Monday, March 19, 2018

19 March 2018 - Elder Milius Week 90

Every Praise is to our God.

That's a great song by the way, gotta love that southern gospel music! This week was another miraculous week in the mission field. We found a couple people, we had a great Sunday-which for missionaries translates to investigators at Sacrament Meeting-and we are well on our way to introducing technology in the mission.
Jumping right into it, we were able to make contact with a lady named Keke who I had previously knocked into. We asked if we could come in and share our message and she invites us right in. As we were talking with her we found out that she had not been baptized so we started the Restoration excited to invite her to be baptized. Then, as we were talking about Christ's life and His Atonement and suffering on the cross she was asking questions about what He felt. It was really cool being able to explain that Christ suffered for each of our sins, pains, sicknesses, infirmities, and everything; he suffered for all of it because He loves us. The Spirit was really strong and we invited her to be baptized at the part where it may have not made sense logically, but spiritually it did. I just love teaching about the Savior and it's become so real to me that He truly did suffer something so indescribably bitter because of the unconditional love He has for us and the unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us. Since then we've been by a couple times and she's reading and we are excited to see her again tonight. Her husband works out of town throughout the week but she has great potential!
We were also able to re-contact Alandus and teach him again. Before going into the lesson I told Elder Canty that we probably wouldn't be able to get in because he's been super stressed and busy. Then when he answered without hesitation he asked us to come in; story of the last week or so. He is doing good and we are planning on going to see him tonight as well. Super honest guy and I know the gospel and the Book of Mormon will hell his life. He express that he is looking for peace and comfort in his life. 
The boys, Jabori and Javon are progressing well. They are coming to all sorts of activities and we are helping them get prepared for baptism. Our goal is to have them prepared by the 31st so that when their Mom lets them be baptized they can cannon ball in (figuratively of course). They both went to the pinewood derby on Friday, activities on Wednesday, and church again on Sunday!
But, that's not even the best part. Theresa, their mom, showed up the last 5 minutes of Sacrament and stayed through Sunday School! She loved it and had a great time and learned a lot. During gospel principles she basically bore her testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon and how it gives us guidance and direction and most importantly shields us from destruction. That was a big step for her and hopefully will start to soften her heart. 
We had a couple technology trainings that we went to this week and I get more excited to use technology every time we watch some of the prophetic prophecies about mobile devices and other online means hastening the work of the Lord. It's been so amazing to feel the testimony that we are all prepared and called for different things at different times but that we are all prepared and called to the Lord's work. He knows us. 
We ran into a guy named Chad the other week as well who is a member of the church. We tracted into his roommate and we were talking to him when Chad walked up. We set a return appointment with Chad because his roommate speaks un poquito Ingles and figured out that he was a member. We've taught him a couple times now and he came to church yesterday. We also had a really cool lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and we called in one of the missionaries that taught and baptized him back in 2005 via Facebook Messenger. It was awesome to see technology in action and I look forward to similar experiences like that. It was great for Chad to reconnect with her and listen to her continue to bear her testimony and strengthen others even after being home for 12+ years. 
On Friday after our Technology Training Elder Krupa and I went out on an exchange. There wasn't a ton of plans but we had a few follow-ups to make. So as we were going around we knocked a few doors and as we knocked on one door a lady named Virginia walked up the stairs. We said "Hello" and I told her that we were servants of Jesus Christ and asked if she knew Him. She said of course she did and we had a good conversation about how her faith has carried her throughout her life. When we asked if we could pray with her she invited us in and we talked about her family and then my eye caught something colorful... She had a Rubix Cube sitting on her table! So I asked if we could show her something cool and then we taught her the Restoration with it. By the time we ended she wanted a Book of Mormon and we will hopefully be able to see her again.
Walking through Walmart this week I ran into Crystal. She looked a little different but familiar enough for me to recognize her. I stopped her and said hello but she wasn't really having it. It was kinda sad to see her because I think the biggest difference was that she seemed sad. I remember when we first started teaching them and as she read and learned and began to change her life started to drastically change for the better. And now not having that has made her lose the Spirit, and has dimmed that light she had. It's the saddest part about missionary work.
We went on a couple exchanges this week and every time I am amazed at the strength of the missionaries we have in this mission. I know that the Lord sends his best missionaries here and so I know they are not as great around the world as they are in Alabama but I'm sure they are just as powerful. Missionaries are the best of friends to have! We also went on splits again with Bishop and had a couple good visits with member of the ward. Hopefully some potential to start working with! This week we were also able to stop in Prattville and visit with a couple members and individuals there that Elder Canty and I both got close to so we have pictures of those. Also, we were invited to visit a "KeepOnRollin'" conference with John Bytheway, Hank Smith, and Meg Johnson which was awesome. Got some pictures of that as well so I'll send a few of those. (HUGE shout-out to Elder Canty for taking pictures by the way). 

