Wednesday, December 13, 2017

11 December 2017 - Elder Milius Week 76

It’s been good.

Well, our weeks are busy! They’re going good though. Full of finding a ton of cool people to teach but meeting with them again is hard, but we just keep finding. We have meet great people and I’ll tell you about all those new ones. Everyone else is pretty much the same, but I’ll just go into our week!
So, on Tuesday we had gone to the temple and then that night we had a great lesson with a guy named Alex. He was really interested in the church and we meet him at the chapel. He had done some “research” which often times is dangerous but with his heart and intentions it turned out okay. We taught the restoration and then shared that the Book of Mormon is the only real way he will know the truth. 
Then, Wednesday was our big multidistrict meeting which was good, and sad because it was Elder Lewis and Sister Terry’s last district meeting ever. Dang. We also had exchanges with Prattville and I was able to go out with Elder Canty who is a super stellar missionary. I remember being in the MTC with him (he was in my District in the MTC) and we said we would serve together one day, didn’t really think it would literally be “one day” but hey you get what you ask for I guess! We found this lady named Ashley who let us in right away and we showed her the LighttheWorld video and set up a time to meet with her and her husband again. She didn’t make her return appointment but we’re not giving up on them. We also met April that night! April is Hannah’s friend who is staying with her to help her with her kids (Elder Fotu and I found Hannah last Monday and had a super cool spiritual experience with her outside). But April was really open and we were able to teach her the Restoration and so her and Hannah are now somewhat on the same page and they are getting back into town this week so we’ll be back over there soon. April sent us a text cancelling our appointment but saying that she was still super interested in learning more about the church. So, at least her heart is open currently! Let’s not let it get closed and hardened! 
We also met a guy named Joel who should be LDS we can’t really figure out why. He is very intellectual and has met with the past two Mission Presidents since 2013. He knows a lot about the church and agrees about the Priesthood! He does throw out some other theories as well to, I think, see what our response is. (It’s so hard to answer sometimes because I basically speak in behalf of the church as a whole). I don’t know how many of those “theories” he believes however. But hopefully things will work out there, he has an awesome family-a wife and two kids in their teens.
We’ve also met a few people that are potentially interested: Wes, EJ, and Jerod live in our apartment complex. We found them on Friday because we couldn’t drive our car in the morning (I’ll explain that in a few). Jemeka, and Gabrielle were a couple others. Gabrielle was funny, she answered the door and was just very dynamic but we asked if we could come in and share our message with her. And, like I said she was dynamic so I got to be dynamic back and kinda a smart-alec in some places, maybe even sarcastic...but it’s nice when people are like that so you can be yourself more. It makes missionary work easier. 
It SNOWED on Friday!! 5 inches of snow!! That’s why we couldn’t drive on Friday morning, but it was pretty cool. Also considering I have a companion who is from Jamaica and that as the second time he’s ever witnessed snow-the first time it actually stuck to things and he could pick it up and throw it, haha! It was fun though. Except we helped someone move on Saturday morning and it was pretty cold then.
That was pretty much our week though, and we are getting into Transfers! Wahoo! 

  • Elder Canty and I figured out how to put the LighttheWolrd video on repeat at Wal-Mart on the computers. We played it, showed it to some people, and then left it on repeat. Hopefully it stayed on for the rest of the night! 
  • We were tracting this week when we ran into a member...from another ward. So we looked up our Ward Boundaries and we were totally not in our area, lol.
  • Riley is a guy that missionaries have taught in the past and we went over to check in on them. He introduced us to his friends who all go to the Church of the Highlands, and they were asking questions. So, one of the friends asked, “What do you believe it takes to get to heaven?” Well we had been talking about all of that on a deeper scale with Joel, but couldn’t bring that up and so I thought to ask, “Which kingdom?” I decided that it was a bad idea...but smart me asked anyways! I swear I got the weirdest looks and they were like “What?!” My companion saved me though! Haha, “Which kingdom?” 
  • Ward Council in Hoover are hilarious; we talked/debated for a solid 30 minutes about the Christmas Party! 

That’s all I got! This week will be fun! Transfers happen and the new missionaries arrive and such! We get to go pick them up tomorrow and the airport and shuttle them around for a day or so! Elder Lewis goes home (I hate killing missionaries) but I’m grateful for all I’ve learned from him. My next companion will be great and I’m excited to get it! Hope y’all have a great week! Love y’all!

