Monday, September 28, 2015

Email #66

Sept 27, 2015
Umeå, Sweden                 

Spreadin' the good word

HEJ HEJ!! Yep... those four words up there is the recap of this past week. It's probably a solid recap of my past year or so in this country. I love Sweden so much. It's the best. The Scandinavian Spectacular. The Big Kahuna. The "The Great Bambino! Babe RUTH!" Alright... Sandlot has nothing to do with this email. That's just where I felt like that paragraph was going.

This week has been a really solid one. I would rank it as the second most busy week of Elder Featherstone's two year journey in Sweden, and the #1 most stressful week of Elder Featherstone's life as a human being. We have had SO MUCH TO DO! My mind is still going 1000 miles per hour. BUT... we all made it through with smiles on our faces... so that's all that matters.

Well.. the week started out with more teaching and then a flight down to Stockholm for the Mission Leadership Conference at the mission home. It went super well and I learned a ton! The Assistants, Elder Rasmussen and Sahlin, gave a stellar training on how we should work through our Ward Mission Leader and what we can do to help the members catch the wave of missionary work here in Sweden. They shared a quote from President Monson that I loved! President Monson said, "There is only one thing more contagious than enthusiasm, and that is the lack of enthusiasm." Getting excited, pumped, stoked, and whatever else for missionary work actually WORKS! It's so amazing how much just a smile can do when you're talking to someone. I remember a little while ago, I contacted a man on the street and I was just trying to be as pumped for missionary work as possible. I said, "hey, excuse me." and then ended up talking to him for a second. I remember I had a smile on my face from ear to ear and was trying to get him pumped for it. He ended up saying no... (sadly) but I remember his face and it cracked me up! If I were to put a caption on his face... or what he was thinking... it would be, "What is this tall skinny kid doing talking to me right now. And what's with that smile?" He smiled back and said "no thanks" but it was a neat experience because I got him to crack a smile and could see how contagious enthusiasm actually is.

Anyway... the Assistants talked about member-missionary work and I was eating it up! Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a ward work so well with missionaries in my life than right here in Umeå. The members here are the BEST!!! S/O to the Umeå branch in Norrland!  I learned a ton from the Assistants, and Elder Dahle and I have already seen what we took from MLC applied in the work up here.

Later in the week, I was a part of one of the neatest lessons of my mission so far. It was actually with a man that Elder Rasmussen and I contacted while we were on splits a few weeks ago. We contacted Betrand a few weeks ago and we were able to get his number. He said we could meet sometime so we finally set up a time to meet. On Wednesday, we drove to the church and Betrand was already there waiting for us. I hopped out of the car, walked over, gave him a bro-hug, and then we went into the church. Betrand is from Cameroon but has lived in Sweden for about five years. He's in his twenties and is such a STUD! We sat down with him, got to know him a little bit, and then we started teaching him about the Restoration. We talked about Prophets, Joseph Smith, and then about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong and Elder Dahle and I bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was absolutely amazing! I finished bearing my testimony and then it got a little quiet. Betrand had the Book of Mormon in his hand, looked down at it for a bit, looked back up at us and said, "is it okay if I take this book?" I laughed and said, "It's all yours bud!" He was so pumped about it and he committed to read and pray about it. One of the coolest lessons ever! With one of the coolest guys ever! I'm really praying because Betrand has AMAZING potential! He's such a stud! I'll give you the update with him next week!

On Friday, we had a less active member in the ward named Niels that was in the hospital. We went over and visited him and everything seemed to be going alright. He was just back into emergency surgery a couple hours ago because of a tumor he had. I think that is the first time I had been in a hospital since I've been on my mission and there is just a different spirit there. Very sweet, somber spirit. Just keep Niels in your prayers.

I love being here in Umeå! The work is absolutely amazing and I'm lovin' it!

OH... hats off to the Utes for putting on a show against Oregon. Heard all about it.   

Well... that's about it for the week! Hope you all have a killer week! Go show 'em how it's done! I love you all!

Strength and Honor                            
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Some of the MTC groupies at MLC

The classic MLC Hemmingsen pic

3 Musketeers 

Zone Selfie...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Email #65

September 21, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

Livet som en missionär är en äventyr HELA TIDEN!

