Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Elder DeMille has been extremely busy this week and didn’t quite have time to write us a letter this week. Instead, he wanted me to share this video with you. He loved the messages in it about service. You can find more uplifting materials here as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Are you 'hanging in there'?

Hey there!

..So.. take a minute with me..


Imagine yourself on a lonnng trip, that goes clear across the continent. With your bags packed, loaded and secured, your feet are outstretched as you excitedly anticipate the arrival of your final destination. In fact -- it's really all you can think about! On a certain day, and at a certain hour, you'll pull into that special station, touch down on that long-awaited runway, or dock at that one of a kind harbor. ..You can hear the bands playing and marvel at all the flags waving- smiling faces everywhere- as your dreams seem certain to come true.

And of course, they will! Once you get there, everything will be perfect. When you finally step foot onto that solid earth, then you will be happy, satisfied - and at long last - care free. Right? ..If only you can just hang in there and make it  to your destination. Then you will find joy!
However, as Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy taught us this past general conference: "To 'hang in there' is not a principle of the gospel." Likewise, we should focus more on HOW we are getting to our destination, and embrace each moment and opportunity that arises as we travel along, rather than thinking "if I can just get there and get this over with.. ..then I will be happy.”

When I was maybe eight years old, I remember vividly sitting in the passenger seat of my dad's black Volkswagen Passat as we drove to get the car washed at a nearby gas station in downtown Salt Lake City. As we drove, we talked - like most fathers and sons do - and drew nearer and nearer to the station. As we arrived, we pulled into the parking lot near the huge carwash tunnel, and I noticed a dark-skinned man with a cardboard sign and worn out, sun-bleached clothes. I laid back in my seat a little bit, and scoffed at him silently. With enough attitude in my voice to offend anyone, I asked my dad, "Dad, what is he doing?" Doesn't he know that no one's going to give him any money?" ..My dad was silent as we simultaneously approached the man and the entrance to the car wash. I thought to myself about how dirty the man looked, and about all the horrible things this man had probably done in his life to put him into such an awful state. --Then, my thoughts were interrupted by my father making some kind of commotion. He checked his change drawer, then took out his wallet - glancing through it slightly- and watched my eyes grow big as he took out a twenty dollar bill.
Before I could say anything the window was down, my dad's arm was waving the precious piece of paper outside of it, and the man I was just barely judging from afar was at our window.

With unmistakable and unforgettable gratitude, the man humbly took my father's money and left - blessing us in the name of God as we returned to his spot on the lawn. 
My dad then turned to me and said in a tone and way I would never forget, "True. You know nothing about that man. You know nothing about his life, or what he's been through. Never judge someone because of how they look, or act. Everyone in this world has a good heart and deserves another chance, buddy." ..I was quiet for a long time.

What I learned that day, amongst other things, was how important our hearts are, and how big of a role our hearts play when we travel through life. I was only 8 years old, and had wanted with all my little heart to just drive past the rough looking neighbor and get to our destination. But, my father, even right outside the very place we were trying to get to, decided that there was an opportunity for us to grasp. ..Little did he know that small act of kindness would affect me for the rest of my life.

I think that if Jesus Christ were to sit down with us for a while, to see how we were doing, or to simply check up on us, I'm not so sure that he'd be very focused on our programs, statistics, followers, or achievements. What the Savior would want to know is the condition of our heart. ..Do we, as human beings, go straight to the car wash - ignoring those in need of second chances, and helping hands along our way? Or do we, like my father did -- stop?

..Are we not, all of us, in need of repair, maintenance, and rehabilitation - just like the dark-skinned man?
I've been incredibly blessed to have two wonderful father figures in my life, and wanted to thank them both today for being such wonderful examples of "Cherishing the moment" to me. ..My stepdad, Scott - has especially been an amazing example of this -- clear since the time I met him back when I was 10 years old.

If you knew my Scott, you'd know that he can fix anything. ..And I mean anything. Growing up, he'd call me into whichever room he was in, at any given time -- to simply teach me how to fix something. .. I soon learned that this - fixing things- was to be expected, should Scott ever ask me to "come here for a minute". Haha.
But, every time we fixed something -- though the project may have seemed large, impossible, or even on the other hand, insignificant, I learned a valuable lesson every single time. ..And it was never in the finished product. ..Having a new air conditioner, lawnmower, light fixture, or basement appliance never taught me anything. But listening to Scott teach me about morals, standards, random life experiences, and hearing his advice while we worked taught me everything. With every piece there was a word of advice, or a story, or a new joke -- that helped me to progress until my work was complete.
..I cherish those moments with Scott, and drives with my dad more than most other memories. It was at that time I was shown how to cherish the moments, and create memories along the way. 

Happy Father's Day to you, and to all of the other fathers or soon to be fathers out there! Remember the valuable lessons that you've learned along the way, and always seek for the patience and love to have those moments count. All the time. Quit pacing the aisles and counting the miles, and live in it. Try to avoid 'hanging' in there, and look for opportunities to teach.. to be taught.. to laugh, to live, to love and to grow. Pray for help when human judgement and good intentions are not enough, and "lift the hands that hang helplessly down (D&C 81:5)”.