Always Gotta Laugh:
  • We knocked on this guys door and he banged on the wall and mumbled but we didn't understand him so we knocked again. He came to the door and was like, "Maaaannn, I was using the bathroom man!" *Shuts door... Locks door*
  • Elder Foster: "Oh no you guys are out of toilet paper! Oh wait, there's more. You guys are the worst."
  • We met a lady named Rosslyn who was a little drunk; just drunk enough to kinda flirt with us. She wasn't super young either. But she did comment that I just look like someone warm, like someone you can trust. It was weird haha! When I gave her my number she thought I told her my name: "Elder 2427??" Elder Canty and I were having a quite side conversation. She thought Elder Canty being from a small town in Colorado was "cute." That was a good one. 
  • A lady got baptized in Selma this past week but only on the conditions that all her missionaries got to come back for it (which typically isn't allowed but we are trying to save souls and she wouldn't get baptized otherwise). So President gave permission and put us in charge of arranging how to get 11 missionaries down to Selma, AL, which is at the southern border of our mission, without their companions. Well, they took the Transit Van and Doc was baptized. 
  • We ate chitlins this week. If you don't know what that is... Google it. 
  • Sister Bainbridge forgot that I served on Prattville and didn't know who I was. 
  • Throwback Story--Elder Canty told me that when he was in Prattville Sister Kidd mistook him for her husband and it was really awkward. 

Elder McKeon and I went out together on Saturday while our companions took a road trip down to Selma. We knocked into these two guys who were Southern Baptist and were asking questions about the differences between Mormons and other Christians. They were leaning more to bashing but it was a good conversation. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Trinity and Prophets and Priesthood but all in all we gave them a Book and invited them to study. As we walked away we talked about how the Church and the Restoration just makes sense. Chad, the guy who is recently wanting to come back to church shares everytime we ask about his testimony how it just made sense; how is was convincing. I think that the Spirit is how we gain our testimony but I also think we have to logically understand the message first. (D&C 8:2-3). Since being in my mission I have come to love the Bible, especially the New Testament, and I have come to love talking to people about Christ and His gospel and His Restoration. It is His, and it is true, and we all are children of God who can get closest to Him but coming to know of the reality if His Atonement and Restoration. 

Hope y'all have a blessed week!

Much Love, 
Elder Milius

PS: Follow me on Facebook :)
"Michael S. Milius" 

"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, March 12, 2018

12 March 2018 - Elder Milius Week 89

New transfer, but same old.

