Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Email #43


April 20, 2015
Vasterhaninge, Sweden


Family,


This week has been so great! We have seen so much success here in Västerhaninge and it's pretty sad that my time here is most likely coming to a close. Västerhaninge has got to be the greatest place in Sweden. It definitely is for me! I love this place so much! Maybe I should rephrase that.  Actually. I love these people so much! I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve here. It has been so wonderful!


I had a few amazing experience this week! On Thursday I went to Jordbro (a nearby city) to go on splits with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Barnes. He is actually from Indianapolis so we talked about the Indianapolis Colts for a little bit. Ha! That still is a shame that Peyton had to leave us... BUT... back to splits. In the morning we went to teach a man named Jimmy. He is from El Salvador so he can't speak Swedish very well. We showed up and Jimmy had a basketball underneath his arm. I just chuckled and said to myself, "Yes... I'm going to get along just fine with this guy." Ha! We had the lesson in a park on a table and there was a basketball hoop right behind us. I was eyeing that thing for quite a while. We weren't able to communicate very well with him so we kept the lesson short and then played a game of horse with him. He loved it and it was a lot of fun. That was the first time that I was able to play basketball in Sweden (outside of playing with other missionaries on p-day)


Later during the day, Elder Barnes and I were right next to the train station talking to people. I looked over and saw a group of about fifteen teenagers hanging out by the walkway to the station and one of them was bouncing a basketball. I just thought, "There is no way that he has a basketball! These are Swedes! Alright... I'm going to go talk to them." I walked over and said in Swedish, "Hey! Is that a basketball? Do you guys like to play?" They nodded. I could tell that they were a little skeptical and were thinking, "Who is this kid?" Then I said "I was just curious. Not a lot of people play basketball here. I'm from the United States and I love to play." Then suddenly, a kid stood up, threw his hands in the air, and said, "WAIT... YOU CAN SPEAK ENGLISH!!" I laughed and replied, "Yeah... I can speak English." "Finally," he said, "someone that can speak English!" Emmen was a kid from Bosnia but grew up in Sweden and apparently likes to speak English. He passed me the ball and said, "Let's see what you got." We dribbled a bit and he tried to steal the ball from me. After I tossed the ball back to him and he said, "You're pretty good man!" We talked for a little while and then a kid that grew up in London came up to me and we talked as well.. The Englishman and I talked about faith, God, and what he believes. We had a great talk and I was able to testify to him that God actually does exist and that we can communicate with him through prayer. It was really cool! He  went on and talked to me about Sweden and how there is never anything to do. "You get lucky if you even go to a friends house to play video games." I laughed and told him that I used to do that all the time. I would invite people over, we would get a bunch of food, and we would have Mario Kart Tournaments. He stopped, turned around to the Bosnian kid who had left earlier, and said, "Yo! This kid likes to play Mario Kart." Emmen ran back over and they were freaking out. It was really funny! We talked to them for about 20 minutes and then we had to go to another lesson. I pulled out a card of my pocket that would take them to the church's new Easter video called "Because He Lives" and told them that if they went to the website then they could watch a really cool video about Easter and about Christ. They said, "Alright. Cool! We'll check it out for sure!" Probably one of the scariest contacts I've ever done but it ended up being really amazing!


Later in the day, Elder Barnes and I were walking when I randomly looked over to a cut-out of an apartment building. It is just a place that you can walk through underneath the apartment building. I looked at it and said, "Hey, Elder, let's go in there." We literally took two steps and a lady popped out of nowhere. There was a door to the apartment building right under the place where we were and she walked out right as we were right there. Her name was Didi and she was from Nigeria. She has been living in Sweden for six weeks. We stopped her, talked to her, and were able to exchange phone numbers. She said she was in a little bit of a hurry but that we could come by and share our message with her later in the week. We went our own ways and I looked at Elder Barnes. "Did that just happen." If we would have kept walking straight then we would have missed Didi. After, I realized that my thought to go into the tunnel wasn't actually a thought, but a prompting. The voice of the Spirit really is still and small and if we aren't paying attention then we could miss it. I learned a huge lesson that day and am trying my best every day to listen a little more.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all! 

Strength and Honor 
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
My new friend
The Vasterhaninge Temple


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