Love you all!! 
Happy Father's Day!!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille

Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Eternity of Experiments

Hey there!

So, outside of finding a piano (now making our house classier by at least ten-fold), learning that MERS has hit our area, hanging out with my recent convert Sean, and looking forward to having interviews/spending an evening with President this coming Tuesday...

I also had the opportunity to go to the temple this week! It's usually a wonderful experience, but this week was especially powerful. Elder Miller and I fasted and prayed for specific understandings of various things - as well as blessings for loved ones back home before we got there. ..So, stomachs growling and eyes heavy, we participated and finished our work in the temple when we then got to search our hearts and minds for answers in the "Celestial Room" of the temple. ...If you don't know what a "Celestial Room" might entail, just imagine the most beautiful, peaceful place you've ever been -- take out all the noise and distractions, add a hint of feeling absolute peace~ and you're there.
When members of the church (or missionaries) are troubled, or when crucial decisions seem to weigh rather heavily upon our minds and shoulders, we often go to the temple. It's a good place for us to take our cares. In the temple we receive a spiritual perspective. Sometimes our minds are so carried away with problems, and there are so many things in our head shouting and clamoring for our attention all at once that no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to think or see straight. As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives. At the temple, that dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can "see" things that we weren't able to see before. It makes it much easier to find a way through our troubles that we may have missed or not previously known. It's strange, but serene. As we attend the temple we come to find a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which transcends any other feeling that you'd ever imagine coming into the human heart. Such peace can breach any heart -- hearts that are troubled, hearts that are burdened down with grief, hearts that feel confusion, hearts that plead for help.
Celestial Room in Vancouver British Columbia Temple

My most favorite part of being inside the temple is looking into what I like to call "eternal perspective". In the Seoul, Korea temple, just off to the side of the before-mentioned Celestial Room, are two mirrors on opposing walls. Each with symmetrical crystal sconces and a beautiful crystal chandelier hanging in-between-- the mirrors create an "eternity", as looking into the reflection of another reflection creates and infinite and endless universe betwixt mirrors. ..For whatever reason, the idea of eternity, or something being "infinite" fascinates me. How can something simply be endless?? Mind blowing. So -- usually, I go straight there, to ponder on words or thoughts, or to set my mind at ease as I battle conflicts in my heart. ..But this past week, I decided I'd wait to see it. I lingered in the main room for a long time, marveling at the larger crystal chandelier, and how each delicate piece shined and sparkled at different intervals, some brighter than others at times, though all necessary to complete such a beautiful piece of art. ..Then I looked at the flowers (which I've really come to love over the past year or so) and thought about how incredible of an artist our Heavenly Father must be to have designed such inexpressibly intricate things with so many various forms and functions. ..As I pondered countless thoughts, I began to be carried away in my head -- searching for meaningless answers to spontaneous questions, and found myself in the room to the side- once again - to find some peace in it all. ..And it blew my mind.
Celestial Room in Vancouver British Columbia Temple

For whatever reason, this time -- this 'eternal perspective' applied to me. I saw, in those two 'infinite' mirrors, an endless reflection of beautiful crystal chandeliers going in either direction. ..As I pondered for just a moment about how someone could make something so beautiful last forever, I thought to myself.. "Hey now.. God made ME too!"

Haha, though I may not be anywhere near as beautiful as this crystal chandelier was, I, as well as my decisions, will extend far beyond this life -- and into the eternities. With each action that is made, I find myself in a different mirror. Maybe in this one my hair isn't as long, or in that one I have a certain 'light' in my eyes, but overall I'm the same person, the same creation, in each one. I'm the same being in each mirror - in every circumstance- and my Heavenly Father has given me the opportunity to continue to be ME for the rest of my life. No matter the mistakes I make, or what other things may appear in that mirror beside me, I am always there. He will always keep me in His eternal perspective, and will always see me in ways that others may not. Oft times in life our biggest challenge is that we oppose ourselves. We don't see ourselves as our Heavenly Father sees us -- as who we really are. We single out our weaknesses, changes, flaws. ..We focus on that scar or blemish instead of the full, entirety of the capable mind and or body that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with.
Each of us are sons and daughters of God, with His divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls. And His divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are on the path of obedience. In our lives we will have temptations; we will have trials and challenges. As we go to the temple, and as we remember the covenants (promises) we make there, we will be better able to overcome those temptations and to better bear our trials. In the temple we can find peace. Your Heavenly Father loves you. Pray, He is there. Speak, He is listening. You are His child.

Have a wonderful week, 

All the love!

