Elder Jake Milligan

Elder Jake Milligan

Monday, February 29, 2016

Take Me To Church

How's it going everyone!? I hope your week was as good as ours here in beautiful Waverly! On Saturday it reached 60 degrees and I said approximately 27 prayers of gratitude for the semi decent weather. All joking aside, it was a really good week out here in the 319. Elder Sjoblom and I traversed all over the Eastern side of Iowa due to meetings. The most exciting thing this week was being reunited with all the MTC homies at the Trainer/Trainee meeting in Iowa City. I got to see Elder Hansen and the rest of my BFF's from room 408 so that was a blast! The meeting was conducted by President and Sister Jensen, it was great to spend more time with them and get to know them better. We learned a lot about Joseph and Hyrum and how they were pretty much the most clutch missionary companionship in the history of the Gospel, and how we should try to model our faith after theirs. 
We also got to have interviews with President and Sister Jensen on Friday and they are the bomb. They aren't joking when they tell you that your Mission President and his wife are like your parents out here. They are the most loving people, it's pretty crazy. President Jensen is hilarious too, he was talking to me about Elder Sjoblom and I moving out of our apartments cause our water comes out orange and there is mold all over the place (only the best for the Lord's Servants I guess) and he was like "You need to move out! I don't have to deal with bad water for my Elders, for goodness sake we aren't poor!" I was laughing so hard he was getting pretty fired up, and then he asked me about Elder Hansen and I told him that we are planning on serving our last 4 transfers together so he should just plan on that ;) 
Big Spiritual Moment this week:
My home girl Sherri MADE IT TO CHURCH! And I think I have like 50 grey hairs from the stress of getting it to finally happen, but we did it! I have a super strong testimony of prayer now. We called about 15 different branch members trying to find her a ride and no one was able to so I was literally just keeled over in the front seat of the sube, begging Heavenly Father to help us get her a ride. Then finally after we had gone home for the night feeling defeated, a family in the branch called us back and said they'd be willing to give her one! I've never been so happy on the mish lol. Then in Church we sat in the foyer waiting until Sacrament started and they still had yet to show up. I thought for sure she wasn't going to come so safe to say me and Elder Sjoblom were a tad grumpy. But instead of bashing my head on the back of the pew like I wanted to I just started praying again and low and behold in walks Sherri. It was hard not to break into dance I was so excited to see that woman lol. She said she loved Church especially relief society and her date is set for March 19th so hopefully all goes according to plan. 
Cool story for the week:
Ok so since I've been here I have been getting these low key vibes that this town is a small cult dedicated to Mumford and Sons. No joke there is a small church by our apartment with their lyrics on the wall and a bunch of weird symbols painted on the side! And there are random murals dedicated to them all over the town. So I finally asked a member why the whole town is decked out in references to them. And he told me that they came to Waverly and played a whole show in a park just for fun!? I was just like "Why...Why Waverly?" but I guess they were just on tour and they were driving through Iowa and thought "Hey this place is pretty barren and desolate, lets throw these people a concert!" But anyways, they left a piano from their show in the park and Me and Elder Sjoblom went and played it and took some model shots with it. Pretty random but I love Mumford so I was pretty hype.
I hope you all have a great week. Go and Share the Gospel aight.

