Wednesday, July 27, 2016

27 July 2016 - Sweet Home Alabama

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Alabama Birmingham Mission

President and Sister Sainsbury and Elder Milius

 Elder Wheatley and Elder Milius

Elder Michael Steven Milius has safely arrived in the
Alabama Birmingham Mission!

We are impressed with your son and want to thank you for all that you have done in preparing this wonderful young man for his mission.  He met his new companion and traveled to his first area.

Attached are photos of Elder Milius, one with President and Sister Sainsbury and one with his Trainer, Elder Wheatley.  He will bless this mission greatly with his enthusiasm and dedication. We love him and pledge our best efforts in directing his service here.
Elder Milius has accepted a call that will change his life and the lives of those with whom he is serving.  These first few months will be full of new and challenging experiences, and your support in the form of encouraging and uplifting letters will help him greatly.
Our greatest hope is that each missionary has a positive and growing experience, which will help give them a foundation for a lifetime of service to others. We appreciate the time you have spent raising your son to be such a responsible young man.  We thank you for your willingness to share Elder Milius with us.
President and Sister Stanford C. Sainsbury

From Elder Milius:

From Florence, AL

Hey guys, just wanted to email you and tell you that I made it here safe and sound. My companion Elder Wheatly who is awesome is giving me the opportunity to let you guys know.

The Mission Office Address is:
3100 Lorna Road
Suite 107
Birmingham, AL 35216

25 July 2016 - Elder Milius Week 3

To Friends and Family,
The last week at the MTC was as crazy as the first and I felt the Spirit more than ever. We had “In-Field Orientation” which was kind of a big pep talk before all of us head out this week. I couldn’t be more excited and more nervous in my life, it’s like leaving for the MTC all over again but now it’s real. Also, spiritual highlight was our sunday night devotional again. A group called the “Nashville Tribute Band” came and played for Pioneer Day (that’s a big holiday in Utah and you could tell which missionaries were from Utah based on the colors they were wearing). They are an LDS group of guys who sing their testimonies about the Savior and the Restoration! It was awesome and it made me realize that with all the talents that God has given us we can testify of Christ, no matter what the talent(s) is(are). 
I leave on Tuesday, tomorrow morning and I don’t know if I’m ready; but, if He thinks that I am then I’ll work everyday for the rest of my mission and the rest of my life through Him, with Faith in the enabling power of His Atonement. I know He lives. I know with a surety that Christ lives; that He lived, suffered, died, and lived again for each of us individually. He suffered just a moment for all of His brothers and sisters, for each of God’s children. I know that the Father came with His Son to Joseph Smith in a grove of trees in 1820. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith then restored Christ’s original church upon the earth with His power and authority-the Priesthood. I know that I hold that authority and that I was set apart to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, a missionary of His church by and through that authority and power. I know that from this Prophet we have received Another Testament of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. It is true. This church is true. I wouldn’t be here on my mission if it wasn’t. I wouldn’t be here without the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my family. I love them, and they are everything to me. I am so blessed to be able to live with them forever. I am so blessed to consecrate the next two years of my life to my Savior, and I’ll be more than happy to serve Him for two years +. I say these things in the name of Him, even Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, Amen. 


