Monday, June 4, 2018

4 June 2018 - Elder Milius Week 101

Good morning y'all!

Here we are again, another week down and several more to go-thank goodness. This week was busy with a lot of good people and a lot of miracles. There is truly nothing like being a missionary!
The Latham Family came to church on Sunday! That was so cool and such a miracle. The young boy is still on date for the 23rd and if all goes well that will continue to be the case. Church was their big stumbling block but now it's a stepping stone. What was even cooler was the kids came with Brother Calderwood and we didn't really expect Mom to be there. But we got a text from her saying that she would be late. After Sacrament she came up and it was a sight to see that family together in the chapel. The greater sight was when all the ward members went up and gave hugs and hellos. I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for that family as they start to keep the commandments and regain their footing on the path.
That was the big miracle for me this week but we also had a couple of other sweet experiences. We taught Wil again and he is doing great. He said he was reading and doing all sorts of other research online and stuff. He said he had found some YouTube videos so I was skeptical at first, but they what he was describing didn't sound Anti or awful. That is a miracle in and of itself sometimes! But he is still trying to know if this is something he wants to do.
We taught AL again and he is kinda stuck in the same place. We are trying to help him come to know that modern-day prophets are true. However, right before we were going to knock on his door I mentioned that I felt we should teach him something from the Plan of Salvation. I didn't know what it was or where it was going to go but before we could talk about it AL answered and we went in. We ended up having a great lesson and talked about the afterlife a little bit. If anything it gave him something else to think about. It's been interesting to see the Spirit take over lesson after lesson with the people we are teaching.
This past week we had a great lesson with Annette and Marlon. She really opened up about her past and her feelings. She told us that when we had first come to knock on the door she didn't want to answer because Marlon wasn't taking his medication and was acting up. She watched us knock and walk away and she prayed that God would send us back. Well, thanks to Marlon asking for a Book of Mormon we came back and it's been a blessing to us and them. Hopefully the gospel will continue to change their lives for the better.
We went and saw Rose again this week and helped her put up a medicine cabinet. She really appreciated that; yay for service! We went to see a couple that we met a little bit ago, Janice and Herold. Janice is really ill and appreciated our visit. I don't know if they will ever progress but they are nice people who are open to us and who need a pick-me-up every now and again. We made contact with a few others this week but nothing else super special.
Finding wasn't too bad though. We found a couple solid potentials, Dawson and Abby. We tracted into them on two different occasions in two different places so don't get too confused there. Dawson was open to hearing our message and we are going to try and see him sometime this week. Abby was a cool story. Last night was the President Nelson devotional and we were told we could watch it. Well, without and investigator there and without a ride we didn't want to bike all the way up to the church. So we decided we would watch it from home off of our neighbors Wi-Fi (shout-out to the Hills). We came on later than it started though, around 8:00pm and it must have already ended so we didn't have access to it. Instead of sitting inside for the rest of the night we went to make some follow up visits near our apartment. The first fell through but the second is where we met Abby. She literally told us, "Well I actually have a Mormon friend who lives out in Utah and I am genuinely interested in what y'all believe in..." We set up an appointment for Wednesday!
Brandon was another guy we ran into who seems excited to learn. Elder Holm felt one day to go back to an apartment complex we had previously visited and there wasn't really much work there. But. He couldn't shake the feeling (I learned this after the fact) so we went. We followed up with some people we already knew and then saw Brandon taking some stuff inside his apartment. We offered to help and brought in a keyboard for him. After talking for a bit we learned that he grew up religious and is interested in learning more about other beliefs. We left him with a Book of Mormon and said we would come back Tuesday. He also asked for some convert stories so if yours is amazingly cool and you want to share it with Brandon, type it up and send it it me. It'll be fun to work with him though. Stephanie was another lady we ran into. We actually met her a couple weeks ago but finally went back and were able to teach her a little more about the Book of Mormon and things. She took a copy and was excited to read it. We are looking forward to teaching her more tomorrow as well!

