Monday, December 28, 2015

Email #78

December 26,2015
Göteborg, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


Sorry this has to be like two sentences.... I'm literally running out the door as we speak. We don't have our P-day on Monday but it'll be on Friday instead. I love you all so much! It was so cool to talk to you all yesterday!


Here are some pics from the last little while!!


LOVE YOU!


And I'll talk to you soon! Hope you have a great week!


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
A member in the Alingsås ward that knows a good friend back home!

The city church in Jönköping! Super cool!

Noah... can you name the line from the show?

Back with the legend Elder Murri! 

Elder DeMourdant and I. Haha this is such a funny kid!

The Jönköping district last Tuesday for "Caroling for Christ." 

The legend Elder Bliss. Love this kid!

Caroling for Christ round 1 with the Utby district

Elder Bailey, Albertsen, and I. Utby elders!

One more legend... Elder Bailey. haha this kid is a STUD!

Christmas with the Tittus family. The family dog loves me! haha

Monday, December 21, 2015

Email #77

December 14, 2015
Södertälje to Göteborg, Sweden

FAMILY!!!


This week has probably been one of the greatest on my mission so far! So do you remember the legend that was going to be my companion? Elder Israelsen! The Coloradoan himself! I picked him up on Wednesday right from Göteborg and we have had the most incredible week together. We've had a ton of fun, worked out little tails off, and then we got a call from President Beckstrand telling us that I'd be transferring. Wait... what? I'm transferring? ....... Yeah... so I'm SO confused why everything happened because we just had a transfer last Wednesday but apparently Elder Larson is needed in Södertälje and I'm needed in Göteborg. I'm going right to the place that Elder Israelsen just came from. It's actually the place where all of our ancestors came from. This is the only city that our Swedish ancestors came from so I'm super excited to get out there and proclaim the gospel to my fellow Göteborians. I think this has been the hardest area to leave because of the amazing members and this stellar zone, but I'm looking forward to being in Göteborg. Apparently it's the "promised land." I'm not sure if anyone has been to Norrland but we'll see if it really is "zion."


Sorry folks, but I don't have a ton of time this week. I'll be hopping on a train in a few hours so I have to get ready for that whole shindig. BUT... I just wanted to share a quick experience that Elder Israelsen and I had on the street the other day. We had just taught a lady named Mercy in the library and the library is RIGHT smack dab in the middle of Södertälje. What does that mean? Lots and lots and lots of people. SO... Elder Israelsen and I did a little "shredding." That is the new term which pretty much means "talk to every single person that you meet on the busiest street in the city." SO... we decided to "shred among the masses." It was a good time. We walked, and walked, and walked, and nobody really gave us much attention. After about two hours, another man was walking by us so we started speaking to him in Swedish. He waved us down and said, "Sorry fellas... I don't speak Swedish. Can you speak English?" I swear he was from America because his English was absolutely FLAWLESS. Our buddy was actually from Germany but was just in Södertälje for the day because of work. We started talking with him about our religion and he seemed pretty interested. Then he said, "You know what... I was born Protestant. I was literally in the Protestant church since day one. And nothing you say is going to change that. Sorry boys." He was about to walk away and then we said "woah woah woah.... Can we just say one thing quick?" We started explaining what makes our church different and I told him what the Book of Mormon was about. Elder Israelsen then talked about Joseph Smith, the First Vision, and the Restoration of Christ's church. The spirit was so strong! It was the coolest thing! We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and how it's his way to find out that what we are saying is true. Elder Israelsen and I testified and then he got quiet for second. He looked down at the ground, back up at us and said, "Well... you've certainly caught my attention and interest. Can you buy one of those books on the market?" It was a pretty amazing experience. We ended up talking on the street for probably 20 to 30 minutes. I know that he'll accept the message one day, whether it's now or on the other side. He'll do it.


I'm honestly so grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I was able to finish it in Swedish for the first time this week. It's true. And I'm so grateful that I don't have to rely on anyone else for that knowledge and that it's between me and the Lord. I know I've said this before... BUT... if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, READ IT. If you have... read it again! As I've read it more with the Bible, I've realized how amazing it is, how big of a role it plays in the Restoration, and that the message it contains really is true. Elder Featherstone KNOWS the Book of Mormon is true!


