Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The One Year Mark is Upon Us!!!

November has arrived so quickly.  On November 6th Aldste Milne will celebrate his one year mark as a missionary.  I truly cannot believe how quickly it has gone by.  However, I found that I missed him more this past week for some reason.  Perhaps it was because I have been thinking about how his year mark is rapidly approaching.  The good news is - Christmas will be here before we know it and we will get to Skype with him.  I can hardly wait.  Today feels like winter in Cedar City.  I drove up for my Monday classes and was delighted to find snow on the ground.  In St. George it has cooled considerably and there was snow covering Pine Valley Mountain this morning.  Good-bye heat!  Dallin sounds really good this week, and he is excited for another baptism coming up on Saturday.  He promises in the next letter he will send a more detailed account of the growth and development he has experienced over this past year.  He also better send pictures of his shirt burning ceremony.  He and Aldste Van Alfen are still working hard and being blessed.  I at times reflect on how awesome it was to be a missionary.  Being on the Lord's errand 24/7 is truly an amazing experience.  The blessings that come are plentiful on a daily basis.  The Spirit sharpens your intellectual faculties and strengthens your testimony.  It is such an opportunity for growth.  Nothing quite compares to it, and I am reminded how we as members of the church live so far below our spiritual privileges.  We easily allow the things of this mortal world to distract us from those things that are most important.  I become so accustomed to the routine of my life that I often fail to draw upon the powers of Heaven to enrich my life and the lives of those around me - especially my children.  I have committed to doing better.  In the world there are so many different shades of gray, but as we listen to the prophet and the apostles we know exactly where the line is drawn.  The Lord wants to bless us with all that He has.  It is only our day to day choices that limit these blessings.  Just food for thought!

Blaine's Email this Week:

Hello Elder Milne,

I haven't written you for a while.  You have been doing very well and staying strong.  Congratulations on your recent baptism.  I am so glad you still had it in you.  That showed us all that you were not just a one night wonder.  You obviously had enough testimony to continue to persevere through the down times you've had since March 2014.  That being the time of your first baptisms right?
So this recent success has really impressed me Dallin.  Good Job..

This week marks your 1 year mark on your mission.  That is another accomplishment.  Way to go.

I too also wish you well and think of you often.  Thanks for your fine example and your testimony that is felt by the kind of missionary you are.  Thanks for being obedient and showing so much leadership for us all.  You never really know the impact you have when serving the Lord.  I only say as your mom has said,  "Stay the course."

Much perseverance,

Dad Milne

Dallin's Response:

Hey pops,

No problem about the writing.  I haven't been the most exciting missionary to hear from these last couple of weeks.  We've had quite a bit happen but I've been a little too lazy about telling all about it.

Haha but yeah it feels good to know that it wasn't just beginners luck in March.  Emil is a heck of a convert.  And we'll be baptizing again this saturday as well.  He name is Shahla and she is from Iran.  She has the Muslim background so we've had to make sure everything is good with her situation and that she will be able to stay long term in Sweden.  But everything is looking good.  It is kind of cool to see the literal gathering of Isreal go on here in Sweden.

And yep 1 year down, 1 to go.  They say the second year goes a lot faster than the first which is hard to believe because I still am amazed how fast the first went.

thanks for the mail, take care old man.

med mycket stor kärlek

Äldste Milne

My Email this Week:

Christ’s Grace Is Sufficient to Transform Us
 Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice.  If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, Mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.  In the same way, because Jesus has paid justice, He can now turn to us and say, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19), “Keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we see His requirements as being way too much to ask (“Gosh! None of the other Christians have to pay tithing! None of the other Christians have to go on missions, serve in callings, and do temple work!”), maybe it is because we do not yet see through Christ’s eyes. We have not yet comprehended what He is trying to make of us.

The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. If Jesus did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change. We would be left forever with only willpower, with no access to His power. If Jesus did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time. They would forever be surface and cosmetic rather than sinking inside us and becoming part of us—part of who we are. Put simply, if Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become pianists.