In the midst of all the miracles...
  • Sister Latham punished one of her daughters by shaving her head. Literally took a No. 1 all around.
  • We met Mr. Teofilo and he took us out to dinner. He and his wife used to be members but now their mission is to feed the missionaries.
  • We went to see Cathy again. She's doing great, but not interested in changing churches. Also, the guy who took us out to lunch a few weeks ago who kept saying we believe in a different Jesus because we don't believe in the Trinity--he is their Pastor. Lol! Apparently he talked about taking us out to lunch to his congregation... Great, huh?
  • We took a Watchtower off of a door when we were knocking and realized when we got home that there was a handwritten note with it. I felt kinda bad, only kinda though.
  • We stopped and asked a lady if she needed help only to find that she was puking next to her car. That was awkward.
  • I've been so creative recently: I made a new flag for my bike and made a rubber band ball. Now I'm reading "Discourses of Brigham Young" to keep me busy.
  • There was an old, and I mean old, lady about to trim her hedges when we rode by. We stopped to help her and then Elder Holm almost gave her back the electric trimmers to do it herself. Luckily he took them back and did it for her.
  • Got caught in the rain one morning. A nice couple let us take shelter in their home so we missed the brunt of it. But we still had to ride home on bikes through it.
  • We went to help do service at Camp Hulaco. Pretty place.
  • One evening we were going to tract only to find ourselves surrounded by Baptist children putting flyers on doors in the apartment complex. We left and went to another street only to find them again. We were surrounded, so we vacated the area.
  • We helped our neighbor move in one evening.
  • I talked to two people from Tupelo within an hour of each other. It was fun to talk about NE Mississippi again!
  • I got several pieces of parenting advice from Brother Calderwood, the Magonigal and the Roots. I was also recruited to come start a Pediatric Practice in Huntsville.

A lot was done this week and a lot was learned. Reflecting on the week I've noticed that there are a lot of things that help us as missionaries fulfill our mission, that is: tracting, planning, studying, doing service, helping the members, teaching both members and non-members, etc. Though good, all these activities are a means to a greater end. Now, Facebook and other technological tools are also means to that greater end which is to invite others to come unto Christ by receiving the Restored gospel. With a greater emphasis on service in the ward, particularly to the ward members, I worry that the end of helping people be baptized will be lost.
Along with that thought, it's become interesting to me to see the difference between what I desire to do from the beginning of my mission to now. I had a brief conversation the other day with Elder Holm about teaching on P-Day. I stated that even though it is Preparation Day and we need to use that day to prepare for the upcoming week, it's still not "your day." We are still on the Lord's time doing his work and depending on the situation I would feel fine and be totally willing to teach at 12:00pm on a Monday. I said if I had to choose between playing basketball and teaching... "Basketball!" he interjected. "That's where we differ Elder, I would rather teach." Had I been out on my mission just a few months I'm sure I would have felt the same immediate response to basketball. But, over time I guess I've learned that the greatest joy comes from helping, serving, and sharing with others the message of the Restoration. What's an even cooler discovery is that we are all missionaries and are all called by God to do the same, but it's up to us how we are going to prioritize those activities. I've come to realize that the most important things are never about you.

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Check out a cool video Elder Holm and I made up in Facebook about the Book of Mormon!! 
  

-- 
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, May 29, 2018

29 May 2018 - Elder Milius Week 100

Happy Summer!

