Monday, November 20, 2017

20 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 73

Happy Thanksgiving (Alma 34:38)

Hope all of you, wherever you are, are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love this time of year, and I hope you don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping season to forget the many blessings God has given you this past year! This week in Hoover went well, no true complaints as far as missionary work-it’s never too hard! We finished up our round of Zone Conferences in the Tupelo and Madison/Huntsville Zones and were ready to get back to work after not being home for a couple days! It was interesting to be able to tell the difference in Spirit as we went to each of the zones, some were stronger than others, and it was interesting how obvious it was. But anyway, overall it was great!
So, Anita came to Stake Conference and just went out of town for a week. Hopefully she took the Book of Mormon with her and is reading it on her trip. Brenda is struggling. Her daughter wasn’t doing too good health wise and was fighting a pain pill addiction and it’s been rough on Brenda the past week. Things just don’t work out for her I swear. It’s so hard to watch people who are so ready to accept the gospel just get pushed and pushed by the trials the adversary throws at them to force them away from the gospel. 
Deshia is a lady we’ve been teaching as well who we had an appointment with last week and I was kinda rude, at least I think I was. We were on exchanges so I was with another Elder and with Brother Huff our Ward Mission Leader. We started the Restoration lesson and we were going great as far as teaching the content but I could tell she was just all over the place as far as her thoughts. So, I paused after the Apostasy and asked her from everything we’ve taught what she understood. When she was unable to repeat back anything we taught her I told her, “Well, we really want you and need you to understand this. So, is there another time we could come back that would be better?” And after that comment it got a little quiet. I felt kinda bad, but then as we continued into Joseph Smith’s story and the Book of Mormon a miraculous thing happened-she was engaged! As rude as it might have seemed, it worked and thank the Lord I had charity for Denisha because if I didn’t we would’ve been out of there so fast. 
We also went to see Shaquele on the exchange and she has been in contact with missionaries since around June this past summer. She had only been taught and introduced to the Book of Mormon but some things happened and her life went all over the place. Fortunately she’s got most of it all ironed out and is “ready to listen” now (in her own words). We read the introduction of the book with her and promised her the blessings of coming to know it’s true and then put her on date for Dec. 23! That was a cool experience and lately I’ve gained a testimony of just asking people to be baptized all of the time. It’s my focus for this transfer and it’s worked well so far. The least it does is establish our purpose! Sorry, tangent.
We also found this older lady this past week, Jannette. When we were walking up I asked if we could come keep her company and she said, “Well I’m not going to be a Mormon!” Then we sat and talked to her about life and such for the next 20 minutes. Love when people say that stuff. Timothy is another cool guy we found tracting who we are going to see tonight! He seemed pretty interested and the best part is he isn’t tied down to a church! Karrie is in the same situation, we found her too! We also have been talking to a cool lady named Brandy whom I will mention later; she’s pretty genuinely interested though! Ummm….Jeremy and Beonca are some people we’ve been talking to but this past week we kinda re-established expectations and so we’ll see where that goes! 

Other Thoughts:
  • We found a couple people sleeping in their cars this week-President and Elder Morrison. 
  • Something sorta spiritual: How many crystals are in the Boise Temple Celestial Room chandelier? 9,999. Why not just 10,000? Because Christ is the One.
  • After the Tupelo Zone Conference Elder Ratigan was going to ask President a question but President was walking into the bathroom. So, instinctively Elder Ratigan said, “Oh, sorry President, gotta take a leak?” We died.
  • I got a phone call from the Wish foundation but I had to reject the call because we were talking to someone. So, I called back and started talking to this lady who was kinda rude. She was telling me who she was and then asked if I was some guy. When I told her she had the wrong number she snapped back, “No actually I don’t.” Then I went missionary on her and said, “Well, you do. But, this is Elder Milius a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!” “Oh…” Then she asked how many wives I had, she asked if we believed in Jesus Christ not this Joseph Smith guy, and said something along the lines of “You’re a Mormon in Alabama? Usually we’re all Baptist.” All of that was in the middle of her asking me for money. It was a funny phone call.
  • Brandy...this lady. We knocked on a door and she comes out acting really quiet and tells us to come back another time because she has a story of her brother talking to missionaries. So, we go back and she tells us that her brother once answered the door (purposefully) in a wedding dress, combat boots, a pony tail, lipstick smeared on his face, and a bullwhip to “scare away” the Elders. But because we get more awkward things those missionaries stuck it out and ended up helping her brother a lot through some hard times! So, she’s open to hear what we have to say! :)
  • We were store contacting in the mall and I asked this lady if she would mind me talking to her and she said, “Yes.” “So you don’t want me to talk to you?” “No, sorry.” “Ouch...you sure?” “Yeah, go away please.” 
  • We tracted a street and a lady answered and said, “Oh you’re back?” Apparently the JWs had tracted there that morning.
  • Another young lady opened the door and said, “Nope, haha, nope.” and shut the door.
  • One guy answered and we said, “Hey how’s it going?” He said “Hey bud,” and closed the door on us.
  • We ran across an entire apartment complex in the rain because we got stuck across the way and a storm hit. Typical AL.
  • An older guy answered a door about 5 minutes after we’d knocked but we had stayed in the same building. His wife had nothing to do with us but he invited us in. (This was also after Elder Lewis said that we would get in the next door that opens). He was not interested but appreciative and to add to the story he was sitting in a wheelchair with nothing on but a diaper. He and his wife were cute though, so it’s okay.
  • Beonca was seductively eating a popsicle in front of us when we were talking to Jeremy and showing him the “Ask of God” video.

