Monday, February 12, 2018

12 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 85

Press Forward:

Not too bad of a week, but like I said a couple weeks ago you can’t have a bad day when you are serving the Lord full-time! As far as key indicators go we had a rough week, but we have some potential that we’re hoping to work more closely with moving forward. 
I’ll start with some of the individuals that we met this past week! Ayobiyi (“a-o-b”) was a young mother of her son Nehemiah (8). She lives there with her husband and she is actually expecting another boy sometime soon. We were talking to her on the porch and asked if we could come in and share our message with her. She said sure and so we sat down and shared with her the Restoration. She was impressed with Joseph Smith and so we left a Book of Mormon and haven’t seen her since but we have met her husband, Javarus, and we are going over tonight! That was a tender mercies as some of those “solid families” we’ve found have decided to choose a different path. Some others that we’ve run into are Leeza, Tiana, Sam, Alandus, Marcelos, etc. Leeza opened the door wide and said, “Come on in.” She didn’t even know who we were so that was interesting. THen she asked if she could have the Bible we were carrying and I’m not going to tell someone, “No, you can’t have the Bible.” Alandus is a cool guy who works crazy hours and has been through a lot recently considering deaths in his family and thing like that. We met him a week ago and finally got in to visit with him yesterday. 
Crystal and Oscar are still dealing with some stuff so we haven’t been able to see them. We dropped off some cupcakes that a member gave us last night. Teressa is always busy but we asked her to read 2 Nephi 31 with her sons who are on date for March 10th. We aren’t able to go over there as often as we’d like to but little steps. Kay and her sons are doing okay. Kay has been sick recently so we haven’t been able to get over there for the second time. We have made contact over the phone though, so that’s good. 
With all of this stuff going on we received a blessing from Heavenly Father in the mode of a referral! We got a call from the Vestavia Elders last night and there was a guy who came to their church on Sunday, Brother Yoo (“U”). He is a Korean guy who has a friend that he wanted to be taught. His friend lives in our area so that got to us and we made some calls and are hopefully going to be able to start teaching Lewis! What a blessing.
This week we were able to go on splits again with the Bishopric on Sunday and we saw some members that neither Bishop nor I had met. We talked to a Brother Shuman who hasn’t been affiliated with the church for years but he talked to us on the doorstep. We had a quick talk with him and it was cool to see how meaningful a short, quick, “Hey we’re here and we care about you” kind of visit can mean to someone. He also noticed me being a missionary and thanked me for my service, right after we had talked about his military career, which was very humbling and gratifying. We also met with the Griffiths family, a part-member, and we might go over there more. Very nice, but we can’t tell why she’s not active. Maybe out of the habit and such but we’ll find out, haha! Sunday night we also took a little of Elder Andersen’s counsel and went to Bishop’s Youth Night for an hour or so and played New Testament Jeopardy with the youth of the ward and that was awesome! It was cool to take that counsel and see the effectiveness of that hour, or feel the effectiveness rather, even if we weren’t out knocking on doors. 

  • Met a lady from Flagstaff this past week! Her family is members of the church out there, didn’t get her name though and I don’t think she was active.
  • I asked Elder Egbert to say a prayer in Espanol. He looked at me and said, “Hang on, I’m going to speak in tongues right quick.” 
  • Elder Egbert met this guy named JC who he said we super solid. Then when we went to go back for our follow-up appointment and homie was all over the place. I think he was on Spice or something strange because he couldn’t stop moving and we definitely did not have control of the situation. Weird.
  • At the Bessemer Zone Conference we ushered Sisters to the door because it was pouring rain. There was a river and a lake outside of our church building.  I drove through it with our van when we first got there and then noticed a cop in the back corner of the parking lot, lol.

Along with everything else Zone Conferences was this past week for three of our zones. Technology is the main topic of zone conferences this go-around. But, I am humbled to see the faith of our missionaries. Ever since we set a goal of having 300 baptisms this year everyone has banded behind it and we are all convinced that Elder Andersen and Technology is the way. I know the Lord’s hand is in this work and I know it’s here in the ABM. He is truly blessing us for all of our hard work and obedience. In visiting the different zone conferences it’s amazing to see how much our mission has changed since when I first got here for the better and how great the missionaries are that I’m able to serve alongside in the ABM. Expecting Miracles!!

