Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Welcome To Karlskrona Aldste Packer!

I had a rough night - very restless and very little sleep.  Not sure what that was about, but maybe I was just anxious to read how "Big D" was doing.  Finally around 5:00 am I decided to just get out of bed and see if he had sent his weekly email yet.  Sure enough he had just sent it.  I was so excited!  I even sent him a second email and he responded right back, so that was awesome.  He sounds great!  I am so thankful to be the mother of a missionary right now.  I am really enjoying the blessings that his service brings into our lives.  Way to go "Big D"!  You look as handsome as ever!  Can you believe he has already been out six months?  Wow!  Time is really flying!

Here is Blaine's Letter this week (he titled it "Letter from Big Pappi"):

Hi Dilly Dal,

You have sure amounted to something, well at least 6 months worth. But that doesn't get the job done, so keep at it. Right? Or you're done...

Dallin, get back to work.... Now! There is no room for laziness. Laziness never was happiness. So get it done.

Your mother has taught you well. Listen to her words. Aren't they beautiful? Especially about the Carpenter. Don't ever forget about the Carpenter, the Teacher, the Great Physician. He is the one that heals. He is the one we worship. You are spending this time in His service.
Make the most of it. You will be home soon, and you CAN make a huge difference in someone's life.
President Monson is a fine example of this service to his fellow men. How lucky we are to have his example of Christ-like service to reflect upon.

As a young boy I had the opportunity to be with him as he blessed Grandma Milne. He knew I was only an Aaronic priesthood holder (teacher).  He later said he would take full responsibility for allowing me and Grandpa Milne, he too an old Aaronic priesthood deacon, to participate in the Melchizedek priesthood blessing.

President Monson's blessing has brought much peace to my life as I have reflected on it. Dallin, I am so proud of your choice to serve a mission for our Lord.

You look like you have gotten bigger and a little more filled out. It looks like your eating well up there.

Take care son, be safe always, and remember you will be home soon.

Time is short, I love you, and I'll see you on the back nine.


Pappi Milne

Here is Natalie's Letter this week:

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fight for sun and sky and air and light, that stood out in the open plain and always got its share of rain, never became a forest king but lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man that never had to toil by hand or mind mid life's turmoil, who never had to win his share of sun and sky and light and air, never became a manly man but lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease; the stronger the wind, the tougher the trees. The farther the sky, the greater the length; the rougher the storms, the greater the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, in tree or man good timber grows.

Where the thickest stands the forest growth we find the patriarchs of both, and they hold converse with the stars whose broken branches show the scars of many winds and much of strife - this is the common law of life.

My Dear Son,

How are you today? I love and miss you. My prayers and thoughts are always with you. I am so grateful for your decision to serve a mission. Our family has received specific blessings because of your service as I am sure you have. I am so proud of you Dallin. I know mission life is tough. I know things rarely go as planned. I know something of the struggles that you face on a daily basis. But, I also know that our Heavenly Father is in control, that He loves you even more than I, and all of these experiences will be consecrated for your growth and development. Learn to rely upon the Spirit each day to bring understanding as to "why" things happen the way they do. Keep your chin up, work hard, play hard, and pray hard! "Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get!" (Forest Gump). However, savor each piece because like them or not they become part of who we are.

Do you recognize the "Good Timber" poem? I found this poem years ago and it reminded me so much of Grandpa Black. It was read at his funeral, and it was also on the back of his funeral program. I have preserved it in the book that I made of him after he died. Remember it has a picture of you next to it sitting on a large stack of logs grandpa had cut upon Beaver Mountain? Keep this poem in mind. The Lord wants to grow good timber in each of His children, and the only way for that to happen is if each one of us is allowed to weather the storms of life. In the end, we will be broken and scarred, but we will be good timber. We will now be able to be fashioned into what the Carpenter desires. Mark my words, we will be glorious and beautiful!

How was the work this week in Karlskrona? How are you getting along with your new companion? Where was the Fin transferred to? How long has your companion been on his mission? Can you believe that you have reached your six month mark? Wow, time really flies!

Things here at home are great. We have had another busy week. Thankfully, Dr. White and I have finished up our interviews. We had five this past week and each was about 3 hours long. They were extra hard this week. Very emotionally draining. These stories at times are unbelievable. The pain and suffering caused by this addiction is almost immeasurable. After one particular interview I felt so weighed down that I could hardly find the strength to drive home. The evil influences of the world are so pervasive that it becomes very easy to lose hope. The atonement has played a huge role in giving me the strength to do these interviews. These women's stories need to be heard by all. I am so excited to begin writing, but first we have a lot of transcribing to do.

Pine View Baseball had an exciting week this week. Both the JV and varsity swept Dixie. Can you believe that? They are on their way to the state playoffs. They will play two games this coming Saturday up in Payson. If they win at least one of them they will advance to next week and play at UVU on Thursday. Dad and Carter are so excited. They both have worked so hard and have done an incredible job at bolstering team spirit and unity. Dad has had an amazing influence on the players and the rest of the coaching staff. He truly has a passion for baseball, for coaching, and for the players. I have never seen him this happy. However, I was very proud of him today as he complimented Carter. He told Carter that he does not care if Carter chooses to continue to play baseball or basketball, he wants him to continue only if Carter really wants to. Dad shared that he is already so proud of Carter and who he has become. Sports is just a small part of this. I know he feels the same way about you. He is so proud of all three of his sons and the choices they make each day to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. Carter bore his testimony today in Sacrament Meeting on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. Ty also taught his Deacon's Quorum class. Ty told us tonight as we had our FHE that you serving a mission has really helped his testimony to grow. He still tears up every time he talks about you. Thank you for being such an awesome older brother and for the incredible example you have always set for them.

