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.


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