Dear Dallin,

How is my son this week?  I am really missing you Big "D"!  I pray that all is well and that you are safe and sound.  I pray that you have had a better week and that you have felt an abundance of love through the Spirit.  There are so many that love you Dallin, especially me, your dad, and your two brothers, and even more so, your Heavenly Father and your older brother Jesus Christ.  I hope you truly know that.  I am sorry for the long quotes today.  I took them from a talk given by Brad Wilcox on Grace.  It is an excellent talk, and you really should read the entire thing because it offers invaluable insight into how the Savior really feels about us - how He not only wants us all to return to Him and the Father but to also feel comfortable there and want to be there with them.  Here is the link to the entire talk....  It is amazing.  http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966  In fact, I just finished a week studying the atonement.  Here is another link to a website created by our stake Relief Society and Young Women's presidencies to aid is in gaining a greater testimony and understanding of how the atonement works in our lives.  There are videos, talks, scriptures, and music outlined to inspire, uplift, and teach.  It is a fantastic resource.  www.bringingtheatonementhome.com

How was your week?  Can you believe it has been a year since you left home?  This is unbelievable to me.  It is all down hill from here - so make the most of it!  Be sure and send us pictures of the shirt burning ceremony.  I want to know what the number one thing is that you have learned this past year, I want to know what changes have occurred in your life since serving a mission, and I want your true thoughts and feelings on serving a mission.  I want you to paint a picture (metaphorically) of Dallin before Sweden and Aldste Milne currently serving in Sweden.  Remember...  This is important.  Your younger brothers will be reading this along with your posterity.  No pressure! Haha!

Well, it finally turned cool here and I love it.  I feel like I can go outside and breathe.  Fall has definitely arrived.  Overnight the air turned much cooler and we even got a little rain.  This past week has been crazy busy.  I received a call from one of Uncle Jack's granddaughters - Lindsey.  She said that she had been told that we might be selling our house and she wanted to look at it.  I told her that we had been thinking about it, but that we didn't have it listed right now but she could come and see it.  This provided a great opportunity to get some extra cleaning done.  She and her husband and kids came three different days this past week.  Two of them to look at the house, and on Saturday they came with an offer to buy it.  Whoa!  That is a little fast, but dad and I are still thinking about it.  We are not sure quite what to think.  We will definitely keep you posted.  It was also an action packed week with parties.  On Wednesday we had a ward party for trunk or treating and the Young Women were in charge of some of the activity booths.  The Laurels and I did a booth called "Diggin' for Worms".  The kids had to fish gummy worms out of a bowl full of whipping cream in race fashion.  They loved it!  At the same time this was going on, dad was hosting a world series party at our house for the entire baseball team.  They grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and had all the trimmings along with it.  It was an exciting series this year between the Giants and Royals.  The Giants won which is wonderful for them, but I think most of them were cheering for Kansas City because they were the underdog.  On Thursday I hosted a Halloween party for my young women's board, their spouses, and the bishopric and their wives.  It was a lot of fun.  I served Costa Vida type food with sweet port, grilled chicken, cilantro lime rice, black beans, pinto beans, salad, chips and salsa, guacamole, etc...  We also had pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and a multi-layered chocolate cake for dessert.  It was a costume party and there were some hilarious costumes.  The Bishop and his wife came as Bob (the Bishop) and Dr. Marvin (his wife) from the movie "What about Bob?"  There were close to 20 people here.  Friday was Halloween.  We had a lot of trick or treaters come and I also invited in nine of Ty's girlfriends for some pie, cake, and cheesecake.  He wasn't here but he was sure embarrassed when he found out.  They enjoyed their dessert and watched the final minutes of the Cleveland and Chicago Bulls basketball game.  The Cavaliers won in overtime.  Friday and Saturday Ty also played in a baseball tournament here in St. George.  His team went 3-1. Ty caught in three of the games and also got the win on the mound in one of the games.  He is playing on the full sized field now.  He also had some nice hits.  Carter had sadies this Saturday and seemed to enjoy that. He is going again to the Desert Hills Sadies next week.  His leg is still giving him trouble even after a second cortisone shot so we will be seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor this week to see if they can offer any solutions.  He spent all day Sunday fasting for his leg to heal.  We ended the fast together and he said the most beautiful prayer.  He included you in his fast as well.  Your two brothers sure love you and really look up to you.  I know they miss you a lot as well.

