Monday, November 30, 2015

Email #75

November 30, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


Alright so here's the plan... a lot happened this week and I want to write as much as possible about it! It's going to consist mostly of little experiences so hang on tight!


I'm not sure if I've ever talked about Peter Lundahl before but Peter is a new member and was just baptized the day before I got here to Södertälje. His conversion story is an absolute miracle! Peter had never met missionaries before but started getting curious about the Mormon church. About 20 years ago, he got a hold of a triple combination in Swedish and started reading the Doctrine and Covenants. A couple years later, he saw a short clip on the TV of President Monson and Peter knew that he was a prophet. Peter has struggled with autism for the past little while and hasn't let one person into his apartment in over 20 years. He swung by the distribution center by the temple in Västerhaninge for some reason and the missionaries were able to get a hold of his address. About a week later, they swung by and Peter opened the door. Looked down at their feet, up to their faces, and said, "come in." They walked in his apartment and he showed them several books that he had read. There was a stack of them. Everything from ensigns, to sunday school manuals, to the scriptures, and then even Jesus The Christ. Peter was baptized two weeks later and is one of the most amazing members I have met.


The other day, we went over to Peter's house and the funniest thing happened. Peter ran up to me, waving a yellow sheet of paper in the air, and said, "Guess... what... this... is?" He had the biggest smile from ear to ear on his face. I looked the sheet of paper and it wasn't what I was expecting. It was a tithing slip. I looked back at him and couldn't help but smile. Peter put the slip right into his scriptures and told us that he was going to keep that there forever. His first tithing slip. He was so excited that he could pay his tithing and that he could do his part to contribute to the Lord and his work here upon the earth. All I was thinking was, "Bless you dear Peter. I'm so proud of you, brother." It got me thinking and I thought back to Papa. Tithing really is a privilege and I can't wait until I can go home, fill my own tithing slip out, and help build the kingdom of God through such a small act. Tithing: A Privilege.


We had a couple of funny happenings this week. I have officially become the ward pianist/organist/ and everything else you can think of that has to do with the ivory..... -ist. Yesterday, I played the organ in Sacrament Meeting. I played the opening hymn, the sacrament hymn, and then the first counselor in the bishopric stood up and started walking towards me. He said, "Hey... Elder Featherstone... it feels like you might be playing in a different key. It feels a little high." I looked over at the "transposer" on the organ and we had actually been playing three steps too high. Brother Bautista and I started cracking up and then he said, "Whew... I was really havin' a tough time hitting those notes. And no one in the congregation was singing because it was too high. And singing bass was super easy today." We had a laugh and it was super funny because everyone was just squealing to try to hit those high ones. Haha


Last P-day, we got together as a HUGE missionary group in Stockholm and played in a Turkey Bowl! It was complete MADNESS! So much dang fun! We played in the freezing cold and had a total blast! I was loving it! I'll attach a pic because it was legendary!


This week, I was finally able to go on splits with my boy Elder Archibald. He is serving as one of the assistants in Täby right now. We had a PACKED schedule and we had to pick up a new sister missionary at the airport. Let's just say that "office work" isn't my favorite thing in the entire world. Haha we were able to teach some lessons and get some "actual missionary work" done though which was great! We had a ton of fun and it was super good to be back with the legend himself.


I think I'll wrap up this email with a cool little thing that we have been doing in the Södertälje Zone. Earlier in the transfer, we decided with the district leaders that we were going to do something called "Family Phone Evening." It's just a little conference call with a bunch of missionaries and we assigned a specific night with each district in the zone. We have chosen topics for the missionaries to think about and then they share their thoughts on the topics we chose. We are the only mission in the entire world (as far as I know) that has iphones and it has been such a blessing to be able to build each other up through these "Family Phone Evening" conference calls that we have been doing. The past couple weeks we have had the missionaries think about three things. The first week was "Ponder about you came on a mission and what your call means to you as the Lord's representative." The next week was "Ponder about how you received your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith." And this past week was "Ponder about how you gained your testimony of the Savior." I have had some of the neatest experiences during these conference calls with the districts and it has been pretty amazing to step back, think about each one, and then be able to bear my testimony to the zone about how I received my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Savior, and why I came out on a mission. If you're reading this right now, here's a little invitation from Elder Featherstone. Take three minutes, think about of why you came on a mission, why you're on a mission, or why you want to go on a mission. Think about your testimony of the Savior and how you gained it, and then bear your testimony to your wife, sibling, parent, friend, or even your Heavenly Father in prayer.