Much Love,
Elder Milius


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

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












Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5 December 2017 - Elder Milius Week 75

Fellow Saints!

Hello!! Man, what a week it’s been. Time keeps flying by but I’ll be the first tell you that it’s always a good week. Not too much went on this week, nothing really special and out of the ordinary, but I’ll get into sharing a few of the cool experiences and people from this past week! 
So, to start off with a bang I’ll share what we would call a “Missionary Miracle” here in the Alabama Birmingham Mission! Elder Krupa and I were driving down the road and met this guy named Demetrius. But, let me start from the beginning. We were tracting in an apartment complex and I had the feeling to go and follow-up with this investigator in the same complex just a different building a little ways away. It was the end of the night but I got the impression and I felt like we’d be able to visit them! We did. But Twila wasn’t home. There was another potential though and so we went and knocked on her door. But Shaquele wasn’t home either. Feeling a little bummed I got into the car to drive home thinking, “I thought I was inspired. Why aren’t they here?” Then the Lord in a gentle way reminded me that it was indeed a prompting and I need not worry about the outcome. With a little bit of a lifted heart I told Elder Krupa about my simple spiritual experience and we headed for home. As we were driving I saw a man, barley. I really could only see the light of his cigarette butt as he puffed on it walking down the road. Out of nowhere I slow down to a stop-in the middle of the road-and tell Elder Krupa to roll down his window and talk to this guy. His name was Demetrius and he had met missionaries before. He used to play ball with them at the church and with little conversation we had discovered that he was a Christian but went to different churches here and there, wasn’t really grounded anywhere. I then invited him to be baptized and told him we could come to teach him more about Christ’s Restored church and gospel. Then after exchanging information we drove off and the Lord reassured me that my initial impression was from Him.
Last night we also had a couple cool experiences. One was with a lady named Hannah. She was standing outside of her car as we were walking by and we had seen her previously unloading groceries-big target for missionaries. “Hey do you need any help or did we miss the unloading?” We had missed it, but we started talking about church and the gospel and she seemed pretty cool but not very interested per say. Before we ended the conversation and left however I asked if she would pull up the #LIGHTtheWORLD video on mormon.org. She did and we watched it with her and let me tell you the Spirit couldn’t have flooded in faster. Once the video ended we stood quietly, Elder Fotu and I weren’t going to break the silence and we could tell the Spirit was working on all of us. Then Hannah spoke. She said in the most heartfelt way I could put into words, “So, tell me what’s different about your church and every other Christian religion.” She then expressed some of her confusions growing up in the Baptist faith and reasons she went non-denominational. We taught her a brief Restoration lesson in which the Spirit was amplified, especially as the First Vision was quoted. Elder Fotu and I were both very impressed after the fact and I could remember somewhere in the video feeling so blessed and grateful for my opportunity to be a full-time missionary. I guess you could say that was a tender mercy, but as the LIGHTtheWORLD video testifies of, all the small things that we do can be compared to the miracles our Savior performed. 
Everyone else that we’ve been working with is mostly in the same spot. We have a few people who are on date to be baptized at the end of this month and the beginning of next month which is fun and exciting! Kenneth, the guy who was struggling with alcohol needs some breathing room so we haven’t seen him too recently. We’ve also found a few other people who are either potential investigators or current ones; Travis and Ash are 20 year olds living alone which is super mature of them. We left them with a Book of Mormon. Lataria was another, she missed her return appointment but we contacted her and got in to teach her because Elder Lewis had to use the restroom. Janette is an older lady, kind of like Brenda, who keeps telling us she won’t be Mormon but who seems more interested than she wants to admit. Deedee we contacted like a Romeo and Juliet scene. Lindsay was that lady that we met while trying to find a less-active and we followed her up to her apartment which used to be the less-active’s. Also, trying to teach the Hollensworth family. Yeah!!

