Monday, October 27, 2014

Email #19

Monday, October 27, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

Family,

How are you all doing? I love hearing from everyone and it sounds like everyone is just tearing it up back home. Things here are going well. Shall we start from the top? 

Last Monday was a riot! I would have to say that football with some of the elders in the Stockholm area was a SUCCESS! When I say "some" of the elders, I mean the "real men." The "other" elders pansied out because it rained a little bit. Maybe Sweden has made them soft. Ah... honestly, it was so much dang fun. It was pretty much a turkey bowl except for the best part... the turkey. No turkey which was kinda a bummer, BUT... we had a lot of fun. About half way through, it started pouring. I'm just smiling right now as I'm writing and thinking back on it. Had a lot of fun. Did I say that yet? I'll throw down a couple pics at the bottom for everyone to check out. Has this crappy "missionary humor" got me already? 

So we went to visit Rolando this week and it went really well. When we showed up, he told us about half of the breakers in his house had blown so he only had light on one side of the house. "Ehhh... it's all good. No problem." He had made a little food ("mat" is the word of the week. Mat = food på Svenska) that he made for us so we sat down at the kitchen table and he lit a couple candles so we could see each other. We talked for a little bit and then asked if we could share a quick message with him. He said, "Oh yes! Let me grab my i-pad so I can look up the scriptures as we talk." While Rolando was in the other room, I started laughing about what was happening. Three guys having a candle-lit dinner. Elder Krebs and I laughed and then shared a message. I have started to use the "Tack Vare Honom" video because I love it so much. (The "Because of Him" video the church put out for Easter this past April.) Go watch it again if you haven't for a while because it is so rock-solid! 

Fast-foward to Saturday...
On Saturday afternoon we planned on having lunch with one of our favorite sweet, old ladies in the ward. Her name is Inga Engzell. I think I have talked about her a little bit before but we were at her house with the other Jakobsberg elders. We happened to also bring an investigator named Fransva who is an Iranian man who has lived in Sweden for about 35 years. We haven't really "taught" him before so we were hoping to do that after we ate. He is Christian but is a little confused on the whole picture. We talked to him a little while we were eating and learned a little bit about his religious background. He said he didn't really believe in prayer and hasn't prayed in a long time. He also LOVED talking so we didn't get to say much. Later, Elder Christensen and Smith had to head out so Elder Krebs and I were going to stay and teach Fransva with Inga there also. Fransva only wanted to speak English which was GREAT for me but not as great for Inga. We kept responding to his questions in Swedish but he would ask more in English so we were fighting an uphill battle and just decided to speak English instead. Inga couldn't understand any of the lesson so I felt bad but she handled it like a champ and was a sweetheart about the whole thing. The lesson wasn't going very well at first and he was being pretty "bashy" about everything we were saying but as we talked more and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, he loosened up a bit and the lesson ended up being really solid. We taught him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He said he wouldn't take a Book of Mormon just yet but wanted to come to church and listen to "the preacher" before he made any big decisions. I said that was ok and bore testimony of the book one last time. We were getting ready to close up and I asked if Fransva would like to say a closing prayer. He was pretty reluctant and didn't want to but then I asked if I could say a short, simple prayer and then he could say one after. He said that was fine. I said a simple prayer, thanked Heavenly Father for all of the blessings of the day and the opportunity we had to be together, asked for the Spirit to be with us throughout the rest of the day, and then closed in the name of Jesus Christ. Fransva then went on to give a beautiful prayer. After he finished, I thanked him and then he thanked us for the encouragement. Then he turned to me and said, "I'm going to encourage you to keep on encouraging people to pray." I chuckled and said, "I'll give it my best shot." It was honestly such a cool experience. I love when an investigator will try to pray for the first time because it is so sincere and it comes straight from the heart. I personally, am going to try to be more sincere in my prayers just like these people that we are meeting with here in Sweden. Prayer is so powerful. He is always there. He is always listening. After we prayed, Inga wanted to know a little bit about Fransva after the lesson so she asked a few questions about him. Then, she bore such a STELLAR testimony of the Book of Mormon, related to him through his knowledge of the Bible, and I'm positive that he felt the Spirit. It was so cool! That put the lesson over-the-top! I was definitely a happy camper. 

Then on Sunday, I was able to finish Alma in the Book of Mormon. I have been absolutely loving reading about Moroni, Helaman, and the Stripling Warrior sons of the people of Ammon. While I was reading, I was thinking about the talk that I was asked to use to give my farewell talk. It's "The Priesthood Man" by President Eyring during the Priesthood Session of the April 2014 General Conference. Moroni, Helaman, and the Stripling Warriors all had the three characteristics that President Eyring talked about. "One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to best honest." I am going to try to give a little bit more on those three this week.

