Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Email #73

November 16, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


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!

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