Monday, September 25, 2017

25 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 65

People of the Lord,

Well, I’m no longer in Tupelo. Kind of sad I was only able to stay for six weeks, but Smithville isn’t too far! It is a lot different though, a lot smaller. This unit has some history let me tell you. I am also sad to have left Elder Stanford but Elder Nielsen is awesome and it will be a piece of cake training him. He’s going to kill it and we’re excited to get to work helping people come back to church! 
So, without further ado, Elder Nielsen. He is older than me, but we graduated the same year. He played baseball at BYU for a year and then decided to come serve a mission for similar reasons I did. He played shortstop, second base, and third. His team is the Washington Nationals because he is from Vienna, Virginia. If any of you visit D.C. just let me know and he’ll make sure that his family can take care of you. He is a stud muffin. 
Smithville, Mississippi, is a great place. Not longer than a year ago they used to be a part of the Tupelo Ward, but President Pettus decided he wanted to start a group here. So, the members here were looking for a place to meet. They finally found a funeral home to rent out on Sundays, but that fell through because there were people who threatened to take their business somewhere else if they rented to the Mormons. Then, one of the members found a plot of land (five acres) for cheap and he bought it with the intentions of putting a building on it. They then had another Priesthood stake meeting to show the plans for a building they were going to buiding which costed around 200,000. One man volunteered to invest in it, with the idea of getting it all back once the branch got big enough and the church bought the building. However, his lease agreement was something that the church wasn’t going to pay for so he bailed. Then, the man who initially bought the land called the stake President and said he would build the building. So….the Smithville branch building and the land it is on is owned by one of the members and the Church is leasing it from him. While they were waiting for the building to be built however they we able to meet on Sundays at the High School in Smithville; then, after that lease was up with the HS they had to go back to the Tupelo Ward for a little bit because the building still wasn’t complete. Now, we have a building and that’s the story of the Smithville Branch. Crazy stuff, and we learn more and more every time we go to a member’s home we learn something new. I love it here!
Some of the people that we are working with are Dorris, Angela, and Raven and Harley! Dorris is on date now for the 14th of October! She is super spiritual and has the biggest desire to be baptized. There are going to be some interesting logisticals with getting her baptized because of her health and physical condition but hopefully all goes well! Angela has been taught forever...and she is kinda close to getting baptized. Not really progressing but kinda, it’s a weird situation. Raven and Harley are the grandkids of a member and they come to church with her somewhat consistently. We haven’t met Raven but they were at the top of our list when we got into the area. We are also going to try and start working with a lot of the Less-Active members in getting back to church. So that’s our main focus, at least as far as we see right now! 
We do have some appointments with some other people, investigators and such. One experience was really awesome last Saturday night! We were going into McDonald’s to put the Gospel Library back on Dorris’ Kindle and when we were walking in there was a lady next to the entrance. I asked her how her days was going and she said, “Not too good, but I’ll live.” So, naturally I went over to try and talk with her. Eventually we started to share a little of a message with her and she began to cry and really opened up to us about all this junk that was happening to her in her life. We gave her a Book of Mormon and are looking forward to meeting with her again tonight! Also, somewhat of a small miracle, but since being here we haven’t really been rejected hard at all. I told Elder Nielsen that he’s gotten it easy the past week or so because every door we knock on the people are genuine and nice and it’s really cool. Blessings of white-washing! 
My last couple days in Tupelo were good though, being able to go around and see some members and talk to some of the investigators I learned to care about so much was nice! That is a great area and I’m looking forward to watching all the progress made there! I was able to go back to Tupelo on Saturday for AJ’s baptism! I’m so proud of that guy, more than anyone! He’s awesome and he’ll continue to progress in the church! 
Not too many funny stories this week….my companion and I are dying to play catch together. I’m back in 12 Week Training which is fun. Oh, and we live in a house so that’s pretty cool! If y’all need anything let me know! Thanks for your love and support!

