Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Working Hard and Never Been Happier!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!!!  No, the circus has not come to town, but my life has turned into a circus act.  The ringmaster (Blaine) is probably getting a little tired of my juggling act.  Lately, I feel like I am juggling with swords, fire, and a myriad of other odd and dangerous objects.  As Carter so nicely told me yesterday, "Mom, you only have yourself to blame." His assessment is correct, but do you find it odd that amongst all the chaos I find myself completely satisfied and happy.  Yes, I did just say that - "chaos makes me happy", or to more correctly state it, it is the satisfaction that comes at the end of a very busy and fulfilling day that makes me happy - despite the chaos.  I thing that Elder Milne is experiencing a little of this happiness as well.  He seems really happy in this week's email despite (or I should say because of) his working harder than ever.  It makes my heart smile to read that he is digging deep and as his dad would say, "getting a job done." Having a "greenie" to train has done him some good and caused him to step it up!  I like it!!!!  I really enjoyed reading the article he sent by Elder Bednar.  If you have time, follow the link and read it - it is a powerful and uplifting talk on faith and prayer.  I love Elder Bednar.  He visited Dallin's mission this past week, and I am certain the missionaries were all blessed by his presence.

Here is Blaine's email this week:

Hi Dallin,

I wanted to make sure you are doing Ok over there.  I am very proud of your work in the gospel and your attitudes towards sharing the message.  However,  I have been following the news very closely and as I mentioned a couple weeks ago,  there are major conflicts going on in the Middle East.  A group called ISIS has beheaded two American journalists and a few days ago they beheaded a British humanitarian aid worker they had captured and held hostage.

I was reading the news last night and the article mentioned how there are over 2600-2800 people who have left Western countries (ie. USA, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Sweden, etc) to fight for ISIS.  These people are being tracked by Western governments and are enemies of their governments they have chose to leave.

They mentioned from Sweden they felt about 80 people had left to fight for ISIS.  These people are very dangerous and want nothing but to harm our way of life.  I want you to take strict heed to this letter.

I know you are doing really well on your mission and you have remained quite happy and this is something that can destroy you happiness.  I just didn't want you to be naïve to this growing threat that is happening around the world and is even happening in peaceful countries like Sweden.

God bless you Dallin.  I love you very much.


Dallin's Response:

Hey Dad,

Yeah, I have heard about that ISIS group more and more lately.  We are aware of this and we are careful.  Thanks for the heads up.  Way to go with work and the old house.  I'm proud of ya.  Thanks for your example.

I love ya pops, don't worry too much about me, the Lord is in charge.  We are doing all that we can to be obedient and follow the rules so I have the trust that we'll be taken care of.

-Your son Dallin
My Letter this Week:
 And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy, and also my mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad, for she truly had mourned because of us.

