Monday, August 24, 2015

Email #61

August 24, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

"Kronk! Pull the lever!!  ..... WRONG LEVEEEEERRRRRR!!"


Well.... that movie quote doesn't really have anything to do with this email... BUT... it was a movie quote that I pulled out on Elder Kapp the other day. Ha... ha... good times... gooood times...  I was just mostly going for the ice-breaker of the email though.


Speaking of ice-breakers... that is a little something that I've been trying to be better at. Breaking the ice at the beginning of a contact with a little laugh is something has helped a lot! Last week we went on a little "finding stund" ("stund" is like the equivalent to "session" in English) with our brother Jonathan Wirtala. Jonathan actually served in the same mission as Mallory Brown back home. S/O to anyone serving in the England Manchester Mission. Woop woop! Alight.... back to Mr. Wirtala. SO... we decided to do a little finding session together with the Swedish RM. He taught us a few "ice-breaker" techniques on the way so I started using them in the daily work. One of them is just a simple magic trick. "Hey... excuse me... I'm sorry, but I think you have something behind your ear." *Insert confused potential investigator face with Elder Featherstone's hand in his pocket with a pass along card* Then... pull it out from behind their ear and... woah. There ya have it.

The other day, Elder Kapp and I saw this group of guys together in a parking lot and so I decided to put Jonathan's English techniques to the test. I walked over, "hey... excuse me... but I think you have something behind your ear", pulled the trick, and all of his buddies BUSTED UP laughing. Haha it was super funny. I felt like I was on a basketball court, just crossed someone up, put them on their keister, and everyone just yells, "OHHHHHHHHHHHH!" That's pretty much what all of his buddies did while I put the card in his hand after the trick. HEY... but guess what? Now he's an investigator. SO... big thanks to the former Elder Wirtala right there. S/O to the Swede! Tack kille! Du är bäst!

The week has honestly been super good! We've had a ton of success here in Umeå! I still am a little confused that we are teaching so much. Usually you're on the other side saying... "Whew... man... we've been contacting all week long. Some day we'll be teaching all week long though so keep on the gas pedal!" Now we're here and... yeah... it's super good! I'm loving it now! I kinda miss contacting though. Haha I would have NEVER thought I'd say that. It's really good here though. The members are so amazing. I've never seen a branch work so well with the missionaries. Usually I'm the one coming up to them to introduce myself but I'm having members come up to me to introduce themselves. Once again... Umeå = Zion.

OH... this is my new favorite thing to do. Giving compliments to strangers. But especially Swedes! They're super funny about it. The other day we were driving down the road and I stopped to let some bikers cross the road. I look over and there is a dude repping blonde dreads that are (not exaggerating) past the middle of his thigh. SO LONG! SO COOL! He looked like such a boss. I rolled down my window, poked out my head, and said, "HEY! YOUR HAIR IS SICK!" He had some headphones in so he didn't hear me. He looked back with a confused look on his face thinking that he had done something wrong and that some crazy person was yelling at him from a car. He pulled off his headphones looked at me and I said, "HÅRET SER BRA UT!" (The hair looks good!!) He smiled and gave me a gangsta wave and kept going. All the elders in the car busted up laughing. Maybe he'll go do it too now. Domino effect. Changing the world one complement at a time. That's the Äldste Featherstone challenge of the week. Give a compliment to a stranger. And as the rest of the mission would say right now tack vare Äldste Noso... "JUST DO IT."

Two things I just had to bring up quick. Earlier this week, in the grocery store, I heard the George Michael song that we did our family flash mob to at the Poelman Family Reunion in Park City. In my mind I saw Mimi and Mom and Dad and the rest of the fam all doing their little parts of the flash mob. Super funny. Thanks again for that Mimi! "You the real MVP!"

