Sunday, November 30, 2014

Email #23

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014
Jakobsberg to Västerhaninge

Wow... this week has been going 100 miles per hour. Wait... kilometers now? Yeah but we have had a killer week! Jakobsberg is the place to be right now! and.... that's when I get transferred. Yep... I'm leaving my mission birth place of Jakobsberg. I am going to promise land of Västerhaninge. It's where the temple here in Stockholm is and the ward is super cool so I'm pumped to go. Yesterday we got a phone call from the Zone Leaders telling us that both Elder Krebs and I will be transferring. I kinda laughed because we had one of our best weeks last week and I feel like the work here in Jakobsberg is just starting to pick up, but I'm excited to go down to Västerhaninge and work with the people down there. There have been a lot of times where it's been hard in Jakobsberg, most of the time actually. But I have been so grateful for the experiences that I have had here and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's definitely going to be a bittersweet experience to leave because I have grown to love the members and the people I have worked with so much but I am excited to have the opportunity to move down to Västerhaninge.  I am going to be with an elder who is in the group just after me. He got here to Sweden 6 weeks after I did so we are pretty inexperienced but we're going to show Västerhaninge what these young guns from the U.S. can do! Elder Peterson is such a stud though and I'm so stoked to be comps with him. He's from Cali (northern I think) and we're gonna have a ton of fun. We're gonna work hard and I'm excited for it all!

This week is pretty packed and I don't have a ton of time to email but I am especially grateful for all of you this week. Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I'm kinda bummed I'm not going to be in my home country with my family. But... I am thankful for all of you and I love you all. Hope you have a great week!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

This picture came from my neighbor who got it from her niece who got it from her parents who are serving a mission in Sweden and had Caleb and his companion over for Thanksgiving dinner.  (I think I got that right.)  Thank goodness for wonderful senior missionary couples who look after our children.

Alberto Bäckman who is my brotha on the left is the one prepping for
a mission. He is such a stud and it's been so cool to work with him.
His mom Claudia is on the right.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Email #22

Monday, Nov. 17, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

This week has been great!! We have had such a blast working here with
the people and members here in the Jakobsberg Ward! On Tuesday we left
studies early that morning to go to a lunch with a member and then had
to go to a city called Märsta for another member dinner. Alright so
the deal wtih member dinners or meals in Jakobsberg is that it never
happens and if it does then you are one lucky dog! We hit the
jackpot... and then more. So at the Märsta dinner, we went to the
Nilsson's. Brother Nilsson is the 1st Counselor to the Bishop. He's
the one that said I was going to play "All of Me" for the opening hymn
in church. I've talked a little about him before but he is a stud! He
was a professional boxer back in days of youth and was also on the
Olympic Swedish Bobsled team. He is a funny guy and he teases me all
the time about my greenie Swedish. He doesn't know a lot of English
but whenever we see him he says, "Hey big boys" in his really bad
Swedish-English. So they made ribs for us and they were amazing! First
time I have had ribs since I left and wow was it spectacular! Haha
since I've left the US, I've never been so thankful for all the little
things. Ribs, drinking fountains, ice in drinks. You guys have it good
in the US. Ha! Nah but I love it here.

Sweden in the greatest! The language is coming along pretty well.
Yesterday I was asked by a member in the ward from Latvia to translate
Sacrament Meeting into English for them. I don't think I have ever
focused so hard on Swedish in my life!! It was so hard but it was good
to practice. I said a little prayer right before the meeting started
and I felt great about it when the meeting was over.

We hit off the week on Monday with a bang and we were teaching lessons
left and right. It was so cool! I honestly wasn't sure how it was all
happening but everything kind of fell into place and we were able to
double our goal for amount of lessons this week. We doubled it! After
totalling our numbers up last night I got so pumped! This area wasn't
teaching very much when we got here but I am loving it and we are
truly seeing the hand of the Lord here in Jakobsberg. Our members have
been opening up and we have seen so much change! Elder Holland once
said something that I have made my new goal for each area I serve in.
"Leave your area better than you found it." I always remember Dad
telling me that after we would clean up from camping or after we
packed up camp on the river "leave it better than you found it." I
think that is so cool and it has helped me so much as I've been out

So P-day is going to be on Saturday instead of Monday because
they want to get the missionaries leaving this transfer home for
Thanksgiving so I will be shooting out emails on Saturday. I
am most likely going to get a new companion or transfer or both, so I
guess we will see.

