Monday, December 28, 2015

Email #78

December 26,2015
Göteborg, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


Sorry this has to be like two sentences.... I'm literally running out the door as we speak. We don't have our P-day on Monday but it'll be on Friday instead. I love you all so much! It was so cool to talk to you all yesterday!


Here are some pics from the last little while!!


LOVE YOU!


And I'll talk to you soon! Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
A member in the Alingsås ward that knows a good friend back home!

The city church in Jönköping! Super cool!

Noah... can you name the line from the show?

Back with the legend Elder Murri! 

Elder DeMourdant and I. Haha this is such a funny kid!

The Jönköping district last Tuesday for "Caroling for Christ." 

The legend Elder Bliss. Love this kid!

Caroling for Christ round 1 with the Utby district

Elder Bailey, Albertsen, and I. Utby elders!

One more legend... Elder Bailey. haha this kid is a STUD!

Christmas with the Tittus family. The family dog loves me! haha

Monday, December 21, 2015

Email #77

December 14, 2015
Södertälje to Göteborg, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


This week has probably been one of the greatest on my mission so far! So do you remember the legend that was going to be my companion? Elder Israelsen! The Coloradoan himself! I picked him up on Wednesday right from Göteborg and we have had the most incredible week together. We've had a ton of fun, worked out little tails off, and then we got a call from President Beckstrand telling us that I'd be transferring. Wait... what? I'm transferring? ....... Yeah... so I'm SO confused why everything happened because we just had a transfer last Wednesday but apparently Elder Larson is needed in Södertälje and I'm needed in Göteborg. I'm going right to the place that Elder Israelsen just came from. It's actually the place where all of our ancestors came from. This is the only city that our Swedish ancestors came from so I'm super excited to get out there and proclaim the gospel to my fellow Göteborians. I think this has been the hardest area to leave because of the amazing members and this stellar zone, but I'm looking forward to being in Göteborg. Apparently it's the "promised land." I'm not sure if anyone has been to Norrland but we'll see if it really is "zion."


Sorry folks, but I don't have a ton of time this week. I'll be hopping on a train in a few hours so I have to get ready for that whole shindig. BUT... I just wanted to share a quick experience that Elder Israelsen and I had on the street the other day. We had just taught a lady named Mercy in the library and the library is RIGHT smack dab in the middle of Södertälje. What does that mean? Lots and lots and lots of people. SO... Elder Israelsen and I did a little "shredding." That is the new term which pretty much means "talk to every single person that you meet on the busiest street in the city." SO... we decided to "shred among the masses." It was a good time. We walked, and walked, and walked, and nobody really gave us much attention. After about two hours, another man was walking by us so we started speaking to him in Swedish. He waved us down and said, "Sorry fellas... I don't speak Swedish. Can you speak English?" I swear he was from America because his English was absolutely FLAWLESS. Our buddy was actually from Germany but was just in Södertälje for the day because of work. We started talking with him about our religion and he seemed pretty interested. Then he said, "You know what... I was born Protestant. I was literally in the Protestant church since day one. And nothing you say is going to change that. Sorry boys." He was about to walk away and then we said "woah woah woah.... Can we just say one thing quick?" We started explaining what makes our church different and I told him what the Book of Mormon was about. Elder Israelsen then talked about Joseph Smith, the First Vision, and the Restoration of Christ's church. The spirit was so strong! It was the coolest thing! We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and how it's his way to find out that what we are saying is true. Elder Israelsen and I testified and then he got quiet for second. He looked down at the ground, back up at us and said, "Well... you've certainly caught my attention and interest. Can you buy one of those books on the market?" It was a pretty amazing experience. We ended up talking on the street for probably 20 to 30 minutes. I know that he'll accept the message one day, whether it's now or on the other side. He'll do it.


I'm honestly so grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I was able to finish it in Swedish for the first time this week. It's true. And I'm so grateful that I don't have to rely on anyone else for that knowledge and that it's between me and the Lord. I know I've said this before... BUT... if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, READ IT. If you have... read it again! As I've read it more with the Bible, I've realized how amazing it is, how big of a role it plays in the Restoration, and that the message it contains really is true. Elder Featherstone KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true!


