Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Touch of the Master's Hand

     I truly cannot believe how quickly the week flies by.  I hope it is going quickly for Aldste Milne as well.  He has a new companion this week - Aldste Zaugg from Denver, Colorado, and one of their favorite friend's has committed to be baptized on the 28th of June!  Our thoughts and prayers are with this dear friend of theirs, and we are so excited for the blessings that will come to her as she takes this most important step in her life.  The blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are immeasurable. 

     This week I am learning to be even more patient.  My health is improving and I definitely have more energy.  The balancing act is the hardest.  When you have energy you want to do all the things that you had to let go when you didn't have energy, but then you realize that conservation is the key to healing.  I have probably over done it a few times this week, but it sure is nice to feel more like myself.  I still require a nap every day, but I have more sustainable energy throughout the day as well.  This gives me hope.  I have also been reading a book by Brad Wilcox called "The Continuous Atonement".  This is an excellent book with very thorough commentary on applying the Atonement in our day to day lives.  Something that I really like that he said is that during times of discouragement, we must remember that the purpose of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not just to cleanse and console, but also to transform - and that takes time.  Life is about continuous progress that is possible only through the continuous Atonement.  He goes on to say that if at first you don't succeed - if at second, third, or fourth you don't succeed either, don't find excuses.  Find the Savior and the blessings of His continuous Atonement.

Here is my letter to Dallin this Week:

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
- by Myra Brooks Welch
Dad called me from work the other day and reminded me of this beautiful poem.  He then tearfully read it and expressed how this was his own life.  The touch of the Master's Hand has made all the difference.  I know you have heard this before, but it is always good to be reminded of it occasionally.  Without the Savior we really will never realize our full potential and infinite worth.
Dear Aldste Milne,

Well, another week has come and gone.  How has it been without your wallet?  Your debit card should be coming anytime to our address, and then I will send it quickly to you.  Hopefully you have the things you need until then.  It was fun to talk to you on the phone even if it was only a few short minutes.  You sounded upbeat and positive despite just having your wallet stolen.  That makes me happy Dallin.  I hope you really are doing well and that all of your needs are being met.  I also hope you have had a great week.  I pray that all of your friends are progressing in the gospel and that you and your new companion are getting along well.  Please tell us all about him - where he is from, how long he has been serving, etc....

How is the weather in Karlskrona?  I bet it is beautiful there this time of year.  It has been really hot here.  The heat is so hard on me.  More so since I have been sick.  I am doing somewhat better however.  I am regaining some strength, but it is really hard to not do all that I am used to, but I have faith that in time I will be as good as new.  The boys have been very helpful.  I cannot get over how much cleaner the house has been and how the laundry is staying caught up.  They are great boys.  They also do grocery shopping and run errands.  Carter even went on his own this week and bought a new lawn mower.  It is good for them to have extra responsibilities.  I am able to do more than I did last week, so there is definitely some progress being made.  I am still weak and require a lot of rest, but my strength is definitely returning.  I have been able to get a lot of work done on the book this week.  That is one thing that has been a blessing.  It is so helpful to have somewhere to put my mind when my body is incapable of doing what I am used to doing.

This week Carter and Dad had their first legion baseball games.  They played the Salt Lake Gulls, an all star team from Salt Lake City.  St. George went 1-1.  They played awesome the first game, but the second game was rough.  Carter started on the mound and wasn't able to get out of the first inning.  He wasn't getting the calls, and they hit a lot of 0-2 pitches.  He felt bad and dad felt really bad.  It was a great learning opportunity for both of them.  All of the batters Carter pitched to are kids that have scholarships to college to play baseball.  This coming week they have a double header on Tuesday night here in St. George and then they travel up north on Thursday to play in a tournament up in Helper.  Dad and Carter will be going and I will stay here with Ty.  His Rebels team is playing in the Summer Games this week starting on Thursday.  I hope to feel well enough to go to a game or two. 

I am sure that you have heard that Lakyn Walker is marrying Will Bangerter this Friday, and we just found out that Bailee Bringhurst is engaged.  I remember being on my mission and getting wedding announcements and birth announcements from my friends.  That was always weird.  Life goes on for everyone.  Do you hear much from your friends who are serving missions?  How are they doing?

Today we had a wonderful Father's Day.  I wrote dad a nice letter and put it with David Milne's Bible.  I am having his 1869 family Bible restored by a book restoration company in California.  He was so excited about that.  I was able to attend church today - only Sacrament meeting though.  It was a great meeting.  Dad taught his Sunday School class and he and the boys then went to priesthood.   I slept until they returned and then I fixed a father's day dinner and made brownies.  It was a nice and relaxing day at home.

