Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, August 30, 2015

It's the BOM

What's your favorite Book of Mormon Story? ..Or scripture, even?

Mine is the story of the Army of Helaman. But, not because they were basically invincible (though, granted, that is pretty sweet), more because of what it says in Alma 56:47-48, and Alma 57:21. (That's right, I'm sending you on a mad scripture chase! Find ‘em!)

I love that what brings the young men of the Army of Helaman strength is their mothers. They don't fear death -- they're more worried about their liberty of their fathers over anything else, and they don't doubt. ..Why? ..Because their mothers knew it. They learned from their mothers and had complete trust in them.

I love that. I love my mother, and feel like most of the time, almost all of my strength comes from her. I don't doubt I can make it through any rough time, any trial, any battle. Why? Because my mother taught me that I can, and she showed me through example that she's done it herself! I don't doubt.. because my mother knows it!
Talking with people every day about the Book of Mormon is such a cool adventure. Even today, on the way to this PC Cafe we had a man stop us and ask us to explain the Book of Mormon. He said, "If I had to describe the Bible in one word, I'd say it was.. 'Love'. Yes, 'love'. ..So, you! Try to explain the Book of Mormon in one word. What is it to you?”

Haha that's a pretty difficult question, I'd say! But, after a second or two I came up with a simple answer. I said, "Hmm.. If I had to explain the Book of Mormon in one word, it'd be ‘food'!"

He got quite a laugh, which gave me a little bit to explain. I told him that because I tried it, and it was so delicious I wanted to share it with other people-- and that, well, the more I eat, the happier I am! It's delicious! Plus, without it, how could I possibly live!
He accepted that answer solidly, and asked for our information, and to know where our church was. ..Power of the Book of Mormon, ladies and gentlemen.
So, if you had to think about it, what would the Book of Mormon be to you? In just one word? Love? Food? ..Friend? Guide? Help? 

The more I thought about this, the more I kept coming back to an example I shared this past week at District Meeting. I love to think of the Book of Mormon as our "Armor". Related to the Army of Helaman, these men were YOUNG! And a little bit scared, at least, I'm sure! But, what they knew is that they had the "Armor" to protect them. In their case, maybe it was faith. Or maybe just the simple knowledge that 'their mothers knew it'! But, the bottom line is that today, we have our own "Armor", and it's the Book of Mormon.

Using the Book of Mormon righteously and effectively can lead us into the battle against Satan with valor and courage. However, we often forget we even have it with us. How would you feel marching into battle.. thinking you didn't have anything to protect you??
(to be honest I'd probably avoid marching to battle altogether with no armor on..)

In the movie, The Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man get into a heated argument about the same thing. At the peak of the conflict, Cap shouts at Iron Man, "Take off the suit, and what are you?!" .. Iron Man then replies wittingly with something I'm sure we're all familiar with. ..But, do any of the things that Iron Man mentions there really matter? So what if he's rich? Is that going to save him when he marches into battle against aliens who don't really care about money..? ...Probably not.
So, let's put it in the same perspective. Take away the Book of Mormon, and what are we? Joseph Smith similarly stated, "Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations and where is our religion? ..We have none."

The Book of Mormon is our armor, and though we may forget we have it sometimes, or that we're still wearing it on occasion, it can do us so much good if we'll just look down and remember why we're living the way we are. If you're cowering in the corner, odds are you've forgotten about the Book of Mormon. If you're in the heat of the battle and find yourself dodging blows and running around rather than trying to help those in need, odds are you've lost sight of the magnitude of the armor you have on. Keep the Book of Mormon in your heart and in your mind, and remember that you can fight valiantly in this battle against the adversary.
The Book of Mormon is a book with a promise, a purpose, a plan, a testimony, and a witness. I promise that and testify of its ability to strengthen and protect us in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gumcheon Seeds

Not a bunch of time today, 

but I do want to say that I was able to go back to Geumcheon this last week, and see one of my most recent investigators, (we'll call him H) baptized!! He's 23, and so amped about it. He's got the strongest testimony of this Church and the Book of Mormon already, it's amazing. He worked hard, and I barely did anything! But, Elders Miller and Cook were able to finish out the teaching once I left, and I was able to go back and say, "Hey". He was amazed I knew when his baptismal service was, and I got a HUGE and warm welcome from the ward!
I guess, this week I just want to say I love you all, that I'm doing well, and that we're trying really, really hard out here. It's been a ride, and though it's going by pretty quick nowadays, I'm so thankful to be out here every single day. Put away fear. Embrace the moments that make you who you are. Expound on your character and show that to other people.


You are who you choose to be.
Give it your all!
Even in the "real world"!
Love you all. More to come next week, I promise! Apologies!