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




 AJ's Baptism!!
 Elder Stanford and AJ 

Elder Nielsen and Elder Milius

Monday, September 18, 2017

18 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 64

Boy and Girls,

    It was another great week in Tupelo, sorta...mostly, we’ll go with mostly! First thing’s first though..I do not have my transfer news yet. We are supposed to get it today so if I find out and I still have access to a computer I will forward it later. But I’m almost positive I will be staying here in Tupelo, just hoping I’m staying here with Elder Stanford. With that being said I’ll go into talking about all the amazing people here in Mississippi (a.k.a. “God’s Country,” Sister Mary Jo A.).
    So, the Mangrum family can start us off! They were the family that we fasted to find who would get baptized this coming transfer! They moved in maybe a month ago now, but are a family of four and are looking for a church home (nailed it). We saw Ms. Mangrum last week and showed her a short video message about the Book of Mormon and introduced that to her to start reading. She was super excited and then told us that she met someone at work who knew us or knew who we were-not a member of the church though-and were totally talking us up! It was cool. They will get baptized and we are hopefully going over to visit them today to share with them the Restoration.
    AJ is doing great and is on track for his baptism this Saturday! Him and Danny (his friend who is a Returning Member) literally make me so happy. I couldn’t be more proud of the progress they’ve both made in the church-now they just need a job. But, I believe it will come and i’m excited for both of them! They need to go serve missions and make me cry!! But we are excited for this Saturday at 4pm!
    There is also a young lady who is our age who lives in our apartment complex that we finally got to share a message with. We are hoping to follow-up with her soon but she seemed interested in reading the Book of Mormon! And there is another guy in our complex who we went and shared a message with yesterday and have another appointment with next week. The people in our complex are homies and they are all our age and somewhat interested in what we do! It’s pretty cool, I think!
    Keshaun is my sad story for the week. So, he has been on date for a while and he was scheduled to be baptized same as AJ this Saturday. We had it all planned, the program basically made, the interviews done for the most part and they both were set. But, on Saturday evening around 7:30 or so we got a text from Keshaun and he bailed. We didn’t really get a reasoning from him, just that he needed more time and that it “wasn’t really him.” I can promise you that I’ve never really felt heartbreak in my entire life until that point. We were devastated and what was worse was we had to put on our happy face and finish our night. But, for the rest of that night we were worried sick about what had happened and about how we could fix it. We’ve still talked about it since and are praying constantly that it all works out and he can be baptized and receive those blessings. There are a couple members that are going to talk with him and see what we can do but it was probably the saddest I’ve been on my mission. I have learned more about our Heavenly Father’s love than any other experience because I, like Him, felt my heart drop for Keshaun. I love that kid too much, and I hope and pray he rediscovers his testimony of the Restoration and of the Church. Pray for him.
    That’s pretty much everyone that needed to be updated. We are also working with a young man named Ryan who needs to be baptized. His family situation is just weird but he knows so much and he believes it all so hopefully we’ll be able to work through the details in order to get him to church and stuff. Everybody else is doing pretty great and we’re still finding and teaching and baptizing! The reason why though is the members, they are super awesome and it’s just been a domino effect of Recent Converts bringing their friends into the church. If you have any specific questions about people you remember and were interested in just let me know!

  • Brother Hooper-the same guy who challenged us to the steak-told us about all sorts of pranks they did on his mission. One of them was they made people pee blue using an aquarium algae cleaner. Don’t know if it works, yet.
  • The Thordersons in the ward are related to Christopher Layton through the wife right after my family...can’t remember those numbers exactly but that was a cool connection to make! He had a big book and it had my family’s name in it!
  • We had interviews with President and that was great! Some of the best interviews I’ve had and Elder Stanford and I came prepared with questions...a lot of them. But I learned a lot!
  • Elder Stanford clogged the toilet at a memebrs home this week, lol. 
  • One of the Sister’s investigators was baptized this past weekend and it was amazing! The spirit was so strong and I don’t understand why not a lot of people go to those baptisms! So spiritually uplifting we thought Saturday was Sunday.
  • We contacted, or tried to contact, a deaf guy and a blind guy in the same afternoon. 
  • Elder Stanford bought a clown costume for too much money intending to return it after he scared Sister Tunuufi with it, but that didn’t work. First of all they found the costume so the prank didn’t work and secondly after being opened the costume couldn’t be returned (which is not what they told him when he bought it). But we got lots of pictures and then Sister Tunuufi wanted to face her fear so he dressed up and took pictures with her anyway! Happy Halloween.