  • In connection with contacting Lataria, Elder Lewis needed to use the restroom. So, we were at a door and this lady was standing behind it. She told us in the conversation that she was busy and was taking a bath so I asked if we could come another time. Then, thinking with his bladder, Elder Lewis asked if he could use her restroom (he really needed to go pee). I about died and I whispered, "She's taking a bath..." Then she speaks up and was very awkwardly like, "Well I'm naked behind the door and..." How great is that story?! Anyway, good times.
  • This one isn’t super funny but it was cool. We were in Wal-Mart and it was the end of the night. We were trying to promote the #LIGHTtheWORLD video and so we went on the laptops and got on mormon.org. After pulling up the video I looked around and called this guy over to come check out the video. He came over, watched the video, said “That’s a cool video” and walked away. Not exactly how I imagined that but it was good nonetheless. 
  • Also regarding the #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign: we went with the Hoover Sisters and stood in front of the Library handing out pass-along cards to people who came in. That was fun! Go missionaries! 

It was another great week in Alabama and we’re looking forward to another one. (It’s Elder Lewis’ last full week so it better keep us busy!) He’s doing good though! I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season and enjoying the LIGHTtheWORLD campaign! It’s going good here! I love you all, and as always let me know if you need anything from me!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: We went to the temple this morning (which is why I'm emailing today) and it was great! I love the temple!


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

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











Sunday, December 3, 2017

27 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 74

To all whom it may concern:

    It was a very Happy Thanksgiving here in the South! Shout-out to Wes & Lindsay for feeding my companion and I! It was an awesome experience for me and hope it was mutual! We had a full week still of missionary work and we have another full week ahead. I don’t have a ton of time today so forgive me if I haven’t email y’all back but we were busy playing Gator Ball in Tuscaloosa with our zone. Anyway, I’ll stop wasting time and just get to the week.
    A couple updates on those that you know: Brenda is still struggling. Her daughter was addicted to some medication but she got off of that, luckily, and then was at home with Brenda (her mom). But, on Friday night I believe she went back into the hospital and wasn’t doing too good. We went over to visit Brenda on Sunday morning and her daughter was on a ventilator and that was really the only thing keeping her alive. I hope all goes well, but we are trying to help her as much as we can-by helping her get baptized in December would be the ideal.
    Kenneth is an investigator that we’ve been working with for a while. He has a desire to change but he has some pretty hefty roadblocks in his way, alcohol being one of them. He has an addiction and it’s been a struggle to help him change but this past week he broke down crying because of how he sees his life. It’s really sad, and as frustrating as he is to work with sometimes, there hasn’t been another person in my entire mission who I’ve felt needed our help as much as this guy. Rick, a recent convert of earlier this year, went through and overcame an alcohol addiction so we are trying to use him as a resource for Kenneth. But that’s that guy!
    On Tuesday we went on exchanges and I went out with Elder Townsend-a stud of a missionary. This is his second transfer and Elder Egbert is training him up in Madison. We taught some people and really had a great day! We met a lady named Twila who got “tired of standing at the door” so invited us in. When we started to account Joseph Smith’s story to her she told us to wait, that she needed her phone. Great….but the reason she needed it was so that she could take notes! It was really cool and we went back again and invited her to be baptized on December 30th. So she’ll be one to keep looking out for in the coming weeks. We also met a lady named Shebra who I was courageous (finally) and tried the approach that I’ve been thinking about for months now. *Door opens and we introduce ourselves* “So, we have a question to ask you.” (Her) “Sure.” (Us) “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?” She then asked me to repeat it and after I did she said, “Well, what do you need me to do?” That was awesome and totally something I wasn’t expecting. She wasn’t there for our return appointment but they were traveling and stuff for Thanksgiving so that may turn into something!
    Speaking of Thanksgiving, like I said, ours was great. But before all the food we pulled into this apartment complex and we were going to try and knock some doors. There was a lady who was taking out some tables and chairs so we volunteered our help and she walked us to her home. Turns out Mesha had been on a “spiritual journey” and was looking for truth. Her and her husband were trying to get themselves back into church to prepare for their family (she’s pregnant with their first together). She wanted to wait for her husband to get home because he drives a truck before we came over, but blessings of having the intent to knock doors on Thanksgiving!
    A couple of other people were met along the way. We ran into a guy named Riley who had been taught in the past by the missionaries and helped him take in some groceries one night. We felt inspired to go see a less-active who subsequently moved but we met Lindsey and her friend who now live in that apartment (we followed them up to their appartment very awkwardly). We had Spanish Conference for all the Spanish missionaries. And, we went to that one Bible Study group that we found that one day. We asked to teach but they said that they would have to clear it with their pastor first…

