Monday, August 29, 2016

29 August 2016 - Elder Milius 9 of 104

Friends and Family,

    Thank y’all for all of your prayers and such. They are felt everyday by me and all of the other missionaries in the Lord’s vineyard.
    This week wasn’t super crazy either but God never ceases to amaze. I continue to learn so much in my studies which are generally focused on the Book of Mormon. Scripture study is so important and if I don’t have any success in teaching for the rest of my mission, as long as I get to continue studying like I have the opportunity to do it’ll be worth it.
There was a lady that I found with Elder Diede (one of the Zone Leaders) a couple weeks ago whose name is Precious. Precious is going through some rough patches and doesn’t really feel close to God. I’ve learned that these kind of people are the ones that we are out to teach. We’ve been able to meet with her a few times and have shared with her the Book of Mormon. She isn’t necessarily progressing as an investigator yet but we are hopefully that soon it will all click. I love sharing the gospel with people like Precious. She is someone who could sincerely benefit from the blessings that the gospel has to offer. I’m sure I’ve shared this before but God calls it the Plan of Salvation, Redemption, and Happiness for a reason. He wants all His children to be happy, and we find that happiness in our Savior, in His gospel. We also contacted a family that we’ve followed-up with the past week. The parents are Victoria and Tyler and they have 5 or 6 children I believe. I don’t know for sure, we’ve never really made it into their house but they are generally open to the messages we have to share. It’s hard for us to schedule appointments with them because Tyler works a lot and he often works overtime and double overtime. This is a family that is really trying to do good and to do right with their kids. I can’t wait for future opportunities with them. They have helped me put in perspective how central and how important families are to our Heavenly Father. I love the ability I am developing to be able to see all of God’s children as my literal brothers and sisters. As we strive to see everyone around us that way, our ability to love and show kindness increases exponentially.
    In addition to that new family, we are working with several recent convert families (CJ and Erica with their daughter Wisdom and son-on-the-way) and less-active/part-member families. One of those is Candy and Jeremy with their kids Bryant and Emma. Love this family. Candy is a recent convert of not too long, but she’s also gone a little less-active. They are literally going through hell. Once they seem to be on their feet Satan throws another fiery dart at them and they are right back to trying to climb out of a hole. It’s sad to see them suffer and see them go through what they are. Satan is working harder and harder on them and I am determined that it is because the Adversary knows how good they can be and how far their arms will reach once they get themselves in the right place.
I’ve shared the past couple weeks that they’ve been pretty slow and there were days that I felt like nothing was accomplished, but God has never stopped blessing and guiding me. I can see this through the families and other people that we are working with. As I compare my life to theres it shows me that there are so many people to help, and as long as I am giving my all to even one person, it’s worth it to Heavenly Father. This puts a whole new twist on D&C 18:15-16. How great shall be our joy if we should simply labor over one soul in our Father’s vineyard! Yesterday in church we didn’t have any investigators attend but we found two new people to teach that came to church with some friends! Heavenly Father is bringing the people who are prepared and I’m glad to be here at His discretion.
I hope y’all are doing great! I love the gospel and I love missionary work! The church is true; the book is blue; God loves you!


Elder Milius

Monday, August 22, 2016

22 August 2016 - Elder Milius Week 8

Family and Friends,
Alright everyone, this might be shorter than the others but this week wasn’t as exciting. So first of all thank you to everyone who writes, even if I don’t get to send you something back personally know that I appreciate it all and I’m thankful for all the support!
On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, Elders Honn and Diede. And when we were on that exchange we tracted into a lady named Precious who surprisingly let us right in her house. We were able to follow-up with her and have another appointment set for this week as well so hopefully she’ll be able to continue meeting with us and accept the gospel to come closer to Christ. Unfortunately Agency is a thing and we can only invite people. 
Wednesday was my first Zone Conference so I was able to see and meet a ton more missionaries and talk to some that I came out with. The Conference was mostly about planning and me and my companion are super excited to be able to plan better and more efficiently. The work is definitely moving forward and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
This week we also got some of the best ice cream on the planet from this little shop in Downtown Florence and our super cool neighbor Hannah hooked us up with a sweet “ELDERS” on our door. (I think those were the extent of the pictures I had).
If there is anything you need or you want to ask I would invite you to go to your Heavenly Father. And if you need anything from me or have any questions for me let me know, I’ll be happy to email or write you back to the best of my abilities.
Like I said, nothing super cool happened this week but I know that God doesn’t have to use crazy big things to show us that He’s there. Even though this week was slow I still was able to find God’s hand in everything we did. As missionaries it’s easy-but in reality we are all missionaries. I love this church and I know that it is true. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet and I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and I know that that book testifies of Christ and helps us draw closer to him. Being able to testify what I know to others helps strengthen my beliefs and knowledge so much. When we are talking to people who have never really heard about the church and you share a simple testimony of a simple principle that you’ve learned since primary the Spirit is more than able to come in and work within someone. The greatest feeling is when someone says “That makes sense,” or “This feels good.” Moroni teaches in chapter 7:13, 16 that ALL good things come from God. I know that to be true and I know that we just have to be more willing to listen and learn. As a missionary one of the coolest things that I’ve been able to do is really study the scriptures. They are the words of God and in most cases we can always find our answers in the scriptures. I often find answers to questions I never knew I had, and I promise that God will help you in the same way. He is real, and he lives. One of the greatest blessings that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has to offer is the principle of continued revelation through God’s chosen servants, the prophets. And, in application of us all being His servants, we are likewise able to receive our own personal revelation through sincere prayer. He will answer you. I add this to my previous testimonies and in closing testify to you that God loves you and God works with you. He wants you to come closer to Him. Become the child of God that you are, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Elder Milius