I love you all and you're in my prayers.


Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone



Pictures:

Football with the Elders


A picture that the Täby Sisters took during a lesson when we went to a member dinner with them.




I got a text from an elder in Borlänge the other day of a picture of a quote from Grandpa Featherstone. Grandpa speaks Swedish? When did this happen??


Monday, October 20, 2014

Email #18

Monday, October 20, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

Dearest Family,

Transfers have once again come and gone and Elder Featherstone is still here in Jakobsberg. I have made it a goal to baptize in every area that I'm in. We haven't baptized yet so this next transfer is gonna be the one. Stellan is gonna hit the water. I know it! If you would keep him in your prayers I would be so grateful. So here's the deal with Stellan. Every time we go to meet with Stellan, he has read everything we have given him to read three, four, and even five times over. Last time we gave him the book of Enos to read and he told us he read it four times. Say what? You gotta be kidding me! Four times? How cool is that? Then on top of that he started to explain that he had been starting to feel like he didn't need to drink coffee as much. This guy is like a golden investigator! I know that he knows it is all true but we just need to get him to commit. There are so many blessings available when we enter the waters of baptism and I want the same thing for him. He even asked Alberto (I think I talked a little about him) if he could dedicate his home. Well dude! You could dedicate your own home and do so much more if you would just get baptized! We are going to meet with him this week so just pray that he can get a baptismal date. He can do it!

Rolando is still progressing. He works a lot on Sundays so it's hard for him to make it all the way to Täby (where we are going to church because the church is Jakobsberg is getting re-done). But he said that once the year ends that he will be able to come every week! We are hoping to get him a date to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood so keep him in your prayers as well. 

Now for "Contacting + Basketball Scoring = Fun?" On Tuesday we had ward council. Turns out that after we got there, we were told that ward council was moved to next Tuesday. "Well, ok then" SO! We had some time that we didn't know what to do with. Elder Krebs and I walked down to Jakobsberg Centrum (like the town square of Jakobsberg that has a ton of people) with Elder Smith and Elder Christensen (the other elders that also serve in Jakobsberg) and we talked about what we should do. We came up with an idea to make contacting into a game. So, being the competitive person I am, we decided to put a scoring system to contacting. Elder Christensen and I would go up against Elder Smith and Krebs in the BATTLE OF JAKOBSBERG. So here were the rules... you got 2 points if you gave a Book of Mormon away, 3 points if you got their number and they said you could come back, and 4 points if you taught a lesson. I was getting pumped because I was gonna go contact the crap out of this place. No one was going to pass me without knowing who I was. But.... you only had one hour to do it. So off we went. Talking to people left and right. Lot's of "not interested" but we actually taught two lessons on the street, talked to probably 50 people total, handed out a Book of Mormon. And actually got 2 phone numbers who said we could call them later. After the hour was up, we came back to the starting line, totaled points up, and WE WON!! THE GREENIE MAGIC IS REAL BABY!! It was a close one but we ended up coming away with the "W." 

Friday came around and we had Zone Training where our Zone Leaders ended up talking about "Praying with Faith." (Page 93 in Preach My Gospel if you want to check that out one day for scripture study.) But I have never seen so many miracles than I have seen take place on my mission. I'm going to say that it's all because I don't think I've ever said so many prayers in my entire life. The power of prayer is real! How amazing is it that we get to have a literal conversation with our Father in Heaven. Think about that for a second. That's huge! That's such a huge blessing that we can have 24/7. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the opportunity that I have to talk with my Heavenly Father. 

Later that night, the Jakobsberg and Täby wards came together for a little talent show. I was asked to play a little something and so I thought "All of Me" would give the Swedes a little kick. I ended up playing second and it went really well. After I was done, there was an applause and then Lars Nilsson (The 1st councilor in the bishopbric, former professional boxer, and former member of the Swedish Olympic Bobsled team. Ha he is a funny guy) yelled from the audience, "DET SKA VARA ÖPPNA PSALM PÅ SÖNDAG!" (THAT'S GONNA BE THE OPENING HYMN ON SUNDAY!!) Everyone laughed and now when someone see's me they will start acting like they are banging their forearms on the piano. (Noah can do a demonstration of that song if you don't understand that reference.) No I didn't end up playing "All of Me" on Sunday but I did receive more compliments on the performance. I have used the piano so much out here and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have to share the talents that I have been blessed with. Thanks to Mom and Pops for encouraging me to keep practicing. And don't worry Mom and Dad, I definitely still get time to practice here. I'm not getting a break at all! Ha and I'm really so grateful for it.

