Monday, December 7, 2015

Email #76

December 7, 2015
Södertälje, Sweden


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


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

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