Elder Jake Milligan

Elder Jake Milligan

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thanksgiving and Such

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

The past two weeks have been pretty crazy and fun! We had transfers on Monday because of Thanksgiving and all of that good stuff. But Elder McCain got shipped out to Hamilton Illinois so I got to pick up my new companion his name is Elder Barber! He's from Alpine Utah and he's pretty sweet. He plays college golf at UVU so he's pretty much a stud. He's been out 3 months and just got done training so he's pretty fresh. 

So I missed a week of writing because weird p-days and junk but there hasn't been too many crazy things going on in Ankeny. Most of our stories come from Des Moines because I like working there a lot more than in actual Ankeny (cause white people are mean to me) but we have some exciting events coming up. 

So a few weeks ago we had a the wife of a member of the Ward text us and say that she wants to be baptized! Her name is Nicole, she's very nice. Very private and quiet so we have just been kind of helping her get ready to be baptized. But her date is for Dec.10th! Her interview will be this week which she'll pass easy. We are very excited for another baptism here in Ankeny 2nd South! 

We also have another investigator on date named Chris. He is the brother of the girls we baptized last transfer, he wants to join in on the fun and he's baptismal date is for Dec. 17th! His birthday! What better way to celebrate than washing all your sins away?! lol. 

So we are pretty pumped for the Ankeny area right now! Lots of good stuff looking forward to helping 2 more souls come closer to Christ in the up coming weeks! 

Alright because I know my mom is going to pry for detalis here is what we did on Thanksgiving 

So the night before the ZL's slept over at our place and we woke up and went to IHOP and then we went to a members house and chilled and played games. We got to see a little bit of of Sam Bradford choking against the Lions so that brought me some inner joy. Then we had dinner at the Duersons house, Sister Duerson is my favorite, her name is Yolanda and she's from the Philippines and she always yell's "Elder Milligaaaannn!" whenever I say something sassy to her. She's the best. Then after the Duersons we went to another dinner at the Church held by a big family in the 1st ward it was really fun. We ate so much Elder Barber threw up in the middle of the night! (I didn't even wake up, bad companion status). Lol but it was pretty fun even though I didn't get to be with my fam. I definitely felt grateful for them even though I didn't get to spend time with them!   

Alright I love you guys

Happy late thanksgiving/ Early Christmas?

America



God Bless America am I right?!



What's up everyone? This week was so good! We got a new President and we got to see three amazing girls get baptized this week!! Two of my favorite things! This week was pretty crazy, Iowa is a pretty big state in the election process so it felt like there was Political garbage being thrown around all week. So it was kind of hard to find people that wanted to talk about anything other than Trump and Killary all week. This week definitely taught me a lot about patience and charity as our super liberal investigators vented about how evil trump is lol. Definitely had to hold my tongue a few times.

That's not important though, the important thing that happened this week was Larverta, Larvetta, and Faith were all baptized and confirmed!! It was the best day of my Mission I swear! It was so good to be with the girls on their big day, I had the opportunity to baptize Larverta and Faith as well as confirming Larvetta. It was an awesome experience and the spirit was ridiculously strong!

The night after their Baptism the girls and their family had us over for dinner and it was lit. They hit the quan, and did the whip. They taught us how to "JuJu on the beat" (I feel like an old dad trying to stay cool when I say that) and they also sang a bunch of Bruno Mars and Wiz Khalfia songs for us hahaha. It was so fun. The atmosphere was just so joyful and fun I loved it so much. The African food wasn't half bad either...surprisingly. Well That's all I got folks. I hope you are all enjoying life. 

Love you guys




Monday, October 31, 2016

Beggars Night

What's up family? The week here in Ankeny/North Des Moines has been pretty fun. We had a lot of stupid things happen this week but we've just been finding the humor in them. For example on Tuesday we had to take our car in because it was being stupid (classic Chevy) and the car dealer ship was way out of our area and literally in the middle of nowhere. So we got stuck at the random Chevy dealership for like 4 hours with nothing to do. It was super frustrating, but what can you do I guess. 

The work was still really good this week. We found 5 new investigators that are looking pretty solid. So that's way exciting. We had a big bummer this week though, Madi's mom officially closed the door on baptism in the foreseeable future. Her mom came to Church this Sunday and Madi even bore her testimony and it was soooo spiritual! I don't know what else we gotta do to get through to this woman!!

So that whole situation is frustrating, I don't think I've ever wanted to get someone baptized as I do with Madi. We've been pulling out all the stops too, like I've never tried so many different things to soften someone's heart! But anyways Madi is great she will be getting baptized, it's just a matter of when. 

On the positive, my African babes are doing GREAT! They are so awesome, the twins got up and bore a tag-team testimony on Sunday and it made me soooo happy. I literally love those girls so much they are the BEST. They're doing so good we moved their baptism up to November 12th! So we should be baptizing all three of the girls in a few weeks! So awesome. I'm pumped. Most exciting thing that happened this week was... my investigator in CR Jasmine got Baptized!!!! I was bummed I couldn't go back for it. But I'm so excited for her, she is the best. I can't wait to see her again.

Nothing too funny happened this week, Yesterday was beggars night. So everyone trick or treats for two hours from 6-8 the night before Halloween that way on Halloween all the parents can go get wasted and not have to worry about spending time with their children. Iowa :)

Love you Guys, Miss you all!

Jake

Welcome to Des Moines (it's been waitin' for ya!)

