Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two Thanksgiving Dinners and Welcome to Vasteras Elder Evan Sandquist!

Time is flying by so fast...  I can hardly believe it.  Aldste Milne has been out for 13 months already.  It sounds like he had a wonderful week.  I was afraid that he wouldn't have a Thanksgiving dinner because it is an American holiday, but come to find out he was fed twice Thanksgiving day.  Thank you to you wonderful Swedes for taking such good care of my boy.  It warms my heart knowing that he was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with such wonderful people.  We really missed him at our table this year, but he will be home before he knows it. 

Dallin also has a new companion this week - Elder Evan Sandquist from Utah.  He attended Riverton High School.  We will be excited to get to know him better.  Work hard boys and have fun!!

School this semester is winding down for me - thank goodness!  I am finding it hard to endure to the end.  I have to stay focused and finish strong.  That is what I have always taught my children, so I guess I had better adhere to my own teachings.  I have one more class today and then I am driving back to St. George to pick up Blaine and Ty and then head to Carter's basketball game tonight in Enterprise!  Good-luck tonight Cart!  Go Panthers!

Blaine's Letter to Dallin this Week:
Hi Dallin,

Hope you had a Thanksgiving dinner somewhere.  We were hoping one of the ward families would invite you.  We had a real nice Thanksgiving dinner here. Grandma and Raymond, Nanette and Randy, Cade and Julie, Trevor and Chantel, Shelley and Devon and all the affiliated kids were here.  I even invited my elderly German patient who is going on a church mission on Dec. 29 to the church office building in SLC to work in the international section of family history. Raymond gave a nice prayer and the food was excellent.  We smoked a turkey out on our new grill that cooks with wood chips.  It was the best turkey I have ever eaten. 

We all went around and said what we where thankful for.  Ty said he was thankful for you serving a mission and Shane prayed for you too at breakfast yesterday. 

The new news for the weekend was that Kodi Wilstead wants to play basketball and delay his mission until the basketball season is over.  He was told BYU was going to redshirt him his first year, so he decided leaving early didn't give him any advantage.  So the players had a meeting with the coaches and decided that Kodi should be allowed to play.  He certainly gives them a better chance to compete at a much higher level.

How is the new job as a district leader?  How has this changed your life on the mission?  What does that put you in charge of?  What are your responsibilities?  Does this change how you look for investigators or preach the gospel? 

Trevor asked about you and I told him you were doing well and you never talk about anything negative.  I told him everything you have said has been positive.  Trevor responded with the comment that missionaries always talk positive and will never tell you really what is happening.  I thought that to be a very interesting comment from him.

I then hope you are really doing Ok and you are not home sick.  I know you are now approaching 13 months on your mission and have just 11 months left. This is great news.  I hope you are happy and well.

Take care ol' friend,

Daddy Milne
My Letter to Dallin this Week:
Alma 57:21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

This scripture was the theme of my mission.  I read it last night in the Book of Mormon and I thought I would send it to you.  Obedience, and especially exact obedience, brings blessings and invokes miracles.  Keep that in mind as you move forward in the strength of your position.

Dear Dallin,

I hope you get this in time.  I was up late finishing my application to BYU which is due today and I was too tired to write to you.  So, I awoke earlier this morning in hopes of getting you a letter in time.  I pray this finds you happy and well, and that you are staying warm.  I hope it doesn't make you too homesick when I tell you that on Thanksgiving day it was 70 degrees here in St. George.  It is however supposed to start cooling off this week.

How has your week been?  Congratulations on becoming District Leader.  Please let us know what extra responsibilities that gives you.  Always remember that the best leader is the greatest servant.  Lead as the Savior did by example, service, and love.  Did you receive your new companion this week?  If so, who is he, where is he from, and how long has he been serving?  Whoever he is, he is lucky to have you as a companion.  I was just thinking yesterday what a fun guy you are and what a great personality you have.  We really missed you this week - especially on Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful weekend with family. Every prayer that was prayed you were included.  I am so impressed with Aunt Julie's kids.  They all say such beautiful prayers, and they all bless you specifically.  You have so many family members that love you so much and look to you for an example of goodness and service.

