Monday, July 28, 2014

Email #6

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Stockholm, Sweden

*Clears Throat* Ladies and Gentlemen.... put your hands together for the country of.... Sweeedeeeeeeen!!!! *In rolls the TC Williams highschool football team 'the titans' doing their pregame warm up dance* Family!! How are you all? I heard the move went great and now the house is known as 'party central.' Squid launcher.... OH YEAHHHH!! So how is the land of the free? I actually already miss the smell and taste of freedom when I wake up every morning. It definitely has a distinct taste and smell. So is everyone loving the new house? Such a cool blessing from the Lord! Love it! So shall I start from the top? The morning we left was early, tiring, and exciting all smashed into one. It was so nice to talk to Mom, Dad, and Noah. (apologies to the rest of the family. I guess you will just have to wait till christmas... sorry... all I have to say to you is... No cauliflower soup? No cauliflower soup?) So I was actually so tired I fell asleep once before take off from SLC to Minneapolis. I woke up just in time for take off and then I sacked out the rest of the flight and didn't wake up once. It was a very short flight. Elder Walker and I were hungry after we landed in Minny so we went to a information desk to see if we could find where the restaurants were in the airport. We talked to a man and a woman at the desk for probably five minutes (the nametags had already attracted a lot of attention). They asked us what we were doing, where we were going, and how long we were going to be there. We gave them the normal spiel about everything and the man at the desk told us that he had talked to missionaries a long time ago and that they were very mature and well behaved young men and he was very impressed with them. After talking with them he told us he was very impressed with us going and serving the Lord. He also said he was proud of what we were doing and told us to go work hard. Coming from a non-member like that was something that i had never heard before and was huge! We got on the plane to Amsterdam and that was a looooooonnnnngggg fliiiigggghhhttt. 7 hours total and I probably slept 3 hours so that was good. We landed at about 6 in the morning and had a 50 minute layover to our flight to Stockholm. Elder Mott (an Elder in our district) ended up having to get a bag looked through when we went through security and that ended up taking a long time as well. We had kind of split up and the group was in a bunch of places in the airport. I was already at the terminal but there were about 6 elders back with elder mott at security. I ran back to get them so that we could make the plane. I sprinted back to security and found them right as elder motts bag had been finished getting looked through. I grabbed a bag from someone and we sprinted back to the terminal (we had probably about 2 minutes until they were going to close up boarding passengers). We looked like the McCallister family on 'home alone' running through the airport, dodging strollers, bumping into people, and barely getting onto our flight. That was such a relief. The flight from Amsterdam to Stockholm was pretty average. We got off and President Beckstrand came over and gave us all a huge hug. We went back to the chapel that is relatively close to the mission office and home and went over some things with our visas. They ended up letting us go back to the hotel (the elders were in a hotel, not really sure why. I thought we were going to be in the mission home but whatever) and sleep. I sacked out at about 6:30 at night and woke up at midnight thinking it was time to wake up but I had another 6.5 hours which was killer!! I slept for an entire 12 hours which was nice because we were rollin on 48 hours with about 6 hours of sleep. The next day they took us back to the church and the assistants, Syster Beckstrand, and President Beckstrand all talked to us for a little while. (back up a little bit..... they took us on a little tour of stockholm the first day we got there/ the day before and showed us around downtown Stockholm which was so cool! Loved it! ok fast forward now.....) They showed us a clip from all of the baptisms in sweden these past couple months and there were so many! They also explained that the 'first harvest of sweden' baptized about 19.5 thousand people. That is so many people!! and the second harvest is going on right now and it's going to be even greater than 19,500 people? How cool is that?? It got me so pumped and I am so excited to see what I can do these next two years. After, we were assigned to our trainers. I was assigned to be born (mission born) in the jakobsberg (pronounced yakobsberry) area. It's not that far from Stockholm miles-wise but it takes a lil while to get there from a train. That's another thing we do A TON. We ride trains and buses so much it's crazy. But Jakobsberg is a little north but mostly west of Stockholm. It's honestly pretty ghetto. There are areas where we are the only white people. Gets pretty sketchy sometimes. Sometimes I accidently start speaking English to people when they don't speak any English and it's funny to see their faces after I start. Haha I have to catch myself and try to get what I'm trying to across in Swedish instead. But my trainer is Elder Krebs. He is from mapleton and is a complete stud! He's pretty quiet so I have to try to squeeze some words out of him sometimes but he's a solid, obedient missionary who has been out here for about 11 months. That's one thing that I've struggled with as I've been out here though. Disobedient missionaries is a huge thing for some reason. The hard part is they are the one's who baptize a lot of the time. All I can do is try to do my thing and try to be as good of an example for them as I can. The mission is hard. It's good but it is hard. I was having a pretty tough few days this last week and I read about Job and brother Joseph in Liberty Jail. It makes my trials seem so mediocre compared to theirs. Some of my favorite verses are in the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 121 says:

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
And then in D&C section 122 it says:

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pitor into the hands ofmurderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou becast into the deepif the billowing surge conspiragainst thee; iffierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness,and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, ifthe very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee,know thou, my son, that althese things shall give thee experience,and shall be for thy good.
 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thougreater than he?
I have to remember that Christ has felt exactly what I have. Sometimes the mission feels very lonely but Christ is always there with us. The first day I got to Sweden, we were told by the assistants that we were going to be contacting later that day. After I heard that, I was terrified. These are real people we are talking to. Not teachers in the MTC who are members and just playing the role of being an investigator. Elder Haddon (an assistant) shared a scripture with us right before we were going to go out and contact. It was D&C 84:88 which says:
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will gobefore your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
After he read that to us I felt so much relief knowing that Christ is with us as we go out and teach of him. He will be on our right hand and on our left. How cool is that?? Angels round us to bear us up!! I love it and I couldn't ask for a better time to be serving the Lord. I know he has called me to Sweden for a reason and I am going to go find out what that reason or person is. 
That's what's going on so far in the land of blue and yellow. I love you all. 

Strength and Honor                                       Stykär och Ära
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone                 Äldste Fjädersten

Probably the coolest picture to ever be taken. This is a pic in front of the Provo Temple while I was at the MTC with Elder Steenblik. He's from South Jordan going to the Netherlands and he was in my zone at the MTC.

*Insert Gru voice* ''That's what I'm talkin bout!"

So i was trying to cut my hair and the ghetto hair clippers that I was using didn't work with me so well so I had to shave a lot of it off.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Email #5

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014
Provo MTC 

I Believe I Can Fly

This week was absolutely stellar! We ended up getting our flight plans last friday so that was pretty exciting. We have to report to the travel center here at the MTC on monday morning at 4:30 so that should be fun *(insert sarcastic voice). We fly out of SLC to Minneapolis first, then from Minneapolis to Amsterdam, Netherlands, then from the Netherlands to Stockholm. We fly all night then get to Sweden at 8:30 AM so that is going to be one heck of a long day. It's crazy how fast time flies when you're here at the MTC. 4 Days and the mighty Swede group of 16 is flying home for 2. I am so pumped to get out there. I'm hoping that I will be able to understand a little bit of Swedish when I get there. Elder Anyanwu is a swedish elder that is going to japan has been helping us a little bit with the language so that is cool.Yesterday Elder Walker and I played horseshoes with two other swedish elders in our zone and it reminded me of the fun times we had with the feathy crew back at grandma and grandpa's old house. We played to 21 and i scored 19 of the 21 points which included 3 "ringers." For that glorious victory I give the Feathy crew 100% of the credit for teaching me the ways as an immature padawan learner. On a more spiritual note, I was given a letter to read that was a letter written to an elder about 20 years ago in a British mission. The Elder shared some really cool stories about missionary work and the benefits of it. It was a little surprising to me because at the end of the letter this returned missionary quoted one of my favorite poems of grandpa feathy's. It's called "the champion." I think it is in his poem book so maybe go look it up. Such a solid poem! This past sunday we heard a talk from Richard I. Heaton, who is the Administrative Director here at the provo mtc. He gave one of the best talks I have ever heard about Charity. The pure love of Christ. He talked about how we cannot just choose to be charitable but that it is an actual christlike attribute and gift of the spirit that we must seek. Something that he said that stuck to me was that charity will always require sacrifice. as we think of the savior and how he was the ultimate example of being charitable, we can also see that he suffered more and sacrificed more than anyone who ever lived on the earth. He told all the missionaries to make sure that the investigators we teach need to feel the love of christ through us. without charity, we are nothing. A very well know saying is "what would jesus do." I think that the attitude is the big picture we need to look at. Brother Heaton said, "what would the savior feel?" we need to focus more on how the savior felt towards his brethren. Faith without works is dead but the attitude also needs to be there as well. I'm not sure if that makes sense but hopefully it does. ha man, I wish all of you could see and hear the words of these wonderful brethren. I have never felt so much power in the MTC than anywhere else and I can't wait for Noah to feel that same power in a few years. (dad, greg, brian, and preston all know what i'm talking about." I can't wait to get to sweden but i really am going to miss this place and all of the things I have learned here. Thanks for all of the support from all of you. I love you all.