During this past week, I have been thinking a lot about my mission and how grateful I am for the experiences that I have been able to have out here. This is going to be my last Thanksgiving here, home in Sweden, and I'm going to miss this wonderful country, these wonderful people, and the gift that I have been given to be able to serve the Lord and his children here.


Missionary work is the coolest! I love it! I love you all! And I'm so grateful for each one of you! Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone


The Stockholm Crew. Turkey Bowl Style.

My boy Arnold and I in our red coats. I'll share an amazing story about Arnold next week. He's the biggest stud ever!

The pigskin field in action. #turkeybowl

"They changed the world. Not the shirt." #archieandfeathy
Elevator selfie with the sisters and Alice Schiazziano who is a member here in Södertälje.

Thanksgiving dinner with the Eskilstuna district. Love these guys!



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Email #74

November 23, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAM!!!


Whew... this week was a cold one. Like... I told Elder Burgin this earlier in the week but "it's officially winter here in Sweden." Still haven't gotten any snow yet but boy oh boy oh boy is it cold. I'm lovin' it though. Södertälje is the place to be right now!!


I had a super cool experience the other day! Elder Burgin and I were on the streets of Södertälje contacting the world, spreading that good word, and I was LOVING IT! I saw a lady walking with a stroller so I decided to contact her (Elder Burgin and I decided to divide and conquer both sides of the street). I started speaking to her in Swedish and she said, "I'm sorry, I don't speak Swedish." and then she started to walk away. I said, "WOAH! Hold up... I actually come from America so English is better for me anyway." She said, "Oh cool!" We talked for a few minutes and it turns out that she comes from Brazil. So... when I hear the word Brazil... I used my big brother as a way to make a connection. "No way! You're from Sao Paulo? That's so cool! My older brother lived in Joao Pessoa for a couple of years! He loved it there. She lit up and said, "What?? No way!" Her husband was working in Södertälje for a week so she came along and I happened to meet her. We talked for a little bit and then I said I was from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She said she had been to church one time in Brazil but had never met missionaries before. I pulled out the iphone and did a quick download of the "Because He Lives" video in Portuguese. I said, "Hey... I actually have a super quick video that talks about Christ. I actually have it in Portuguese! Maybe it'll be a little taste of home. Is it okay if I show it to you?" We watched the video and the spirit was so strong. I talked a little about what we do as missionaries and asked if I could get her phone number and address so that missionaries could come by and share a message with her. Like... it blows my mind how the Lord can soften someone's heart enough to give their phone number, address, etc to a random stranger.   She said yes, I got her information, and sent it right on down to Brazil! Marcia was so amazing and she seemed so prepared for the gospel. After we talked, she said, "I'm looking forward to seeing your friends in a couple weeks!" I said, "They're looking forward to it too! Listen to them. They have an amazing message for you and your family!" We went our separate ways and I just said a quick prayer to thank my Father in Heaven for that amazing opportunity to meet Marcia. I may never know what happens with her, but hopefully I planted a seed that will possibly take root and grow. It was a pretty amazing experience.


This week, we also had Zone Training here in Södertälje. President and Syster Beckstrand and the Assistants, Elder Sahlin and Archibald, came down to Södertälje and did a training for us and our zone. It was pretty amazing. We talked about the importance of Diligence, The Prophet Joseph Smith and his role in the Restoration, and the new Christmas initiative. IMPORTANT: If you haven't read the December Ensign yet on the Gospel Library app, and read from Elder Oaks' article called "A SAVIOR IS BORN." DO IT! That isn't a request. Go on-line to LDS.org, search, "A Savior is Born," and watch the new Christmas video the church has made. We need to FLOOD the EARTH with this video!!  It's a super cool video! Christmas is the best!!