I love Memorial Day Weekend. It's marked Summer vacation for years and I have good memories playing baseball up in Prescott, AZ, over the weekend. This one was better than them all though, a lot of learning and a lot of miracles and a lot of good things.
First of all I'll give some updates. The first one can be the Latham Family. We have started teaching them consistently and the boy is on date to be baptized on June 23rd. The only stumbling block is church... Mom works a lot and they all have a desire to come back but I'm hoping that that desire will work in them a little bit faster so that they can make it by the 23rd. We have several members though who are helping us out so fingers crossed and arms folded for them. They are hilarious by the way, Sister Latham and her kids crack us up. She is a single Mom and doesn't take crap from anyone, especially her kids. Super protective and straight to the point--it's great.
Wil (with one "L" not two) is awesome as well. He is the guy who we tracted into and shared the principles of the Spirit World and the Three Kingdoms of Glory. We went back this week and taught him the Restoration. Just as we answered questions the first time we met we answered some more and helped him out a ton. He loves the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration was great as well. He does understand the big deal with baptism and so he is thinking about that. All in all he is a great guy who is willing to read and pray, which is awesome.
Yesterday we went by to teach Annette and Marlon. Elder Hanratty and I first met Marlon a couple weeks ago and he asked for a Book of Mormon over the balcony as we were talking to another lady-it was really weird-but we went and had a great lesson yesterday about all the good the Book of Mormon can do for them. She opened up a lot about specific struggles she's bees going through in life and Elder Holm bore a powerful testimony of his own experiences. It was cool. And if all goes well we will have them to church in Sunday.
James is another guy worth sharing. Elder Hanratty and I met him as well and went back to teach him this last week. He was really open to what we were sharing and why we believed in a certain way. In his own words he said he needed to "chew" on some things but all was well and he was thinking hard about what we shared. It's nice when people are at least open to your biblical explanation about why we believe in certain things.
Tasha is another person on date for next month and we taught her a little more about the Book of Mormon. We are going by again today so hopefully that goes well. We taught AL again on Sunday about Revelation and the fruits of the Spirit. He took it well and committed to pray to know if the things we were teaching him were true so we will see how that goes. We talked to Rose again too! On Thursday we went by to see her with Brother Lewis and she was pulling in as we were walking out. It was nice to see her again and she told us she is still interested, just busy. Her heart is in the right place.
We've meet a few other people as well. Janice and Herold are super nice. She's dealing with a lot of health challenges and so hopefully will enjoy meeting with us enough that she will do something about what we share. We also tracted into Brian. We actually met him a week and a half ago at Sonic and there he mentioned to us that he was interested in learning more. Fast forward to yesterday we were riding past this cul de sac and previously I had felt to knock there so as we rode by I looked at my watch and said, "Sure why not?" We knocked two houses and ran into a guy named Brian. We did our spiel and talked to him about the Restoration and didn't figure out we had all met before until we were getting his name and number. Crazy right? Thanks Spirit. I just wish I would've listened sooner so that we could've found him sooner and then he could get baptized sooner, but oh well. It'll happen anyway!

Other pieces of information that you may or may not be interested in but I'm going go write them here anyway:
  • Number One from this week was Elder Holm and I crashed 3 1/2 times on Saturday. The first time I ran into his back tire (it was actually the disc brake which wasn't really good), the second he cut me off and threw me off my bike, and the third he just slide out taking a turn too fast. The 1/2 was him hitting a curb with the frame of his bike making a turn. It wasn't a super awesome wonderful day but what are you going to do, right?
    • Side Note: Don’t pray for patience… :)
  • We went to $0.50 corndog day at Sonic and met a guy named V1RU5 (Virus). He's a rapper.
  • I cut a couple Elders hair for the first time this week. Didn't do half bad if I do say so myself.
  • Another lady named Sheron stopped us riding by and said that she had just seen the Book of Mormon Play and her husband checked out a Book from the Library to study. We were hoping to be able to go see them but she hasn't responded to our texts.
  • Walking down a street we talked to a guy who wasn't really interested but said that we should go try his neighbor. When we knocked on the neighbors door he wasn't interested but told us that his neighbor (same guy who told us to try him) needed a message about Jesus. "But don't tell him that I sent you!" Haha.
  • We did some more service for Miguel and Jennifer. Add electric work to my list of skills I've learned on my mission.
  • Brother Terry taught Elder Holm how to play Magic. *Cue eye roll now*
  • We were playing the word game while Tracting... Starbursts and Unicorns, check.
  • I am really bad at math.