For those who don't speak Swedish (S/O to everyone who can. AKA... all the Swedes, a couple Finns... AND... the Mormon missionaries) that sentence up there means "life as a missionary is an adventure THE ENTIRE TIME!" Honestly, I don't think I've laughed so hard this past week. It has been such a blast!

Transfers have come and gone and Elder Dahle is the new comp up in Umeå. Dahle is from Orlando, Florida so that helps when someone says... "Ha... ha! Mormons! You guys born and raised in Utah huh?" Not that I'm ashamed of my good ol' Utah... BUT... I usually pull the "I'm from the greater... Las Vegas area" card. Saint George is closer to Las Vegas so I usually pull that one. Haha ANYWAY... Elder Dahle and I have been doing a lot of work and having a lot of success this past week.

Earlier this week, during the "get to know you and small talk" phase of the companionship, I asked Elder Dahle, "Hey Elder Dahle! What's your first name? Uhhh... I go by Adam but my real name is Michael. No way! You're serious! Like... Adam Adam?" I'm not sure why but I was cracking up. We had a good laugh on it.

OH... if Hemmingsen and Archibald think they're having fun in Stockholm together... listen in on this. ;)

On Thursday, we had District Meeting in Örnsköldsvik. It's pretty much EXACTLY like Park City, except with a bay instead of mountains. It's a neat city! WELL... long story short, we had District Meeting, ate lunch, and then we headed to the train station to catch our train back to Umeå. We got there about 15 minutes early and there is this MASSIVE ski jump right by the train station. It was raining pretty hard so I had this random idea to walk part way up this ski jump, lay down on my back with my coat, and slide down it. Let's just say I have never laughed so hard in my life!! We were cracking up! I ran up this ski jump to about half way and just let 'er fly! We were absolutely hauling!! I couldn't stop laughing! It was a ton of random missionary fun. "But if anyone asks... we was out smashing mailboxes okay??" Noah... you have that quote for sure! haha

ALSO... Elder Dahle and I had one of those GOLDEN contacts this week. We stopped this young adult girl on the street the other day and started talking to her. She said her name was Leila and that she was from Uganda. Turns out that she knows one of my favorite people ever down in Södertälje! IDI! Idi was an investigator of the sisters from Uganda and he would always come to play soccer with the missionaries and their investigators in Västerhaninge. He's the man! Any-who... we talked to Leila for a little bit and she says, "Do you guys have like... a place where you meet that I could come check out or??" I started laughing because what she was saying was so ridiculously cool! "Yeah for sure! It's actually right over there!" I told her that we have Family Home Evening with a bunch of young adults in the Umeå area and we do fun things on Monday nights and then end with a spiritual message. THEN she said, "Woah... could I like... come and be apart of it." I looked at Elder Dahle and then back at Leila and said, "Uhhh... yeah!" Haha she's comin' tonight which will be SUPER SWEET! I'm stoked!

The rest of the week has been just teaching lessons, saving souls, and preaching that good word. I'll tell more about teaching next week! Overall, I'm a pretty happy camper. I love this work! I love Sweden! I love you all! Hope you have a great week! Keep up the good work y'all!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

District selfie!

A look at how massive this ski jump actually is.

The Umeå crew for the next 6.

The soccer crew last Saturday.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Email #64

September 14, 2015
Umeå, Sweden


Well... I was trying to think of a subject for this email, thought back on the week, and was going to put "Back to Skellefteå" but my mind went to "Back to the Future." And then I got to "1.21 GIGAWATTS!!!" Doesn't have anything to do with the email but... I'm going to tie it into being "Back to Skellefteå."

I know I say this every week but... ANYWAY...

This week was so SWEET!! We had such a solid week!! There is so much going on! BUT... I'll start out from the beginning. The first two days we have been here in Umeå just teaching the gospel, spreading the good word, bringing "good tidings of great joy", and every other way you can think of to describe "MISSIONARY WORK." It's been a good week. I'm a happy camper.