 For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.
And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.
 And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.
 But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.
And after this manner of language did my father, Lehi, comfort my mother, Sariah, concerning us, while we journeyed in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem, to obtain the record of the Jews.
 And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their joy was full, and my mother was comforted.
Dear Elder Milne,
You are probably wondering why I shared this set of scriptures from 1st Nephi.  Well, there is a very important lesson to be learned from the exchange that Lehi and Sariah have.  One can certainly understand why Sariah might have been complaining to Lehi and calling him a visionary man. She was most likely exhausted physically and emotionally.  She had been dwelling in a tent in the wilderness for many days after leaving behind a very comfortable lifestyle, and on top of that she believed her sons were probably dead.  I can only imagine how she might have felt.  I'm sure she gave Lehi an earful.  I know when I am exhausted and worried I am more prone to telling your dad off whether he deserves it or not.  The lesson we learn is from Lehi and his loving response to his wife Sariah.  He acknowledges that he is a visionary man, but he also reminds her that had they not followed his visions they would be dead or taken captive along with the rest of Jerusalem.  I picture this humble prophet of God truly empathizing with Sariah and her issues.  But also testifying to her of the love that God has shown to them.  He first sought to understand and then to be understood.  Therein lies the lesson.  In all of our relationships, and especially those that are the most important to us, we must first seek to understand and only then should we work to be understood.  It goes right along with the saying that "people don't care how you know until they know how much you care."  I am going to try harder in this area.  I am pretty good at pontificating - I definitely need to get better at seeking to understand.  This certainly takes more energy and effort, but in the long run our relationships will be greatly enhanced and enriched.  When working with your companion, your branch members, and your investigators always keep this in mind.  The key to understanding is through the Holy Ghost.  This is where we receive that gift of discernment or in other words the ability to understand the hearts and minds of others.  It is a precious gift of the Spirit.  Strive to develop this gift and use it in your daily interactions.
I am really missing you today Dallin!  I pray you are happy and well.  It is often hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that you are on the other side of the world.  It truly tests a mother's faith and trust in Heavenly Father.  Take care of yourself and always be mindful of the dangers that are out there. 
This week has been another busy one!  I drive up to SUU Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for school, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to the University of Utah extension building for three hours from 9:30 - 12:30 to study for the GRE.  This past week I did six hours of reviewing high school math.  I remembered most of it, but it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  I still have to review the geometry section.  I haven't had geometry since the 10th grade.  Oh my, what have I gotten myself into.  I am still the young women's president, and I will begin volunteering about four hours a week at the DOVE center here in St. George sometime this next week.  It is a crises center for women and children who are fleeing abusive situations.  I worry about my ability to keep all of this up and how it is affecting my most important roles of wife and mother.  So far your dad and the boys have been awesome at supporting me and helping out around the house more.  I am just hoping my brain can hang in there - I have really had to work on building up my mental metabolism.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  I have to take the GRE in November and my applications need to be completed and turned in by December 1st.  Oh, I also found out that your Regent's Scholarship can be used at BYU, so if you are interested in going there I can look into that for you.  Carter has decided that he will apply there along with SUU and the University of Utah. 
This past week was also homecoming week for PVHS.  Pine View played Snow Canyon on Friday night and really beat them pretty bad.  I was amazed at how poorly Snow Canyon played.  Their program must really be down this year.  Carter went to the dance with Ashland Gubler.  He said he had a great time.  He looked very handsome.  I will put some pictures on the blog of him and his date.  Just tonight he was asked to the Sadie's dance which is in November.  He seemed pretty excited about the girl who asked him.  Her name is Kelcie.  It is still hard for me to believe that he will be graduating. 
This week I also went to Ty's school and visited with his counselor and him.  I was impressed with the way he presented himself.  He was very confident in talking to her and was very adamant about going on a mission right after graduation and his desire to play college and professional baseball.  He also said he wants to go to college for at least four years so he can get a good job helping people.  He was so cute.  I can't believe he will be 14 on Friday.  Where has the time gone?  My boys are growing up too fast.  The nest is emptying pretty quickly.
Your dad is still working very hard at Half Dental.  They are currently talking about giving him some equity ownership. This would be awesome.  He is so busy and has built up quite a clientele.  He continues to explore other options, but so far nothing has felt right.  He gave a blessing to Candace this week because of her fractured foot (cliff jumping) and he and I did some charity dentistry on Saturday.  Your dad has such a kind heart.  He loves to serve others.  That's why he is such a great dentist.  He absolutely loves teaching his Sunday School class.  He has them all writing in journals that he brings to class every week.  He keeps them sealed up in a box so the kids won't think he reads them and then hands them out to the kids each class.  He is also still keeping up on the adobe house.  He had a guy come and paint around the new windows we had put in and he will also put rain gutter on this week.  You know dad, he always has a project going on.  He's ambitious!
This week we also had a very interesting thing happen in the community. A guy went in and robbed Zion's bank on River Road and took two female workers hostage.  He made them drive him toward the Virgin river and the Washington Fields area.  Pine View High school and middle school along with some elementary schools were all placed on lock down status and they couldn't leave to come home.  They ended up having to stay at school until 4:45 pm.  The suspect was eventually shot and killed. They gave him opportunity to surrender, but he wouldn't.  He had fired shots at the police and was fully armed.  They had multiple police officers surrounding the area as well as two helicopters overhead.  They ended up taking him out over toward where Burke Staheli and aunt Marcia Adams lives.  It was crazy!  Apparently this guy had a history of drug addiction.  He had lost his wife and kids because of it.  It is so sad and very scary where our choices can lead us. 
Well Dallin, I hope you are finding joy and rejoicing in your labors.  Is there anything that you need?  I can't wait to hear all about a your week.  I am so proud of you.  I can really see the growth in your testimony through your letters.  What a wonderful foundation you are laying for the rest of your life.  Do your best to stay positive and continue to recognize the blessings that come through obedience.  Love those whom you serve and miracles will follow.  Keep up the great work.  I can't believe you have been gone over 10 months. It really is going by fast!  Cherish every moment.  How are things with your new companion?  Is he making the adjustment to Sweden?  How has the weather been?  It is still too hot here. It has been in the mid to upper nineties all week long - UGH!  I really miss the beautiful falls in Minnesota.  Is it fall there?  Have a fun p-day!  I love and miss you!
Much Love,

Dallin's Letter Home this Week:

Dear Milne Family,

Well, I have officially survived my first full week as being a trainer.  Let me tell ya, it wasn't easy.  I have never been so tired as a missionary before!  But that is because I have never worked so hard as a missionary before either!  Which is obviously a good thing haha.  Elder Alf and I got some good stuff done this week and found a lot of new people to teach.  He does a good job making sure we keep up the missionary schedule and that we get out the door as soon as possible in the morning, which I appreciate haha.  And we were blessed with two new speaking investigators who just walked into church out of no where for sacrament meeting and stayed for the rest of the time!  Yes, training has been tough but I really have never been happier as a missionary.  I am really excited for these next 10 weeks.