Alright I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

 Dinner with the Nilssons
 The train ride home after the long day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Email #21

Nov 10, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

Oh it's nice to get up in the marnin'

Ya know, I don't really have a reference to that song this week but I'm feelin' good today so that is going to be the subject of this email. Actually, now that I think about it, I have found myself singin' along to that jolly ol’ song a few times this week.
OK! Now for the rundown of the week! Rolando is doing great! We went over to his house and he gets so happy when we come over. It has been really cool to see his progression and see his loyalty to the Savior. Something that he said that really hit me this week was that every time we come over and share a message with him, it's always the exact thing that he needed at that time. I've been trying (but sometimes it's hard to recognize) to teach by the Spirit and figure out what the Spirit feels like to me personally. When Rolando said that whatever we decide to share with him that specific day is exactly what he needs then I think that means that we are teaching with the Spirit. It was a confirmation to me that the Lord is involved in everything we do as missionaries.

During Weekly Planning I decided to go back through an old Tänkbara Undersökare (Potential Investigators) sheet and call all the people on it. It was from 2011 so I wasn't expecting many (if any) people to say, "Missionaries, oh sure! Come on over!" The first few numbers didn't go through but the first person I talked to was surprisingly positive. We talked for a little bit and then right before we were going to hang up he said, "You know, I'm glad you called. Thank you." We were able to get a lesson set up with him and it was another confirmation to me that the Lord has a hand in everything we do. That specific phone call might end up being nothing huge but it was a cool moment for me personally.

We actually have a baptismal date with a man named Mike who lives in Hässelby. He has been investigating for a little while and I have been trying to figure out what has been going on that is stopping his progression. He says he knows the church is true and he wants to get baptized but with the whole church deal in Täby right now it's a little bit of a stretch. We are going to church in a city called Täby because the chapel in Jakobsberg is being re-something-ed, re-modeled, re-done. Not really sure what to say about that one. I don't want to point any fingers here but I think that going to church in Täby has definitely been a hinderance to the work here in Jakobsberg. I think we have one more week in Täby and then hopefully the work will continue to move forward at a faster pace.

Alright, now on a good note. I got my first taste of Swedish snow! It was really cool to see! BUT... it didn't last very long. It was all gone by the time morning came. Sounds a lot like a little place I like to call St. George. It was a pretty typical snow day for me. Ha! But I loved it!
So that's the wrap of this week. Hope you all have a "QUACKTASTIC" week!

Tha-tha-tha-that's all folks!!

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

 Drinking fountains don't exist in Sweden. I've seen two my whole
mission.  So...we had to savor the moment.
Låt det snö! (Let it snow!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Email #20

Monday, Nov. 3, 2014
Jakobsberg, Sweden

This week has been a great one! Let's start from the top...

So we had Zone Conference this week and I was asked to play a musical number for it. There were over 70 missionaries in attendance. I decided to play an arrangement of "Praise to the Man" that I was able to learn before I came out to Sweden. I actually was able to play that same arrangement at the Visitor's Center in Carthage, Illinois so that specific song means a lot to me and also to Mom, Dad, and Noah who were there at Carthage when I played it. It's a really great song and I feel like it brings the spirit so fast. President Beckstrand said he loved the arrangement and I got several compliments on it after. I have been so grateful for the talents that I have been blessed with and I have tried to magnify them on the mission as much as possible. I have had so many opportunities to play the piano in district meetings, zone trainings, zone conferences and mission tours, and I have been so grateful for them all. The zone conference was great and I have been trying to apply what I learned as best as I can. After, I was asked to play at a baptismal service in Gubbängen (South Stockholm) so I had another opportunity to play the piano. I have just been eating it up and I've been loving being on the keys. 

We were able to write down a "1" on the baptismal date part when we reported our numbers this week. CHA CHING! We met this man named Mike from Uganda and he said he wants to get baptized. We have been trying to help him understand that going to church is a huge blessing and a commandment. SO! Keep him in your prayers and hopefully we can get him in the water, get him a calling, and a friend in the ward. Also, we had a holiday here in Sweden called Alla Helgons Dag. All the Swedes go to cemeteries and put candles out on the graves. We went to a MASSIVE cemetery called Skogkyrkogården in South Stockholm and there were thousands of candles out. People go walking around the cemeteries. I'll send a couple pics. I know I'm jumping all over the place but I don't have a ton of time. Earlier in the week, Elder Mott (one of my best friends out here on the mission who is from my MTC group) and I went on splits. His area is the heart of Stockholm City so there were a ton of people to talk to and we had such a killer time. We were working hard and having a riot! We were able to teach 4 unplanned lessons on the streets in 4 hours with unplanned contacts. It was a killer night and I loved it! We went by a USA godies store "candy store" and there were so many American things there! Pop-tarts, ROOT-BEER, Reese's Puffs, Peanut Butter Cap'N Crunch, and MORE! It was so cool and I got so pumped! 

Overall, it was a great week! I'm loving it here in Sweden and the work is moving along. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Strength and Honor
-Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone