Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reaping the Blessings of Hard Work, Obedience, and Sacrifice in Vasteras!

It is a gorgeous Fall day in Southern Utah - blue skies and colorful leaves.  To make it even better it is Missionary Monday!!!  As I have stated at least 100 times before, and will most likely say it 100 times more, "it is such a blessing to have a missionary in the field!"  It is definitely the highlight of my week being able to read Dallin's emails and learn of his many adventures and successes.  He is such a blessing to all of us.  As I was driving up to Cedar City this morning I smiled as I remembered what a happy little boy Dallin was.  Once he moved out of the colic stage at nine months old he was a really happy kid.  He always had a sunny disposition, a spring in his step, a smile on his face, and he carried with him everywhere a happy tune.  This reflection really caused me to miss Dallin.  I had to choke back the tears so I didn't show up to class with mascara streaming down my face.  I miss you son, but I am so happy that you are happy and well in Sweden.  There truly is no place I would rather you be right now! 

Typically as I drive to Cedar City I take the opportunity to vocally pray to my Heavenly Father.  I had many thoughts and concerns to share with Him this morning.  First off, my glucose levels have been extra difficult to stabilize lately so I am feeling more wiped out than usual.  I prayed for extra strength to press forward today.  My testimony of the enabling power of the atonement has really grown as I more and more learn to rely on the strength of my Savior to accomplish all that I  have on my plate right now.  I also expressed my concerns for family members of mine who are really struggling right now.  It is so difficult to know the right things to say and the best ways to show love and support when the circumstances are so serious and complex in nature.  I pled to the Lord for guidance, understanding, and the capacity to love and council as the Savior Himself would.  I love my family and I really hate to see them suffer.  Lastly, I begged the Lord to help me find my statistics books which I left last Wednesday in one of the restrooms on campus (a sure sign that I am overstretched and losing my mind).  I knew I didn't have the time or emotional energy to do all that I would have to in order to make up the homework that was in it along with purchasing two new books.  Because I was up in Provo last Friday I didn't have a chance to look for it then.  Well, our Heavenly Father is indeed merciful. After my initial disappointment that the books weren't where I left them, I was led to ask for assistance from the staff in the testing lab.  They led me to where the building custodian's office was.  Sure enough, he had it.  I was elated!  As I emerged from the building, I was already saying a prayer of gratitude and relief.  I was greeted by the most beautiful sight.  Fall on campus is in full sway!  The colorful leaves danced against the autumn blue sky as rays of sunlight danced in between them.  This only served to enhance my love and gratitude for my Father in Heaven.  He hears my every prayer and answers them according to His will, His mercy, and His infinite wisdom.

Here are a couple of photos of that moment:


I only wished I had Aunt Kim's Camera and expertise to truly capture the beauty of it!!!

This Week's Very Sweet Letter From Blaine:

Hi Dallin,

I am laying in bed this morning on my day off and was reading your blog and thinking about you.  I felt it was a great time to write you a letter this week.  So I am taking advantage of being here alone.  Ty and Carter are at school and your mom has left for Provo this morning at 5am for a Marriage and Family therapy seminar at BYU.  She was so excited to get this opportunity to meet other programs who will be there alongside BYU's at the Wilkinson center on the BYU campus.  She has been working so hard this fall in her coursework at SUU trying to prepare her application for graduate school in Marriage and Family therapy.  She wants to start by getting a master's degree in that area.  She then wants to think about a doctorate in that field of study.

She has been an amazing wife to me and mother to you and your brothers.  We have been blessed by her love and example.  She is what I always had in mind for my future family.  I know you have been greatly blessed by her as she has guided your life.

I am so impressed by her love and devotion for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I was looking for that when I went looking for a wife and mother for my desired family.  It was interesting how I felt when I met her back in the fall of 1993 at an institute dance on the SUU campus in Cedar City.  I was attracted by her looks, but when she told me she had served a church mission in Oklahoma I remember that was what I fell in love with.  It was that expression of service and devotion she had for her Savior that melted my heart.

I am so proud of you and your choice of serving a church mission and your desire to stand as a witness of God at all times and all places.  I hope your having a wonderful time sharing and learning about the Lord and his love for his children.

That is the two great commandments.   To love the Lord with all thy heart, with all thy might, and with all thy strength.  And the second is like unto it.  To love thy neighbor as thyself.  

That is what is long lasting Dallin boy.

Please remember how much the Lord love's you as you keep his commandments and keep him in your thought's and actions.

He is the Keeper of our lives.  I love you Elder Milne.


Dad Milne

Dallin's Response:

Hey Dad,

It's always good to hear from ya big pappi.  Glad to hear that everyone is doing well.  And I know what you are saying about mom, the more I've realized how great she really is, the more I wonder how I will ever be able to find someone who can match up with her!  Haha.  She truly is "all world".

It's been funny for me to see the similarities between me and you as I have become older and older.  Sometimes I catch myself saying things to these guys that I know would only come out of my dad's mouth.  All good things of course ha but definitely with that Milne-uniqueness.  They all love it in the apartment.  We are all having a good time.

