Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Email #82

January  24, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

Helllloooooo everyone!!

Man... I love you all so much. You're the coolest. But for today... Greg and Dad are my favorites. Happy birth...day... mis..ter.. pres..id..entt. Happy Birthday you two! Hope you have such a stellar day! Greg... hope it was good day yesterday. You're the man!

WELL... this week has been full of miracles, surprises, more miracles, and busy Utby elders. It feels like RIGHT when Elder Albertsen and I are getting stoked to go knock the doors, something happens that we have to go take care of in the zone. BUT... it's all good. I absolutely LOVE being a missionary in this zone! It's been INCREDIBLE to see what has happened in the Göteborg Zone during the past six weeks. These missionaries are incredible and they're really showing their faith by getting out there and showin' the world what they can do! Elder Albertsen and I are really workin' hard, trying to send him out with a bang, and it's all smiles right now. I love being a missionary. And I miss it already. I miss these people, this country, and this work already. Good thing that the missionary work is always going to be around! #missionaryforlife

ANYWAY... lately, we have been working with a less active member that is actually originally from Northern England. She has had a super hard life and has kind of lost her testimony of the church. She's has been in super hard with drugs her whole life and she got up to about three times the amount of an over-dose because her body has adjusted to the drugs. It's been super sad to see what has happened but on Tuesday we decided to go see her and her family. We sat down, had a great talk, and then we ended up having an incredible lesson with her. Something that I feel like I have struggled with throughout my mission is listening. Listening to the investigator, discerning their needs, and then relying on the Spirit for guidance on what to say. Before I went into the lesson, I decided I was just going to listen her, listen to the Spirit, and respond as the Lord would want me to. As we were in the lesson and as we listened and tried our best to discern her needs, she opened up more than she ever had. By the end, she was bearing her testimony to us with tears in here eyes. I looked at her with tears in my eyes and told her that her Heavenly Father loves her and that she is alive right now for a specific reason that only the Lord knows. I told her that the Lord needs her on his team and that he needs her spirit. It was an incredible lesson and we really felt the Spirit there. She was able to come to church yesterday and she is just glowing with that big smile on her face!

Later that night we had a training with all the missionaries in the entire world from the Executive Missionary Council and the Presidency of the Seventy. It was the first time that anything like this has ever happened and it was INCREDIBLE! It's pretty much like a big General Conference but with the missionaries. In the training, Elder Bednar talked a little bit about what happened with our English member. In short, he said, "Listening and observing preceeds discerning." He said that listening takes "intense spiritual focus" and it was so cool to see it in action. That's been a huge focus for me this week and it's helped so much!

OH... check this out... super crazy alright! We had transfers on Tuesday and Göteborg was in complete CHAOS! We woke up to an additional 15-16 inches of snow. We couldn't drive out so we spent Companionship and Language Study time out in the avalanche-hit city of Partille. We shoveled snow for two hours and FINALLY we were able to get out! It was insane! BRING THE RAIN!

This week, Elder Albertsen and I had a bunch of funny happenings that has to do with the language. We always joke around with each other when neither of us can remember the English word for something. This week, we couldn't remember what the "heel" of the loaf of bread was called. We ended up just calling it "the butt." Later, I couldn't remember what the two pointer thingy's on a clock are called. I started with legs, then I went to arms, and then a member from the Czeck-republic said, "Elder Featherstone... in English, they're called hands." haha I got a pretty good laugh out of that one. We always joke around that now we can't speak either Swedish or English. Just a mix of them called "Swenglish." Or... in Swedish... it's called "Svengelska."

Last Sunday we had a neat experience. There is an elder in the zone whose Dad got in a pretty bad bicycle accident back home before he left and he ended up being in a coma. This missionary has been on his mission for the past 4 or-so months and his Dad has been in the coma ever since. We found out last week and we were able to have our zone fast together for this elder, his dad, his mom, and the rest of his family. It was a super neat experience and it really brought the zone together. I have no doubt that fasting works. "... Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Alright... here is my S/O to my oldest and wisest brother Greg! Back when I was home, I heard Greg tell me one time that when he would do "door to door sales" that he would just not stop talking. "Don't stop talking and then they have to either listen to you or shut the door on you." That's what I remember him saying. SO... had a little Déjà vu moment, I put a determined look on my face, and I pounded my fist on that door. A tall, kind, sweet, old lady opened it and I started talking. She read my name tag, shook her head but I kept talking. She started closing the door but I kept talking. She tried to interrupt me but I kept talking. (That one probably wasn't the greatest idea. haha) Then she got this funny look on her face and was probably thinking "Wow... boy does this kid have a mouth. He won't let me say a thing. Or the kid next to him." During the entire door approach I didn't stop talking, taught her the Restoration, gave her a Book of Mormon, committed her to read and pray about it and then at the end she said, "Wow... this book is mine? I can have it? Thank you!!" She closed the door and I said to myself, "Greg... that one was for you buddy! Strength and Honor!"

Saturday morning we had a free moment so we decided that we wanted to go out and contact people in a town square called "Partille." Long story short, we were shut down pretty hard core and had some funny happenings that are funny to missionaries but not funny to missionary moms. No one was seriously injured. .... JOKES! Mom... it's alright... I'm just joking around. I'm doing just great! ANYWHO... I turned to Elder Albertsen and said, "You know what elder, isn't it just so cool that the Lord knows exactly what's going on and what these people are saying to us? Isn't it amazing that we're his representatives and that we can be persecuted for his sake? Every rejection gets us closer to the next baptism! Let's hit it! Kör hårt!"