And just like that we are in another transfer! Elder Egbert has left and he went to serve down in Clanton, AL. My new companion is...*drumroll*... ELDER CANTY!! Remember him? He was the tall blonde kid who smashed a Sisters face in playing volleyball in the MTC. He is from a tiny town in Colorado and is a State Champ basketball player. He also buys and sells livestock, mainly sheep. We were in the same MTC District and we got to know each other decently well, still a lot to learn about that guy but he will make a good companion. I might add a side note that after having Elder Egbert and now Elder Canty I have officially decided I am what they call a "city slicker." I don't know what President is trying to tell me by putting me with these country boys but I'll figure it out I guess. 
With transfers and everything this week was busy and it definitely went by fast. It was good though and we've had a pretty solid start to the Transfer. We have had a couple solid teaching opportunities. One of them was with a guy named Bryan. He called us on Thursday and asked if we could come and see him--still no idea how he got our number. We went by on Friday and taught the Restoration and invited him to be baptized on the April 21st. In that same complex (it was a new one we hadn't seen before, which in it of itself is a miracle) we found a guy named Valentine who is from El Salvador and is super solid. I was able to talk to him a bit in Spanish and as I was doing that a guy named Chad walked up. Turns out Chad is a member of the church and he wants to start coming back! We found his name on our roster and are updating our records but that was a cool coincidence. Valentine is also getting taught by the Spanish missionaries Elder Snow and Ham and they said he was really solid too. We also have a couple other semi-return appointments. So hopefully more to come from "Little Mountain Cir."
We've been doing a lot of finding recently but also quite a few of follow-ups. Transfers are kinda a time to re-evaluate and also an excuse to go and visit everyone to introduce your new companion. We made contact with Ayobiyi again as well as Marcellus and a couple other former-ish investigators. We met Princa, a lady I remember visiting when I was here in Hoover on an exchange almost a year ago so that was a neat connection. We met a guy named Patrick who is really searching for truth, and another guy, Chris, who is curious to talk about God and religion. I have found that as we are out finding and talking with people sometimes we look for the "investigator." But, if we shift our focus and just talk to people and make connections and relationships they will BECOME the "investigator" we are searching for. We went and taught another lady named Vivian who we found a couple weeks ago and that went well. It was good to visit with her again. We focused a lot on the Priesthood and the Book of Mormon because that’s where she gets kidna lost. She said she wants to come visit a service though and even though she’s busy throughout the week we are going to try to use Facebook Messenger to call her for a few minutes in the evening. 
Jabori and Javon are doing good! They came to church yesterday and they also went to Bishops Youth Night. They are basically members, bearing their testimony and volunteering for prayers and stuff. Unfortunately their mom doesn't feel they are ready for baptism yet. But, they are doing good and we are going to teach then as if they are getting baptized on the 31st and go from there. 
We also got back in touch with Clinton. We went over the Apostasy and Restoration a little bit and talked about the Book of Mormon and how we've come to know this is the true church. Then he asked about the Trinity and we told him and explained to him that we believe God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate. Elder Canty talked about Christ's baptism and how it wouldn't be possible to hear the voice of God and have the Holy Ghost descend during that event. Before we could brace ourselves and throw a quick, "But you just need to pray about it..." response he says, "Yeah, that makes sense!" Blew us away. Hope to keep him rolling. 
A couple other things for this week: MLC was great, we have quite a few of new leaders and with the technology literally coming out this week it's very exciting to get rolling! The new missionaries, the three Sisters we got, are solid and ready to get to work and help us with this technology implementation. And the departing missionaries were a great group and it was sad to see them go. A lot of good missionaries, and a lot of strong disciples.

Funny stories for the week:
  • President blasted me when I said that I had an ex-girlfriend serving in another mission with the older sister of one of the missionaries coming out. He said, "I don't know what's more of a shock: the connection or that you actually had an ex-girlfriend." To top it off he gave Elder Snow knuckles after he said it.
  • Elder Canty was trying to knock Bees out of the air on Saturday. Then with one swing I nailed one, it hit the wall, and Elder Canty stepped on it coming up the stairs all in one fluid motion over about a second and a half time span. Pictures will be sent. His name was Buzz.
  • Elder Canty said "Yes sir" to a lady in Ross and she called him out for it. Lol.
  • When we were out tracting around an apartment complex we saw a lady who literally ran away from us. We lost line of sight for about a half second and she took off sprinting to her apartment. Then, as we were quietly and calmly walking by we heard the sound of her banging on the door to her apartment yelling "Let me in! Let me in! They're coming!" Gotta love the South; always mistaken for Jehovah Witnesses. (Now I know why you always need to be within sight of your companion... It only takes half a second).
  • Within the hour of the above story we helped some people pack up to move and as we were walking up they asked if we were JWs. When we said, "No," they said, "Oh good because if you were we were going to run!" Then we told them about the lady who had just ran from us. They fed us pizza for lunch after helping them move. :)
  • When we were teaching Bryan-the same Bryan who is on date-we were using the pamphlet. He was reading about prophets in the pamphlet and as he read it went as follows: "Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham-Abraham Lincoln!!" Elder Canty gracefully told him this was a different Abraham and we continued with the lesson.
  • We missed Ward Council with the Stake Presidency because we forgot to change our clocks. #nodaylightsavings #azhasitright 

It was a great week and I’m excited to see how this transfer goes! Like I said it’s started off pretty solid and we are looking out for miracles that the Lord is going to put in our path. Elder Canty is a hard worker and we are going to definitely get to work. I know that as we work and do what we are supposed to we will be blessed. In ward conference yesterday, which was great by the way, Stake President Johnson said something that stuck out to me. He said: “The Lord cares more about the laborer than He does about the fruits of the labor.” It’s so true, this is the Lord’s work and He just lets us participate. Hope y’all have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Mom found this picture and my Dad sent it to me...figured I'd share! Don't forget to smile! :)

"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 Canty and Elder Milius picking up the fresh new missionaries!