I'm so sorry that wasn't the most exciting email of your entire lives but I gotta head over to Göteborg. Hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all! Keep up the good work alright?


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

   

Familjen Jensen... look at Julia at the bottom. She's so sad I'm leaving. I love these people too! AH... I love all the members in Södertälje!
Claudia, Italo, and Alice Schianzzano. The coolest people EVER! LOVE THEM!


18 Months with my boy Elder Israelsen

The shirt burning ritual

The Södertälje Squad this past week. I'm going to miss these missionaries!

Södertälje Selfie!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Email #76

December 7, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


FAMILY!!!


This week was absolutely JAM PACKED of amazing miracles and spiritual experiences. The Sweden Stockholm Mission is the place to be right now! Especially here in Södertälje! It's the coolest experience ever and I love being here!


P.S. As far as transfers go... Elder Burgin is moving which is super sad. Elder Burgin has become a really close friend and I've learned so much from him. I found out that I will be getting ANOTHER elder from my MTC group which got me SO pumped! During the 2015 Sweden Stockholm Mission Draft, the Södertälje elders drafted Elder Jacob Israelsen all the way from the land of "Gött." Göteborg! Elder Israelsen is the biggest stud ever and I am SO STOKED to be with him. I've already learned so much from Elder Israelsen and I'm so excited to finally be comps with him.


OH... also... we had some BIG NEWS in the world of Elder Featherstone's swedish. For the first time in mission history, Elder Featherstone was able to make his FIRST SWEDISH PUN! It was the most ridiculously, incredible, quacktastic thing ever! Haha it was probably at the same level as substitute teacher puns in school but it was a BIG DAY for Elder Featherstone. Woop woop!


My grandson, Elder Nicholas Kendall, all the way up in Skellefteå said that he reads the blog and that he wanted a shout out. SO... this S/O is going all the way up to my boy Elder Kendall. My son, Elder Burton gets one too for baptizing in Skellefteå. I'm so proud of those guys up there! The Featherstone släkt (family) in the mission is taking over! The coolest! BRA JOBBAT POJKAR!


As well... we had another high point of my mission this week. I had the honor to be given the greatest compliment I have ever received in my past 19 years of life. I almost shed some tears because I was so happy.


Syster Åberg: "Äldste Featherstone, you look like someone I know. Ehh... but you've probably never heard of him. That's WAY past your generation..."


Ä. Featherstone: "Wait... what? Who?"


Syster Åberg: "Have you ever heard of James Stewart?"


Ä. Featherstone: "James Stewart? Like... Jimmy Stewart the actor?"


Syster Åberg: "Yeah! The one on Mr. Kruger's Christmas! You know who he is?"


Ä. Featherstone: "Of course I know who he is! He's like one of my favorite actors of all time!"


Syster Åberg: "Yep... I think you look like him."


After that... I had the biggest smile on my face! I don't think I look anything like good 'ol Jimmy Stewart but I cracked up and it made my day. *Sighs* Jimmy Stewart... what a guy! "I wish I had a million dollars! HOT DOG!!"


ALSO... I have officially busted out the Kurt Bestor Christmas Album. Talk about throwing it back to every Christmas season at the Featherstone household. I'm loving it! Every time I listen, I think of pulling out all of the Christmas boxes and putting up the tree. Or even just walking around the house and feelin' that Christmas spirit. So I'm feeling extra "at home" this month! It's the best!


ANYWAY... I had a couple neat experiences this week that I wanted to share.


On Tuesday, we were able to teach Mercy in the library again. I talked about Mercy a couple weeks ago and how I met her on the bench outside the library. She is the most amazing lady ever! We sat down and had planned on teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. We started talking with her and it struck me that I was more focused on teaching the lesson than the actual person. That's something that we learned in the MTC. Missionaries teach people, not lessons. It hit me pretty hard and I thought, "Woah... Elder Featherstone... what are you doing brother? Focus on her and not on the lesson." We ended up talking with her about the Book of Mormon and it's power. We didn't even touch the Plan of Salvation but it was one of the most amazing lessons I have ever been in on. It just felt like everything we said was focused on her and she knew that. Elder Burgin and I both bore our testimonies of the power of the Book of Mormon and then we stopped. We looked at her and I knew she was feeling the spirit. She buried her face in her hands and cried. Mercy looked back up at us and said, "I've grown further and further away from Christ and the feeling I feel now is what I want back. I've felt that before. I want it back." We both talked about baptism, the difference between "feeling the Holy Ghost" and "the Gift of the Holy Ghost" and asked her if she would be baptized. She looked at us and said, "Yes. I'll be baptized." It was incredible! She's amazing and I'm excited to see what happens from here.