    I was a mostly great week! Keshaun was a bummer, a heartbreak like I said, but AJ is doing good and the area is still flourishing! Couldn’t find another story that beat $10,000 or a steak marinated in Hell Sauce. But God is good, and He always is teaching us something, if only we would listen and hear Him. Make it a great week y’all, 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











Monday, September 11, 2017

11 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 63

A’ICNwio;foWIEBFICwefivb,

    Hey y’all! Hope you all had a good, short week with Labor Day being on Monday! Our week was super busy and went by really fast. We had a lot of great things happen though and to top it off Jerome got baptized and confirmed on Saturday!
    Jerome’s baptism was a miraculous experience, as baptisms already are! There’s just something about finally helping one of our Heavenly Father’s children reach the goal of baptism. As I said all of it worked out well, there was a lot of support there and the Jones’ family, who were a little apprehensive in the beginning all got emotional and couldn't be happier. It was cool to see their heart’s soften, as well as Jerome’s through his progression. We were coming back from our exchange in Birmingham and so it was a long day but it was a tender mercy that all of it work out how it was intended. Even if he had to get dunked three times...   
    AJ and Keshaun (and Danny-Less Active) also are making great progress! We gave a lesson on the Word of Wisdom review and Chastity and it was hilarious. Yes, I know the Law of Chastity is a serious lesson and we had glimpses of seriousness-enough to cause them to ask about the repentance process they needed to make. But, it was just like a couple 19-year-olds teaching it to a 16-year-old and two 20-year-olds! I was really cool though because all of them committed to live those laws and Danny gave us his cigarettes and he went to talk to Bishop and the other two boys were ready to change! It’s been awesome to see all them progress and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of them in white on the 23rd!!
    We saw Freddy again this week and he’s doing great! Working to the 28th of October for baptism! He has desire and he has the opportunity in front of him now! He wasn’t able to make it to church this week because he got called in to do work but hopefully he still keeps going! We want to try and talk to his family too and he said his wife was trying to get a new job so she didn’t have to work on Sundays. Crazy to think this all started with talking to a guy at a stoplight. Talk to everyone because you never know who is ready!!
    Some other things we’ve been able to do this week was, as I said earlier, go on an exchange in Hoover. I went with Elder Olson and learned a lot! We met guy who had a crazy story and told us all about it for 30 minutes, then ended in a prayer and prayed for us for another 10 minutes. He was cool and is talking to him softened his heart enough to take a Book of Mormon. By the way, his name was “Steven Michael.” We also went to a couple District Meetings, one here and the other in Columbus, MS. Lots of good things trained on and taught there! President Ford came to Tupelo yesterday to speak and I got the opportunity to speak with him again!! It was kind of cool to have spoken with him in Wetumpka about 6 months ago and then to be able to do it again in another area! I was asked to speak at 8:30 Saturday night too because speakers canceled but it was an easy topic, “How has your decision to serve a mission changed/shaped your life?”
  • Some kids saw us late one night and asked if they could write their names in our planners. They were 11-13 and we were talking with them and one said that his name was “chicken wing.” The next day we looked in Elder Stanford’s planner and found “Chicken Wing” written on one of his pages. 
  • We went to the Jones house and experienced how hard it was to teach someone (their nephew) by yelling and arguing. We tried to bring the Spirit and it was there for at least a little bit.
  • Brother Hooper nearly killed us. It was our choice...but still. So, he has a “Hot Sauce” challenge. We took pictures of the bottle but the challenge was to eat a steak-it was about 8 oz.-marinated in this insane hot sauce for 24 hours. We both volunteered. We only got a potato with it and we couldn’t use any dairy products except butter on the potato. We got water, but no milk. We started and it was hot but we were going good. Then it hit our stomach and our bodies started to reject this demonic sort-a liquid that this steak was lathered in. Elder Stanford cried. We both started to shake and sweat. It was not an enjoyable experience. Luckily we finished it and got our reward, a glass of milk. He also gave us Tums and we were on fire for the next couple days. Thinking back on the experience I can’t really pin down how I felt or what I tasted...I don’t think I blacked out but it was something similar. What’s worse is what happened when it came out. 
  • We got back in contact with a PM Family after a month and a half. When we went to see them they both wanted to quit smoking and so they gave us their cigarettes. Then, later, they had some  serious withdrawals and we were really confused but hope that all turned out well. :\

    It was another good one here in Tupelo and we’re looking forward to transfer calls this coming Saturday. Pretty sure we are both staying here but it will be fun to see what happens this transfer! I love y’all and hope things are going well! If you need me for anything just email me!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: On the bright side, I can handle anything spicy from now on.