It was a good week this week and I have a lot to be thankful for! We also were invited to watch the Face2Face broadcast last night and one of my biggest take-aways talked about the balance between inspiration and agency. I thought that was an interesting principle to apply to everything that we do. Just like Oliver Cowdery in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord has given us all Agency and expects us to use that agency and then receive the inspiration of confirmation. But, the Lord isn’t going to tell us everything as far as decisions-even the big choices we must make about marriage, family, school, career, etc. I’m thankful for my family and for all that they’ve given me. I’m thankful for my mission and for the many lessons and trials I’ve gone through over the time I’ve spent in Alabama. Most importantly I’m grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only reason everything I’ve done, I am doing, and I will do will be possible. God bless you all and have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

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





 Elder Snow and Elder Milius

Monday, November 13, 2017

13 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 72

Here we go again!

Another week down and it feels like it’s only been a day! It’s been a long, exhausting week but we had a good time in Hoover! So, after having a full week here I can officially say it’s a wonderful area with great members and a diversity of people who are generally interested! 
This week we had Zone Conference! Lots of good things were trained on and a lot of good insights. Not to mention it’s so good to be able to see a ton missionaries! But, that’s not the coolest part. The coolest part is when we, over the past few nights, have gone into teaching appointments have applied some or all of the concepts we’ve learned; and, believe it or not they work!! On Monday night we were able to see Lance, our investigator from Jamaica and we were short, followed the Spirit, taught him what he needed, and invited him to be baptized! Easy. 
We’ve also found a few people this week, one of them was Mary Ashley (gotta love the first and middle names of the South). On Tuesday we were driving around trying to figure out a place to go and knock on some doors as we had some time because appointments fell through. So, Elder Lewis come up with a place that he hasn’t tracted frequently. As we were driving into the complex it looked familiar and I remember being there with another missionary visiting a younger couple. I didn’t remember where they lived and so we commenced knocking. The second door we knock on Mary Ashley answers and I recognized her as the young lady in the couple I had met! She told us that her and her boyfriend were wanting to get back into church and we told her that we were there to help! That was a cool experience of the Lord inspiring each of us to find the one he wanted us to find! (We scheduled an appointment with her and she texted us to cancel-which is a miracle that she told us before we had to say anything to her). 
Latarius was another guy who we met after Zone Conference and applied those principles of a short lesson. He lives with his wife and two young daughters (4 and 2 maybe) and is super interested! The trick will be getting them to come to church but he’s already committed to a soft, “If you come to know this is true will you be baptized…” invitation. An awesome black family in the ward would be fantastic! 
We’ve also been back to see Kennith and Tonya this week who are interested but have some obstacles to overcome. They need to come to church for one, second he has some word of wisdom issues but he is trying to stop. And, as Alma teaches us in 32:27, that desire is where it all begins. We are taking them on a church tour this weekend and hopefully getting them to church! Baptism in December? Brenda was another investigator I talked about last week. She was on date for the end of this month but we’re going to have to change that. Her daughter just got nailed with some trials of addiction and Brenda is having to deal with all of that. We saw her Saturday and she was stressed to say the least. Very stressed. She knows it is the Devil though, keeping her from doing what she wants to do... which is hard. It’s like Dorris in Smithville, they have the desire and they want to get baptized and come to church but, they can’t. It’s like, “Where is that line at?” ya know. It’s hard.
Another cool experience we had was when we went to go and see a guy named Jonathan. He wasn’t there, but as we were walking to his house we ran into a guy named Daniel who was trying to get his keys out of his car. We asked if we could help him and he said, “Yes please!” Apparently there were several people who walked by and no one offered to help him except us. It was something simple but it was a testimony to me about how service is a huge example to others about what we believe in. We got his information and are hopefully going to be able to go by and teach him and his family! 
We made contact with Anita again this week! She was an investigator who has been taught once and then went out of town for something. She’s super cool though and really willing to learn and read and pray! She came to stake conference with is this Sunday as well and basically made our day. We like it when friends come to church! 
This week we talked to the Tinchers as well. They are both members, he was recently baptized...getting close to a year, but the missionaries have been teaching their boys. On Saturday night they kinda broke down in front of us about what we can do to help their boys and such. It was one of the more interesting things that I’ve had happen on my mission but it really showed me how blessed I was for my parents and for how I’ve been raised. So shoutout to Mom and Dad-you’re great! 

