To the General Population:
Well not too eventful of a week. It was the Fourth of July (not too different of a day in the mission field). We had zone conference and so I got to see a lot of missionaries I haven’t seen in awhile. And…..I hit my year mark! Time flies by and it’s crazy to think that I have been gone for over a year now! It’s even crazier to think that I will be headed home in a year! I just want to be a missionary forever!
First, for the sake of it being my year mark I have to mention Elder Erickson. He is the brand new Elder who is serving with Elder Egbert (who came out with me) in Millbrook. He is so excited about missionary work and is like the brightest kid you’ll ever find. It makes me laugh because of how evident that “greenie fire” is and I can only hope and pray that even as a more “mature” missionary I can still have that same enthusiasm. Maybe not as outwardly expressed, but the same enthusiasm nonetheless. Also I’d like to mention the Kempton family! They are awesome (and they are both from Safford, AZ, which makes them even cooler and I’m sure we have some family that knows family so if there are any connections to “Kempton's” let me know!). They fed us a couple times this week as an FHE night and after we helped them with their yard one morning. They are thinking about putting in for Phoenix next year as they are military and such. I’m trying to get a few families from the ward here to put in for Phoenix or Tucson so that I can come see them after I get home. The Cole’s, another great family, are moving out there in a few weeks or so to Tucson and it’s going to be fun keeping in contact with them so that they can go to my Homecoming!
We were busy this week, as always, and we found a few new investigators that we are hoping turn into something solid. Unfortunately once something solid happens a couple weeks later it fizzles but we keep working! That’s what we’re called to do anyways! But, by way of updates:
Ann is being frustrating. We are trying to help her work through an event that happened when she was 16 at her church that made her stop going to church. From what she tells us that’s really the only thing that is holding her back and if the “event” is what we are assuming it is I guess it’s not a bad reason to not come to church. I’ve heard worse. But right now that’s what is holding her back so I think we are just going to focus on helping her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and all the other dominoes will hopefully fall. She’s a sweet lady though and she’ll get it one day.
Kerri and her kids, Alex and Shelby, haven’t been too present. We’ve tried to contact Kerri all this week to no avail but she’s resting from her surgery. Her kids are now at their dad's for the second half of the summer so they are getting more and more distant because we aren’t able to visit them. But, again hopefully when school starts they will be back with Kerri and we’ll be able to continue teaching them and preparing them for baptism! They have all already committed to a soft baptismal invite but the date is the trouble because we don’t know the schedule. Prayers that they don’t fall through the cracks.
Courtney and her daughter Brooklyn are another two we’ve found and been teaching. They just left out of town on vacation to Florida though to see family so we won’t be able to see them for at least another week. Summer rocks.
Haley is someone I think I’ve mentioned before. She’s doing her research but last time we went to see her she brought up something that was straight from like anti...we sent her to mormon.org so that she’ll have a legit place to do her research rather than finding things that say a leader of our church said you have to go through Joseph Smith to be saved or to get to Jesus of something like that. Probably taken out of context with a lot of “....” in the middle. Or not true at all. Gotta love it!
We did meet a couple other families this week that were really awesome! The Henley family was someone we tracted into. The little boy answered the door, then the little girl came to the door and hugged Elder Foudy, and then Mom came! She taught her kids a lesson about opening a door to strangers and then we talked to her a little bit on her doorstep. She is baptist but has an open mind and I’m praying that that family lets us come back and teach them because they’d be great for the church! We need more active Priesthood in the Prattville Ward. We also, went to visit the Smith family who is Less-Active. We FINALLY were able to see them after trying forever! They, we think, got offended by someone and then haven’t been back to church for a while. They have three kids who aren’t baptized and a family of four, family friends of theirs have moved in recently too! We are going to try making them a more of a priority and trying to reactivate, baptize, and bring lots of people into the church that blesses families so much! We’re just praying for softened hearts.
