Monday, October 16, 2017

16 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 68

Same work, different people!

I love missionary work, but it’s been pretty much a typical week! I got the pictures of the bike ride we took with the New Albany Elders last week and some pictures from bowling last p-day as well! Things are going good though in the small town of Smithville, MS!
Dorris is doing alright. Her health is hard to work with and work around. They are also struggling a bit financially (unfortunately like almost everyone else down here) and that is an obstacle as well. Her and Johnny were going to come to church yesterday but couldn’t because they didn't have any gas to get all the way to Smithville. This baptism is proving to be more difficult than it seemed at first. The place we were planning to do her baptism isn’t going to work either...so pray that we can figure all that stuff out. Dorris is a great lady and likes to please everyone but she, like I’ve said in the past, has the biggest desire. I just hope we can help her that best we can and don’t have to just say, “Sorry!” 
Last Tuesday we went to the Morris’ to do family home evening with them-awesome family! When we went over Alina, the 13-year-old who was baptized recently, had her boyfriend over to meet us. WE were both thinking “Great lets see how this goes…” To our surprise Lane was actually a pretty solid guy! The Morris’ told us when we came in that they had talked a little bit about the church and filled him in on this that and the other thing and so we just answered some questions for him. We talked a little about the Restoration and a little about the Plan of Salvation. He was on top of it and ended up being really interested. THe next Wednesday he came to mutual and we talked to the YM about missions so he was in there and we low key taught him the Restoration lesson. It was sweet. His parents are split denominationally between Church of Christ-Dad-and Baptist-Mom. Hope all goes well with him and we’ll see what that turns into.
Chong is being flakey. She is making it difficult to meet with and such but we’re still pushing her for the 28th. It’s weird because every time we do meet with her she’s awesome and she is ready to change and to do whatever it takes but then something happens and she has to cancel or something happens and she can’t come to church. Frustrating. 
On Monday night last week though we got to meet the Cope (“e” is with an accent) family and they are hilarious. We had tracted into Bonita, the Mom, before but they invited us in and we asked a plethora of questions about our church and our beliefs. It was really funny! They also told me that I looked like Ryan Reynolds and that Elder Nielsen looked like Edward from Twilight. So this week I’ve been asking people if they think I look like Ryan, lol. Elder Nielsen gets annoyed at my giant ego due to the fact that I look like I could be Deadpool’s little brother. (Funny addition, earlier in my mission when I was in Florence, AL, there was a recent convert named Erica who called me “Deadpool” because she thought I looked like Ryan Reynolds). The Cope’s also had an argument about who makes the better fried chicken the Mom or the Grandma and invited us back to judge their competition! They ended up cancelling but one day I will have fried chicken made by a black woman which according to them is way better than any other fried chicken.
The Food Pantry in Amory is doing good. We met a couple of potential investigators there last Tuesday and we were able to go help a lady who volunteers there as well. District Meeting was great this week, our District is a mess...at least us Elders are. Liz-the Eminem lady-is doing alright. We’re as interested as you are to figure out where that’s going to go. Sister Dupree, as recently widowed lady in the Branch who makes amazing food and deserts (and is trying to make us fat) invited us over a couple times this week. She’s getting some work done on her house and shares the gospel with all three of her contractors. Angela is still chilling waiting for God to tell her to go down to the river. We also met a couple new people this week: Terrell, Brandon, Brittney, Lizzie, and Kathy-a crazy bird lady who used to live across from the Elders when they were in Fulton.
Some random stories and one-liners for this week:
  • We met a lady named April who had talked to missionaries in the past about where babies come from…
  • There is this store in Downtown Fulton called “Square Gifts Co.” and it’s literally where all the college girls from ICC go to hangout and work. We met a lot of them on Thursday and it was weird to make the connection that most of them graduated in 2016. Ahhh..
  • I made Elder Nielsen pet this dog that smelled like poop.
  • We tried to see a less-active but they didn’t answer the door. Then when we were at Dollar General we saw some of his family and he was in the parking lot driving the truck we saw not even 30 minutes ago in his driveway.
  • The Lyda family is hilarious. The Father and Husband didn’t know that he was a member of our church, but Mother and Wife seems interested more than him. He was talking to us about Bigfoot the other week and this week we talked about how racist the South and specifically Amory, MS, is. 
  • We bought a MS State Flag from this racist dude with a stand full of confederate banners and other stuff.
  • We basically ran church on Sunday. We gave the opening and closing prayers in Sacrament, we blessed the sacrament as well, and we both spoke in church. The High Councilman used us each in his talk as well. Oh, and we surprise taught Gospel Principles! :)
  • We called to see if we could stop by a member’s home and we were told that it was too late and they were getting ready for bed. It was 7:15pm. Granted, it felt like 1:00am because of how dark it was but still! 
  • When doing service on Saturday for Michelle (the lady who volunteers at the food pantry) Elder Nielsen got afraid because of a spider. So, our nicknames are now “Ryan” (that’s me :) ) and “Spiderman.” Spiderman and Ryan are way cooler than Batman and Robin though, just sayin! 