What's up everyone! Hopefully someone gets the T-Swift reference I slipped in the subject line lol.
 
So this week was awesome, like really really good. This area was Dead at the beginning of the week. Our only investigator on Date was our girl Madi. But outside of that we had no one. But that's all changed now! This week we found two awesome African families,they are so cool! One of the families came to church and we have a date to baptize their three daughters; Laverta, Larvetta (12 year old African twins, brutal.) and their little 8 year old girl Faith. They are the cutest little African kids I've ever seen. I literally can't wait to adopt black children. They are going to be baptized on November 19th!

Our investigator Madi is doing pretty well. Her mom is still being a hindrance in the whole baptism process but we have a lot of faith that she can be baptized on the 12th of November. Please pray for Madi, she's so awesome and wants nothing more than to be able to be baptized!

A lot of funny things happened this week and it was really easy to find happiness in the work this week. One of my favorite things that happened this week was that our African family came to Church! Yesterday was the primary program which is always fun to watch, but it was even better this time because the Primary President came up to the younger african kids and invited them to come up and participate in the program! They gave them parts to read and everything! I was blown away at how well this ward does at fellowshipping new comers. I love the ward here it's like an actual fun, loving, real Ward that you'd find back in the West. I feel really at home here it's great actually having fun at Church and at member dinners lol. 

My new Comp Elder McCain is really funny, he's like a female version of Hermana Annie Johnson, totally granola, tree hugger, kind of Liberal. But really chill and funny. We also just found out that two girls we kissed at College are roommates now so that's building our comp unity as wel. Lol.

Hope everyone has a great week! Love you guys!

Jake



Monday, October 24, 2016

Ankeny

What's up friends and fam, I'm writing to you from my new home, Ankeny, Iowa! (Every time I try and type it, auto correct tries to change it to Kenya.. yeah not that cool.) But it Ankeny is a great place. It's basically the "Eagle" of Iowa it's a really wealthy suburb of Des Monies. I was kind of sad when I found out cause I thought Ankeny was like only rich neighborhoods and all that jazz. But luckily our area actually has a ton of North Des Monies in it so it's super ghetto there. So I'm way happy ;)

My new comp is Elder McCain, he came out with my son Elder Esplin so I'm "Breaking" him. He's a stud! He's a really solid missionary and he loves the work. I'm really excited work with him. It's funny he's like 6'5 so when we show up at all the tiny African doors they are always like "Ohhh Mormons, always so tall! Like giants!" it's hilarious. 

So I don't have a ton of stuff to write about because I've only been in this area a few days but I'll just make a list of some cool stuff that's happened. 

- We set a date with our Investigator Madi! She's awesome she's 15 and wants to be baptized soooo bad! I've only met her once but I just love her to death, she's so brave. Her mom does not want her to get baptized at all but we are working with members in the ward to help fellowship the mom. We had a super intense lesson with her after Church when we extended her baptismal date and I was so drained afterward, it was arguably one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my Mission so far. 

- My investigator in CR Jasmine is all set to be baptized on Oct. 29th! So I should be able to go back and be there to baptize her I'm way pumped!!

- We taught this crazy drunk guy who was in the Military and the night before, he had to clowns try and break in his house and he shot one of them in the arm! Iowa is insane.

- Back in CR Esplin and I met a less active who wanted us too help him move (classic.) and he showed us his Machete he keeps by his bed and his loaded pistols he keeps under his pillow. "It's all just for protection though don't worry!"

Well that's all I got guys. I hope you all have a great week. PLEASE PRAY FOR MADI'S MOM TO SOFTEN HER HEART! 

I love you guys! 

Jake

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#ClownSpotted

This past week was pretty solid, kind of slow but it picked up towards the end. The week before transfers always seems to drag on way long especially if you pretty much know you're leaving. But Elder Esplin and I have been staying pretty motivated and we got a lot of good work done this week. We have been working with Jasmine and her Aunt Arielle and Arielle's three kids. They are looking real good to be baptized on October 29, they have been trying really hard to come to Church but their car is broken down and they don't have a ton of money. All of that combined with the fact we aren't allowed to ask members to give people rides to Church, makes it tough to get them to Sacrament meeting. But they should be coming this weekend. I'll probably have to find a way to come back for their baptism though because transfers are Thursday! My boy Elder Eslpin is all done training and it's time for him to leave the nest! (technically it's more like me leaving him in the nest) but I'm going to miss my son and this awesome area if I do end up getting the boot. 

This past weekend was Stake Conference which was pretty awesome. All the Elders from our zone needed a place to stay cause the ones up north live like 3 hours away and they had to be at both sessions so we had 11 Elders in our house for a night... It was a party. I'll just leave it at that. 
President and Sister Badger came and spoke at our Stake Conference and it was awesome! They spoke a lot about member Missionary work which was really awesome. Then the Stake Prez got up and spoke about Parenting and Marriage and all that stuff. I'm glad I'm a missionary. 

So this past week we have been teaching all of our "Chicago Refugees" and they keep telling us to be careful about the "Clowns" and we've been like "What the heck, why is everyone talking about clowns?" Turns out, (I don't know if this is going on in the west at all, I guess it started in Chicago) there are people dressing up as clowns and going out and attacking people at night and there's been people getting attacked in Cedar Rapids as well. So our AP's texted us and told us to be careful and if we see any clowns we are supposed to text them #ClownSpotted it's pretty funny. It's kind of messed up I know, but I just get a kick out of how crazy people around here are. 