OH... cool fun fact of the week... this week for p-day, we are gathering all of the missionaries in the greater Stockholm area and we're having a Turkey Bowl together! It's gonna be a ton of fun!! If you thought that Elder Featherstone was going to go through this week without throwin' the pigskin a little bit... you were WRONG! GO! FIGHT! WIN! *Insert BYU's Football Darth Vader March here... with music* ** if you don't get that reference... call Mr. Noah Featherstone**


A couple days ago, we went on splits down in a place called Linköping with some elders. I ended up going with a greenie named Elder Williams. He's such a stud and we had such a good time together! Elder Williams told me that we would be doing a presentation for a high school religion class in the morning. That is something that is decently popular here in Sweden. The high school teachers all over the country love the Mormon missionaries so they always invite them to come and talk with their students about America and about the church. It's something that I had never done before but I wanted to do before I left. Well... Elder Williams said, "Hey! We're talking to a high school class tomorrow about our church." I laughed and said, "No way! YES! This is gonna be the coolest!" I looked over the points that the teacher wanted us to cover and said, "Well, might as well just teach the Restoration to 'em." During companionship study the morning, we wrote out our game-plan and what we were going to do. This was a religion class, about 30 students, all 18 years old, so I was getting prepped for a pretty rowdy crew. Elder Williams and I got in there and OH MY GOSH... it was a complete riot! We had the funnest time with the students. It was a total blast! We were laughing, crackin' jokes the ENTIRE time! It was the coolest! We started by introducing ourselves, who we are, what we like to do, etc. Then, we asked them what they already knew about the "Mormons." We wrote all the things they said on the board and boy, were they hilarious! I was dying! If that was an actual religion.... I'm not really sure what I would say about that religion. Anyway... we wrote everything down and then we talked about God, prophets, and Christ. It was the coolest thing though.. But we talked about everything, just jokin' with each other and having a good time. Then it all changed. We talked more and more and then we talked about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and right when I decided to recite the First Vision to them, there was almost a hush over the students. It was quiet, everyone was listening so intently, and the spirit started to pour into the classroom. The entire time we talked about Joseph Smith, they were almost silent. No one was talking, just listening. As we continued to speak, the spirit continued to pour into the room. We testified of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. We were almost out of time but I pulled a Book of Mormon out of my backpack, held it above my head in my hand, and bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon with everything I had. The spirit filled the entire room and as I looked into their eyes, I knew that the spirit was testifying to them right then, that everything we said was true. We closed with our testimonies and it was the neatest thing ever. From the time we started talking about the First Vision until the end of our testimonies, the kids were absolutely silent, listening intently on the message we have of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was an amazing experience, one I will never forget. And I am so grateful that I had to opportunity to bear my simple testimony to them that day. We gave them all fist bumps on our way our and as we were walking away the teacher told us, "Wow... that was certainly amazing." She thanked us that we could come. She was super sincere so it meant a lot. I don't know what will happen from that little experience or who will act on that message that day, but I have no doubt in my mind that one day, some of those kids will join the church, and will partake of the blessings of the Restored Gospel.


Since then, I have been thinking a lot about testimonies and the impact they are able to make on one's heart. The other day, we were in Sunday School, and a member in the ward said something that really hit me hard. We were talking about testimonies and she said this... "If you don't share it, you don't believe it, or you are unsure." I think this small truth can be applied to the Gospel in general. "If you don't share it, you don't believe it, or you are unsure." I hope we can show the Lord that we do believe in his gospel, that we are thankful for the blessing it is in our lives, and that we are eternally indebted to the Lord and the power of his Atonement. If we truly do believe, then we will share. The Christmas season is coming soon, Thanksgiving is this week, let's show the Lord that we are thankful, we are grateful, we are appreciative of the gospel in our lives, and let us share it.


I love you all! I'm so grateful for everything you do. Keep doing what you're doing! And continue to build up the Kingdom of God by sharing it. I pray for each one of you every night. I love each one of you! Hope you have a great week! I'm cheering you all on from Södertälje! MWAH!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Officially cold...
This is our investigator Ritva. I'm not sure if you can see it but there is a little paper on the mirror that says, "Älskad av Jesus" which means... "Loved by Jesus." We took a selfie together after a lesson. Ritva is amazing!!