So on Thursday we had the opportunity to go to Stockholm and listen to Elder David A Bednar.  Of course I already had high expectations going in with the anticipation to meet a living apostle of the Lord but he blew all of my expectations out of the water.  He talked a lot about agency and the difference between agents and objects.  He taught us the importance of allowing our investigators to be agents instead of objects so that they can learn for themselves through experience and be more receptive to teachings from the Holy Ghost.  One thing that he said that I thought was really interesting in the beginning was to not take notes of what he says.  When he said it I was right in the middle of writing something else down that he said earlier so I stopped immediately and looked up in surprise.  He said that as members of the church, we too often write down what speaker say instead of what the Holy Ghost says to us when the speaker is talking.  He compared it to the book of mormon and nephi's people in that we need to focus more on writing on the small plates instead of the large plates (the small plates being the words written through the power of the Holy Ghost for the benefit of man and the large plates being more of a history book).  Good stuff.  He said something along the lines that it doesn't matter what the speaker says at the pulpit but what the Holy Ghost says to your heart while he or she is speaking.  And for that reason there should be no such thing as a "boring talk or sacrament meeting" if we are listening with the Spirit.  I thought that was a really cool thought.  The Spirit definitely testified to me that he was a living prophet, seer, and revelator of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We also talked a lot about the power of faith and the action that is required.  In preparation to meeting him we read a couple talks from Bednar and "Ask in Faith" was my favorite to read and think about.  Check it out.  

In other news, the greenie has made a really smooth transition into the Sweden time zone stuff.  Way better than I did haha I was falling asleep all over the place during my first couple weeks but he has had no problems at all.  The weather has been surprisingly beautiful lately.  Today it was hot enough that we went to play some beach volleyball.  And my face even got a little sunburned haha I couldn't believe it!  It has been around 60-70 degrees all last week.  Perfect weather.  So we are trying to enjoy it as long as we can haha.

I like what you said about "people don't care how you know until they know how much you care." That  is 100% the biggest key to being a successful missionary.  It reminds me of the scriptures written on charity.  In 1 corinthians 13  Paul writes some pretty powerful words

 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

You said that you are good at pontificating, I had no idea what that meant so I looked it up and learned that I am pretty good at that as well.  Haha we can always become better.

Anyways, glad to hear that everything is going well on the home front.  Sounds like you have quite the crazy schedule mom, but if there is any women I know who can pull it off it is definitely you!  Keep up the good work and keep those boys working to help out!  And I'm glad that dad is still bringing home the bacon.  That is awesome that Half Dental is panning out for him.  I can't wait to see how improved the old house will be looking by the time I fly back in!  And I can't believe that about the bank robbery!  All in little St. George that is insane!  I'm glad that nobody else was hurt, wow!  I'll be excited to see the Carter's homecoming pictures on the blog, you need to put one on of ty as well or just send it to me.  He says that he is 5'9 now and I don't believe it haha.  What is happening to my little brothers!?

But yeah don't worry about me.  We are staying safe and letting the Spirit guide.  Thanks for your continual thoughts and prayers

With Love
Elder Dallin B. Milne
Ty's Email this Week:

Hi Dallin, Sorry I havent emailed you in awhile. But today I finally beat carter in ping pong. I haven't beat him since you left. My birthday is on Friday so i'm pretty pumped for that. I'm 5 ft 9 and 145 lbs so puberty hit me pretty hard. Border league basketball got sued so no more border league basketball which is pretty gay. I quit football, but that's 'ight. 
                                                                                                                                                            love, TY
(Ty really isn't 5'9" or 145 - a boy can dream!)
Dallin's Response:
My goodness boy what is all of this talk about you turing 14!?  I can't believe it!  I'm just hoping that I will be able to recognize you when I see you again!  Congratulations on the big victory in ping pong.  Just know that I am still honing my skills as a ping pong player in the mission field.  I'll be one heck of an opponent still.  5 foot 9 inches huh?  And a buck forty-five? It does sound like it hit you hard haha but that is something that I will have to see to believe, you guys will have to send a picture of you and carter standing next to each other or something.  That is too bad about border league, what will you end up doing for basketball then now?  Keep this growing up stuff going and you should be slamming down peoples throats in no time.  I'll be excited to watch you play ball.  Keep focused in school and keep magnifying your church calling.  That is most important.  Help out mom whenever she needs ya.  You are a good boy, Ty love ya bud.

Your big brother Dallin
This Week's Pictures:

Carter and his date Ashland.... Going to Homecoming!
We spend a lot of time walking down paths just like this!
Some Old Buildings in Town

The Beach on P-day
Big stomach for a Small Dude!


Hungry from all the Hard Work this Week!


1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love your blog and your comments. Natalie, you are so funny about your circus life and Blaine being the ringmaster. So TRUE! and YOU are soooo good to him. He better be good to you. I love all the letters and stories about Ty and Carter. They are such good boys. You and Blaine have done a wonderful job raising them. I really want Dallin to come to SUU because I want him to work with me at Pizza Factory, but it would really be neat to have them both at either the U or the Y so they can be with my children. We could go visit them each week. I'm sure they would love that. Hahah. Love all the good news today. Love to all. Aunt Kim