  • I walked into an open door this week and talked to Stephen who is a strong Athiest.
  • Elder Townsend and I held doors open for people coming into Jim-n-Nicks BBQ while waiting for the family that was feeding us to get there.
  • There was a girl, probably in her 20s that called Elder Lewis and I “two good-looking men.”
  • I was sore on Friday from playing in the Turkey Bowl.
  • So was Elder Lewis.
  • A guy came out in his boxers and said, “Now is not a good time, not in the mood to talk. I’m in my boxers so, have a good night.” Like I couldn’t see him in his boxers….he answered the door that way...some people ya know!
  • We asked a family for a spiritual thought this week what they were grateful for and one of the boys said, “Star Wars Battlefront 2…..and cousins.”
  • Alabama lost in the Iron Bowl and I thought people were going to kill us just because we were available and they were angry. Felt that way a few times.

    I hope y’all had a great week and Thanksgiving was great! Be sure to go on mormon.org and look at the #LighttheWorld campaign for this year! Share it all over, it’s awesome! Merry Christmas, Mom. Let me know if I can do anything for any of y’all and have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: I will send pictures as soon as I can!
-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION
"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13













Monday, November 20, 2017

20 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 73

Happy Thanksgiving (Alma 34:38)

Hope all of you, wherever you are, are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love this time of year, and I hope you don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping season to forget the many blessings God has given you this past year! This week in Hoover went well, no true complaints as far as missionary work-it’s never too hard! We finished up our round of Zone Conferences in the Tupelo and Madison/Huntsville Zones and were ready to get back to work after not being home for a couple days! It was interesting to be able to tell the difference in Spirit as we went to each of the zones, some were stronger than others, and it was interesting how obvious it was. But anyway, overall it was great!
So, Anita came to Stake Conference and just went out of town for a week. Hopefully she took the Book of Mormon with her and is reading it on her trip. Brenda is struggling. Her daughter wasn’t doing too good health wise and was fighting a pain pill addiction and it’s been rough on Brenda the past week. Things just don’t work out for her I swear. It’s so hard to watch people who are so ready to accept the gospel just get pushed and pushed by the trials the adversary throws at them to force them away from the gospel. 
Deshia is a lady we’ve been teaching as well who we had an appointment with last week and I was kinda rude, at least I think I was. We were on exchanges so I was with another Elder and with Brother Huff our Ward Mission Leader. We started the Restoration lesson and we were going great as far as teaching the content but I could tell she was just all over the place as far as her thoughts. So, I paused after the Apostasy and asked her from everything we’ve taught what she understood. When she was unable to repeat back anything we taught her I told her, “Well, we really want you and need you to understand this. So, is there another time we could come back that would be better?” And after that comment it got a little quiet. I felt kinda bad, but then as we continued into Joseph Smith’s story and the Book of Mormon a miraculous thing happened-she was engaged! As rude as it might have seemed, it worked and thank the Lord I had charity for Denisha because if I didn’t we would’ve been out of there so fast. 
We also went to see Shaquele on the exchange and she has been in contact with missionaries since around June this past summer. She had only been taught and introduced to the Book of Mormon but some things happened and her life went all over the place. Fortunately she’s got most of it all ironed out and is “ready to listen” now (in her own words). We read the introduction of the book with her and promised her the blessings of coming to know it’s true and then put her on date for Dec. 23! That was a cool experience and lately I’ve gained a testimony of just asking people to be baptized all of the time. It’s my focus for this transfer and it’s worked well so far. The least it does is establish our purpose! Sorry, tangent.
We also found this older lady this past week, Jannette. When we were walking up I asked if we could come keep her company and she said, “Well I’m not going to be a Mormon!” Then we sat and talked to her about life and such for the next 20 minutes. Love when people say that stuff. Timothy is another cool guy we found tracting who we are going to see tonight! He seemed pretty interested and the best part is he isn’t tied down to a church! Karrie is in the same situation, we found her too! We also have been talking to a cool lady named Brandy whom I will mention later; she’s pretty genuinely interested though! Ummm….Jeremy and Beonca are some people we’ve been talking to but this past week we kinda re-established expectations and so we’ll see where that goes! 