All the love,
Elder DeMille

** BONUS Shoutout to my wonderful mother for a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

I love you Momma!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Missionary's Prayer

Well, I honestly have had NO time this week to prepare anything for you all, haha. However! I do welcome home my brothers with tons of love and the best wishes for their future. Valiant missions make valiant people, am I right?

This week at Zone Conference I had the unique opportunity to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon and was surprised at how powerfully the words came out of my mouth. I've learned that more than just having a testimony, part of me has truly become converted to the things I am spending such a large part of my life trying to encourage others to take part in.
I've learned that a testimony is to feel and to know. 
Conversion is to do and become.

This week, sadly to say, my nightmares have come back. Why it is, I'm not sure yet -- but 4 out of 7 nights this week were pretty hard for me to make it through. I've had night -terrors since I was reeeally little, and though they're not nearly as severe as they have been, the fact that they're here once again is a little unnerving. However, just like the Book of Mormon being among the things I've been converted unto -- prayer has also (and will always) play a crucial role in my life. As a kid, when I was scared, couldn't sleep, or crying from the results of a bad dream or terror, my mom would come into my room and play this song on my tape-player as she would lie with me until I fell asleep. To this day, I sing this song when I'm afraid.
Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me."
Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list'ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.
Never forget that your Heavenly Father is there.
He loves you.

Pray, He is there. Speak, He is listening. 
YOU are His child. His love, now surrounds you.

Have an incredible week, and never forget the experiences that make you, YOU!

All the love,

Elder DeMille

Sunday, August 9, 2015


So, first. 

Gangdong is amazing. It's no Geumcheon, but it's fantastic here! It's got it's own special things about it, and my good friends Elder Thomas and Elder Newbold took really special care of it. It's going to be an incredible ride.
My District is also composed of: Me (District Leader) and Elder Murdock (Lived together in Geumcheon for a transfer) Elder Helms (My old companion for one transfer in YeongDeungPo... and also served in Geumcheon right before I got there) and Elder Dayley (My son Elder Ellsworth's MTC group) Sister Kim Shin Yeong (from Yeosu, like a few of my relatives) and Sister Zippro (a new missionary!)
It's going to be amazing. We all have cool connections and already have great unity. ..It's just a little terrifying being the oldest missionary here, trying to fill the biggest shoes in the universe (Elder Thomas was an AMAZING missionary). But, here we go!


Among the most important attributes of our character, I believe some of the most helpful ones to have discovered and strengthened are TRUST, OBEDIENCE, SENSITIVITY, and PATIENCE.

* When we trust in the Lord, as well as in others, we have a desire to help -- no matter how challenging the demands or task may seem.
* When we foster a culture of obedience within our own lives, we begin to live in such a way that God (and others) can then trust US.
* When we are sensitive, our hearts and minds become more open-- more willing to hear and see the miracles around us-- as well as allowing us to more courageously act on the spiritual promptings we can then more frequently recognize.
* And, lastly, patience -- when God lets us struggle and grow, in order to reach our full potential.
These four attributes make up only a small (yet important) part of something called Character. I've learned along this journey that "Character" is one of the most important things we possess.

When Peter predicts that Jesus is the Christ in Luke, Chapter 9, he is "straitly charged" to "tell no man", as Jesus explains later that "whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." He continues, "For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself..?”
So, back to character. Who WE ARE is more important than anything and everything the world could offer. Think about all of the influences you've had in your life, good or bad, and all of the decisions you've made based on WHO those influences were, if not based on who YOU were. Character is woven patiently from threads of trust, obedience, sensitivity, and.. well, patience. and is the manifestation of what you are becoming. God uses our faith to mold our character; we come to the edge of our understanding, and as we dip our toes into the pool of uncertainty, we exercise that faith, receive answers, learn, and grow. We spend our lives constantly learning, growing, and becoming. Our character is strengthened, and we begin to understand more and more what we can, and progressively will become.
I have recently learned that strength of character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation; that is when it is used. The bedrock of our character is integrity. Worthy character strengthens our capacity to recognize circumstances and act obediently. When we come to develop strong character, it becomes more important than anything we own, anything we have learned, and any accomplished feat or goal. It becomes us. The consistent exercise of faith in those critical moments, as well as the ordinary moments, is what builds strong character.
After a time our character will become fortified; expanding our ability to exercise faith, --thereby improving our capacity and confidence in conquering trials in this life. ..How rad. It's a strengthening cycle. The more fortified, the more capable we become. 

We are often drawn into the battle for our souls each day, but we must be valiant in the struggle for the character that we have tirelessly forged, and that was forged for us, in the beginning. Our character is being solidified every day by constant, correct choices. Neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy our growing character. ..Only WE can.