 The BEST ice cream on the planet

Our front door  - Hannah (our super cool neighbor) 
hooked us up with the "sweet" ELDERS sign

Monday, August 15, 2016

15 August 2016 - Elder Milius Week #7

Family and Friends,

    Florence Alabama is the Promised Land. This week has been crazy and I know I’ll probably have more intense weeks to come but I wasn’t expecting any of this in week three. I have really come to learn that God directs our paths. He is always guiding all of His children but especially His missionaries.
    On Tuesday last week me and my companion had an appointment with a guy named Ray. We meet Ray while riding by one day the previous week and he stopped us and asked if we would come up on his porch and say a prayer with him. We did and then scheduled a time to come and talk more with him about the gospel. So we went to that appointment, not really thinking it was going to go anywhere but we weren’t going to back out on our end so we went and knocked on his door. He yelled from inside the house to come in and we did so with suspicion. He was sitting on his couch with an empty bottle of Vodka on the side table and he was heavily intoxicated. Nevertheless we pressed forward in our attempts to teach him about commandments and how God goes about to bless us. As you would expect we were getting no where and Ray was getting very upset and kicked us out of his house. Both my companion and I were irritated but I took the opportunity to get out of there and we left. As we were coming down the porch there was a guy (Justin) in the driveway who asked us some questions about the bible and such. He had been studying and trying to learn and wanted some clarification or another voice of whatever. (Side note: he thought we were Jehovah Witnesses, which is more common than we’d like sometimes). The conversation got really doctrinal and really cool and we ended up giving him a copy of the Book of Mormon and inviting him to read. We also invited him to be baptized if he found out that the things we had been telling him were true. He was so open and so ready to talk to us it was amazing. We scheduled to go by again later that week which ended up falling through but we still were amazed that by us going to see Ray-someone we would never expect to accept the gospel-we meet Justin who hopefully we will get in contact to this coming week. So that kicked off our week relatively awesome.
    I was also able to be the voice of another blessing that we gave a lady (Amanda)  this past week. She is the niece of an older lady in our ward who invited us for dinner one night to her retirement community (which was kinda weird but we still got to meet Amanda out of it). I don’t know if Amanda is a recent convert, a less-active, or just a non-member but giving her a blessing was really cool because I didn’t know her. I barely knew anything about her, she just told me she had some health problems that she had been struggling with. But, I came to know more fully that God knew her. And through me He gave her a profound and, to use her words, “eloquent” blessing. She thanked me and told me that I spoke very well but I reassured her that it wasn’t me speaking. The Spirit was so strong and I’m grateful I was able to have that experience for myself and or Amanda.  
    Last week we also had a BAPTISM. Out of the blue CJ and Erica-I believe I’ve discussed them before-were meeting with Bishop and talking about tithing or something random and long story short CJ told the Bishop that he’s grown to like the church and he wanted to be baptized. So the last few days in the week we were rushing to get CJ prepared and get his interview done and plan the Baptism. It was a mad dash to get it all done this weekend because he leaves out of town for a month on work this week. Life got stressful for a while and we weren’t sure the baptism was even going to happen until the afternoon on Saturday because the interview wasn’t until that morning. However, when all is said and done we were able to baptize CJ on Saturday evening and I am so excited for him and his family. I can’t wait to hopefully be in the Birmingham Temple with them in a year from now!
    God is always blessing us, we just have to slow down to see it sometimes. For obvious reasons my mind has been on baptism and the covenants we make with our Heavenly Father this past week. I’m so grateful for the covenants I’ve made and for the blessings that I receive from my Father each day. I’m thankful for the Sacrament and for the ability we have to renew our own Baptism each week and recommit ourselves to live like and come closer to Jesus Christ. I love and miss you all! Hope God is treating you as well as He is me! If you have any questions or need anything from me just let me know!
Florence is the Promised Land.


