Dear Children of God,
Hello! The weeks just kinda keep getting better and better on the mission. Now that isn’t to say there still aren’t hard, tough, frustrating, and annoying things happening, but I guess by now I’m just starting to get used to it all!
First thing that was awesome about this week was the Trunk-or-Treat for our ward. Apparently the Florence Ward is the “youngest” ward, that is to say there are lots of little children who participate in things like a trunk-or-treat (Highland Groves Ward though….). But we went as Missionaries and decorated the trunk of our Mission Car to pass out candy! We also dressed up as the “Mormon Missionaries,” best costume I’ve worn since being on the mission for sure.
Thursday we had the opportunity to have interviews with President and Sister Sainsbury, which was awesome! I love them, and being able to sit and talk with each of them was awesome! I’m glad I’ll be able to be with them throughout my entire time as a missionary. I learned a lot from them, and probably from the Spirit, about what I needed to do to become a better, more powerful missionary. I determined that with everything going on, it was difficult to focus on the little “successes” throughout the day. So, I made a goal with President to help focus my thoughts on helping ONE person a day feel the Spirit. Since Thursday it’s been really amazing to go through the day and focus on one person. I feel like it’s giving me a better perspective not only on Missionary Work but on how Christ went about His days during His time on Earth.
I’ll share a couple of experiences that both ended up being my “ONE” for the day on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was pretty busy, and on top of it all we had a Housing Inspection so like Elders do we spent basically our afternoon cleaning and getting ready for this inspection. Afterwards we went out with one of the priests in the ward and we went to visit our Less-Active/Part-Member Family, Candy and Jeremy. Their kids were having a big Halloween/Birthday Party thing and so we wanted to stop in there. About 20 minutes in from being there, a big snowball fight broke out with the shaved ice from the truck the brought for the party. All these kids and adults and four missionaries and basically everyone was throwing ice and having the time of our lives. I looked at Isaac, the priest who drove us over, and said “Don’t you love missionary work?!” Anyways we ended up leaving and going to do some tracting, but looking back on it, the time we spent at that party was not only fun, but it brought the Spirit. I have determined that the Spirit is soft, calm, peaceful, etc., but it is also FUN. And the good-hearted, Spirited “Fun” that we have as missionaries is a blessing to us as well as the Less-Active/Part-Member Families we work with (at least in this case).
Then, on Sunday we went out with a 20 year old Less-Active member of our ward who is starting to get himself back into the routine of coming to church. We planned to go visit a couple families and then tract a little bit, however, like usual our plans were quickly changed. Quinn, had offered to pick up his girlfriend from work and she got off early so he asked if we would be okay with picking her up (she's not a member but has told him that she wants to visit our church with him). We thought that would be a splendid idea and went to pick up Kassidy. She felt awkward at first, but that feeling soon left as we somehow or another got to teaching her about the Restoration. We ended up back at Quinn's home and sat with Quinn, Kassidy, Scott (Quinn's Less-Active older brother), and their parents and began to teach Kassidy the Book of Mormon. We taught, the Spirit most definitely testified, and the members only interjected to witness that what we were saying was true, and that the Book of Mormon would indeed be a major blessing in Kassidy's life. I cannot tell y’all how wonderful it was to teach that lesson and see not only Kassidy's face light up, but also see the Spirit touch each of the other Members in the room. The Holy Ghost is a real thing, and the reason we try to take members out with us is because of our purpose: "..to invite OTHERS to Come unto Christ...," and members are "others" too.
Sunday Night we also went to a Youth Fireside that focused on Missionary Work and Bishop asked each of us Missionaries to share what we thought best prepared us to serve and what we wish we would have done better to prepare. So, speaking now to mainly those Young Men or those who are thinking about serving a mission, or anybody: Even though it sounds simple, reading the Book of Mormon through multiple times before coming out on my mission has proved to be the biggest blessing for me. I am able to share testimony and bear a greater witness of that Book because I know it. I wish I had gone out with the Missionaries more when I had the opportunity. I regret not taking the chance to go out with the Elders to prepare myself for what Missionary Work truly is.
Now that you’ve heard my words of wisdom I want to wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Dress up awesome, scare some people, stay safe, and always remember that it’s the little things that matter the most! If you have any questions you know what to do! I love y’all!
PS: The pictures of the lake are just in Isaac’s neighborhood where we went tracting this week. I thought it look cool...and I really wish I could’ve jumped in, but oh well I’ll come visit!
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
Man! Wish I could've jumped in this lake! - Elder Milius
Florence Ward Trunk-or-Treat