Now disobedience, mistrust, hardness, and impatience also exist. Satan is an accomplished master at making devastating choices appear attractive -- and even reasonable. But when making choices that will effect something as important as our own character, we must always remember to make choices based off of our foundation of Eternal Truth, rather than relying on circumstance and “YOLO"-ing our way downward.
But of course, there is no guarantee that life will be easy for any of us. ...Life isn't easy, right? (....right??) ..We are here to prove, develop, and overcome. And as we learn and grow more rapidly by facing and conquering challenges we need to  remember to constantly think, make the right judgments, and act righteously. Don't fumble the ball of life by justifying deviations, rationalizations, temptations.. etc, just to get ahead in the "game of life". I pray for my siblings and friends (as I'm sure you do for your sons or daughters) that they might find or recognize people in their sphere of living that provide righteous, encouraging, character-strengthening examples to help motivate and inspire them to do good. That can be US. Strive to always live for honesty, integrity, chastity, virtue, and will. You will never go wrong when you trust in the Lord and in his promises, no matter how severe the challenges.

So, be loyal.

Trust in God and your potential, and live in such a way that the Lord can trust and guide you. Serve others. Smile. Learn and understand that everybody has problems, and not everyone wants to hear about yours. Have a good sense of humor. Go to bed with a coat hanger in your mouth and wake up a little brighter each morning. Don't complain. Life isn't always "fair", but it's charged with tremendous opportunities if you know how to find them. Take responsibility. Get a job. Get a calling. Be in charge of something, and take care of it. Magnify your calling. Go to the temple, where you can frequently renew your spiritual sensitivity, and follow Jesus Christ. Use His teachings as a handbook for your life, and you will find absolute happiness in the hands of the one who forged each and every fiery potential that lies in the coals of each of our souls.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Under the infinite Tree of Life
Our Eternal Father stands.
Our Father, a timeless smith is He--
With large and gentle hands.
His hair is crisp, and white, and long
His face, warm like the sand--
His brow is wet with honest sweat--
He owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn' til night
You can hear his bellows blow.
You can hear the song of his heavy sledge
With each measured beat and slow.
Thrust right into the flaming forge
He molds the great and good--
With fire, time, and temperance
Licking at the wood.
Since nothing’s worth the making
If it does not make the man,
We too, bear with heart his piercing strikes
To fill a greater plan.
It sounds to him a symphony
As he listens to our lives
And with a large, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes. 
Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing--
Onward through time he goes. 
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees repose.
Something attempted, something done,
With no room left for naught
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Man is built and fortunes wrought.
And so on his sounding anvil shapes
Each burning deed and thought.

Have a rad one this week, and welcome my brother Nathan Paul home like you would one of your own!

Go get 'em my man!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Greatest Ward. The Greatest Week.

Hey everyone! 

I wanted to take this week and just thank you all sincerely for the birthday wishes and gifts this past week. You've all been such amazing examples in my life -- and I can't wait to see where you've all been, and what you've all become after the short time I have left. The mission has been such an incredible opportunity to see what people can really become -- with a full purpose of heart and mind.
This week I was also able to attend my first Korean wedding (which is absolutely INSANE; they take at least 5,000 pictures.. I swear!), listen to the AP's (just Elder Higham and 문호빈, but it sounds cooler that way, haha) sing me Happy Birthday, got a call from President, and a billion birthday wishes from Ward members, plus a surprise cake from them at our English class that night -- followed by a dinner provided by my "grandpa", Mr. Lo. So HOT. So SPICY. SO MUCH SWEAT.
...SO DELICIOUS. Then, I got to go pickup ANOTHER cake, ordered from one of my best friends, Sean! So unreal.
Then.. man.. I don't know. This week was just amazing. We got to feel so much love from our ward members, especially this Sunday after we had gotten our transfer calls. We (Elder Doyle and I) were bearing our testimonies about how much we love the ward, and how we've really gotten so much better at working together, and-- of course, how we'd really rather not leave.. --when right afterwards a member got up and bore their testimony. It was so rad. The member got up and said: "Now, you keep saying that this ward is the best, and that you love it so much here and don't want to go.. but, I speak for all of the ward members when I say that YOU FOUR missionaries are the best team we've ever had. We love you, and are so thankful for your bright smiles, warm hearts, and love for each and every one of us. You may not want to leave -- but we don't want to send you. However, you're both right. This is missionary work, and we hope that you can see even more miracles in your next area. Work hard!"Man, THAT was a cool experience. So happy to know that we could leave something here in Geumcheon. And now, I'm on to 강동 to (most likely) finish out my time their! Elder Murdock will be my new comp (we lived together in Geumcheon), and I'll be living with Elder Helms again! Haha. So excited.
I wish I could really express how much I've loved my time here. These people are unforgettable.

So blessed to have yet another family in Korea.

Speaking of which, special shout-out to my wonderful Grandma Kim, who's coming here in just under a month! Thank you for all of your love, 할머니!! I can't wait to see you again! 

Take the time to do your best to bless the lives around you! 

All the love,

Elder DeMille!