Thank y’all for everything! I hope that you have a blessed week! Let me know if you need anything! 

Much Love,
Elder Milius


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13








5 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 84

What goes up, must come down:

Whenever we say companionship prayers before going into an appointment we always ask the other, “Hey you wanna throw one up?” And, as you know what goes up must come down...or in other words, “Ask and ye shall receive…” (Matt 7:7). This week wasn’t too shabby. We’ve been finding a lot of younger families and I hope most of them have potential...that way we’ll prayerfully have a couple get baptized! 
Crystal and Oscar are still going through a rough time. We’ve been able to make minimal contact with them but enough to understand that they are going through some trials and hopefully not totally stepping away from the church. Prayers continued for them. We also put Jabori and Javon, the two boys who belong to Teressa, on date for Mar 10th. Their mom was a little more hesitant but they are totally on board and we think they will bring their mom along. We had a great lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation hat went right into a discussion about baptism. Brother Morgan, a recent convert who goes teaching with us all the time came and bore a great testimony about how he had been baptized several times and how he finally found everything he was looking for when he joined the church! 
This week we also found a cool family named Dustin and Leslie. They have a little 18-month old who was killing me because I couldn’t hold him. They invited us in and we taught the restoration and it went very well! We’ve been back a couple of times but haven’t been able to go in and teach them. They have been reading the Book of Mormon thought together and so that’s amazing. Not everyone does that. We also found Justin this past week who is a cool young guy. We were looking for someone we had meet a couple weeks prior and couldn’t find him. I was with Elder Fotu and I told him that if we find him it’ll be a miracle. He commented, “Or if we find someone else.” Then we found Justin! We had another great lesson with Rick on Sunday with Kay and her three boys: Theo (18), DJ (12), and CJ (9 fittin’ to be 10). They are awesome and I look forward to them progressing. They aren’t too tied down to a single church which is great and they are looking for more faith in Jesus Christ. 
On another note we had MLC this past week and the technology continues. We will all have phones within a month or so which is awesome! We will also all be on FaceBook and doing missionary work online. The work of the Lord is definitely hastening! We also went on exchanges with the Northport Elders Fotu & Gwira and the Tupelo Elders Hollis & Murphy. Miracles are found on exchanges it’s unreal. 
  • Elder Fotu called a little boy someone’s daughter. In his defense it was a little black child and they kinda look the same sometimes! Nice lady though, her name was Jay.
  • We talked to a guy who doesn’t believe too much in God or Christianity for that matter that started well and ended worse than it started. But all was well, the only thing that stung a little bit was when he said, “I don’t need Jesus Christ to get to ‘heaven.’” That was probably one of the most untrue statements I’ve ever heard on my mission and I felt that way when he said it. I think he recorded our conversation and posted it on FaceBook so that’s cool.
  • Last week we talked to a Portuguese guy through google translate who recognized us as missionaries. He attended an LDS church in Brazil and asked where our church was!
  • We didn’t know what to do for the last like 10 minutes of the night and so we drove around our apartment complex to hopefully find someone to yell at from the car and talk to. Sure enough, we found Anthony and he is wanting to turn back towards Christ. Craziest story about how the Lord put someone in our path yet.
  • There was a lady who’s door we knocked on and she was immediately not interested but her 3-year-old daughter was fighting to see who it was and wanted us to come in. We never saw her because Mom closed the door but she was crying as we walked away. Sweetest little girl; children are so much more in tune (Mosiah 3:19).
  • Sister Barker was on the phone with Elder Egbert’s mom talking about which phone to get and spilled the beans about him being an Assistant. Funniest thing of my p-day!