PS: Mom found this picture and my Dad sent it to me...figured I'd share! Don't forget to smile! :)

Monday, March 5, 2018

5 March 2018 - Elder Milius Week 88

Just Another Week in Paradise:

Hello again! Hope everyone is blessed and doing well wherever you might be. This week was kinda short and uneventful, but it’s always a good one! The biggest news is Transfers are this week (so we're about to get busy, sorry in advance for a shorter letter) and I'm staying here in Hoover! I'm so excited to be with the ward for another 6 weeks and to work with the people we've been finding recently. Plot twist though: Elder Egbert is leaving. What?!? Everyone is kinda surprised but we will see how it goes this transfer without him.
Like I said this week wasn't super exciting. We had an exchange with the Birmingham Elders and that went well. A lot of finding and tracting but hey, sometimes that's just missionary work. We did find this one lady named Vivian who seemed open to talking with us. She lives with her two kids and her mother who is 92. Grace (her mom) is doing pretty well I might add; we visited with her yesterday. We also made contact again with Derrick one of the guys who opened up to us a lot about some struggles he is going through last week. He hasn't read the Book of Mormon yet but he said it's sitting right next to his bed.
We've been trying to get into more of the technology side of things this week. We had a conference call with our people from Salt Lake and we are going to plan what we need to train on as MLC and ZC 2 for Technology are coming up. It's been pretty nice, weird to be on Facebook and things but that's just because I've never been on Facebook before. However, it's been interesting for us because for a week or so it was like the smartphone was a cool new toy. Now, it's simply another tool we use. It's been cool to see how it's taken that role and hasn't really been a distraction. I will say, LDS Tools and the Map feature on our Area Book Planner App have been my favorites. Whenever we are in an area and have extra time, instead of blindly knocking doors we pull that out and see who we are close to then make visits according. It's also helping identify which members are gone and which ones are still here.
As far as investigators not much had changed in our teaching pool. We've found a couple people, Vivian being one. Another guy we started to meet with is Gift. He has had us over a couple of times but he doesn't really grasp the Apostasy, Priesthood, and the need for a Restoration. We've invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and are going to see him later this week. Clinton is another man who we are trying to teach more often. He is interested but busy with work. He almost came to church on Sunday but wasn't able to make it. Jabori and Javon are doing great! Teressa, their mom, is a little stressed with work and everything but all is going well with them.
Sunday was definitely the highlight of the week. Jabori and Javon came to church and it was fast and testimony meeting. A little ways in Javon (11) said that he wanted to go up. I told him to go ahead and just to say what he knew and believed to be true. So he did! He talked about how God loves all of us and how he loves the Bible. Then, when he was up Jabori (13) whispered that he wanted to go up as well; but he said he wanted me to go up with him. I told him I'd follow him and so we went up. He bore his testimony about when we first knocked on the door and how he was just "chillin watching TV." But then he talked about how the Book of Mormon has opened his eyes to God. It was the sweetest, purest testimony and I was so impressed about how the gospel works in our lives. Yes we all come from different paths, different walks of life, different circumstances and situations, but the gospel of Jesus Christ always has a positive and lasting effect on whomever allows it in. The Spirit converts us, but only if we let him.

