Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Phone Call...

     It was a typical Monday morning:  Alarm goes off, Blaine hits snooze button at least three times, I struggle to open my eyes, and once I do I realize it's email day!  The energy surges just enough to reach to the side of the bed and grab the laptop.  Another great letter from Aldste Milne.  I was just finishing it up and reflecting on what I would share in the blog this week and the phone rang.  Blaine answered it and I heard him say, "Dallin what are you doing?"  I then became concerned.  My first thoughts were "what is he doing calling home, is he sick, is he homesick, or is he just being blatantly disobedient?" As I saw the concern on Blaine's face and heard the tone of his voice I started to get really nervous.  He then handed the phone to me.  Thankfully I was reassured when Dallin explained to me that he had just had his wallet stolen and that I needed to call the bank and cancel his debit card and find out how to get him a new driver's license.  He also said that he took off after the guy who stole it and then thought better of it.  I told him to never, ever go after someone who just stole your wallet, and if someone approaches you with a knife or gun demanding your wallet to just give it to them because those things are replaceable, but he is not!  He said, "I know mom, that is actually in the missionary handbook".  We were only able to talk for about two minutes, but it was so good to hear his voice again - it was so positive, confident, and reassuring.  I spent the morning on the phone with the bank and the driver's license division and hopefully we have everything squared away.  I am concerned about his social security card though.  He thinks that was in his wallet as well.  I have another one for him, but I am somewhat worried about identity theft.  I will have to look more into how to take care of that.  He said that he was most disappointed about his wallet being stolen because he had one American dollar bill in there that he had been saving his whole mission so that when he returned to the US he would be able to buy something with it.  That made me sad too.

     Anyhow, this week has been interesting.  You will read about it in my letter to Aldste Milne.  Life is full of challenges.  It is supposed to be this way, I know.  It is interesting to me that I so badly want to become more like my Savior as I go through life, but I often don't want to go through those things the Lord deems necessary for me in order to get there - patience and long-suffering are definitely pre-requisites.  My health has been my biggest challenge most of my life.  However, looking back I can so easily see the wisdom of the Lord in allowing these challenges to persist.  It is definitely His way of keeping me humble, keeping me focused on what matter's most in life, and teaching me compassion and empathy.  I obviously still have a lot to learn because these challenges are not going away anytime soon.  I am grateful for the power of the priesthood, and a husband who is a worthy and inspired priesthood holder.  I am grateful for the blessing he pronounced upon me on Sunday evening.  Hope was restored and direction was received.  The road ahead is daunting and a bit unsure, but I have also learned that with the Lord all things are possible.  His wisdom is greater than mine, and His love for me is sure.  It is in those moments of great suffering that I feel His love the most.  For this I am grateful.  Aldste Milne sounds really good this week.  Our prayers were answered:  He gets to stay in Karlskrona for at least another month.

Letter From Home:

Ether 12:27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

"Everyone of us came through with absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities." - A survivor of the Martin Handcart Company

Dear Aldste Milne,

It was so good to read your email last week. I will always have the song "Letters from Home" playing in my mind on Sunday evenings as I write to you now. It is awesome! You sound good Dallin! I pray you have had another great week and that you are not being transferred yet. You have worked so hard there in Karlskrona. You deserve to realize some of the fruits of your labors.

I received an interesting phone call this week from a woman who lives nearby. She has been reading your blog. She served a mission in Sweden over 20 years ago so she was googling the Swedish mission one day and your blog came up. Through a series of events she was able to track me down. She wants to go to lunch next week to meet me and tell me about her life. I hope she will call me back.  It was neat to visit with her.

The scripture and quote I shared this week are an indication of where I am in my life right now. After over 20 years of having poor health on and off, I finally received a diagnosis explaining it all. I am currently very weak. I have been in bed the past 4 days. The Bishop and dad gave me a blessing tonight and it restored a lot of hope. I am going to be fine, but come to find out I have an auto-immune disease of the thyroid called Hoshimoto's Disease.  I have every symptom there is, and it finally took a skilled endocrinologist to pin point it. The good news is it shouldn't kill me, but the bad news is until we get everything settled down I am pretty much worthless. I hardly have the strength to walk across the room right now. My adrenals are shot, my kidneys and liver are over-stressed, my immune system is shot, I am full of inflammation, and my hormones are all over the place. Your poor dad! He has sure had to put up with a lot. They have put me on a special anti-inflammatory diet to try and get some of the internal inflammation down. I basically cannot eat anything that tastes good, but it is super healthy! I also have to take special supplements and drink tons of water. There isn't a cure for it, but once we get everything balanced out I should be able to live a pretty normal life with the exception of needing a little more rest occasionally and I won't be able to eat everything I want. In the blessing I received tonight I was promised health and strength, but it would come in the Lord's time, and in the meantime I am to study all I can about this disease and then prayerfully seek counsel from the Lord in how to deal with it. I was promised that my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior will become even stronger through this process, and that I will more clearly hear and understand the voice of the Lord.  So if this is the price I pay to become better acquainted with them and the love they have for me then I am willing to pay that price. As Ty often says, "then so be it!". It is a bitter-sweet diagnosis, but at least it gives me something to work with, and I have not been crazy all these years.