The work is moving forward at a steady pace here in Västerås and a lot of it I think is because we have started to focus more on involving the members and ward mission leader.  Member missionary work is definitely the most effective kind of missionary work.  Always be aware of those opportunities.

Thanks for everything big guy and thanks especially for the example of your testimony.


Elder Dallin B. Milne   
My Letter to Dallin This Week:
In my Book of Mormon reading I just finished Alma 26 and it reminded me of you.  I love the missionary experiences of Ammon and his brothers.  Here is a verse that I know you are very familiar with: 

Vs. 27:  Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

Hi Aldste Milne,

You sounded great in last week's email.  I hope that things are continuing to go well for you and Alf.  I know that as you continue to work hard and do your best to be obedient that the Lord will continue to bless you and your friends.  We will say extra prayers this week for your friends so that they can have their hearts and minds opened to the truthfulness of the message you share, and that they will also have the courage to act on what they come to know to be true.  I also pray that you are over your cold.  Drink lots of water and mix in some OJ or other fruit to get a good supply of vitamin C.  Carter has been running a fever on and off all day today.  I hope he feels better in the morning.  He was able to go to the Saturday morning session of conference and to the BYU vs. Utah State football game.  Carter loved the conference session but was sad for BYU who received their first loss of the season because Tayson Hill the quarterback became injured during the game.  Anyhow, Carter came home with a fever - UGH!  He ran into Nick Hostetter at the game.  He was there with a bunch of girls Carter said.  Do you know if he is going to serve a mission.  It sounds like Matt Keepman is serving in Mexico.  That is great.  Zach Amundsen posted a picture on instagram with him and Matt and he sent best wishes to Matt for his mission.  I also want to pass on that Brant Pierce's sister Sarah has been taking the missionary discussions and wants to be baptized.  Her parents want her to wait until she is 18.  She has been attending our young women's.  Do you ever hear from Brant?

Speaking of Conference, didn't you think it was awesome?  I loved every talk.  I really cannot say which was my favorite.  I felt the Spirit in every talk, and I remembered the counsel Elder Bednar gave you in Sweden on how we shouldn't take notes word for word, but take notes on what the Spirit is teaching us about what the speakers are saying.  I did this and it was awesome.  Remember, it is the Spirit that teaches and testifies.  We are but an instrument!  It is so awesome how he knows us each personally and can teach us exactly what we need at a particular time in our life.  Did you have any of your friends attend conference with you?  I watched the Saturday morning session of conference up in Orem at my friend Linda Pinkham's home.  Do you remember the Pinkham's?  She was your piano teacher.  I then took her, Ralph, and Laura Thatcher to lunch in Orem.  They wanted to go to Wingers.  It brought back so many memories of when we lived in Orem.  I listened to the second session of conference on my way back to Southern Utah.  I stopped in at Grandma Susan's on the way home and ate dinner with her, Raymond, and Aunt Shelly who was down visiting for the weekend.  It was great to see Shelly.  She only has one more semester of school and she will have her accounting degree finished.  I am proud of her. 

I had a nice trip to Provo and back.  I really enjoyed my time at BYU.  I was able to visit with representatives from eleven different Marriage and Family Therapy programs.  My favorite was BYU of course, but if I thought we would move out of state I was really impressed with Auburn Universities program as well.  After I visited with each of the schools I ate lunch at the Cougar Eat.  This brought back a flood of memories from my days at BYU over 20 years ago.  I then went to my hotel and had a nap because I had been up since 4:00 am.  I then grabbed some dinner and drove to the Provo temple to do a session.  I love the Provo Temple.  It too brought back many memories from after my mission.  When I taught at the MTC I would walk up to the temple after work at least once a week.  As I sat in the session Friday night I was reminded of the many special experiences I had had there.  I also received some much needed insight into my life right now.  I absolutely love the temple and the Spirit that is there.  I am grateful for the knowledge I receive each time I attend.  We are so blessed to have so many temples in Utah now.  Saturday morning I woke up early and went walking/jogging up in Rock Canyon.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  It sits right above the Provo Temple. 

Upon returning home I heard all about Carter's trip and Dad and Ty's adventures that day up in Pinto and Enterprise area scouting for deer.  Dad found out some more about his ancestors that settled in Pinto.  He has been researching them all day today and he and I drove over to Santa Clara to look at a statue of your great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Sarah Studevant Leavitt. It is right by the Santa Clara town hall.  She was an amazing woman!  I will let dad tell you all about her.  You come from some very amazing pioneer stock on both sides of your family.  I am certain they are all there with you cheering you on and giving you all kinds of help from the other side of the veil.  They are the holy angels that we are told will surround us as we do the work of the Lord. 