Other news, Aunt Irene is moving out of the adobe to live with Mary up in Enterprise. She is declining in health rapidly. We are looking for new renters for the first of June. We also have three chickens. Dad brought home some baby chicks about six weeks ago and we kept them in a card board box in the garage with a big light on them. Once they were big enough Dad and Ty assembled a really cute chicken pen in the backyard. They should be laying eggs soon. We have two red ones and a white one. Nothing else too exciting. Do you hear much from any of your friends that are on missions? How are they doing?

Well Dal, it is late and as you know, morning comes all too quickly. Keep up the great work! Stay safe, happy, and obedient. I love you so much!

Love you to the moon and back,

Here is Aldste Milne's Email:
Dear Family,

6 months already down, 18 more to go.... Sounds like a long time but these first 6 months have flown by so fast that I think I'll be home before I know it. I'm trying to keep that in mind everyday so I make sure I give everything I've got to the Lord because my time is limited here in Sweden.
I love that "Good Timber" poem, I actually tried to paraphrase that with one of our investigators this last week. She asked that when she gets baptized and gets the gift of holy ghost if her life will be perfect afterward with no problems. I couldn't remember the poem off the top of my head, but it came to mind when she asked that, and we told her that we will of course be able to receive more guidance, remission of sins, etc, but that we will still have trials and hard times that are necessary for our growth and learning while on this earth. We may not always understand why things are the way they are, but our Heavenly Father does, and He knows what we need to go through to become the person he wants us to become. And of course He is willing to support us in our trials if we turn to him and rely on his Son, Jesus Christ.
It's always good to hear from everyone at the start of every week. I am especially looking forward to being able to skype you all on Mothers Day! I'll be sending you guys an email when we figure out the schedule for when we'll be able to do it. You guys might have to leave church after sacrament if you still have church at 11. That's awesome to hear about PV baseball and that Carter and Dad are having such a good time with it. I can't wait to hear how the first round went on Sunday! But what really makes me excited and happy is to hear how well my little brothers are doing with their testimonies. That is the most important thing that they can have right now and it warms my heart to hear that they are so strong.
That's sad to hear about Aunt Irene but she sure has lived a nice long life and I'm glad she was able to spend some time in the old house. And that's funny to hear about the chickens, ha you'll have to send me some pictures. We went back to the members with a farm this last week and we got to help them clean out their chicken coop and prepare their garden.
As far as the work this week, it went pretty well. The Fin was transferred to Stockholm to be with my MTC comp, Ä Silvennoinen, who is a fin also so they were both pretty excited about that. My new comp is Ä Packer from Pleasant Grove. He has been out for about 11 months. He's a cool guy and we get along well, I've been really lucky with awesome comps so far. I am back to being the shorter companion again though which kind of stinks.  Packer is about 6'3. We taught quite a few lessons this week and found some solid people as well. The investigators that we already have are progressing, slowly but surely. We are getting closer to the baptismal date that we have with this really nice lady. All she needs to do is give up smoking so we are helping her with that. I gave Carter some more details about investigators, we are discouraged to talk about them apparently on blogs so I won't go too deep with everyone but know that good things are happening.
I've been emailing a little bit with Cameron Hughes, Shep, and Dylan Edwards. They are all doing well. It's been interesting to compare our missions. Things sure are different here on the other side of the world that is for sure, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, I really am having a lot of fun spreading the good word and meeting new people. The language has come along really well, I like to think that I am ahead of the game with it. The Lord sure has been good to me, keeping me healthy and all that stuff. Anyways that's all for me, I'll send you guys an email within the next couple of days about mothers day skype, love and miss you all!

Äldste Milne
Here is the second email I sent bright and early this morning:
Hi Dallin!
I woke up early so I thought I would check my email! You sound great! Keep up the great work. Dad and Ty both fell asleep in my bed while they were supposed to be emailing you. Lol! Dad is really doing well, especially spiritually. I have seen so much growth in him since you've been gone. What an amazing example you are to him! He loves you so much and he talks about you daily! I will put some pictures on the blog today of dad with the baseball team and the chickens! You are amazing son! Take care and we will talk to you on Sunday!
Love you,


Aldste Milne's sweet resonse:
Sounds great Mom, you are the best! Love you tons, now get some rest! ;)  (He actually rhymed!)

Pictures for the week:

More Beautiful photos of Karlskrona!

Down on the farm.....

What has become my favorite lake!

My new companion Aldste Packer!
Saying Good-bye to the Fin at the Branch President's home!

Olle (the far right) up in Umea where he baptized his friend.

Team Huddle after the DIXIE win....  PV 5 Dixie 2

Carter bringing it against Dhills last week!

Dad and his buddy Jason Leavitt!
Senior Night PV vs. Dixie

The Chicken Coop!

The Three Amigos!


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