Alright well as all of our investigators would say "I'm finna dip out now".

Love you guys

My Chain is too Loose, My Pants are too Tight....

What's up fam, this week has kind of been all over the place (fifteen miles between Cedar Rapids and Ely to be exact) but it's been really good. I feel like last Monday was forever ago, we started this week out living in Ely cause of the mini Armageddon happening in Cedar Rapids, but now we are back in our house safe and sound. So the flood ended up not being quite as bad as predicted the city built a ton of dykes and sand barriers to try and keep the water back and it worked pretty well actually. It was a pretty well done project for being run and funded by the Government... anyways the dykes kept the water away from our street but a few of them broke and a lot of people got flooded on both sides of the river which was sad. We'll probably spend a ton of time doing service the next few week helping get rid of sand bags and muck out peoples house. But luckily our house wasn't even touched #blessings. 

So we spent the first half of the week living with the Checketts family out in Ely, Iowa. Ely is kind of like the Eagle of Cedar Rapids. Except imagine Eagle is a 25 minute drive from Boise and you can only get there via freeway or dirt back roads that are underwater. But it's super nice, the Checketts are from Nampa and turns out my sister knows their son, the Church is such a small world. But we lived there till Thursday, then we got the okay to move back in to our house. It was fun while it lasted though, it was nice living in a first world neighborhood for a bit. But Missionary work isn't so hot there ;)

So we actually got to do Missionary stuff this week which was fun, we didn't have the truck so we broke out the bikes for the first time in my mission lol. I never realized how big of a lie the whole "Iowa is flat" thing is until we had to ride our crappy bikes up the massive hills in CR. But it was fun, I felt like I finally go the full missionary experience of having to ride a bike in the rain. My "Hipster missionary" pants as Prez. Badger calls them got pretty wrecked though lol. We had a great week, we have been teaching this household of ladies that are all related in different ways. One of them is Jasmine (the one who lost her leg) we started teaching her aunt Arielle and Arielle's 5 kids 3 of which are above the age of 8! :) We also had our new Investigator Deloras come and watch GC at the Church on Sunday morning it was sick, we set a date with her and she's excited to learn more. Also Bro. Dawson is getting interviewed by President Badger this weekend FINALLY. But yeah it twas a good week I suppose. 

Oh and GC don't  even get me started on GC that stuff was BOMB. Dallin H. Oaks is the man, Member Missionary work lets go fam! Get Pumped! 
I really loved every talk so I'm just goona leave it at that, I liked GC a lot.

Alright love you guys!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Craziest Week of My Life

Alright this week was straight up insane. By far the craziest week of my mission, probably my life too. There's so many things that happened this week I probably won't be able to write about them all without this turning into a novel. But I'll try and sum up everything that has happened this week accurately. I'm just goona jump into it. 

#1 

So on Tuesday it was a pretty fun day we worked a ton and found a really solid guy named Nathan Gapo, he's from the Congo. We are going to teach him with our Recent Convert Tresure who's also from the Congo and speaks French fluently. I'm excite, Trey is a great member missionary, and he's only been a member since June! But anyways we got a call from a member who is from Sierra Leon, he invited us over to have African food... Safe to say we were kind of nervous, I personally felt kind of cheated I thought I was safe getting called to Iowa. But since I've been in CR the only people I talk to are Africans it's crazy haha. But we had a nice meal of Cassava Leaves (Peanut Butter, Potato Leaves, Goat, Pork, Jalapenos, Habaneros, Sardines, Bones, Some kind of sticks and Rice. We ate it all though, I'm not sure how I just took a bite and drank their African Soda and repeated about 30x. Heavenly Father Knows how to challenge us :) 

#2

So Elder Madsen and I were on exchanges and we were teaching our new Investigator Tauheed. He is a cool kid, he's in college and plays basketball. We also found out he deals. Like drugs. So we were teaching the Plan of Salvation and he kept getting texts and stuff and was super distracted. So he gets up and excuses himself for a second and starts rummaging around with this plastic bag and he sits back down and says "Y'all ain't cops righ?" and I'm just like "haha..no?..." and he's like "Y'all act like it some times...haha just playin mahn!" and I'm just like nervous laughing looking at Madsen like what the heck is going on. Then his friend came in and took the baggie and left "Something" on the counter for him. So I got to see a live drug deal up close and personal this week! Stay tuned next to hear about our Word of Wisdom lesson this Tuesday at 3:00! :)

#3

So I don't know if word travels all the way to the West but Cedar Rapids is actually flooding. So we have been evacuated out of our area and are living south of Cedar Rapids in a town called Ely. So the rest of this transfer will be interesting to say the least. The members are really cool, they just moved from Nampa and they are super familiar with Eagle. It's kind of like being home it's weird. But we spent the last few days Sandbagging houses and doing service for people in our neighborhood. The River is supposed to be 31 ft higher than what it normally holds, so that means our house will probably have about 5 ft of standing water in it when it crests tomorrow morning. So yeah it should be crazy but we are safe! Our city was on ABC breaking news though! 

#4

Ok last Crazy thing, we got in a car wreck. Elder Madsen and I were up front and Esplin and Jackson were in the back. But we were at an intersection and we had the green and a guy ran a red light going like 40 and we T-boned him and he spun out and hit another lady who was turning so he took out 3 cars in all. The ZL's truck is wrecked pretty bad. But we're happy he didn't T-bone us or else Jackson and I might have gotten pretty messed up lol. But once again we're safe and grateful no one was seriously hurt.