The other thing... this is my S/O to Brian. Haha the other day we were at a less actives house for dinner and we were doing the dishes afterwards. There were four elders trying to do the dishes at the same time in this TINY kitchen so I just did what I thought was logical. I just moved around dishes for about 15 minutes. I was cracking myself up the entire time. How many years did you get away with that one Brian? haha

That's about it for the week. Still just in that missionary grind. It's been amazing to see what has happened just in these past few weeks here in Umeå. We are seeing so many miracles every day. The Lord truly is hastening his work. So let's jump on the boat and assist in hastening his work. "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

Strength and Honor  
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Selfie with my boy Daniel Karlsson at church.
Thowin' it back to the Zone Volleyball Tournament

Volleyball pics....

Does this bring back any memories Pops??

We were in a BOM drought in the mission. The entire mission was handing them out so fast that Germany couldn't send them fast enough. We finally got another box!!
FHE with the young single adults in the branch. Roasted some hot-dogs!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Email #60

August 17, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

Tjena allihopa!!

Woah... like... that week FLEW by! Haha I honestly feel like I was here emailing y'all yesterday. I'm serious... that was probably the fastest week of my mission so far. Crazy! Hey... but speaking of flying... on Tuesday we had MLC so Elder Kapp and I hopped on that plane and flew down to Stockholm. We spent P-day with the Pence family who's from the Logan area but has been living here in Sweden for the past few months. We had a ton of fun with them. We slept at the office and then we had MLC the next morning.

ACTUALLY... I'm gonna back up. Tuesday morning was SWEET! We woke up and played TENNIS for morning exercise! I'm gonna be a tennis dude for a second. I'm not sure if anyone remembers but a while back, Elder Burton and I were in a tripan with Elder Bliss for a week. He's an office elder right now so we ended up playing tennis together. Bliss played first singles for Delta High and then we also played with Elder Burke who played first singles for Riverton High. Long story short... we played hard annnnddd... yeah. A ton of fun.

Alright... back to Sweden. This week was completely insane! I know I say that every week but it was INSANE!! All good though.

MLC was PRIME! Loved it! We talked about a ton of different things but we mostly focused on the importance of contacting and our role as leaders in the mission, how we can become better, etc. We read a talk from President Uchtdorf from the April 2010 General Conference called "You are my hands." It's a solid talk! President Uchtdorf talked about how we can be "the Lord's hands."

Later that night, Elder Kapp and I prepped for our zone training in Umeå on Thursday. It's pretty much just taking everything we learned at MLC and taking it to the zone. It went really well and I felt really good about it. Hopefully we got the zone pumped to go baptize this entire ZONE! The Norrland Zone is more than half of the country of Sweden just because it's not as populated. SO... we have a lot of area to cover. I believe that our zone has the best missionaries in the mission right up here in Norrland! It's amazing to see what's happening here!

Everything in Umeå has been incredible! The work is booming here and we have six people on date to be baptized which is super exciting! Also... I JUST got a call from Elder Burton saying that Arman (our investigator in Västerhaninge) can finally get baptized!! Arman doesn't have to go back to Iran anymore and his son is coming over to Sweden now so he can get baptized and he can baptize his son in two years when he turns 8. Burton said that Arman brought three friends to church yesterday which is such a miracle. He is one of the greatest people I have met! It is such a blessing that he is going to be able to be baptized now. We have Zone Conference in two weeks in Stockholm so Elder Burton and I are going to try to figure out if we could possibly go to the baptism. Such a tender mercy of the Lord that Arman can be baptized now.

Everything else is just great! The weather is great! The work is great! The branch is great! I'm a pretty happy camper up here in Umeå. We're just working hard and trying to get those people in the water! It's pretty exciting.

Hope everything is going well back home! I love you all! Hope you have a killer week! Make it happ'n capt'n!!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Elder Kapp and I on the plane down to Stockholm

Elder Hemmingsen and I at MLC

More ballin' pics

Contacted a guy the other day and we played ball. #swoosh The paparazzi was all over me. Haha 
These are my boys from the MTC. We all came to Sweden together. Elder Israelsen, Burgin, and Archibald.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Email #59

August 10, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

This week was... crazy. Here's what happened...

