Monday, May 25, 2015

Email #48

May 25, 2015
Skelleftea, Sweden


Family!


We have had an absolutely incredible week! Skellefteå is the greatest place and I love it so much! There is a pretty big difference between Västerhaninge and Skelleftea but the Lord truly is hastening his work here as well.


Tuesday was a day of miracles! Well, everyday is a day of miracles but WOAH... Tuesday was amazing! We had a couple phone numbers saved in the phone that we didn't know anything about so we decided to call them up. We scheduled a couple of appointments and one of them was in a city called Skelleftehamn. It's about a 20 minute drive from Skellefteå but the problem is... we don't have cars. We have bikes. SO! We started the trek down there and biked down to Skelleftehamn. It took a little over an hour to get there on a bike. We got off our bikes, walked into the building, knocked on Adrian's door, and he let us in. Adrian is from Albania but has lived in Sweden for a couple of years. He can't speak Swedish very well so we took the lesson in English. We started teaching him the Restoration and he was accepting everything very well. A few minutes into the lesson his 14 year old son walked in, sat down, and we started teaching him too. A couple more minutes passed and Adrian's wife walked in the door as well. She sat down and next thing we knew we were teaching the entire family. We taught them the Restoration and they loved it. This family is among the most humble I have ever met in my life. They moved to Sweden to escape the religious persecution they were experiencing back in Albania. Because the UE thinks that everything in Albania is under control they want to send Adrian and his family back. Apparently they would just experience everything all over again and they don't want that. We asked them to read out of the Book of Mormon as a family and pray to know of it's truthfulness and they accepted. They are truly being prepared by the Lord and I hope everything will continue to progress.


Last week we met a lady named Irene from Uganda. We met Irene while tracting so we decided to swing by again on Tuesday night. We taught Irene about the Restoration and she committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.


I started the New Testament a couple months ago and I'm almost finished. I have really tried to dive in and understand and the scriptures have come alive. On Friday I read a scripture that I loved. It's in 1 Timothy 6:12. "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." After I read it, I asked myself "How can I "fight the good fight of faith" and "lay hold on eternal life."" I think it's interesting that it says "whereunto thou art called." It's an invitation to everyone from the Savior. He has "called" us to "lay hold on eternal life." Let us fight the good fight of faith and follow the Savior. I know he is there next to us and will help us in our desire to fight for him.


I love you all and I hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Seeing Arman in T-Centralen
Michael Hultgren and I in Västerhaninge (Michael served his mission in Saint George and is one of my heroes.)
 Playing Tennis on my last p-day in Stockholm

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Email #47

May 18, 2015
Skelleftea, Sweden


Family!


This week has been absolutely jam packed! Transfers have come and gone and I am now serving in a place called "Skellefteå." It's about 500 miles away from Västerhaninge so it's a pretty big change. BUT... I'm going to start from the beginning so hang on!


The last Sunday in Västerhaninge was pretty sad. I didn't think I would get so close to so many members. I'm really going to miss the members in Västerhaninge but I have no doubt that Elder Burton will take care of the ward and the members down there. I'll be back in Stockholm one day no doubt!


On Wednesday, Elder Burton and I headed up to Stockholm Central Station to catch my train from Stockholm to the airport. T-central is a busy place every six weeks with transfers and there is always a missionary or two or twenty there. I was able to see a bunch of missionary buddies that I haven't seen for a long time so that was fun. Now an absolutely amazing thing happened right before I was about to leave from Stockholm to the airport. I was talking to a missionary, when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone that looked familiar. I looked over and I saw our investigator Arman! I yelled, "Arman!!!" I ran over and gave him a hug. It was absolutely incredible because we hadn't been able to get in contact with him for about a week. We had called him several times throughout the week and nothing happened. On Tuesday, I called him one last time because I wanted to say goodbye before I left to Skellefteå but no answer. I wasn't able to see him and then I just happened to run into him in the middle of Stockholm Central! It was a miracle! I talked to him for a little while and he said that he was in Göteborg (the west coast of Sweden) for a week and wasn't able to get in contact with us. He also told me that he finally is able to travel to Iran to pick up his son and take him back to Sweden. I had been praying for him to be able to go to Iran and for things to work out so he could see his son again. Arman hasn't seen his son in over five years so it will be an amazing reunion. Also, when Arman gets back to Sweden he will be able to be baptized. It is such a blessing from heaven and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that everything was able to work out the way it did. My train was leaving soon so I gave him one last hug and said, "It's all true, Arman." I bore a quick testimony and it was a very neat moment. Arman is such an amazing person! I cannot wait until he will be able to see his son again and be baptized in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.


