Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Email #54

July 6, 2015
Skellefteå, Sweden


This week was absolutely incredible!! I have a lot that I want to share so I'm going to get right into it.

Elder Purkey and I have been having a ton of fun together in Skellefteå! We have been working hard and laughing on the way. That's the way to do missionary work! Anyway, Elder Purkey always says really funny things so I thought I'd share something he said this week. SO! Elder Featherstone has been made fun of on the mission for something that people like to call his "24/7 5 o'clock shadow." I honestly think it is really funny. One day, I thought that I could make it without shaving in the morning. After studies, during lunch, I turned to Elder Purkey and said, "I didn't shave this morning. Do I look like a bum?" Elder Purkey replied, "Not anymore than if you had shaved... your 5 o'clock shadow is just always there. Looks more three dimensional right now though. The only time you don't look like a bum is right after you shave." I busted up laughing and we were laughing for the next 20 minutes or so. Haha so... I guess I'm following in the footsteps of my other brothers on their missions. Moral of the story... I officially can't skip days on shaving. HaHa

A couple weeks ago I finished the New Testament. After I finished, I decided I would read the Doctrine and Covenants next. WOW! The first 40 sections or so are absolutely amazing (Not saying the other 100 sections after that aren't... just haven't gotten there yet. Ha!). I just have been loving it so much!! There is such a huge focus on missionary work because that is when the Lord is calling the first missionaries of this dispensation and telling them what to do. I have learned so much and it has been an amazing experience. During personal study one day, I was reading in section 34 in verses 5, 6, and 10. It says, "And more blessed are you because you are called of me to preach my gospel— To lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud, and cry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation, preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming... Wherefore, lift up your voice and spare not, for the Lord God hath spoken; therefore prophesy, and it shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." Those scriptures hit me pretty hard. Right then I made a goal to "lift up [my] voice and spare not." I feel like the Lord is saying “Proclaim my gospel and give it all. Don't leave anything unsaid or anything still on the table." Sometimes we're running all over the place and we don't have time to contact on the way because of so many lessons. I decided I wanted to plan so that we were given the amount of time needed so we could talk to everyone. This week I didn't let one person walk by me without talking to them. The blessings were absolutely incredible...

On Tuesday, Elder Purkey and I decided to hold a fast for the work here in Skellefteå and for the Lord's help in the area. We went out and worked our butts off! It was so dang cool! I was lovin' it because I knew there was something a little different going on. The next day, Wednesday, we were able to teach six lessons on the street- all about the Book of Mormon. In Sweden, being able to teach five in a week is tough! We were able to do more than five with the Lord's help in just ONE DAY!! Later in the week, Elder Purkey and I had a block of about three hours that we didn't know what to do with. We decided that it would be best to spend it in an area called Moröbacke. We walked and it took about an hour to get there. We spoke with every single person and we both had faith that we were going to find someone that day. It was the plan to walk to Moröbacke and swing by some to see some people there, but RIGHT when we got there, we met a man named Sebastian. Sebastian is a pretty young feller, maybe late 20's, that comes from Skellefteå. While we were talking to another lady on the street, he rode by on his bike and saw we had a book in our hands. He stopped and ended up waiting for us to finish talking with that particular woman and then pretty much contacted us. He said he was curious about the book so we walked over to a bench, sat down, and taught him the Restoration. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, committed him to read and pray about it, and set up another time to meet. It was incredible! After we taught him, we went our own ways and headed back home. I couldn't believe what had happened. If we literally had not talked to one of those people on the way over, we would have missed Sebastian and we would have never talked to, or even seen him. The Lord gave us the strength and we were able to contact every single person on the way, and ended up meeting Sebastian right as we got there. It was so amazing because we walked an hour from downtown Skellefteå to swing by to see some people in Moröbacke but the reason we were there really was to teach Sebastian.

Buckle down because the story gets better... On Sunday we were able to help our investigator Alfa (who comes from the Congo and speaks French and Swahili) get to church. Thankfully, out of our wonderful, seven active members, one speaks fluent French and was able to translate for us. Alfa loved it! After teaching the Sunday School lesson with Elder Purkey, I sat down to play prelude for Sacrament Meeting. While I was playing, in the corner of my eye, I saw Sebastian walk through the doors and sit down. We had called and invited Sebastian to Sacrament Meeting the night before and he came!! It was Fast Sunday so all of the members stood up and gave POWERFUL testimonies of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and his restored gospel on the earth today. It was amazing. After the meetings, a member told me that Skellefteå had not had an investigator in church in over a year. It had been over twelve months since Skellefteå last had an investigator in church and we were able to get TWO there with the Lord's help. I was so pumped that everything went so well! The Lord truly is hastening his work here in Skellefteå and we're trying to do our part to "assist" in that hastening. This gospel is amazing! The Lord wants us to do our part and help Him! I know that as we do that, our desire to share the gospel will grow, and we will have more opportunities to share this message of faith, hope, and love.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel!!
Elder Purkey and I. Elevator selfies just keep on comin! haha

Playing the accordion that I talked about last week!

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