By way of announcement, we got a new Ward Mission Leader this past week. It's Brother Lewis! We are excited haha, he has been a Ward Missionary and we've worked pretty close to him so it'll be fun having him be our main "go-to." With a new Bishop and a new WML we are really excited to pick up the missionary efforts in the ward. They both feel like service is going to be the key in getting the members more involved and interested in doing missionary work. We are all for it and will be looking for more opportunities to serve from now on. With that same thought I was talking to another Elder on the phone Sunday night about our mission and keg indicators. It's really tough to watch how great our mission has become and to not necessarily see the results via key indicators and Baptisms. However, because of God's great plan we all still have agency. People may just not be as prepared as they are in other parts of the world, but that doesn't mean that we as missionaries or as a mission in general slack off. In fact it means that in order to feel "successful" we have to work our tails of everyday with consecrated effort and obedience. We the Lord is shaping and molding the Alabama Birmingham Mission, and at least for me, He's making a convert. I posed the question to this Elder, "If President Nelson were to knock the last door you did, do you think the results of that door would be different." We'd both like to say yes, but in pondering it I don't know if it would be different.
There were a lot of lessons learned and a lot more to come. The Lord's is preparing His servants and His soldiers and I'm grateful to be serving on the front lines. Miracles happen everyday and I am so thankful for the opportunity to see them up close and personal. God is truly blessing His children, so let's work to see those blessings and to be those blessings for others!

Thank you all for your support; hope you have a great week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: We got transfer calls and we are both staying here in Weatherly! :)









Monday, May 21, 2018

21 May 2018 - Elder Milius Week 99


Family and Friends!

It has been another amazing week here in Alabama. Huntsville is great and Elder Holm and I are loving it. The members are awesome and the people aren't usually too rude to us. We've been able to find quite a few potential investigators and are looking forward to starting to teach them more.
We finally met Matt! It wasn't a super long experience or anything but it was worth putting at the beginning of the email. Last night we were riding back home from teaching another investigator and we saw that Matt's garage was open. We had rode by before and he was outside but we didn't think it was him, long story there, but we slowed down and couldn't see him so we just kinda kept going. Elder Holm was leading and after we went a couple houses past he turned around because the Spirit told him to--go Elder for listening to the Spirit. When we pulled up Matt was walking from around back of his house and we were finally able to meet him. He has been someone we've been trying to see for over a month; he was on date but is getting bombarded with life and all sorts of things. Not really in a good place right now but it was a miracle to put a face to the name and introduce ourselves, assuring him that we are here to help.
We started to teach the Latham family this past week. Mom has been in and out of activity depending on how much she has to work. She is basically supporting five kids by herself so she's playing the role of SuperMom (all Mom's are that way by the way, just a side note). Anyway her son who is nine years old wants to be baptized and she wants him to be baptized so we are taking the opportunity to teach the whole family. They are hilarious and full of energy so it's been fun and exciting. Just pray that they'll be able to start coming to church so that the little boy can get baptized!
Tasha was a lady we met last week I think. I may have mentioned her name in last weeks email. But, we had thought she gave us a wrong number and turns out she accidentally messed up one of the numbers. With that though we didn't think she was going to be a solid follow up, but she was! Gotta love how God surprises you sometime. When we went to teach her this past week we shared a little about the Restoration and answered some questions about the Book of Mormon. She was really receptive and interested to learn more. Right now she has a goal to be baptized on the 30th of June so hopefully that works out! It was a really cool lesson and amazing that we were able to teach her so tailored to her needs and questions.
Cathy is doing good, we've talked to her this week but we haven't been able to teach because she's been sick. Torries is becoming hard to catch because he has a ton of stuff he is working on for the summer. But still high hopes there. We talked with Mike again this week, had a good conversation with he and his neighbors. Things are just getting hectic in his life but he hasn't really given up on us so that's good. We had a good lesson with AL this Sunday as well. We talked to him about Modern-day Prophets and how we receive revelation. He is a logical man, but I think he will do what we've asked him too so that'll be exciting to see where that takes him. Logan was another investigator we talked to this week. His mom is a member and he's not really Christian but when we went over yesterday we answered some questions he had about baptism and the succession of a Prophet. It was good to sit and answer his questions again without the distraction of Mom and Dad being there. Logan is in his 20s by the way, we weren't over there teaching a teenager without Mom and Dad I promise. Also had another good lesson with the Harris family about baptism this week. The Spirit was there and it prompted Sister Harris to ask how to keep the Spirit with her after she's not felt it for a while. That was really cool to see her open up.
This week we went on exchanges and I went out with Elder Hanratty (throwback to the MTC). We had a lot of good, funny, interesting experiences but one of them was meeting a guy named Marlon. We were talking to this lady in an apartment complex about the Book of Mormon and Marlon came out and asked for the Book. He lived above her and cut me off while I was explaining it. But, she ended up not being interested so we went up and talk to him. He asked for the Book, said "Thank you!" and started to walk inside. We set up a return appointment for Sunday afternoon and I didn't really know what was going to happen or expect anything to come of it. Annette, Marlons mom, answered the door yesterday and invited us in. We talked briefly about the Restoration and both her and Marlon were interested. She told us a little bit about Marlons conditions which made sense of why the situation was weird when we first met him. And, we are going back this coming Sunday. The Lord sometimes let's people come to you, and He is always in charge of his work.
We had a couple other cool finding experiences this week. One was when the Spirit spoke to Elder Holm's stomach and directed him to Sonic at the end of the night. The lady we were ordering from hooked us up with a $5.00 sticker that gives you .99 cent Route44 of anything for the entire year. Pretty solid; anyway back to the cool part... While we were waiting for our drinks a guy pulled up and asked who we were. His name is Brian and Brain literally told us, "Hey I'm interested in learning more about what y'all believe." So we are currently trying to set up an appointment with him.
Also, before I forget we talked to a guy named Kyle who I didn't think was too interested and when we texted to confirm our appointment he canceled but he had read out of the Book of Mormon! The Lord was just proving me wrong this week.
Another finding experience was Nick. We talked to him for a couple minutes only to find that a youth in our ward was one of his student and he (the youth) gave Nick a Book of Mormon. Go him! We explained more about what the Book of Mormon was and what it testifies of. Considering he was Catholic we also talked about Authority and where we each believe our authority comes from. It's was an interesting conversation but he was very accepting and I hope he will read from the Book of Mormon and we'll be able to talk to him again.
We found some other possibilities but no one to really mention yet. We did re-contact this family that Elder Matthew's began to teach about a year ago, the Folies. We went in and talked with them about things they remember and stuff. They loved the missionaries but apparently had a bad church experience and so they haven't been interested since. Mom also said that they are "very Catholic" whatever that means. I'm going to figure it out. I'm determined. They made the comment that I was "Matthew's incarnate," lol. Shout out to Jax!

