Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nightmare, Humility, Nose Bleed, and Exorcism.... (Do I have your attention?)

I was ready to board a plane to Sweden this morning to go and "paddle" my missionary. I hate it when I wake up and there isn't a letter. It is so hard to not let your mind wander to the worst! I've decided that the words trepidation and missionary go hand in hand. There really is nothing like having a big portion of your heart on the other side of the world and not knowing if he is okay or not. I'm certain missionaries have no idea what their mothers go through. Thankfully just before noon today he sent a letter and it is hilarious. He made it to Vasteras but not without a few complications.... I'm glad he is safe and sound. I guess I'll save the "paddling" for another day. Good luck in Vasteras Aldste Milne... We are all cheering you on (and praying for you too)!

Here are the letters from home this week:

1 Timothy 4:12... be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
"You hold in your hands the happiness of more people than you can now imagine.... When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example." - President Henry B. Eyring (April 2014 General Conference)
Dear Aldste Milne,
Always remember the power of example. Always remember your example will provide hope to those who choose to follow. Keeping the covenants we have made with God enables and protects us, and keeps us on the path that will allow us to realize our full potential. As you keep your covenants Dallin you will become a beacon light to all those who come in contact with you - ward members, companions, other missionaries, and all the people of Sweden.  You are awesome! Shine brightly!
How are you this week? How are things going in your new area of Vasteras? How are things going with your new companion? His mom sent me a nice email. We are both excited for the two of you to work together. I'm certain you miss Karlskrona, but there are new people to meet and memories to make. I pray you are happy and well.
Time is flying by quickly. I cannot believe you have been gone for nine months. I also can't believe that a new school year is about to start again. The kids go back early this year - August 11th. I guess we had better get some school shopping done. Every minute is going to be full up until they go back. This coming week we will be going to Aunt Irene's funeral on Tuesday (she passed away last Wednesday, which was a blessing to her) and then we will head up to Logan to join Carter and his team for the remainder of the State Legion Baseball tournament. St. George won their first two games on Saturday and will play again Monday night in the quarter finals game against Helper - last year's state champs. We are praying they will make it to the championship which will be held on Thursday night. The team has been up there since last Friday and are staying in a cabin up there next to a lake. It sounds like they are having a lot of fun.
They played two games yesterday, and I made dad stay home and spend the day with me. I had made arrangements to take Dr. White and her friend Roger to a play at the Shakespearean Festival and dinner. I know he was dying to be up there coaching, but he also knew how important this was to me. He is a great husband, and he actually said he had a really great time. We saw a musical called "Into the Woods". It was excellent! We then ate dinner at Rusty's Ranch House up Cedar Canyon. It was delicious. It was our treat. It was an opportunity for me to thank Dr. White for this opportunity of writing this book with her. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is really shaping up.
Sunday we will be attending the baby blessing of cousin Luke's third baby girl. Her name is Julia Joy and is beautiful. Right after the blessing Carter, Ty and I will most likely head up the road to the Lewis' in Monticello to spend two days and then onto Uncle Tyson's and then Steam Boat Springs, CO for Ty's baseball tournament. We have to be home for the following Sunday because Carter is getting his Patriarchal Blessing at 11:00 am on Sunday. Dad will have to give the boys their father's blessings for the school year as well because school is the next day!
As you know this past week was the 24th of July celebration. We jumped in the Explorer to head up to Beaver for the parade, but just as we were about to get on the freeway, one of dad's patients called so dad needed to go in and check some post-op swelling from some wisdom teeth he had removed a few days before that. Thankfully the patient was fine and just needed to be reassured, but it caused us to miss the parade. In hindsight it was worth it. The patient was a 19 year old boy who had grown up in Chicago and has been attending Notre Dame on a scholarship. He is studying aero-nautical engineering. He wants to design rocket ships. He and his family had moved from Chicago to Hurricane upon his dad's retiring. They are not members of the church but they are quickly learning about the Mormons and missionaries. It gave us the opportunity to tell them about our awesome 19 year old son in Sweden serving an LDS mission, and I also told them that I had served a mission and my mission president had worked for NASA and was one of the engineers that designed the rocket that first landed on the moon. They were a very nice family and I hope we were able to be an example of hope to them!
We did finally make it to Beaver in time for the activities on the park. I don't ever remember seeing so many people there. It was crazy. We convinced Ty to run in the foot races. He took second place behind a kid whose legs were as tall as Ty. It was fun. We then joined Raymond and Grandma for lunch at Arshel's Café - Yummy!  We spent the rest of the day in Minersville visiting and sleeping! We talked a lot about genealogy. It is always fun to learn more about your ancestors. We ended the evening by eating at the Pizza Factory in Cedar on the way home.
Speaking of Grandma....  It was her 50 year class reunion this weekend as well. That is crazy!  She looked awesome! You know grandma - she is always dressed to the hilt! She even met us quickly in Cedar City yesterday so I could drop off some new shoes for her that she just had to have to wear that night. She cracks me up, but she is so deserving. She went so many years without nice things so we could have nice things. We were never rich, but we were always the best dressed kids in school.
Well Dallin, everyone always asks how you are doing. Dad and I beam with pride as we give them our report! Keep up the great work. We love and miss you. Do you ever get homesick? I looked out the window tonight and saw Ty feeding the chickens. I had to do a double take because from that distance he looked just like you. He is really starting to grow. Your brothers will be all grown up when you get back. Also, dad and I are really going to do all we can to make sure we have the opportunity to come pick you up in Sweden. That will be awesome!!!!  Take care of yourself and keep up the great work. Have fun!
Love you Forever,
#bethebeacon, #letyourlightsoshine, #obediencebringsblessings, #udaman, #keepsmilin', #searchponderandpray
I loved Blaine's letter this week - he titled it: Letter From the Old Sentinel (Sentinel's is the name of the baseball team he is helping to coach)
Dear Elder Hoodlum,