Couple other fun things to note, one being our mission’s focus on Family History! I forgot how much I liked Family History until we were encouraged to spend a couple hours of the week participating in it! That’s going to be fun to continue and it’s going to be cool to do it with Elder Foudy because his line is almost the exact opposite of mine. Full and complete versus not. Also, we (Elder Foudy and I) had a long conversation about member-missionary work. A long conversation. We are trying to figure out how we can make the member-missionary work better here in Prattville as well as around the ABM. We’ve decided to try and start implementing lessons and visits with members, just as we would with investigators, with commitments and follow-ups. Not only would this allow us to meet a lot of the members and get in their home (besides dinners which are now almost strictly at 5:00-which is where this conversation started), but it would also allow us to teach and encourage the members in a more personally tailored way. We are going to try and implement our idea in seeing and teaching one member family each night around 7:30/8:00 for 20-30 minutes. Short, quick, bold, powerful, and missionary work changing...hopefully! So that’s exciting, wish us luck!
The funny stories:
- We went to a wedding of a lady in Millbrook Ward on the 4th. She had us (the missionaries) serve the food. And her daughter told me that I look like a Ken doll...in a good way.
- As we were teaching a lady in the park about the Apostasy (she was highly disagreeing with us) her little girl asked me if I was a missionary. Elder Foudy was teaching at the moment so I responded with a happy “Yes!” She looked up at me and said, “Well then I want to be a missionary too!” Thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord!
- Pauline told Elder Foudy he could have some chocolate milk. After drinking it he looked at her disgusted and said “Pauline this milk is bad.” She responded, “Yes, I know.” Hahaha!!!
- Also about Pauline, I made her laugh out loud.
- Oh and she was also at the wedding and I danced with her...sorta. I was helping her get around with my arm and I told the other missionaries I brought a date to the wedding. Pauline hit me and called me a bad by but I know she thinks I’m cute. (I’ll have to send you pictures next week, the ones we took are on the phone but I’ll figure out how to put them on the computer next week).
- A little girl ran out and hugged Elder Foudy after we tracted into the house. Never have we seen them before so that was weird/cute and worth mentioning twice.
- Elder Foudy had a vision of a house that we were going to knock on tracting. Then when we got to “the house” no one answered which was contrary to his vision so we are going to go back.
A couple more spiritual thoughts and then I’ll let y’all stop reading if you’ve actually made it this far. I know my Mom has, thanks Mom! You’re cool. But anyways on Thursday we went out with Brother Campbell, our WML, to see some people. When we were walking away from one house we had someone else to go see but there was this lady in the street a little ways and I had the impression to go talk to her but I talked myself out of it. After we left I felt terrible. Ask Elder Foudy, as a missionary you vocalize your thoughts so he knew everything I was thinking! I felt like a failure, and when we got to the next house I asked for forgiveness and promised that I’d never disregard a prompting ever again. It was sad, and depressing. But then, to make it worse Brother Campbell asked to take us out to eat! At dinner I brought a Book of Mormon inside and set tit at the end of the table. I told Brother Campbell that it was to make up for ignoring a prompting to talk to someone earlier. “Who?!” he promptly asked. I told him there was a lady down the street… He cut me off “...in a green skirt.” I said “Ya,” and he responded, “You’re going to make me cry. I had the same prompting and the entire ride in the car over here I was beating myself up about it.” That was one of the most butt-kicking experiences I’ve had. But I will never, never ignore a prompting as long as I live. I learned a lot from that experience but the most comforting thing about it is even after the mission I will still, if I choose, be able to receive promptings-like Brother Campbell-to talk to random individuals about the gospel.
The second experience was more in studies. I was reading in the Ensign of sometime last summer and Elder Bednar was in it from a devotional he gave on Neal A. Maxwell’s talk “That I might not shrink” (or something of the sort). And in it he told the story of a friend who had cancer and wanted a Priesthood blessing but before the blessing was given Elder Bednar asked “Do you have the faith to NOT be healed?” Likewise in missionary work-as I apply everything to missionary work these days-do we have the faith to NOT find success, to NOT see the fruits of our efforts and work, or to NOT reap the rewards of baptizing! Kinda cool thought. We’re called to sow, to necessarily to reap. And the guy in the story made a comment about having faith that the Lord “could” do something, not the faith that he “would” do something because that’s not up to us.
There are my thoughts for the week. A not so eventful week was still full of miracles and good experiences! I guess that's what happens when you focus so much on others. I love it! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! I love y’all! Make it another good week wherever you are!!!
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
This is Pauline :)
Elder Foudy and Elder Milius
Burning The Shirt ceremony to mark ONE YEAR DOWN!!!