Some “funny” experiences:
  • We went back to see Pauline in Prattville this week, she’s awesome and I’m totally her favorite. Before I left she gave me a hug, and that doesn’t happen. B)
  • There is this LA/PM family that we are working with named the Cooks. We’ve been over a couple times this week and it’s been to no avail. No real lesson, not coming to church, etc. But, when we stopped by on Saturday night one of their boys as we were walking away told his friends who were there, “I love when the missionaries come over! They’re cool!” That was a pretty cool tender mercy for me, to know that you kinda “made it” as a missionary and to know that there is an influence for good whether you see it or not.
  • The Hoover Sister just got their car taken because we had to decrease the number of cars in the mission, and they have been rock stars about it. But, the first day Sister Terry fell three times in 5 minutes. Poor Sisters, gotta love it!

Not a ton of funny things but it’s been a good week nonetheless. I do want to say a few words about how big of examples you are as members at church. For those of you who have read this far, I want you to know that people watch you. This past Sunday we sat behind a family who was completely distracting and irreverent. They father and older son walked in late, they were playing games on the father’s phone the entire conference, they kept getting up to take the little daughter/sister to the bathroom, and the older son was all over his mother, burying his head in her shoulder and moving around constantly. Needless to say it was hard to know that Anita, a non-member, is here visiting and trying to feel the Spirit that I think we as members sometimes take for granted. So, my invitation to you is to be careful how you act in Sacrament Meetings, because you never know who is watching. 

Thanks for all that y’all do for me! I wish you a blessed week wherever you might be! Godspeed!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: I saw Lindsey from Florence this past week! She came down to say hi :)

-- 
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, November 6, 2017

6 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 71

Happy November!

I just want to start by saying I love the fall in the South, that’s all! Also, I am currently living in Hoover, AL!! Wahoo!! I’ll be sure to put my new address in at the end of the email! This week we were busy with all sorts of moving parts but we still had some awesome experiences that I’ll tell y’all about. I probably won’t have a ton of time to email today either so I apologize if this one is shorter than you’re used too-maybe that’s a good thing (at least for everyone but my Mom).
So, leaving Smithville was sad and there are a lot of investigators and members that I am going to miss spending time with all of those great people. I got to say a few goodbyes though on Halloween so that was good! Then transfers happened and I went to Hoover! We were doing a lot of driving around that day and we got to spend some time with the departing missionaries in a small testimony meeting. That was really cool, and there are a lot of powerful missionaries in the mission-the missionary spirit is evident of that! Thursday we had some more adjusting to do after the transfer and then I went and met a couple of investigators, Anita and Lance! Anita is hard to catch sometimes but when you do she’s on top of things! Lance is a Jamaican and accepted a soft baptismal invitation so we have high hopes for him if he would just read and come to church! 

