Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Email #57

July 27, 2015
Skellefteå, Sweden


Alright now that right there is a claim. The best week of my mission... so far? Yup... 100% true. I'm gonna tell you why... buckle down baby! It's gonna be sweet!!

Alright... this P-day... we had a Zone activity down in Umeå where we had a Zone Volleyball Tournament. President and Syster Beckstrand want to bring the mission closer so they are going to have activities on p-day a little more often... I think. Long story short... Elder Purkey and I are officially the best sand volleyball players in the Norrland Zone. We swept the competition, going undefeated, and bringing home the trophy back to Skellefteå. The weather didn't work with us and it rained through the entire tournament! The sand was pretty nice though so it didn't get muddy. We were SOAKED at the end. It was a lot of fun though! I was LOVIN' it! Anyway... yup... we went "Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh" on the rest of the zone! "Ain't no-body got time for dat!"

Okay... now I don't have a ton of time but I just wanted to share one quick experience. When I first moved to Skellefteå, Elder Hansen and I found a family from Albania that was AMAZING! They were extremely prepared but lived in a place that was VERY hard to get to. We taught them once and they loved our message. We were going back to teach them again one day, and then my bike decided to break so we weren't able to visit them. Adrian and his family told us that they were possibly going to get deported back to Albania because the Swedish government believes that the persecution they were experiencing because they were Christians was over. Next thing I knew, their phone number stopped working and we weren't able to get in touch with them. The date they said they would be deported by came and passed and I couldn't believe that I had just let them go. One night, I said a prayer to my Heavenly Father and asked for forgiveness because I did not put as much focus on that family as I should have. I just prayed that everything would work out and that they would have another chance to receive the gospel in their homeland. I didn't think about it any more and then kept working in Skellefteå. Last Friday, the Luleå elders were able to bring their car down to help us reach those areas that are a little tough to reach usually and work in those outer areas. We went to teach an investigator down there and then I also just wanted to swing by Adrian's door just to see if there was some possibility that they were still there. On our way, I saw a Somalian woman in her Islamic head-dress and decided I was going to contact her. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how it is a record of what the prophets said when they were on the American continent. We taught her a lesson and then gave her that book. We were really close by where Adrian and his family used to live so we walked over to the door and up the stairs to the top floor. We knocked on their door... and nothing. I heard some men coming up the stairs and so I turned and I saw the person I didn't expect- Adrian. I yelled, "Adrian!" and ran over to him to give him a hug. He told me that they just came by the door to see if the migrations office had left anything for them. He said his family was living in Finland now and that he came back to just figure a few last things out. They drove all the way to Skelleftehamn to the door and we met them. That should not have happened. If we would have not contacted and talked to the Somalian lady, we would have missed him. If we would have talked with our investigator five minutes longer, we would have missed him. We talked for a few minutes and then I pulled out a card from my pocket, handed it to him, and with tears almost in my eyes I said, "Adrian, take this card. Go to this website and request missionaries. They can teach you in your language. Promise me you'll do that?" He said, "Yes, I promise." I gave him a hug and said goodbye. I honestly cannot understand why that happened. When I prayed for everything to "work out" I didn't think I was going to be able to meet them again and give them that opportunity to accept the gospel, but I know that God had a HUGE hand in it. That was all Him. The Lord lives. He loves us. And I know he has a plan for us. He wants us in those daily situations for a reason and I know that now. He really does have a plan for each and every one of us and I know that he knows us personally.

That's just a little snippet of the week but it was amazing! The Lord blessed us so much.

I hope you all have an amazing week! There is a person in Sweden that loves you more than anyone else in the world!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
The Swedish church that I rang the bells on. It's the "Landsförsamlings Kyrka."

Another church in Sweden called "Saint Olov's Kyrka."

Adrian and I in Skelleftehamn.

Alfa, Elder Featherstone, Elder Purkey, and our amazing "mom" in Skellefteå, Fern.

Contacted these kids and played basketball with them. I'll tell you more about my "basketball miracles" next week!

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