It was a good week overall, but overall I guess every week is good. We found a few more people than I mentioned as well and are hopefully going to be able to work with Hank, Will, and Garry a little more as the weeks come. Every Fast Sunday our mission has a tradition. At 4:00-5:00 before dinner we all kneel down and have an hour of “mighty prayer.” This time I didn’t necessarily have too specific of revelation but I’ve loved being able to spend an hour talking to my Heavenly Father. Those times have been special to me on my mission and will continue to be throughout my life. One of my favorite parts about this church is that it is built upon the rock of revelation (Matt. 16:15-19); starting from the prophet’s revelation all the way down to personal revelation. The Church is run by our Savior Jesus Christ who guides and inspires it’s leaders and members all across the world! 
Thank you all for your support, and I hope you have a blessed week wherever you are!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

(sorry for the lack in pictures, hopefully I'll have more next week!)
-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

29 January 2018 - Elder Milius Week 83

Highs and Lows,

Welp, missions are full of highs like when an Apostle of the Lord comes and teaches your mission, as well as lows when people decided to step back and you didn’t really find anyone and anti-mormon literature gets the best of a couple investigators. This week was one of those but it was still full of it’s own little miracles and tender mercies as the Lord’s work always is.
Crystal and Oscar are putting themselves on the back burner for now. We saw them on Friday night and then Crystal was going to come with us to a baptism on Saturday. When we pulled in the parking lot to the church that afternoon she texted us and told us she wouldn’t be able to make it and that her and Oscar needed to take a step back to make some decisions. Our hearts sank and we immediately started a fast. We are going to try to keep as good of contact as we can and are hoping that everything still works out for their baptismal date. I think they need to make decisions about some issues other than the church and all they’ve been learning but we will see. Keep them in your prayers!
There isn’t any other major progress with anyone else. We met a guy named Jackson who we went back to see and he seemed promising. But when we called to confirm our appointment he said “Thanks, but I will contact you when I finish reading the Book.” Another guy we met last week texted us the same thing on Saturday. On a brighter side the Sisters had a few people come to church which was awesome! We’ve had people at church-whether they be our investigators or the sisters’- for the past month and a half or so, which is cool! 
We had one neat experience concerning Gwenn, one of the Sister’s investigators. We were going to go and visit Beonca but when we knocked on her door she was in the bathtub-she called and told us, why she had her phone in the tub I don’t know-but she told us to come back in 15 minutes. So, we came back and no answer to the door or phone. With 10 minutes left in the night we went to see Gwenn because the Sisters were trying to get a hold of her and she lived in our complex. Gwenn turned out to be home and invited us in and talked with us for like 20 minutes. She met with the Sisters the next day, went to the baptism on Saturday, and came to church on Sunday. It was a testimony to me that the Lord cares about the one because had we gone and seen Beona that would’ve been our night, or had we seen Beonca without having to come back our plans would have stayed on track and we wouldn’t have seen Gwenn. It was just a coincidence though ;) 
The new missionaries arrived here on Tuesday and they are a great group! A couple personal connections with some of them which was fun. Sister Shumway is Drew Shumway’s granddaughter who is the brother of my great-grandfather. And Sister Anderson went to Higley High in Gilbert and knew Corbyn Milius! So, Grandpa Shumway and Corbyn if you recognize those names let me know and we’ll connect some dots. Transfers went relatively smooth and then all of the departing missionaries caught their flight and made it home safe! No roadblocks! 
Like I said we had a lot of things fall through this week but we had a few good appointments! One was with the Sparkman family. Brother Sparkman is a returning member and his wife isn’t a member. She’s not interested but all of his/hers kids are awesome. We went over and taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was literally the highlight of the day. As we walked out I made a comment to Elder Egbert about seeing Christ just surrounded by a bunch of kids teaching them in a very simple way the Plan of Salvation. It was a cool moment. 
On Sunday we went on splits with the Bishopric which was great. That is going to help us get to know the members really well which is something Elder Andersen counselled us to do! On Saturday we also had a meeting with all the missionaries in our zone and the stake leaders. They want to really unify the members and the missionaries so they showed us all the slides and the training that they are giving to the members. It talked a lot about where to focus our work, that is on Prospective Elders, Part-Member Families, and Unbaptized children. We are going to start doing more of the work and hopefully going to see a few more fruits of those efforts! We also went to see Ty again and it was an interesting meeting. He was skeptical at first fo Joseph Smith and all and it’s because he looked up a bunch of stuff on the internet. He told us that he just didn’t feel comfortable about it all and about the Book of Mormon. We told him that in the end, our purpose is to help others develop faith in Christ and because he has that faith I’m sure it will all be worked out in the end. I believe that; it kinda ties with Elder Andersen’s comment about never leaving Christ. So that was a little learning experience for me. Something else that I learned from that experience is how strong and how evil “anti” is. I am certain that Ty didn’t feel uncomfortable or dark in his reading of the Book of Mormon. But, I wouldn’t doubt that those feelings were flooding out the Spirit because everytime he picked up the Book of Mormon I’m sure his thoughts didn’t go to Christ but went to all the things he read online. Satan is tricky, and he knows what he’s doing. We can’t ever let our doubts overcome our faith. To quote Elder Holland and the scriptures, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” 