  • Elder Egbert almost biffed it walking up some stairs on Monday night.
  • Later in the week I almost ate it walking up some stairs.
  • Sunday night was full of who knows what. Elder Egbert stuck out his tongue and spat at a racoon and I got in a fight with a moth that airel attacked me.
  • Balled up with some kids late one night and unfortunately lost by a couple was disappointing. But before we had started one of then said, "It's just like them videos on YouTube!"
  • We met a guy, Jason, who plays online poker for a living. He's pretty cool; hopefully more to come on poker guy.
  • I had an awesome conversation with a 17-year-old kid we met about a month and a half ago named John. I’ve been a missionary in the South way too long. The conversation is pictured below in this issue of Elder Milius’ emails. :)

With Transfers and everything happening it’s always a time to reflect. The Lord is definitely in charge of his work, and we are simply instruments. Pieces on the chess board. It's been amazing to see where the Lord has placed me and with who as I've gone through my mission. I have learned so much and I continue to learn each and every day. It is my belief that similar to how the mission is, life is; and similar to life is our eternal progression. We will always be placed in certain places with certain people to help you and/or them. Sometimes it's just for them, but it is all by divine design. That is why our "Plan A" needs to be the Lord's Plan; and we can create our plan as "Plan B."

Thanks again and as always for all your support. Love you all and hope you have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

John 17:3

PS: I ate the best Mexican food I’ve had on my mission, let alone my life at El Barrio on Thursday! Shout out to Neville and Papa, thanks! :))

Monday, February 26, 2018

26 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 87


It was another good week in Alabama! Not as long and exhausting but still earning my pillow each night as expected. We had a couple exchanges this past week and are gearing up for another Transfer Week--crazy. Technology is also ramping up. (PS: Follow me on Facebook, "Michael  Milius." I won't be able to respond unless it fulfills my missionary purpose of inviting others to come to Christ and I ask that you not tag me in anything from home. But, enjoy following my mission and the Lord's work for the time being!) Also, I had a pretty good birthday! There was quite a few cakes and David cooked for us. I had a cool experience too, at least it was for me. We went and taught a younger kid named Cameron about the Restoration and about who God is. It was a typical teaching-on-the-doorstep experience and then I kinda stepped back a little and thought to myself how cool it was that I was teaching and testifying on my birthday. The Spirit was just there and as I bore my testimony I knew what I was teaching was true. It's neat to see the gospel change peoples lives, but it's even better to watch it have an effect on your life as you sacrifice for the Lord. Then again, as Elder Bednar said, "It's not a sacrifice-it's who we are." Amen!
I'll get right into following up with a couple people first. Crystal and Oscar are still basically gone. We aren't sure what's really going to happen in the end but you can always hope, right? There isn't much progress being made with anyone else in particular. A lady named Ayobiyi has been reading from the Book of Mormon and we are trying to teach her more consistently. Coaly, a guy we first met in the Walmart parking lot and then finally located seems pretty cool as well. He's been reading and is asking some sincere questions about things and has the desire to learn which is always helpful. Good things from those two. Jabori and Javon are doing great as well, love those boys! Elder Egbert and I feel like they are our younger brothers, especially when we were sitting with them in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. It was awesome and they are progressing well-still headed to the 10th for baptism, hopefully!!
Also, we had a cool lesson with Jabori and Javon where we watched one of the children narrative Bible stories. Elder Barker, one of the senior missionaries, went with us to help us teach. May I just say that was cool in it of itself because he told us how happy it made him that he was able to come out with us to be a "missionary." That was a tender moment. Anyway, as we taught the boys about the Atonement and the importance of the sacrament and church attendance the Spirit was so strong. It was a meaningful lesson for me just because of that background. On a side note Teressa won't be able to come to church because of work but she did sound like she wanted to come. I hope we can get the boys baptized and that they can bring their Mom along eventually! We went back a couple days later and finished the Plan of Salvation and besides the fact that the boys looked at each other weird when we said they could live together forever it went really well!
So, on a new note, Each week in Sacrament Meeting I always take the time to ask my Heavenly Father what it is He would like me to focus on this upcoming week. A lot of times it is a skill, or a certain lesson, or simple things like that. This week was different though, I was impressed by this phrase, "Suffer the little Children." That's it. Weird, huh. Well with that in mind we have had a lot of good experiences with the "children." We were able to spend some time with the Young Men on Wednesday doing PMG study and role plays. We were also able to go and teach a family in our ward, the Harmons, and a lot of it was focused on their two kids. We've become very known for a couple of our object lessons in the ward thanks to the Bishop, one of then being a particular Rubix Cube lesson, so we shared that thought and it was well usual; no thanks to me however that credit goes to Elder Stanford and from him to Elder Allen I think so its been passed down.
We made a couple new contacts this week to: a guy named Marcellos who we didn't think was going to be solid was actually interested in reading the Book of Mormon; another guy with a young family named Gift didn't seem too interested hut when we came back at the time we said we would he invited us in and we had a good conversation (I say us but in reality I haven't taught him due to these exchanges we do); Lloyd, our Christmas Eve tracting miracle finally pulled through-we gave him a church tour and taught him more on detail the Restoration so looking to keep up on him; a kid named Cameron as well who we taught a kinda Restoration lesson to as well as helping him understand more about who God even is; Dee was someone we knocked into who lives in Colombiana so we sent his information down there but that was a solid contact I think.
Saturday was the best Saturday yet this transfers because we didn't get blasted by our investigators! Sunday was great, as always. (We found this cool video about the Sabbath: Watch it! Splits went great with the Bishopric and we are slowly bust surely cleaning up some of these records and finding those people who are ready to come back and all they need is an invitation! It's but a good experience.