It was a good week down South! Things keep moving forward with or without us so we just have to do enough work to keep up! I appreciate all your prayers and they are definitely effective! Love y’all, and have 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













Sunday, October 15, 2017

9 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 67

To All Whom May Be Interested:

This week was pretty normal, it flew by as always! Smithville is doing good and we weren’t affected too much by the weather over on this side of the MS-AL line. But it started to pour on us today so we’re kinda getting the aftermath. Other than that it’s been a pretty bomb week!
On Monday last week we went over to Johnny and Dorris’ house and we made jewelry boxes with him. It was nice to spend some time with Johnny and he definitely enjoyed our company. Before we left that night he got emotional and told us how much he appreciated us spending the time with him in his shop. Touching stuff. Also, as far as Dorris goes we found a place for her to get baptized!! It won’t happen this weekend but we are hoping by the end of the month we can get her there! 
The next day we Zone Conference and that pretty much took us the entire day. Wa had to get an oil change too and let me tell you, TV is a waste of time. Grey’s Anatomy was playing on the TV and neither Elder Nielsen or I could focus because of this awful show playing behind us. That night we also went store contacting-which could’ve been better. But, as I was beating myself up about how bad I did trying to contact people Chong, a potential investigator, walked out of the Laundromat and waved us down! Couldn’t have been more excited! We scheduled a time to meet with her the next day and that was a huge blessing because the next day we found out that she was super prepared. She had been taught about a year ago up in Tennessee and then moved back home to Amory and the Sisters taught her a little bit but then she fell off for some reason. When we met with her though we were going to teach the Restoration again but we ended up going over the Baptismal Interview Questions and showing her that she was ready. We then put her on date for the 28th of October!! Chong almost didn’t come met with us but we are so glad she did and are hoping to keep tabs on her for the 28th! 
Thursday we went on an exchange in New Albany with Elders Braithwaite and Johnson. That was a party. I went with Elder Johnson and we had a blast. Most of the night though we spent together and the afternoon we spent riding down a bike trail stopping and talking to some people! I hadn’t been on my bike in forever so that was fun! When we were walking down that street that night after an appointment we met a lady named Kaitlyn who I waved at to stop as she was pulling out of her driveway. She seemed pretty interested and we sent her information to the Tupelo Elders because that’s where she lives. Then we met a lady Wanda walking down the street. It was a successful night relatively and it was nice spending time with Elder Johnson.
We finally found Kardarius this week! He is a less-active who we’ve been searching for since we got here. When we saw him he was also with a friend, Donna, who is hilarious. We went inside and eventually got to teach Donna the Restoration and KArdarius was helping us, it was sweet. Then that night we re-contacted a lady named Jerri whom the Fulton Elders had found not too long ago. She doesn’t really attend a church and she has a cool personality but we are hoping to meet up with he again soon too! Then, on Friday night Dorris had a breakdown. She just was really sad because of her family and health and stuff that seemed to all be hitting her at once so we got to take some time with her. Elder Nielsen was talking to her and he was really bold-it was awesome. It was the first night that Priesthood seemed to click with her and we assured her that church and baptism would help her get to where she needs to be! 
Saturday was full of walking around and meeting the locals. Apparently every year there is a yard sale the first weekend in October that goes down Highway 25 right through Smithville! Lots of interesting things trying to be sold and it was nice to get our faces out a little bit! We also went out to see a guy named Brother Van who loves Jesus but doesn’t like churches much. I don’t know if I mentioned him before or not but he is the guy that stopped us on the road one of the first weeks we were here and said “Y’all must be sweatin’ for Jesus!” From then on he’s prayed for us as “The Brothers who be sweatin’ for Jesus!” Love that title-best one yet. Anyway we met with him and if he is as tune with the Spirit as he’s been he will be a Mormon. He told us he wouldn’t be converted but we will see what the Spirit does to him. We went out to dinner at the Friendship House. This restaurant is THE Mississippi experience. There is one sign kinda down the road a little ways and if you don’t know where it is you won’t find it. The building doesn’t even have the restaurant name on it. 
Sunday wasn’t too bad. We went around trying to find people and seeing why people didn’t come to church that morning. Lots of excuses but that’s okay, we’ll get there! We got to participate in an “Hour of Mighty Prayer” throughout the mission which was really cool. Every fast Sunday from now on we are going to be praying for an hour before breaking our fast. Talk about calling down the powers of Heaven. Today has been great too. We went bowling as a Zone in Tupelo and it was bringing me way back to High School because they were playing music from a while ago….and by they I mean us as the missionaries, lol! Big John-the guy at the Laundry place let us put “i’m a mormon” cards on the table at the Laundromat though so that’s cool.