Took a short trip to Times Square! Megan and Preston... how do you live in that jungle??

We wrestled with the Jensen kids yesterday while we were waiting for the food. Whew... that was an experience. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Email #73

November 16, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAMILY!!!


Alright... so... here's the deal. I know I say this every week but I have a GIGANTIC amount of things I wanted to share with you all today. SO... we're gonna just kör på! (uhhh... how do you translate that? It's like... "go for it.") haha hang on!! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!!


Earlier last week, (wasn't able to share it because I ran out of time) we were swinging by a part member family in the ward but they didn't answer. We were on our way back to the car when we stopped a man on the street. He was super nice and super sincere but he was in a rush and couldn't talk right then. We asked him if we could swing by later and talk to him and he said that he didn't live here. We could tell he was really in a hurry so we decided the best thing to do was to leave him with a pass-along-card. We hopped in the car and were ready to drive back into the Södertälje (we were working out in a smaller city earlier). We drove past a less active's house and I had the thought to swing by him and say hi but I just brushed it off. About 20 or so minutes passed by and I was thinking about why the Lord wanted us to go out to the city Trosa. What was the reason we planned to go and who did the Lord want us to talk with out there? I thought back on the man we contacted and thought about his utility car. I thought, "Was he the one that we were meant to talk to? How would we talk to him again? Maybe his car had a number on it. Maybe we could drive back and call him through his work number instead!" I said, "Elder Burgin, I feel like we need to drive back and see if that guy we contacted had a phone number on his car that we could call." We flipped a u-turn and headed back to look at the car. We showed up and there was no number on the car. I was kind of confused because I could have sworn that there was a number! We hopped back in the car, drove by the less-active's house again and I thought... "Jaha! Maybe that's why we were supposed to come back!" We got out of the car, walked towards the house, came around a corner, and then we saw a couple in their front yard putting some type of canopy up. We stopped them, said who we were and they weren't interested at all. "Are you guys Jehovah's??" "No... we're Mormons!" "Mormons? Hmmm..." We talked about our purpose as missionaries, talked about the Book of Mormon, and then asked if we could come by and talk a little more. The couple was originally from Poland so they could speak just a little Swedish and a little English but they said, "Yeah, sure... come on over! Do Saturday nights work for you?" I looked at Elder Burgin, chuckled, looked back and said, "Yep... that works just great! We'll see you next week!" We exchanged info, said bye, walked around the house, and I said, "ELDER BURGIN!!! THAT WAS THE REASON WE WERE SUPPOSED TO COME HERE!!! HOW COOL WAS THAT??" We ended up knocking on the door of the less active and he wasn't even home. That's something that's been on my mind lately. As the Lord's representatives, we're always in a place for a specific reason. We just need to find out what that is, live our life so the spirit can speak to us, and trust the Lord will lead us in the direction that he needs us most.


SO... the other day, Elder Burgin and I were on our way to a lesson at the library. We hustled over, busted in the doors, and.... nothing. Our investigator wasn't there which was kind of a bummer. We looked around but he didn't show. So we got (what's known in the Sweden Stockholm Mission as...) "blåsted." I don't think it's an actual word but it means like "blown off." ANYWAY... we looked around, couldn't find him, so we decided to wait. Right outside of the library, there were a ton of chairs, benches, tables, and what not. I looked around for a place to sit and wait and maybe talk to someone but I didn't see anything. Then, I looked over and saw an empty spot next to an african woman over on a bench. I went over, said, "excuse me, is it alright if I sit here?" and she said, "Of course! Sit yourself down!" I said it in English so she would ask me where I was from. BUT... she was on the phone, so I just waited until the right moment to strike up the convo. We started talking and she was the NICEST lady ever! Her name is Mercy and she comes from Sierra Leone. We talked for probably 20 minutes or so and then I said, "Hey Mercy, we were going to come here to meet a friend and share a message about Jesus Christ but he didn't come. Could we share that message with you instead?" She said, "Of course! I'd love to hear something about Jesus! Always makes my day better!" So, Elder Burgin came and sat next to me and we taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved it and accepted everything we said about the Book of Mormon. She told us that her husband is back in Africa right now and she is alone with her three kids in Sweden so that is pretty hard on her. At the end, we testified about the comforting power of the Book of Mormon, how we can be lifted by the stories in it, and we can be comforted in times of loneliness through the Holy Ghost. It was a super neat lesson. Super simple, super short, but super powerful. The spirit was there and it was amazing that the Lord was able to turn something like a "blåst" into a really neat and powerful. I talked to Mercy last night and we're going to teach her again on Tuesday. Keep her in your prayers!


