Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Burning of the Shirt! "And Without Love We Are Lost!"

Aldste Milne has officially been on his mission for one year as of November 6, 2014.  Hard to believe I know.  He sounds great, looks great, and is developing an amazing testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so proud of his hard work, dedication, obedience, and worthiness thus far.  He has blessed our family in countless ways through his missionary service. We are so grateful for his example.  I know that missions are wrought with trials and unexpected happenings, but I also know the hard work the missionary employs will be a prelude to the rest of his life.  Missions provide an amazing opportunity to not only serve our Heavenly Father's children, but to also discover who you really are, what you really believe, and who you want to become.  The blessings of service are immeasurable.  Work hard and be tenacious Aldste Milne.  You are on the downhill now. Each day you are one day closer to returning home.  Return with honor and no regrets.  As with basketball - leave it all on the court!

Blaine's Letter to Dallin this week:

Hello Dallin,

It seems so good to write you this Sunday morning.  You have now been on your mission over a year.  What a great accomplishment for you. 
I hope your baptism went as planned yesterday.  I am really impressed with your recent success in that regard.  You are really teaching us well about the power of faith and testimony and our Father in Heaven's plan for us.

Thank you so much for your example of service and goodwill.  I feel you have great things ahead of you.  I am so excited to continue to see you grow throughout your life.  I actually can't wait for you to come home and start your new life as a returned missionary.  I can see so many exciting things happening for you once you get home.

But I realize I shouldn't be talking like this to you and get you wanting to come home, so I will stop.  I am so proud of you Dallin.

Now remember to be careful over there.  Your safety is of utmost importance.  There has been some tragic accidents here is Southern Utah recently.  I want you to be sure and be careful with all you do.  You are a prized possession in our family.

Take care and may God continue to keep you safe.


Dad Milne 

Dallin's Letter to Blaine this week:

Haha no matter what you say dad I will always want to come home as soon as possible, but I should be alright over here for another year or so.  I'm hanging in there pretty good.  The recent baptisms have made it nice but it's not much of what I do necessarily.  The Lord puts the prepared in our path because they are ready.  We just have to give them a Book of Mormon. 
Thanks for the kind words.  I will be sure to be careful. Sweden is a pretty safe place.  Keep up the good work!


My Letter to Dallin this Week:

2 Nephi 9:39: O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing against that Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one.  Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually minded is life eternal (SMILE).

Mosiah 27:25-26:  Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;

And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

Conversion includes a change in behavior, but it goes beyond behavior; it is a change in our very nature.  It is such a significant change that the Lord and His prophets refer to it as a rebirth, a change of heart, and a baptism of fire. Elder Bednar teaches that we must not only have clean hands but also a pure heart.  It is possible to have clean hands and not a pure heart.  The pure heart comes through our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Conversion is a process not an event. You become converted as a result of your righteous efforts to follow the Savior.  These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. 

Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle.  Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion.  Even Alma the younger, who saw an angel, became converted only after he "fasted and prayed many days" for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46).  And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 12:3)."

Dear Dallin,

Sorry for the sermon, but I really like these thoughts on conversion.  It today's world, and within the church, there are so many who are not truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is a difficult topic because conversion is such an individual experience, yet it is something that we all must experience in order to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.  Conversion is also a lifelong process.  Everyday we must strive to have clean hands and a pure heart.  That doesn't mean to be perfect, but to accept the Savior's atonement into our lives and do all that we can to fully embrace it.  This is the way to true peace and happiness in this life and in the world to come.  I am so happy that you have the opportunity to continue your own conversion there as a missionary in Sweden, as well as being an instrument in aiding others along the path to their own conversions.  There isn't a sweeter experience. 
I hope this letter finds you happy and well.  How did the baptism go on Saturday?  You have been blessed with some wonderful people to teach.  Cherish these blessings and thank Heavenly Father each day for them.  Continue to work hard and be obedient and the powers of Heaven will be unrestrained in your labors.  We are all in disbelief that you have already been out a year.  It is all down hill from here so make the most of it.  We are so excited to support you in these final 12 months.  We appreciate the weekly emails and updates.  Remember to give a detailed account of the growth and blessings you have experienced this first year of your mission - only if you have time.  I know p-days can be very busy.  Please know how loved you are.  Every where I go someone asks how you are doing and they wish you well. You have set such a wonderful example for so many.  A million thanks for being such a good boy.  Dad and I were just talking the other day about what a good boy you have always been with the exception of the first nine months of your life.  Your colic was unbelievable, but you must have screamed all the mischief and orneriness out of you because from that point on you were always so happy and content.  Thank you for the example you have set for your younger brothers.  They love and miss you so much, and there isn't a prayer that is said that you are not mentioned in.  We have all been blessed by your example of service and love.
This week was busy as usual.  It is amazing how many different things can happen in a given day.  School is going well, but as always, I am barely keeping my head above water.  My health has held up so I am grateful for that.  The best news is that Carter's leg is healed.  His fasting and prayers along with the rest of ours did the trick.  After receiving his second cortisone shot and not getting the results he wanted he once again took it to the Lord in prayer and fasting, and after receiving a blessing from dad and the Bishop he is much improved.  We even took him to see Kris Hansen and had his hips adjusted.  That helped even more, so he is so happy.  He has been working hard all week, and he is really excited for this season to start.  Tryouts are tomorrow.  Ty had fun on Saturday playing in a scrimmage with the high school baseball team.  He was invited by Coach Gargano to join them.  Dad said he played great and he was so proud of him.  He seemed to fit right in with the older bunch.  He has a wooden bat tournament this weekend here in St. George that he is looking forward to, and his eighth grade basketball practices begin this week as well.  Pine View will play Dixie up at Rice Eccles Stadium at the U of U on Thursday for the Semi-finals in football.  It should be a really great game.  Dad is still working too hard at the Dental Office, and Young Women's is a constant party for me - literally.  I feel like I am planning a birthday party every week, but I really do love my calling.  The young women are truly inspiring.  The Lord has blessed me in so many ways while serving in this capacity. 
Kenadee Black is getting married to a boy from Minersville on November 22nd so it will be fun to see the family then.  Everyone is coming to our house for Thanksgiving so that will be awesome.  I am really looking forward to that.  At that point I will have my GRE test out of the way, my BYU application turned in (hopefully), and most of my semester work completed.  It will be all down hill from there.  I will not know until April 1st if I get accepted into the Marriage and Family Therapy program at BYU.  Dad and the boys have been very supportive of me and are willing to move this summer to Provo if I do get accepted.  Your dad is awesome for this.  It will be interesting to see what the Lord has in mind for all of this.  Carter has decided to go to SUU for college. I think he will love it there.  It really is a great school. 
Well Dallin, not much else to say other than I love and miss you.  I teared up the other day as I heard Ty and Carter playing your voice on one of your videos.  But as I've said before, there is no place I'd rather you be right now than in Sweden doing what you are doing.  It is such an amazing opportunity for growth and development.  Your mission will lay the foundation for the rest of your life.  Continue to work hard, pray harder, and to develop the many gifts and talents the Lord has blessed you with.  Keep up the great work and stay warm!  Take care of yourself Big D!
Love you Tons!!!!
Aldste Milne's Letter Home this Week:
Hello fam and friends!
Here we are again.  Another monday.  Another email.  Woohoo!

