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!
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.|