**I have forgotten to talk about Elder Lewis, my new companion, and I think this is an appropriate place to do it. He is from Jamaica (which is why I thought that Lance being Jamaican was comical) and the place where Lance lives has a ton of Jamaicans in it...we go there quite a bit. He is a great missionary and he’s going to help me out a lot! He’ll be leaving after this transfer so I’m killing my second missionary but he doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a problem for him. We just don’t talk about it. He is great at impersonations, especially Barack Obama, and is a convert to the church. He was baptized when he was 10 and his family followed him soon after. Before being LDS he and his family were Jehovah's Witnesses! He brings new perspective on things and I’m excited for these next six weeks!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way I guess I’ll talk about the Hoover Ward! They’re great, a lot of longtime members of the church and a lot of converts. Their numbers are going down because people are moving out west for various reasons but they all work hard and are a huge help to the missionaries! Brother Huff, our Ward Mission Leader is anxious and ready to help us so it’s going to be a good place to be! 
Like I said we had a few cool finding experiences this week and one of them was Bailey! Last night as we were about to back out of an apartment complex he was in the way and so Elder Lewis started to talk to him (I was in the car). After a few minutes I got out and he had a really cool story about how God had helped him and so he helps others by giving them food and things from his work. He gave us a box of food and we set up to come and see him sometime on Saturday!
We also found a group of college kids, I think, who we knocked into last night. They were having a Bible Study and invited us in and so we joined them and our new goal is to put all of them on date for baptism! They’re cool though, I like them! 
Some funnier experiences as well:
  • There was a guy that was walking through the parking lot speaking in spanish to us when we asked him a question and so I ran across the parking lot, “Yo hablo un poquito espanol!” like I actually could talk to him...I think it went well.
  • Having church at 1:00 is amazing. 

Not too many of those this week, but there was one more thing that was really cool. We felt prompted one night to go and visit Brenda. She has been worked with for a while and has been on and off date for baptism and was gone on vacation for a couple weeks. When we went to see her it was cool how the Spirit kinda took over the lesson and Elder Lewis and I were sharing things that you would’ve thought we planned word for word, subject by subject. Eventually we put her back on date for the 25th of November and we are going to be working really hard to get her to that day! 
Things are going good, I getting settled, and the church is still true! It couldn’t have been a better week! I love y’all and hope you’re taken care of; remember, God loves you! (1 Nephi 11:16-17). Make it 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











Wednesday, November 1, 2017

31 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 70

Happy Halloween!

    Hey y’all, hope things are going good wherever you’re at and hope that the weather is nice like it’s been here the last little bit! First things first...I WILL BE LEAVING SMITHVILLE AFTER SIX SHORT WEEKS! I know, it’s crazy. I’ve been hopping around lately but I guess it’s where I need to be. I don’t know where I’ll be going yet, I will find out at Transfer Meeting tomorrow morning so be anticipating my new home and address next week!
    Other than that this week has pretty much been great! We went on an exchange with the New Albany Elders over Wednesday and Thursday and we drove down to Gardendale for a follow-ups trainers meeting. We located a baseball bat last week and went to play baseball. And we went to some parties and found some new people to teach.
    Kim and David are new, we were sent to them by Sister Scoleri who served here about a year ago. They had just gotten busy and stuff so things with the missionaries seemed to have faded but we had a good time meeting them and inviting them to pick up the Book of Mormon again! We also contacted another former investigator named Kelly. Man does this guy have a medical history and he is only 55. He’s had five heart attacks in the last two years and his pancreas and liver have both failed because of medicine. When we met him he had just gotten back from the Doctor’s and his blood pressure was 310/156 or something outrageous. He basically could’ve had an aneurysm right in front of us but luckily he didn’t. As far as we know he is doing okay and has an appointment with the Doctor next week. He met the missionaries about two years ago and they found him at Wal-Mart. His question to them was “I just don’t understand why God would stop talking to His children for 2,000 years?!” Since then he has read the Book of Mormon three times or so, and if his health would improve he would get baptized.
    Michelle and Greg are still pretty high potentials still. We are trying to plan to read the Book of Mormon with Michelle and we just met Greg’s whole family this past week so hopefully we’ll be able to find time to go teach them! Oh, and Brother “Sweatin’ for Jesus?” Van! He came to church on Sunday. Wahoo! That was a very pleasant surprise and he enjoyed it a lot. It was the primary program and he just loves kids so it was right up his alley! They all did great too. I think they should have a program every few months or so, because bringing investigators to that is just the greatest thing. Brother Van told us “Your kids run circles around all them other kids in other denominations!”
    Not too much to report on this week but I’ll jot down some stories:
  • Michelles’ daughter, Mac, texted us on Tuesday and invited us to their Halloween party Saturday. We showed up to say hi and crashed some pictures. It was funny.
  • Our neighbor, Frank, went into the hospital this past week. He’s doing better though, especially since the Voyles went to visit them. Mrs. Avery told us that Brother Voyles prayed for Frank (could’ve been a blessing...not sure) and since then he’s been improving.
  • With the New Albany Elders we went to a Baptist Fall Festival in Smithville that we were invited to! When we were walking up we went to ask someone where the people were who invited us and they said, “Nope! Not interested!” right off the bat. It was kinda awkward the rest of the night walking around but we live for that as missionaries. They had good chilli and cotton candy!
  • At the Smithville Baptist thing apparently Elder Braithwaite heard someone say, “Oh look they’re on a double date tonight.”
  • Elder Nielsen and Elder Braithwaite talked for 20 minutes in a Chinese accent.