Wednesday rolled on around and we drove up to my former place of residence known as SKELLEFTEÅ!!! Yup... I went "back... to the future." That's where the title comes in. Actually... this might be a good time to give the weekly S/O to my good ol, river runnin' bud Sam-wise Feathy. When I think of that movie... I think of Sammy boy on the river. Ahhh... good times.... gooood times. Keep tearing it up back there buddy! ALRIGHT... back to Skellefteå. SO... my day in Skellefteå was a solid one. I was reunited with two of my former companions... Elder Purkey and Elder Burton, and my former area... Skellefte-of-the-å. We contacted for pretty much the entire day and I was LOVIN' IT! It felt so good to just get out there and talk to as many people as possible. With Elder Kapp and I teaching all day, we don't really get the chance to get out there and find as much as I'd like to. SO... it was good to get out there. Elder Burton and I placed a bet on a "one item purchase from Pressbyrån" (it's like a 7-eleven in Sweden) for the most amount of potential investigators found in a space of 3 hours. Elder Kapp and Purkey didn't know what they were getting into when they accepted the challenge and going up against Master Featherstone and his Padawan leaner... Burton. Faktiskt... I gotta throw another S/O in here to my boy Burton for training another padawan leaner this week! He's finally tagit studenten and is training. We're going to have three generations in the mission soon. Featherstone -> Burton -> Greenie. We'll see if we get four generations in the mission before I go... yeah... we'll stop there. Anyway... long story short... the father-son combo came out on stop (big surprise *insert sarcastic voice here*) as we beat team Kapp-Purk 12-6. With four missionaries working in Skellefteå for the day... we were able to get twenty one potential investigators for the elders there. #booyeah

Thursday happened and we drove all the way up to Boden (as far north as missionaries can go in Sweden) to work for the day with Elder Svensson and Halterman. It was super great to be up there and I learned a ton. Elder Halterman and I taught a young 17 year-old kid named Linus and were able to set up a baptismal date with him which was super neat. The work is going forward!!

Couple neat things that happened lately. The Swedish celebrity known as "Aurora Borealis" made a performance here in Umeå. It's the second time I've seen her. We even had floor seats for the show BOTH TIMES. Super neat! "See the northern lights again.... CHECK!" We'll see if she makes another performance in the near future. We were at a member's house yesterday and they told us that Aurora is expected to make an appearance every night for the next few nights. She's pretty unpredictable but we'll see what happens.

TRANSFER NEWS.... yup... they've come and gone. Sadly, Elder Kapp will be leaving Umeå and is being transferred to Malmö. It's pretty much Denmark. Hej då Äldste Kapp! Lycka till med Skånska. Skånska is like a mix of Swedish and Danish. It's supposed to be pretty sweet but hard to understand sometimes. Danish... impossible to understand... might as well just call it... mumble-ish. Love my Danes though! Love em! OH... but... I'm getting Elder Dahle who is coming from Stockholm. He's been one of the Zone Leaders in the Stockholm Zone and he's a solid guy! I'm super pumped for this next transfer!

That's about it for the week. It's been a good one! Can't wait to hear about next week and Tanner Mangum throwing another Hail Mary pass!

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

Now... just "make like a tree.... and get outta here."

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Snapped a shot of this beaut
Throwin' it back to my last day in Skellefteå with one of our investigators Osman

The AIK Skellefteå hockey arena with Purk.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Email #63

September 7, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

I gatt.... two tickets to.... PARADIIIIISSEE!!!!

Ahhh.... Eddy Money. What a guy! I'm probably too young to even know who Eddy Money is though. Haha props to Dad Dad Daddio for showing us the ropes on the 70's and 80's.


Speaking of Paradise... yup... our boy Eddy has GOT to be talkin' about Umeå. We have been having a ton of fun, a ton of success, and the Lord has blessed us so much here. A couple days ago Elder Kapp and I were doing a little planning "stund." (10 points for anyone who remembers that word from last week.) We had FILLED our entire week with lessons and we had about a hour and a half that we had open for a lesson. We started calling and nobody could meet then. SO... we had to say... "Uh... ok... well... if you can't meet at this time thennn... we're gonna have to call you back next week and set something up." Absolutely ridiculous!! We're just going a thousand miles an hour right now. I'm loving it though. Umeå is the place to be right now! And it's all good in the neighborhood.