Other Thoughts:
  • We found a couple people sleeping in their cars this week-President and Elder Morrison. 
  • Something sorta spiritual: How many crystals are in the Boise Temple Celestial Room chandelier? 9,999. Why not just 10,000? Because Christ is the One.
  • After the Tupelo Zone Conference Elder Ratigan was going to ask President a question but President was walking into the bathroom. So, instinctively Elder Ratigan said, “Oh, sorry President, gotta take a leak?” We died.
  • I got a phone call from the Wish foundation but I had to reject the call because we were talking to someone. So, I called back and started talking to this lady who was kinda rude. She was telling me who she was and then asked if I was some guy. When I told her she had the wrong number she snapped back, “No actually I don’t.” Then I went missionary on her and said, “Well, you do. But, this is Elder Milius a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!” “Oh…” Then she asked how many wives I had, she asked if we believed in Jesus Christ not this Joseph Smith guy, and said something along the lines of “You’re a Mormon in Alabama? Usually we’re all Baptist.” All of that was in the middle of her asking me for money. It was a funny phone call.
  • Brandy...this lady. We knocked on a door and she comes out acting really quiet and tells us to come back another time because she has a story of her brother talking to missionaries. So, we go back and she tells us that her brother once answered the door (purposefully) in a wedding dress, combat boots, a pony tail, lipstick smeared on his face, and a bullwhip to “scare away” the Elders. But because we get more awkward things those missionaries stuck it out and ended up helping her brother a lot through some hard times! So, she’s open to hear what we have to say! :)
  • We were store contacting in the mall and I asked this lady if she would mind me talking to her and she said, “Yes.” “So you don’t want me to talk to you?” “No, sorry.” “Ouch...you sure?” “Yeah, go away please.” 
  • We tracted a street and a lady answered and said, “Oh you’re back?” Apparently the JWs had tracted there that morning.
  • Another young lady opened the door and said, “Nope, haha, nope.” and shut the door.
  • One guy answered and we said, “Hey how’s it going?” He said “Hey bud,” and closed the door on us.
  • We ran across an entire apartment complex in the rain because we got stuck across the way and a storm hit. Typical AL.
  • An older guy answered a door about 5 minutes after we’d knocked but we had stayed in the same building. His wife had nothing to do with us but he invited us in. (This was also after Elder Lewis said that we would get in the next door that opens). He was not interested but appreciative and to add to the story he was sitting in a wheelchair with nothing on but a diaper. He and his wife were cute though, so it’s okay.
  • Beonca was seductively eating a popsicle in front of us when we were talking to Jeremy and showing him the “Ask of God” video.

It was a good week this week and I have a lot to be thankful for! We also were invited to watch the Face2Face broadcast last night and one of my biggest take-aways talked about the balance between inspiration and agency. I thought that was an interesting principle to apply to everything that we do. Just like Oliver Cowdery in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord has given us all Agency and expects us to use that agency and then receive the inspiration of confirmation. But, the Lord isn’t going to tell us everything as far as decisions-even the big choices we must make about marriage, family, school, career, etc. I’m thankful for my family and for all that they’ve given me. I’m thankful for my mission and for the many lessons and trials I’ve gone through over the time I’ve spent in Alabama. Most importantly I’m grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only reason everything I’ve done, I am doing, and I will do will be possible. God bless you all and have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Much Love,
Elder Milius 


-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

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





 Elder Snow and Elder Milius

Monday, November 13, 2017

13 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 72

Here we go again!