So that's all the crazy stories in short form. We had Zone Conference this week that was pretty cool! Our investigator Alex is still wanting to be baptized, but his brother is trying to block it so we will have to figure things out with him. 
I hope you all have a great and safe week! Love you guys!



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey Man, you gonna get baptized?

Hey Everyone! 

This past week has been a roller coaster but it ended on a high note so I'm grateful for that! We have been meeting with some pretty solid people recently and they are all progressing very nicely. The week started off pretty rough, I got pretty sick and the Mission Nurse made me go into the urgent care and I found out I had another sinus infection like the 3rd one I've had on the mish lol. Then the Walmart Pharmacy refused to give me the prescription. So for a majority of the week I was pretty dead. But we still got out and worked and we received a ton of blessings from it! We taught our investigator Jasmine and committed her sister to baptism as well. She lives with her 3 sisters and all their kids in this tiny apartment, hopefully we will be teaching all of the sisters and their kids that are 8 or older. 
The biggest blessing we recieved this week was our new investigator Alex! Alex is 12 and he's the cousin of one of our Recent Converts Ettiene. He's a way nice kid, he asked his cousin to bring him to Church so he could learn more. After sacrament I went up and started talking to him, and I knew we had to invite him to baptism so I was just like "Hey Man you goona get baptized?!" and he was like "Haha...yeah!!" so we are going to teach him and his date is for October 8th :) 

Along with that it was a pretty good week, we found some new people that seem genuinely interested which is cool. I don't really have any funny stories from the HOUSE because whenever we're home I'm usually asleep within 5 minutes haha. 
I love you guys! I just realized I opened my call over a year ago! That threw me threw a loop haha. God Bless guys!

Jake 

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Legs Feed The Wolf

This week was a pretty good week for us here in CR. We have been working with a lot of people this week who actually want to learn and change their lives which is always exciting! We have been walking a ton now that we are back in a car share, and despite the fact that walking takes up so much time and can be super annoying it's actually really a useful finding tool. We always have a ton more lessons and new investigators when we walk and just street contact people. 

The work last week was good we found like 5 solid people (2 were found by the Sisters, filthy poachers) but I'm excited to work with all of them. My favorite people to teach are Jasmine and Ashondi. Jasmine is a lady from Chicago who drives taxis, she lost her leg back when she lived in the hood. She's super humble and she has a bunch of cute little kids. Ashondi is another "Chicago Refugee" and she's really open and loves the BOM and is really awesome about keeping in contact with us. We also met this 17 year old girl named Elizabeth, her and her family are from Tanzania! They have like 11 kids in their family and her parents only speak Curundi. So we will hopefully be using our recent convert Louis to translate and work with them. He doesn't speak great English either though lol...

We have baptismal dates for Elizabeth and another lady named Emoni for October 8th. So please pray that they'll make their dates! 

Our Recent Covert Kayla brought her friend to Church yesterday and she said she's really impressed with all the changes Kayla has made in her life and now she wants to be tought as well!

Well nothing too funny has happened lately. But here's a few stories.

#1 So I gave a talk on Tithing the other day in Church, and to be honest I didn't prepare very well. I wrote the thing in like 2 minutes and printed it off at the Public Library. So I'm up there at the pulpit and I go to turn the page and I realize the stupid printer printed the first two pages twice. So I was missing like 10 minutes worth of stuff. So I basically just improvised the whole thing. I think it went pretty well though. 

#2 So yesterday in Church we also had to teach a lesson in Primary. The STL's also had to teach part of the lesson. Funny thing about the STL's everything is always a competition for them. So they were talking all week about how their lesson was going to be way better than ours yada yada yada. So they get up and their teaching these jr. primary kids about the flipping tree of life and stuff! And I'm just like cmon man it's so dry in here! These kids don't care about that! So we got up and talked about Nehpi and handed out treats and coloring sheets. Safe to say we won. Having so many nieces and Nephews really pays off in teaching little kids haha. 

Well that's all I got fam. I love you guys. God Bless.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bruh, You Wanna Peg

This past week was pretty busy which is always good! We were able to get a lot of work done and we found a few people that seem to be pretty solid, so things are starting to look up! We found quite a few people that have a ton of potential and are willing to schedule set appointments and not be super flakey which is always awesome. 
This was our first week without a car in about 7 weeks so it was a painful transition back lol, we walked probaly a good 20 miles this week. But I actually enjoy walking sometimes and having time to myself to just walk and think. It's also great for finding new people because everyone is out walking around. A perfect example of this is our new Investigator David. we were walking home Sunday night and we walked passed this Mexican restaurant and this guy came walking out and I just said Hi to him and he offered us a peppermint so we just started walking down the side of this road with him. The whole time we taught about the Restoration and how God has restored the Priesthood to the Earth, and David just ate it all up! He was a super nice and humble guy, then things got interesting. So we're finishing up the lesson with David, just grabbing his contact information and stuff. Then I see this long haired hippy guy j-walking across the street towards us (So since I've been on my Mission I can spot the bashers a mile away and I could tell from the start this guy was finna bash.) anyways this guy jumps into the conversation and tries to give David a card for his church and all this stuff. He introduced himself as a "Youth Pastor" (sounds like a cheap ripoff of Young Men's President if you ask me) for some random Grace Junkie church. But anways he basically tries to get David to come to his Church instead and tells him that we don't believe in Christ. But David basically told him to swerve to it was awesome, he told us he call us and gave us the bro handshake ;). But the poor pastor tried to bash and made himself look pretty silly. 

