Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Aldste Milne!

It was a huge reality check for me as I realized my missionary son turned 20 years old today.  Where has the time gone? I wish I could show up on his door step and give him a great big hug.  I am really missing him today.  I hope he had a wonderful and memorable birthday.  He surely deserves it.  He has always been such a wonderful son.  What a joy it has been to be his mother.  Keep up the great work Dallin!!!  I suspect the next ten months will go by quickly, but take time to enjoy each day.  Make every moment count and endure faithfully to the end.  Happy Birthday Dallin!!!  We love and miss you so much!

Sweet Birthday Wishes from Ty:

HI Dallin,

How have you've been? I Hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow. 20 years that's a big number; I wish we were there to celebrate it with you. I am very proud of you. You are a very righteous example to me and carety. Well my basketball games finally start this Saturday; I will try to drop 30. I am counting down the days until you come home. I cant wait to see who you marry. I am dearly sorry that I haven't written you in awhile. But I just want you to know that I love you Dalllin.



Dallin's Heart-Warming Response:

Ty, you are the best baby brother anyone could ask for. Thanks for the sweet email. I'm doing pretty good. It was awesome to see you guys on Christmas buy it sure made me miss everyone so much! But these next 10 months are going to go by super fast. That's good that you guys are finally going to start playing ball games. I can't wait to hear about it all. Leave it all out on the floor every game. Keep being a good boy to mom and dad and help around the house. You've turned out pretty good Ty. But hey don't start talking about me getting married or anything like that yet haha; I still feel like that is a ways off.  I love ya Ty

Your Oldest Brother,
My Letter to Dallin this Week:

The Spiritual Gift of Being Quick to Observe

All of us have learned important lessons from the central characters in the Book of Mormon. As we read about and study the lives of Nephi, Laman, Alma, King Noah, Moroni, and many others, we discover things we should and should not do, and we realize more completely the kinds of people we should and should not become.

In my study of the Book of Mormon I have been especially impressed with a particular description of Mormon, the principal compiler of the Nephite record. The specific depiction of this noble prophet to which I would direct our attention is contained in the first five verses of the first chapter of Mormon:
 “And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.
“And about the time that Ammaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto me, (I being about ten years of age … ) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe;
“Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people; …
“And behold, … ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people.
“And I, Mormon, … remembered the things which Ammaron commanded me” (Mormon 1:1–5; emphasis added).
 Please note that the root word observe is used three times in these verses. And Mormon, even in his youth, is described as being “quick to observe.” As you study and learn and grow, I hope you also are learning about and becoming quick to observe. Your future success and happiness will in large measure be determined by this spiritual capacity.

The remainder of this talk can be found at:


Hi Dallin,

I know this introduction was long, but this talk is excellent.  There are so many lessons learned from it.  However, there are two reasons I am sharing it with you: 1) You have always displayed this quality of being quick to observe.  From a tender age you were always obedient to everything you were asked to do, as well as having the capacity to observe those around you to determine what was right and what was wrong.  2) It reminded me of the blessing President Bagerter gave you when he set you apart as a missionary.  He promised you a very special and rare gift - this gift is referenced in this talk and teaches that the key to obtaining this gift is being quick to observe, especially when it comes to keeping the commandments.

Anyhow, HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY!!!!!  I can scarce believe that my sweet little Dallin is 20 years old today.  I can remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday.  You were so handsome even as a new born and still are!  I wish we could be there to celebrate this special day with you.  I will put $100.00 in your account tomorrow (Monday).  I hope your Christmas packages finally get to you.  I am so sorry.  In the future I will just send it directly to your apartment.

I was so excited to read your last week's letter.  You sounded so upbeat and happy.  I think this transfer will do you some good, but I also know that it is hard to leave those you have come to love.  I can't believe that you were able to hook up with Olle.  That is awesome!  What a wonderful blessing.

We have had a wonderful week of laziness.  I have read three books over the last few weeks - not text books.  I re-read Wuthering Heights which I haven't read since high school, The Lincoln Hypothesis which was amazing, and Anna Karenina - a Russian novel.  I don't often get to take time to read books for pleasure, so I decided that this would be my Christmas present to myself - allow myself time to read!!

Pine View boys basketball is now 11-0 with a big win against Richfield on Friday.  Carter finally had his break out game with 10 points. I'm sure he will tell you all about it.  I am so proud of him.  He has worked extra hard lately and spent extra time in the gym.  It really has paid off because he is displaying so much more confidence on the floor.  They will have a challenging week this week with Dixie on Wednesday and Desert Hills on Friday.  It will be super fun!  Cousin Keaton is having a great season too, but Canyon View as a team is struggling a little.  Ty continues to practice and will have some more games now that the break is over. 

Tomorrow I will do some house work that I have neglected due to my book reading and do a whole lot of writing for the book.  I am also going to be cleaning up the Adobe house.  Our renters are moving out and we have others who want to come and look at it and most likely rent it.  However, we have a family that wants to buy our home, and we just may end up moving into the adobe for a few months until we decide if we are staying in St. George or moving to Provo if I get accepted to BYU.  We are in the process of seeking counsel from the Lord in this endeavor.  This is my biggest weakness - patience in waiting upon the Lord.  We are taking the sound advice you shared with us on Christmas day.  Seek the Lord's will in all things.

We just finished family home evening.  Ty taught the lesson.  It was this month's Ensign talk by President Monson - Follow the Prophets.  Great article.  We determined that there is safety and peace in following the Lord's servants, not to mention the countless other blessing that ensue.  In today's world it is so important to have their guidance.  And even more important to be quick to observe their teachings. 