Elder Milligan

Monday, February 22, 2016


What up what up everybody? Hope you all had a spectacular week, it got up to a solid 48 degrees in Waverly this week so you could say I'm pretty hype right now! This week was so slow it was almost funny how bad it was but hey, learning experiences am I right? So this week we were able to teach Michael and Sherri again, neither of them came to church however. Michael has commitment issues and Sherri's baby has RSV, so I can't be mad at her even though I found her a car seat and didn't get to put it to use lol. But we did find a new investigator with some potential! His name is Jeff and he lives in Waverly, he is the guy that "Digs our commercials" haha, he is super cool and he had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. He asked me if the South Park episode about it was accurate lol, but I set him straight. He also had a lot of Political Science questions about the Church which was interesting! 
So the big thing that happened this week was we had Exchanges with the Zone Leaders in Cedar Falls. I went with Elder Henderson and he is a total G, he reminds me of all my friends back home. We talked about all the crazy things and pranks he pulled in High School and it sounded just like the Eagle Homies lol. Goes to show all our mom's that were so worried about us back in the day but look at us now, out here changing lives. Elder Henderson also listened to a lot of rap back home so he wanted me to update him on all the new music that was out and he kept singing Mac Miller and J.Cole during exchanges hahaha. Another funny thing he does is whenever something weird happens he just straight up starts singing "This is Iowa! This is Iowa!" to the tune of "This is Halloween" from the Nightmare Before Christmas, I don't know why but it was super funny and it became our theme song for the day. But we had a great day together, we went finding pretty much the whole day and met a lot of cool people. It was probably the craziest day of my mission thus far, lots of funny things happened that I'll share. 
So the first thing that happened was we were knocking doors in an apartment building and I knock this door and I can hear a little girl yell to her mom. But no one answered and Elder Henderson went and talked to another man walking to his room. So naturally I went over to join in and we talk to this guy for about 3 minutes. He leaves. Then the door I just knocked starts opening and Henderson pushes me in front of the door and is telling me to talk to whoever comes out. So the door swings open and I'm just standing there and this little African lady looks out and like YELPS I wish I could recreate the sound that came out. It sounded like when someone kicks a puppy! She jumped behind her door and made me feel really awkward and Henderson was laughing so hard. She probably thought I was standing there for like 5 minutes waiting for her. And to top it all of she wasn't even interested. Shame.
Next thing that happened was I knocked on this door in a college apartment complex and this nice girl answers the door. It sounded like a small gathering was taking place inside and it turns out it was a hot tub party. So the girl answers the door and she's in her swim suit and lets just say it is not exactly in line with the For Strength of Youth Standards. She was super nice but I felt so awkward so I was like talking to her forehead trying not to make any eye contact, then to make it worse she actually invited us in and I was so shocked I just said "What?" and She was like "Uh you can come in if you want and tell me more" And I just looked at Henderson (Who is sitting there making suggestive faces at me) and I'm just like uh sorry we can't and awkwardly left her a pamphlet and gave her the ZL's number lol.
Last thing that happened. I had my first near, missionary beat down. Just kidding it wasn't that close (don't stress mom) But a truck drove past us and stopped, started swearing at us and then they backed up and a guy got out and started running at us! And we had to run behind a car wash and hop this tiny, chest high fence to get away! It made for an exciting end to the night lol,
I hope you all have a great week, my favorite scripture lately is 1 Nephi 18 I shared it with this football player who plays for UNI during exchanges and he started crying because he really felt the spirit. It was by far the most spiritual thing on my mission thus far. So I encourage you to read it, especially if you are stressed out or feel alone!
Love you all
Elder Milligan 

Monday, February 15, 2016

What Does The Fox Say?

Hey everyone! I hope all of you had a splendid week. This past week has been super long and pretty hard, but it has been great and I have definitely grown a ton! We spent most of the week knocking doors and driving from small town to small town. There is like 5 towns in our area and they are all around 20 miles apart so we spend a lot of time driving our Subaru (kill me) around powdunk Iowa lol. This week we knocked in 5 different towns and we actually got inside of a house!! My first time ever lol, it only took 3 weeks! And it was technically an apartment so I'm still waiting to be invited in to a real house haha. But anyways a nice guy named brad let us in to warm up, he answered the door shirtless cause he was "in the middle of a work out" but it was super funny cause he was super sweaty and out of breath. We taught him the restoration and he gave us his number and told us to call him next time we are in town! Holla. Other than that we had very little success. One guy answered the door and was like "Oh ya, Mormons, I really dig your guy's commercials" and I was just like "You know what else I think you'd dig? A message about Christ we share." It was super funny and he said we could come back and teach him. So on Sunday we had a blizzard and I guess in Iowa that means it's get out of Church free day. We had a solid 17 people show up to Church! I felt like I was in a foreign country or something it was crazy. Then the Branch president called and was like "Hey Elder I can't make it to Church...so would you mind teaching in Elders Quorum for me?" So I taught Elders Quorum, that was an experience. But then again there was only like 4 brethren there so I don't feel bad that it was probably super crappy lol. Our investigator Sherri didn't come to church...again...because she didn't have a car seat for her toddler. This is like the 3rd time it's happened, I'm about to head over walmart and buy that lady a car seat my self if she doesn't figure it out lol. Other than that Sherri and her kids are doing great. Also Michael is progressing and he reads the Book of Mormon consistently so he's awesome. Ok time for the funny story for the week.
Funny story:
Ok so we actually got invited over for a member dinner (I'm still in shock), and they live in the straight boonies, and fed us "ribs"  but for all I know it could of been squirrel meat. But we are sitting at the dinner table and the little daughter looks out and says "Look a fox is in our yard" and naturally I look at Elder Sjoblom and start making the fox noise from "What does the fox say?" and all the little kids just bust out laughing, cause they've never seen the video. So I told them to go look it up and we watched it and they wouldn't stop singing it the rest of the night. And kept making me go through all the sounds that a fox makes. Then at Church they kept saying "Elder what does a fox say?!" and apparently they won't stop watching the video at home... So the parents probably hate me, and we probably will never be invited to another dinner again. But no one ever feeds us anyways so whatever I guess lol. 