I sure hope I am not right calling you this today.  But I know from whence you came. So it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone haywire.

With Aunt Irene's passing it has reminded me of those 10 Milne kids that seemed to have lived a life on the wild side.  Hence the word Hoodlum for you today.  I also am reading a John Wayne bibliography which points out his Scotch-Irish heritage.  These people have made up a big part of the American attitude.  Rough and tough.  Some have said they are the toughest people on the earth.

So Dallin, you come from some rich American cultural influence as part of your heritage.  I am so proud of you and the way in which you are leading your life.  I look at the photo's you have sent us and see the richness of your character in every photo.  I appreciate the love that is demonstrated for your fellow companions, leaders, and ward members.  It has shown me that your mission service is in fact one of the great experiences of your young life.  I again thank you for making the Milne name proud.  Always remember the two names on your mission badge who you are representing.  Always make them both proud.  The Milne's and The Savior Jesus Christ.

Again, Dallin, I hope this finds you safe and healthy.  Keep up the good work in country.


Pappi Milne

Here is Dallin's Hilarious Letter:
Dear Family, 

Well I had a nightmare experience with the Swedish public train system this last week.  My original travel plans were to take 4 different trains to get from Karlskrona to Västerås but after I got off my first train I learned that the second train I was supposed to catch was having some sort of problem and wouldn't be coming for another 2 hours!  It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to write down the elders number in västerås to call in case I had trouble.  I looked through all my baggage to find maybe a number for karlskrona or the mission office but no luck there either.  After that someone told me that I would have to get new tickets because my old ones wouldn't work on later trains so I had to walk all over the station asking to borrow peoples phones to call the main train place to get new tickets.  I ended up just sending an email to my comp in Karlskrona as well because I new he would be at the church waiting for his new comp to arrive to let him know that he needed to tell the other elders that I would be coming in late.  After a while I finally got everything taken care of with new tickets that routed me through Stockholm instead.  When I got to Stockholm I had the hardest time figuring out which train to get on, so I am running around the huge station there, dragging three bags of luggage and sweating to death.  I finally found the train there just in time for it to leave but we were delayed right outside of stockholm for like 45 minutes because of construction or something and on top of that the air conditioning wasn't working in the train so I continued to die from the heat.  Finally after switching on another train I made it to Västerås station around 6 pm, a couple hours late.  There was no sign of the elders there and I ended up laying on the park bench outside the station for 2 more hours until the Västerås missionaries showed up.  Apparently they were at a member dinner but had waited for me for a while at the station earlier.  The first thing we did was got to a McDonalds because I hadn't eaten since 8 o'clock that morning.  A mini McChicken had never tasted so good.  Anyways so that is my transfer story.  