Say "hello" to Elder Olsen.  I pray that the two of you are getting along well and working hard.  I have a feeling that you will experience much success there in Kungsbaka.  I can't wait to see pictures of this new area.  How does it compare to the other places you have served?  Is it an older city or more modern?  I understand that you are basically starting from scratch in that area.  I know the Lord will reward your efforts.  There are many there who desire the truth but know not where to find it.  I have great faith that the Lord will guide you to them.

Carter received his acceptance letter to SUU yesterday along with his scholarship.  He has earned the four year, full-tuition President's scholarship.  He is really excited about it.  I think he will attend two semesters of school before going on his mission.  That way you will be able to spend some quality time with him.

I took Mickell Bracken to lunch on Friday.  I just love her.  She is so beautiful and sweet.  She seems to be having an incredible time at BYU.  She says that she hears from you often and that you seem to be doing well.  I thanked her for keeping in touch with you and keeping you updated on all your high school friends.  If I get an interview at BYU next month I told her I would take her to lunch or dinner when I am up there. 

Well Dallin, I am probably boring you by now.  I miss you son - especially on your birthday.  Ty suggested that we just show-up on your door step tomorrow.  If only that were possible.  I hope someone will at least bake a cake for you.  The good news is that you have many birthdays to come, and I hope to be a part of all of them.  Take care of yourself and stay safe and warm!

All My Love,


This Week's Letter from the Birthday Boy:

Dear Family,

Well there is not much to report since last Thursday.  It'll be good to get back into the regular schedule starting today.  The holidays were nice but it's time to get back down to business.  And yeah it's my birthday today, whoot whoot.  Feels weird to think that I am 20 now.  I am not looking forward to having to answer the next time someone asks "how old are you?"  The package still hasn't shown up.  I'm sure the office is just holding on to it.  They'll do that sometimes and make you wait until your next zone training/conference, which I think is pretty ridiculous.  Our next one is next friday I think.

Anyways, on Friday we were back at the high school helping out with the youth conference activity thing which took up most of the day.  I got to say a good-bye to Olle and the boys before they left and then we spent like 4 hours cleaning up the place.  After we did our weekly planning session and set up a vision for what we wanted to accomplish as a companionship during this next transfer.  Olsen got all fired up which was god to see.  He had a pretty rough training experience in Kungsbacka because they didn't have a lot of stuff going on.  I sure was lucky to have been trained up in Umeå.

On Saturday we walked all over hell it seemed like contacting people and swinging by the few people that were even slightly positive to the other elders before I got here.  Nothing really came from the swing-bys but we met this nice lady on the street who listened to a short restoration message, took a BoM, and agreed to have us over again.  So that was good.  We'll teach her this week.  I also ended up talking to this Jehovas witness guy at his doorstep for like 30 min about doctrines haha.  His biggest "concern" with us was that "we believe in going to war", citing the scripture in the new testament where Jesus said he who takes up the sword will perish by the sword.  I tried to explain that we of course don't like wars but I told him that I would be willing to defend my family and country if there was another nation trying to threaten our freedom and how I think taking up the sword is more of like being the guy who "started it".  I don't know it was an interesting conversation.  We also talked about priesthood authority and prophets and stuff like that and it was interesting to hear what he had to say.  Always a good time with those guys.

Sunday was very nice.  It was fast sunday like you guys know.  I basically just fasted for the blessing of an investigator.  But the ward here is awesome.  Reminds me a lot of Umeå.  We had a filled chapel for sacrament meeting and I got to introduce myself and bear my testimony.  Its nice here too because we don't need to take care of so much.  Mostly just get to sit back and enjoy the lessons.  It has been a very long time since they have had an investigator in sacrament meeting but I'm certain that we'll break the cold streak.  After church we swung by some less actives and it went pretty good actually.  We got contact with all of them, were able to sit down a share a couple messages and we set up some appointments for the future.  So that was good to see.

But yeah I am just trying to work on keeping a good attitude and not being so negative haha.  Like I enjoy finding work, I really do.  It's cool to go around and talk to people and joke a little bit with them and stuff like that.  Teaching is just so much more fun.  But we'll get there.  I kind of had a similar situation when Van Alfen came to Sweden.  We had some stuff going on but not too much.  But we went hard and had faith that things would get going and by the end of it all we were teaching 20 lessons a week and had a couple baptisms.  So it can happen!
The biggest difference I have noticed about Kungbacka from my other areas is that there are way more homes, and hardly any people living here from other countries.  Which is kind of cool actually, I really like talking to the Swedes.  But these people have some serious cash.  There are a lot of big house down here.

Hey that's awesome to hear that Carter had a nice game.  He needs to keep the momentum up.  He can be a J.R. Smith off the bench and come in and hit some transition 3 pointers.  But even more cool about the big scholarship.  Wow that is very impressive!  What a stud.  I'm really excited to hear about these upcoming region games.  And it'll be good to start hearing about Ty's games also.  I can't wait to be able to watch him go through it all when I am back.  Haha that's cool that you were able to have a little date with Miss Bracken.  And I like the way that Ty thinks, you guys have my permission to come visit whenever you like! haha.

So yeah, I am hanging in here.  I actually contacted the basketball coach for the Kungsbacka team here.  You could tell that he was excited that an American wanted to come play ball.  We are going to play with their team on thursday so I am looking forward to that.  But I am healthy and in good spirits.  Bad news is I slacked off on the picture taking these last couple days but I'll get some good ones of Kungsbacka this week for sure.

P.S.  Thanks so much for the birthday money! Probably use it to buy more food.  We eat like crap out here.
Quick Letter From Blaine:
Happy Late Birthday Dal,

Don't give up yet.  There is still a lot of ball game left to play.  10 more months of it.  So get the job done and get with it.  I have had it with your nonsense.  So turn two.

With love,


Sorry, Dallin did not send any pictures this week!


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