Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Road Trips, Reindeer, and the Arctic Circle

Aldste Milne is not only "All World"  He is on top of the world!  He made it pretty far North this week.  He even encountered some of Santa's reindeer.  It is crazy seeing him still in snow while we are enjoying some nice 80 degree days.  Hang in there "Big D" not much longer and all that white stuff will be gone, and you will have successfully made it through two Swedish winters.

Sunday night after family home evening Blaine declared that he wants Dallin home right now.  He is tired of not having all of his boys with him.  He is starting to second guess if he is going to let Carter serve a mission.  It is rough knowing that you don't get to see them for two years.  We wouldn't trade the blessings, but we sure do miss Dallin as we will miss all our boys.

It was so fun to hear from Dallin today.  He sounds great as usual and is excited to have a baptism coming up this Saturday.  He and Elder Larsen seem to be working really hard and the Lord is blessing them with some success.  Few of the Lord's blessings compare to the blessings one receives as a missionary.  Enjoy every last one of them Dallin....  Your time is short!

I want to share with you a few things I have learned this week and have reflected on.  First and foremost:  We have always been pretty good at family prayer, hot and cold with family scripture study, and regular with family home evening.  During last night's family home evening I made an announcement.  I told the family that family prayer, scripture study, and FHE are from here on out non-negotiable.  In today's world they are an absolute must.  The sad part is I already knew this.  But as many of you know, knowing and doing are two different things.  I told my family that I loved them too much to not help arm them with the things they need each day to be successful.  This doesn't mean that there won't be trials, temptations, and tribulation, but it does mean that when trial, tribulation, and temptations arise they will be blessed with the Holy Ghost to more effectively deal with what is before them.

Next point of interest:  During our Sunday dinner Blaine brought up a discussion he had during a New Testament class he had years ago while attending BYU.  Reed Benson (President Ezra Taft Benson' son was the teacher).  He said that Brother Benson began the class by first calling out the "Back Row Mormons", which included Blaine.  He then taught them the three P's of the Devil and the Three D's of the Devil.  Do you know what they are?  Carter and Ty gave some good guesses and even came up with a few of them.  Here they are:  P's = Pride, Passion, and Power.  D's = Depression, Despondency, and Discouragement.  We talked about each one and the pitfalls each presents.  I was most interested in the discussion on passion.  I think it is so important to be passionate about the things that we do, however, even our passions can create problems when they are not properly bridled.  Remember the scripture from the Book of Mormon: 

Alma 38:12Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness. 

I love this scripture!  I was once taught this concept by an institute teacher who explained the difference bridling our passions makes.  We are not told to bury our passions, ignore them, or get rid of them, we are taught to bridle them.  A bridle on a horse is not used to inhibit the horse, but to manage what the horse has to offer and to put it to it's best use.  So it is with our passions.  Bridled by the help of the Spirit, our passions can be put to use in incredible ways.

Point number three:  Freedom vs. Free Agency.  C.S. Lewis once said, "True freedom comes from self discipline."  I agree.  We lose our freedom when we do not discipline ourselves to the things that we know are right and best for us.  However, there is a difference between freedom and free agency. Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained it this way:

"Regardless of a person’s susceptibility or tendency, we have an obligation to exercise our agency to overcome our personal weaknesses:
Perhaps these persons, as the saying goes, were ‘born that way.’ But what does that mean? Does it mean that persons with susceptibilities or strong tendencies have no choice, no free agency in these matters? Our doctrine teaches us otherwise. Regardless of a person’s susceptibility or tendency, his will is unfettered. His free agency is unqualified. It is his freedom that is impaired. … We are all responsible for the exercise of our free agency.
“… Most of us are born with thorns in the flesh, some more visible, some more serious than others. We all seem to have susceptibilities to one disorder or another, but whatever our susceptibilities, we have the will and the power to control our thoughts and our actions. This must be so. God has said that he holds us accountable for what we do and what we think, so our thoughts and actions must be controllable by our agency. Once we have reached the age or condition of accountability, the claim ‘I was born that way’ does not excuse actions or thoughts that fail to conform to the commandments of God. We need to learn how to live so that a weakness that is mortal will not prevent us from achieving the goal that is eternal.
God has promised that he will consecrate our afflictions for our gain (see 2 Nephi 2:2). The efforts we expend in overcoming any inherited weakness build a spiritual strength that will serve us throughout eternity. Thus, when Paul prayed thrice that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ would depart from him, the Lord replied, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ [2 Corinthians 12:9]” (“Free Agency and Freedom,” in Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr., ed., The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, the Doctrinal Structure[1989], 13–14).

I love this explanation.  It puts so many things into perspective.  All of us have thorns in our side, as did the apostle Paul, and some we may have even been born with, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can either be healed from them or manage them so that in the end our weaknesses truly will become our greatest strengths. I know this to be true!!!

Anyhow, enough pontificating.  Let's get to this week's letters:

Letter from Home:

"Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent." - D&C 60:13

Dear Dallin,

How's my favorite Swede?  First off, thank you so much for the very thoughtful Mother's Day note - it was a wonderful surprise.  I love and miss you very much, and you have made being a mother so rewarding.  I pray this finds you happy and well.  How's your week been?  It sounds like you have a lot of exciting things going on there in Lulea.

The scripture I shared is from the FHE lesson Ty taught us tonight from the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  The lesson was on work and self reliance.  Ty did a wonderful job.  He is turning into quite the young man.  Carter contributed to the meeting with his wonderful piano skills by playing some of our favorite primary songs.  It is so wonderful to feel the Spirit in our home and the feelings of peace and love that attends family home evening.  We are becoming much better at not allowing it to turn into Family Fight Night!