Right after the lesson, we decided to go out and contact our way to our next appointment. The library is right in the center of the city so it was game time baby! We walked outside, looked around, and there were TONS of people! We had just been thrown into the pit. Right into the Lion's Den. And I was getting pumped for it. Right before I contact people, I always have to take like five seconds and prep myself for what's going to happen. I always think of D&C 84:88. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Then I think of the words, "I fear no man." And go out to contact. Every time, I take five seconds, say a prayer in my heart to my Heavenly Father to help me say the things that he would want me to say, and then I give it my all, saying, "I fear no man." Elder Burgin and I split up on opposite sides of the center street that was FLOODED with people and started contacting. Something I've learned on my mission is that the power comes AFTER the trial of our faith. I always have a hard time understanding things in the scriptures, but when I have an experience with it, it sticks forever. We can pray for help to talk to the people, but ultimately, it's up to us. It's our choice, but if we choose the Lord, his grace and the power of the Atonement will give us the ability to keep going so that we can accomplish the thing that the Lord needs us to accomplish. Elder Burgin and I went out and contacted, not letting one person get by, because we "fear no man." That day was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. I knew what I was there to do and I knew why I was there to do it. And it didn't matter what one person said to me. Nothing was going to change my mind. You know on the movie Space Jam where all the Looney Toons drink "Michael's secret stuff" where they get all pumped and stoked to go conquer the world? Yep... that's how I felt right before we were going to go contact. Haha it was the coolest thing ever! How much happier could one be? Than to be out, proclaiming the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ "as with the sound of a trump?" Hurrah for Israel!!


Those were just a couple experiences from this past week but I really wanted to share that with you all. I love you all so much! Every single one of you! Thank you for all you do and the support that you are to me out here in Sweden. I love this gospel. I love you all. Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Elevator selfie with Daniel Cisternas on our way to do Home Teaching together! Daniel is such a stud and is actually the son of my first Ward Mission Leader in Jakobsberg! I met him as as greenie!

Check out the inside 

Splits with Elder Williams in Linköping. He's a greenie right now! I learned a lot being with him! Ton of fun!

District selfie with the Linköping & Norrköping district

This is a church in Linköping. It's the second biggest in all of Sweden!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Email #72

November 9, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAMILY!!


Alright... I have to start out this email by saying that I am so dang proud of Noah, the Feathy's, and the rest of the Ragnar crew this weekend! It sounded like you had a ton of fun and I'm super proud of Noah for finishing hard on that last leg. If it was the same leg as I ran last year... wait... was that two years ago? Woah... little Elder Featherstone moment there. Ummm... yeah... but that leg. Talk about a beast. I was lovin' it though! The coolest!


Well... everything on this side of the world was pretty amazing! To start it off, we had MLC on Tuesday in Täby where we got to learn from President and Syster Beckstrand and the Assistants. Probably my favorite MLC so far and the one I got the most out of. In the past year we have been focusing a lot on the logistics of missionary work and what we need to do better and fix as a mission. We've been slammed with that pretty hard but this transfer it was all about the missionaries themselves, what we can do to be better, and how we can follow the Savior's invitation to "Come, follow me." That was the main focus for this past MLC. We read through Matthew 4:18-20 and it was amazing to see that scripture through new eyes. "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." We talked about what this scripture means to us that have already accepted his invitation to "follow me" but how we can accept his invitation again in coming closer to Christ, how we can get to know who he was, and who he is for us today. It was a super neat experience.


On Friday, we took everything that we had learned in MLC and we had Zone Training for the Södertälje Zone. President and Syster Beckstrand drove out to Eskilstuna from Stockholm to be there with us which was amazing and super helpful to keep the zone on task. They're a pretty rowdy crew and right when President walked in everyone got super quiet and the volume dropped like 50 decibles. I'm not really sure how much that is but let's just act like it's a lot. Ha!


