Have you ever had that feeling of your heart swelling with pride and love? I have several times in my life and most of the time it stems from my three sons. Today was one of those days. I was so happy to wake up to Dallin's email and to read that he is doing so well. I can tell that he is happy and that he is working really hard. My heart swelled and I actually teared up a little. Oh how I miss him, but oh how very proud I am of him. Less than a month to Mother's day to receive the best gift ever - Skyping with my favorite missionary.
Last week I had the opportunity to join most of the mother's from the St. George area who have a missionary in Sweden. We met at Allure Cafe on the Boulevard and spent a good two hours introducing ourselves and talking about our wonderful missionaries. It was so neat. Each mother just beamed with love and gratitude. It was fun to listen to their stories and get to know them and their missionary a little better. Here is a picture of the proud and blessed mama's:
Aren't We Beautiful!!!!
Here is a list of the missionaries serving in Sweden from this area and where they are currently serving:
Elder Dallin Milne: Lulea Branch returns Nov. 2015 - Yay!
Sister Adamson: Kristainstad Branch returns May 2016
Elder Luke: Jakebsburg Branch returns Oct. 2016
Elder Johnson: Visby Branch returns June 2015 - very soon!
Sister Sandberg: Kristianstad Branch returns Dec. 2015
Elder Pearson: Johnkoping Ward returns April 2016
Elder Featherstone: Vasterhangine Ward returns June 2016
Last week's Letters:
Happy Easter! Easter Bunny will put some extra money in your account on Monday - not to detract from the true meaning of Easter Sunday, but I always feel a pang of guilt when I purchase nice gifts for your dad and brothers and you are not here. It was a beautiful Easter Sunday here in St. George. Wasn't General Conference amazing! I absolutely loved it. It was exactly what I needed. It's so nice to get a shot of spiritual strength from our leaders and to be inoculated against the ways of the world. The main thing that stood out to me was how very much our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and desire only our happiness and our safe return to them. The older I become the more I realize the depth and breadth of their profound love for us. Their love is reflected in the love I have for my own children and my desire for their happiness and safe return to me. Someday when you are a parent you will understand this more fully. I also liked how many of the talks focused on how we do not earn our way to Heaven but through the atonement and the grace of our Savior we are provided a way to return to our Father, and that by keeping the commandments we are showing our love for Him and our desire to return to Him and receive all that He has. He has given us the gift of agency.... Surely, if we do not want to return to His presence, it is our choice, and our desires are reflected in the way we live each day. He has provided the commandments and the covenants we make as guidelines that will insure our eternal happiness. But, if we want something else, then that is what we will choose. It is all up to us! When it is spelled out like that it makes life seem a lot more simple, but the worldly distractions we encounter each day really can make it so complicated, and so much more difficult to decipher truth and true happiness.
How are you this week? How is it in Lulea? I looked it up on google and it seems like a really cool place, and I am sure a cold place still this time of year. Hopefully a warming up is in your near future. How is the work there? How is your new companion? How is the Branch so far? Lot's of questions I know, but you know me.... I love to have the details. I want to know how you are really doing.
We continue to stay busy here with all kinds of baseball. Dad is in the height of his glory. He absolutely loves coaching at PVHS. He is definitely in his element. I love how passionate he is about it. However, I have to admit, there are times when I feel that he loves baseball more than his own family LOL.... I have just surrendered to the fact that for the next few months that's all we will eat, sleep, and breathe! This week PV has a bye, so at least we can exhale and take a break from the intensity of it. However, Ty does have another tournament this weekend, and he also starts open gym for basketball at the high school. He is excited about that as well as the fact that dad will be coaching his baseball team this summer.
Carter is getting all of his papers ready for his mission and getting really excited about it. It will sure be exciting to find out where he goes. He is also trying hard to not get senioritis to much. He needs to maintain his 4.0. So far so good.
We had Uncle Kirk over for Easter dinner today. He said to tell you hello. We also visited with Aunt Kim and Mike a bit while we seated Mike's crown. It is always a lot of fun spending time with them.
This next weekend we will be heading to the Lewis' in Monticello for baby Levi's blessing. It will be nice to see them. Hopefully Tyson will bring Collin and Mackenzie. We haven't seen them for quite awhile.
Everyone seems to be doing okay right now - nothing major to report. We all love and miss you very much. Out of the blue every few weeks Ty will still get a sad look on his face and express how much he misses you and how excited he is for you to come home and workout with him for basketball.