Well, everything here in Sweden is just moving along. The language is tough and Swedes are terrible at English haha but it forces me to try to communicate the best I can. I love you all. Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor

-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone


P.S. We were helping a lady move the other day and on our way over there I saw pretty much the greatest thing I have ever seen. Their golden color glimmered in the fall morning. They stood tall above the ocean of green beneath. It was AN AMERICAN FOOTBALL FIELD WITH GOAL POSTS!!! I started getting teary eyed when I saw it. Beautiful... just beautiful. SO! I decided to call around the mission and set up a football game. 20+ Elders are getting together today to play some REAL football! Now if that isn't a miracle, I don't know what is. Alright... have a great week!


Pics: 


The Juke: Round 2


Sweden in the Fall... pretty dang cool


Elder Walker (MTC Comp), Me, Elder Cushing (Knows the Scott and Lori Feathy's and is from East Millcreek), and Elder Mott (an elder in my MTC Group)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Email #17

Monday, October 13, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

Alright family... I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I'm alive and well and a missionary in Sweden. The bad news is that time is running short and I am not able to email for very long. SO! The 5 point method shall be used again. Ok... GO!

1. We have been working with a less active named Rolando and (I'm not sure if I already said this but...) he is officially ACTIVE! Yeeeehawww!! BUT... we're gonna keep working with him and hopefully we can get him ready to go to the temple.

2. Our investigator Stellan whom we have not heard from for 3 weeks came to church yesterday! Yeaaahhh buddy!! So hopefully we will get a baptismal date with him this week so keep him in your prayers. As well as Rolando.

3. The Jakobsberg Församling (ward) is warming up to the missionaries and we are loving it! We also just got a new ward mission leader and he is a stud so the work should hopefully start rolling a little faster.

4. Sweden is starting to get a little chilly. We don't have any snow yet but it rains probably ever other day and it's pretty cold sometimes. 

5. I have the best family ever and I love all of you. That includes the folllowing individuals (Farger, Mommer, Greg, Mimi, Max, Laurel, Millie, Brian, Kelsey, Preston, Megan, Noah, Bagheera, and Klaus)

Alright I gotta head but I hope you have a STELLAR week! Love you all!

Strength and Honor

-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Monday, October 6, 2014

Email #16

Monday, October 6, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

The Temple + General Conference = A happy Elder in Sweden

This week was killer! We had a lot going on and I just loved it! I'm going to fast forward to Saturday morning. Alright so on Saturday morning, the Jakobsberg Församling had a temple day. It was my second time going to the temple here in Stockholm but I had never been able to do any ordinances yet. I actually was able to do a little family history work in the MTC so I had some family names with me. We got dressed and I was able to help baptize in the temple for over an hour! I was loving it and it was very cool because all of the baptisms were in Swedish. I baptized Alberto Bäckman who is prepping for a mission and it was actually his first time ever doing baptisms in the temple. There were a couple of family names that needed to be done so they needed to be confirmed right after. While another brother was doing the confirmations in the baptistry room I had a chance to just take it all in. I had one of those "Sweden" moments where you take a step back and say, "Woah, I'm in Sweden right now. I'm halfway across the world. I was still in high school 6 months ago. I'm on my mission and I'm doing baptisms in the Stockholm temple right now." I get those moments quite often and it's pretty crazy. I went on splits with Elder Treat last week and I had a BIG Sweden moment. Elder Treat is a greenie as well and reported to the MTC the week I left to Sweden so he is a group younger than me. He also just graduated from high school and turned 18 in June. I was walking down a street with him while we were on splits and I was just thinking "This is insane! Elder Treat and I just turned 18, just graduated from high school, just got our calls, and we are preaching the gospel of our Lord in a language that we didn't know 6 months ago." My mind was completely blown and I was so grateful to the Lord for everything he has blessed me with. The Lord has put so much trust in his missionaries with the age change it's amazing. A lot of the time I don't feel like I'm adequate enough for the mission but I know that the Lord is mindful of how I feel and I know that he can help me do what I am unable to do on my own. It's still crazy just to think back on that experience. But later in the temple, after we had finished baptisms, we went and did a session. Parts of it were in Swedish as well so that was very cool. It was amazing to just sit in the celestial room of the temple and ponder. Mom wrote me an email last week and told me about the Ogden Temple Rededication. She told me that Elder Bednar said, "In the temple I am home." That really hit me and after sitting in the celestial room, I really did feel that I was home. It was an amazing experience and it made me realize how important temple attendance is. We learn so much from going. It's not only helping the people we are doing proxy-work for but it definitely helps us as well. The temple is so wonderful. Then on top of that, we went and listened to General Conference later that night. It was so great and I loved it all! I couldn't have possibly taken all of the messages completely in so I am excited to read back over all of them. Overall, it was a great week and I felt great about it. Just know that I love you all and that you are in my prayers as well. Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone



 Stockholm Temple
Deogracious. He is a stud and is from Uganda.