  • Brother Lyda, a LA loves talking about conspiracy. He’s kinda a weird dude. We talked about Politics a little-or should I say he did, we just smiled.
  • We went to Waffle House on our exchange, enough said.
  • Elder Nielsen and I are really good at store contacting in Hibbitt Sports.
  • Elder Braithwaite left a surprise for us before they left our house on Friday after dropping us back off from the exchange. Luckily he kept the lid to the toilet closed.

It was another good week in Smithville. Hope y’all had a great one wherever you are and I hope you make it a good one this week! Take care, and if your Southern Elder can do anything for you let me know! 

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










Monday, October 2, 2017

2 October 2017 - Elder Milius Week 66

Friends and Family!

Well we’re getting to know more about the wonderful area of Smithville, MS...just give us another week and we’ll know pretty much everyone in the entire town! Things are going good though and Elder Nielsen and I are doing great. He’s a stud of a missionary and we’re teaching and finding and doing this missionary work thing like he’s already used to it! 
Dorris, our most progressing investigator is on date for the 14th of October! She may not make it there because we have to figure out some logistical things as far as how we are going to get her baptized. She isn’t in super great health and can’t walk, but she has the biggest desire to be baptized so I know it will happen! She called us on Saturday and told us she wasn’t feeling good and needed a blessing so we went over there and I got to offer the blessing. I’m still in awe at the power of the priesthood and the privilege it is to speak in behalf of our Father to His children. We are also trying to see how interested her husband, Johnny, is in the gospel as well. He’s taken a liking to us so we’re well on our way with those two! 
There isn’t really anyone else we have made huge progress with. We picked up a former investigator, Liz, who semi wants the gospel...we’re not really sure but still trying to help her gain a testimony and feel the need to be baptized. Angela still thinks that she is going to get woken up by God at 12:00 at night and be ready to be baptized, so that’s an interesting thing we’ve got going on as well. 
We have found a few other people and their stories are kinda cool! (Still haven’t been door-slammed, not interested rejected yet). On Tuesday we met a lady named Bonita. We tracted into her kids last week and they told us to come by on Tuesday so we did and met Mom. It was really cool because she was skeptical about why two young men had knocked on the door and talked to two of her kids but her heart softened a bit when we talked about the Book of Mormon and we had a time scheduled to come teach her again. Unfortunately she wasn’t there for the appointment but we are hoping to get in with her and her family! We also found a couple of girls who attend college up in Fulton. Madison we talked to because we were trying to get directions to another place and she was interested in what we were doing. Then, Chelsea was working at sonic on 50 cent corndog day. Elder Nielsen jokingly asked if he should invite the person who came out to baptism and I said, ‘Yeah, do it you won’t!” So she came out and gave us our food and took our card. Then when she came out again before she left Elder Nielsen-my boy-contacted her like a champ and we taught her! I had a Book of Mormon and pamphlet ready to go and we gave it to her in the drive in at Sonic. Cool story, huh? Except when we went to the address we felt really weird about the house and it turns out it was burned out and they had moved….nonetheless it was a cool contacting experience! Steven Stone is another guy we met at the baseball fields in Tremont. He was throwing a ball against the dugout and both of us loving baseball wanted to go talk to him. So, we did and then before we got in our car to leave we gave him a Book of Mormon. Saturday, so around three days or so later, we get a text from him “So what are the Mormons about?” We have an appointment to meet with him on Thursday! 

  • We got into the car to pull out and I told Elder Nielsen that the shifter was stuck, that is wasn’t working and wouldn’t let me go into reverse! “Try moving the wheel,” he said as he tried to figure out the problem. I said, partially laughing, “It won’t work unless there’s someone behind backing me!” “OH!” he responded as he jumped out of the car to back me out. Then, to make it all the more a better story he gets in and says, “Wow, that’s cool that they can rig it up like that so someone has to be behind.” Haha. :)
  • We went to the Food Pantry on Tuesday and those people are awesome!! I love food pantries, you get to talk to a lot of people and the spirit there is great!
  • We gave an awesome FHE lesson with the Morris’ who are hilarious. It was about how to eat chocolate correctly in relationship to how to study the scriptures correctly. Courtesy of President Prewitt in Tupelo.
  • Forgot to mention, Liz has a weird obsession with Eminem the rapper and she’s convinced that their lives are almost directly parallel and she wants to move to Detroit to be with him.
  • This guy stopped us on the road when we were up in Amory one day and said, “Are y’all out sweating for Jesus??” Naturally we said “Yeah,” gave him a pamphlet and said we ‘d come back by. So we did and he’s an interesting guy-hope to make him an investigator!
  • On Thursday we went out to lunch with the District and let’s just say it hit Elder Nielsen really hard in the stomach. So we stopped at a gas station and as I walked by the bathroom waiting for him I heard the most gut-wrenching sound that was echoing through the porselene John. 
  • We went to contact a former investigator and when we knocked on his door he answered and as soon as he opened the door a wave of weed just hit us. He said, with big eye I might add, that it wasn’t a good time. Then his 3 year old runs around the corner with bigger eyes than the guy! I was praying it wasn’t actually what I thought it was but after we were walking away I conquered with Elder Nielsen. Weed it was. 
  • Last night we talked to a member (LA) about his beliefs which were interesting to say the least. We talked about a lot of conspiracy and pyramids and bigfoot, or “Skunk Apes” as they are known down in this region. 
  • Our neighbors, the Averys, are awesome people! I’m pretty sure they are trying to set me up with their granddaughter too. Jamie (the granddaughter) is going to school at UNA in Florence.

