Here's the letter from Mom this week:
Joseph Smith: "I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priest-craft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty." (History of the Church, 5:401.)
Orson F. Whitney, Apostle, 1906–1931: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father [in heaven]." (Quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, "Tragedy or Destiny," Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Dec. 6, 1955, 6.)
D&C 127:2 Joseph Smith said: "....... But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it."
Joseph Smith: “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540). This was the theme of my mission in Oklahoma City many years ago. We would recite it at every zone conference.
I hope the water isn't too deep in Sweden right now. Life is full of trials and persecutions, but the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and you will triumph as you become a polished shaft in the quiver of the almighty. As I was partaking of the sacrament today, the very first quote came to mind as I reflected on the atonement and all the trials and persecutions I have faced in my life. It led me to look this quote up and I was then led to these other quotes I have shared. All very powerful and undoubtedly true! I pray that they too will give you strength as you will likely face many trials and even persecutions on your mission. That just comes with being a missionary, and someday soon you to will say, "deep water is what I am want to swim in."
I absolutely loved reading your last email. It was so positive, powerful, and uplifting. I can tell you have caught the vision of missionary service, and that you love the work as well as the people. There isn't a greater feeling in the world than to share this amazing message with others and having the Spirit so powerfully testify of the truthfulness of it! I pray that your investigators are still progressing and that you are finding more and more to teach. That is awesome about the investigator that has committed to be baptized on March 15th. We have been praying for him all week and will continue to do so. We are also praying for all your other investigators and future investigators. What a wonderful privilege you have been given to share this incredible message of hope and salvation with the beautiful people of Sweden. I pray that you are happy and well, and that you and your companion are working hard, seeking the guidance of the Spirit daily, and being obedient! I am so very proud of you Dallin! Keep up the great work. Good luck this week with the upcoming baptism and speaking in church. I will be fasting and praying for you.
Well, it is Spring time, and we all know what that means..... baseball season has arrived! We spent all weekend at ballgames. Carter pitched for the JV team this weekend to help dad get a couple of wins. He was the winning pitcher against Diamond Ranch's varsity team coached by Bo Iverson, and against Timpanogas' JV team. What was awesome about that win was he played against Kayson Cloward and our cousin/friend Connor Eyre. The Eyre's moved Connor to Timpanogas High School. It was so fun to see Nick and Diane there. They are definitely two of my favorite people on the planet. It brought back so many wonderful memories we have shared with them. So very good to see them! Nick is currently serving in a bishopric at BYU and he loves it. You also will not believe who came up to Dad the day before playing Timpanogas...... Steve Cloward. Dad just about fell over, but he said that Steve was really nice and actually acted happy to see dad. Ty had his basketball tournament on Saturday as well. He was so disappointed because he has been sick with allergies, asthma, and stomach issues since Thursday. He didn't play much, and they lost their first round game against Canyon View - a team they had beat easily during the regular season. Anyhow, he will continue to play some Spring basketball and will finally get going with baseball again.
I also was not feeling well this past week. I had a sinus/ear infection coupled with nausea and dizziness. Ugh! I hate being sick, but it did give me an opportunity to do more research for the book. I scoured the church website as well as scriptural references from mostly the Book of Mormon. I also had to take an online course to become certified to do research with humans. It was about four hours worth of work, but interesting. We are waiting to hear back from the IRB (institutional review board) for approval to conduct our interviews. Once we receive their approval we will be able to really get going! I am looking forward to doing the interviews. I will be conducting them face to face with women whose spouses have issues with viewing pornography or a pornography addiction. The deeper I get into this research the more rampant I discover this problem is with members of the church. So many people are affected by this. It makes me heartsick for all involved: husbands, wives, and children. This is truly one of Satan's most effective tools of our day. Dad calls it the drug of the decade. I call it the modern day plague of the sons of Israel. However, there is hope and healing that can come to all through the atonement, but the journey back is arduous and long. Being engaged in this type of immorality removes one so far from the Spirit and changes that person on every level: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physiologically. It grossly skews one's views of the purpose of this mortal probation and the purpose of our bodies. It objectifies and degrades women, and it damages the relationships of husbands and wives, and fathers and children. And, as with all other addictions, it leads one to even worse things. Grandma Susan shared this quote with me that we will definitely be using in our book: It is based on 2 Nephi 1:13-23. "Disobedience to the Lord's commandments allows Satan to deceive us, and we forget the light and truth we have previously learned. President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency described this dangerous condition: 'One of the effects of disobeying God seems to be the creation of just enough spiritual anesthetic to block any sensation as the ties to God are being cut. Not only does the testimony of the truth slowly erode, but even the memories of what it was like to be in the light begin to seem like a delusion.'"