This week has been another fun and exciting week.  It started out a little icky because I was having some stomach trouble and had to go to the doctor a couple of times for some tests, etc...  The doctor concluded that it is most likely an ulcer or severe gastritis.  He gave me a couple of different medications I have to take for the next month and they seem to be helping.  I still have to watch what I eat though.

PVHS played Cedar High School this week in baseball. We won one and lost one.  Carter pitched an inning in the first game on Tuesday and did a great job.  PV won 8-2, but they lost on Friday up in Cedar 2-1.  It was a great game, but Pine View could not come up with timely hits.  PV faces Desert Hills this coming week.  We have to sweep them in order to be the region champs.  However, we are for sure in the playoffs so that will be exciting.  The state tournament is in St. George this year at Dixie State so that will be exciting.

Ty spent Friday and Saturday in Payson playing basketball with PVHS.  He played five games and had a great time.  He is so excited for next year.  He will also be playing this summer on a baseball team coached by dad and Ocey Leavitt.  It ought to be an exciting summer.  Carter will be playing on the Legion team again this summer.

Well, I finalized a vacation that we are actually going to take June 4th through the 14th. We are flying to Washington DC to visit some of the National Monuments and attend a Nationals VS Cubs game.  We will spend three nights in DC, three nights in NYC, and three nights in Boston.  While in NYC we will watch the Yankees and the Nationals and also attend a Broadway Musical "Lion King".  In Boston we will attend a Red Sox VS Blue Jays game and visit some historical sights there as well.  We are so excited!  I'm sorry if this makes you homesick!  Next summer we are planning to take you to Sweden and other parts of Europe so please don't feel too badly!

Only two weeks to Mother's Day!  Can't wait to SKYPE!  Yahoo!  Keep up the great work you are doing Dallin!  Take care of yourself and stay healthy and safe.  Let us know how your week went and if there is anything we can do to help out or if there is anything you might need.

All My Love,


Letter from Blaine (he titled it "Epistle from the Adobe"):

Hi Elder Milne,

I hope you realize you're another in a long line of Milne missionaries.  Elder David Milne was called as a missionary after he was married and had children.  He left them in St. George and served without hesitation.  Our home today was built by his son Athole who married a Washington girl named Amanda Hannig.  The Hannig's where converts from the land of Prussia which is today part of Poland and Germany.  Athole decided to make his home in Washington away from his Milne family in St. George.  That is why there are Milne's in Washington today.  Your mother is a choice elect lady of rich heritage and a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She served her mission in Oklahoma.  She was a valedictorian of Beaver High School and graduated from Southern Utah University in communication and political science.

She decided that her biggest contribution she could make to society was not reaching heights for herself but raising honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, lovely and of good report and praiseworthy children. 

I want you to know that you are one of those I have mentioned.  You have been hid up unto the Lord for a very wise purpose in Him.  I hope you feel through the Holy Ghost that this is true.  Your experience in growing up is very unique and different.  It has added to you as a person and given you the needed rounding to aid you in your special service.

We love you Dallin and will always have a very special place in our hearts for you.

Always yours,

BG Milne

Aldste Milne's Letter this Week:

Hey fam,

Well it was a heck of a week.  Lots of teaching and lots of driving.  I can't wait to see the reactions of the car couple when they see our driving report for this month.  And it's not like we have abused our car priviledges or anything like that, we've just had a lot to do and a lot of places to go.  Early in the week we drove up to Kiruna, Sweden to meet a member family up there and to try to make contact with the other members up there.  It was about a 4 hour drive to get there but it was a beautiful drive.  It's so pretty up in norrland.  We saw some reindeer along the way too.  Some of them crossed the road right in front of us.  We got some good pictures. Some good news is that we should be having a baptism this saturday!  The only thing left is the baptismal interview tomorrow so if that goes good then the deal is pretty much sealed.  I'll talk more about the guy and tell his story next week after the baptism.  I gave a talk on Sunday about member missionary work.  It went good.  I talked about Carter's story with the Arteaga's and the members really liked that.  After church we were invited over to dinner with the Wirtala family.  They have a son who just got back from a mission in England and a daughter who is getting ready to go on her mission to England in July.  They also have 3 other kids.  Super nice family.

I'm sorry that you haven't been feeling too hot mom.  I hope those meds do their job and that you get better.  I'm looking forward to hearing about the baseball state tournament.  That's sweet that it'll be there at bruce hurst field.  Good to hear that Ty is playing good ball and even better to hear that he is panning out spiritually and maturing into a fine young man.  

Oh my gosh I'm so jealous about the vacation you guys got planned!  You guys better take plenty of pictures and be sure to share them with me.  And yep Mother's day is coming right out the corner.  The last time I'll see you guys before I step off that plane in october.  Crazy!  

I can't believe how fast April has come and gone, I'm looking forward to the next 6 months to go by just as fast!  

Elder Larson and I are working hard and having a good time.  Thanks for everything


This Week's Photo's:
(Thank you for not sending any that are upside down.)

Passing Through the Arctic Circle

Reindeer Crossing

Look at this Big Boy!

Our Location up in Kiruna

Beautiful but oh so Cold!


  1. I want to go on YOUR vacation. Wow, you are going to have quite the experience. Make sure you take the tour of Fenway Park, it is sooo interesting. Natalie, just like Blaine said, "YOU are a great mother." Keep up the good work. BG Milne, I loved your history letter too. You are doing good. Go PVHS and the Milne crew. Love to all.

  2. Oh, and as I keep reading . . . OH, did I ever need this one on Free Agency . . . I'm reposting this on my blog. It's PERFECT! THANK YOU THANK YOU.

  3. Oh, this is soooo good, I keep reading it and reading it; I feel it is sooooo true. I'm crying. Thank you.