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??


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