Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hastening the Work in Vasteras!

I love Missionary Monday - it is my favorite day of the week.  My heart is warmed and my spirit lifted as I read about Dallin and his adventures on the other side of the world.  It is always a relief to hear that he is doing well, that he is happy, and that he is safe. And on days like today his letter served as a reminder that there is still good happening in the world.  It seems that I have been a bit bogged down lately with the wickedness that is so pervasive in the world today.  Satan is definitely in his prime and has masterly crafted a world in which lies have become truth and truth have become lies.  Even though he knows in the end he will be defeated his pride keeps him tenaciously moving forward to make miserable as many of God's children he can.  Those of us who are still battling must now more than ever before make sure our testimonies are tightly fastened.  Over twelve years ago I was in the Denver, CO temple and had the blessing of listening to the temple president speak.  He said that there will quickly come a time when the wickedness of the world will be so overbearing that attending the temple just once a week will scarcely be sufficient to offset it.  For me, that time is now.  Within my own family I see the exquisite pain and heartache that surely come to those who make unrighteous choices with eternal consequences.  My heart has broken into a million pieces and I at times question the wisdom behind agency, but I know that agency is one of God's greatest gifts to His children.  It is just when they use that agency to destroy their own lives and greatly disrupt the lives of those who so dearly love them that I struggle with it.  I would give anything to make their decisions for them at this point.  Anyhow, the atonement is mending my broken heart, and I will always maintain hope for those who have gone astray because I know the Lord loves them even more than I.

Dallin sounds great this week.  He is such a good boy.  He makes my heart smile!  I pray everyday that he will be blessed with the experiences he needs to lay a solid foundation of truth and righteousness that will serve him throughout his mortal life and into the eternities!  I'm proud of you son, keep up the good work!

Here is a quick note he sent in response to Blaine's letter from last week:

Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for your inspired and inspiring words in this email.  It was exactly what I needed to hear right now.  

I am going to have to print this one out.

Lots of Love,

Here is my letter to Dallin this week:
"Our lives should be a confession of Christ, and together with our words testify of our faith in and devotion to Him." - Elder D. Todd Christofferson

"The challenge we may confront is remaining loyal to the Savior and His Church in the face of parents, in-laws, brothers or sisters, or even our children whose conduct, beliefs or choices make it impossible to support both Him and them.  It is not a question of love.  We can and must love one another as Jesus loves us.  Although familial love continues, relationships may be interrupted and according to the circumstances, even support or tolerance at times suspended for the sake of a higher love.  The best way to help those we love - the best way to love them - is to continue to put the Savior first.  If we cast ourselves adrift from the Lord out of sympathy for loved ones who are suffering or distressed, then we may lose the means by which we might have helped them.  If, however, we remain firmly rooted in faith in Christ, we are in a position to both receive and to offer divine help." - Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Dear Dallin,

Well, a crazy-busy week has transpired and I hope you are happy and well.  I really missed you this week.  I hope you are doing okay.  I pray the work is moving forward and you are being rewarded for you diligent efforts each day.  Sorry for the long quotes, but I thought they were really great.  Elder Christofferson spoke in a YSA fireside last week and offered that insight.  The title of his talk was "Saving your Life".  He focused on how when we lose our lives in the service of Christ and His Children, we actually find our lives.  He calls it our real life, the authentic life, and the Celestial Kingdom enabled life that God envisions for us.  He provided us with three guidelines that help us lose our lives: 1.  Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.  2.  Whosoever confesses me, I will confess before the Father.  3.  For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  As a missionary, you are every single day losing yourself in the service of God and your fellowmen.  Way to go big "D"!  I know the Lord is helping you find your authentic life by doing so.

Well, I survived the week in tact.  It was crazy, but somehow it all worked out.  I am a little sleep deprived but happy nonetheless with how things went.  This next week should be a little better in that I shouldn't have as much homework.  I really enjoy school.  I have some very interesting classes. 

Friday night PVHS played D-Hills in football, and it was crazy.  PV didn't play too well, but neither did D-Hills.  There were so many turnovers on both sides.  Desert Hills came out on top by two touch downs.  It was disappointing for PVHS - their silly turnovers really hurt them.  Hopefully we will get another shot at them at state.  Sunday Ty was ordained a teacher in the Aaronic priesthood which was crazy because I can't believe how quickly he is growing up.  He has been helping dad a lot with yard work and me with house work, so we are trying to help him not be too spoiled.  He seems to be doing well in school and is getting excited about basketball.  He has been going to open gym with Carter a few times at PVHS.  This has been good for him.  He and Carter are good boys.  I am thankful for all they do to help me out.

This next weekend is general conference of course, so that will be a great opportunity to be strengthened by our prophet, apostles, and other leaders in the church.  Ty and Carter will be going to a BYU football game on Friday and then to the Saturday morning session of conference on Saturday.  I will also be up there on Friday and Saturday to visit BYU and meet with Dr. White in regards to the book.  I am trying to convince dad to come with me for a little get away because he has Friday off.  We will see how that goes. 

Take care of yourself Dallin.  Keep your chin up and allow yourself to feel the love of the Lord every day.  You are amazing!  Keep up the great work!

Much Love and Prayers,
Here is Dallin's Letter this Week:
Hej på er!

Well here we are again.  First off, its always to good to hear from ya'll.  You guys have no idea how much my love and appreciation has grown for you since I've been out here.  Thanks for taking the time to update me every week on what is going on so I don't feel so far from home all the time.  

We were pretty blessed of the Lord this week.  He continued to help us out in our finding efforts and we were able to pick up a couple new investigators.  We were also blessed with many opportunities to teach the gospel this week with 21 total lessons (more than I have ever taught since I first started here in Västerås).  So that was nice haha.  But best of all, we helped one of our friends make a goal to work towards baptism for the 25th of next month!  He is a total bro.  Elder Van Alfen was especially excited about it.  It's kind of a thing here to call the Mission president for every baptismal date that you set but when we called the first couple times he didn't answer.  I wasn't too worried about it but he kept on insisting that we call every day haha.  When he finally answered, Alf told him all about it, how we found him, what we taught during every lesson, how it went, and so on and so forth.  I love seeing the greenie fire in Alf.  He keeps my fire kindled as well.  We also got to meet this family that we found a couple weeks back on sunday after church.  They invited us over for lunch and wanted to hear all about us and our book haha.  The other elders didn't believe me when I told them about the lunch appointment because that like never happens here haha.  It was such a cool experience to teach them about the plan of salvation and the potential that their family has.  They are the nicest people and are totally open about coming to church.  So all is well, we just keep on keeping on.  The only down side of this week is that I caught quite the cold with the weather getting colder.  I'm feeling good today though so it's all good in the hood.

Glad to hear that you were able to survive the week Mom.  And I know exactly how you feel about the whole agency thing.  As a missionary here, agency feels like one of my biggest enemies at times.  It's hard to understand sometimes how hard some people's hearts can be.

But on a good note, I proud of Ty becoming a teacher.  That is awesome to hear that he is starting to get going by helping dad out in the yard and stuff.  You really can't find a kid with a bigger heart than Ty's.  I'm so excited to hear about how this upcoming basketball season goes.  I want you to send me as many pictures of them playing as you can!   That will be really cool for them to attend conference up north this weekend.  Good luck with Dr. White also.

Well I'm not sure what else to report.  Keep your heads up and try to keep a spirit of gratitude in all circumstances.

Lots of Love

Elder Milne
This Week's Beautiful Pictures:

P-day Fun

Sweden is Gorgeous

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