August 10, 2015
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