Another week down and it feels like it’s only been a day! It’s been a long, exhausting week but we had a good time in Hoover! So, after having a full week here I can officially say it’s a wonderful area with great members and a diversity of people who are generally interested! 
This week we had Zone Conference! Lots of good things were trained on and a lot of good insights. Not to mention it’s so good to be able to see a ton missionaries! But, that’s not the coolest part. The coolest part is when we, over the past few nights, have gone into teaching appointments have applied some or all of the concepts we’ve learned; and, believe it or not they work!! On Monday night we were able to see Lance, our investigator from Jamaica and we were short, followed the Spirit, taught him what he needed, and invited him to be baptized! Easy. 
We’ve also found a few people this week, one of them was Mary Ashley (gotta love the first and middle names of the South). On Tuesday we were driving around trying to figure out a place to go and knock on some doors as we had some time because appointments fell through. So, Elder Lewis come up with a place that he hasn’t tracted frequently. As we were driving into the complex it looked familiar and I remember being there with another missionary visiting a younger couple. I didn’t remember where they lived and so we commenced knocking. The second door we knock on Mary Ashley answers and I recognized her as the young lady in the couple I had met! She told us that her and her boyfriend were wanting to get back into church and we told her that we were there to help! That was a cool experience of the Lord inspiring each of us to find the one he wanted us to find! (We scheduled an appointment with her and she texted us to cancel-which is a miracle that she told us before we had to say anything to her). 
Latarius was another guy who we met after Zone Conference and applied those principles of a short lesson. He lives with his wife and two young daughters (4 and 2 maybe) and is super interested! The trick will be getting them to come to church but he’s already committed to a soft, “If you come to know this is true will you be baptized…” invitation. An awesome black family in the ward would be fantastic! 
We’ve also been back to see Kennith and Tonya this week who are interested but have some obstacles to overcome. They need to come to church for one, second he has some word of wisdom issues but he is trying to stop. And, as Alma teaches us in 32:27, that desire is where it all begins. We are taking them on a church tour this weekend and hopefully getting them to church! Baptism in December? Brenda was another investigator I talked about last week. She was on date for the end of this month but we’re going to have to change that. Her daughter just got nailed with some trials of addiction and Brenda is having to deal with all of that. We saw her Saturday and she was stressed to say the least. Very stressed. She knows it is the Devil though, keeping her from doing what she wants to do... which is hard. It’s like Dorris in Smithville, they have the desire and they want to get baptized and come to church but, they can’t. It’s like, “Where is that line at?” ya know. It’s hard.
Another cool experience we had was when we went to go and see a guy named Jonathan. He wasn’t there, but as we were walking to his house we ran into a guy named Daniel who was trying to get his keys out of his car. We asked if we could help him and he said, “Yes please!” Apparently there were several people who walked by and no one offered to help him except us. It was something simple but it was a testimony to me about how service is a huge example to others about what we believe in. We got his information and are hopefully going to be able to go by and teach him and his family! 
We made contact with Anita again this week! She was an investigator who has been taught once and then went out of town for something. She’s super cool though and really willing to learn and read and pray! She came to stake conference with is this Sunday as well and basically made our day. We like it when friends come to church! 
This week we talked to the Tinchers as well. They are both members, he was recently baptized...getting close to a year, but the missionaries have been teaching their boys. On Saturday night they kinda broke down in front of us about what we can do to help their boys and such. It was one of the more interesting things that I’ve had happen on my mission but it really showed me how blessed I was for my parents and for how I’ve been raised. So shoutout to Mom and Dad-you’re great! 

Some “funny” experiences:
  • We went back to see Pauline in Prattville this week, she’s awesome and I’m totally her favorite. Before I left she gave me a hug, and that doesn’t happen. B)
  • There is this LA/PM family that we are working with named the Cooks. We’ve been over a couple times this week and it’s been to no avail. No real lesson, not coming to church, etc. But, when we stopped by on Saturday night one of their boys as we were walking away told his friends who were there, “I love when the missionaries come over! They’re cool!” That was a pretty cool tender mercy for me, to know that you kinda “made it” as a missionary and to know that there is an influence for good whether you see it or not.
  • The Hoover Sister just got their car taken because we had to decrease the number of cars in the mission, and they have been rock stars about it. But, the first day Sister Terry fell three times in 5 minutes. Poor Sisters, gotta love it!

Not a ton of funny things but it’s been a good week nonetheless. I do want to say a few words about how big of examples you are as members at church. For those of you who have read this far, I want you to know that people watch you. This past Sunday we sat behind a family who was completely distracting and irreverent. They father and older son walked in late, they were playing games on the father’s phone the entire conference, they kept getting up to take the little daughter/sister to the bathroom, and the older son was all over his mother, burying his head in her shoulder and moving around constantly. Needless to say it was hard to know that Anita, a non-member, is here visiting and trying to feel the Spirit that I think we as members sometimes take for granted. So, my invitation to you is to be careful how you act in Sacrament Meetings, because you never know who is watching. 

