Monday, October 26, 2015

Email #70


Whew... this week has been one for the books. So many amazing things have happened so I'm going to jump right into in. Here we goooooo...

Alright... quick fun fact of the week:

The sun is officially setting at 3:44 PM. Wait... what? It's not even November yet! It's going to be a cold winter. Good thing I'm getting transferred. Wait... what?

Speaking of the sun setting at 3:44... we had the time change here too so that's why the whole "3:44" thing is kinda blowing my mind. The other day, I heard the alarm go off and all I thought was, "Wow... I am usually really tired in the mornings, but today I'm in a whole different ball-park. This is gonna be a long day for you Elder Featherstone." I hopped out of bed, turned the alarm off, said my morning prayers, and then sat back on my bed. I looked at the phone and it said5:35. "Oh, okay... it's 5:35. Wait... is that a 5? Elder Dahle, it's 5:35, not 6:35. I'm going back to bed." And within a matter of seconds, I was waking up to the actual 6:30 alarm. Haha every second of sleep counts!

Another quick funny story. The other day, Elder Dahle and I were laying in our beds talking a little bit and then BAM... I was out cold! I only know this from what Dahle said but the following conversation took place:

Ä Featherstone: "Did he come to church?"

Ä Dahle: "Huh?"

Ä Featherstone: "DID HE COME TO CHURCH?"

Ä Dahle: "Did who come to church?"

Ä Featherstone: "Did he come to church?   ....... *a few seconds pass*  ..... Did I say something?"

Elder Dahle busted up laughing and I pretty much just sacked out again... BUT... we did have a pretty good laugh in the morning when he told me about what happened.

Earlier in the week we had a lesson with an investigator named Ranja. Ranja has been investigating the church for over a year but has had some problems with work and family so she had a lot of pressure to not be baptized. She has been in church several times, she's had several baptismal dates, but still hasn't been baptized. We had a lesson with her this week and it was absolutely incredible. She forgot to read the "Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith" that we gave her so we changed our prepared lesson, and decided to read it together. We gave her that testimony to read because she had been having doubts about Joseph Smith but she knew that the Book of Mormon was true. While we were reading together I was praying and asking Heavenly Father that he would bring the Spirit, witness to her that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and give Elder Dahle and I the power to say the things that the Lord would want us to say to her as his representatives. While we were reading, it felt like the Spirit became stronger and more recognizable the further we read together. By the end, the Spirit was almost tangible. After we finished, we turned to Ranja and asked her how she felt. She said, "I feel good. I feel calm. I feel like I always do when I come to church. I love being here." Elder Dahle then testified about the Holy Ghost and how she can feel the same feeling that we felt right then, during the entire day, every day. We then read out of Mosiah 18.

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts,what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

We read the scripture and then I said, "Ranja, do you know why the missionaries talk so much about baptism?" She interrupted me and said, "Actually, I've been thinking a lot about baptism. I've been thinking about it pretty often for about two weeks. I don't know why but I've just been praying and reading the Book of Mormon on the bus, and I've been thinking a lot about being baptized and I think it will help me." We had a sweet old member in on the lesson with us and Sister Wirtala bore her testimony about how the Holy Ghost has helped her every single day since she has been baptized. The Spirit was so strong and I said, "Ranja, the Lord needs you on his team. He needs you now. He wants you in his fold, the fold of God. And to be called one of his people. Do you feel ready to be baptized?" She had her head down and it was quiet for a couple seconds. She looked up at us, nodded her head, and said, "Yes." I don't think I've ever felt the Spirit so strong. It was amazing. We asked her to pray about a day that she will be baptized. It's so amazing that it will finally be happening. Keep her in your prayers as she prays about a day to be baptized on!

Later in the week, I went on splits with Elder Downing in Sundsvall. He has been a Zone Leader before and now is training a new missionary right before he goes home in December. He is a STELLAR missionary and I learned a ton during the entire time we were together. One night, we were knocking some doors and we knocked into a family. A little girl opened the door, ran back into the house, and got her Mom. Probably some of the most sincere, kind people I have ever seen. The mom's countenance was almost as if I knew she was searching for the Gospel right when I saw her. I started talking about the Book of Mormon but randomly switched to talking about eternal families and how we can know through the Book of Mormon. We talked for only a few minutes but we then asked her, "What would it mean to you if you could live with your children for not only this life but in the next life as well?" She was quiet for a second and then she said, "everything." We talked about what we believe and asked if we could come back and share a message about families and the importance of the family. She said yes and we were able to set something up. It was such an amazing experience. I can't really describe how the family looked but something was different about them. I'm praying that everything will go well with that family and I have no doubt that they will accept our message.

Speaking of splits with Elder Downing... while I was in Sundsvall, we taught a woman named Linnea who has lived in the United States for almost 45 years. She said she lived in San Francisco for the most part. Trying to make a little connection, I said, "No way! My Mom grew up in the bay area! Where in San Fran?" "Well... I lived in a place called Redwood City." Suddenly, I had a little Deja Vu type moment and I said, "No way! My Mom lived in Redwood City!" (Hopefully I didn't lie. Mom, weren't you born there? Or didn't you live there at a time?) ANYWAY... all throughout the lesson with her, she would share quick little stories of her life in the U.S. and at the end she would always say, "when I lived in Redwood City, California." and then she would give me a wink and an elbow nudge. Happened probably five or so times. Super funny.

Well... I probably should give you all the transfer update. Some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I will be leaving Umeå. The bad news... I will be leaving Umeå. *insert single tear* Yup... I'm really going to miss this place. I thought I would have stayed until January but apparently the Lord has a different plan. The work here in Umeå has sky-rocketed and it's so amazing to see. I've met so many amazing people and I can't wait until I get to see a picture of them dressed in white. It'll be incredible.

Anyway... I will be moving back down to the greater Stockholm area to a city called Södertälje. Elder Burgin and I will be the Zone Leaders down there. Fun fact... Elder Burgin went to High School with Brighton Taylor and knows BT and Jill! We came to the MTC together so it'll be a ton of fun. He's a stud and I'm super excited! We're gonna get out there and shred together! HEY... more good news... I only have one more flight until... yep... D-day. SO... I'll be car-ing and train-ing it for the next little while. GIDDY UP!

I love you all! Hope you have a great week! MWAH!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
My boy Tomas. This is the fella we ball with. STUD!

Selife with Catherine and Neils. I'm really going to miss these guys.

Elder Nelson and I in the car. 

The boys from down under. Sundsvall splits with Elder Cragun and Downing

Fika with Erik and Ylva last friday night. Kladdkaka is the best thing ever!

Elder Murri and I are known as "the dynamic duo" when we play Innebandy together. It's pretty much just floor hockey. Going to miss this kid.

Once again with the legend Elder Nelson. A member made us Pumpkin and Pecan Pies for dessert on Saturday. Had to take a selife. We were SO happy. haha

Mamma and Pappa Carlsson with my little brother Simon. I'm officially adopted into the Carlsson family about two weeks ago as the second oldest child. LOVE these people.

Erland Vilhelmsson. Pretty much the biggest stud you'll ever meet.

Elder Nelson. Haha man am I going to miss this kid. This picture is legendary.... well... every picture with the legend himself is legendary. Check this out the lady at the bottom! haha classic!

Selfie with Erica and Adam Bussman. These guys are legends! Strength and Honor!

Once again with Elder Nelson... haha I forgot how many pictures I took with this kid this week. He's getting transferred to Denmark. Well, it's actually Malmö. Same thing though. ha!

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