I know I've talked about playing basketball a lot lately but for some reason we have been getting a ton of opportunities to just contact people by playing a game or two with them. One day, our lesson fell through and we just needed to contact some people. We drove to "the gold-mine" known as Ålidhem and started to contact people. Ålidhem is like the center of all the university life and there are SO many people you can find there. It's pretty funny because it's like a 50% chance of getting a phone-number which is UNHEARD OF. Alright... back to the story. We were contacting people and all of the sudden Elder Kapp says... "Elder Featherstone... you want to go contact those guys playing ball." I looked over and saw a ton of guys just balling it up. It's probably the first time I had ever seen anything like that in Sweden. I started tearing up because it was actually a game of five on five. What a sight... whaaatt a sight. SO... what do I do? Go talk to them. We stand there for a couple minutes with our white shirts and ties and start scouting them out. I was actually really impressed. Long story short... after the game, I walked over and said, "Hey... is it cool if we hop in for a game? We come from the U.S. and we love to play ball." They started going off in Swedish and some kid was like, "De kan inte spela! De är i kostymer!" Which means... "They can't play!! They're wearing suits!!" They didn't think we could speak Swedish so I said... "Nah... we can play! We'll take you guys in this!!" *in Swedish* I laughed because everyone was so surprised we could speak Swedish and then they were like... alright sure. By the end of the two games we played they tossed the ball to me and would say, "Alright... go to work! GO TO WORK!" I started laughing pretty hard. It was a ton of fun though. Came away with smiles on our faces, American pride in our hearts, and a pair of blown out pants. Haha we came out on top though so that was good. We're going to be teaching some of them soon. It'll be super good.

Earlier this week, we flew down to Stockholm for a Zone Conference. It was the first Zone Conference of my mission so far that I haven't even touched a piano key. Haha sooo.... Noah... keep on practicing my boy. You're gonna use it! A LOT! Anyway... we talked about Preach My Gospel, where it came from, and how we can use it more in our work. I LOVE Preach My Gospel. It's the coolest thing other than hearing that my Cougs pulled it out again against Nebraska. Alright... PMG is cooler... but I still was pumped to hear that they won. I heard Utah won too so that's good! Annie is probably a happy camper right now. Anyway... we had a huge conference about how we can use PMG more in our missionary work and it has helped so much. That thing isn't just for missionaries though so pick it up and get studying! The Lord is waiting to bless you for it! Preach My Gospel has honestly helped me so much! This week I was reading about King Benjamin and his "How to Begin Teaching" in Mosiah 2:9-11... I think. PMG 10.

Haha something funny happened the other night... Elder Kapp and I were planning and he just said, "You know what? I can't wait to be a home teacher back home. It's like missionary work... but easy." We both started laughing pretty hard. For anyone who is wondering back home... YES... home teaching works! Keep it up!

ALSO... we were able to get in contact with three of our investigators that completely dropped off the map. So that's BIG! We're hoping to set up some baptismal dates with them soon so that'll be sweet!!

We'll find out what's going on with transfers later this week which will be crazy! I feel like I've been here in Umeå with Elder Kapp for like a week. It's been a month and a half! Insane! We're pretty sure that Kapp is leaving so we'll see who joins the party in the north!!

Alright I hope you all have a great week! Keep up the good work people! Puss o kram! Love you all!

Strength and Honor       Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Elder Burton, Syster Poulson, and I. All part of the Västerhaninge crew.

Back in Norrland baby!

Service selfie with mah boy Elder Nelson

Sittin' on that plane to Stockholm

Email #62

August 30, 2015
Umeå, Sweden

The Return of the Italian Stallion
Hejsan allihopa!!