Funny snippets:
  • We knocked on a door and a muslim guy came out and started talking to us. He was nice, but before we left asked a question trying to get us to admit that we believe in the Trinity or something. But during that conversation his wife who was a Baptist-turned-Muslim (at least that’s our guess because any typical muslim lady would not have been so bold and she did say she was a Christian for over 25 years) started yelling from behind the door all sorts of stuff about how we shouldn’t worship Christ and Joseph Smith was a false prophet and we pray to Jesus instead of God and how the Bible and the Book of Mormon are full of mistakes. It was comical, especially because we never saw her face only her waving hand and fingers. Pretty sure she was eating cheetos too, her fingers were orange.
  • When we were walking through an apartment complex we said “Hi” to a guy on his porch and told him the food smelled good (he was grilling). He said, “Thanks! Do you want a piece of chicken?” Man I’m going to miss the South!
  • Elder Lewis is still chillin’ here...going on month 27!
  • “The Holy Ghost will always warn you before you do something stupid.” ~ Pres.

Thanks y’all for the things you do! Keep being steadfast disciples of Jesus Christ and I can promise everything will work out according to His plan! Love you guys and hope you have a blessed week! Let me know if I can do anything for ya!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: All the schools in the state closed down last week because of this much snow...

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13





All the schools closed this week for THIS MUCH snow

Monday, January 22, 2018

22 January 2018 - Elder Milius Week 82

It came and went,

There goes another transfer in the Great ABM! It’s been a miraculous transfer and it all concluded with a wonderful week as we received a visit from Elder Andersen. It was a special meeting with all of the missionaries from our mission there as well as Elder Andersen, Elder Coasta, Elder Alba, and their wives. With the reorganization of the First Presidency this week Elder Andersen had to cancel his meeting with the two Atlanta missions and only came to ours. Like I said, a special experience.
I guess I’ll start with a few thoughts from Elder Andersen and the things he said. First, he is an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ. There is no doubt in my mind. I know that Russell M. Nelson was called of God to be the Prophet and President of the church. Elder Andersen spoke a little bit about that process. He shared a few other thoughts that pertain specifically to our mission and to what we needed to do in order to better the Lord’s work here. One of those emphasized was getting to know the New Testament. He said with all those down here who believe so deeply in Jesus Christ, we have to know about His life in the New Testament. He talked about how we need to talk to everyone we can about the Restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon to those who will listen. If they don’t want to listen, having a conversation central on the New Testament and Jesus Christ is not a negative thing; you’re not a failure of a missionary. That was something that I had learned about a year ago when I was serving in Wetumpka and I haven’t realized that fully until he mentioned it. Elder Andersen talked a lot about the Savior and never tuning on the Savior. He said something interesting, he said that if you decided to turn on the gospel and to not believe in the Restoration of the Church then at least be a Presbyterian or a Baptist or something. “Don’t turn on the Savior,” he said. Our testimonies in Jesus Christ are so important, and as members of the church I don’t think we realize how important it is that our testimony is foundational on Christ. Now, Elder Andersen is also mention that, “It is harder to believe in Christ in a lesser way.” Meaning, that once you know all the truth, once you have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s more difficult to hold on to Christ because without the Book of Mormon and the Restoration we don’t know as much about Him and about our Father. 
The people we are working with here in Hoover are doing amazing! Couldn’t be better! Oscar and Crystal both came to church yesterday with Crystal’s two older kids John Michael (12) and Heather (9). They all loved it and and the ward was great at fellowshipping them all. We are now teaching and talking to Oscar and Crystal like they are getting baptized and it’s just hopefully going to be a smooth walk to the font on the 17th of February! We are also teaching Teressa and her two boys Jabori (13) and Javon (11) who made a valiant effort to get to church but couldn’t find the address...ugh! But they said that they would definitely be there next week! They are all reading from the Book of Mormon and we are going to share the Plan of Salvation with them next. President went on a team-up with us to go and see Crystal and Oscar as well as Teressa and her boys on Thursday which went great. The lessons couldn’t have gone better! 