We didn’t have too bad a week here and it was all topped off with Conference! I love being able to hear from the Prophets and Apostles! I don’t know if I can nail a single favorite talk but Quentin L. Cook and Henry B. Eyring who both touched on and spoke about leadership in the church was really great! I also loved Henry B. Eyring and Russell M. Nelson who spoke about their response to the Prophet's counsel six months ago! And Neil L. Anderson couldn’t have summed it up more perfectly! I know without a doubt that this is the Lord’s true church and that he is leading and guiding it through His chosen servants! I sustain and pray for each of them, especially our Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I’m grateful for him and his divine leadership and counsel. 
Hope y’all had a good week and I hope you can make it a better one this week! 

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: The sunrise from our house is legit. 


-- 
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, September 25, 2017

25 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 65

People of the Lord,

Well, I’m no longer in Tupelo. Kind of sad I was only able to stay for six weeks, but Smithville isn’t too far! It is a lot different though, a lot smaller. This unit has some history let me tell you. I am also sad to have left Elder Stanford but Elder Nielsen is awesome and it will be a piece of cake training him. He’s going to kill it and we’re excited to get to work helping people come back to church! 
So, without further ado, Elder Nielsen. He is older than me, but we graduated the same year. He played baseball at BYU for a year and then decided to come serve a mission for similar reasons I did. He played shortstop, second base, and third. His team is the Washington Nationals because he is from Vienna, Virginia. If any of you visit D.C. just let me know and he’ll make sure that his family can take care of you. He is a stud muffin. 
Smithville, Mississippi, is a great place. Not longer than a year ago they used to be a part of the Tupelo Ward, but President Pettus decided he wanted to start a group here. So, the members here were looking for a place to meet. They finally found a funeral home to rent out on Sundays, but that fell through because there were people who threatened to take their business somewhere else if they rented to the Mormons. Then, one of the members found a plot of land (five acres) for cheap and he bought it with the intentions of putting a building on it. They then had another Priesthood stake meeting to show the plans for a building they were going to buiding which costed around 200,000. One man volunteered to invest in it, with the idea of getting it all back once the branch got big enough and the church bought the building. However, his lease agreement was something that the church wasn’t going to pay for so he bailed. Then, the man who initially bought the land called the stake President and said he would build the building. So….the Smithville branch building and the land it is on is owned by one of the members and the Church is leasing it from him. While they were waiting for the building to be built however they we able to meet on Sundays at the High School in Smithville; then, after that lease was up with the HS they had to go back to the Tupelo Ward for a little bit because the building still wasn’t complete. Now, we have a building and that’s the story of the Smithville Branch. Crazy stuff, and we learn more and more every time we go to a member’s home we learn something new. I love it here!
Some of the people that we are working with are Dorris, Angela, and Raven and Harley! Dorris is on date now for the 14th of October! She is super spiritual and has the biggest desire to be baptized. There are going to be some interesting logisticals with getting her baptized because of her health and physical condition but hopefully all goes well! Angela has been taught forever...and she is kinda close to getting baptized. Not really progressing but kinda, it’s a weird situation. Raven and Harley are the grandkids of a member and they come to church with her somewhat consistently. We haven’t met Raven but they were at the top of our list when we got into the area. We are also going to try and start working with a lot of the Less-Active members in getting back to church. So that’s our main focus, at least as far as we see right now! 
We do have some appointments with some other people, investigators and such. One experience was really awesome last Saturday night! We were going into McDonald’s to put the Gospel Library back on Dorris’ Kindle and when we were walking in there was a lady next to the entrance. I asked her how her days was going and she said, “Not too good, but I’ll live.” So, naturally I went over to try and talk with her. Eventually we started to share a little of a message with her and she began to cry and really opened up to us about all this junk that was happening to her in her life. We gave her a Book of Mormon and are looking forward to meeting with her again tonight! Also, somewhat of a small miracle, but since being here we haven’t really been rejected hard at all. I told Elder Nielsen that he’s gotten it easy the past week or so because every door we knock on the people are genuine and nice and it’s really cool. Blessings of white-washing! 
My last couple days in Tupelo were good though, being able to go around and see some members and talk to some of the investigators I learned to care about so much was nice! That is a great area and I’m looking forward to watching all the progress made there! I was able to go back to Tupelo on Saturday for AJ’s baptism! I’m so proud of that guy, more than anyone! He’s awesome and he’ll continue to progress in the church! 
Not too many funny stories this week….my companion and I are dying to play catch together. I’m back in 12 Week Training which is fun. Oh, and we live in a house so that’s pretty cool! If y’all need anything let me know! Thanks for your love and support!