Well I hope you all had a great week. Shoutout to all of you that wrote letters and emails. You guys are great! Have a great week, and go share the gospel.

Love you all,
Elder Milligan 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Week of Spills

Ya'ree everyone! Apparently that is how you greet strangers on your porch in Iowa. I guess it's like a slurred version of how are you or something? That's just what my comp told me lol. But anyways this week was super long and super hard but it was great at the same time. Let me start off with the bad. Tyce and Jenny our married investigators are on the ropes right now and could use some prayers. They are really struggling with tithing, they are willing to pay but don't believe Jesus thinks tithing is important...Super frustrating cause they are super solid and are great with everything else. But we are having a do or die lesson with them this week and they will either get baptized or we will have to drop them for now. So if you remember to pray for them that would be much appreciated! They are great and I feel so bad that they are willing to let such a petty issue keep them from being baptized, I was fighting back a lot of emotion as we left their house cause you can just feel Christ's love from them but they just keep pushing it away. Super depressing but that's the mission I guess. However my home girl Sherri is killing this investigator thing, she has read the Book of Mormon to Omni already! And her little black children are my favorite part of my mission so far. Black kids are my JAM and I can't wait to adopt one when I'm older lol. But they are very cute and their names are sick. Quintrell is 9 years old and is my pal out here in Waverly he has all these little KD and Jordan sneakers and pulls them out and shows me and talks about Steph and Lebron all the time lol. Then Sherri's toddler is named E'Sean and he's my dream child he's literally so cute. And her baby is named Shariah and she's also very cute. All the kids are from different fathers and Sherri sounds like she's had a rough past but it just goes to show that the gospel can touch anyone at anytime and change anybody's life! She is still set for baptism so hopefully she doesn't have a tithing melt down... And Michael is also doing well, he got super sick so we haven't been able to meet with him so that sucks but he keeps in contact every day! We have been tracting a lot this week. We knocked 107 doors and didn't get inside any of them (Blessed). But we did get some funny stories and I have been learning how much Midwesterners hate when interrupt "Supper". 
Funny things that Happened this week:

Ok first thing, we went to see a recent, less active convert named Kevin. He has word of wisdom issues and chews a lot. But we  were teaching him a lesson and the whole time he keeps interrupting and saying "Elder Mulligan, you look like a celebrity but I don't know who." and he won't let it go. So I'm reading to him and he just freaks out and he's like "I got it!!" and he hits his chew cup full of spit and it goes all over me... Literally all on my pants and shirt and tie. And he barely even noticed and just pulled up a picture of my look a like and he's like "His Name is Eric Roberts!" and the guy is like 50? I was just like "Oh thanks Kevin??" lol.

Second funny thing, we were at another less active family and they are an old couple with two dogs (I think in Waverly it's a city ordinance that you must own multiple dogs) and this black lab sticks its head in my lap and pukes! A day after the chew!! I just looked at Elder Sjoblom and was like "dude I can't hang" so I left and went into the kitchen to gather my self lol.

Third funny thing, little E'sean sneezed on me and Sjoblom! Our lives are literally a mess right now. I was covered in snot and bugers and that's worse than puke. But he's so cute I couldn't be mad at him so I'll let it slide I guess.