My exit from Skellefteå was pretty legendary. Elder Burton was coming up to Skellefteå right about the same time I was getting on my bus to Umeå so I wasn't sure if I was going to see him or not. I ended up just getting on the bus without seeing him. I sat down next to this persian kid from Afghanistan and we talked for a bit. We're on the top of a double-decker, it swings around the bus station as we're leaving Skellefteå, and then I see two kids in white shirts and ties about 100 meters in front of us. I ran down the stairs by the bus driver and I pointed to Burton and Purkey. They looked over and we all just started cracking up and laughing as I passed the baton and headed to Umeå. Maybe it was one of those "you had to be there moments...." Haha lite osäker.

Umeå has been absolutely INSANE!! It's been a good insane though! Elder Kapp and I have literally been doing nothing but teaching, teaching, and some more teaching. Like... it's ridiculous! Ridiculously SWEET!! I'm loving it so much here! The area is already just fired up so we don't have to spend time trying to "build up the area." It's already runnin' on all cylinders so we're just gonna build from here! It's so dang cool! Like... I just get pumped about everything that is happening here!

It's been such a crazy transition from Skellefteå to Umeå. Skellefteå was just non-stop finding, contacting, tracting, and then a little teaching on the side. Umeå is just opposite... we're teaching and just finding on the way.

This Sunday, we had a pretty funny experience. This pretty much describes missionaries. We were helping an elderly, Finnish woman in the branch with something she needed during Sunday School and after we were finnish-ed (no-pun... alright... pun intented. haha) we went back into the chapel, sat down, and began to listen to the branch president giving what I thought was the lesson. Elder Kapp sits down next to me and says... "Elder Featherstone... we're giving the lesson (no one had been assigned to give the lesson that week for some reason)... what do you want to give it on??" All that came out of my mind was, "Uhhhh...." Then Kapp said, "Just pick a principle or a doctrine. Any principle!" "Uhhh.... faith?" "Ok... cool... faith! Let's do it!" I looked over at the branch president and he said... "Alright... we're going to turn the time over to the elders for the lesson." Haha I started laughing as I stood up. Talk about on the spot! It actually went really well though!

This week we have just been firing out lessons left and right! We met with a less-active named Neils earlier in the week and I have already learned a ton from him. Neils was born in Thailand, grew up in Sweden, and worked for the Search and Rescue Crew in the Philippines. He worked for about 7 years and then when the typhoon in the Philippines hit a few years ago, a house collapsed on him and he broke his neck and his back. He's in a wheelchair now. Neils was sharing his story with me and I was amazed at how positive he was. Something he said was, "if you're already in a hole... why dig yourself deeper and be negative. Be a positive thinker! The glass is always half-full." He said that what happened to him was all part of the Lord's plan for him and that he needed to learn something from it. It reminded me of what the Lord told Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." I really do know that we're put through trials for a reason. It's all part of the plan so keep your head up and the Savior will be there for you.

Alright... so much happened this week but that's just a little bit of it. Hope you all have a great week! Keep it up and keep doing WORK! I love you all!

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
The greenie is gettin' sleepy

Selfie with the district in Umeå and Ö-vik

Caught this beauty the other night

Friday, August 7, 2015

Email #58

August 3, 2015
Skellefteå to Umeå, Sweden


Holy cow!! Sounds like you all had such an amazing week! And I feel like Noah is the MVP on this one. "You da real MVP." You were a missionary in the Dallas Texas Mission! That is so dang cool! Like... I'm super jealous! Sounds like you had such an amazing time! Can't wait until you get to experience it when you get your call to Sweden! ;) Haha alright maybe not Sweden... I still think you're going to Denmark lil bro! We can speak our Scandinavian languages together. Talk about SWEET! SO! This week's S/O definitely goes to my favorite people in the state of TEXAS! BT, Jiller, Joey, and Brooklyn!! And the rest of the Taylor Crew! You guys are the best! You definitely have a fan out here in Sweden cheering you on! Keep up the good work down there President Taylor!