-- 
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



By the way, we found this talk this week! Pretty good stuff from a very young Spencer W. Kimball!














Tuesday, September 5, 2017

5 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 62

HELLO!!

    Happy Tuesday P-Day! Labor wasn’t too bad, usually Monday holidays are slow but we didn’t have to long of a day! We were able to play softball that morning with the ward and that was awesome! We were regretting it later though because we didn’t have time to study and we were feeling it. So, study your scriptures!!! It makes a huge difference in your day!
    We’re going to shake things up a bit and I’m going to start with the crazy/funny stories:
  • On Tuesday we were on an exchange and so Elder Stanford took Elder Morely to go see Apostle Sparrow. Remember that guy? He invited them to his church to meet with him-great. But when they went to see him it was all good. Then he asked them how much it was to come on a mission in which they answered $10,000. Sparrow then took out his checkbook and proceeded to write both Elder Stanford and Elder Morely a check for $10,000! 10K. They told him no and then he went off and told them that by not taking his money they were denying God’s blessings. What a few of thinking, huh? He told them a story of how he was praying to be able to afford a new Infinity when a lady who hadn’t been to church in three years came to give her $73,000 tithing offering. God answered his prayers and he got a new car. Crazy stuff. He still hasn’t offered it to me but I hope he doesn’t because the natural man in me wants it. I know I shouldn't take it though. Oh, but on top of that he did a background check on Elder Stanford and I and he said that he knew where we lived and he was going to send it in the mail. So, Mom and Dad, if there is a check for 10K in the mail it’s from Apostle Keric Sparrow to Elder Milius.
  • Our neighbor, Ms. Melody is awesome. She comes over and gives us food that she made and then we make her desert. She came over one night to give us something she made and then when we were talking to her she stepped into our apartment. Awkward. Nothing happened but it was funny.
  • The tornado warnings were going off all day on Thursday and they were disrupting our weekly planning.
  • We were driving past a group of kids playing basketball in the street and we slowed down and out of the window asked for the ball to shoot. This one kid said, “You guys are kinda weird. You look like nerds!” Love it.
  • In teaching Chris a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, Elder Stanford asked “So Chris, what does this mean to you to know all this.” He responded as serious as ever, “It means everything I’ve been taught is a lie.”
  • We make some good cheesecake.
  • The Sisters found a way to lock their sim card and were out of a phone for two days. 
  • Danny told me on Sunday, “Real men wear pink, but a great man pulls it off.” Nailed it.

    Now, we get into the good stuff! So, to start off Jerome is progressing really well! He is due to be baptized on Saturday evening and we are hoping all goes well with that! There is some logistical things we’ve had to take care of this week but we should be all good to go!
    We had the BEST lesson with AJ and Danny and Keshaun this past week. So AJ and Keshaun are both working towards getting baptized on the 23 of this month and we are trying to see if it’s possible to get Danny worthy to baptized them-that’s still undetermined. But this Wednesday we decided that we just needed to help them all receive a better testimony. So, we read JSH 1:10-20 about the First Vision and asked for their thoughts. We were in the chapel and the spirit was very strong, but then someone started playing basketball in the gym so we had to move. We were so worried that the spirit was going to leave but when we got back into the RS room it came back! We then invited everyone to pray individually, to know whatever they feel they needed to know. So, we dimmed the lights and sat a prayered for 10-15 minutes. The Spirit was thick enough to cut! It was so awesome! After we all prayed we came back together and we all bore our testimony about our experiences, talked about the things we felt and closed. Best lesson I think I’ve ever had but Elder Stanford and I couldn’t celebrate right after because then we started Bible study. After we got in the car that night though we were freaking out about how cool it was.
    Freddy, the guy we contacted at a red light is doing good and he’s going to end up being super solid we can tell. Also, after fasting and praying to find a family this coming transfer to baptized this past Sunday we found the Mangrum family who lives in our complex who are looking for a church and they are so ready! It’s a couple with two kids who are younger but may be over 8. We’re excited to work with them! Quantario is still progressing as fast as grandma will let him. We are trying to increase his understanding in order to increase his testimony.
    Things are going good here in Tupelo and they are getting better! We still have to drive a lot but it’s totally worth the ride! I love the ward here, I love the people, I love my companion and I love the Lord! Hope all things are going good and home or wherever y’all are at! Keep up the good work and never forget how much Satan hates you, and how much God loves you! Make it a great week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius


PS: Those pants are black, I swear. Do you see black? Or gray?


-- 
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, August 28, 2017

28 August 2017 - Elder Milius Week 61

Another One!

    Hello! Hope y’all are doing great and hope you had another week! Ours was pretty normal here in Mississippi but nonetheless it’s been exhausting! Since the last time I emailed we put two more people on date for baptism in September and then one of them fell through. We are running into some problems but with the Lord’s help we are going to get it done!
    One of the people that we’ve added to our baptismal date pool is Chris. At first he didn’t seem too interested or anything and then when we were on an exchange Elder Stanford taught him, and it was “the best first lesson I’ve ever taught.” We went back over a couple days later to make an appointment that Chris requested and I was able to see how well he understood. He literally got everything. I have never had to teach the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods in a Restoration lesson before baptism, and the entire lesson was like that. He made the comment “So, Joseph Smith is your founder...wait no, no...Jesus Christ is your founder technically.” It was awesome, and we are praying he continues to move forward to the 30th.
    Jerome is doing great and moving towards the 9th now I believe, because the member family who he’s been coming to the church through is out of town this weekend. Which is fine, he’s basically ready! Keshaun is converted, but his family situation is weird and random. They are fine with him getting baptized but they are just all over the place and we haven’t been able to set up appointments. So, he’ll still get baptized but it might be later in the month. AJ is doing good. He was at church on Sunday with Danny (a less-active) and that was a miracle!! We’ve been trying so hard to get them to come and they finally did! They left right after the Sacrament was passed but they were there! Praying he keeps progressing. Him and AJ are friends so it’s going to be awesome to try and help them both join the church together.
    Some other things that happened this week pertaining to people in Tupelo. On Tuesday nights we were going to play basketball and as we were walking out I waved at a guy in our apartment complex. He asked if we were going to play ball and when we told him “Yeah” he followed us over. Edward is a pretty cool guy and we are going to try to teach him and his family. They just moved in a couple weeks ago so that was cool. First time a “waving contact” had actually worked!
    We met an Apostle, Apostle Sparrrow. He is a minister for a baptist church...or five...something like that but he totally heard us out and we have an appointment with him tomorrow morning! He was given tons of money from people to pursue his preaching career and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave us each like $1,000. We wouldn’t take it of course but it will be interesting sitting down with him. He’d make a good member of the church.
    One miracle I forgot to tell you about last week! We went to follow up with someone and they ended up not being home. So we tracted around and as we were walking away we felt like knocking on one last door. We met a lady named Jessica who was semi-interested and she just didn’t feel like God was answering her. We were able to talk to her a little bit and schedule some time to meet with her again. But, the crazy part was this last door was another entrance to the same address we went by to follow up with. Same house, and the Lord was going to get us in to talk to Jessica even if we had to knock on another door.
    This past week we were also able to attend a mulit-zone conference with President Christensen of the Seventy. He came and talked a lot about the Holy Ghost. Without going in too much detail I have learned so much about the Spirit and I will have things to study for the next while. I’ve learned a lot about what His calling is and what mine is as well. It was an amazing conference.