Thanks for all that y’all do for me! I wish you a blessed week wherever you might be! Godspeed!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: I saw Lindsey from Florence this past week! She came down to say hi :)

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

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






Monday, November 6, 2017

6 November 2017 - Elder Milius Week 71

Happy November!

I just want to start by saying I love the fall in the South, that’s all! Also, I am currently living in Hoover, AL!! Wahoo!! I’ll be sure to put my new address in at the end of the email! This week we were busy with all sorts of moving parts but we still had some awesome experiences that I’ll tell y’all about. I probably won’t have a ton of time to email today either so I apologize if this one is shorter than you’re used too-maybe that’s a good thing (at least for everyone but my Mom).
So, leaving Smithville was sad and there are a lot of investigators and members that I am going to miss spending time with all of those great people. I got to say a few goodbyes though on Halloween so that was good! Then transfers happened and I went to Hoover! We were doing a lot of driving around that day and we got to spend some time with the departing missionaries in a small testimony meeting. That was really cool, and there are a lot of powerful missionaries in the mission-the missionary spirit is evident of that! Thursday we had some more adjusting to do after the transfer and then I went and met a couple of investigators, Anita and Lance! Anita is hard to catch sometimes but when you do she’s on top of things! Lance is a Jamaican and accepted a soft baptismal invitation so we have high hopes for him if he would just read and come to church! 

**I have forgotten to talk about Elder Lewis, my new companion, and I think this is an appropriate place to do it. He is from Jamaica (which is why I thought that Lance being Jamaican was comical) and the place where Lance lives has a ton of Jamaicans in it...we go there quite a bit. He is a great missionary and he’s going to help me out a lot! He’ll be leaving after this transfer so I’m killing my second missionary but he doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a problem for him. We just don’t talk about it. He is great at impersonations, especially Barack Obama, and is a convert to the church. He was baptized when he was 10 and his family followed him soon after. Before being LDS he and his family were Jehovah's Witnesses! He brings new perspective on things and I’m excited for these next six weeks!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way I guess I’ll talk about the Hoover Ward! They’re great, a lot of longtime members of the church and a lot of converts. Their numbers are going down because people are moving out west for various reasons but they all work hard and are a huge help to the missionaries! Brother Huff, our Ward Mission Leader is anxious and ready to help us so it’s going to be a good place to be! 
Like I said we had a few cool finding experiences this week and one of them was Bailey! Last night as we were about to back out of an apartment complex he was in the way and so Elder Lewis started to talk to him (I was in the car). After a few minutes I got out and he had a really cool story about how God had helped him and so he helps others by giving them food and things from his work. He gave us a box of food and we set up to come and see him sometime on Saturday!
We also found a group of college kids, I think, who we knocked into last night. They were having a Bible Study and invited us in and so we joined them and our new goal is to put all of them on date for baptism! They’re cool though, I like them! 
Some funnier experiences as well:
  • There was a guy that was walking through the parking lot speaking in spanish to us when we asked him a question and so I ran across the parking lot, “Yo hablo un poquito espanol!” like I actually could talk to him...I think it went well.
  • Having church at 1:00 is amazing. 

Not too many of those this week, but there was one more thing that was really cool. We felt prompted one night to go and visit Brenda. She has been worked with for a while and has been on and off date for baptism and was gone on vacation for a couple weeks. When we went to see her it was cool how the Spirit kinda took over the lesson and Elder Lewis and I were sharing things that you would’ve thought we planned word for word, subject by subject. Eventually we put her back on date for the 25th of November and we are going to be working really hard to get her to that day! 
Things are going good, I getting settled, and the church is still true! It couldn’t have been a better week! I love y’all and hope you’re taken care of; remember, God loves you! (1 Nephi 11:16-17). Make it a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION
"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13











Wednesday, November 1, 2017

31 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 70

Happy Halloween!

