It was so hard to say good-bye to Dallin today. But through tears we were able to manage it. Sweet little Ty still could barely utter a word without those big crocodile tears welling up in his eyes. He and Dallin have always had such a special bond. Blaine and I said our good-byes and then we let the boys have some "bro time" with Dallin. I listened in as I made preparations for church. Oh, it melted my heart. All three of them have always been so close. It was good to hear them all together once again. They joked and laughed, and they shed a few more tears. I was touched when Carter asked Dallin what he and Ty could do besides read their scriptures everyday and say their prayers to better prepare to be a missionary. I loved Dallin's answer. He told them to really live the gospel with faith, to not take it for granted, and come to know for themselves that it really is true! When you know it is true you live your life differently and life takes on such a deeper and more purposeful meaning.
Sacrament meeting today was really special. Brother Houston from our bishopric had arranged for all the missionaries serving from our ward to send letters to him wishing their mother's a happy mother's day and sharing their testimonies of families and missionary work. He then had a member of each missionary's family read it to the congregation. Ty was asked to read Dallin's, and Carter was asked to play a piano medley on the program. It was simply awesome! Carter inspired us by playing a mother's day medley he had arranged himself, and Ty was happy to make it through reading the letter without crying. After Sacrament meeting we all loaded up in the SUV and headed to Minersville. Interestingly enough we had to travel through a bit of snow to get there. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and relished our time with family. On the way back to St. George we stopped in to visit with Aunt Kim and her awesome family. It too was a wonderful visit! We are so blessed to be surrounded by loving family!
Here is the letter that Ty read in Sacrament meeting:
"First off, I want to say that I love and miss you all and thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers on my behalf. I'm grateful for this opportunity to share my testimony on families and missionary work. In my short time on a mission here in Sweden I have learned to love the gospel and really appreciate how much it has blessed my family's life. I'm grateful for my call to serve the people here and invite them to come unto Christ. I'm grateful for the wonderful family that my Father in Heaven has blessed me with and especially for my angel mother. Happy Mother's Day mom, I love you so much!
I invite you all to ponder and reflect upon what the restored gosple of Jesus Christ really means for you and your family, and to think about those you know who have not experienced the joy and peace that comes from the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, that he leads His church today through a living prophet, and that families can be together throughout eternity.
Brothers and sisters, I know that if we have a sincere desire to become a member missionary and seek the guidance of the Spirit in sharing the gospel with our friends, that the Lord will help us recognize when it is the right place and the right time, and that He will not only bless our efforts but also our lives and our families.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
YAY!!! We still received emails from Aldste Milne on Monday!
Here is my letter to Aldste Milne:
D&C 130:20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
Dear Aldste Milne,
Wow! It was the best Mother's Day ever! How wonderful it was to see your handsome face and hear your voice. You look so good Dal! And we were so touched and inspired by your testimony! Your Swedish was amazing! What a blessed opportunity you have been given. We could really feel the strength of your spirit and testimony! The best part though is that we could see that even through all the growth you are experiencing you are still Dallin - our son and brother. That made us miss you even more! But, you do know that we would not want you to be anywhere else but right where you are right now. It is so neat to hear your experiences and to see how you are blessing so many lives, including ours. Remember the counsel that dad gave you - "play the game the right way"! Obedience is the first law of Heaven, and all blessings are predicated upon obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much for the amazing letter that Ty was able to read in Sacrament meeting today. What a powerful meeting it was to have letters from all the missionaries in our ward read by a member of their family. Carter also played a mother's day piano medley that he arranged himself. He did an awesome job. We left Sacrament meeting and headed up to Minersville. Can you believe that Cedar City and Minersville both received about five inches of snow last night and today. It was beautiful but cold. Grandma made a delicious dinner. It is always so wonderful to eat someone else's cooking. Nanette's family was there along with David and his girls. Devan is in Pueblo, CO selling security systems. He will be there all summer. They said he is really doing well so far. We had a wonderful visit with everyone, and then on the way home we stopped at Aunt Kim's and visited with her family. That too was an awesome visit. Aunt Kim said to tell you hello and that she loves you.
For mother's day dad had the oil painting that he bought me for Easter professionally framed. The frame was more expensive than the painting - Yikes! But it is going to be beautiful! I'll send you a picture when it is finished. Can you believe that I have been a mother for over 19 years. I can still remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday. You were such a beautiful baby boy. I will forever be amazed at how a mother's love is so instantaneous. There is an immediate bond that surely was formed in the premortal realms. I remember how I felt during the time I was in labor. I started having complications that impeded your proper delivery. Your little heart was getting stressed and was quickly weakening. Without a thought for my own well-being I plead with the doctor to just cut me open and get you out. I didn't even want the anesthesia - I wanted it done now!!! Your life at that moment was the most important thing to me. Those feelings were so strong and so undeniably real! There are not words to adequately describe the love a mother has for her child. I at times feel sorry for the dad's. I know they love their children as well, but I do believe that a mother's love is unmatched by anything in this world and maybe even in the world to come. With each of my son's births that very same love was instantly there, and the amazing thing is that a mother's love just grows stronger and stronger.
Well Dallin, that is all I have for now. We shared everything else this morning. Now we have Christmas to look forward to. We all shed tears throughout the day as we talked about you. Your dad was especially impressed with your testimony and growth. He is so proud of you! Your brothers love you so much as well. Thank you for being such an awesome example to them. They are such good boys. Love you tons Dal! My heart is heavy tonight. I wished I could give you a great big hug and tell you how proud I am of you. I know missionary life is tough. It is a daily grind, but just like we discussed Sunday morning, the blessings of hard work and obedience make it all worth it. They really do rejuvenate you and sustain you. Remember to plead with the Lord for the strength to do His work and His will each day. He is so mindful of you and will carry your through each day no matter what! Keep on keepin' on!
Love You to the Moon and Back,
Here is Aldste Milne's p-day email:
Man it was so good to talk to you all last night! Thank you for all of the nice encouraging words and thank dad for his "pump up" talk haha. I am not really sure what to talk about because I shared pretty much everything about this week with you guys yesterday. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers on my behalf. I have definitely learned that there is true power in true prayer. A lot of times it is easy to go through the motions with the prayers but with this week especially, me and Pack tried to really make our comp prayers sincere and specific, and we ended up having one of the most successful weeks of my mission so far. There is real power in faith, especailly faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve Him here to help bring others unto Him. And I am so grateful for you all, thanks for all of your love and support.
"spela spelet hur det borde spelas"
Love you all,
Dates for dad
March 15, 2014
March 18, 2014
(Blaine wanted Dallin to send him the baptismal dates for Olle and Daniel)
This week's awesome pictures:
Old Swedish Church
Chillin' on a p-day with Aldste Packer
Inside the old Swedish church
Me and Pack with a funny dude in the branch, he is a hipster with the hair style, it'll be a trend soon!
"Tie burning" to celebrate the 6 month mark!