    Things are going well! As I am finishing up I’m remembering some people that we got back in contact with: Raven and Harely came to the Branch Social on Saturday and then church on Sunday so we were able to teach them. Bob is doing alright for a lonely old man. Ms. Joyce is awesome and gave us her debit card information so that we can take it out to eat dinner one night. I’m going to miss the Smithville Branch, and I hope it continues to grow! I love the people here and I love Elder Nielsen! I’m getting separated from my “son” but he’s going to continue to do great things! Thank y’all for everything and I hope you have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Yesterday we went to contact a lady named Bernita. She responded to our Daily Scripture and we set up a time to come and meet her. Almost two years ago she met the Sisters in Amory and in about that time she had learned so much and loved so much about the church. We were able to catch back up on where she was and invite her to the new building in Smithville on Sunday! If that wasn't enough, we were prompted to challenge her to be baptized on November 25th and she accepted. I hope Elder Nielsen will be able to see he baptized. That was a sweet experience for me, to know that as we work hard and as we are obedient we have to do it with the Faith that we may not see the rewards come. We may not see rapid success, but to be able to be given that opportunity from the Lord was a tender mercy, something small, to know that ALL our work is much appreciated. NEVER give up in the service of the Lord! Don’t stop.

-- 
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, October 23, 2017

23 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 69

Dear Friends and Family,

Of all the weeks I’ve had on my mission, this last week has definitely been one of them. It was a good week though and we had a lot of good experiences. Not too many new investigators, and the people who we were trying to get baptized by the end of the month are kinda floating away fro different reasons, but we have a lot of prospects. Not necessarily “hot” prospects but prospects nonetheless.
Dorris still has the desire and she will get there, hopefully, one day. We had a couple good lessons with her this week and we also went over to eat dinner with them, which they appreciated more than we thought. We talked about our purpose as missionaries and how it isn’t to “save” people, it’s to help them receive fulness of joy in the Celestial Kingdom. We were bold and straight up and Johnny was engaged so we have high hopes for the future. We haven’t talked to Chong since she texted us to cancel our appointment this past week so that’s that. And as far as any other updates there aren’t a ton. Lane is still cool, we taught the Plan of Salvation at the Morris’ on Tuesday but we can’t really keep going until we meet his parents. Everyone else is just chillin’.
We did get one new investigator this week and he seems pretty genuine in his desires to learn. His name is Brandon and he came up to us in Wal-Mart a week and a half ago or something and asked if we were Mormons. He then just wanted to know what we were all about so we answered some of his questions and exchanged phone numbers. Then a few days later we texted him to set a time up to meet with him and he was all for it. This past Thursday we taught him the Restoration Lesson (completely out of order) completely by the Spirit. We answered his questions and taught to his needs, it was cool. Good experience for me and I know for Elder Nielsen as well! We’re going back to see him again this coming Thursday to teach him more and we’ll see how all that goes! He grew up in church, got away fro a while and wants to get back in with God.
A few other potentials/prospects that we have going are Michelle, Hope, and Greg. Starting with Michelle, she’s a great lady and is a friend to everyone. She has three kids and in divorced, but we met her because she does service at the Food Pantry in Amory. Last week she called and needed some help in her yard (see the Tractor picture from last week). Then, this week we texted her jokingly on Saturday night because she told us she was going to this party at her brothers that apparently gets a little crazy and told her “Remember who are,” and stuff like that. She texted back and mentioned something about how she didn’t want to go to church the next day because her kids were at their Dad’s and she wouldn’t have anyone to sit next to. So, liek the good missionaries we are, we told her we’d sit with her at church. Then, Michelle shows up for church and knows several people in our congregation, loved it, and is coming back next week with her kids to watch the Primary Program! Hope is Dorris’ caretaker and she has a few kids as well, divorced as well. But, we went over once and played catch with her son who is 9 years old and he wanted us to come watch him play football, so we did! This past Saturday we went to watch Tylen play football and that was cool. It really made his day and we are thinking it opened some doors for us to teach Hope and her family. Then Greg. He is doing contracting work for an older lady in the ward who feeds us all the time and her husband recently passed away in July sometime. Greg has been impressed with the way the Church came out to help Sister Dupree and that interested him. So much so that his wife Kelly (I think) asked him to bring a Book of Mormon home from Sister Dupree’s and they’ve been reading it. We haven't taught them yet but it’s only a matter of time! Also, almost forgot about the Lyda family! They are a hoot but we’re trying to start to teach them too! :)
Some other cool things that have happened this past week is that we talked to Brother Van again, he’s the “Sweatin’ for Jesus” guy. He was pulling out of his driveway with his son but he said “I gotta talk to you guys. You guys are sneaky!” We don’t have any idea of what he means by sneaky, but we’re hoping he received a witness that the Book of Mormon is true or something so we’re excited to go by tonight! We also tracted into this awesome lady named Courtland who talked to us for like 40 minutes on her porch about what we believed and stuff. We were really looking forward to her, but then she texted us and told us she wasn’t interested. Lame, but still a good experience at the time! Kardarius is a Less-Active sorta Recent Convert who we’ve been trying to get to church. We set up to play tennis with him but he bailed. But, every time we go over to visit him he lets us in and we talk and have a good visit. He says he’ll come to church but then doesn’t so we’re trying with him. Met Ms. Joyce this week, a lady who can’t come to church for a load of health reasons but is super awesome to us and all the missionaries! She’s blind, hard of hearing, has diabetes, some other big worded issues but has the sweetest testimony of the gospel and the Church. Bob Turner is just a lonely guy. We’re trying to get him to recognize the Spirit because he told us he never had so we’ll see where that goes. The problem with him is that all the missionaries who have been through here know Bob and have worked with Bob so pretty much everything has been used or tried to help him understand. 

