This week was one that would remind us all of our mortality. Both Dallin and Blaine had the stomach flu and I continue to struggle with my stomach issues. Carter used muscles he hasn't for awhile and cannot even straighten out his arms, and Ty is realizing that work requires physical effort and can be exhausting. These mortal bodies sure are something. I often think how glorious the resurrection will be - no more sickness, no more pain, and no more fatigue! Won't that be wonderful? I, however, am learning to be grateful for my body and to love it despite the different challenges it poses. Dallin has been blessed thus far to not be too sick on his mission. The Lord has blessed him with health and strength - I only pray it will continue. I can't think of many things worse than being really sick and so far away from home.
My body keeps me humble. I am certain that if I didn't have the challenges with it that I have I would go through life missing some of it's most important lessons because when I don't feel well it slows me down and forces me to reflect more, pray more, and more humbly seek the will of the Lord. Otherwise I would allow myself to get so busy I would never stop and smell the roses! My errant health forces me to more finely prioritize my life and spend my energy on things that really matter. Don't get me wrong.... I'm really not that bad off, just limited in doing things like exercising and working as quickly as I usually do. I am starting to feel better and my strength is returning. So this coming week I hope to be able to add some light exercising to my day and to prepare for our upcoming vacation - I'm so excited!
I'm so happy to see the growth in Dallin. I am so very proud of him. We all miss him so much - but we are happy with the choices he has made in his life and the many lives he has blessed! The Lord has been good to all of us! It is humbling to reflect on our many, many blessings! Love to all!
Letter From Home:
"Following periods of growth, new opposition always arises that challenges our new gifts. The Spirit begins to withdraw to give us the opportunity to continue in this level of obedience through the darkness, simply because we know it is correct, not because we are lit up with a trillion volts of spiritual light.
This is the way of growth: Struggle, grow, receive blessings, bask in the blessings (honeymoon period), greater opposition, lessening of the Spirit, remain faithful, climb to new spiritual heights, start all over again.
The blessing of knowing this process is operating in our lives is that it empowers us to forge onward, to know that it is merely the law of opposition at work, which is for our ultimate good, and not some unfair or unholy obstacle. It will end, and we will regain our blessings, and more, as we endure. We are not lost in some spiritual wilderness but are climbing upward upon the ordained path that leads to eternal vistas." - John Pontius in "Journey to the Veil"
How are you this week? How's life with the new companion? How's the work progressing? I hope and pray that all is well with you as you continue to strive each day to do the work of the Lord. I found the above quote in a book I am currently reading - it is quite enlightening. This truly is how life is... we realize the most growth by remaining obedient through the trials that we encounter, even if we cannot feel the Spirit in our darkest hour. We endure because we have faith that on the other side of the trial we will find blessings and maturity! This is especially the way of a missionary. So many opportunities to grow because of the endless opposition. Stay obedient no matter what, and I know the Lord will surely bless and prosper you!
We have had a blessed week this week. Carter's graduation was awesome, but we really missed not having you there. He is such a good boy and we are all so proud of him and all his accomplishments. Keaton graduated on Thursday. Carter and I were planning to go, but I ended up being at the doctor's office too long. He ran some more tests on my stomach and I will be having an endoscopy on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. The medicine I have been taking for the ulcer hasn't really helped, and there is a chance it is a hernia, but we will see. I just want to feel better soon! I suppose I should be experiencing all kinds of growth - right!!! Anyhow, you know me and my health... If it's not one thing it is surely another. It keeps me humble!
Dad and Ty are up in Utah County at a baseball tournament this weekend and Carter and I are in Minersville with the family for Memorial Day. The Lewis family is here, Tyson and his kids, Aunt Shelly, the Morgensen's were here as well as Chantel, Trevor and their two girls. We have had a lot of fun! We will put flowers on the graves in the morning here in Minersville and then off to Beaver to decorate graves there. Afterward we will eat at the Timberline and then all the cousins are going swimming. It has been a nice visit with everyone. They all ask how you are doing and they send their love. Carter and I also put flowers on Grandpa Glen's and Grandma Bonnie's grave as well as Dad's Milne grandparents and his Adam's grandparents before we left Washington.
Dad is coaching Ty's baseball team that consists of all the Pine View kids who will be Freshmen next year. They went 3-1 on Friday and Saturday and will be playing in the Championship bracket on Monday. I hate not having them with us, but I'm excited for them! Dad needs to get these kids going! They are staying in a really nice cabin up in the Heber area. It belongs to the Miller's. Tyson Miller is one of Ty's good friends. Sounds like they are having fun!
This coming week we will be doing a lot of yard work and preparing for our vacation. We are all so excited! Keep up the great work Dallin! Please let me know if you need anything. We all love and miss you so much!
All My Love,
Dallin's Letter Home:
Well here we are again, another monday. Man I love mondays. I love reading about everything that is going on with you guys. But boy it can make it kind of hard to especially when there is so many exciting things going on like state championships and graduations and baseball tournaments and family gatherings and future family vacations haha. But goodness mom it seems like you never get to rest with your health. I sure hope that the you and the doctors and figure out soon how to make you feel better. I also kind of had a rough week with my own health. We had a zone training in Umeå again and on the way back I started to feel really sick. At first I thought maybe I had just eaten bad kebab or something but then the next day I felt awful and was throwing up so I put myself on the DL and we took thursday off. Friday morning I was feeling pretty good but then when we went out and started doing stuff it came back so we went home again and I just slept. I'm feeling good now though. It came and went. But kind of like you said, it humbled me and I realized how good the Lord has taken care of me up to this point on my mission because I have never had to go to the hospital or had anything that would make me have to go home early or something.
So because I was on the DL we didn't get to proselyte as much as normal. But we still were able to get some good stuff done. We are still meeting with our Irish friend and she is still very positive. She had set a goal to be baptized on the 6th of June but recently things have come up with her parents and the church. She is 18 so she technically doesn't need their permission but she wants to wait for things to calm down a bit before she is baptized because they are really against her doing it right now. So it looks like her date will be pushed back. Kind of sad but I am not too worried about it. She is so solid and I know that when the time is right, she will know it and be baptized. We are just trying to keep on encouraging her to be courageous and to do what she knows is right. We are getting closer and closer to the branch and it feels great. One family who lives in Boden had us over yesterday for dinner and then afterwards they took us out and showed us a military fortress that was built around world war 1. The father in the family knows a lot about the history and told us a lot of cool stories about how Sweden was able to contribute to the war efforts in both of the world wars and at the same time stay on the down low and not piss anyone off. They were pretty dang smart. It is starting to get really pretty up here as well. It's starting to get really green and the skies and starting to get really clear and blue. I'm really excited for this summer. Sweden gets so gorgeous.
I really like the quotes you wrote up in your email. That is definitely how life goes. God's plan is all about us being able to learn grow and progress. Trials and oppositions are necessary for our growth and when we rely on God and stay faithful through our trials he helps us learn the lessons and become what we are supposed to become. Way to go mom.
Life is good. Time is going fast. The life of a missionary is of course filled with many ups and downs, a lot of times it feels like more downs than ups but the ups are so great that they make all the downs worth it. Don't worry about me.
Unreal to think that Carter is now graduated. wow. what is going on - haha!
I had to throw in a selfie on top of the fort!
The fortress from the outside. It is built to look just like a mountain or hill from the view of aircraft above.
Cannons on the top....
A view of Boden from the fort.