Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015 - Things Looking Up! (Right Before Leaving?)

This week was kind of busy! We managed to get quite a few potential investigators found when the Zone Leaders came over for splits. It was kind of funny; we've been trying for weeks to meet some former investigators, and all of a sudden some of them answered, and they all lined up appointments for the day that the Zone Leaders come, so we could actually visit them all! Prayers are answered!

We have another investigator now, and he has accepted a baptismal date. He's kind of younger, so it's cool that he is interested. We should meet with him again today. I hope we can be open enough to understand what it is that he is looking for, and show that the gospel can individually help us with our lives.

We will continue to be visiting people that said we could come back, so there are even plans for us to be busy this week! All just in time for changes... When it's possible that I could leave Porvoo... Hmm.

On a positive note, we had a pretty good Zone Conference just last Saturday. We had to get up at 2:30 AM to get over to there, but it was worth it. Why? The Zone Conference was a Double-Zone Conference, being held in THE TAMPERE CHAPEL!!! I got to go back to Tampere for a day! That was quite a lot of fun. My old bishopric was there, and all said "Hi" when they saw me! They mostly all remembered that I had been transferred down to Porvoo, so they asked how that was. We got to hear from Elder Nielsen, the one who spoke last General Conference about the Prodigal Son in the analogy of his sister's experiences. He was a good speaker, even if for a while during the last part he made it seem like we were going to be receiving iPads any day now, just to then tell us we aren't in the European testing group that he and Elder Bednar are here to give iPads to. GRR.

Side shout-out to the Nissen family if they are out there: I got to finally meet Elder Nissen during the Zone Conference! He seemed a little shocked that I existed beyond the electronic blog. It was fun, I got a picture with him to prove that we've finally met. (Of course, he did not SEND the picture... Mom)  (April 22nd - However, Elder Nissen sent one to HIS mom and she forwarded it to me!)

Elder Nissen: I found Elder Milligan at zone conference!!!!! He is a lot smaller than I imagined…
(I am laughing so hard right now! Mom)

Well, I think that's about it! Questions!

What is something you learned this week?

This week I've been going over a lot of my General Conference notes, as well as the Plan of Salvation. I have been studying it with a large emphasis on having faith during trials. The stories of how burdens have been lifted in different ways has made me desire to be the kind that gets through trials because I am stronger through them, rather than trying to "pray them away". That was a big thing that Elder Nielsen talked about at the end - how Christ's Atonement is not only a redeeming power, but an enabling one. That was really good! There is a new Mormon Message out today about exactly that, quoting the talk I was reading for a lot of the study of it. Mom, if you want to grace the blog with a link, that'd be much obliged! (He was studying Elder Bednar's talk from 2014 April Conference as well as Elder Nielson's. Elder Nielson gave them those talks to study from before the conference, as well as another one that he did not tell me the title of. The Mormon Message is from Elder Bednar's talk. Just in case any of you got as confused as I did! Mom) https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/bearing-our-burdens-with-hope 

What is something you taught this week?

I taught a pretty good lesson about the Restoration and Being an Example to our recent convert. I was with Elder Hugie, one of the Zone Leaders, and although we had planned to talk about strictly the Restoration, I felt impressed to share some of my recent thoughts regarding how important it is to be a righteous example of what you believe in, and how much that can show what you really have faith in. After that, I talked a bit about S. Michael Wilcox's talk "The Fourth Watch", which I actually haven't read. I've just received some excerpts of it from Father's coworker from BYU, Sister Stoddard, I think. She shared a great section about how important it is to realize that some concerns in our prayers don't seem to be being answered or addressed at all, even when we are asking the right questions and seeking for the right things, because we need to have had the situations to best understand it. It was a great section, and perfect for bringing the Spirit into the lesson. Elder Hugie then brilliantly gave a different commitment than we'd planned: he invited us ALL to pray about a way that we can change our attitude or perspective or actions so that we can be a better example, and be more open to the answers that we are searching for. It was great! (Thank you, Sister Stoddard for sending inspiring messages to our boy! Mom)

What is something you think we should know?

Hmm. I guess if you all could try to find and read the S. Michael Wilcox talk, and then get me a copy right after that, then I think that we could all learn from that. It really, from what I've read so far, seems to address the questions we all have at one point or another: why am I having to endure this trial, in this way, at this time? If you all could think about that and make it so that I can as well, then that's what I'd like us all to know. (This is a talk from BYU Education Week as far as I have been able to find. It is available on Audio CD, but I haven't found a transcript of it, yet. If anyone else has info, let me know! Mom)

What is something your companion has taught you? (serious, not goofy! ok, after you say something serious, you can say something goofy!)

Oh, serious, THEN goofy? Okay...

He has taught me a lot about drive to find people to talk to, even when all has seemed futile up to that point. Despite whatever we have gone through that day, no matter how rough the lessons or day itself, he seeks to be in a place to be able to find His children. That's really inspiring, because it can be hard to keep going when there's nothing left. And now we have stuff to do!

And now the goofy-ish one. He knows a LOT of musical references, and together we have made our own little 4-Chord Jam using songs that aren't in the clip I always used to watch. It is great! I know my family is probably groaning over that one, but, hey! (Definitely groaning! Mom)

What stood out to you in General Conference?

There was a lot about marriage and family in that... 'Nuff said... It still helped me think about stuff that's important, though!

Does Finland have a lot of bugs? Snakes? Scary critters?

Lots of mosquitoes are appearing now, although they seem to hate me here as much as they do in Oklahoma! I haven't gotten bit yet, but my companion seemed to be getting attacked for a while.

Have you been able to go to the Helsinki Temple more than once?

No, just the once that I got to go during Interim, after 6 weeks in Finland. We'll find a way to get there sometime...

I'm guessing you find out sometime this week if you are being transferred?

I find out next Saturday, at the beginning of May. It should be fun, but I'm a little worried for the time leading up to it, because this Friday, Elder Saunders has to get a wisdom teeth extraction, which will be putting him out of commission for a while... basically, until change calls. Oh, well. I'll find a way for us to still get work done somehow! Pray for him, though, will y'all? It's hard enough being on a mission, even harder to be on one and not get to do mission work.

Did your package ever arrive?

I got it last Wednesday! It was AWESOME!!! Tons of American candy, all of the letters from my Birthday present, and 2 new ties! It was great, I wore one of the new ties to Zone Conference, the one with the matching pocket square.

I feel I need to say this again, though... I love the fact that I have a package, and it REALLY did make me happy... Just the occasional letter with a flash drive of "hello" videos from people would be a great present - I don't need that much candy! That being said, Thanks again! I am going to space this out again - I still have quite a bit of candy left over from the MTC packages...

Well, that's about it. I hope that everything goes well for y'all! Be safe!

Vanhin David Milligan
If you click on this to make it bigger, you can see that his eyebrows are FROZEN. Mom's question: Where is that toasty warm hat we bought that would cover those frozen eyebrows???!!!

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