I'm so sorry that wasn't the most exciting email of your entire lives but I gotta head over to Göteborg. Hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all! Keep up the good work alright?


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

   

Familjen Jensen... look at Julia at the bottom. She's so sad I'm leaving. I love these people too! AH... I love all the members in Södertälje!
Claudia, Italo, and Alice Schianzzano. The coolest people EVER! LOVE THEM!


18 Months with my boy Elder Israelsen

The shirt burning ritual

The Södertälje Squad this past week. I'm going to miss these missionaries!

Södertälje Selfie!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Email #76

December 7, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAMILY!!!


This week was absolutely JAM PACKED of amazing miracles and spiritual experiences. The Sweden Stockholm Mission is the place to be right now! Especially here in Södertälje! It's the coolest experience ever and I love being here!


P.S. As far as transfers go... Elder Burgin is moving which is super sad. Elder Burgin has become a really close friend and I've learned so much from him. I found out that I will be getting ANOTHER elder from my MTC group which got me SO pumped! During the 2015 Sweden Stockholm Mission Draft, the Södertälje elders drafted Elder Jacob Israelsen all the way from the land of "Gött." Göteborg! Elder Israelsen is the biggest stud ever and I am SO STOKED to be with him. I've already learned so much from Elder Israelsen and I'm so excited to finally be comps with him.


OH... also... we had some BIG NEWS in the world of Elder Featherstone's swedish. For the first time in mission history, Elder Featherstone was able to make his FIRST SWEDISH PUN! It was the most ridiculously, incredible, quacktastic thing ever! Haha it was probably at the same level as substitute teacher puns in school but it was a BIG DAY for Elder Featherstone. Woop woop!


My grandson, Elder Nicholas Kendall, all the way up in Skellefteå said that he reads the blog and that he wanted a shout out. SO... this S/O is going all the way up to my boy Elder Kendall. My son, Elder Burton gets one too for baptizing in Skellefteå. I'm so proud of those guys up there! The Featherstone släkt (family) in the mission is taking over! The coolest! BRA JOBBAT POJKAR!


As well... we had another high point of my mission this week. I had the honor to be given the greatest compliment I have ever received in my past 19 years of life. I almost shed some tears because I was so happy.


Syster Åberg: "Äldste Featherstone, you look like someone I know. Ehh... but you've probably never heard of him. That's WAY past your generation..."


Ä. Featherstone: "Wait... what? Who?"


Syster Åberg: "Have you ever heard of James Stewart?"


Ä. Featherstone: "James Stewart? Like... Jimmy Stewart the actor?"


Syster Åberg: "Yeah! The one on Mr. Kruger's Christmas! You know who he is?"


Ä. Featherstone: "Of course I know who he is! He's like one of my favorite actors of all time!"


Syster Åberg: "Yep... I think you look like him."


After that... I had the biggest smile on my face! I don't think I look anything like good 'ol Jimmy Stewart but I cracked up and it made my day. *Sighs* Jimmy Stewart... what a guy! "I wish I had a million dollars! HOT DOG!!"


ALSO... I have officially busted out the Kurt Bestor Christmas Album. Talk about throwing it back to every Christmas season at the Featherstone household. I'm loving it! Every time I listen, I think of pulling out all of the Christmas boxes and putting up the tree. Or even just walking around the house and feelin' that Christmas spirit. So I'm feeling extra "at home" this month! It's the best!


ANYWAY... I had a couple neat experiences this week that I wanted to share.