One more solid couple of people are Mandy and Lauren, a mother and her daughter who are just excited about the gospel and about learning. It’s all making sense to both of them about the Book of Mormon and about the Restoration. So, we’re hoping to get all of that figured out and on it’s way! We put them on date for the 24th so praying that that works out too! Cassandra is another lady we went and taught this past week. I don’t know how far that’s going to continue because as cool as she is, she doesn’t understand the idea of there being one true church. “We’re all part of the body of Christ,” she says. We have met a handful of other people this week that we’re excited about though, so more to come!!
We’ve been blessed here in the past few weeks to find prepared people. I don’t know what it is but I know that we are being trusted with God’s children. That is always the case but it hasn’t been more evident to me than now on my mission. God does love all of his children. His wish is that all of them are able to find Him and use their agency to accept the blessings of the restored gospel He’s provided for them. I know that Jesus Christ is the centerpiece to all of what we do. He is the Living Christ. We ended the meeting with Elder Andersen by singing all seven verses of “How Firm a Foundation,” and I’d like to close with some of those:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

I will never forsake, or abandon, or turn from my knowledge of the Savior Jesus Christ. And my prayer is that none of you will either. Thanks for all you do for me, for your wonderful examples and prayers. Hope you all have a blessed week.

Much Love,
Elder Milius


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

16 January 2018 - Elder Milius Week 81

81 Downhill,

I told my Mom that I never really liked running downhill, and it hasn’t really changed being out here in the mission field! All things are going well in Alabama though. A lot of good people that we are meeting and a lot of great things happening! We’ll be visited by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve on Saturday and then transfers will happen so, here we go! I have a testimony that no matter what happens the church moves forward because it is run by our Lord, Jesus Christ and a loving Heavenly Father.
This week we went tracting a lot. We had a couple of long, slow, harder days but they were another day in the Lord’s service nonetheless! We found several people who have expressed themselves being generally okay with us coming by which is where it all starts. As Alma teaches, “let this desire work in you until ye can give place for a portion of my words.” We’ve met Adam, Ty, and Karen this week who are all somewhat intrigued by what we have to share. When Elder Davis and I were talking to Adam I couldn’t help but compare our experiences to Ammon’s in teaching King Lamoni. He didn’t really believe in a lot concerning God and who he was. But as we talked about Him being our Father and how He has a plan for each of us, etc., he started to feel something. Enough of something to take a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and invite us back to talk again. Ty invited Elder Davis and I in as well and we had a good conversation of which he asked a lot of questions about why we do certain things. It was interesting because they could’ve been confrontational, even antagonistic, but they weren’t. We are going back tonight and he asked if he could cook us dinner as well. The Spirit is definitely the ultimate teacher and if it wasn’t for him we couldn’t do much. Karen was a lady who let Elder Hamblin and I in and let us teach her about the Book of Mormon. She went out of town but hopefully we’ll get back there as well.
Crystal and Oscar are doing alright. They weren’t able to make it to church because of some family issues and things but be praying for them. Our Christmas Eve miracle! We also met a lady named Meeka for a lesson this past week. Elder Gwira and I actually knocked into her door and we weren’t able to teacher her then but we set up an appointment for a week or so out and she actually kept the appointment. She said her husband didn’t want us coming over but she met us at the church and we had a great lesson with Brother Morgan, who I might add is a huge help to us-shout out to him! Kathy is another lady that Elder Egbert and I met, then Elder Hamblin and I taught her and her husband the Restoration. SHe seems more interested than him but we went by yesterday and talked to her again and she’s doing her research in reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! It was a short and sweet visit but very powerful. Enough to mention in the email at least.
We had another super powerful lesson on Wednesday. We went and taught a lady named Ashley with Brother Morgan with us. She was so open to the Spirit and she told us that she recognized it. After the lesson Brother Morgan made a comment about how he felt God’s love for her during the entire mission. It was really cool because we told Brother Morgan how we are able to feel that for almost every single person we meet (we’re not perfect) and how wonderful a feeling it is when they realize it as well. Unfortunately, despite the amazing spiritual experience Ashley told us the next day that she wasn’t interested in continuing our meetings. Those are the hardest times of my mission, is when someone undoubtedly feels the Spirit and denies the truth and turns back toward traditions. 