"Rockyyyyyyyyy!!!!" "ADRIAAAANNN!!!!!"
Alright... unfortunately Rocky Balboa didn't make an appearance at the Umeå District Conference. BUT... we got something even better believe it or not. Elder Massimo De Feo from Rome. Yeah... the name explains it all. Elder De Feo is an area seventy that came to our Umeå distriktskonferens. Wow... I literally do not think I have been to a better Stake Conference in my life. Absolutely incredible! Just wanted to take a snippet from the Roman. Elder De Feo talked about a man in the Bible named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a very short man so when he heard that Christ was coming he climbed up a tree so that he could see the Lord. Christ looked up, saw Zacchaeus, and told him to come down. The whole story takes place in just the first five verses of Luke 19. Elder De Feo talked about the importance of inviting and how a lot of the time in the church we talk too much and do too little. When Elder De Feo was a Stake President in Rome, he told all of his bishops to keep their ward councils to 30 minutes max and then for the rest of the night, they would go out and visit less active members.  He talked about how Christ loves all of his brothers and sisters here on the earth, but he always focused on "the one." I love this short little story about Zacchaeus and the importance of inviting that Christ taught us in those few short verses. All the talks from Elder De Feo throughout the weekend were so inspired and he taught us so much from the New Testament. He would take it into a whole other ball park and talk about things I never would have thought of.

This whole week we have just been runnin' and gunnin'. This branch in Umeå... like wow. I have never seen a branch or ward that works so well with missionaries in my entire life! The members are pretty sneaky though. Haha they love to invite their non-member friends over for an activity and then just happen to accidentally invite the missionaries over for the same thing. It works really well actually. This past week we had a "follow up" activity with a non-member because she got curious after the first "accidental" activity/meeting with the missionaries. We had a "fika" together. A fika is like a little... fika. Haha not really sure how to describe it. Like a short anti-coffee-coffee break or something. Haha that reminds me of Mom's anti-carrot-carrot cake. The anti-nephi-lehis!! ANYWAY... yeah we had a little "fika" and talked about the Restoration. It actually went really well. The lady we were teaching actually invited a friend of hers to listen in on the discussion as well so now we're getting referrals from investigators. BOOM BABY!! Now they're both reading and praying about Mormons Bok which is exciting.

OH... SO... the other day... we were playing fotboll with some members, less-active members, and some investigators. I have zero idea what has happened since I came to Sweden but I'm starting to get the "flow" for soccer. All of the guys we were playing with kept calling me "Ibrahimovic." Zlatan Ibrahimovic is pretty much like the Queen of England for Sweden. Haha he played for Malmö FF for a little while but now he plays for Paris. So that was a pretty solid compliment right there. Haha you'd be proud Trav Wilky! This week's S/O goes to you brother! And so do those five goals during that soccer game! SKÅL!

On top of that... we also had interviews with President which went really well. It's nice to get a little 1 on 1 with President every once and a while. He pretty much told Elder Kapp that he would be leaving so that's pretty sad. I've had a ton of fun up here with Elder Kapp. OH... word around the block says that Elder Archibald is leaving Handen this transfer. Elder Hemmingsen... the campaign is on for Archibald. #Archibaldinumeå2k15 haha another S/O to Äldster Hemmingsen och Archibald for being such studs. Keep it up the good work down in Stockholm fellas! Jag älskar er!

Also, we have been teaching a guy named Azim for a little while too. Azim is from Southern Iran but he isn't a Persian so he speaks English instead of Persian. He has been having a tough time believing that he can receive an answer about the Book of Mormon but he's reading everyday, praying everyday, coming to church, and he's really doing well. I've already seen a change in him and we're shooting for the 12 of September for him to be baptized. We've already taught him almost everything so he's on track. I'm super stoked!

Well... that's about it for this week. We're flying down to Stockholm in a few hours for Zone Conference. This will be the first Zone Conference that I will have not touched the piano keys. Det är jättekonstigt! Now I can just sit back and relax. Haha
Alright... I LOVE YOU ALL!! Keep up doing WORK over there alright! Puss o kram!

Strength and Honor          
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
The Assistants came up for splits in Umeå. S/O to Äldster Rasmussen o Sahlin!

The Elders in Umeå. Jag, Äldster Nelson, Kapp, o Murri. Elevator Selfie.

Gettin' crazy!

Ivar and I. Ivar is one of the seven members in Skellefteå! Such a STUD!

Me with Jonathan Wirtala and The Canadian, Elder Burton