On Tuesday, we were able to teach Mercy in the library again. I talked about Mercy a couple weeks ago and how I met her on the bench outside the library. She is the most amazing lady ever! We sat down and had planned on teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. We started talking with her and it struck me that I was more focused on teaching the lesson than the actual person. That's something that we learned in the MTC. Missionaries teach people, not lessons. It hit me pretty hard and I thought, "Woah... Elder Featherstone... what are you doing brother? Focus on her and not on the lesson." We ended up talking with her about the Book of Mormon and it's power. We didn't even touch the Plan of Salvation but it was one of the most amazing lessons I have ever been in on. It just felt like everything we said was focused on her and she knew that. Elder Burgin and I both bore our testimonies of the power of the Book of Mormon and then we stopped. We looked at her and I knew she was feeling the spirit. She buried her face in her hands and cried. Mercy looked back up at us and said, "I've grown further and further away from Christ and the feeling I feel now is what I want back. I've felt that before. I want it back." We both talked about baptism, the difference between "feeling the Holy Ghost" and "the Gift of the Holy Ghost" and asked her if she would be baptized. She looked at us and said, "Yes. I'll be baptized." It was incredible! She's amazing and I'm excited to see what happens from here.


Last Sunday, Elder Burgin and I played a piano duet. Elder Burgin is my substitute for Noah because I don't have my brother here poundin' on the ivory with me. Elder Burgin learned the top hand of the duet that Noah and I played together in church. "My Heavenly Father Loves Me."


Earlier in the week, I was able to go on splits with one of my good friends Elder Purkey. Loved those Skellefteå days. While we were on splits, we were able to teach a less-active member named Arnold in the church. The ward was having ward council that night so as we were on our way out to go work again, we had a member ask if we could come back in and talk to the ward for a few minutes. I told him that would be totally fine! We walked in, sat down, and listened to the ward council finish up with some other things they had to bring up that night. Then, the bishop asked me to explain a little bit about the missionary work here and how things are going with all of our investigators. I spoke for a minute or two and then he said, "That sounds just great! Thank you! Now, what can we do to help you in the missionary work?" I looked down at the ground, thought for a few seconds, looked back up at them, and said, "We need you to open your mouths and talk with your friends about the gospel." I talked for another minute or two and testified that if they did that, the Lord would provide the way. Just like he did for Nephi. "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) I bore my testimony with all I had and then asked, "What can we do to help you?" It was quiet for a moment and then a member said, "If you could come by every once and a while and share message about missionary work with us, that would give us the motivation and a reminder that it is possible. We know it's possible but it's just hard. If you could do that, it would really help my family." I looked around at everyone else and they agreed with what Tomas said. It was amazing because of the spirit that was there. I felt so much love for the members and I know that they felt that. It was an amazing experience and I really felt the desire for member-missionary work from them. We're going to start swinging by member's houses for 15 or so minutes when we are in the area because the work in Sweden isn't going to move forward without the members on our side. When President Monson re-dedicated the land of Sweden for the preaching of the restored gospel, he said, "Let there be a spirit of cooperation between the membership of the Church and the missionary force which is unequaled in any other land..." I believe in that prophecy. And it's going to happen through the members.


Sweden is a choice land. I am so grateful I have to serve here. The other morning, I was studying at my desk and I felt such a gratitude for my mission and a love for the people of Sweden. I walked into the bedroom, fell on my knees by my bed, and sobbed for the opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to serve a mission. My heart was full of gratitude for my mission, for all that I have learned, and the people I have been able to meet here during these past 18 months. I love this work. I love these people. I love my missionaries here in this zone. And I am already sad for the day when I have to leave this blessed country.


I love you all and hope you have a great week! Christmas Day is coming soon! Can't wait until I can see all of your faces! It's going to be the best! Keep up the good work everyone! I love you all!


Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone


T-Central with Elder Burgin and Sister Beckstrom. MTC groupies! These are some of the coolest cats around!

Johan is a member that we have been working with and have been helping him on his way to the temple! STUD!

Sunday dinner with the Jensen family! I love these people!


Wrestling with the Jensen kids last Sunday night. Absolute madness!!

Thanksgiving dinner last p-day. These kids are absolute STUDS! Love 'em all!

The classic Featherstone and Higgins... can't keep a straight face. hahaha

NAILED IT!