  • A guy named Steven invited us into his home when it was super cold one night. Then we discovered he was an “ordained” minister. (Great). We had a good conversation though, and then it turned into a little bit of an argument of why we believe what we believe. All of the things he and his wife (which was funny because what she said never made sense and so he kinda shut her down a little bit; her name was Sarah) brought up we justified! Then he resorted to the one thing that ever major Christian Church in the world doesn’t understand-the Trinity and the nature of God. We left soon after that, but not before he gave us the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds to read through. 
  • Ty talked about a revelation he gained by the Spirit concerning Revelations 22:18...that is wasn’t talking about the Bible but singularly the book of revelation! First person I’ve met in Alabama that understands that scripture. 
  • We played street basketball with a couple of guys for a few minutes and totally won. Haven’t done that since Elder Harris and I and Elder Schrubb and I in Wetumpka! 
  • We knocked on a door and got a response from someone, “Who is it?” “The missionaries!” “Who?!” “The missionaries!” (in a very bubbly manor). *Door opens* “Hi, it’s the missionaries!” (again in a bubbly manor).
  • Julie was a 13-year-old girl who we met tracting who was super nice. One of the coolest midgets I’ve met on my mission.
  • Met an old man who is 83 and jogs everyday...in his living room because his doctor told him it’s too cold outside.

All is well in Hoover! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! I love my mission and I couldn’t be happier, except the whole running downhill thing, it hurts my knees. Keep strong and stay on the covenant path! If you’ve fallen off, get back on! “His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come” (The Living Christ). Have a blessed day!