Elder Milius

 My District

 Baptism of CJ
(Elder Milius, Elder Wheatley, Bishop Infanger, CJ, Elder Lovest)

13 August 2016

“…You who stand for truth and righteousness, you who seek goodness, you who have entered into the waters of baptism and walk in the ways of the Lord – our Father in Heaven has promised that you will ‘mount up with wings as eagles; you shall run, and not be weary; and you shall walk, and not faint.’ You ‘shall not be deceived.’ God will bless and prosper you. ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against you;… and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”

-President Dieter F Uchtdorf

The Baptism of CJ 
Presiding: Bishop Infanger
Conducting: Brother Taylor
Pianist: Sister Infanger
Chorister: Sister Egee

Opening Hymn: #223 Have I Done Any Good?
Opening Prayer: By Invitation
Talk on Baptism: Elder Lovest

Baptism of CJ
Performed by: Bishop Infanger
Witnesses: Elder Brown & Elder Wheatley


Special Musical Number: Sister Johnson
Talk on Holy Ghost: Elder Milius
Welcome to the Ward: Bishop Infanger
Closing Hymn: #116 Come, Follow Me
Closing Prayer: By Invitation

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
 -Matthew 7:7-8

Monday, August 8, 2016

8 August 2016 - Elder Milius Week 6

Friends and Family,

This week has been better than the first. I could say that I’m adjusting but I think that I will always be adjusting or the next two years. One thing is for sure, I’ll always be learning whether it be from my companion or my own experiences or the Spirit (which in my opinion is the most important). Like last week a lot has been going on so I’m going to try to hit some of the major cool experiences and hopefully help y’all feel a little bit of the spirit I feel everyday.

I am running out of time to write in my journal so thank goodness for emails. We are busy running around and seeing people basically everyday which I guess is good, right? The work is most definitely moving forward and it’s going fast. Even after two weeks though I’ve seen how fast time actually goes especially once the ball starts to roll a couple transfers in.  

Back to the spirit thing, there are a couple of events that occurred that testifies to me the power of the spirit in all things, and the knowledge that we as missionaries are just instruments. Brother Motes, a member of the Florence ward asked Elder Wheatley and I to give his father a blessing. His father had recently been admitted to the hospital a few days prior and was in critical care, not getting much better. When we got there and saw his father I knew what was going to be said in the blessing and so I volunteered to anoint. Elder Wheatley said exactly what needed to be said and I know that the blessing wasn’t from either of us, it was from our Father in Heaven. Brother Motes’ father is not a member, but in the blessing he received Heavenly Father told him: (1) that He loved and cared for him, (2) that his son-Brother Motes-cared about him, (3) and not to give up, but to fight. In the blessing it was also mentioned that he didn’t have much more time here on the earth but to make the most of the time he has left. I don’t know exactly if he is getting better or worse, but I do know that the blessing we gave was from God. I didn’t want to give the blessing because I knew what was going to be said. No matter what though, I know that God knows each of His children individually and has a plan for all of us.

Along these same lines, this morning the ABM (Alabama Birmingham Mission) was notified that an Elder who went home the transfer I got here had passed away in a car accident. Him, his father, and his sister all didn’t make it; and his mother and brother in-law are in critical condition. Elder Wheatley knew him personally and it’s been a somber morning to say the least. Although I never knew the Elder, because of the strength of the “ABM Family” I am struggling from the loss. We always talk about the Plan of Salvation and how God has a plan personal to each of us; but, when things like this happen it’s hard to completely understand. In Ether 12:6 we learn that a witness, or a testimony, comes after a trial of faith. These events are the trail. And I can honestly say that I KNOW this Elder is where he needs to be. God called him home, and that was his plan. I know that there is a plan and I know that because I know the most important, eternal principle: God loves His children (1 Nephi 11:17)

We also had a cool experience with Lindsey the recent convert last night in a kind of emergency. She was going through some tough things and we got to teach her how to recognize and understand the spirit, and that she had the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes I think we take for granted the gifts that our Father allows us to have and don’t necessarily use them to their full potential. But, helping her realize the power of the gift that she had help me understand more how God works. His hand is always outstretched, the Spirit is always there around us; it is up to us to grab His hand, to tune-in to the Spirit.