My two favorite twins! Stina and Frida Maldonado! These are the members that live right above us! They're the greatest!
The Karlstad, Örebro, and Västerås district. Elder Burgin and I drove over to Örebro on Thursday. This district is LEGENDARY!

The classic Featherstone/district selfie

Splits with Purk! The elevator was puny so this is the best we got. This is our investigator Aminate. Haha she cracks me up!

The Södertälje crew for this past transfer. We all ended up matching with Christmas colors one day at a members house.

A pic where I'm not blocking the Christmas tree. haha



Monday, November 30, 2015

Email #75

November 30, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


Alright so here's the plan... a lot happened this week and I want to write as much as possible about it! It's going to consist mostly of little experiences so hang on tight!


I'm not sure if I've ever talked about Peter Lundahl before but Peter is a new member and was just baptized the day before I got here to Södertälje. His conversion story is an absolute miracle! Peter had never met missionaries before but started getting curious about the Mormon church. About 20 years ago, he got a hold of a triple combination in Swedish and started reading the Doctrine and Covenants. A couple years later, he saw a short clip on the TV of President Monson and Peter knew that he was a prophet. Peter has struggled with autism for the past little while and hasn't let one person into his apartment in over 20 years. He swung by the distribution center by the temple in Västerhaninge for some reason and the missionaries were able to get a hold of his address. About a week later, they swung by and Peter opened the door. Looked down at their feet, up to their faces, and said, "come in." They walked in his apartment and he showed them several books that he had read. There was a stack of them. Everything from ensigns, to sunday school manuals, to the scriptures, and then even Jesus The Christ. Peter was baptized two weeks later and is one of the most amazing members I have met.


The other day, we went over to Peter's house and the funniest thing happened. Peter ran up to me, waving a yellow sheet of paper in the air, and said, "Guess... what... this... is?" He had the biggest smile from ear to ear on his face. I looked the sheet of paper and it wasn't what I was expecting. It was a tithing slip. I looked back at him and couldn't help but smile. Peter put the slip right into his scriptures and told us that he was going to keep that there forever. His first tithing slip. He was so excited that he could pay his tithing and that he could do his part to contribute to the Lord and his work here upon the earth. All I was thinking was, "Bless you dear Peter. I'm so proud of you, brother." It got me thinking and I thought back to Papa. Tithing really is a privilege and I can't wait until I can go home, fill my own tithing slip out, and help build the kingdom of God through such a small act. Tithing: A Privilege.


We had a couple of funny happenings this week. I have officially become the ward pianist/organist/ and everything else you can think of that has to do with the ivory..... -ist. Yesterday, I played the organ in Sacrament Meeting. I played the opening hymn, the sacrament hymn, and then the first counselor in the bishopric stood up and started walking towards me. He said, "Hey... Elder Featherstone... it feels like you might be playing in a different key. It feels a little high." I looked over at the "transposer" on the organ and we had actually been playing three steps too high. Brother Bautista and I started cracking up and then he said, "Whew... I was really havin' a tough time hitting those notes. And no one in the congregation was singing because it was too high. And singing bass was super easy today." We had a laugh and it was super funny because everyone was just squealing to try to hit those high ones. Haha


Last P-day, we got together as a HUGE missionary group in Stockholm and played in a Turkey Bowl! It was complete MADNESS! So much dang fun! We played in the freezing cold and had a total blast! I was loving it! I'll attach a pic because it was legendary!


This week, I was finally able to go on splits with my boy Elder Archibald. He is serving as one of the assistants in Täby right now. We had a PACKED schedule and we had to pick up a new sister missionary at the airport. Let's just say that "office work" isn't my favorite thing in the entire world. Haha we were able to teach some lessons and get some "actual missionary work" done though which was great! We had a ton of fun and it was super good to be back with the legend himself.