The San Antonio Spurs closed out the NBA finals today with a win over the Heat.  The Spurs beat them by 17.  I can't believe that Tim Duncan is still so amazing.  Kawhi Leonard was the series MVP.  Not much else going on here.  Dad just delegated jobs for tomorrow.  Carter gets to clean up and burn all of the weeds and scrap wood over at the old house and Ty gets to clean the garage and help do dishes, etc. in the house here.  So think of them this week when things get hard.  You could still be here putting up with the heat and all the weeds and mess over at the old house.  I would take Sweden any day!  Have a fantastic week and a super fun P-day!  Take care of yourself Dallin!  Love you so much! 

Love you Forever,


Here is Aldste Milne's Letter Home this week:

Dear Family,

First off, I had totally forgotten about that Touch of the Master's Hand poem.  That is some good stuff, really good to keep in mind, especially as a missionary.  It reminded me of some of my favorite verses out of the D and Cs, from section 18....
10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
That is what it is all about.  I really like verses 15 and 16 especially.  Thanks for sharing the poem mom.
Anyways I survived the week wallet-less.  The people in the office put some extra money in my companions account so I have been able to live off of that.  My new comps name is Elder Zaugg.  He is out of Denver, Colorado and spent one semester at BYU.  He has been out in Sweden for about a year and a half.  We get along well, I really haven't had a companion that I have completely disliked...yet haha.  
But yeah we had a pretty good week.  One of our really good friends here set a goal to be baptized on the 28th of June!  We are very excited for her!  So that was a big highlight of the week.  Also our car broke down the other day so we took that in and won't have it fixed until next week so we'll be biking/busing until then.  The zone leaders were going to take our car last week but the train station workers here went on strike or something so the trains haven't been going all week.  But we weren't that mad because it allowed us to keep the car because without the trains or a car we are screwed.  So we were really happy about that until the car broke down a couple days ago ha so I guess now you could say that we are screwed haha.  Other than that everything is good.  On Sunday we had a record number in sacrament meeting so that was really exciting.  It has been nice to stay here a while and get to know all of the members, such great people with such great faith.  We will be heading down to Malmö tomorrow for the last zone conference with President Newell, it sure will be weird to see him go and get someone new but I'm excited to see what happens and if there will be any changes or anything like that.  

Good to hear that the boys have been helping you out mom and also good to hear that you feel like you are getting some strength back.  But sorry to hear about that southern heat haha that might be the only thing about home that I don't miss that much.  The weather sure is beautiful here in Karlskrona, it stays in the 70's most of the time and the sun has been shining except for today.  It's been raining pretty good and we had to bike some miles in it from the apartment to the church to email because the car is getting worked on.    

And yeah I had heard about Lakyn and Wil.  I'm pretty sure Brooke will be getting hitched pretty soon as well.  And now Bailee next it looks like haha wow that is crazy.  To think that I'm going to have to come home and start worrying about finding a wife makes me want to go insane.  Good thing I still got about a year and a half left haha.  I stay in touch with Cameron and Shepard a little bit, they seem to be doing well.

And of course happy late fathers day to mannen själv, big pappi.  Glad to hear that you guys had a good one and that is exciting about David Milne's Bible.  I was just on familysearch.org the other day reading his history.  What a man.  Family history has started to become a big focus in the missionary work here and I'm pretty sure we'll be learning more about it tomorrow at conference.  And happy early birthday to you Mom!  The big 25 wow! ;)  But really I love you two more then I can type on this email and I'm eternally grateful for the great job you guys have done with me and are doing with my two little brothers.  All three of us are so blessed.

Anyways, that's all from me.  I'm still doing well, I'm enjoying my time and coming closer to my Savior at the same time.  And thanks for taking care of the debit card for me, you are the best!

Elder Milne

PS GO SPURS!  haha that makes me so happy to hear!  Good for Tim Duncan, he is such a great guy and popovich is one heck of a coach.  But Kawhi Leonard though?  Wow he sure has panned out.  Do you guys remember when Jimmer Fredette took it to him some years back?  haha poor Jimmer. 

 we pulled over on the way to Kristianstad to get a better look at the beautiful lake view

 Me and Zaugg #allbusiness

"Did it hurt?" 'Did what hurt?' "When you fell from heaven!"

Then we pulled into Kstad and found the mystery machine! haha

No comments:

Post a Comment