Other Stories;
  • We are going to get black out contacts and prank the sisters. Then for Halloween we’re going to be Zombie Missionaries. 
  • A guy cussed us out off his porch. Came flying to the door “We didn’t answer the first time!!!” We were both thinking to ourselves, “No, that’s why we knocked again.” He then proceeded to swear at us and we simply smiled and said to him to “Have a blessed day.” After which he said, “You too!!”  and slammed the door. 
  • Elder Stanford made some bomb cheesecake and the sisters died after eating it. He’s showing me the ropes so that I’ll be able to come back and make some awesome desserts! That and banana pudding! 
  • An investigator in Columbus who was getting baptized on Saturday called the Elders Thursday and told them that he wouldn’t be getting baptized. His preacher gave him his job back so he’s going back to his church instead of listening to the truth. You can buy anything, or anyone with money!
  • Our Zone Activity was today and we played a ton of sports with the missionaries around us in the Tupelo Stake.
  • Sister Gilbert showed us an awesome picture...just don’t look to close.
  • We learned how to appropriately eat chocolate in Elders Quorum.
    • Take time to enjoy it
    • Clean you pallett
    • Take deep breathes
    • Inspect the chocolate
    • Smell it
    • Take a small bite
    • Move it around in your mouth
    • Inhale slowly
    • Reflect on the taste
    • Take notes and score it

    It was another wonderful week here with the people in Tupelo and President Christensen topped it off! The mission is going great and my testimony of the Savior has increased more than I could ever imagine. It grows more and more each day and the times I get to tell people how much I KNOW the truth is solidifies it to me. Never shy away from sharing your testimony. I love y’all and hope you have another great 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, August 22, 2017

21 August 2017 - Elder Milius Week 60

Happy Total Eclipse Day!