Last Sunday, Elder Burgin and I played a piano duet. Elder Burgin is my substitute for Noah because I don't have my brother here poundin' on the ivory with me. Elder Burgin learned the top hand of the duet that Noah and I played together in church. "My Heavenly Father Loves Me."


Earlier in the week, I was able to go on splits with one of my good friends Elder Purkey. Loved those Skellefteå days. While we were on splits, we were able to teach a less-active member named Arnold in the church. The ward was having ward council that night so as we were on our way out to go work again, we had a member ask if we could come back in and talk to the ward for a few minutes. I told him that would be totally fine! We walked in, sat down, and listened to the ward council finish up with some other things they had to bring up that night. Then, the bishop asked me to explain a little bit about the missionary work here and how things are going with all of our investigators. I spoke for a minute or two and then he said, "That sounds just great! Thank you! Now, what can we do to help you in the missionary work?" I looked down at the ground, thought for a few seconds, looked back up at them, and said, "We need you to open your mouths and talk with your friends about the gospel." I talked for another minute or two and testified that if they did that, the Lord would provide the way. Just like he did for Nephi. "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) I bore my testimony with all I had and then asked, "What can we do to help you?" It was quiet for a moment and then a member said, "If you could come by every once and a while and share message about missionary work with us, that would give us the motivation and a reminder that it is possible. We know it's possible but it's just hard. If you could do that, it would really help my family." I looked around at everyone else and they agreed with what Tomas said. It was amazing because of the spirit that was there. I felt so much love for the members and I know that they felt that. It was an amazing experience and I really felt the desire for member-missionary work from them. We're going to start swinging by member's houses for 15 or so minutes when we are in the area because the work in Sweden isn't going to move forward without the members on our side. When President Monson re-dedicated the land of Sweden for the preaching of the restored gospel, he said, "Let there be a spirit of cooperation between the membership of the Church and the missionary force which is unequaled in any other land..." I believe in that prophecy. And it's going to happen through the members.


Sweden is a choice land. I am so grateful I have to serve here. The other morning, I was studying at my desk and I felt such a gratitude for my mission and a love for the people of Sweden. I walked into the bedroom, fell on my knees by my bed, and sobbed for the opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to serve a mission. My heart was full of gratitude for my mission, for all that I have learned, and the people I have been able to meet here during these past 18 months. I love this work. I love these people. I love my missionaries here in this zone. And I am already sad for the day when I have to leave this blessed country.


I love you all and hope you have a great week! Christmas Day is coming soon! Can't wait until I can see all of your faces! It's going to be the best! Keep up the good work everyone! I love you all!


Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone


T-Central with Elder Burgin and Sister Beckstrom. MTC groupies! These are some of the coolest cats around!

Johan is a member that we have been working with and have been helping him on his way to the temple! STUD!

Sunday dinner with the Jensen family! I love these people!


Wrestling with the Jensen kids last Sunday night. Absolute madness!!

Thanksgiving dinner last p-day. These kids are absolute STUDS! Love 'em all!

The classic Featherstone and Higgins... can't keep a straight face. hahaha

NAILED IT!

My two favorite twins! Stina and Frida Maldonado! These are the members that live right above us! They're the greatest!
The Karlstad, Örebro, and Västerås district. Elder Burgin and I drove over to Örebro on Thursday. This district is LEGENDARY!

The classic Featherstone/district selfie

Splits with Purk! The elevator was puny so this is the best we got. This is our investigator Aminate. Haha she cracks me up!

The Södertälje crew for this past transfer. We all ended up matching with Christmas colors one day at a members house.

A pic where I'm not blocking the Christmas tree. haha