Elder Milius

 Elder Milius and Sister Barrus relieving some stress with a coloring time out

Elder Milius, Elder Canty, Elder Hanratty

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

19 July 2016 - Elder Milius Week 2

Friends and Family,

This week has been pretty much the same old busy week that a mission has to offer. Again, I probably won’t be able to share all of it but I hope what I do share can help you all feel the Spirit and feel Heavenly Father’s love for you.
Me and my companion Elder Hanratty taught two TRCs (which are basically actors who play “investigators”) this past week and committed both of them to baptism! The lessons kept getting better and better and we have discovered that the Spirit is the true teacher in all cases. We received a new shipment of 680 Elders and Sisters this past week and I don’t feel new anymore. I’ve got this place down, and I’m ready to leave. 
An experience I had this past week was the opportunity to give one of the Sisters in my District a blessing for the healing of the sick. I had never been the voice of a blessing so I was kind of nervous, but the faith she had and the faith I knew Heavenly Father had in me made it pretty easy. I honestly cannot remember a single thing I blessed her with but that is because I was just the mouthpiece for God to bless her. The spirit was so cool, literally flowing through me upon Sister Montgomery.
I also had a long discussion with some Elders in my zone just about things we were feeling as far as making some companionship switches. Even though we stayed up until 12:00 and broke curfew, it was a neat discussion and we all felt and noticed the spirit that we had in effect of the mantle we’ve been set apart with as missionaries. 
Sunday was the highlight of the week for sure. First of all we as a zone held a fast for one of the missionaries in our zone who was struggling. That just brought us all closer and I think because of that fast he is now doing so much better. I don’t believe that God works with coincidences. Secondly, I taught Priesthood with my companion and the topic was on Faith. I love faith because it is literally the foundation of everything else we do as Latter-Day Saints. Third and finally, for the Sunday night Devotional the MTC President decided that we were going to watch the “Character of Christ” talk by David A. Bednar. Even though I had seen it before it was awesome a second time, but I’d be lying if I said my eyes weren’t shut at times. Then at the end the lights came on and everyone stood up. No one really knew what was going on until President came to the pulpit and introduced ELDER BEDNAR! Apparently, knowing that “Character of Christ” is shown weekly at the MTC once or twice a year Elder Bednar likes to surprise the missionaries and show up allowing them to ask questions on the talk. I was sitting about 20 feet from an Apostle of God and my eyes weren’t tired anymore. He is so inspired and I also found that we as missionaries are also so inspired. Almost every single question that was asked focused on “our investigators” on others. I love the church. And even though I didn’t have a question in mind, my question was answered.
All of the lessons in Preach My Gospel are centered around Jesus Christ. Everything we do focuses on Jesus Christ. And we as missionaries of Jesus Christ are endowed with His power, authority, and trust. I love my Savior. I love His gospel. If there is one reason why I am out preparing to serve for the next two years of my life it is because of Jesus Christ. I invite you all to specifically pray to Him, to know Him, and to continually try to BECOME like Him; and as you do you will be able to feel His Spirit working within you. I say these things in the name of Him, our Eternal Savior Jesus Christ, amen. 
“The Atonement would not be possible if it weren’t for the Character of Christ.”


Elder Milius

 Braulio, our first TRC investigator

 Elders Dawson, Canty, Hanratty, and Me

 Elders Hanratty, Milius, Sisters Lemperle, Barrus, Elders Canty, and Dawson

 Elder Oberhainsly and Me

 Me and Elder Merrit

 District 31-F (minus the sisters) Elders Latu, Dawson, Canty, Martinez, 
Hanratty, Milius, Sanders, and Hacking

Me and Elder Knight

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

6-12 July 2016 - Week 1 Pictures

It's Official - got the tag!


 Michael and his companion

 Michael and his MTC district. Elders Latu, Martinez, Milius, Hanratty, Dawson, Canty, Sanders, Hacking, Sisters Lemperle, Barrus, Gehlen, and Montgomery
Michael is serving as the District Leader!

 Heading to the Provo Temple as missionaries!

 One of the Elder's in Michael's district doing what
they do best at the study study!

Michael's district is working with FamilySearch doing a pilot program. 
He was able to find 12 names from his own family tree to take to 
The Provo Temple with his district. Awesome!!

12 July 2016 - Elder Milius Week 1

Hello Friends and Family,

(First thing is first: I wish I could share everything with you guys but I can’t. So, I hope that the things I do share help bring the spirit into your life and help you call come closer to Christ.)