I got on my train to the airport and woah... was that a journey! Ha! I got a little lost and couldn't find my airplane so I decided to ask the information desk for help. They turned me in the right direction, I picked up my bags, looked up and heard someone say, "Hey Elder!" It really takes you by surprise when that happens! Ha! I looked and there was a father and a daughter from Eagle, Idaho that were in the airport! We talked for a little while and wow... is it weird to talk to Americans. I was cracking up because it felt so weird to speak English. They actually ended up knowing one of my buddies from back home, Nate Kent! Super crazy connection. Well I got on my train and ended up making it safe and sound to Skelefteå. Honestly, this is such an amazing place! It felt a little weird showing up to church and there only being 4 members there but they are all so great and I'm so grateful to be here.


Elder Hansen and I both doubled into this area so we honestly have no idea what is going on. Ha! One day, we had a lesson set up with a member and ended up getting there about an hour earlier than we needed to. I looked at Elder Hansen and said, "Well... should we knock some doors?" We spent the next hour knocking doors and the Lord blessed us so much! We knocked on a specific door and it was a young girl from Eritrea, Africa. We told her that we were missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that we're sharing a message about Christ's restored gospel on the earth today. She didn't really know what to say so she said, "Well... do you want to come in?" I looked at Elder Hansen in unbelief, looked back at her and said, "Yeah, that would be great!" We ended up teaching Feven and her brother Filmon about the Restoration and it was incredible! They are so neat! We are hoping to meet with them again next week. We have already met so many amazing people here in Skellefteå and the Lord truly is hastening his work here. Skellefteå hasn't baptized in a while but I know that the Lord can help us do it here!


Well, I hope you all have a great week! I have a friend named Elder Oates who is an Elder from Pleasant Grove, Utah who is serving a temple mission with his wife in Västerhaninge. Every time I would shake his hand at church I would ask him how he was doing. Every time his response was the same. "I'm doing just great because the gospel is true." Hope you all have a great week because "the gospel is true!" I love you all!


Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Monday, May 11, 2015

Email #46

May 11, 2015
Vasterhaninge, Sweden

Hej hej hej!


Family! It was so neat to see all of you yesterday! I can't believe we got the family all in one place from Washington (Washington City that is in Saint George... but if I say just Washington then it makes it sound cooler), New York City, Saint George, and Sweden! It was so neat to see and talk with all of you! It was the first time seeing little baby Scotti! This week's shout out goes out all the way to Saint George to Brian and Kelsey for a job well done! And as my friend Kevin Durant would say, "You the real MVP."


Speaking of basketball... I think the NBA playoffs are underway right now. BUT... what's even cooler than that is that I'm serving a mission in Sweden! Man, I love this place so much! It has got to be the greatest place on the planet! Also, some news... transfers are happening this week and I'm leaving the city of Zion known as Västerhaninge. It was pretty sad to say goodbye to all of the members yesterday at church but I'm excited for my new area as well. All the missionaries have made fun of Elder Featherstone because he has served in the Stockholm area for his entire mission so far. BUT... the tides have turned, the winds have changed, and Elder Featherstone is moving from the biggest ward in Västerhaninge of about 200 active members, to one of the smallest branches in Skellefteå with six active members. It's gonna be a pretty big change but I'm SO PUMPED to go up to Norrland or the "North Land." Skellefteå is the second highest area in the mission and it is going to be so dang cool! I'm so excited! I'm going to have to take a plane up to Skellefteå because it is so far away. Ha! It'll be a great experience!