Altogether it was a fun week, we got a new ZL living with us, Elder Madsen he's really cool! So the house is lit every night now haha. I'll send some videos of our nightly adventures. 

some funny things that happened this week:

#1 We were walking after we talked to the basher and this guy is on a bike across the street and yells "Jehovah's Witnesses go home!" and I yell back "We're Not Jehovah's we're Mormons!" . I thought it'd be funny if we go talk to him. So we walk across the street and he is with some random lady and they see us coming and the guy is like "Oh (expletive) we gotta go" and the lady hops on his pegs and they rode off lol. It was pretty funny.

#2 We were walking around these ghetto apartments and we told these little kids we had to go cause we had to walk a long way. Then this little kid who can't be older then seven is sitting on his bike and he just looks at me and says "Bruh you wanna peg?" I started laughing so hard, the kid's bike was meant for like a 3 year old, that would of been a funny sight to see. 

Well I love you all, have a good week! Shout out to all my friends in the MTC!

Jake

Monday, August 29, 2016

Transfer #6

What's up friends?

This week felt like it was never going to end, but it was a pretty good week altogether. The past few weeks have been super frustrating teaching-wise, it seems like every appointment we had fell through. But that's life as a missionary, we were able to find a lot of cool people to teach this week and we still taught a ton of lessons. Despite everyone trying to dodge us at all cost lol. We are still primarily working with all the people I've been talking about the past few weeks. Brother Dawson and Saje both came to Church which is great, we are still working with the Mission Department to get approved to Baptize Bro. Dawson. I'm hoping to hear back from them before the end of my Mission...

On the bright side we set a date with this girl named Emoni, she is 17 and is going to college here in CR. Her date is for October 8th so hopefully we can help her make it by then! We are also trying to work with this guy named Jon, he's been kind of elusive lately but hopefully he follows through.. We should also be teaching this giant Marshallese family on Saturday. 

In other news my 5th transfer is grinding towards the finish line, I honestly feel like I've been a Missionary my whole life. Like people will ask me questions about home and I'll just draw blanks like "Uhh I had a life before this?" it's pretty weird. I feel like I have some straight up Jason Borne level Amnesia about pre-mission life. Anyways, transfers are this week, I'm probably staying cause I'm still a dad. But I'll let ya'll know if anything crazy happens. 

Crazy story for the Week:

Alright this story may not sound very crazy; but for those of you who me well, you'll probably think I'm lying. But anyways the story is: I ate Thai food. That's right Jake Milligan ate weird Asian food. Here's the plot twist; I liked it. 

Alright love you guys, God Bless!

Jake 

Friday, August 26, 2016

What a Week

Hey everyone! This week was a roller coaster for sure. Lots of ups and downs but that's Mission life I guess. We had to drop quite a few people due to them not keeping commitments and things of that nature which is always sad cause they are so close but they just can't quite get there. But one of my favorite quotes I read this week was from Gordon B. Hinckley talking about Missionary work, and I'm kind of paraphrasing but this is the gist: "As Missionaries you are not planters, you are not farmers, you are not salesmen. You are Harvesters, Heavenly Father has prepared your fields and now it is up to you to thrust in your sickle, and harvest souls for God." That quote really struck me because I know we as missionaries are here to find those that have been prepared by our Father in Heaven to receive the message of the gospel. So if people aren't ready to keep commitments and grow closer to God, it's time to move on and find someone else who is ready. 

We are still working with all the Legal issues our investigators are facing right now. But Brother Dawson is still being super faithful and keeping all the commitments we give him so that is encouraging, he should be meeting with President Badger soon so we will know for sure if he can be baptized in the near future. 

Another cool thing was we got an awesome Member referral!!! Yeah it actually does happen I didn't believe it was real either! It didn't come from our Ward obviously but thankfully a guy in another Ward reached out to us about a lady he works with that is interested! Her name is Maria, she's really awesome and really open to learning more! 

Crazy Cedar Rapids Story of the Week:

Sooo this week there was a shooting at the Community College we work at...
Some guy was hold up in his apartment and was shooting at Cops and there was Swat Vans and Snipers and the whole shabang. Pretty intense we took a video of all the cops I'll send it. 
#BLUELIVESMATTER


I really can't remember very much about this week. Spent a lot of time separating the wheat from the tares. But that's part of the job I guess.

I hope you all have a great week, make a Missionary's day and give them a member referral, they will love you forever I promies ;)

Love you guys, God Bless.

Jake

Monday, August 15, 2016

Flash Floods and Gang Wars




Hey Guys, this week was pretty crazy. 

The work was pretty slow this past week which is frustrating, but we still found people to teach and had a lot of fun a long the way. We found 3 really cool people this past week that we are working with the first is a guy named Fabrice, he's a super cool guy from West Africa. We taught him the Restoration and he's supposed to be coming to Church this week so hopefully that works out and he keeps progressing! The second person we found was a guy named Zeb. So sometimes when I'm sick of just knocking doors and I want to find people to go teach I just look through all the old investigators in the area book, so I found this guy named Zeb, and his record was totally full. But it looked like he just dropped off the map. So we called him and he came to Church! We are now teaching him and his family. They are all really awesome, we are trying to figure out some legal issues he has right now. But if everything goes well he should be getting baptized ASAP. The last person we found was a lady named Saje, she's the girlfriend of a cool new member that just moved to the Ward from Philly. I'm stoked to work with her, we are working on getting them Married and then we can baptize her! I feel like a part time lawyer with all these legal issues I'm trying to figure out, I have to call our Mission President every other day it seems like lol.  