Pine View's football team won again this week.  They played Cedar City.  Desert Hills lost however to Dixie, so Hurricane is the only undefeated team in the region right now.  Your cousin Jaden Milne won the Region 9 golf tournament this past week.  We are so proud of him.  It was his first tournament win in high school.  Ty and Carter are still working hard preparing for basketball.  Ty has even been going with Carter at 6:00 am to some of the PVHS open gyms.  They are also working on baseball.  Grandma said that they ate dinner with aunt Nanette's family today and Devan had a girlfriend there with him.  She is from Syracuse.  That is all I know about that!  Chantel will be having her baby any day now. 

I have another busy week of school this week, and I will be starting my volunteer service at the DOVE Center for women and children who have been abused physically and/or sexually. It has started cooling off a little.  It is finally starting to feel a little like fall.  In closing I want to share with you a letter that Carter's seminary teacher sent me.  Carter is a great kid, and he always prays for you and your success in Sweden as well as thanking Heavenly Father for the wonderful example you have been in his life.  Stay close to him and always be ready to offer encouragement and advice.  Here is the letter:

 I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for Carter's influence in class. He shared an amazing experience today that brought a powerful spirit in the room. He talked about sharing the gospel with a friend and how it helped their whole family come to the gospel. That experience made us all want to go out and share more. I have been very impressed with Carter and am grateful to have him in class. His example, attitude and testimony bless us each day. Thank you for putting in the effort and faith to raise the type of son that blesses all around him. Thank you again.

Brother McDuffie

Big D!  Always remember how awesome you are and how much I love you.  Take care of yourself and keep up the great work.  I can't wait to hear how your week has been.  Life is full of adversity, but it truly is in our adversity that we learn who we are and how much the Lord loves us.  I am sending you a great big hug!!!!

All My Love,

Dallin's Letter to the Family this Week:
Dear Milne Family,

Yes that Alma 26:27 scripture is one of my favorites.  Helps me keep going when things get tough.  And it is beginning to seem like the Lord is starting to bless us with success.  We were blessed to be able to teach quite a bit this week and help our friends progress in the gospel towards baptism.  I know that all of your thoughts and prayers help as well, thank you so much for them.  I am also feeling a lot better this week from the cold that I had.  No problems with health right now.

Sounds like everyone had a pretty action packed week with driving all over the place and doing all kinds of stuff from hunting to general conference.  That is so cool that Carter was able to make it up to conference and watch byu play.  That is awesome news about Matt and I am pretty sure that Nick will be leaving soon as well.  And that is super cool about Brandt's sister.  They are the nicest family.  I try to stay in touch with BP every now and then.  He is enjoying ASU right now.  I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself as well mom up north doing your thing.  Sounds like you are getting into some serious business haha I am really excited to keep hearing how it goes with all of that.  Linda sure is a nice lady.  Gosh I am still so disappointed in myself for quitting piano on her haha I just didn't have the patience at that time.  I keep telling myself that I need to try to learn some hymns while on the mission but have just never been able to get around to it. But that's cool you were able to spend some time in nature up there and dad as well with finding his family around Enterprise.  Sweden is beautiful with all the trees and fall colors but nothing beats those Utah mountains and red rock.

I am super excited to start hearing about basketball with carter and ty.  Make sure they get their butts in the gym as often as possible and to stay off that computer or xbox haha.  And wow I had no idea that chantel will be having her baby so soon!  Good for them!  Ha and I am super pumped to hear more about Devans girlfriend, what a stud.

Conference sure was great like you said.  Lot's of inspiring messages.  Made me want to work harder as a missionary and be all the more mindful for the less fortunate around me.  We watched the saturday morning session saturday evening in the church and one of our friends came too so we were happy about that and then we watched the saturday afternoon and priesthood session at a memebrs house the next day on Sunday.  we'll catch up with what we missed on Sunday during open church hours this week though.  It was cool to see that coming prepared for a general conference made such a big difference.  The Spirit helped me recognize what I needed to take in and improve for my daily life.  Questions were answered and my testimony was strengthened.  

Like I said, we had another pretty solid week.  We were able to teach quite a bit and help one of our friends decide to be baptized next saturday!  He is one of the coolest kids I've met here so far.  We contacted him some weeks ago and found out that his father was actually baptized in his home country before he came to Sweden.  We began to teach him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he received a really cool answer to a prayer about the Book of Mormon and now knows that it is true.  We are all so excited for him.  Van Alfen is doing really well.  His language skills are unreal and he keeps me in line.  We are having a lot of fun up here.

And that is so nice what Carter's seminary teacher wrote about him.  I can tell by reading the letters that he sends me that he is a mature kid and has his priorities straight.  Me and Ty sure are lucky to have him.

Good luck with everything this next week!  Ha det så kul!


Elder Milne
This Week's Photos:
Zone Conference
Fall in Sweden

Another Beautiful Fall Photo

 Watching general conference with Hansen and Dahle (Alfen couldn't make it in the pic)

Eating with our Favorite People in Vasteras

1 comment:

  1. Natalie, YOU need to frame Blaine's letter and put it in the house. Enlarge it too. Love to all. Kimberly