Monday, September 29, 2014

Email #15

Monday, September 29, 2014
Jakosberg, Sweden

Alright so here is the deal. I'm running a little short on time so I'm going to use "the five point method" that I have come up with while I've been here in Sweden. This is a speed email technique and is highly effective. Ha! Alright READY... SET... GO!

1. Everything here in Sweden is just great! We have been doing a lot of "finding" which is a lot of tracting, contacting, etc.

2. It's starting to get cold in Sweden. I've had to start busting out the sweaters. It's almost down to freezing already. It's gonna be a cold winter... I think.

3. I'm almost done with training. I feel like it has been a long time with Elder Krebs but it also feels like these past 10 weeks have just flown by! Krebs will probably get transferred on the 15th of October. I wonder who Elder Featherstone's next victim will be...

4. The standard works are just about the coolest thing ever. Studying has become one of my favorite things. (I'm trying to think of how the Sound of Music goes with.... these are a few of my fav-orite things. Dum da da dum da da dum da da dum da da. Alright how many of you sang that? I at least got a few. 

5. I'm loving it out here and I will write a better email next week. I love you all.

SO! That's it for this week! Hope you all have a grrrrreeat week! (*insert Tony the Tiger)

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

The nightly long walk home.

Kiwana Söndag- The weekly exotic fruit that we eat every Sunday night. It's become quite the tradition.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Email # 14

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sweden? or Chile?

Alright so for you to understand the subject of this email, I'm gonna have to give you a little back-story of it all. SO! About 5 years ago there was a spanish branch up in an area called Märsta. It was home to a lot of Chileans because apparently Sweden is the place to be if you don't want to live in Chile. Long story short, the branch started teaching false doctrine so they had to close the branch down and make them start coming to the chapel in Jakobsberg instead. SO! The Jakobsberg ward in 2014 is probably a solid 85% Chilean, 10% Swedish, and 5% Iranian. So that's kinda an overall look on the ward. So as you can guess, the Märsta branch now comes to Jakobsberg and it is pretty crazy sometimes. They have to keep a member of the high council in attendance every week to make sure nothing gets too out of hand. It's actually pretty funny. A couple weeks ago, there was a Chilean member that (I'm not bashing on Chileans. The Swedish-Chileans are just a little "special."(You're not a cottonheadedninnymuggins Buddy... you're just... "special.")) got up to give a talk. He gave a great talk in Swedish, closed with his testimony, and closed it in the name of Jesus Christ. I thought he was done, except he didn't move at all. After he was done, he said "Ok... and now for Spanska (Spanish). He then went on to give a full talk in spanish. It was actually pretty funny. All the Jakobsberg missionaries were kind of surprised at what was going on. Yesterday we had a lady get up and give a talk while a young girl in the ward translated for her. While this is going on, all the spanish speakers in the ward kept shouting from the congregation to help the girl with her spanish to swedish words. I guess my boy Aidan and I actually were called to the same mission. Ha! So... we are working a lot with the ward here in Jakobsberg and we are trying to 'rekindle the ward fire.' There is an insane amount of potenial here in Jakobsberg but we just gotta work it out of the members. Elder Krebs and I drew up a 'vision' for our area with different goals and steps to help us 'rekindle the ward fire.' We're pretty pumped about that and I already feel that the ward is warming back up to the missionaries. Not a ton happened this week except for Zone Training, which pretty much is what it sounds like. The zone gets together and we have a big training from the zone leaders. It always ends up being really solid so I really enjoy it and learn a ton from what they say. This month we talked about having the 'faith to move mountains.' We talked about a scripture that President Beckstrand wants us to memorize and apply in our missionary work. It's Mark 11:22-23 and it says,
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Having faith is more than just hoping for things, but DOING THINGS! That is something that Elder Bednar stressed so much when he visited us two weeks ago. We need to go out and DO! So, if we want missionaries to have success, we can pray for it, then once we say the word "AMEN" we go out and DO! Missionaries are full-time teachers. Members are full-time finders. That was an example by the way so don't feel like I'm coming down on anyone. Buuuuttt... you can try it out if you want. And be an "AGENT" and DO.