Alright crazy stuff:

1. So we had more crazy weather, we were on our way to teach our Recent Convert Kayla at the Library, but as we were driving it just started dumping rain! It turned into a flash flood real quick and we were driving through the road and the water was like a third of the way up our tires it felt like. The video I'll send dosn't really do it justice, I'll give a lot of credit to the city of CR. It may be one of the most dirty cities in the world, but it's drainage system is really well orchestrated.

2. Ok this was insane. So two of the Sister's in my District were stopped at their apartment to take a phone call and when they went outside, there was cops every where and ambulances and firetrucks! Turns out there was a shooting outside their apartment! Pretty crazy! I was jealous they got to have one so close lol. But President Badger told them they are going to have to move in with members so that's too bad for them haha. 

3. On Saturday the ZL's baptized Isiah (the chubby kid that got hit with the truck) we went because I interviewed Isiah and have taught him a few times, so I was pretty excited to see him get baptized. So the thing with Isiah is he is crazy. Like ADHD x1000 when I interviewed him for his baptism he was jumping from chair to chair, and I had to calm him down and get him to draw his answers to the questions on the board so he'd focus lol. But he did not want to get dunked infront of all these people so he was panicking and during the whole lead up to the baptism he was like "Nope I'm not doing it, I can't. I'm not going in." 
So we get him in the font and he's like freaking out so they shut the doors to the font so no one can watch, and they needed me to witness and I walk back there and Isiah is like swimming around the font, so the member who's supposed to baptize him just says the prayer and pushes him down under the water it was so funny. By far the craziest baptism I'll ever see probably.

Ok sorry for the long email. I love you guys. Stay blessed.




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bickin' Back Bein Bool

What's up everyone? I hope you all had a dope week. This past week has been really good, Elder Esplin and I are starting to get a lot of lessons and find quite a few people to teach which is always exciting, especially with a brand new missionary, it's always a lot of fun! Two really cool things happened this week. First our awesome Investigator, Omar from Jerusulam came to Church! He really liked it too, I was so pumped for him to be there! He made a lot of great comments in class too which was good to see. Second I got to baptize an awesome lady Geri, she was working with the Sisters in our Ward and I did her baptismal interview, she asked me to baptize her and I was honored! She's a great lady! 
My mind always goes blank when I sit down to write these emails, probably cause I live in a watered down frat house with 4 other Elders that go crazy on "P-Day eve" and keep me up all night lol. I've been using the list approach lately so Imma stick with that.

1. So I've been noticing this trend, whenever we are in or near the Ghetto, all the ghetto folk will roll up next to us at the stop. So I can here that their music isn't that loud coming up but whenever they stop next to us they are just Bumpin'. Then they drive off and they turn down the music, I don't know if they are trying to mess with us or they just feel bad cause they know I miss my rap. But anyways these two ghetto dudes roll up next to us and start blaring their music and look over at me and I just started vibing to the music and they just lost it, one of the guys is like "Oh (explicit) nahh mannnn!", and he pulls out his phone and I'm pretty sure he took a video. So if any of you are on Vine and see some video of a missionary dancing on the side of the road it's probably your's truly. :)

2. Elder Esplin and I almost died in a crazy micro burst-tornado-typhoon-Iowa Storm. It was probably the craizest storm I've been in to date. Pretty awesome, we were going like 40 down the freeway trying not to crash it was dope. 

3. Elder Esplin and I got hit on by this girl at the Community College, it was his first time being hit on as a Missionary, he got all flustered. So cute. 

4. I lost What Are The Odds and that's why my subject line is the title of a 2chainz song, thanks Elder Davis!

5. I also lost the same game and now I have to use katy perry lyrics in my homecoming talk. So that gives you all something to look forward too in the next year and a half!

Ok that's pretty much all I got, shoutout to my awesome Nephew Parker for getting baptized this past Saturday! So proud of you dude, you're my HERO!!

Love you guys, God bless.

​Add this to the Email I totally forgot! 

6. So we were sitting outside watching the bands play at the bar on Friday night (Lol) but anyways Elder Davis was like "Man you know what sounds good, Pizza." Then we were like what if we just ordered pizza guys? Then this domino's car drives up and we were like "Guy's it's for us watch" (totally jokingly) then this African guy gets out and says he has a pizza for me! Shoutout to the Grieves for coming in clutch and answering our Prayers! I love you Curtis and Andrea!!

Children of the Corn


Pizzaaaaa


The Boys

Monday, August 1, 2016

I woke up in a new Carolla


Hey Fam, this past week in CR has been pretty hectic, lots of meetings and driving and such. We also had a lot of appointments that fell through so that is always really frustrating, but we found a lot of cool new people to teach as well so that has been a big positive. But yeah, tough week. This week we had ZTM which is usually only like 10 missionaries, but since my the zone I'm in is so huge there was 32 of us! Pretty crazy, it was tons of fun. So in ZTM we do these things called "District Leader Reports" basically I just had to get up and give a 10 minute rundown of all the investigators in my District and so forth. But anyways, in big meetings all the Elders play this game where you have to use a random word or phrase in your report. So before I get up I get a text from the AP's who are across the table and Elder Devenport texts me and says your Phrase is "Mighty Joe Young" so yeah I had to work that into my report. ( I talked about the ZL's investigator that got mad at them "He just gets up and starts yelling and screaming, it was like trying to teach Mighty Joe Young ) lol. I also cracked a joke about how they hit there little investigator Isaiah with their truck haha. I don't have very much energy today so Imma just make a list of things that happened this week.