Well Dallin, not much else to report.  We are already counting the days until Christmas - mostly because we will get to Skype with you.  I can't wait.  Dr. White and I have resumed working on the book, so hopefully we can have it completed in a month or two.  It is really coming together.  I take the GRE on November 22nd.  I am a bit nervous for this.  I hope I can get a respectable score.  I am also starting to prepare my application to BYU.  It is due December 1st along with all of Carter's College applications.  We will have a busy month.  Take care of yourself Dallin. Always remember how much I love you.  My thoughts and prayers are constantly with you.  I know the Lord will send His angels round about you to buoy you up and keep you safe.  Work hard and pray harder. Have fun, and rejoice in the blessings of the gospel.  I am so proud of you Dallin.  Keep up the great work.  Can't wait to hear from you.

All My Love,


Dallin's Email this Week:

Dearest Family and Friends,

Well I'm glad that you asked me to write about a few things this week.  I know that I haven't been the most exciting missionary to hear from these last couple of weeks.  I've always been the, "hey son how was your day at school?" "good."  "do anything exciting?" "eh not really."  "Well how was basketball?" "good", kind of kid haha.  I'll try to dig a little deeper this week.

Anyways, we had a pretty good week.  Did a lot of the usual stuff like finding, and teaching.  Some good news is that we should have another baptism this upcoming Saturday!  It is a nice middle-aged woman from Iran named Shahla.  The first time we met she wanted to be baptized.  We told her that we can make that happen but that we'd have to teach her a little bit first.  She was cool with it haha.  She loves the book of mormon in Persian and hasn't had any problems accepting and keeping commitments with commandments and such.  Our other persian converts have been doing a great job fellowshipping her also.   The branch is excited to see another baptism too.

But hey so I've been sitting here thinking about what I want to say and I feel like maybe it would be best that I take this next week to think and write about those things in my journal and stuff and then I can come back next monday with some money stuff.  I've been trying to get better with the whole write in the journal often thing so that should help with that too.  But yeah you are right, it's all down hill from here.  Sure does feel good :)

Sounds like you guys had an action packed week though!  I had no idea you guys were such party animals?  What has happened since I have been gone? haha.  One of the biggest things that stuck out for me though out of that whole deal was the fact that Ty is starting to play on the big field, ha for some reason that is just really hard for me to wrap my brain around haha.  I sure am excited to watch him play for pine view when I get back.  But I guess that is if we are still in St. George?  What is this talk about selling the house?  We had quite the halloween party over here too.  I couldn't believe the turn out!  Everyone was dressed out super good and they had a really nice trunk or treat thing set up for the kids also.  I was very impressed with the branch.  Unfortunately, the other missionaries were party poopers and didn't really want to dress up for it for some reason but I managed to borrow a witch hat from one of our friends so I wore that to the party.

I feel awful about carter's leg situation.  That would break my heart if he isn't 100% when basketball season gets going.  When did all of this start?  Like did he do something to cause it?

Good luck with your GRE mom.  I'm sure you'll kill it.  And I am really excited for this book of yours to be done.  You'll have to be sure to send me a copy when it is all finished!

And lastly, those are some awesome quotes about the atonement.  I will say that if there is one thing that has changed me on the mission, it is my understanding and appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Like I knew what it was before and all of that but to have been able to study and apply it on the mission has been the best thing for me.  Thanks for including that today.

Anyways take care everyone,  I'll try to prepare something nice and interesting for next week.  Love you all!

This Week's Photos:

 One of the older bros in the Branch at the Halloween party


A member from America baked up some awesome pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  She had to order the pumpkin stuff from America too.  Tasted a lot like yours mom, except not quite as good ;)

Stockholm Temple lit up after Zone Conference

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