I think I'll wrap up this email with a cool little thing that we have been doing in the Södertälje Zone. Earlier in the transfer, we decided with the district leaders that we were going to do something called "Family Phone Evening." It's just a little conference call with a bunch of missionaries and we assigned a specific night with each district in the zone. We have chosen topics for the missionaries to think about and then they share their thoughts on the topics we chose. We are the only mission in the entire world (as far as I know) that has iphones and it has been such a blessing to be able to build each other up through these "Family Phone Evening" conference calls that we have been doing. The past couple weeks we have had the missionaries think about three things. The first week was "Ponder about you came on a mission and what your call means to you as the Lord's representative." The next week was "Ponder about how you received your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith." And this past week was "Ponder about how you gained your testimony of the Savior." I have had some of the neatest experiences during these conference calls with the districts and it has been pretty amazing to step back, think about each one, and then be able to bear my testimony to the zone about how I received my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Savior, and why I came out on a mission. If you're reading this right now, here's a little invitation from Elder Featherstone. Take three minutes, think about of why you came on a mission, why you're on a mission, or why you want to go on a mission. Think about your testimony of the Savior and how you gained it, and then bear your testimony to your wife, sibling, parent, friend, or even your Heavenly Father in prayer.


During this past week, I have been thinking a lot about my mission and how grateful I am for the experiences that I have been able to have out here. This is going to be my last Thanksgiving here, home in Sweden, and I'm going to miss this wonderful country, these wonderful people, and the gift that I have been given to be able to serve the Lord and his children here.


Missionary work is the coolest! I love it! I love you all! And I'm so grateful for each one of you! Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone


The Stockholm Crew. Turkey Bowl Style.

My boy Arnold and I in our red coats. I'll share an amazing story about Arnold next week. He's the biggest stud ever!

The pigskin field in action. #turkeybowl

"They changed the world. Not the shirt." #archieandfeathy
Elevator selfie with the sisters and Alice Schiazziano who is a member here in Södertälje.

Thanksgiving dinner with the Eskilstuna district. Love these guys!



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Email #74

November 23, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAM!!!


Whew... this week was a cold one. Like... I told Elder Burgin this earlier in the week but "it's officially winter here in Sweden." Still haven't gotten any snow yet but boy oh boy oh boy is it cold. I'm lovin' it though. Södertälje is the place to be right now!!


I had a super cool experience the other day! Elder Burgin and I were on the streets of Södertälje contacting the world, spreading that good word, and I was LOVING IT! I saw a lady walking with a stroller so I decided to contact her (Elder Burgin and I decided to divide and conquer both sides of the street). I started speaking to her in Swedish and she said, "I'm sorry, I don't speak Swedish." and then she started to walk away. I said, "WOAH! Hold up... I actually come from America so English is better for me anyway." She said, "Oh cool!" We talked for a few minutes and it turns out that she comes from Brazil. So... when I hear the word Brazil... I used my big brother as a way to make a connection. "No way! You're from Sao Paulo? That's so cool! My older brother lived in Joao Pessoa for a couple of years! He loved it there. She lit up and said, "What?? No way!" Her husband was working in Södertälje for a week so she came along and I happened to meet her. We talked for a little bit and then I said I was from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She said she had been to church one time in Brazil but had never met missionaries before. I pulled out the iphone and did a quick download of the "Because He Lives" video in Portuguese. I said, "Hey... I actually have a super quick video that talks about Christ. I actually have it in Portuguese! Maybe it'll be a little taste of home. Is it okay if I show it to you?" We watched the video and the spirit was so strong. I talked a little about what we do as missionaries and asked if I could get her phone number and address so that missionaries could come by and share a message with her. Like... it blows my mind how the Lord can soften someone's heart enough to give their phone number, address, etc to a random stranger.   She said yes, I got her information, and sent it right on down to Brazil! Marcia was so amazing and she seemed so prepared for the gospel. After we talked, she said, "I'm looking forward to seeing your friends in a couple weeks!" I said, "They're looking forward to it too! Listen to them. They have an amazing message for you and your family!" We went our separate ways and I just said a quick prayer to thank my Father in Heaven for that amazing opportunity to meet Marcia. I may never know what happens with her, but hopefully I planted a seed that will possibly take root and grow. It was a pretty amazing experience.