1.Besides all the meetings and flakey investigators; this week has been fun. My boy Elder Esplin is doing really well, he's really hardworking which is awesome. 

2. We met 3 different Muslim guys from Sudan, they were super nice. One guy invited us back for dinner, he said "I'm goona feed you all of my native food!" i.e. goat, lamb, etc. Yeah I haven't decided if we're going back there or not lol. 

3. The last Muslim guy we met tried to make us tea, and I told him no thanks, then he said "Juice and pointed to me, but I thought he said "Jews" and I was like "No, Christians!" and we like "Ahh Christians! TEA!" and I was like "NO, WATER" it was really funny. We ended up chugging this powdered orange juice tang stuff it was so thick I was chewing it haha. 

4. WE GOT A FULL TIME CAR! HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD, CAN I GET AN AMEN!
    I finally broke down Elder Barnum and he gave us a full time car to use. All my kissing up to the office Missionaries finally paid off ;) 

Well that is about it for me this week, hopefully someone updates my blog so someone actually sees this but it's all good ;) love you guys. God Bless.

Elder Milligan

It's a Boy!

How's it goin everyone? This past week was pretty crazy, my head is still spinning a little bit trying to figure out my life right now. So a few changes transpired this past week. First off I lost my bff/companion Elder Hansen; we got the sad news on Tuesday during transfer calls. However I got some exciting news as well, I found out on Tuesday that I'm "Expecting". Aka I got the news that I would be training a new Missionary, I'm now a proud Father! My traniee's name is Elder Esplin! He's from Sugar City, Idaho (Idaho Boys for the win amirght?) I'm super stoked to train, it's been a dream of mine to get a boy, definitely wasn't expecting one this fast though haha. Also I got called to be the new District Leader in Cedar Rapids as well, but that's not very exciting lol. 
But yeah! I'm way excited to work with Elder Esplin, sometimes I feel like I should still be a trainee but I guess the Lord works in weird ways sometimes haha!
Some other straight up crazy stuff happened this week, probably the craziest was the disbanded my old zone (the Cedar Falls Zone) and combined it with the Cedar Rapids zone. To put this into perspective, our new zone is Bigger than some of the Eastern States lol. It's HUGE! It's about a 4 hour drive from one end of the zone to the other, and now there's 28 missionaries in the zone! Pretty crazy stuff, President Badger told us it's one of the largest Zones in the United States now. Our ZTM meetings are going to be like Zone Conferences now I'm way excited. 

In other news;

My trainer Elder Sjoblom went home this past week, he's back in the real world now.
Luckily I was able to get a 3 Generation picture with My "Dad", me, and my "Son" haha.
I forgot my camera cord today so pics to come. 

I had my first District Meeting as a DL, that was an adventure.

My boy had a hot first day pounding the pavement. It was 101 degrees with 100% humidty. Yikes.

Our Recent Convert Kayla taught someone about the Word of Wisdom while she was driving for UBER. Proud Missionary right here. 

Every single one of my short sleeve white shirts has a perfect out line of the Oakland Temple on the pocket cause I carry my planner in it, and the humidity made a stain of it on my shirt. Thanks Iowa.

Well I hope you all have a good week! Shoutout to my family for sending me pics of going boating with out me, much appreciated ;) I love you all you guys! Keep the Faith, God Bless!

Elder Milligan

Kayla's Baptism

Hey everyone! This week was really really good! Probably one of my favorite weeks I've had on my Mission no doubt. It was probably Elder Hansen and I's last full week together :( so we knew we were going to have to go out in style, and we did our best. 
The Best thing that happened this week was...KAYLA GOT BAPTIZED!!! #HALLELUJAH it was so amazing! Her baptism went of without a hitch, except I had to dunk her twice because her hair didn't go all the way under lol. Just another reason for me to hate pony tails! In all seriousness though it was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had to be able to baptize Kayla. She is one of the coolest people I know and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father touched her heart and made it possible for us to teach her. It was also great to be in the circle as Elder Hansen confirmed Kayla, and as she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 
Ok like I said Elder Hansen and I have been trying to work as hard as possible and try to have as much fun as possible before he get's transferred. So we were pounding the pavement quite a bit this past week, our Zone has been struggling with finding new Investigators the past few weeks. So our Zone Leaders challenged everyone to get five new Investigators this past week, which is a decently hard amount, even for Cedar Rapids but we went with it. Luckily through lots of Prayer and lots of knocking we were able to find seven new people to teach this week which was pretty cool! 
Ok so you guys know, I'm all about the funny stories; not saying I'm not about the Spiritual stuff, but I gotta talk about the funny stories they get me through the tough stuff lol.

#1
Okay so we are driving with our ZL's to go see there Investigator (10 year old boy named Isaiah) but we are driving through this Ghetto back ally and all of a sudden we just see this beefy black boy on a bike cut out in front of us and he just gets NAILED by our truck.. by nailed I mean we were going a solid 4 maybe 5 mph but this kid went down. But one of our ZL's Elder Clark is like yelling and the kid stands up and all I here is "It's Isaiah, you hit Isaiah!" The ZL's literally hit their little Investigator with their car...lol. But we all get out and there's this Ghetto black guy watching the whole thing from his balcony and he yells across to Isaiah's house "Hey! They Hit your fat friend! They hit him with the truck!" Dude it sounds bad but I was dying it was so funny. Isaiah turned out to be all good though don't worry, he just scrapped his elbow. But the Cops came later and ran the ZL's ID hahaha. But Isaiah came to Church Yesterday so all good all gravy. 

