Monday, November 30, 2015

Email #75

November 30, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


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!

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