Alright I gotta wrap this baby up but just know that I love you all and am so grateful for the wonderful family the Lord has blessed me with.

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

The ABBA Museum in Stockholm. Haha it actually was a complete RIOT! So much dang fun!

AND..............THE JUKE!!!!!!!!!! IN SVERIGE!!!!!!! Haha gotta love it baby!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Email #13

Monday, September 15, 2014

Yes, you heard that right! We got to hear from Elder Bednar this past week! Such a cool experience!
Last Thursday we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar! I showed up with my notepad and my pen, ready to take notes but I had a little bit curve ball thrown at me. It was definitely a good one but unexpected. Elder Bednar stood up and said "Alright, so we have about 2 hours, and I know that you don't want to listen to Brother Bednar ramble on for that long so here is what we are going to do. We are going to involve all of you and I want you to ask me questions. There are no bad questions, but there are definitely questions that are better than others." He went on to explain that we were going to have a Q&A. Our family has had some very unique and special experiences meeting the brethren but to be able to just ask a member of the quorum of the 12 any question you want was very cool! He talked a little bit about how there are two things that we can be. We can be objects and things to be acted upon, or we can be agents and things to act upon other things. It is a very cool principle and I had never really thought of it before. We can be OBJECTS.... or AGENTS. He has some very cool talks that we were asked to read in preparation for the  Elder Bednar conference that I will attach and whoever wants to can read those and learn more. I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time so this one is going to be short. But he talked about how we have agency. But we only have agency within the bounds which the Lord has set. Agency doesn't mean that you can just go out and do whatever the heck you want, but you can make a choice within the bounds of the covenants that we have made in the temple and the bounds that the Lord has set. I had never thought of it in that way before and Elder Bednar explained it as being the "most confusing principle to members than anything else."
I know that's not a lot but that's a little bit of what he said. Alright I gotta wrap this up but everything is going well here in Sweden and I am just loving it here. Hope everything is going well back home. I love you all.
Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
P.S. I can't really attach anything right now but the talks are called
"Converted unto the Lord" and "Ask in Faith"
They are both by Elder Bednar and are so good!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Email #12

Mon, Sept. 8, 2014


Wow this week was absolutely mind blowing and I learned a ton! 

About a week ago, Elder Krebs and I anointed and blessed a man in the ward who has been struggling a lot with health issues. His name is Chris Keronen and he has been having some tough nights with sleep and not being able to accomplish what he needs to during the day. I anointed, Elder Krebs sealed the anointing, gave the blessing, and that was it. I didn't think anything more of it. We didn't see Chris at church but I still didn't think anything more of it. A week passed from the time we gave Chris the blessing and we received another phone call from him. He told us that he still wasn't feeling too hot and would like another blessing. I knew that we shouldn't anoint twice so I didn't understand what the need for a second blessing was. He rambled on about how he needed some furniture moved and then finally asked for a blessing of comfort. I was almost a little angry when it first happened because he was taking time out of our day to take a 45 minute bus ride to his house, give him a blessing, take another 45 minute bus ride to where we needed to go, and then come back 3 hours later to help him move some furniture that he could have easily moved on his own. I was a little bitter when we showed up because he seemed fine and I still didn't realize why another blessing was needed. Shouldn't one be enough? I knew that I was going to end up giving the blessing because Elder Krebs did last time and I knew I couldn't give it without the spirit. Before the blessing we were just talking and I said a silent prayer to have the Lord soften my heart towards Chris and let me be able to say what the Lord wanted me to say in the blessing. After that, we talked for a little while and then we gave him that blessing. I have usually been really nervous when someone asks me to give a blessing but I decided that I wanted to trust the Lord and that he would guide me in the things I would say and that he needed me to say. The Lord helped me give that blessing and I was able to do so without any feelings of being nervous of inadequate. In an email from Dad, he shared a mission experience with me that was similar to the one I had this week and it reminded me that I am here to help and strengthen the people of Sweden.It was definitely something I needed to hear and has changed my mindset a little bit. We don't have to be busy, but as long as we're being EFFECTIVE in helping and strengthening the members and the people of Sweden then I feel successful. During weekly planning I turned to Krebs and said, "Dude, our numbers are pretty crappy this week." (Yeah yeah pretty crappy -Sandlot) I told him that I felt like we were still successful though. I was a little confused at why I felt we were successful with crappy numbers. He told me that we were being effective and not necessarily just busy. 