Some funny stories from the week:
      The Book of Mormon Play just ended up here in Huntsville and a lady stopped us at the store last week and asked if we were Mormon. She then told us about the play, what she liked and didn't like, and then she asked for our picture.
      Elder Hanratty and I got caught in the pouring rain. We got drenched and I almost got hit by a car. It was chill though.
      Got some bomb Tacos on Tuesday.
      A guy named Bobby was talking to us about how he got his bowels taken out and he was very upset about it.
      We were told that we needed to come to christ on a doorstep.
      I told a joke to an older guy who wasn't really interested... Why did the referee blow his whistle in the leprosy hockey game?.... Because there was a "face off" in the corner. He thought it was funny.
      Met a guy named Mr. Lovelady and talked to him about Family History.
      A guy named Austin took us on a tour of his car collection this week.
      Brother Messervy called and took us out to Burger King for lunch again this week. These older guys hang out with the missionaries a lot haha!
      We went out with a guy we met last week who was somewhat contending with us about Jesus and the nature of God. He took us out to lunch and us and he and his friend “talked” about the Bible. Long story short we don’t believe in the same Jesus because they believe that God the Father is Jesus Christ. The end of the conversation was, “Well, one of us is right and one of us is wrong…” ….yep. Probably to be continued.

Lastly, before I get into my finally comments, we were fasting this past Sunday for our District to find more people to teach. Right before we were about to break our fast we got a phone call to help move some furniture for a guy whose wife is/was a member of the church. We went to help and it was a miracle to me how the Lord gave us that opportunity. He has been gone for 18 months or so but is now home and he's very knowledgeable about the church and about the lessons. He loves the church and the people there and we are hoping to be able to teach them a little bit in the coming weeks. He wants to feed us for helping them out so we already have a foot in that door.
It was a good week and a lot to learn. I had a couple take-aways but one of them was my testimony of Preach My Gospel. There were several instances where, had we had to teach a wrote lesson, people would've been frustrated, confused, or simply not interested. But since we are able to use the Spirit in determining the needs of the investigator and then share with them what we know it makes the gospel so much more applicable and meaningful. Also, we had a change in our Bishopric this past Sunday. The Stake President taught Sunday School and talked a lot about the Priesthood and the offices of the Priesthood, etc. But one thing he shared was a training that a Seventy gave years ago when President Vaughn (our Stake President) was in a Bishopric. There was a pyramid with six steps on it and it read, beginning at the bottom: Doctrine, Principles, Procedures, Programs, Policies, and Style. He said that the bottom two never change. The Doctrine or Christ will always be foundational and will never change. He said that the middle three sometimes change depending on various circumstances, but they are not set in stone. The last level is when Leadership changes and that happens frequently. Everyone is human, and everyone has their way to do things. That pyramid is how the organization of the church works. I thought that that was an interesting thought.