This week, we also had Zone Training here in Södertälje. President and Syster Beckstrand and the Assistants, Elder Sahlin and Archibald, came down to Södertälje and did a training for us and our zone. It was pretty amazing. We talked about the importance of Diligence, The Prophet Joseph Smith and his role in the Restoration, and the new Christmas initiative. IMPORTANT: If you haven't read the December Ensign yet on the Gospel Library app, and read from Elder Oaks' article called "A SAVIOR IS BORN." DO IT! That isn't a request. Go on-line to LDS.org, search, "A Savior is Born," and watch the new Christmas video the church has made. We need to FLOOD the EARTH with this video!!  It's a super cool video! Christmas is the best!!


OH... cool fun fact of the week... this week for p-day, we are gathering all of the missionaries in the greater Stockholm area and we're having a Turkey Bowl together! It's gonna be a ton of fun!! If you thought that Elder Featherstone was going to go through this week without throwin' the pigskin a little bit... you were WRONG! GO! FIGHT! WIN! *Insert BYU's Football Darth Vader March here... with music* ** if you don't get that reference... call Mr. Noah Featherstone**


A couple days ago, we went on splits down in a place called Linköping with some elders. I ended up going with a greenie named Elder Williams. He's such a stud and we had such a good time together! Elder Williams told me that we would be doing a presentation for a high school religion class in the morning. That is something that is decently popular here in Sweden. The high school teachers all over the country love the Mormon missionaries so they always invite them to come and talk with their students about America and about the church. It's something that I had never done before but I wanted to do before I left. Well... Elder Williams said, "Hey! We're talking to a high school class tomorrow about our church." I laughed and said, "No way! YES! This is gonna be the coolest!" I looked over the points that the teacher wanted us to cover and said, "Well, might as well just teach the Restoration to 'em." During companionship study the morning, we wrote out our game-plan and what we were going to do. This was a religion class, about 30 students, all 18 years old, so I was getting prepped for a pretty rowdy crew. Elder Williams and I got in there and OH MY GOSH... it was a complete riot! We had the funnest time with the students. It was a total blast! We were laughing, crackin' jokes the ENTIRE time! It was the coolest! We started by introducing ourselves, who we are, what we like to do, etc. Then, we asked them what they already knew about the "Mormons." We wrote all the things they said on the board and boy, were they hilarious! I was dying! If that was an actual religion.... I'm not really sure what I would say about that religion. Anyway... we wrote everything down and then we talked about God, prophets, and Christ. It was the coolest thing though.. But we talked about everything, just jokin' with each other and having a good time. Then it all changed. We talked more and more and then we talked about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and right when I decided to recite the First Vision to them, there was almost a hush over the students. It was quiet, everyone was listening so intently, and the spirit started to pour into the classroom. The entire time we talked about Joseph Smith, they were almost silent. No one was talking, just listening. As we continued to speak, the spirit continued to pour into the room. We testified of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. We were almost out of time but I pulled a Book of Mormon out of my backpack, held it above my head in my hand, and bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon with everything I had. The spirit filled the entire room and as I looked into their eyes, I knew that the spirit was testifying to them right then, that everything we said was true. We closed with our testimonies and it was the neatest thing ever. From the time we started talking about the First Vision until the end of our testimonies, the kids were absolutely silent, listening intently on the message we have of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was an amazing experience, one I will never forget. And I am so grateful that I had to opportunity to bear my simple testimony to them that day. We gave them all fist bumps on our way our and as we were walking away the teacher told us, "Wow... that was certainly amazing." She thanked us that we could come. She was super sincere so it meant a lot. I don't know what will happen from that little experience or who will act on that message that day, but I have no doubt in my mind that one day, some of those kids will join the church, and will partake of the blessings of the Restored Gospel.


