Up to Bat in Steamboat Springs
The SU Rebels
Milne on the Mound
Milne Behind the Plate
The boys started back to school on Monday. I can hardly believe that Carter is a Senior and Ty is an 8th grader. It truly is crazy how fast time flies. When I think of my boys they are still those cute little boys that loved Legos, Playmobil, and Brio train sets, and let's not forget the countless ballgames they have played in all over the United States. It has been awesome raising them, and I have been so blessed to stay at home and be such a big part of their lives. Each son is unique and each has amazing gifts and talents. As Blaine told Dallin this week in his letter - "Children are a great inheritance from the Lord." I agree... We are truly blessed!
First Day of School
Blaine's Letter to Dallin:
I hope you're having a good P-day. I hope this letter finds you safe and sound. We have had a nice Sabbath day today. Carter received his Patriarchal blessing this morning, and it was such a wonderful and enlightening experience. The patriarch was such a wonderful man and his wife was so special also. What a warm spirit they had together as we visited prior to the blessing.
It was such a nice experience for us as Carter's parents to attend. It caught me thinking back to when you received your blessing. You went all by yourself. I regret not being there for you. I know you felt good about your blessing that day, but today I want you to know I regret not being there.
I love you Dallin and miss you very much. I hope you will always remember that. Children are a great inheritance from the Lord. My three sons have always been a blessing in my life. I think as I have gotten older and wiser that is really sinking in.
I know I probably didn't always treat you that way and I am sorry for that. You are a wonderful son and you are just the way I would have always wanted you. Now you keep trudging on, keep up the faith, and always say your prayers and talk with your Father in Heaven for guidance and comfort. Through the Holy Ghost you will find comfort and peace and the strength to go forward.
Your Dad and Father
Dallin's Letter to Blaine:
Please don't feel bad about my blessing. That is cool that you were able to be there for Carter's and everything but I almost kind of like the fact that it was just me there. It made it feel a lot more personal and made me feel like I was there because of me and what I wanted to do with my life. Thanks for raising me the way you did and guiding me to that point. Me and Brown taught Priesthood this sunday about eternal marriage, of course I didn't have much experience to back up what I was teaching but we started discussing how we can help our children grow up with eternal marriage as a goal and how we can help them understand the importance of it. I told everyone how great my father did showing me the importance of the covenants that we make with our spouse and the Lord in His house and how he did it by his actions and example. Of course nobody has the perfect marriage but you and Mom have stuck it out together and have done a great job with me and my brothers. Please never feel bad about the way I was raised because I am eternally grateful for the way you did it.
Dallin Blaine Milne
Letter From Me:
Dear Aldste Milne,
Another week has come and gone too quickly. I pray this finds you happy and well. How are things in Vasteras this week? I hope that discouragement isn't getting too big of a hold on you. I know that at times it seems that no one is listening, and perhaps you feel that even God has forgotten you, but hang in there. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends (and family) do stand by thee and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." (D&C 121:7-9)
I went in today to renew my temple recommend. Usually one of the counselors in the stake presidency will do it, but I had the privilege of sitting down with President Bangerter and having the interview. He asked how you were doing and told me that he had heard great things about you. I told him that you have had a couple of baptisms but the work is slow and oft times discouraging. I told him that I told you to remember that it is not a numbers game and each day is a new day to serve others and develop your testimony. He said to tell you that he agrees with me and also that he did not have one baptism on his mission, nor did his oldest son who went to the Ukraine. Surely their missions were not in vain and many lives were blessed because of their service. He sends his love and well wishes.
Today I was reminded of the saying we had above our dining room table in Minnesota: "We can do hard things." Remember that? I wanted to remind you of that saying, because you have always taken on the challenge of doing hard things, but I also want to change it up just a bit. I now would like the saying to be: "In the strength of the Lord, we can do all things." I know this to be true. With the Lord nothing is impossible. President Bangerter said that if anyone was equal to the task of your mission in Sweden it is you. He said that he remembers all the times in basketball that you would drive the lane up against a 6'8" player and not think twice about it. He knows your character and expects nothing but great things from you!
This morning Carter received his patriarchal blessing from Brother Schilling. Dad and I went with him and it was a wonderful experience. It was a beautiful blessing full of many sacred promises. Carter was pleased and seemed to walk a little taller today. In Sacrament meeting today Braden Johnston and Reed Burr gave their missionary farewell speeches. They are both going to Argentina. I cannot believe that it has been almost 10 months since your farewell. Time really does fly by. I also cannot believe that the boys will be heading back to school tomorrow!