    Hey y’all, hope things are going good wherever you’re at and hope that the weather is nice like it’s been here the last little bit! First things first...I WILL BE LEAVING SMITHVILLE AFTER SIX SHORT WEEKS! I know, it’s crazy. I’ve been hopping around lately but I guess it’s where I need to be. I don’t know where I’ll be going yet, I will find out at Transfer Meeting tomorrow morning so be anticipating my new home and address next week!
    Other than that this week has pretty much been great! We went on an exchange with the New Albany Elders over Wednesday and Thursday and we drove down to Gardendale for a follow-ups trainers meeting. We located a baseball bat last week and went to play baseball. And we went to some parties and found some new people to teach.
    Kim and David are new, we were sent to them by Sister Scoleri who served here about a year ago. They had just gotten busy and stuff so things with the missionaries seemed to have faded but we had a good time meeting them and inviting them to pick up the Book of Mormon again! We also contacted another former investigator named Kelly. Man does this guy have a medical history and he is only 55. He’s had five heart attacks in the last two years and his pancreas and liver have both failed because of medicine. When we met him he had just gotten back from the Doctor’s and his blood pressure was 310/156 or something outrageous. He basically could’ve had an aneurysm right in front of us but luckily he didn’t. As far as we know he is doing okay and has an appointment with the Doctor next week. He met the missionaries about two years ago and they found him at Wal-Mart. His question to them was “I just don’t understand why God would stop talking to His children for 2,000 years?!” Since then he has read the Book of Mormon three times or so, and if his health would improve he would get baptized.
    Michelle and Greg are still pretty high potentials still. We are trying to plan to read the Book of Mormon with Michelle and we just met Greg’s whole family this past week so hopefully we’ll be able to find time to go teach them! Oh, and Brother “Sweatin’ for Jesus?” Van! He came to church on Sunday. Wahoo! That was a very pleasant surprise and he enjoyed it a lot. It was the primary program and he just loves kids so it was right up his alley! They all did great too. I think they should have a program every few months or so, because bringing investigators to that is just the greatest thing. Brother Van told us “Your kids run circles around all them other kids in other denominations!”
    Not too much to report on this week but I’ll jot down some stories:
  • Michelles’ daughter, Mac, texted us on Tuesday and invited us to their Halloween party Saturday. We showed up to say hi and crashed some pictures. It was funny.
  • Our neighbor, Frank, went into the hospital this past week. He’s doing better though, especially since the Voyles went to visit them. Mrs. Avery told us that Brother Voyles prayed for Frank (could’ve been a blessing...not sure) and since then he’s been improving.
  • With the New Albany Elders we went to a Baptist Fall Festival in Smithville that we were invited to! When we were walking up we went to ask someone where the people were who invited us and they said, “Nope! Not interested!” right off the bat. It was kinda awkward the rest of the night walking around but we live for that as missionaries. They had good chilli and cotton candy!
  • At the Smithville Baptist thing apparently Elder Braithwaite heard someone say, “Oh look they’re on a double date tonight.”
  • Elder Nielsen and Elder Braithwaite talked for 20 minutes in a Chinese accent.

    Things are going well! As I am finishing up I’m remembering some people that we got back in contact with: Raven and Harely came to the Branch Social on Saturday and then church on Sunday so we were able to teach them. Bob is doing alright for a lonely old man. Ms. Joyce is awesome and gave us her debit card information so that we can take it out to eat dinner one night. I’m going to miss the Smithville Branch, and I hope it continues to grow! I love the people here and I love Elder Nielsen! I’m getting separated from my “son” but he’s going to continue to do great things! Thank y’all for everything and I hope you have a blessed week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: Yesterday we went to contact a lady named Bernita. She responded to our Daily Scripture and we set up a time to come and meet her. Almost two years ago she met the Sisters in Amory and in about that time she had learned so much and loved so much about the church. We were able to catch back up on where she was and invite her to the new building in Smithville on Sunday! If that wasn't enough, we were prompted to challenge her to be baptized on November 25th and she accepted. I hope Elder Nielsen will be able to see he baptized. That was a sweet experience for me, to know that as we work hard and as we are obedient we have to do it with the Faith that we may not see the rewards come. We may not see rapid success, but to be able to be given that opportunity from the Lord was a tender mercy, something small, to know that ALL our work is much appreciated. NEVER give up in the service of the Lord! Don’t stop.

-- 
Godspeed,
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION

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