The church is true, and miracle exist today! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

Monday, May 14, 2018

14 May 2018 - Elder Milius Week 98

Dear folks,

Hello! Hope you all are doing great and had a happy mother's day yesterday (especially all those Mothers of Missionaries). This week was kinda up and down a lot of cool stories and people and a lot of hard things as well. Such if life though! Elder Holm and I are doing good and pretty established now here in Weatherly.
First update I'll give is on Mike. He doesn't want really anything to do with us or the Mormon church anymore. We taught him on Tuesday about some commandments, mainly the Word of Wisdom, and he disagreed with it. Even though he loved the Book of Mormon and despite his conversion to Christ he didn't have a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Therefore the Revelation given about what we should or shouldn't take into our bodies was tough to grasp. So he is no longer on date for the end of this month but I hope that that's not the end of his journey. In my mind it's just a hiccup!
Not much else to talk about there. But, I don't know if I talked about Cathy last week. She is a lady we met Tracting and her and her mom were super kind and open to us. We helped screw in her storm door because it broke as she opened it and then when we went back to follow up with then this past week they needed help carrying in a bird bath to go in their backyard. Service works miracles, haha! Anyway, she had read part of the Book of Mormon so we sat and talked about it and we are going back tonight to discuss the Plan of Salvation. There was something else though, another detail you'll be interested to know. She took the back of a Mormon.org card and pointed to the QR code and said, "This isn't a coincidence is it." We both kind looked at each other and were like, "... Yeah it takes you to the website...?" She shook her head and exclaimed, "This is a picture of Jesus!" She then went on to talk about how when her father was in the military he was given a picture that was taken on accident. The camera had dropped and the shutter closed and took a picture of just snow or whatever it was. However in the picture you can obviously see the likeness of Christ. Both pictures are in the attachments so you'll have to see for yourself! Cathy is awesome though and is keeping commitments and we have high hopes for her.
Torries is another guy we met the other week walking around an apartment complex. We met him right before a lady came up to us upset that we were soliciting religion. After she had left though he looked at us and said we were welcome anytime. So, we went back Saturday and had a really good talk with him about what we believe and the Book of Mormon and it all just went according to plan! It was a neat lesson and we think he has a lot of potential too. He'd make a great Young Men's advisor.
Will. Now Will was a miracle. We had decided to go make a few follow-ups with people we had met in the past and Tract around the area a little more. As we walked past Wills house we both slowed down. We had knocked on the door before but no one answered and it looked like someone was home this time so we knocked again. We did our approach and asked if we could come in and he said sure! We went in and started talking about his encounters with the church and stuff like that and then, naturally, we started teaching the Restoration. As we were teaching however we found out that he had some questions pertaining directly to the Plan of Salvation. So... We switched! Let me tell you I have never shared the three kingdoms of glory and the Spirit world with anyone at our first meeting but now I have and it was exactly what answered his question. After that we left him with a Book of Mormon, a chapter to read, a plan of salvation pamphlet and invited him to study for the next appointment. He told us that he loved it and that we answered a lot of his questions. It was a really neat experience just because of how it worked out, but also because everything we had been practicing in our companionship studies for the past few weeks came out with Will and it was a huge testimony to me of role plays! Practice is spiritually creating what you physically want to happen.
A couple other cool people that we meet who are now on our radar include Jeremy... OK, pause. Sorry, Jeremy was a guy who stays in California and we met him riding out of our complex one morning. He said that he sees the missionaries all the time but they never stop to talk to him and he had always wanted them to. So we gave him a card to get in contact with missionaries there. I hope that all works out but I guess I won't know until the next life. The people in our area are Evan and Cameron (both of which are kids to PM/LA families in the ward who we were referred to see), Jasmine, Peyton, Mike (a former investigator), Tasha, Ashley, and Kyle. We just met them and they were all semi-interested, enough to give us some of their information haha! Praying for then though. We also met a guy named James that I almost forgot. He was outside and we were following up with another guy so we walked away from him at first. Then we started walking back to Tract and our first stop was to James. He told us that when he saw us he wanted to talk to us and we walked away! So, good thing we followed the Spirit and went back to visit with him. He and his wife had been looking for a church and he was interested enough to give us some information and to take a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon app pass-along card. He is busy the next couple weeks but we'll be looking to follow up with him again.
Before I forget and go into funny stories, which this will probably be a good segue, is our lesson with AL. AL is an older guy who we met our first night here. He said that missionaries had been by but they never came back. So we left him with a Book of Mormon and set up a time to come back. Well since then it's been kinda a hit or miss with him as far as teaching but we had an appointment yesterday. It was in the middle of our companionship studies when we went to teach him so we paused and walked over to his home. He was standing outside and said something to the effect of, "Well I was thinking we could go on a bike ride. And ride and talk and I'll take you down and show you the Greenway (a trail that runs down by the Tennessee River). We had never done that before but we instinctively said, "Sure!" So, we rode and talked to AL about what makes us different and about a modern day Prophet. He just kept saying he needed to do more study. Oh yeah, he also gave us back our Book because he was studying online and found LDS.org and has been studying off of that. Cool, huh? Anyway that was a fun little 12-mile lesson!