I don't have a ton of time today but I just wanted to share a quick quote that my seminary teacher shared with me a while back. Henry B. Eyring once said, "You can invite the Holy Ghost’s companionship in your life. And you can know when he is there, and when he withdraws. And when he is your companion, you can have confidence that the Atonement is working in your life. . . . You will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost helping you, and you will feel approval. And you will know that, for at least those minutes, the power of the Holy Ghost was with you. And you will know that some healing came into your
soul, for the Spirit will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. His influence cleanses.  Not only is your feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost a sign that the Atonement, the cure for sin, is working in your life, but you will also know that a preventative against sin is working." The atonement is real and I have seen it working in my life as well as the lives of those we are working with here. It is such a gift from the Savior and I am so grateful for it and the invitation the Lord gives us to come unto him.


I love you all and hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Friday, May 8, 2015

Email #45

May 4, 2015                     
Vasterhaninge, Sweden

Family!

Wow! This week was just top notch! We had Stake Conference in the Stockholm South Stake this past weekend and it was amazing! I was asked to play the piano in the Stake Leadership Meeting and I ended up playing "Praise to the Man." I have had so many opportunities to play the piano here! It's been so great! SO... anyone who is thinking about quitting piano lessons, DON'T DO IT! Piano is the coolest! So keep it up!

Also, we had a Swedish Holiday called "Valborg" this week. Valborg is kind of a funny holiday. The Swedes gather a bunch of wood, sticks, and who knows what, and throw it in a huge pile. The Valborg mound was massive! It looked like the "Beacons of Minas Tirith" that Merry lit in the Lord of the Rings. "The beacons are lit!" Ha! But they throw all of this into a pile and then light it on fire. It's pretty much just a big bon-fire party together. All of the missionaries in the Stockholm area came down to Västerhaninge to see them light it. President and Sister Beckstrand were there as well. We had a pretty fun time! While we were there, the elders were throwing the Nerf football that I got from the family for Christmas. We ended up playing a game of 4 vs 4 and it was a ton of fun! I started laughing because all of the Swedes were looking at us like, "What is that thing they're throwing back and forth to each other?" We had a couple of guys from the ward that came and played with us. We had a lot of fun!

I had a really neat experience with Elder Burton on Friday night. We saw these two teenagers on our way back to the apartment and we decided to stop and talk to them. I told them that we were missionaries with Jesu Krisi Kyrka av Sista Dagars Heliga and we were talking about The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked them if either of them believed in God and both of them said that God doesn't exist. I asked them how they came to that conclusion and neither of them really had an answer. We then talked to them about prayer and that God is our Heavenly Father that we can pray to him. I asked them if they had ever tried praying before and one of the kids said, "I only pray when I need something." I thought that was interesting and then said, "Wait, I thought you said you didn't believe in God." He went on to explain and we ended up having a great lesson with them right there on the street and we talked about the Book of Mormon and how we can find out if there is a God if we read it. The other kid said he was Atheist and that he had never prayed but that he didn't believe there was a God. We told him that there was a God and that he could find out if he prayed. By the end of the conversation he said, "Alright, I'll take your book and I'll pray." We walked away and I was so amazed that a person could go from absolutely believing that there isn't a God, to saying "alright" and that he was going to go pray to find out for himself. Both Elder Burton and I testified that there really is a God and that He loves them and wants to hear from them. It was an amazing experience. We have such an amazing knowledge of the Restoration, of prayer, of our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to talk to my Heavenly Father multiple times through the day. I know He really can bless us if we involve him in the things we do every day. "Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Played soccer with these guys last P-day. 

Valborg with all the missionaries.
My "cousin" Elder Clawson. S/O to the Joe Feathies.