Elder DeMille!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Just Swing

..It's a little overwhelming.. the thought that I only have 6 months left of my time as a missionary in Korea. ..I can't imagine my brother going home in just 8 weeks either -- or some of my other brothers heading home this week, next week.. and basically every week until I get home. I heard an older missionary say the other day, "You wait your whole mission for the last 6 months. By then you know what you're capable of, you know who you are, and you know what work really needs to be done."  ..I think he's absolutely right. It's wild, really. With the language under my belt and a year and half of experience.. things aren't so hard anymore.
..Now, now, when I say hard, I don't mean tolling, exhausting, and difficult -- of course it is, work is work! -- I mean that feeling you have when you're trying to make the best decision and you're just.. unsure. You sway left and right, and hesitate to choose.. always looking to someone else to approve your decision and help you feel like you're doing the right thing. That's a feeling that gets us a lot of the time. I'm sure you can relate -- nobody enjoys the feeling of uncertainty or inadequacy.
I've found that one of the most important things I've learned on my mission is the philosophy to "Just Do It" as Nike might say, or "Just Swing" in a golfer's perspective. ..Let's work with the latter. Imagine you've got your 9-Iron (not really sure what this club is for, it just sounds cool -- I'm no golfer) and you're trying to perfect your swing. I imagine there are probably a million things you've got to do simultaneously in order to have a really nice (and successful) swing. Feet shoulder width apart, hands in the right position, shoulders, arms, back, ... I'm sure you know better than I do, but I think we both get the picture. Now, put yourself back in the shoes of an amateur, who -- since the swing makes the game, really-- is taking lessons in order to achieve the best swing possible. You practice day in and day out, but since you're overwhelmed by the millions of simultaneous demands to have a perfect swing, you become incredibly frustrated and want to give up. You walk over to your instructor , who is keeping an awfully close eye on you, and tell him you want to quit. ..Then, your instructor tells you, "Hey, I think you're right. You should stop taking lessons." ..A little taken back, you're not sure what to say - though he continues to speak and you start to understand. "Leave these lessons, it's obviously stressing you out. I think you oughta just go play on a real course, by yourself. Take a friend or two if you want, and just go do one thing for me; Swing, swing, swing. That's it. Don't give any care as to where the ball goes, just swing. I think you'll enjoy the game a lot better that way."

..The last sentence gets to you a little bit as you think of how the lessons and 'game' you've been experiencing are the furthest feeling from "enjoyment" you could imagine, but you take your instructor's advice.
So, you take a friend, and hit the course. ..And all you do is swing. Swing, swing, swing. You feel silly as you seem to hit every single sandtrap, and seem to be on a professional level when it comes to placing balls directly in the middle of the lake, but even with so much time spent in the rough, you manage to land a few on the fairway and eventually make it to the hole. You think back on the times where your friend died laughing because of your silly form, or how many people you almost killed when you "just swung" and accidentally let go of your club. ..But, over time, by "just swinging", your body starts to understand how hard you need to swing to get it out of the rough, and back onto the course, at which angle you need to throw your club when things land in the sandtrap and you don't want to hit any innocent bystanders, and how to make the best of things when balls continue to somehow gravitate into the lake "on their own". It might take time, but as you continue to get out and swing, you start to be less afraid of what "might" happen, and more focused on what you "want" to happen. And, at that point, you know how many swings it takes for you to get to the hole. You know how the weather conditions affect your gameplay, you know what a hole-in-one feels like, and you start to realize that you're not thinking about all of the components in your swing -- but rather, focusing on how your own, unique swing affects everything else.
In that moment, the game changes. It doesn't become so much about being perfect -- but rather seeing the results of your swing.
..At a mission conference two weeks ago, President Maynes form the Presidency of the Seventy came to speak to us. One thing he said really stood out to me. He said, "Missionaries, remember the worth of one.

He then continued to explain how he, as a young missionary baptized a man - never to see him again -- and, YEARS later, learned that his son was serving as AP, in the mission he was in originally. ..This son of his had baptized over 200 people, ..if I remember right.

..I've only baptized 1 person so far, and by no means are baptisms a measure of success- however, it was exciting to think that my own "swing" had totally changed one person's life for sure. And now, his family's life, his life, and his future posterity's life will all bear that same change that he did. ..How cool. Obviously, the worth of one is a pretty cool thought.

This week we've been focusing a lot in our District to find those "one"s by "just swing"ing. To get out, face rejection, punch Satan straight in the mouth, and find the people that the Lord has prepared to hear our message. ..As you know, Korea has a LOT of people. ..that means there are a LOT of people to go through in order to find our 'prepared' ones, right? Haha. So, as a district goal, we've decided to try our hardest to talk to 500 people, starting last wednesday -- in a week. To track every ounce of progress and miracles, we keep a list of 'specific stats', created by Elders Doyle and Hendricks, and it's awesome. We count business cards given, Book of Mormons given, conversations had, English fliers given, pamphlets given, numbers received, lessons taught (on the street), hours proselyted, and blatant/memorable rejections received. It's intense! But we're seeing IMMENSE miracles, and our area is more on fire than it has ever been!

So, haha there's my rant for the week.
I super love you all (super is now my most frequently used adjective..)
And hope you have the best week ever!! Just swing!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!