It was interesting this fast Sunday because we all started our fasts on our own, but when we came together as a family to discuss what we were fasting for, Dallin and the people in Karlskrona was first on each of our lists. We fasted that he would be able to maintain a positive attitude despite the trials that surely do and will come, that those he is teaching will come to know of the truthfulness of the message that he shares, and that the hearts of the people in Sweden will be softened and their minds prepared to receive this glorioius message of the restoration. We ended our fast together as a family, and it brought great comfort and peace when we received Dallin's email the next morning as he acknowledged that our fasting had been honored by the Lord. Having a missionary in the field sure keeps us sharp!
Blaine complains that I am too long winded. I do not argue this because it is true. So this week I told him he could be in charge of writing the letter. I also helped but tried to keep it to a minimum. Here is what we came up with:
Dear Elder Milne,
We sure hope this finds you happy and well. We fasted for you today and prayed that you would be strengthened for the long haul. We sure hope that your enjoying some very nice weather at this time of year. Sweden must be quite nice right now. Karlskrona must be especially nice. Make sure and enjoy this weather because you have one more solid winter to go through.
We appreciated your scripture you sent us last week. Just when we were about to turn back and our hearts were depressed, the Lord comforted us through your letter.
We miss you Dallin, and wonder what could have been. But you decided to serve the Lord. You have decided to put your trust in Him and let Him guide your life. You remembered the promise He has made to all of us..
He can make more of our lives than we ever could on our own.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
This was a scripture my teammate from the Savannah Cardinals put on every ball in the bullpen he would hold during our baseball games that summer of 1993. He was a relief pitcher and a very fine person. Doug Goodman was his name and he also played the guitar. He had written several pieces of music about Jesus Christ and all He means to us.
He was not a member of the church but he took great care of me as a roommate and driving me around in his car he had brought. I had flown into Savannah and he was kind enough to take me on as his roommate and haul me around with him.
I made some really nice friends on that team. They all took great care of me as a member of the church who didn't drink or engage in other late night events. That team was very special as it won the South Atlantic league title beating Derek Jeter's Greensboro Yankees team.
I had only 31 at bats that summer as the third catcher in the bullpen, but was awarded a one year guaranteed contract from the Farm director Mike Jorgenson when he said thank you to me for what I had done for the team that summer.
I felt I was blessed by my perseverance and determination to set a good example to my teammates.
They called me the Mad Mormon. I have always been a little off.
This is now mom! How are you this week Dallin? How is the work going? How much longer do you think you will get to stay in Karlskrona? How are your investigators doing? Never lose the hope that lies within each one of us. You are there to bring hope to the lives of others. This is a gospel of hope. Hope for a better life and hope for an eternal life! I know there is someone there in Karlskrona that is searching for this hope, and all the other blessings that the restored gospel brings. Press forward with faith and I know you will find them.
We fasted for you today and all those you come in contact with. I am really missing the mission field today. I miss having the missionaries over for dinner on a regular basis and interacting with non-members on a daily basis. I know there is work to do anywhere you go, but there is nothing that quite compares to the mission field. As descendants of Ephraim it is our responsibility to teach the gospel here upon the earth. That is why we were saved for these last days. I have truly found that there is no greater joy that comes to us than that of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cherish every moment that you have as a full-time missionary.
Ty says to tell you hello and that he loves and misses you. He still has a hard time even talking about you without getting those big crocodile tears in his eyes. He is a really good boy. He and dad had a great time yesterday working in the yard. You could tell he was quite pleased with himself. He and dad pulled out three dead trees that didn't survive the snowy winter we had.
Cole Wilstead returned home from his mission this week. He looks good. It made me think of the time you will return. You left a boy and will surely return a man. I am so grateful for the opportunities and blessings the Lord is blessing you with at this time in your life. Treasure every moment, it will be over before you know it. Treasure the relationships that you form - they will be eternal.
Take care of yourself Dal! We love and miss you, and we continually pray for you. #bestsonever #seeyouontheback9 #keepthefaith
Mom and Dad
Here is Aldste Milne's Response:
Every monday I have "Letters From Home" by John Michael Montgomery on replay in my head. It really does keep me drivin' on, waitin' on, letters from home.
That's a cool story old man, I had never heard of the mad mormon nickname that you had. And it's chill everyone is off a little bit one way or another haha.
Thanks for the fasting and prayers this last week. I think they might have paid off for something. Me and Pack had a pretty solid week. Thankfully, we get to teach alot more than most missionaries out here. Tracking all day long is no fun, we still have to knock a few doors every now and then, but we stay pretty busy with appointments, and that is a huge blessing. Our investigators are doing pretty well. We have a couple who we are especially excited about. We are just trying to be patient and keep moving forward. The month of June is starting to look like a harvest month. I'm hoping to dodge the transfer that will be coming next week. I would hate to leave karlskrona without a baptism and we are so close with quite a few who I have grown to love a lot! But the Lord knows whats up, so he'll take care of whatever needs to go down.
I had another fun experience with Jehovah's witnesses, these ladys that we met with were a lot more nicer than the ones in Umeå. We had a nice discussion. One thing I've really loved about the mission is getting to know all of these different religions. Very very interesting. It makes you really think about what you belive and how you feel which has been good for me.
A scripture that I came across this last week that I really like comes from 1 Nephi 11: 17
"I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
I think this can go right along with the Proverbs verses as well, sometimes we won't be able to understand why things are the way we are. But that is what faith is about. God loves us, and he will direct us where we need to go and he has a plan for all of his children. We just need to trust Him and move forward doing what we know is right. There's a really cool Mormon message about this kind of called "good things to come" i think and its about Jeffery R Holland. Ya'll will really like it.
Anyways, just know that I am doing good. The Lord has been super good to me, blessing me with solid comps and two fun areas. I know wherever I go and whatever happens, it'll be for my good. Tell Ty that he is the man, I love that kid to death, you really can't ask for a better baby brother. But tell him he'll need to man up here pretty soon and stop bawling everytime I come up in conversation haha.
Have a good week everyone, love you all!
PS. Love the hashtags!
This weeks pictures:
One of the coolest swedes I've met, love her and her daughter to death! They are both doing very well!
The view from one of the members' homes
Candid sunset picture over the river