First off, I am so relieved that Carter's leg is doing better.  What a miracle.  I was trying to cope with the fact that he might not get to play much this year and it didn't feel good at all.  That'll help me get through the winter, hearing about Carter's and Ty's basketball games.  And it's good to hear that Ty is still playing good ball.  Make sure he eats his green things.  Fun fact: the swedish work for vegetables is "grönsaker" which literally means green things.

Anyways we had quite the eventful week.  I hit the year mark as you all know.  We did the traditional shirt burning ceremony and that was cool.  The baptism was really cool.  Van Alfen got to perform his first baptism and that really made him happy.  Shahla came out of the water in tears.  It was emotional for everyone watching, even me haha.  We had quite the turn out as well - lots of people from the branch and a lot of her persian friends.  We got the literal gathering of Isreal going on over here!  She was confirmed on Sunday and Emil also got the Aaronic priesthood so he'll be able to bless the sacrament next week.  He's getting excited about family history as well and is starting to look for his ancestors.  It has been really cool to see him progress.  I also gave a talk on the topic "without love we are lost".  The branch presidency asked me to tie it into missionary work.  My main point was that we do missionary work because of our love for God and for our fellow brothers and sisters and how the only way sharing the gospel works is when you share it with love.  It turned out pretty good and I got some nice compliments from the members afterwards.  I sure do love the branch here in Västerås.

Thanks for the sermon in your email Reverend Natalie Black Milne.  I like what you put down there about conversion and becoming converted.  I said last time that I would try to talk about my first year as a missionary and the biggest thing that I have learned etc.  And I actually thought to talk about conversion as well.  I think the biggest blessing of the mission for me so far is that it has helped me start to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Like you said, conversion is a life long deal but I started that life long journey when I stepped into the mtc and began to study my faith seriously.  I talked about that in my talk as well.  I received my testimony of the restoration in of the gospel in my mtc classroom as I read through the Book of Mormon for really the first time from front to back.  As I began to understand the gospel and the plan of salvation I experienced a huge change of heart and began to look at everything and everyone in a different way.  I was filled with love it seemed like.  I couldn't wait to get out to Sweden and talk to every living soul about what I knew to be true.  Now of course I have had ups and downs and haven't been perfect about loving everyone 100% percent of the time but I understand the what, why, and how of the gospel now.  That is what I am most grateful for from the mission so far.  I've learned the importance and significance of obedience.  I've learned that its through obedience that we are blessed but at the same time God doesn't owe us any miracles.  We do it for the blessings but really because we love him and we owe it to Him.  And I've learned a million other things.  It's been interesting to look back through by journal entries early in the mission and see how I've changed.  Physically, I think I am a little bit taller, I've put on a little weight, and I grow more facial hair.  And I guess I'm a little out of shape, but not too bad.

I sure will miss you guys this Thanksgiving.  Last year's wasn't so hard because it was only a couple weeks since I had been out.  That is exciting about Kenadee's wedding!  you'll have to send some pictures of it!  That will be interesting for the BYU thing.  Just know you have my full support in whatever happens.  Love you all, can't wait to skype everyone for Christmas :)

Elder Dallin Milne
This Week's Pictures:

 Emil teaching us some Swedish

Cool looking church

Shahla's baptism

The ceremony

Still trying to teach Alf how to take a decent pic