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

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