Take care of yourself Dallin..... Stay strong to the end. Make the last six months of your mission the best six months - no regrets! Let me know if you need anything!
All My Love,
hey guys, sorry no email came yesterday, the library was closed because of easter and the chapel here is getting renovated so we couldn't email there. we are at the library today though.
(Of course I was disappointed on Monday, but I didn't get as nervous as I have in the past. I must becoming a seasoned missionary mom!
Dear Milne Fam,
Well I made it safe and sound up to Luleå. It was a nightmare getting there though. I left Kungsbacka at 1:00 pm Tuesday and came in to Luleå 8:40 am on Wednesday. I was on a train for like 15 hours. Quite the experience. It was weird being alone for so long but it felt kind of nice at the same time. I mostly read, slept, and talked with some Danish guys who were also on their way up to Norrland. I woke up on the train Wednesday morning, looked out the window, and saw snow everywhere! It felt like I had gone back in time to January or something. Apparently it had snowed pretty good a couple days before I showed up. There is still a lot of snow on the ground but it hasn't snowed since. It's been pretty nice weather actually. Sun has been shining and the breeze hasn't been too bad. It feels good to be back up in Norrland. I love the dialect up here and the people are all so nice. My new comp is Elder Larson, he too was a military kid and grew up all over the states but hails from Utah. He just got done being trained but he is really ahead of the game as far as language goes so that is nice. There is a lot more stuff to do up here, also nice, and we've done a lot of good stuff already. I haven't been able to meet much of the branch yet because of Easter general conference weekend but we watched the Saturday session on Sunday at a nice family's place. There are also 2 sister missionaries here who are a lot of fun. I thought that conference sure was good. There were a couple of talks that felt like were written just for me and some of the questions that I had. We still have to catch up on it though. We didn't get to see a couple of the sessions because of the time difference.
Sounds like you guys had quite the Easter yourselves. Good to hear that PV baseball has kept up their winning streak and that Carter pitched well. I am so pumped to find out where he gets called. And it sounds like Ty is just as sweet as ever. I'm excited to get to ball with him too. Time is going fast.
Like you said, I am just trying to finish my mission the same way we are supposed to run to first base, that we run through the base, not slow down before we reach it.
Anyways you guys know that I love you all so much. Know that I also love my mission and the country that I serve in. But above all, know that I love my Savior and older brother Jesus Christ for what He did for all of us. Always remember Him.
Last Week's Pictures:
Snow in Lulea!
Dallin did not label his pictures this week so I am assuming this is Elder Larson!
Beautiful Church in Lulea
This Week's Letters:
"If we feel as though we're alone and must rely largely or even solely upon our own energy, talent, strength - we don't understand grace - we don't understand the enabling power of Jesus Christ." - Sheri Dew
Both of these quotes come from Sister Dew's new book "Amazed by Grace." I read it a few days ago and it is awesome. Simple, yet profound explanation of Christ's Grace and the way it works in our lives.
I promise to update the blog tomorrow. It has been one of those weeks. Every time I sat down to do it something would come up. I would have done it today but I have been in Monticello for Levi Rex Lewis' baby blessing. He is such a cute baby and you could honestly feel the strength of his perfect little spirit. Julie and Cade have really raised some wonderful kids. I drove there by myself Saturday after Uncle Kirk's surprise birthday party that we threw for him. It was a wonderful party that we held at the park here in downtown Washington. He was so surprised. It was for his 60th birthday. I will put some pictures on the blog. Aunt Nanette rode home with me from Monticello so that was much better.
This week was a fun week. On Tuesday I went to lunch with some mothers who all have missionaries in Sweden. It was awesome to meet all of them and hear about their lives and their missionary. The could not believe that you have four baptisms. I will put pictures of these wonderful mothers on the blog as well as who their missionaries are and where they are serving.
Pine View had a buy this week for baseball so we only had Ty with games on Friday and Saturday. His team didn't do too well this tournament. They went 1-3. Ty played well and he pitched well, but dad says he has a lot of work to do before next year.
Today dad was set apart as a counselor in his high priest group presidency. He is excited about that. He also took dinner to his friend Stan Mosley who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Ralph Staheli went with him.
I went to Jason and Brandy's daughter Chayzee's softball game on Thursday. She was so cute and Jason is her coach. She was so excited that I was there, but she got hurt sliding into home, but she was safe and she is okay! They have a cute little family. They were at the birthday party as well. It was so nice getting together with the Milne family.