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




 AJ's Baptism!!
 Elder Stanford and AJ 

Elder Nielsen and Elder Milius

Monday, September 18, 2017

18 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 64

Boy and Girls,

    It was another great week in Tupelo, sorta...mostly, we’ll go with mostly! First thing’s first though..I do not have my transfer news yet. We are supposed to get it today so if I find out and I still have access to a computer I will forward it later. But I’m almost positive I will be staying here in Tupelo, just hoping I’m staying here with Elder Stanford. With that being said I’ll go into talking about all the amazing people here in Mississippi (a.k.a. “God’s Country,” Sister Mary Jo A.).
    So, the Mangrum family can start us off! They were the family that we fasted to find who would get baptized this coming transfer! They moved in maybe a month ago now, but are a family of four and are looking for a church home (nailed it). We saw Ms. Mangrum last week and showed her a short video message about the Book of Mormon and introduced that to her to start reading. She was super excited and then told us that she met someone at work who knew us or knew who we were-not a member of the church though-and were totally talking us up! It was cool. They will get baptized and we are hopefully going over to visit them today to share with them the Restoration.
    AJ is doing great and is on track for his baptism this Saturday! Him and Danny (his friend who is a Returning Member) literally make me so happy. I couldn’t be more proud of the progress they’ve both made in the church-now they just need a job. But, I believe it will come and i’m excited for both of them! They need to go serve missions and make me cry!! But we are excited for this Saturday at 4pm!
    There is also a young lady who is our age who lives in our apartment complex that we finally got to share a message with. We are hoping to follow-up with her soon but she seemed interested in reading the Book of Mormon! And there is another guy in our complex who we went and shared a message with yesterday and have another appointment with next week. The people in our complex are homies and they are all our age and somewhat interested in what we do! It’s pretty cool, I think!
    Keshaun is my sad story for the week. So, he has been on date for a while and he was scheduled to be baptized same as AJ this Saturday. We had it all planned, the program basically made, the interviews done for the most part and they both were set. But, on Saturday evening around 7:30 or so we got a text from Keshaun and he bailed. We didn’t really get a reasoning from him, just that he needed more time and that it “wasn’t really him.” I can promise you that I’ve never really felt heartbreak in my entire life until that point. We were devastated and what was worse was we had to put on our happy face and finish our night. But, for the rest of that night we were worried sick about what had happened and about how we could fix it. We’ve still talked about it since and are praying constantly that it all works out and he can be baptized and receive those blessings. There are a couple members that are going to talk with him and see what we can do but it was probably the saddest I’ve been on my mission. I have learned more about our Heavenly Father’s love than any other experience because I, like Him, felt my heart drop for Keshaun. I love that kid too much, and I hope and pray he rediscovers his testimony of the Restoration and of the Church. Pray for him.
    That’s pretty much everyone that needed to be updated. We are also working with a young man named Ryan who needs to be baptized. His family situation is just weird but he knows so much and he believes it all so hopefully we’ll be able to work through the details in order to get him to church and stuff. Everybody else is doing pretty great and we’re still finding and teaching and baptizing! The reason why though is the members, they are super awesome and it’s just been a domino effect of Recent Converts bringing their friends into the church. If you have any specific questions about people you remember and were interested in just let me know!

  • Brother Hooper-the same guy who challenged us to the steak-told us about all sorts of pranks they did on his mission. One of them was they made people pee blue using an aquarium algae cleaner. Don’t know if it works, yet.
  • The Thordersons in the ward are related to Christopher Layton through the wife right after my family...can’t remember those numbers exactly but that was a cool connection to make! He had a big book and it had my family’s name in it!
  • We had interviews with President and that was great! Some of the best interviews I’ve had and Elder Stanford and I came prepared with questions...a lot of them. But I learned a lot!
  • Elder Stanford clogged the toilet at a memebrs home this week, lol. 
  • One of the Sister’s investigators was baptized this past weekend and it was amazing! The spirit was so strong and I don’t understand why not a lot of people go to those baptisms! So spiritually uplifting we thought Saturday was Sunday.
  • We contacted, or tried to contact, a deaf guy and a blind guy in the same afternoon. 
  • Elder Stanford bought a clown costume for too much money intending to return it after he scared Sister Tunuufi with it, but that didn’t work. First of all they found the costume so the prank didn’t work and secondly after being opened the costume couldn’t be returned (which is not what they told him when he bought it). But we got lots of pictures and then Sister Tunuufi wanted to face her fear so he dressed up and took pictures with her anyway! Happy Halloween.