I hope you all have a great week. Look for opportunities to share the gospel with someone. We are all missionaries! 
Birthday boxes!

"Is this Heaven?.... No, it's Iowa."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Missionaries of Waverly Place

Greetings friends and family! Well the time has finally come, I am officially in the beautiful, icy, frozen, snowy, cold, windy, teeth chattering, knee knocking, face numbing, ear burning, state of Iowa. And I love it! So a lot has happened since I last wrote, the MTC didn't do me any solids P-Day wise so I'll just have to catch you up on everything that has happened since the last time you heard from me. So the second week of the MTC was pretty cash, we got to watch an awesome broadcast that went out to all the missionaries in the world. It was held by David Bednar and Neil L. Anderson and they basically just talked about how we can improve in every facet of missionary work. They also had an awesome music video about a family living their everyday lives and being missionaries through acts of service and kindness set to "I'll go where you want me to go" that song always gets me going so safe to say I was pretty fired up after that one. But anyways the rest of the week played out pretty routinely, I got to see my dear friend Emily Clegg at the Temple and she brought me and Van Halen some solid treats so shouts to her for that. She also got me yelled at by one of my leaders wives cause she "Shook my hand for too long" but that's a story for another day. I also got to see Spencer and Jamie a lot this week, and to counter Jamie's accusation of leaving without saying goodbye  I stood up on a chair in the cafeteria trying to find her and got yelled at for it so I tried my best. The food improved somewhat as the time went on, they set us up with Chic Fil A one day so that was a tender mercy for sure. Elder Robley and Elder Van Halen and I got to practice teaching fake investigators quite a bit and we found out one of them actually was a real investigator, so it ended up not being a complete waste of time like it felt for the most of the week! But all bitter feelings aside I really enjoyed the MTC and my district Elders became my family so I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to grow close to them. 

So on Tuesday night we woke up at 2 amand got ready to drive to the airport, we all piled into this giant van with like 14 elders in there and drove to the airport. It was kind of funny as we were going through security all these people were yelling encouragement at us, apparently we looked terrified I guess? Anyways after that I got to talk to my family on the phone and that was such a blessing, especially hearing my dog's voice through the phone lol. On the plane to Denver I sat next to this guy from Chicago who was way cool, he works in Stocks and wanted to know all about my mission and he thought it was awesome. He kept accidently swearing and apologizing and it was really funny haha. Then on the plane to Des Moines I sat next to this Hindu guy from India that now lives in Des Moines, we talked about my mission and he had a bunch of questions and ended up giving me his card cause he wants to have me over for dinner if I'm ever in Des Moines lol! We landed in Des Moines and met President and Sister Jensen then stayed the night in the mission home. I then was assigned my companion, his name is Elder Sjoblom (he's Swedish) and we are serving in a small town called Waverly in northern Iowa! I haven't met many of the members yet, the branch is tiny and there were only about 25 people at church on Sunday but they are all super nice so far. 

We have been teaching 4 investigators so far and this week was insanely good. First we have Tyce and Jenny they have come to church twice but have been shaky about baptism but we asked them again and they committed to be baptized!! I'm so excited for them their date is set for February 13th. Next we have Michael who referred him self online, the old elders gave him a BOM and when we met with him he had already read 20 chapters! And he committed to be baptized!! Then we taught a referral named Sherri, she is a single mom of three. She read some of the book of Mormon and she believes it, and wait for it, she committed to be baptized! This week has been a huge testimony builder of the Holy Ghost and how it can touch peoples hearts! I love the people of Iowa even though I have been cussed out and had the door slammed in my face by many of them (I thought Iowans were known for being friendly), I wouldn't change my decision to serve them for anything. I love you all very much. Thank you for the Birthday emails and packages this week it feels so good to feel loved especially when I spent my birthday tracting in -20 degree weather lol. I hope you all have a great week. Go share the gospel. 

Elder Milligan

P.S. Apparently there's a huge storm coming in that's apparently going to kill everyone that ever lived in Iowa ever. It's supposed to be worse than "The Winter of 03" whatever that means. So if I don't write next week just assume I succumbed to the elements I guess?