Other than that the transition has been pretty smooth.  There are 4 elders here in Västerås and we are all in the same apartment, something that I'm not used to but I really like it so far.  I love elder Brown, its been really cool to be comps with someone who has around the same experience as you and we've had a good time talking about how our missions have been up to this point.  Surprisingly, I am the only Utah kid out of the 4 elders here.  Brown and Hansen are from Arizona and Dahle is from Florida.  The work is a little slower here than what I am used to in Karlskrona and Umeå but me and Brown are determined to get the ball rolling here.

I had a humbling experience during my first sacrament meeting here.  I was asked to bless the sacrament and I accepted with confidence because I had done it so many times before.  So I said the blessing on the bread but when I looked over and branch president shook his head so I had to say it again.  I figured it was because I might have mispronounced a word by saying dom instead of dem so I wait through again still pretty confident but when I finished and looked over he shook his head again and this time came over and whispered the correction to me.  The bad part is that he whispered pretty soft and fast so I kind of missed up the verb that he used and interpreted that he wanted me to skip over a word on the text sheet that we had.  It kind of confused me but I figured maybe it was an old translation or something so that's why he told me to skip a word.  Anyways so I do it a third time, skipping a word, finish, look over, and here comes the branch president over to talk to me again!  I couldn't believe what was happening.  I understood his correction that time.  Apparently the word that I thought he wanted me to skip over was the word that I had skipped over the first 2 times not knowing.  So 4th time I finally got the nod so we were able to hand it out.  I was so red in the face.  The best part was that I got to "present" myself to the branch right after.  Luckily, I kept my cool and the swedish came out nice and I was even able to pop a few jokes that everyone liked.  After, I got some compliments from members on my swedish which made me feel better.  And just a little background, I had woken up that morning at 5 with blood all over my face and pillow from a bloody nose during the night I guess.  So I had to shower off immediately and couldn't get back to sleep and I was feeling pretty sick in the stomach and light headed during church because I think I must have swallowed some blood that night or something.  But don't worry I feel fine now.  Just a freak thing I guess.  After sacrament meeting, I told one of our recent converts who is from Nigeria about my sickness that morning so he asked if we could say a prayer together.  Of course I was like sure that would be nice.  So he grabbed my hands and he started to pray for me.  It started out really nice but as it progressed I started to realize that he was performing an exorcism on me right in the chapel!  He started to talk really loud and squeezed my hands real tight.  He commanded my nose to never bleed again and said amen.  After that he grabbed my nose and rubbed my forehead while mumbling some stuff I didn't understand.  He has a testimony about the restoration and Joseph Smith but I guess he still is holding on to some of his old catholic practices or something.  So that was interesting.

Yeah so I had a pretty interesting first week here.  Sounds like everyone had a good week.  That is cool to here about Carter's baseball team.  I'm excited to hear how that turns out as well as Ty's Steam Boat tourney.  And that's nice that you got to go out with the old man.  Sad to hear about good old Aunt Irene, but she was able to live quite a long life and like you said, it was a blessing for her in her condition.  It's good to hear that Ty still has got some speed, how is his growth coming height wise?  And good ole Grandma Susan, always looking as good as she can!  It's so nice to hear how everyone is doing around the family, thanks for all the updates.

Anyways, I'm still hanging in there.  Time is still flying, which is good I guess.  9 months and it feels like nothing.  Looking forward to the future here in Västerås.  Take care everyone!

Elder Milne

Bonus Letter To Blaine:
You caught me red handed pops.  Haha of course I have a good time but I don't think I am quite a "hoodlum" at this point.  Hopefully I can stay out of that category.  But like you said it will be hard to keep from going haywire with the genetics that I've got ;)  

I see that you are referring to yourself as the old Sentinel these days?  I wasn't sure what a sentinel was so I looked it up and it gave me that it is like a border guard or something like that.  Is that what the St. George Sentinels refer too?  And if so what border does it refer to? 

Anyways, I like your comment about the two names we represent.  Its always important for us as missionaries to remember that we represent the church at all times wherever we go.  

#HowDidSheEndUpWithYou? ;)

Your Oldest
This Week's Pictures:
Church Building in Vasteras

How They Found Me at the Train Station

Elder Brown My New Companion

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