    I was a mostly great week! Keshaun was a bummer, a heartbreak like I said, but AJ is doing good and the area is still flourishing! Couldn’t find another story that beat $10,000 or a steak marinated in Hell Sauce. But God is good, and He always is teaching us something, if only we would listen and hear Him. Make it a great week y’all, love ya!

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











Monday, September 11, 2017

11 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 63

A’ICNwio;foWIEBFICwefivb,

    Hey y’all! Hope you all had a good, short week with Labor Day being on Monday! Our week was super busy and went by really fast. We had a lot of great things happen though and to top it off Jerome got baptized and confirmed on Saturday!
    Jerome’s baptism was a miraculous experience, as baptisms already are! There’s just something about finally helping one of our Heavenly Father’s children reach the goal of baptism. As I said all of it worked out well, there was a lot of support there and the Jones’ family, who were a little apprehensive in the beginning all got emotional and couldn't be happier. It was cool to see their heart’s soften, as well as Jerome’s through his progression. We were coming back from our exchange in Birmingham and so it was a long day but it was a tender mercy that all of it work out how it was intended. Even if he had to get dunked three times...   
    AJ and Keshaun (and Danny-Less Active) also are making great progress! We gave a lesson on the Word of Wisdom review and Chastity and it was hilarious. Yes, I know the Law of Chastity is a serious lesson and we had glimpses of seriousness-enough to cause them to ask about the repentance process they needed to make. But, it was just like a couple 19-year-olds teaching it to a 16-year-old and two 20-year-olds! I was really cool though because all of them committed to live those laws and Danny gave us his cigarettes and he went to talk to Bishop and the other two boys were ready to change! It’s been awesome to see all them progress and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of them in white on the 23rd!!
    We saw Freddy again this week and he’s doing great! Working to the 28th of October for baptism! He has desire and he has the opportunity in front of him now! He wasn’t able to make it to church this week because he got called in to do work but hopefully he still keeps going! We want to try and talk to his family too and he said his wife was trying to get a new job so she didn’t have to work on Sundays. Crazy to think this all started with talking to a guy at a stoplight. Talk to everyone because you never know who is ready!!
    Some other things we’ve been able to do this week was, as I said earlier, go on an exchange in Hoover. I went with Elder Olson and learned a lot! We met guy who had a crazy story and told us all about it for 30 minutes, then ended in a prayer and prayed for us for another 10 minutes. He was cool and is talking to him softened his heart enough to take a Book of Mormon. By the way, his name was “Steven Michael.” We also went to a couple District Meetings, one here and the other in Columbus, MS. Lots of good things trained on and taught there! President Ford came to Tupelo yesterday to speak and I got the opportunity to speak with him again!! It was kind of cool to have spoken with him in Wetumpka about 6 months ago and then to be able to do it again in another area! I was asked to speak at 8:30 Saturday night too because speakers canceled but it was an easy topic, “How has your decision to serve a mission changed/shaped your life?”
  • Some kids saw us late one night and asked if they could write their names in our planners. They were 11-13 and we were talking with them and one said that his name was “chicken wing.” The next day we looked in Elder Stanford’s planner and found “Chicken Wing” written on one of his pages. 
  • We went to the Jones house and experienced how hard it was to teach someone (their nephew) by yelling and arguing. We tried to bring the Spirit and it was there for at least a little bit.
  • Brother Hooper nearly killed us. It was our choice...but still. So, he has a “Hot Sauce” challenge. We took pictures of the bottle but the challenge was to eat a steak-it was about 8 oz.-marinated in this insane hot sauce for 24 hours. We both volunteered. We only got a potato with it and we couldn’t use any dairy products except butter on the potato. We got water, but no milk. We started and it was hot but we were going good. Then it hit our stomach and our bodies started to reject this demonic sort-a liquid that this steak was lathered in. Elder Stanford cried. We both started to shake and sweat. It was not an enjoyable experience. Luckily we finished it and got our reward, a glass of milk. He also gave us Tums and we were on fire for the next couple days. Thinking back on the experience I can’t really pin down how I felt or what I tasted...I don’t think I blacked out but it was something similar. What’s worse is what happened when it came out. 
  • We got back in contact with a PM Family after a month and a half. When we went to see them they both wanted to quit smoking and so they gave us their cigarettes. Then, later, they had some  serious withdrawals and we were really confused but hope that all turned out well. :\

    It was another good one here in Tupelo and we’re looking forward to transfer calls this coming Saturday. Pretty sure we are both staying here but it will be fun to see what happens this transfer! I love y’all and hope things are going well! If you need me for anything just email me!