Much Love,
Elder Milius
​​

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13


Monday, January 8, 2018

8 January 2018 - Elder Milius Week 80

Week 80,

Another week by, and good things continue to happen. I’ve been out 18 months now and that’s all I’m really going to say about that! It’s been an adventure of a time and it will keep going with or without me! We’ve had a lot of miracles happen and people are progressing. We keep finding too and things look like they are going to be great for the next little while. And, it’s not just us! Amazing things are happening around the mission-it’s coming!!
To start off Crystal and Oscar are the younger couple who were just married and we’re really excited about them! This past Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with them and they opened up a lot. Crystal and her family have been going through some rough patches and without too many details she was really struggling. So much so that when we invited them to be baptized that was one of her concerns that she would need to get rid of a lot of anger. Then a couple days later we texted her to confirm an appointment that we had set up for the following day and she responded, “Which one of you two said the intercessory Prayer last night?” We were obviously confused and didn’t know what to say but turns out that her family member that were involved in this big “struggle” were calling her all day in tears apologizing for everything they had put her through and everything she was going through. We went by on Friday and got more of the story but she just said that they’ve really been searching for a while and everywhere they go (church) they don’t necessarily feel a difference. But, since she’s been pursuing this everything is starting to fall into place and things that have been hard for a long time are finally resolving themselves. It’s been cool to say the least! We were a little scared when they didn’t come to church on Sunday but they ended up being sick with a bug that’s been going around with all this cold and she texted apologizing, then she asked for the scriptures we went over so they could get caught up for next week! :) We are going to try to get them over to the Sainsbury’s home for dinner because they have a perfect ratio of dinner-to-baptisms at their house. 
Geoffery is doing okay as well. We are just trying to decide his comprehension level and stuff so we’ll see with him in the next couple weeks.Marshae is a lady we met who seems super enthusiastic about the gospel and about learning from the Book of Mormon. We went over on Thursday and she was just so excited to tell us everything she had been learning and that she wants to come to church and all this stuff. She then didn’t let us leave without hugs (typical southern black lady)! Beonca and Jeremy are a couple people we’ve been trying to get in a teach and they have a crazy story. To take a long explanation and make it a little shorter: Beonca is having problems with her heart. She said that they are doing all sorts of tests, they want to put a pacemaker in, one of the doctors disagrees because she’s like 29, and she doesn’t know what to do! We went to give her a blessing and she told us that on three occasions her heart has stopped for 3 seconds, 5 seconds, and 13 seconds. It’s followed that pattern on three different occasions like I said and they don’t know what to do. So, they will probably be on our radar for the next few weeks!
We also went on exchanges this week with the Prattville Elders. It went well and we found a couple of cool people! Derrick, Selsa and Jordan, Anna, and some others! I don’t know all of them because I haven’t met them (cons of exchanges) but there were a couple families that seem pretty interested so we’re pumped for that! 
  • Crystal and Oscar’s dog always farts during our lessons with them.
  • A guy on the level above us last Monday was cheering for Alabama, loudly. We went to go find him and when we knocked on his door he answered and he was totally chilling alone with his dog.
  • Geoffery prayed to know if these things are true! He said, “God I just need to know on the up and up if these things are for real, like…” 
  • I was told by a guy we found that I should be an actor. It was because of my “marble blue eyes and my chiseled-ness.” 
  • It was 8:45 and a lady told us that we weren’t supposed to solicit and especially late at night. We went to the next building and found someone who seemed sorta interested! It was also in our apartment complex. 
  • We went to follow-up with Gwenn, one of the sister’s investigators who lives near us. She wasn’t answering their calls and stuff and when she answered (pretty sure it was her) we said, “Hey Gwenn how are you?” “Oh, she’s not in yet she’ll be here in an hour.” That was weird, we’re still pretty sure that was her.
  • A drunk guy named Rojo invited us in his house. We had contacted his wife, Ashley, previously and he had been throwing down Coronas. He kept asking us, “Who do you call this guy?” pointing to a picture of Jesus on a Restoration pamphlet. “Sir or Jesus?” His cousins where there videotaping him drunk talking to the mormons. 
  • Elder Egbert got sick to the point where he made the comment, “It’s like I have bengay up my nostrils.”
  • Sorry for not sending BoM Baseball, I’ll send it this week! 
  • We ran out of toilet paper when we were on exchanges and it was late at night. Thank goodness we were able to run across the parking lot to the gym and use that bathroom!

All is going well in Hoover! With President Monson’s passing I’d like to just make the comment of how wonderful of a man and prophet he was. He was the prophet of my youth and I’ll always remember him and his wiggling ears! Donald Trump came out with a statement that I was impressed by talking about his life in the church and the example of faith and love he was! I’m excited for President Nelson and the work will continue to move forward under the direction of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Can’t wait for China to be open to missionaries!
Thank y’all for your support! Let me know if you need anything from me, love ya!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13




Thursday, January 4, 2018

2 January 2018 - Elder Milius Week 79

And a Happy New Year!