During church we had another miracle take place. We have been working closely with a super strong member of the ward whose name is Alberto Bäckman. He is originally from Brazil but moved here when he was young. He is fluent in Portuguese, Swedish, English, and Japanese. He is 24 years old and was completely inactive a year ago. The missionaries have helped him this past year and he has been reactivated. He has pretty much been an older brother to me while I've been in the ward here in Jakobsberg. We have been trying to help him go to the temple and be able to be ordained an Elder.  A couple weeks ago at dinner he said that he wanted to serve a mission. I got so pumped when I heard that! He had already scheduled a date with the stake president to be interviewed. He was interviewed last tuesday and we ended up seeing him on thursday. We asked him how the interview went and he just said is was good. We didn't ask much more than that but just told him that's good it went well. Yesterday during sacrament meeting the stake president rolled up and I started to get a little suspicious about a new ward mission leader that had been talked about during the past few months. I was sitting in sacrament meeting just minding my own business, not understanding what anyone was saying, and then I heard as clear as if someone was speaking in english that Alberto Bäckman was going to be ordained an Elder and they wanted a sustaining vote. I couldn't have raised my hand any higher! I got so stoked! After the meeting I ran over to him and gave him a huge hug saying, " Why the heck didn't you tell us?" He just said that he wanted it to be a surprise. I could not have been more excited. About 10 minutes later he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would come stand in the circle. Elder Krebs and I were both able to take part in such a wonderful experience. It really was a miracle. Although we didn't get a baptism or reactive someone, every experience that wasn't so great the previous few weeks was all worth it to see Alberto receive the Melchizedek priesthood. 

Those are two stories that I thought I would share with you this week. I hope everyone is doing well back home. I love you all.

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Surprise visit from cousins Chris and Tawny last week

Monday, September 1, 2014

Email #11

Mon. Sept 1, 2014
the Vasa Museum. Västerhaninge (Stockholm Temple)

This week was great! Last P-day we had a really cool day! We went to the "Vasa Museum." A little background on "The Vasa".... So the Vasa is a ship that was built in the 1700's by the Swedes. It is actually a really stupid but funny story. The Vasa is pretty much a ship from Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a ship that took a very long time to build and was the greatest ship in the world at it's time. The ship went out onto the water when a gust of wind tipped it just enough for it to take in water through the gun decks on one of the sides. It sunk after being on the water for 30 minutes. 333 Years later in 1961 it was brought above the water being almost perfectly preserved because of the mud, clay, and cold salt water, and now it was rebuilt in a museum which is in Stockholm being 98% original. Ok sorry for that history lesson. Long story short, we visited the museum last monday and it was legit! Such a cool ship! It is massive! I'll send a few pics because you will want to see it!

Later during the week on thursday we had a chance to help out with the cleaning of the Stockholm Temple. It's technically in a place called Västerhaninge but it's close enough. That temple is so dang cool! We were able to go and work for 4 hours in the temple and I loved every minute of it. While we were working I had a long conversation with a guy who is from Bulgaria originally but moved to Sweden about 5 years ago. He had very good Swedish and it was really cool to see that I was able to communicate with him in a language that I didn't even know 3 months ago. The Lord truly does help his missionaries learn languages so they can finish what he needs them to. I have a testimony of that. 

The big thing that happened this week was that I was able to catch an email from Chris Feathy saying that he was in Sweden for the next little while. Another long story short, I was able to meet up with Chris and Tawny and have dinner with them. It was such a crazy thing that happened and it kinda freaked me out when I heard Tawny say, "Elder Featherstone!" You don't get much attention from people in the middle of Stockholm Central Station. We had dinner with them and had a really good time! 

Everything else is going well here and Sweden is good. Hope everyone is doing well back home and know that I love you all.

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

The Vasa in Stockholm

Templet I Västerhaninge

Hey kid! What's with the life preserver?
(Back to the Future)