Much Love,
Elder Milius

PS: On the bright side, I can handle anything spicy from now on.



-- 
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



By the way, we found this talk this week! Pretty good stuff from a very young Spencer W. Kimball!














Tuesday, September 5, 2017

5 September 2017 - Elder Milius Week 62

HELLO!!

    Happy Tuesday P-Day! Labor wasn’t too bad, usually Monday holidays are slow but we didn’t have to long of a day! We were able to play softball that morning with the ward and that was awesome! We were regretting it later though because we didn’t have time to study and we were feeling it. So, study your scriptures!!! It makes a huge difference in your day!
    We’re going to shake things up a bit and I’m going to start with the crazy/funny stories:
  • On Tuesday we were on an exchange and so Elder Stanford took Elder Morely to go see Apostle Sparrow. Remember that guy? He invited them to his church to meet with him-great. But when they went to see him it was all good. Then he asked them how much it was to come on a mission in which they answered $10,000. Sparrow then took out his checkbook and proceeded to write both Elder Stanford and Elder Morely a check for $10,000! 10K. They told him no and then he went off and told them that by not taking his money they were denying God’s blessings. What a few of thinking, huh? He told them a story of how he was praying to be able to afford a new Infinity when a lady who hadn’t been to church in three years came to give her $73,000 tithing offering. God answered his prayers and he got a new car. Crazy stuff. He still hasn’t offered it to me but I hope he doesn’t because the natural man in me wants it. I know I shouldn't take it though. Oh, but on top of that he did a background check on Elder Stanford and I and he said that he knew where we lived and he was going to send it in the mail. So, Mom and Dad, if there is a check for 10K in the mail it’s from Apostle Keric Sparrow to Elder Milius.
  • Our neighbor, Ms. Melody is awesome. She comes over and gives us food that she made and then we make her desert. She came over one night to give us something she made and then when we were talking to her she stepped into our apartment. Awkward. Nothing happened but it was funny.
  • The tornado warnings were going off all day on Thursday and they were disrupting our weekly planning.
  • We were driving past a group of kids playing basketball in the street and we slowed down and out of the window asked for the ball to shoot. This one kid said, “You guys are kinda weird. You look like nerds!” Love it.
  • In teaching Chris a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, Elder Stanford asked “So Chris, what does this mean to you to know all this.” He responded as serious as ever, “It means everything I’ve been taught is a lie.”
  • We make some good cheesecake.
  • The Sisters found a way to lock their sim card and were out of a phone for two days. 
  • Danny told me on Sunday, “Real men wear pink, but a great man pulls it off.” Nailed it.

    Now, we get into the good stuff! So, to start off Jerome is progressing really well! He is due to be baptized on Saturday evening and we are hoping all goes well with that! There is some logistical things we’ve had to take care of this week but we should be all good to go!
    We had the BEST lesson with AJ and Danny and Keshaun this past week. So AJ and Keshaun are both working towards getting baptized on the 23 of this month and we are trying to see if it’s possible to get Danny worthy to baptized them-that’s still undetermined. But this Wednesday we decided that we just needed to help them all receive a better testimony. So, we read JSH 1:10-20 about the First Vision and asked for their thoughts. We were in the chapel and the spirit was very strong, but then someone started playing basketball in the gym so we had to move. We were so worried that the spirit was going to leave but when we got back into the RS room it came back! We then invited everyone to pray individually, to know whatever they feel they needed to know. So, we dimmed the lights and sat a prayered for 10-15 minutes. The Spirit was thick enough to cut! It was so awesome! After we all prayed we came back together and we all bore our testimony about our experiences, talked about the things we felt and closed. Best lesson I think I’ve ever had but Elder Stanford and I couldn’t celebrate right after because then we started Bible study. After we got in the car that night though we were freaking out about how cool it was.
    Freddy, the guy we contacted at a red light is doing good and he’s going to end up being super solid we can tell. Also, after fasting and praying to find a family this coming transfer to baptized this past Sunday we found the Mangrum family who lives in our complex who are looking for a church and they are so ready! It’s a couple with two kids who are younger but may be over 8. We’re excited to work with them! Quantario is still progressing as fast as grandma will let him. We are trying to increase his understanding in order to increase his testimony.
    Things are going good here in Tupelo and they are getting better! We still have to drive a lot but it’s totally worth the ride! I love the ward here, I love the people, I love my companion and I love the Lord! Hope all things are going good and home or wherever y’all are at! Keep up the good work and never forget how much Satan hates you, and how much God loves you! Make it a great week!