Other stories of the week:
  • Brother Kennedy hit us fly balls last P-Day. 80-year-old lefty!
  • We met a guy named Darrell last week and when we went back to see him he came running out before we could get out of our car yelling and waving his arms: “No Sir! No Sir! I don’t want you here! No Sir! Leave! No Sir!” He had some stuff going on mentally but it was funny. We think he brought the Book of Mormon to church with him and the pastor or preacher grilled us.
  • We went up to try and see if this investigator was home so I just grabbed a Book of Mormon (usually I tract or proselyte with a Bible as well). Then, we saw a lady, Teresa, getting her mail. I told Elder Nielsen to go talk to her and so he did and in the conversation she mentioned like four times or more about how she doesn’t understand why we go witness to people with the Book of Mormon and not the Bible. So, my low-key smart alec companion goes to the car and get four Bibles. When he comes back she asked, “What do you have there?” “Oh, I just have some Bibles!” says Elder Nielsen.
  • Elder Nielsen and I were talking about church attendance one day and I told him that President had told us the statistic about getting people to church to baptisms. It’s about 1:3. So, for every three people who come to church one gets baptized. So, when Michelle was walking up to church Elder Nielsen said, “33% chance of being baptized!” Amen.

It was a good week in Smithville, MS! We get transfer news this coming Saturday so hopefully, if things don’t get thrown way out of whack like last time, I’ll be able to tell you the news next week. Guessing we both stay but you never really know! Take care and I hope you 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






Monday, October 16, 2017

16 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 68

Same work, different people!