Anyway... Elder Burgin and I held Zone Training and it went super well. I felt the best about it out of the three Zone Trainings that I have been apart of since I became a Zone Leader. We also talked about Diligence and how we can be more diligent in the work as the Lord's missionaries. We read President Uchtdorf's talk from this past General Conference called "It Works Wonderfully" and applied it to the mission. We asked the zone three questions. "Is my mission working for me? Is my mission bringing me closer to Christ? Is my mission blessing me and my family with peace and joy?" It was super cool to reflect back on my mission so far and think about these questions.


Earlier in the week, we had a meeting with the zone leaders in the Stockholm South Zone, President Beckstrand, and President Karlsson (who is the president of the Stockholm Stake) to talk about the missionary work in the Stake and how it is going. We have this meeting every month but it is the first time that both President Karlsson and President Beckstrand have been able to make it. We talked about the missionary work, the members, and what we can do to be better and more united. The meeting was almost over and President Karlsson said, "Well... we have about six minutes left. Would it be okay if we went around and bore our testimonies to each other? Elder Featherstone, would  you like to start?" It was a little unexpected but I was happy to bear my testimony for the brethren. I love bearing my testimony for two reasons. One, it brings the Spirit faster than probably anything else we can do. And two, it helps us find and build our testimonies of the Savior. The Spirit was so strong in that meeting and that has become one of my greatest desires. I always want to have the Spirit because it shows that I'm living my life in a way that Heavenly Father would be proud of, he is helping me and guiding me on the way back home, and I can feel the love of my Savior through the Holy Ghost.


I have more I want to write about but I'll have to push that pack to next week. I love you so much and hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
We had Stake Conference this weekend in Gubbängen and I was able to see some dear friends from Västerhaninge. This is mamma, Göran, and Miriam Blanchette. Göran and I are going to be split buddies and we're going to preach the good word together soon!

The Ståhlberg crew! These people saved the missionaries in Västerhaninge! Mamma Ståhlberg is my "Västerhaninge mamma."

Michael and Elsa Hultgren. Michael is someone that has changed my mission and that I look up to a lot. He served his mission in Saint George!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Email #71

FAMILY!!!


Honestly... like... you are the best. I can't believe I was blessed with the coolest family to walk the earth. Jag älskar var och en av er! Tack för allt ni gör! Puss o kram!


ANY WHO...


Well... the transfers have come and gone and now I am officially in the mighty land of Södertälje! BUT... I just have to share a quick miracle that happened this week so I'm jumping back in time to when I was in Umeå! Here we gooooooo!!!


SO... it happened literally 30 minutes after I sent you the family email last week. BUT... do you all remember me talking about a fella named Betrand? Well... after Elder Dahle and I taught him the first time, he was super positive, and then dropped off the face of the earth. I didn't want to lose track of him because he was so incredibly positive and he loved everything we talked about. Unfortunately, we lost contact with him over a period of about a month or so. We called him, texted him, left messages... (it was probably a bit over-kill now that I think about it...) aaannddd... inget svar. No answer. Not a peep. Nothing. Natta. Zip. Zero... alright... you get what I'm trying to say. Well, last Monday after we had emailed, Elder Dahle and I went to the store to buy some groceries. We had been walking through the store for about ten minutes or so when I looked up and I saw... who?... Betrand. I double checked because I was completely unsure if it was actually him or not. But YES! It was him! I said, "Betrand! Hey! What's going on brother?" and I gave him a hug. He was so pumped to see us too! "Hey guys! How are you doing? I haven't heard anything from you since we met last time." I looked at Elder Dahle and was just thinking, "Uhhh... what? Dude... like... we've called you a thousand times and you haven't gotten anything?" BUT... I actually said, "What? No way? We've tried to call you but haven't gotten any answer. Do we have the right numberrrrrrr???" I pulled out the phone and he said... "woah woah woah. That's totally wrong. Here's the right number. Give me a call tonight and we can talk later this week alright?" I walked away and my adrenaline started pumping! I looked at Elder Dahle and said to him twenty times..."Elder Dahle... what just happened? That was not supposed to happen! That just happened!!" I looked around to see if anyone was near-by, walked into an empty aisle, and pulled a "Michael Jordan- Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals "Winning Jump."" Haha I was so pumped! It was the coolest thing ever! And now the elders in Umeå are continuing to meet with Betrand!


