dallin sent home this week:
All I can say is BRRRR... but beautiful!