Throughout the weekend we ate lots of food, had a lot of laughs, watched several movies, played basketball, badminton, volleyball, and pickleball.  It was wonderful having my family here.  There was such a special spirit here all weekend long.  By Saturday I was exhausted though and after everyone left I took a two and a half hour nap.

As I mentioned earlier my application to BYU is due today.  I just finished editing it this morning.  What a process, but I am so glad that it is finished.  Now I just have this week of school which will be extremely busy and a couple of finals next week.  It will be nice to have this semester completed.  It has been a whirlwind, but also a miracle.  I can see the hand of the Lord in every detail and success.

Carter's first basketball game is this Wednesday in Enterprise.  I hope the coaches will be fair with him.  He has worked so hard and really deserves to play.  He is such a good boy.  I continue to be impressed with the strength of his testimony and his desire to achieve his goals.  You have been such a wonderful influence on him.  You two have always been the best of friends.  He also plays Friday and Saturday in a tournament in Richfield.  I love basketball season.  It should be exciting.  I think Pine View has a chance to be really competitive this year.

Well Dallin, I hope you are hanging in there.  The winter months I know will be challenging, but always keep in mind the many blessings that you have, and how many people love you and are constantly praying for you.  Work hard, pray harder, and have fun!  You share the greatest message there is and it is full of hope and joy!  My thoughts and prayers are always with you, and I know the Lord continually has his hand upon you and his angels round about you.  He is a God of miracles and a God of Love!

I love and miss you so much.  Have a wonderful week.  Is there anything specific that you need for Christmas?  I will put Christmas money in your account, but I will also be sending a package so let me know if there is something you would like or that you need.  Did you get your face medicine yet? Take care son!

Much Love,

Dallin's Letter Home this Week:
Dear Family,

Well we made it through November.  At this time last year I was just starting my 5th week in the MTC.  
So this week for the email we are going to have a special guest who is actually my new companion Elder Evan Sandquist.  He has been out for about 21 months.  It's nice to be working with an experienced missionary. He is a wrestler out of Riverton High School up north.  I am actually just stealing his email this week because he is really good at typing fast and remembering everything we did...haha  
Elder Sandman's weekly summary:  

Tues: Transferred early. we had to be in Stockholm by 10, so we got out the door around 8:30. Got to Västerås and had a great welcoming from Elders Milne and Zaugg. Im in a 4 man with those 2 and elder Ahlstrom. its a pretty good group. We are having a good time together! My comp elder Milne is a cool guy and a hard worker so we are getting along great and are ready to light up Västerås! He is from ST George Utah and likes basketball and country music!  Im going to be honest. the days have kind of blended together from here on out. i will just go ahead and start going through some stuff I rememebr!

Awesome Tuesdays! We have something called awesome Tuesdays where we go eat dinner and play games with our 2nd counselor David and his investigator wife Ida. Theya re 2 of the coolest Peopel ive ever met! We had a blast wwith them! 

Wednesday we had Open church and spent the night doing contacting and tracting. We emt a cool guy named Muhammed. he was really nice. He is an active Muslim but loves to talk about religion, so we talked with him for a bit! That night we had a youth activity (we ahve like 4 new converts who are 16-18, so we go to some of the youth activities). So we got to go Bowling! It was super fun! Im just about as bad as i was before the mission, but it was still fun! 
Had a late night wrestling with Zaugg. He asked me to teach him so we wrestled around for a bit. It made me miss wrestling Blake int eh living room! 