I love missionary work, but it’s been pretty much a typical week! I got the pictures of the bike ride we took with the New Albany Elders last week and some pictures from bowling last p-day as well! Things are going good though in the small town of Smithville, MS!
Dorris is doing alright. Her health is hard to work with and work around. They are also struggling a bit financially (unfortunately like almost everyone else down here) and that is an obstacle as well. Her and Johnny were going to come to church yesterday but couldn’t because they didn't have any gas to get all the way to Smithville. This baptism is proving to be more difficult than it seemed at first. The place we were planning to do her baptism isn’t going to work either...so pray that we can figure all that stuff out. Dorris is a great lady and likes to please everyone but she, like I’ve said in the past, has the biggest desire. I just hope we can help her that best we can and don’t have to just say, “Sorry!” 
Last Tuesday we went to the Morris’ to do family home evening with them-awesome family! When we went over Alina, the 13-year-old who was baptized recently, had her boyfriend over to meet us. WE were both thinking “Great lets see how this goes…” To our surprise Lane was actually a pretty solid guy! The Morris’ told us when we came in that they had talked a little bit about the church and filled him in on this that and the other thing and so we just answered some questions for him. We talked a little about the Restoration and a little about the Plan of Salvation. He was on top of it and ended up being really interested. THe next Wednesday he came to mutual and we talked to the YM about missions so he was in there and we low key taught him the Restoration lesson. It was sweet. His parents are split denominationally between Church of Christ-Dad-and Baptist-Mom. Hope all goes well with him and we’ll see what that turns into.
Chong is being flakey. She is making it difficult to meet with and such but we’re still pushing her for the 28th. It’s weird because every time we do meet with her she’s awesome and she is ready to change and to do whatever it takes but then something happens and she has to cancel or something happens and she can’t come to church. Frustrating. 
On Monday night last week though we got to meet the Cope (“e” is with an accent) family and they are hilarious. We had tracted into Bonita, the Mom, before but they invited us in and we asked a plethora of questions about our church and our beliefs. It was really funny! They also told me that I looked like Ryan Reynolds and that Elder Nielsen looked like Edward from Twilight. So this week I’ve been asking people if they think I look like Ryan, lol. Elder Nielsen gets annoyed at my giant ego due to the fact that I look like I could be Deadpool’s little brother. (Funny addition, earlier in my mission when I was in Florence, AL, there was a recent convert named Erica who called me “Deadpool” because she thought I looked like Ryan Reynolds). The Cope’s also had an argument about who makes the better fried chicken the Mom or the Grandma and invited us back to judge their competition! They ended up cancelling but one day I will have fried chicken made by a black woman which according to them is way better than any other fried chicken.
The Food Pantry in Amory is doing good. We met a couple of potential investigators there last Tuesday and we were able to go help a lady who volunteers there as well. District Meeting was great this week, our District is a mess...at least us Elders are. Liz-the Eminem lady-is doing alright. We’re as interested as you are to figure out where that’s going to go. Sister Dupree, as recently widowed lady in the Branch who makes amazing food and deserts (and is trying to make us fat) invited us over a couple times this week. She’s getting some work done on her house and shares the gospel with all three of her contractors. Angela is still chilling waiting for God to tell her to go down to the river. We also met a couple new people this week: Terrell, Brandon, Brittney, Lizzie, and Kathy-a crazy bird lady who used to live across from the Elders when they were in Fulton.
Some random stories and one-liners for this week:
  • We met a lady named April who had talked to missionaries in the past about where babies come from…
  • There is this store in Downtown Fulton called “Square Gifts Co.” and it’s literally where all the college girls from ICC go to hangout and work. We met a lot of them on Thursday and it was weird to make the connection that most of them graduated in 2016. Ahhh..
  • I made Elder Nielsen pet this dog that smelled like poop.
  • We tried to see a less-active but they didn’t answer the door. Then when we were at Dollar General we saw some of his family and he was in the parking lot driving the truck we saw not even 30 minutes ago in his driveway.
  • The Lyda family is hilarious. The Father and Husband didn’t know that he was a member of our church, but Mother and Wife seems interested more than him. He was talking to us about Bigfoot the other week and this week we talked about how racist the South and specifically Amory, MS, is. 
  • We bought a MS State Flag from this racist dude with a stand full of confederate banners and other stuff.
  • We basically ran church on Sunday. We gave the opening and closing prayers in Sacrament, we blessed the sacrament as well, and we both spoke in church. The High Councilman used us each in his talk as well. Oh, and we surprise taught Gospel Principles! :)
  • We called to see if we could stop by a member’s home and we were told that it was too late and they were getting ready for bed. It was 7:15pm. Granted, it felt like 1:00am because of how dark it was but still! 
  • When doing service on Saturday for Michelle (the lady who volunteers at the food pantry) Elder Nielsen got afraid because of a spider. So, our nicknames are now “Ryan” (that’s me :) ) and “Spiderman.” Spiderman and Ryan are way cooler than Batman and Robin though, just sayin! 

It was a good week down South! Things keep moving forward with or without us so we just have to do enough work to keep up! I appreciate all your prayers and they are definitely effective! Love y’all, and 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













Sunday, October 15, 2017

9 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 67

To All Whom May Be Interested:

This week was pretty normal, it flew by as always! Smithville is doing good and we weren’t affected too much by the weather over on this side of the MS-AL line. But it started to pour on us today so we’re kinda getting the aftermath. Other than that it’s been a pretty bomb week!
On Monday last week we went over to Johnny and Dorris’ house and we made jewelry boxes with him. It was nice to spend some time with Johnny and he definitely enjoyed our company. Before we left that night he got emotional and told us how much he appreciated us spending the time with him in his shop. Touching stuff. Also, as far as Dorris goes we found a place for her to get baptized!! It won’t happen this weekend but we are hoping by the end of the month we can get her there! 
The next day we Zone Conference and that pretty much took us the entire day. Wa had to get an oil change too and let me tell you, TV is a waste of time. Grey’s Anatomy was playing on the TV and neither Elder Nielsen or I could focus because of this awful show playing behind us. That night we also went store contacting-which could’ve been better. But, as I was beating myself up about how bad I did trying to contact people Chong, a potential investigator, walked out of the Laundromat and waved us down! Couldn’t have been more excited! We scheduled a time to meet with her the next day and that was a huge blessing because the next day we found out that she was super prepared. She had been taught about a year ago up in Tennessee and then moved back home to Amory and the Sisters taught her a little bit but then she fell off for some reason. When we met with her though we were going to teach the Restoration again but we ended up going over the Baptismal Interview Questions and showing her that she was ready. We then put her on date for the 28th of October!! Chong almost didn’t come met with us but we are so glad she did and are hoping to keep tabs on her for the 28th! 
Thursday we went on an exchange in New Albany with Elders Braithwaite and Johnson. That was a party. I went with Elder Johnson and we had a blast. Most of the night though we spent together and the afternoon we spent riding down a bike trail stopping and talking to some people! I hadn’t been on my bike in forever so that was fun! When we were walking down that street that night after an appointment we met a lady named Kaitlyn who I waved at to stop as she was pulling out of her driveway. She seemed pretty interested and we sent her information to the Tupelo Elders because that’s where she lives. Then we met a lady Wanda walking down the street. It was a successful night relatively and it was nice spending time with Elder Johnson.
We finally found Kardarius this week! He is a less-active who we’ve been searching for since we got here. When we saw him he was also with a friend, Donna, who is hilarious. We went inside and eventually got to teach Donna the Restoration and KArdarius was helping us, it was sweet. Then that night we re-contacted a lady named Jerri whom the Fulton Elders had found not too long ago. She doesn’t really attend a church and she has a cool personality but we are hoping to meet up with he again soon too! Then, on Friday night Dorris had a breakdown. She just was really sad because of her family and health and stuff that seemed to all be hitting her at once so we got to take some time with her. Elder Nielsen was talking to her and he was really bold-it was awesome. It was the first night that Priesthood seemed to click with her and we assured her that church and baptism would help her get to where she needs to be! 
Saturday was full of walking around and meeting the locals. Apparently every year there is a yard sale the first weekend in October that goes down Highway 25 right through Smithville! Lots of interesting things trying to be sold and it was nice to get our faces out a little bit! We also went out to see a guy named Brother Van who loves Jesus but doesn’t like churches much. I don’t know if I mentioned him before or not but he is the guy that stopped us on the road one of the first weeks we were here and said “Y’all must be sweatin’ for Jesus!” From then on he’s prayed for us as “The Brothers who be sweatin’ for Jesus!” Love that title-best one yet. Anyway we met with him and if he is as tune with the Spirit as he’s been he will be a Mormon. He told us he wouldn’t be converted but we will see what the Spirit does to him. We went out to dinner at the Friendship House. This restaurant is THE Mississippi experience. There is one sign kinda down the road a little ways and if you don’t know where it is you won’t find it. The building doesn’t even have the restaurant name on it. 
Sunday wasn’t too bad. We went around trying to find people and seeing why people didn’t come to church that morning. Lots of excuses but that’s okay, we’ll get there! We got to participate in an “Hour of Mighty Prayer” throughout the mission which was really cool. Every fast Sunday from now on we are going to be praying for an hour before breaking our fast. Talk about calling down the powers of Heaven. Today has been great too. We went bowling as a Zone in Tupelo and it was bringing me way back to High School because they were playing music from a while ago….and by they I mean us as the missionaries, lol! Big John-the guy at the Laundry place let us put “i’m a mormon” cards on the table at the Laundromat though so that’s cool.

  • Brother Lyda, a LA loves talking about conspiracy. He’s kinda a weird dude. We talked about Politics a little-or should I say he did, we just smiled.
  • We went to Waffle House on our exchange, enough said.
  • Elder Nielsen and I are really good at store contacting in Hibbitt Sports.
  • Elder Braithwaite left a surprise for us before they left our house on Friday after dropping us back off from the exchange. Luckily he kept the lid to the toilet closed.

It was another good week in Smithville. Hope y’all had a great one wherever you are and I hope you make it a good one this week! Take care, and if your Southern Elder can do anything for you let me know! 

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