  • Jabori prayed on Tuesday that he could come to basketball on Thursday so he could, "Show them how to play." 
  • Brother Bartmess and I got our pictures taken by a guy who was living next to an address we went to see if a member still lived there that we have on record. It was interesting. 
  • Two guys were having an argument as we were tracting in an apartment complex. One of them asked us for a lighter and had the ghettoest blunt rolled up in his hand. They were so high so we left. 
  • We met this guy knocking doors who was almost rude in the fact he was just bringing up situations in the past as to why we were wrong and why Christians are hypocrites. After he closed the door however we knock his neighbors and he peeked out to watch us twice, the second time he had a weird monkey mask on. It was creepy and I did not have a good feeling so we walked around the building. Then, about 10 minutes later the dude walks around the building to where we were smoking a cigarette and had these Freddy Kruger/Edward Sissorhands things on his fingers. Let's just say the Spirit left and so did we, in a hurry. People like that just aren't fun to run into. 
  • Elder Stanger told me he was famous in the MTC because of the poop he left in one of the building bathrooms.
  • Brother Morgan shaved his head and his beard!! That means nothing to y'all because I don't think I have pictures with him but trust me when I say it was significant. 
  • Gator Ball is Life. 
  • Got a funny Birthday text from the Cahaba Elders with the picture below. You can guess which picture but the text read: "Hey there Elder Milius! We were gonna bake you a nice cake for your birthday but we decided instead to get you some nice guns Happy 20 bro! Love you! ️️️"
Gotta loves these new phones. 

In conclusion, we had a neat experience with a Sister in our ward named Sister Porter. She hasn't been to church in a while and we didn't know who she really was, neither did Bishop. But on Wednesday we went over there on a team-up with the Bishop and started talking to her and she really wanted to get back into church. She started to break down a little bit in talking about how she wanted to be sealed to her parents-she being the only child not sealed to them because of her moving to her biological fathers when she was young. It was cool to see her desire and to reassure her of the love Heavenly Father has for her and the knowledge that there is a plan and a way for her to get what she desires, all central to Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Man I'm going to miss being a missionary; going to miss being all about helping others 24/7. But I guess we can all figure out how to be "lower case missionaries" in the words of Elder Egbert.
All of your work does NOT go unnoticed. The Lord is aware of all of us and will never turn his back on us. As we were tracting the other day we met a guy who said he used to be a Mormon and stuff. He wasn't interested, which was fine, but he made a comment that always makes me sorrowful and that is, "I'm way too far gone..." That is never the truth, and no one should ever get lost in that trap.

Love y'all, hope you have a blessed week!

Much Love, 
Elder Milius

"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

"Hey there Elder Milius! We were gonna bake you a nice cake for your birthday but we decided instead to get you some nice guns Happy 20 bro! Love you! ️️️" 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