We saw 93% of it with cool glasses and a pinhole box that we made, so that was exciting for like 3 minutes! This week was pretty great to be honest! There are a lot of good people here in Tupelo that I get the pleasure of associating and working with! We have three people, who are solid I might add, on date for baptism and we are hoping for a fourth this week. All for September. On top of that there are several dates set throughout our zone and the Lord is killing it here in this part of the vineyard! 
Keshaun is on date for September 2nd, and he is going strong. We went and made a Baptismal Calendar with him this week and set things up for the next two weeks. He’s almost there and we are excited for him. Jerome is also on for the 2nd but it may have to move due to his girlfriend’s family (the members) being out of town. They don’t like him anyway so it may happen on the 2nd but regardless he is doing good! We had an awesome lesson with him to introduce commandments and the Word of Wisdom. We were told by the family and his girlfriend that he had a problem smoking cigarettes and that that was something that might hold him up. So, without him knowing we had been told that we taught him the Word of Wisdom as to determine whether or not it was truly going to be an issue. Both of us were shocked when we had discerned as the lesson went on that Jerome didn’t have any problem with the Word of Wisdom AND on top of that, he was completely ready to be baptized for himself, and not for his girlfriend. The spirit was definitely present and we were stoked. Plus he came to church this week so go him! Quanterio is also on date now!! He is getting baptized on September 16th and couldn’t be happier. We taught him a couple times emphasizing prayer and how to receive answers. Then, when we were on exchanges with the New Albany Elders, Elder Stanford went there with Elder Johnson and they talked to him about whether or not he had prayed. When he said, “No,” they asked him to pray (not thinking he was going to right then and there). After he was finished praying he expressed how he was feeling and determined that he knew it was all true. The baptismal invite was easy after that! He also came to church this past week, wahoo! 
Those are all the individuals we have on date so far and are hoping to get AJ on as well. He has progressed a lot over the past few weeks and his understanding of baptism has increased. He has become closer and closer it seems each lesson and both Elder Stanford and I know he is ready. In one particular lesson this past week we were in the chapel teaching the Plan of Salvation. We went on an unplanned tangent about Baptism and what it means to be baptized and the covenants and preparation needed. We went to Mosiah 18: 8-10 and taught him that he was ready. After that we invited him to continue praying about the 30th of September. Then, Elder Stanford promised him that if he did so, he would receive a sign from God that he needed to be baptized. At first I was thinking in my head, “Are we allowed to do that?” But the calmest feeling came into the room and I immediately knew that because of our Faith and because of AJ’s Faith the Lord was going to be able to do anything. The next day we fasted for all these investigators and I know that the Lord is watching out for all of them. I know this because he led them to the missionaries through the members of His church. I know that member-missionary work is the Lord’s most effective tool in bringing His children home and gathering them into His Kingdom. AJ hasn’t received a sign yet, but all is well with him and these other three whom we are focusing on!
This past week we were also able to go to the temple, which is the best place to be! Going to the temple with a group of missionaries is a wonderful feeling and it’s one of the greatest things I’ll miss. We went to B-dubs with some Elders after our session and it was cool because in the parking lot Elder Stanford and I had the opportunity to talk to a guy who was semi-familiar with the church. We had to go outside to get the Sisters something, and by way to missionary instinct talked to a guy who was waiting for a friend. As the conversation ended he didn’t seem interested in the church, but he seemed glad to have talked with us. That is also something I am going to miss when I go home, being able to just start a random conversation with people...but maybe I won’t have to stop that! After our long drive back we stopped in West Point to drop the other Elders off and got to go with them to talk to Chaz, one of Elder Stanford’s old investigators when he served there a year ago! It was nice to help him read a little out of the Book of Mormon and feel like we did some sort of missionary work that day! 
A couple other cool stories to make note of:
We were tracting last Monday night and this one guy invited us in and right before we were about to share our message he completely went off about how we were a cult, he straight up ignored our testimonies, and he wouldn’t accept any other evidence we gave him of the truth because he had done his research on the internet (specifically youtube). We walked out frustrated. But we weren’t going to let Satan dissuade us so we knocked on the next door, were let in, and shared a great message! Those people have since dropped us but in the moment it was a testimony to press forward-even when, especially when you’re told that you believe in a cult, etc.
On Tuesday we had to go get some things from Wal-Mart and so we planned of store contacting. It was late and we were getting to the point where we had to get out of there. But, this nice old lady crossed us in the aisle and both of us stopped to talk to her. Her name was Betty and she seemed completely open to hear our message. We weren’t able to share it then but we talked about her previous association with the LDS missionaries and we got her information to meet with her again! That was our “Fourth floor, last door” experience. 
Crystal was a lady that Elder Stanford and Allen had communicated with over text but was never able to visit. We send out daily scriptures to people that we want to keep Daily Contact with, but occasionally we send them to random people in our phone. Crystal was one of those random people and we finally were able to see her this week! We caught her grandma first outside her home and then she directed us to Crystal. She even called her to make sure she was going to be home before we drove down there. When we got to Crystal’s she was getting her mail and we followed her up to her trailer. Her and her four kids all over the age of 8 sat and listened to us share the Restoration with them yesterday. It was a really cool overall experience. But, the coolest part is Crystal isn’t really interested, her oldest daughter Jordan is. The Lord performs miracles but he also administers to the one! 
I think I bore the most fervent testimony this week was well. We were sharing a video to a guy named Marco, and afterwards I told him how much I knew THE church was back on the earth and that this was it. Elder Bednar talks about how we as missionaries bring the message unto the hearts of those we teach, but the Spirit brings it into. Let me tell you when the messages goes straight into the person's heart you can feel it, and that strengthened my testimony even more because of how much it affirmed to me that I KNEW that this was true!
Other Random Laughs:
  • After texting a daily scripture we got a text back from someone we didn’t know: “The hell is this?” is what it said.
  • President Sainsbury, as he watched Elder Stanford and I get our picture taken at the temple made the comment, “Look at that, you’re backwards! The white man is in the black suit and the black man is in the white suit!”
  • In Gospel Principles a lady we all call “Momma Jean” talked about how the Word of Wisdom to her wasn’t really a sacrifice at all (Sacrifice was the lesson topic). She then continued to explain that she had heard that coffee was made off cat poop, and tea was made from cow manure. 
  • We bought a Star Wars puzzle and it’s going to take us forever to finish it…

I forgot to mention we also went on an exchange with New Albany and they are great. Super stud missionaries and they helped us out here a lot! (We also take great pictures). It was a great week in Tupelo, MS, and I hope everyone can still see and is doing great wherever you’re at! Thanks for all you do and go out and make it another great week! As always thank you for the prayers and thank you for all you do for the Lord! 

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Enjoy the plethora of pictures! :)


-- 
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