Things like that have happened so often on my mission that I just cannot express how grateful I am to my Heavenly Father. He was the one that orchestrated that meeting. It doesn't just happen by coincidence. There is no way that we could meet that specific person in that specific place at that specific time in a city of over 120,000 people. It was absolutely amazing to see that we were able to get in contact with Betrand that day and it really just started out our week on a high note. Our Heavenly Father really does know us and he leads us to them, or them to us, so that they can receive this message of the Restored Gospel.


On Wednesday, Elder Nelson and I hopped on a plane together and made our way down to Stockholm again. When I first went to Skellefteå and came back to Stockholm, I would always say, "I'm home." But now, I feel like I left my heart up in Norrland with the people there. We'll see if I go home again. The people of Norrland will always have a special place in my heart.  BUT... Södertälje is a wonderful city and I'm super excited to be here. Maybe I just left my heart on the eastern coast of Sweden. Yeah, let's go with that. SO... I'm still here. I'm still home.


As far as changes in the mission go, I'm here in Södertälje with my boy Elder Burgin. He came to Sweden the same time as I did and we're in the same MTC group. He's actually from Uncle Joe and Aunt Marianne's ward up in Bountiful which is a super funny connection. We're having a ton of fun though and I'm super excited for this transfer. It's going to be stellar!


This week, I thought I'd share a little somethin' I learned during Personal Study. I have been thinking a lot about how I can be a better leader in the mission and more importantly, the leader that the Lord needs me to be. My mind is always chugging along and thinking about the things that I can do to help the missionaries in the Södertälje Zone be better and help assist in the Lord's work. In the white handbook, I read a part about leaders and their roles in the missionary work. "Their goal is not merely to supervise or motivate, but to lift, encourage, inspire, and bless." That sentence really got me thinking. I love to look up words when it comes to the Gospel. It helps me dive deeper into the meaning and I feel like I can grasp the concept better. So, I decided to look up the words "motivate" and "inspire" and compare the definitions. To motivate means to "provide someone with a motive to do something." Pretty self-explanatory and I feel like it is pretty easy to do. For example, "Elder Featherstone, practice the piano and I will give you candy." I just motivated Elder Featherstone. It may not have been so "motivating" as we tend to think, but I motivated Elder Featherstone. Now check out the definition to "inspire." "To fill someone with the urge or capability to do something." I think that is super profound. And when I think of teaching or training missionaries, I think of the Spirit and the necessity of teaching with the Spirit. I really have a testimony that the Holy Ghost is the ultimate teacher and we, teachers ourselves, cannot teach the things that the Holy Ghost can. We're limited. We're human and we're not capable of teaching the things that the Spirit can. BUT... we can teach and bear testimony and be a conduit whom through the Spirit can testify of the things we say are true. As well, the Holy Ghost can teach us things that we need personally that may not have anything to do with the training or teaching we receive. I'm going to go back to the definition of "inspire." If we teach with the Spirit, those we teach, will (if they're willing) be "FILLED" with the Holy Ghost and that will give them the "urge or capability to do something." Or more importantly, what the Lord wants us to do. But the Holy Ghost and the Atonement of Christ can give us that "urge or capability" do do his will.


Alright... sorry... I just exploded all my thoughts on that. Whew... but I just want you all to know that I love you so much! Thanks for all you do. I really am so grateful for each one of you and the support you are to me out here. Hope you all have a great week! Let's hit this one hard together!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Syster Kaarina is a Finnish member and she's our grandma up in Umeå. She's an amazing lady.

The last time with the entire Umeå Crew. Love these three!

This weekend was a holiday in Sweden called "Alla helgons dag." It means "all saints day." Everyone goes out and puts candles next to the graves of their ancestors. It's a super neat holiday!

Elder Burgin and I in the present day. 

Throwin' it back to my first day on a mission. Elder Burgin and Featherstone on the first day at the MTC.