#2
So the Friday before Kayla's baptism she gave us presents lol, she gave us everything we like so she gave me crazy American Socks (Because I always wear crazy socks, and because I always show her scriptures that talk about how America is the Choice Land lol) and she gave me my favorite candy, and blue powerade. But one thing she included were these thing's called "It Works Wraps" they are basically these things that people wear to get rid of fat, Hansen and I joked we wanted some for our faces. But she actually got us some, so last night Hansen and I put these wraps on our faces to try and get rid out of our potential double chins lol. Pictures to come.

Well Sorry for the Long email, it was a good week though. I love you all! Keep the Faith! Be Blessed! 

Elder Milligan


Trying to get rid of our double chins with some "It Works" wraps.



Monday, July 11, 2016

Independence Day

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! I hope you all had an awesome day celebrating our amazing country we are so blessed to live in! Yesterday was probably one of the most fun I've had on my mission thus far! Cedar Rapids goes HAM for the 4th, everyone is really patriotic which was cool to see. Yesterday was a blast though, we had P-Day and went to the local Wal-Mart and I don't think I've ever seen so many classic "Wal-Mart" people, it was hilarious. After we got groceries we decided to go to Chic-Fil-a for lunch and as we were ordering our food some nice guy from out of town came and paid for us! He was a super cool guy! The rest of P-day we just messed around and played ball at the Church with the rest of the Elders and Sisters in our Zone. The AP's actually cut our P-day short by two hours, but luckily a member came in clutch and fed us dinner at 4:00 pm so we didn't have to go knock doors at all ;). The best part of the day was after we had to go into the house at 6:00we had two other Elders sleep over and we had a big barbecue in the backyard of our house. We pretty much just chilled and played football and sting pong for the rest of the night and then watched fireworks from the roof! It was definitely weird being away from the fam on the 4th for the first time but it was still a solid day! 
Anyways this past week was pretty much a roller coaster, we had a baptism fall through which was probably the worst day of my mission. But the next day our investigator Kayla came to Church and it was so great! I can't even get started about Kayla, she's literally the best. I've never had an investigator like her, we knocked into her my first week in CR and she invited us to come back after we taught her and she has been great. She reads everything we tell her to, and she takes notes and writes down questions she has, then she goes over her notes and questions with us at the beginning of each lesson! She's probably got the most desire to learn of anyone I've ever taught! She was even taking notes during testimony meeting on her phone! (I was actually really worried that her first time at Church was testimony meeting, but it worked out in our favor for once lol). The best thing with Kayla happened on Sunday night, we stopped by and told her that if she wants to be baptized on the 16th she'd have to quit drinking coffee and alcohol that day. We were kind of nervous cause that was the only thing she was iffy on, but man she blew us away. She was just like "Ok I'll stop, here just take all my coffee and alcohol and throw it away." So she just threw it all out! She had this $250 bottle of alcohol that she got in the Caribbean and she was like "Whatever!" and just chucked it in the trash bag! She's so faithful it blows my mind! I'm way excited for her.
Other than that it was a pretty normal week, we are teaching a cool black girl named Mehzore, she's going to play soccer at Iowa State so we are trying to get her baptized before she goes to school in the fall!
That's all I have for this week, but I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! God bless America!



Elder Milligan 




The Titanic

What's up fam?!

This past week has been interesting to say the least!  Elder Hansen and I had some pretty funny encounters this past week and met a lot of crazy people! We are still working with a lot of people we have around 15 people that are investigating but we didn't have our truck this week so we had to walk all week. About 12 of our investigators live by the college that is like a five mile walk from our house! This week has been the most exhausting week of my mission, probably my life too. The weather here is killer, literally I feel like we could die any day lol. We actually learned a fun fact from one of the members in the Ward, turns out Eastern Iowa, and Western Illinois is actually the most humid part of the country. I didn't believe him at first but he showed us online, so yeah if you don't hear back next week it's probably cause Hansen and I are laying dead on the sidewalk somewhere in downtown CR.
Despite the inhospitable weather, the work here is still going good! Our investigators are still in the learning phases and are still afraid to make big steps, one awesome thing was our Investigator Kayla came to a baptism for one of the Sisters Investigators. The Spirit was really strong and you could tell she was really touched. We are really working hard to get people to Church, most of the people we teach don't have cars, and most of the members in the Ward are rebelling and refusing to give them rides. So that's fun to deal with, but we have high hopes for all 20 of our new friends! We know the Lord will provide a way to get these humble people to Church and help them be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Funny Stories:
Ok Update on the Bird. So last week I wrote about the bird who got in our bathroom and was flying a muck. So we get home from P-day that night and Hansen goes up stairs, and again I hear "BIRD! THE BIRD IS IN OUR ROOM!" And he runs away again lol! So at this point I'm just sick and tired of this darn bird flying all erratic in my house. What happened next is a little fuzzy but all I remember is taking the little guy out with a broom. Problem solved.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July! I'm grateful to live in the Land that is Choice above all others! Love you guys!

Peace,
Elder Milligan