Since then, I have been thinking a lot about testimonies and the impact they are able to make on one's heart. The other day, we were in Sunday School, and a member in the ward said something that really hit me hard. We were talking about testimonies and she said this... "If you don't share it, you don't believe it, or you are unsure." I think this small truth can be applied to the Gospel in general. "If you don't share it, you don't believe it, or you are unsure." I hope we can show the Lord that we do believe in his gospel, that we are thankful for the blessing it is in our lives, and that we are eternally indebted to the Lord and the power of his Atonement. If we truly do believe, then we will share. The Christmas season is coming soon, Thanksgiving is this week, let's show the Lord that we are thankful, we are grateful, we are appreciative of the gospel in our lives, and let us share it.


I love you all! I'm so grateful for everything you do. Keep doing what you're doing! And continue to build up the Kingdom of God by sharing it. I pray for each one of you every night. I love each one of you! Hope you have a great week! I'm cheering you all on from Södertälje! MWAH!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Officially cold...
This is our investigator Ritva. I'm not sure if you can see it but there is a little paper on the mirror that says, "Älskad av Jesus" which means... "Loved by Jesus." We took a selfie together after a lesson. Ritva is amazing!!

Took a short trip to Times Square! Megan and Preston... how do you live in that jungle??

We wrestled with the Jensen kids yesterday while we were waiting for the food. Whew... that was an experience. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Email #73

November 16, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAMILY!!!


Alright... so... here's the deal. I know I say this every week but I have a GIGANTIC amount of things I wanted to share with you all today. SO... we're gonna just kör på! (uhhh... how do you translate that? It's like... "go for it.") haha hang on!! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!!


Earlier last week, (wasn't able to share it because I ran out of time) we were swinging by a part member family in the ward but they didn't answer. We were on our way back to the car when we stopped a man on the street. He was super nice and super sincere but he was in a rush and couldn't talk right then. We asked him if we could swing by later and talk to him and he said that he didn't live here. We could tell he was really in a hurry so we decided the best thing to do was to leave him with a pass-along-card. We hopped in the car and were ready to drive back into the Södertälje (we were working out in a smaller city earlier). We drove past a less active's house and I had the thought to swing by him and say hi but I just brushed it off. About 20 or so minutes passed by and I was thinking about why the Lord wanted us to go out to the city Trosa. What was the reason we planned to go and who did the Lord want us to talk with out there? I thought back on the man we contacted and thought about his utility car. I thought, "Was he the one that we were meant to talk to? How would we talk to him again? Maybe his car had a number on it. Maybe we could drive back and call him through his work number instead!" I said, "Elder Burgin, I feel like we need to drive back and see if that guy we contacted had a phone number on his car that we could call." We flipped a u-turn and headed back to look at the car. We showed up and there was no number on the car. I was kind of confused because I could have sworn that there was a number! We hopped back in the car, drove by the less-active's house again and I thought... "Jaha! Maybe that's why we were supposed to come back!" We got out of the car, walked towards the house, came around a corner, and then we saw a couple in their front yard putting some type of canopy up. We stopped them, said who we were and they weren't interested at all. "Are you guys Jehovah's??" "No... we're Mormons!" "Mormons? Hmmm..." We talked about our purpose as missionaries, talked about the Book of Mormon, and then asked if we could come by and talk a little more. The couple was originally from Poland so they could speak just a little Swedish and a little English but they said, "Yeah, sure... come on over! Do Saturday nights work for you?" I looked at Elder Burgin, chuckled, looked back and said, "Yep... that works just great! We'll see you next week!" We exchanged info, said bye, walked around the house, and I said, "ELDER BURGIN!!! THAT WAS THE REASON WE WERE SUPPOSED TO COME HERE!!! HOW COOL WAS THAT??" We ended up knocking on the door of the less active and he wasn't even home. That's something that's been on my mind lately. As the Lord's representatives, we're always in a place for a specific reason. We just need to find out what that is, live our life so the spirit can speak to us, and trust the Lord will lead us in the direction that he needs us most.