Much Love,
Elder Milius


PS: Those pants are black, I swear. Do you see black? Or gray?


-- 
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, August 28, 2017

28 August 2017 - Elder Milius Week 61

Another One!

    Hello! Hope y’all are doing great and hope you had another week! Ours was pretty normal here in Mississippi but nonetheless it’s been exhausting! Since the last time I emailed we put two more people on date for baptism in September and then one of them fell through. We are running into some problems but with the Lord’s help we are going to get it done!
    One of the people that we’ve added to our baptismal date pool is Chris. At first he didn’t seem too interested or anything and then when we were on an exchange Elder Stanford taught him, and it was “the best first lesson I’ve ever taught.” We went back over a couple days later to make an appointment that Chris requested and I was able to see how well he understood. He literally got everything. I have never had to teach the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods in a Restoration lesson before baptism, and the entire lesson was like that. He made the comment “So, Joseph Smith is your founder...wait no, no...Jesus Christ is your founder technically.” It was awesome, and we are praying he continues to move forward to the 30th.
    Jerome is doing great and moving towards the 9th now I believe, because the member family who he’s been coming to the church through is out of town this weekend. Which is fine, he’s basically ready! Keshaun is converted, but his family situation is weird and random. They are fine with him getting baptized but they are just all over the place and we haven’t been able to set up appointments. So, he’ll still get baptized but it might be later in the month. AJ is doing good. He was at church on Sunday with Danny (a less-active) and that was a miracle!! We’ve been trying so hard to get them to come and they finally did! They left right after the Sacrament was passed but they were there! Praying he keeps progressing. Him and AJ are friends so it’s going to be awesome to try and help them both join the church together.
    Some other things that happened this week pertaining to people in Tupelo. On Tuesday nights we were going to play basketball and as we were walking out I waved at a guy in our apartment complex. He asked if we were going to play ball and when we told him “Yeah” he followed us over. Edward is a pretty cool guy and we are going to try to teach him and his family. They just moved in a couple weeks ago so that was cool. First time a “waving contact” had actually worked!
    We met an Apostle, Apostle Sparrrow. He is a minister for a baptist church...or five...something like that but he totally heard us out and we have an appointment with him tomorrow morning! He was given tons of money from people to pursue his preaching career and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave us each like $1,000. We wouldn’t take it of course but it will be interesting sitting down with him. He’d make a good member of the church.
    One miracle I forgot to tell you about last week! We went to follow up with someone and they ended up not being home. So we tracted around and as we were walking away we felt like knocking on one last door. We met a lady named Jessica who was semi-interested and she just didn’t feel like God was answering her. We were able to talk to her a little bit and schedule some time to meet with her again. But, the crazy part was this last door was another entrance to the same address we went by to follow up with. Same house, and the Lord was going to get us in to talk to Jessica even if we had to knock on another door.
    This past week we were also able to attend a mulit-zone conference with President Christensen of the Seventy. He came and talked a lot about the Holy Ghost. Without going in too much detail I have learned so much about the Spirit and I will have things to study for the next while. I’ve learned a lot about what His calling is and what mine is as well. It was an amazing conference.

Other Stories;
  • We are going to get black out contacts and prank the sisters. Then for Halloween we’re going to be Zombie Missionaries. 
  • A guy cussed us out off his porch. Came flying to the door “We didn’t answer the first time!!!” We were both thinking to ourselves, “No, that’s why we knocked again.” He then proceeded to swear at us and we simply smiled and said to him to “Have a blessed day.” After which he said, “You too!!”  and slammed the door. 
  • Elder Stanford made some bomb cheesecake and the sisters died after eating it. He’s showing me the ropes so that I’ll be able to come back and make some awesome desserts! That and banana pudding! 
  • An investigator in Columbus who was getting baptized on Saturday called the Elders Thursday and told them that he wouldn’t be getting baptized. His preacher gave him his job back so he’s going back to his church instead of listening to the truth. You can buy anything, or anyone with money!
  • Our Zone Activity was today and we played a ton of sports with the missionaries around us in the Tupelo Stake.
  • Sister Gilbert showed us an awesome picture...just don’t look to close.
  • We learned how to appropriately eat chocolate in Elders Quorum.
    • Take time to enjoy it
    • Clean you pallett
    • Take deep breathes
    • Inspect the chocolate
    • Smell it
    • Take a small bite
    • Move it around in your mouth
    • Inhale slowly
    • Reflect on the taste
    • Take notes and score it

    It was another wonderful week here with the people in Tupelo and President Christensen topped it off! The mission is going great and my testimony of the Savior has increased more than I could ever imagine. It grows more and more each day and the times I get to tell people how much I KNOW the truth is solidifies it to me. Never shy away from sharing your testimony. I love y’all and hope you have another great 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