I had a wonderful time with Ty in Steamboat Springs, CO. The weather was beautiful and the scenery breathtaking. It was so nice to get out of this heat! Speaking of which, when I returned home I realized that the AC has gone out in our house, so we are sweating to death until tomorrow when we can get it fixed. There is always something. Anyhow, in Colorado I was able to exercise everyday, and it is wonderful to see my strength coming back. I was so grateful for the fresh mountain air. Ty's team did okay. They didn't play their best ball, but they had a lot of fun. They were 3-3 for the tournament. They played teams from Utah, Texas, Montana and Colorado. There were also other teams from all over the country. Some of the boys on the Texas team were bigger than Cody wilstead and Dakota Donovan. Crazy! There really must be something in that Texas water. Their team was huge! We competed against them, but we just couldn't get a job done. Ty had a great tournament though. He pitched, played shortstop and second base, and was the catcher for two games. He hit well, and really had a lot of fun with his teammates. We had a long drive home yesterday - 9 1/2 hours. I am quite exhausted, but I am so glad I went.
Cousin Diane has been staying at our house for the past week. Dad is really trying to do all he can to help her out. She attended church with us today and we have had some nice visits with her. It is so sad that she is 71 years old and has never married or had children. I hope she will move back here soon. She is leaving for Hawaii tomorrow to try and get everything sorted out there so she can return here. Dad has been really a blessing to her and her situation. I don't know what she would have done otherwise. Dad really does have a heart of gold. That's why I love him so much!
I have an appointment for you this week at the dermatologist office. They wouldn't do anything for me over the phone, so I will go in and see what they can do for you. I will let you know as soon as we come up with a solution. Hang in there with that. This too shall pass.
Take care of yourself Dallin, and be mindful of the power of the adversary and his ability to discourage us! Stay happy and obedient. The Lord will reward your efforts in His time and in His way. I know it is difficult waiting on the Lord. I am probably the most impatient person in the world when it comes to that, but I am getting better at it. I am learning to trust his ways, and remember that His ways are not my ways and that His thoughts are not my thoughts, but they are much higher and He surely sees the whole picture. Our vision is so limited, so it is our job to trust! From here on out I want you to wake up each day and say to the Lord, "there is someone that needs me today, please help me to find him or her." If your focus will be on what you can offer others each day, instead of what the day has to offer you, I promise your happiness and peace will multiply tenfold.
I love and miss you Dallin. You are amazing to me. Keep up the great work and let us know how everything is going.
#feedmysheep, #leavetheninetyandnine, #calledtoserve
Aldste Milne's Letter Home:
The longer that I am a missionary, the more it seems like the days go on like weeks and the weeks like days. Sounds like everyone had a great week. That is awesome to hear that Carter was able to get his blessing and that it turned out nicely for him. And such a good time to get it as well heading into his last year in high school. Gosh the idea of Carter as a senior blows my mind haha. Before he knows it he'll be walking on the floor of the Burns Arena for graduation. And thats sweet that Ty had a good time playing ball in Colorado with his boys and was able to hit the ball a little bit. He sure is a good boy. I was just thinking about him the other day as I was shooting paper balls into our trash can and thought of how much paper ball Ty would play every single day in the middle of the living room with espn or spongebob playing in the background haha. Thanks for sharing that about President Bangereter as well. He sure is a heck of a guy and a wonderful stake president. I often reflect on the blessing that he gave me when I was set apart, it was so special. Be sure to tell him thanks for me when you can.
Anyways as for me, I had a pretty good week. We were a little busier this week thanks to some member dinners with some great families so that was nice. I was introduced to this back-yard swedish game at a members house that involves knocking down wood blocks with wooden stick things, I can't remember what it was called but it was pretty fun. Member dinners are by far my favorite thing on this earth. Food tastes so much better when you don't have to prepare it! But we do eat pretty good at the apartment also. Elder Brown is a super good cook and with the other two elders in the apartment they cook as well so I don't have to so often. The 4 man apartment sure has been a lot of fun. The zone leaders (one of them being my trainer elder Forsyth) came over today for P day and hung out. We were going to go to the beach to play some volleyball but it rained like crazy so I taught them how to play poker and they loved it so that occupied most of our time haha don't worry there was no money involved but we had some cool "prizes" for the winner set up and some things that the loser would have to do that made it interesting. Oh and on Saturday we took it to some Somalians in soccer on Saturday. I've surprisingly turned out to be quite the soccer player. I don't have the best ball handling skills, I mostly just kick it past the other players and beat them to the ball again. I'm happy that my legs are still working well, sometimes I even feel like I got more speed then I used to. Who knows, maybe it'll pan out to something? haha. The work was a little better this week too. Still a lot of knocking and contacting but we were able to teach some lessons and get in touch with some former investigators. I'll have my first interview with P Beckstrand this friday in Uppsala for zone training. I'm going to try to get him to set me up with a new greenie misssionary to train in the next transfer or two. I definetly feel like I am ready to do it and I think it'll be good to be around someone who is fresh out of the mtc with that "I am going to baptize the entire country" attitude haha. So we'll see, it is what it is.
I found this out of a talk by Elder Kevin Pearson called Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I really like what it says about faith and doubt/discouragement.