The rest of the week was uneventful. Dad took Carter, Ty, and two of Ty's friends (Roman and Ajay) to the Father and son's campout on Friday night. They said it was awful.. No sleep, icky food, and hardly no one was there. Oh well, they tried. Dad has also started Carter and Ty on a fitness regiment. Carter has grown another inch and is officially 5'11" now. Dad is trying to get him to gain some weight and build some muscle. Carter and Ty are also learning to be homemakers. I have them doing laundry, cleaning, and even cooking. Ty made us grilled chicken and baked beans for dinner tonight. Dad and Carter even went and bought the groceries yesterday. Everyone is doing a great job pitching in. It is good for them. It will better prepare them for their lives ahead. Tonight for Family Home Evening we watched several of the Bible Videos on the life of Jesus Christ. We love those videos. We also really loved the one you recommended about Elder Holland and his family. Good things really are to come, so no matter what you are experiencing right now, always keep that in mind.

In writing this book we have finished transcribing and now we are going back through all the interviews and coding them which involves putting quotes from the interviews into their respective categories. We have all of our chapters outlined and the introductory chapter is being fine tuned right now. I am so excited the way things are starting to shape up. At least the Lord has given me this to work on this Summer while the rest of my life has come to a screeching halt.

Dad's work is still going well. They remain busy as ever. Dad produced the most dentistry he ever has in his life this past week - he is amazing.  He is still exploring other options. He has an interview with Comfort Dental in July so we will see what that brings. He has heard that they may finally bring them to Utah. He would love to bring one to St. George. He is having fun coaching with Shane Johansen. Their first legion games are this week.

Anyhow, keep up the great work. Let us know how things are going. We love you more than you will ever know. Stay healthy, stay safe, be obedient, and keep the faith!

Dad is snoring right now, but I know he sends his love. Have a fabulous week. Take care of yourself!

Much Love,

Aldste Milne's Letter this Week:
Dear Family,
Goodness Mom I feel terrible hearing about your diagnosis! Sounds like living hell, but its good that they were finally able to pin point it. It makes me feel better though that Carter and Ty are doing a good job helping you out. That will be good for them as well. But I'll definitely be praying that the diet and everything works well for you! And what a great scripture there in Ether and the quote, I'm glad that you have a positive attitude with it all, I really think that is the biggest battle. But a scripture that came to mind for me going along kind of with your situation is from Job...

1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Me and Pack spent some time this week talking about Job and how he literally lost everything; possessions, family, health, you name it BUT he kept his faith and trust in the Lord. And I love his confidence in his trial that after he endures it well he will come out shining like gold as you will as well mother. Love you to death.

Anyways thats cool that things are going well with dad and work, be sure to keep me updated on that stuff I like to hear about it.

So I have some good and bad news, the good news is that I will be staying in Karlskrona! Yes! Bad news is that Elder Packer will not be. On Saturday Morning we received a very surprising phone call from President that Packer will be transferring to Umeå as a zone leader. He is excited because Umeå really is one of the best areas in the mission (I know from experience) but he is also sad that he only got to stay a short 6 weeks here. Which means I have also kept up my streak of 6 week companions. This Elder Zaugg will be my 5th companion already in 6 months in Sweden. Ridiculous haha but its cool to get to meet lots of bros. Apparently this Zaugg guy is a cool dude so I am excited. And I am very happy to be able to stay, I am really excited for the month of June. Our friends are doing very well and they are right on the verge of baptism. We just need to work out a few things and play our cards right but things are looking super good. One of our friends went out and bought us like 2 weeks worth of groceries the other day because she felt bad that we weren't eating so much. We were very angry at her for spending so much but we were SO grateful. It was the nicest thing ever. So me and Pack have been eating very well these last few days haha.

I guess the other news that kind of sucks is that we will be losing our car to the zone leaders this week. Apparently they cried to President or something and made it happen. Having the car was super nice because number one our area is about the size of the state of Tennessee and we have members spread out everywhere. The sisters visited this one lady the other day who hadn't had a missionary visit in 7 years! And now we have to give up the car so the zone leaders can cram more lessons in and listen to their ipod. I'm trying to keep my cool and not tell them off when they come on exchanges this week haha.

Anyways, besides all of that I am really doing super good. The weather is beautiful and I am in good health (besides the fact that my allergies are starting to come back a little) but that is no problem. We'll be sitting in the apartment studying and I'll start crying and Pack just thinks I am really feeling the Spirit but its really just the allergies haha.

So yeah take care everyone, especially you mom, don't do too much, put those boys to work.

Elder Milne
This week's pictures:
Picture of the zone

All the food that our friend bought us! She is an angel!

Trampoline at a members house, we worked on their farm and then grilled

Me and Pack enjoying a nice steak dinner at the beach

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