As the Holidays come to a close I hope that everyone stayed saf and enjoyed themselves! We had a pretty good time out here and we are pretty excited that the Holidays are over so people don’t continue to use that as an excuse to talk to us. But, the weather might ward them off for now. Apparently it’s the coldest it’s been since 1929...yippee. But, on the bright side we drive around in a car! (Not a lot, we’re not those kind of missionaries but still the car is a little bit of a refuge as we go complex to complex). 
Christmas went well! We went to the Sainsbury’s and called home there which was a really cool experience! They had some family in town so we sat and talked with them for a half hour or so after we called and that was neat as well. They’re all wonderful people! Dinner was great and then Monday night we met some people for appointments! Back at it! 
We met a few more people this week who all seem to be promising especially for it being the holidays. Maya we met tracting and we eventually got in and taught her the Restoration and Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson we invited her to be baptized if she came to know this was all true and she looked at us and goes, “Well that will mean that I’m a Mormon wouldn’t it.” As we nodded in agreement she says, “Oh, cool!” Not what we expected but it was better than we expected. Derious is another guy with a wife and baby boy who seemed open to our message. Then Oscar and Crystal were a couple that we met earlier and when we went back to follow-up with them they invited us in and talked and it was totally great! They had just gotten married like two days prior and so we shared with them about eternal families and the power of the priesthood and I think that sparked something. Crystal then came to church with her 8-year-old daughter (who’s birthday in on June 14th and reminds me so much of my little sister). They are cool though and we’ve taught them a couple times so looking forward to their progression! Tammy was another lady I almost forgot who invited us in and is keeping her reading commitments! We were standing on her door singing, “...sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven…” because the wind was blowing and we were freezing, then she answered! She knew some Mormons so was already kinda interested. That was a cool experience.
Out of the investigators that we do have Geoffery is progressing well. He came to church on Sunday as well and Brother Morgan is fellowshipping him so that’s all working out as far as now goes. He’s on date to be baptized on 01/20. No one else really has changed but like I said a few potentials that are hopefully going to turn into something. We met a lady named Marshae who lives with a former investigator, I think her husband. And when we knock on his door she basically asked for a Book of Mormon and for the lessons. Then without us texting her she texted us how excited she was to learn and read and stuff. She wasn’t home for our follow-up appointment but we have her number so that was a cool experience. Also, Lloyd, our Christmas Eve miracle, hasn’t been able to meet with us. But, the good thing about that is he has called us and cancelled so we haven’t ever had to try and track him down or anything. Looking to see him later this week! 
We’ll go on with some more comical stories:
  • Maya’s son stopped us before we left after teaching them and points to me and says, “You have ears like mine!” Funny kid...he had bigger ears...like me….
  • On exchanges with Elder Harman and Elder Townsend from Madison I bet Elder Townsend that he wouldn’t drink a half glass of Hot Chocolate mixed with a raw egg and a spoonful of bacon grease. I lost $20 that night, but kinda worth it-for me.
  • We met a guy named AJ and when we texted him the next day so that he could have our number he responded that he was not interested and that “our persistence got the better of [him].” Either the persistence or the Spirit. 1 Nephi 16:2 anybody?
  • We bought President a ukulele for Christmas and it got here Wednesday! :) HAHA!
  • We have started playing a game called Book of Mormon Baseball...I’ll attach a copy of how to play an such to the email. Y’all should get to know your Book of Mormon.
  • When on exchanges with Elder Gwira within an hour we had three kids open the door, young kids, and tell us their parents weren’t home and they weren’t allowed to open the door as well as having both doors of the hallway open at the same time...twice. 
  • A less-active Brother Thayne told us a joke about how he was born on 11/07 at 7:11 in the evening. He said he came out 9 pounds 2 ounces, but went home at 7 pounds 11 ounces after he was circumcised. My Dad might appreciate that joke. 

Hope y’all had a wonderful holidays and that the Spirit of the Lord is present in your lives. If it’s not, January is a perfect time to make some changes. Whether they be changes is how we spend our time, what we listen to in the car, how we talk to people, who we talk to, etc. I would extend an invitation to all of you to pray and ask Heavenly Father what it is you need to do to do better this year. Then, write it down and make a plan to accomplish your task. Good luck, and have a Happy New Year!! Let me know if you need anything or any ideas! :)

Much Love,
Elder Milius


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13