20 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 86

Another Week Down,

And with that, there goes another week! It was a long one, which just added the opportunity for ups and downs, but it’s been good! We finished up all of our zone conferences introducing technology and then got our smartphones up and running so we can figure them out in order to train in the next zone conference! We finished the week with back-to-back exchanges on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday so I didn’t get to proselyte with my companion until about Saturday afternoon. Wahoo!
To start though, Crystal and Oscar are gone at least for now. That was the lowest point of the week and it happened again on Saturday. We finally got in touch with her and were texting back and forth and she mentioned some “reservations” she had. Turns out she has a problem with the Word of Wisdom because she believes that the church doesn’t have an official “why” to it (at least good enough to her standards). We think she did some research online considering the conversation led to women and the priesthood. It was just sad and that blew up our Saturday. It was saved though by Dylan and Lindsey coming down!! I haven’t seen Dylan since leaving Florence and so that was a neat experience. One day Dylan will get baptized and I will be there for it that’s for sure; then I’ll be able to go to the temple with Dylan and Lindsey when they get sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. My relationship with Dylan is like the relationship we had with Ryan Cash and, shout-out to them, they’re sealed now and have been for a while! 
On another note, Monday night we had a cool experience. We had to drive to Tupelo that night but we had a little bit of time to visit some people. After deciding who to follow-up with we went and no one was home. At this point it was time for us to leave but we both felt impressed to follow-up with one more person around the same area. As we walked over to their apartment we knocked and met Tanisha. We were trying to contact her husband but she seemed interested so we scheduled to meet with the whole family. We didn’t make that return appointment but it was a good experience right before we left for our road trip! 
Some other cool experiences with people: Garry was a lady that we met a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get back to visit until this past week. She seemed interested in reading the Book of Mormon so we will see how those things go! Derrick was a guy who is just trying to do good things but is struggling. He opened up to us a lot and we share some sweet, simple testimonies. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and it really meant a lot to him. The same day as Derrick we talked to Chris who is in the same situation and this time we had a member with us. He was working to get a job but it all fell through and he was in a low place. That morning though when we texted him he said that he saw it and said to himself, “It’s going to be okay.” Those experiences testified to me of what we as missionaries are really here to do. We’re here to help people and that’s what I will miss the most about being a missionary. Coaly was a guy that Elder Egbert and I contacted a couple weeks ago in the parking lot at Wal-Mart and then never were able to find his house. Then, I found out where it was and took Elder Featherstone back on exchanges and we re-contacted him! He told us that it was amazing that he was actually home, he usually isn’t on Fridays. He said that the two Fridays we’ve caught him have been the only two Fridays he’s actually been off. We’ve also had some success in asking people for others that they know who can benefit from our message right after we made a goal to ask for more referrals so that was a miny miracle! Jabori came to church!! Javon and Teressa weren’t able to make it, but Jabori came and loved it. It was sad, Elder Egbert said that Javon was crying as we were walking out so apparently he wanted to come but for some reason couldn’t. It was sad but hopefully that means they are both good to go for March 10th. 

  • Basketball finally worked out this week and we had some people there.Then, Elder Hastings who was down on exchanges got nailed in the face. When we went to dinner with the Fuller’s this past Sunday their son, who was at basketball, caught it on video!
  • A lady named Carolyn was walking up the stairs to an apartment while we were coming down and we stopped and talked to her. She said, “You want to know something amazing?” “Sure,” we said. “I am in love with Jesus!!” She then proceeded to ask if she could pray for us to which we graciously accepted. “Please bless these two young men that they may be bombarded with evidences of your love….”
  • We’ve tracted a lot in the last little bit.
  • You can find weird things in your laundry some days...
  • We went to follow-up with a potential investigator and as we knocked on his door he answered and said that it wasn’t a good time. His wife's water had just broke and they were about to be on their way to the hospital. Most legit reason to not let us in I’ve heard yet! 

It was another great week in the city of Hoover, AL. I’m so grateful to be here, to serve with such great missionaries and to become closer to my Savior. I wouldn’t give anything for all of the relationships I’ve made and all of the people I’ve been able to simply talk to and share my testimony with. It’s amazing how the Lord uses us in his work. 

D&C 124:1,  “...for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.”

Hope y’all have a very blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Elder Lewis made it home! After a two-month extension he finally was reunited with his family and new baby sister! Love that Jamaican. 

"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 Milius, Lindsay, Elder Egbert, Dylan

 Elder Egbert - "you can find weird things in your laundry some days."

The Cash Family Temple Sealing

Monday, February 12, 2018

12 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 85

Press Forward:

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

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

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

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

Much Love,
Elder Milius


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

5 February 2018 - Elder Milius Week 84

What goes up, must come down:

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

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

Much Love,
Elder Milius

(sorry for the lack in pictures, hopefully I'll have more next week!)

"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