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Reppin' the Cougs 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Email #4

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Provo, MTC

12 days baby!! The big 1-2 till Äldste Feathy is comin at the swedes! Family! How are you all? I loved hearing from all of you this week! I received one of the kindest, sweetest letters this past week. I got a envelope from Greg and Mimi with letters from them and also pictures drawn by Max and Laurel. Max wrote me a letter that said, "Caleb, I love Caleb." When I read those four words my eyes filled up with tears (my eyes are tearing up as I'm writing this). While i've been here at the MTC I've learned that sometimes short, simple messages can be just as powerful as "wow" statements. I love this gospel so much because it is so simple yet so powerful. I really appreciated those words from Max because I was struggling a little bit with the language that specific day and it reminded me of the pure love that Christ has for us. Simple but powerful and infinite. just like the gospel. We had the opportunity to listen to Elder Andersen yesterday night and he spoke about the Holy Ghost. How generous is our Heavenly Father to allow us to have a member of the Godhead with us always if we are worthy to have it? It blows my mind at how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given us and all they want us to do is follow a few simple commandments. That is how we show our love and gratitude to them. By following the example of Christ and coming unto him we can do anything. But we have to remember that without him we are nothing. Alright but everything is going well here. The language is tough but good. I feel that we almost have an advantage with learning a language because we can share simple but powerful testimonies of Christ. Hope you are all doing well. Love you.

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Email #3

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Provo MTC

Family... Wow! Week 4 already? It's kinda crazy because we are starting up the 4th week! The countdown to Sweden has already begun. We're down to 19 days. We take off the 21st of July which is pretty tight. Everyone is getting pretty excited and so am I. I really can't  This week was just another ordinary week at the MTC. Just feeling the spirit so hard core 24-7. No big deal though. Haha I absolutely love it all! I still am thanking the Lord that I was able to see Aunt Jill and BT one last time before they left to Texas. This week I have been counting my blessings. We have been given so much. I am so taken back at how generous the Lord is. I want to do so much more for him but all he asks is for us to keep his commandments. That is how we show our love and gratitute. But Last night we heard from Elder Lowell Snow who was released from the second quorum of the seventy in 2011. He gave such a solid talk about how we have to become truly converted to the Lord and become true disciples of Christ. How can we go invite others to come to Christ if we haven't ourselves? We cannot. We must become converted for ourselves. Elder Snow talked about an elder that he trained on his mission in Germany back in 1963. Back then they sent missionaries out for 2 and a half years because they just sent them out to the country and said, "go and learn the language." This young elder knocked on a door not knowing any german, shared what he could, and the woman who answered let them come back again. Eventually she got baptized along with her family as well. Elder Snow and his missionary companion from '63 were reminiscing about the mission one day and Elder Snow asked why that one woman let them come back because it sure wasn't because she understood what they were saying. This companion asked the woman years later why they let them come back. Her reply was simple. "I saw virtue in your faces." In Alma chapter 5 (i think... i don't have my scriptures with me ha) it asks if we have the image of christ in our countenances. That's exactly why she let those young missionaries back in. Because she saw the christ in their countenances. This story gave me hope because it made me realize that the language of the spirit talks to everyone. It doesn't matter who they are. If we have the spirit with us and we are teaching with the holy ghost then they will feel that. I have also been trying to read the Book of Mormon by the time I leave. I made a goal to read it and I started yesterday so I'm pounding out at least 30 pages a day. The Book of Mormon is so cool! Ok switching gears for a sec... There is also a sister in my district that loves Back to the Future so i've been throwin out quotes left and right and it reminds me of the good times on the river with the Feathy crew. Haha it's pretty sweet! but Thanks for all the emails. I love them all. Until next week. Party on Wayne.

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

With Äldste Mott and Äldste Rhoades (two elders in my district)