The first week at the MTC was an experience to say the least. It feels like only yesterday that I was dropped off but it also feels like I’ve been here forever. The days definitely are long and the weeks definitely fly by.
After first arriving I was getting thrown a bunch of new information all at once. A teacher described the feeling like drinking out of a fire hydrant and that was what the first few days felt like. All we were hearing as new missionaries was get through Sunday and everything else will be great so we will see how this coming week goes and I’ll let you know if that is true or not.
A couple things that I have learned that I want to share with you all this week:
  1. The Spirit is real. I know that I’ve said this before but I never knew that truthfulness of it until arriving at the MTC. There is a difference between someone praying for the spirit and someone who has been particularly set apart as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ praying for the spirit. I wish I could share with you all the constant feeling of the Holy Ghost that is present here at the MTC.
  2. Love everyone. My personality is such that I figured this would be easy, but it goes beyond the love that you and me might think of. As missionaries we are told to develop Charity, the pure love of Christ, for all we associate with including other missionaries, companions, roommates, leaders, investigators, etc. In a talk given by Elder Bednar, “Character of Christ” (a talk shown only at the MTC that no one can find anywhere and if you do I would appreciate it if you could share it with me because it is seriously the most powerful message I’ve ever heard delivered by Elder Bednar), he discusses that in order to develop that type of love we have to always turn outward to those around us instead of turning in towards ourselves. In teaching this is especially difficult because rather that evaluating how you as a teacher can improve, we focus on how we can better improve helping the investigator. It is never about you.
  3. Something I thought interesting was in our first orientation one of the presidency was talking about all the missionaries speaking a foreign language and he asked them all to stand. Afterward he talked to the native speaking missionaries and asked us all to stand. We, thinking we were lucky enough to be speaking our native language were quickly asked if it would be okay if we learned how to speak a different language while we were here. So lucky me I will be able to speak a new language, the language of the Spirit.
  4. We as members of the church know more than we think we do. I am shocked to find out how much I already know and how prepared I am to actually teach real life people whose “salvation is on the line.” With that being said, I can’t believe how much I am learning and how much I am growing spiritually in just one week.
I’m positive I didn’t share everything I wanted to but I hope you got to get a glimpse of how great the gospel is and how excited and happy I am to be here serving my Savior. My District is awesome-we have 12 missionaries which is a lot and not usual-and I am blessed to serve in the capacity of District Leader. I love getting to know all of them and make these lasting relationships. Life here is busy and crazy but that just means that the work is moving forward at a rapid pace. The food is good and I am trying my hardest to proportion myself so that I don’t come home in 2 years with an extra 100 pounds.
I know this church is true. I know God's love all of you and He loves me and we are all His children. He cares deeply about all of His children and the only way back to Him is through “Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End (Temple Ordinances and Covenants). I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all! Thank you for your emails and letters and support! I’m praying for you!

Elder Milius

PS: I’m trying to get pictures uploaded so sorry if I can’t.
PPS: I love getting responses but I would appreciate it if they were directly to me instead of on the group email so as not to send it to everyone! Thanks for your consideration!

Mailing Address:
Elder Michael Steven Milius
2005 N. 900 E. Unit 246
Provo, UT 84602

Thursday, July 7, 2016

6 July 2016 - Elder Milius Enters MTC

1 of 104

Hello Family and Friends,

First off, thank you all so much for your support and love in getting me to this point in my life. Some may say that I’ve been prepared forever, but it is because of the associations I’ve had growing up with all of you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of leaders, teachers, family, friends, and others. I am truly called of God and I know that this is where He needs and wants me to be. 
Today I enter the MTC and I couldn’t be more excited to begin these two years. I have lived my entire life to get here; and life moves pretty fast. My heart is full and the Spirit is real. I just want all of you to know that I KNOW that this church is true. This is the church Jesus Christ himself organized in ancient times and I know that Joseph Smith restored it to the earth in these latter-days. This is the gospel and the message I have been called to share with the people of Birmingham, Alabama. I know that the prophet Joseph Smith saw God the Father and our Savior and talked with them. I know that like Joseph, we can receive answers to our prayers through communicating with our Heavenly Father. He loves us as His children. He love me, and He loves each of you. All He wants is for His children to find Him again and be able to live with Him again as we did in the Pre-Earth life. I know He has a plan for all of us, and as we strive to do our best keep all of the commandments, to live up to all of our covenants, that He will share with us that path-and it is then up to us to act according to our Faith in Him and in our Savior, even Jesus Christ. There is so much more I can tell you but to close, I know again that the Spirit is real. I hope that as you are able to read my emails and hear about the Lord’s work in Alabama that you will feel of His Holy Spirit, and that you will come closer to God as I will. I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Again, I love you all and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you. May God bless you, and may you always strive to be better. 

“I never said it would be easy; I just said it would be worth it!” ~ Jesus Christ

Elder Michael S. Milius

Mailing Address: 
Elder Michael Steven Milius
2005 N 900 E Unit 246
Provo UT 84602