Enough about that. It is really warming up here. We are now enjoying weather in the 70's. Is it still really cold in Sweden? When does it start warming up there? I hope you are staying warm. Spring time in St. George really is beautiful. The blossoms are blooming and everything is greening up! Allergies are in full bloom as well. This week is more baseball of course. It is also Spring Break. Your brothers are in for a big surprise when they find out they have to clean the garage tomorrow! Dad and I are supposed to be going to SLC for the Utah Dental Convention Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but I hardly think we will go. I don't think he can be away from baseball that long.
Hugs and kisses Dal! I love and miss you so much! Take care and stay happy, safe, and warm! Keep up the great work. I can't wait to hear from you.
Elder Milne's Email:
Thanks for the sweet quotes. They are all so true. I've learned it's all about our mindset and attitude. We get to determine our own happiness and how we want to look at life. Everyone is going to have trials at some point, but we can get through anything as long as we have a similar mindset that Joseph Smith himself had.
Good to hear that everyone is doing well. I'm excited to keep hearing about baseball season and how everyone does. That's cool that you were able to see the Eryes and Clowards, wow that seems like a whole other lifetime. Where did my life go? haha and Carter told me that he's starting to grow a little bit. That's exciting just make sure he doesn't get taller than me. That would not be cool haha. That's exciting that the book is starting to come along too. That is a sad deal with the whole pornography thing, you're doing a good thing writing that book. Super jealous about the 70 degree weather too. Sorry about the sicknesses that are going around at home. Thats one thing that we can never seem to get away from in our family, someone is always sick haha. I've been fortunate to stay healthy up here in Sweden. I guess you could say it is warming up here. It's about 5 degrees celcius now. Which is still cold but it isn't that bad.
Anyways everything went good last week. As far as numbers go it was one of my best ones. We were able to teach a lot of lessons and contacted a ton of people. Our investigators are doing well. It feels weird calling them investigators because we are all really good friends. We are still good for the baptism this Saturday. We taught him all the commandments last week and I was super nervous about the bigger ones, but he was just like "yeah it makes sense, I can do that." It was super cool to see the Spirit working in him and that he was willing to change his life to follow God and his commandments. I am beyond excited. And we have been meeting with another awesome Swede who shouldn't be too far away from being baptized also. Both really good guys and so ready. They were both in church yesterday too so that was wonderful. Me and Hitch also taught Preisthood yesterday. It actually went really well. We taught chapter 5 in Joseph Fielding Smith and had a really good dicussion. I'm having a ton of fun with it all. We will be flying down to Stockholm on Friday for a zone conference so that should be cool. The members here in Umeå are still awesome, they feed us all the time. I love sacrament meeting so much here. It'll be tough to leave this place. I'm hoping to stay here for at least one more transfer. I think I'll find out sometime next week. Oh ha we met up with some Jehovah's witnesses last week too. It was hilarious. They are great people but, I don't know, I didn't want to get too into it with them. All it did was strengthen my testimony of the church. Interesting experience. And we have been meeting with tons of other great people as well. I'm just very excited for the two that I mentioned above.
But yeah I am doing very well. Having a good time and the work is progressing. Don't worry too much about me but thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! There is so much power in prayer! How is Devan doing by the way, I'm interested in how the post mission life is treating him haha. Hope everyone else is doing well also. Did you guys get the cards for Grandma and Glenda?
Lots of Love
Hooray! Pictures this week!
Brrr.... But Beautiful!
Preaching in the Town Square....LOL!
Beautiful Swedish Architecture!