Carter has his missionary dental and physical appointments this week and then his papers will go in May 1st. So unbelievable. I can't believe that my boys are growing up so fast. Where has all the time gone?
What do you think you will do when you get home? Are you interested in pursuing basketball at all? If so, do you want me to contact the coach here at Dixie State or up at SUU? Just over six months left - Unbelievable! I am really looking forward to Mother's Day!
How was your week this week? How is Lulea treating you? Is there still snow? We have had really pleasant weather here lately. Let me know what you need, or if there is anything I can do for you here. I love and miss you.
Take care of yourself big D!
All My Love,
First mom I just want to say thanks so much for all of the work and time you have put into the blog. Don't worry about getting behind but keep up the good work with it. That will be such a treasure for the rest of my life. Thanks for your diligence with that.
That's cool that you were able to get together with some of the missionary moms haha I'll be interested to see that on the blog. Sounds like you had a pretty good week going over to Monticello with your family and also with Uncle Kirk's surprise birthday party. It sure is nice to live close to family. I have definitely learned that on the mission being on the other side of the world from my family haha.
We had a pretty busy week and were blessed with some success. One thing that was really cool for me was that we had a zone training in Umeå on thursday so it was really cool to go back to my "birth place" and take a trip down memory lane. And this Sunday we have a district conference in Umeå where all the branches will get together and we get to go to that as well so I am really excited to get to see Daniel and Olle again then. The missionaries in Umeå said that a lot of the members still talk about me. That really made me feel good. The talk is now that Olle is set on preparing for a mission. That sure would be awesome. The work was good this week. We found a couple new investigators to add to our pretty solid teaching pool. One of them is really excited about the church and said that he wants to be baptized but we still have a lot to teach but that was cool to see. And the other one was a referral from one of the young men in the branch here. He had talked to his friend about the gospel and gave her a mormons bok. She has read all the way to 3rd Nephi and was excited to get to meet with us. So we are obviously super excited about that. We'll see how it turns out.
Things are good with Elder Larson. He served a year of active duty in the US Army before coming on a mission and you can really tell that he did haha like he is really disciplined and professional. Which is super good. We are working really hard. And apparently there had been a drought going on with investigators in the sacrament meeting for the last 4 months but we broke it yesterday and managed to get two there for sacrament meeting. Elder Larson was super pumped about that. Right now the chapel is getting renovated so we meet in a school for the time being. It works just fine. The members here are nice, I had already met some of them during my time in Umeå and they remembered me. So yeah so far so good. There is still some snow on the ground but it hasn't snowed since I got here. Just been raining a little bit. I am doing well.
As far as basketball goes, of course I am going to want to play, but I wouldn't worry about contacting coaches just yet. I think I will be coming home too late to just jump on the team anyway because they'll be playing games at that time. I'll have to get in the gym and hit the weights and hopefully be in top shape to play in the 16-17 season.
You are the greatest mom. Keep up the good work. Send my love to everyone!
2423 - me and one of the finnish elders in the mission, Elder Kiikko
1041 - our car (the car life is sooooo nice)
2422 - it was cool to be back in Umeå, here is the chapel
This Week's Photos:
Aldste Kiikko (he is from Finland) and Aldste Milne
(LOL.... I rotated this and saved it right-side-up twice, but for reasons beyond my understanding this is how it turned out!)
Our Car..... Car life is soooo nice!
Aldste Milne's Mission Birthplace - The Umea Chapel
Here are some pictures I promised to send Dallin of Uncle Kirk's surprise 60th Birthday party and the Lewis Family:
The Invitation.... Great job Cousin Brandy!
Funny poster I made for Uncle Kirk
Fun Poster I made for the Birthday Boy!
He was so surprised!
Uncle Kirk with two of his boys - Clint and Jason
Some of Kirk's long time friends were even there and they gave this bag of goodies filled with things to handle his 60's such as Preparation H and constipation help!
Some of the gang... At one point I counted over 30 of us!
Memorable events of 1955
The Sweet Lewis Family on Levi Rex's blessing day... minus Cami who was at Choir practice. She is the oldest girl and is such a blessing to her mother. Julie is a very busy mom and a full-time special ed. teacher. She is my hero! They are the neatest little family... The kids are so well-behaved and independent. Watching them get ready for church was amazing.... Just like clock work and with no complaints. Each child was happily helping the other, and they always make it on time - Incredible!!! They are a faithful family where scripture study and prayer are a daily occurrence!