Thursday we had a really fun day! Zone training! We started by waking up at 5... (Milne thought it was necessary to make it out the door on time.... he was wrong) We were all dressed and ready by 6. Our train didnt leave until 7:30. So naturally we went to McDonalds. Afte breakfast, it was like 6:30. So we went tot he other Mcdonalds and ate more breakfast. Than we caught an earlier train to Stockholm. The lady wasnt really happy that we switched trains, but she let us stay on the train anyways. Tehn when we got to Stockholm early, we went to Mcdonalds... again... ha ha ha. It was funny! and we were hysterical from lack of sleep! We got to Södertälje early (shocker) and met up witht eh Norköpping missionaries. Guess what we did? We went to Mcdonalds. We had a race to see who could eat a muffin the fastest without hands. I won:)
Then we had Zone training. they introduced us to the Churches new Christmas initiative. We are basically focusing on making everyone realize what Christmas is all about. I think its awesome! We are going to be implementing it all into our contacting. 
After Zone training, we took a train back to Stockholm and snagged some lunch at a different Mcdonalds. Then we took another fairly long train ride to Enköping. (funny side story, mom if its too much feel free to remove it ha ha) We got on the train, but the train company had only sent us 3 of our 4 tickets. It happens sometimes and you usually can talk yourselves out of it, but we decided to try a new tactic. We put Zaugg under the table on the train and hid him under jackets and backpacks. The guy walked past, checked our tickets, and kept walking. I would have felt bad, but we did purchase the ticket and it came in about an hour later. It was really funny ha ha.
After we got to Enköping, we went and visited a less active family named the Frids! She made us a Thanksgiving Dinner! It was so Sweet! They are a nice little family! Then they also came to church on Sunday! AWESOME!!!!

Friday: Open Church, Lots of tracting, got to teach a few lessons but nothing too positive from it. Kind of a slow day. We met with emil, a New convert and helped him with some english homework. I think his teacher is going to be shocked at how good his essays are... ha ha ha

Saturday: We went to a member named Pia and helped her with some service. then we went and played innebandy. I was a baller keeper and blocked like 86 shots in a row... but whos counting?;) #profs
After Innebandy we went and helped the tolleys move some stuff into our new apartment. the 4 man is going to be split up soon. Milne and I will move to the new place across the city.
After that we went to a Thanksgiving party with an investigator and her family named Indi. She is a super nice lady from India. She has 2 kids and a Swedish husband. they love the missionaries. They keep inviting us back! She is super super nice! So I had 3 thanksgivings this week. 

Sunday: Church was great. The branch is probably about the same size as Hägersten. They seema  bit more together. Elder Zaugg and I taught Sunday school to the Youth. the topic was a little boring and kinda turned into a Q&A about missionary life. it was super fun! We loved it! We have a couple American foreign exchange students from Colorado here. they are super fun. Sunday night we spent the night contacting and doing some weekly planning.

Monday: So far we did laundry and ate lunch with robar, a les active who just won the European championships for grappling. he is a beast and had some GNARLY cauliflower ear! it was awesome! I might try to sneak to his gym...;) we will see ha ha.

Yeah so there you have it.  A lot more to read haha.  We have a lot in common and are getting along well.  As you can see we were taken care of pretty nicely here in Västerås for thanksgiving.  Two of the nicest families around.  We let them know how much it meant to us that we got to feel at home even though our homes are on the other side of the world (Although they couldn't compete with your cooking mom haha) but I was impressed with the food!  I read on the blog and it sounds like you guys had quite the Thanksgiving.  It stunk to miss two thanksgivings in a row away form home but I am so pumped for next year :)

As far as district leader responsibilities go, I collect numbers from everyone in the district at the end of the week and send them into the zone leaders, I run district meeting which is pretty much every thursday unless we have a zone conference scheduled or something like that instead.  This month, there will only be two district meetings because of all the christmas activites and they will both be focused on this Christmas initiative that Elder Sandslash mentioned earlier.  Here is the link to this video that we will be showing pretty dang often this month.  http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529

Good luck with the byu thing mom, I'm really happy that you are pursuing your dreams and doing what makes you happy.  Thanks for your example of relying on the Lord when it seems like our plates are full.  Thanks for the testimony that you share every week in the email.  They strengthen my own testimony every time.

I will be especially looking forward to hearing about these three ball games that Carter has this week!  That is cool that kody is staying a little longer to play ball, Pine View should have quite the squad.  As far as Christmas goes just send me a nice gillette razor with blades and deodorant haha.  Deodorant in Sweden is awful and it would be nice to be able to stop using super cheap razors and cutting my face all the time haha.  

Anyways thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. You guys are one heck of a family.  Keep up the good work and keep enjoying each others company.  I forgot to bring the phone chord from the apartment so I will have to send pictures later in the week.  Take care everyone!

Elder Dallin Milne

Thanksgiving with the Perssons!
Bowling with the Youth (I won)!

Thanksgiving with the Frids!

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