Other Funny Stories:
  • We met a guy in Walmart that stopped us and asked us about Joseph Smith and the constitution.
  • There was this less active the Relief Society President said we should try to visit and when we walked up he wanted nothing to do with us. He wouldn't even shake our hand and he said, "You guys are going to meet some jerks out there, and I'm one of them."
  • Last week we helped move an entertainment center from the Giles to the McGills. Then  we helped moved an entertainment center from the McGills to the Quintanas. Lol.
  • So guys yelled "F Jesus" at us driving down the road.
  • A random guy flipped us off instead of politely waving back at us on our bikes.
  • I got super sick and threw up on Wednesday. I couldn't remember the last time I vomited but now I do.
  • A member from Madison was visiting a lady who lives in our ward during the week and yelled to get our attention, "I need a Book of Mormon!"
  • Elder Holm found out.
  • We tried to do an Facebook Live class, it may or may not have worked how we planned but I think it ended up okay!
  • We helped move some more furniture on Friday afternoon.
  • Friday night we had dinner with a member's non-member grandma and then helped moved more furniture around.
  • Elder Holm dropped some groceries on our way home from Walmart one night. Haha.
  • We talked to our neighbor about the motorcycle he wants to get because he blew the engine going 130mph or so, maxing out the engine. The new one he wants goes like 200mph. I cent figure out if that made me want to get a motorcycle or never touch one.

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week was the power of the Book of Mormon. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and it was all about using the Book of Mormon and how important it is. A lot of times I'll teach people that the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ. Now, I don't necessarily believe that to be true. The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that this is the true church. Then because of that, it helps build our faith in Christ and so forth. I found out this week with Mike dropping us that if we simply read the Book of Mormon as a feel good story that helps us be a better person then we are missing the mark. If we do not have a testimony of the Restoration and of the Prophet Joseph Smith then we are like every other Christian church out there trying to do good and love others; which isn't bad at all, don't missunderstand that. All I'm saying is that there is so much more. There's the Celestial Kingdom, Eternal Life, Forever Families, Temple Covenants, etc. All of which hang on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. And I know it is.

I hope y'all have a great and blessed week, go hug your Mothers!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Jabori and Javon got baptized in Hoover!! Sister Sainsbury sent me some pictures on Saturday afternoon. Those are a couple of awesome kids, and I’ll bet Theresa isn’t far behind.



-- 
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