SO... the other day, Elder Burgin and I were on our way to a lesson at the library. We hustled over, busted in the doors, and.... nothing. Our investigator wasn't there which was kind of a bummer. We looked around but he didn't show. So we got (what's known in the Sweden Stockholm Mission as...) "blåsted." I don't think it's an actual word but it means like "blown off." ANYWAY... we looked around, couldn't find him, so we decided to wait. Right outside of the library, there were a ton of chairs, benches, tables, and what not. I looked around for a place to sit and wait and maybe talk to someone but I didn't see anything. Then, I looked over and saw an empty spot next to an african woman over on a bench. I went over, said, "excuse me, is it alright if I sit here?" and she said, "Of course! Sit yourself down!" I said it in English so she would ask me where I was from. BUT... she was on the phone, so I just waited until the right moment to strike up the convo. We started talking and she was the NICEST lady ever! Her name is Mercy and she comes from Sierra Leone. We talked for probably 20 minutes or so and then I said, "Hey Mercy, we were going to come here to meet a friend and share a message about Jesus Christ but he didn't come. Could we share that message with you instead?" She said, "Of course! I'd love to hear something about Jesus! Always makes my day better!" So, Elder Burgin came and sat next to me and we taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved it and accepted everything we said about the Book of Mormon. She told us that her husband is back in Africa right now and she is alone with her three kids in Sweden so that is pretty hard on her. At the end, we testified about the comforting power of the Book of Mormon, how we can be lifted by the stories in it, and we can be comforted in times of loneliness through the Holy Ghost. It was a super neat lesson. Super simple, super short, but super powerful. The spirit was there and it was amazing that the Lord was able to turn something like a "blåst" into a really neat and powerful. I talked to Mercy last night and we're going to teach her again on Tuesday. Keep her in your prayers!


Right after the lesson, we decided to go out and contact our way to our next appointment. The library is right in the center of the city so it was game time baby! We walked outside, looked around, and there were TONS of people! We had just been thrown into the pit. Right into the Lion's Den. And I was getting pumped for it. Right before I contact people, I always have to take like five seconds and prep myself for what's going to happen. I always think of D&C 84:88. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Then I think of the words, "I fear no man." And go out to contact. Every time, I take five seconds, say a prayer in my heart to my Heavenly Father to help me say the things that he would want me to say, and then I give it my all, saying, "I fear no man." Elder Burgin and I split up on opposite sides of the center street that was FLOODED with people and started contacting. Something I've learned on my mission is that the power comes AFTER the trial of our faith. I always have a hard time understanding things in the scriptures, but when I have an experience with it, it sticks forever. We can pray for help to talk to the people, but ultimately, it's up to us. It's our choice, but if we choose the Lord, his grace and the power of the Atonement will give us the ability to keep going so that we can accomplish the thing that the Lord needs us to accomplish. Elder Burgin and I went out and contacted, not letting one person get by, because we "fear no man." That day was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. I knew what I was there to do and I knew why I was there to do it. And it didn't matter what one person said to me. Nothing was going to change my mind. You know on the movie Space Jam where all the Looney Toons drink "Michael's secret stuff" where they get all pumped and stoked to go conquer the world? Yep... that's how I felt right before we were going to go contact. Haha it was the coolest thing ever! How much happier could one be? Than to be out, proclaiming the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ "as with the sound of a trump?" Hurrah for Israel!!


Those were just a couple experiences from this past week but I really wanted to share that with you all. I love you all so much! Every single one of you! Thank you for all you do and the support that you are to me out here in Sweden. I love this gospel. I love you all. Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Elevator selfie with Daniel Cisternas on our way to do Home Teaching together! Daniel is such a stud and is actually the son of my first Ward Mission Leader in Jakobsberg! I met him as as greenie!

Check out the inside 

Splits with Elder Williams in Linköping. He's a greenie right now! I learned a lot being with him! Ton of fun!

District selfie with the Linköping & Norrköping district

This is a church in Linköping. It's the second biggest in all of Sweden!