Transfers hit here in Sweden. They’ve come and gone and I am leaving this beautiful city of Skellefteå. President called me on Friday and told me that I am going to be moving to a city called Umeå as a Zone Leader there. Umeå is like the capital city of Norrland and from the word around the block, it's considered to be "Zion" here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. So... I am super pumped! It's going to be an adventure! Norrland baby!!! It's the best!! Umeå isn't that far from Skellefteå so I'll still be able to visit when I go on splits with the elders here. Speaking of elders coming here... Elder Burton who was my companion in Västerhaninge for three months is going to replace me here. I was his trainer down in VH and now he's just gonna follow me up to Norrland from Stockholm. Elder Burton is a stud and we have a RIOT together so it's gonna be a lot of fun when he comes to join the missionaries of the arctic north!! It's actually still really nice here... but in a few months. We gon see sum snow baby! I'm stoked for Umeå! It's gonna be sweet! I'm also going to miss Skellefteå a lot though. I have learned so much here and I feel like I have grown a lot. It's been such an amazing experience here! I've loved it... and I'm STILL LOVIN' it!

Elder Purkey and I had an absolutely amazing week up here in Skellefteå! We have been working with a man named Sebastian who is Swedish and we set up a baptismal date with him which is SUPER neat! I'm SO pumped! He is such a stud! Also, we have been meeting with a man named Evenel who comes from Haiti! We set up another baptismal date with him so now SKELLEFTEÅ IS ON THE DOP BOARD!!! (The word "dop" means baptism in Swedish.) We have seen this area grow so much and it's amazing to see where it is now! It's not going anywhere but UP right now! Super sweet! Elder Purkey and I taught the Sunday School lesson in church yesterday and we shared our experiences from the past week and just explained how much the Lord has been blessing us lately. Elder Purkey was talking with a member named Bengt after the lesson and Bengt said that of all the twelve years that he has lived in Skellefteå, never has he seen missionaries that have been doing so much and have been having so much success as we have. That meant a lot. Since I've been out on a mission... I've realized... we're not doing ANYTHING! Like... we're just the mouth-pieces for the Lord. The last few weeks here have been amazing. I literally can't describe it any other way but that the Lord is hastening his work up here in Norrland.

We are also working with a dude named Osman who is SUPER positive. He actually comes from Gambia which is a small country on the western coast of Africa. He's such a STUD! Like... as Megan would say... (I don't know why but I just feel like she would say this word...) everyone we're working with... they're just "studly." All studs! Love these guys to death. Anyway... we contacted him last week and talked to him about the Book of Mormon. He was super interested in what the book was so we started teaching him and he is progressing so well! We are hoping to get a baptismal date with him this week before I leave. I'm so glad I'm going to Umeå because I'll still be able to see all these people be baptized. It's "quacktastic" as Dad would say. Haha

Hey so yeah... that's about it! I hope you all have such a killer week! Go show the world what's up! I love you all!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
A Japanese family that came to church yesterday in Skellefteå! I translated for the Dad who bore his testimony which was really neat. We had 15 people in church yesterday which was the most since I've been here! So sweet!!

Our zone volleyball tournament last P-day in Umeå. Elder Purkey and I came out on top as the best companionship in the zone! Huzzah! Haha

My boy Saif and I. Saif comes from Palestine and is a good friend up in Skellefteå. I call him "Diesel" because I think he looks like Vin Diesel.

Met these two Italian guys on the street that are walking from Italy to Norway. I asked him why they're doing it and he said, "Why not?" I laughed and said, "Good answer!"