I hope you are all doing great wherever y’all are! If you have any personal questions feel free to email me! I’m thankful again for all of the support and for my Savior! Keep learning and keep growing closer to Christ! And I leave my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Elder Milius

 July 25, 2016 - Elder Milius with his MTC District 
the day before they head out to Alabama

Provo Temple Grounds 

Elder Milius and Elder Hanratty

Elders Milius, Canty, and Hanratty

 A view from my apartment in Florence, AL

 My "work station"

 Got my "ride"

Monday, August 1, 2016

1 August 2016 - Elder Milius Week 5

Family and Friends,

    I come to all of you this week from Florence, Alabama! My first area is the best and I am going to be spoiled here for most likely a couple transfers.
    This week was crazy, getting on a plane to fly to an unknown place where you are going to live for the next two years of your life is pretty overwhelming and I didn’t know what to think. It was the weirdest feeling ever but I am so glad that I am here and there is no where else on this planet where I’d rather be.
    From the moment we left the MTC on a bus at 4:00am on Tuesday I felt like I was being thrown back into the world. I talked about the Spirit of the MTC before but I didn’t realize how used to that Spirit I had become until I was sent back to Babylon. However, now that I’m back in “Babylon” it’s interesting to see how the mantle of a missionary really affects the way I go about doing things. Me and my companion, Elder Wheatley, spent a lot of time this past week contacting and setting up appointments with those we meet. We’ve been able to walk the streets because I’m still waiting on my bike to get here (which should be today or tomorrow) but it’s been awesome to find REAL people who need the gospel because of how happy it will make them. Anyways, nothing super crazy happened this week except for me introducing myself to people. The ward is great, but in comparison to the typical wards in AZ it is very small, which has both its positives and negatives. It’s nice having your entire geographical location be on ward. And because of the numbers the ward has a potluck after church on 5th sundays so I was able to experience that. Also, I came into the area on Wednesday...and then found out that all four of the missionaries serving here were giving talks on Sunday. So, along with the two sisters (Sisters Rodriguez and Whitlock) and my companion I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting about “Missionary Work.” It was cool to see how we all took different mediums to discus missionary work but they all connected and flowed from talk-to-talk. I love the church.
    I’ve met a lot of cool people who are our Investigators but I’ll just talk about a couple. Lindsey & Dylan: Lindsey is a recent convert of about a week. She literally just got baptized the Friday before I came out and she’s so full of energy and hilarious. Apparently her issue was giving up her sweet tea and she had a longer story about meeting with missionaries in the past but them not teaching her, I don’t really know for sure, but basically she is one of our best friends now. Her husband, Dylan, is still thinking about it. He is the exact opposite of her personality and they are really funny together but we are trying to answer his questions and he has agreed to let us teach him the basic lessons which is a huge step. We are hoping that getting him to see the end result of a Temple Marriage will open him up to being baptized and taking those steps. Pray for him!
CJ & Erica: Erica is a member and CJ, her husband, is not. They have an adorable daughter named Wisdom who is I want to say 1-I played with her during Gospel Principles class, it was fun. CJ has been considering baptism but their financial situation has been bad lately and he has been out of work. The good news is that this past weekend he picked up a decent 8-5 job and they are taking care of him. The bad news is this job will prevent him from being able to come to church with Erica. With CJ we will have to see what happens but he’s in the “I’m not baptized YET” stage and he’s just a really cool, I’m-just-messing-with-you kind of guy.
    Thank you for the love and support you all give to me. Hopefully I’ll have pictures for you next week, I forgot my SD card reader in the apartment. But I’ll leave y’all with my testimony that I know this church is true. I know that God loves all of His children, I’ve been able to see that as I’ve walked down the street and seen people as Christ sees them. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s plan for us to bring us Salvation, Redemption, and Happiness; and all three of those things come through Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement. I love the church. I love the gospel. It has brought me so much joy and happiness and that is why I’m on a mission. Not to convert 100 people. Not to bring less-active members back to church. I am here to tell the message of Happiness that I have come to know in my 18 short years, the message of Jesus Christ, and the message of the Restored Gospel. I know it’s true. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Milius


3100 Lorna Rd Ste 107
Birmingham AL 35216

United States