I love you all and I hope you have such a KILLER week! Make it hap'n capt'n! MWAH!

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
What we woke up to on Tuesday morning! Göteborg had more snow than they have had since '95. I wasn't even born by that time!

Det finns snö!

Companionship selfie with the snow

                                            My Hungarian buddy Gyula! Pssst... that's a S/O to Tomas! 
Sushi with Elder Bailey!
These are my insoles... I had to buy new ones because they were destroyed.
Check these bad boys out! haha
Jules... haha she is the funniest person ever. She's a less-active member here in Utby.

Fereshte and our friend Michael who is a member in Frölunda's ward. He translates into Persian for us!
I had my first Persian meal with our investigator Fereshte. She's the greatest!
This is apparently a Persian delicacy. The burnt rice on the bottom of the pan. The Iranian kids go CRAZY for this stuff. haha
The Lennart legend! 
          A classic Swedish dish. This is SWEDEN!

This cracked me up! It's a Juke Taxi! The first of it's kind!
I love these two people so much! haha they're the greatest!
These two selfies are probably the most legendary in mission history. President and Syster Beckstrand
Sushi run!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Email #81

January 18, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


Hmm... I'll be honest... I think I'm running out of creative things to say at the beginning of my emails. It's like the hardest part to write. Anywho...

This week was super solid! It was full of swing-by's, contacting, and the usual stuff we do as missionaries. A.K.A. Saving souls, changing lives, changing the world. Pretty cool stuff I'd say.

Things here in Göteborg are just DANDY! We (I don't know why... but trying to say things in English has been SO hard this week. Like... I might be a little slow when I get back because I won't be able to think of things in English. haha SO... I realize that my English is pretty terrible by now. Just hang on for a little longer! Alright... we're going to continue...) found out this week that Elder Albertsen, Elder Bailey, and I will all be staying in Utby for another six weeks! We're getting Elder Williams from Linköping! I went on splits with him when I was in Södertälje! It's going to be a lot of fun and we're excited for this next transfer.

Super funny... Elder Albertsen wrestled in high school when he was at Viewmont and boy does he LOVE to wrestle. Every once and a while, he'll shoot at my legs while we're in the apartment, tackle me to the ground and we'll wrestle for a minute or two. Haha the other day, he did it again, we wrestled for a second and then he said, "Whew... Elder Featherstone, you'd be a good wrestler. You've got the aggression. That's pretty much all you need.   ..... And lots of technique." Elder Bailey and I busted up laughing. We've had a solid two weeks in the tri-pan. Except it's super awkward when there are three strangers knocking on your door wanting to talk to you about religion. Haha super fun though! We're working hard and having a good time!

Super cool news! The Göteborg Zone is now leading the mission in almost all of the key indicators (the numbers we report weekly). I'm super proud of them! We have some INCREDIBLE missionaries here in the zone and I'm so stoked for this next transfer.

When I was with Elder Israelsen in Södertälje, we talked a lot about the "Second Harvest" in Sweden. I think I talked a little bit about that with you all during FHE or some other time. President Hinckley was in a leadership meeting a while back and during a talk of his, he looked at the stake presidents from Sweden and said "Let me say a few words to you that I want you to take home to Sweden." Then he lifted a glass of water and pointed to it. "Sweden has for many years been like this glass of water—not much action. In the middle 1800s when the first missionaries came to Sweden, thousands of people joined the Church. It was a great and mighty harvest. When you go home, I want you to tell the members that there will be a new harvest, a second harvest in Sweden, that will bring thousands of Swedes into the Church." Elder Israelsen thought a lot about this promise and we talked about it a lot when we were together in Södertälje. As I've been on my mission, I've seen signs of the Second Harvest and can say that it's here. When I first came to Sweden, The Second Harvest had NOT begun. You all would not BELIEVE the change this mission has made during the past two years. The beginning is here and it's so amazing to see. The church is incredible here! I wish you could all see it and see it's growth! Family, I love this country. I know I say it a lot but I love Sweden and I'm so humbled the Lord sent me here with these wonderful people. This is the greatest time on the earth! And it's amazing the Lord chose us to come here and assist him in his work. It's true. It's all true. And this really is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. How amazing is that?

I just wanted to tell you all that I love you, I love Sweden and the people here, and I love the Lord. This really is his gospel and I'm so glad I can proclaim that for his children here in this blessed country!

I love you all! Hope you have a great week! AND... like I say to every single missionary in the zone after I talk to them on the phone... "Alright.... love you! And let me know if I can do anything to help you guys."

Strength and Honor Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

This is Azi! She's the newest member in Utby! She's from Iran.

Our new investigator Sonja! She's the greatest! 

Familjen Tittus! These people are the greatest som finns!

CHECK THIS! Haha #cougs

Monday, January 11, 2016

Email #80

January 11, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


This week has been a super solid one! I haven’t written a super solid email for a long time because we've been so busy here so that's my bad! I'll be better I promise! SO... we have a lot to cover. You ready?? GO!

First of all, I just thought I'd update you all on the things that happened last p-day. We had some things happen in the mission, mostly here in Utby, and an elder flew back to the U.S. He wasn't doing very well so he was sent back to the states and now Elder Albertsen and I are in a tri-panionship with Elder Bailey! Elder Bailey is a total stud and we've had a lot of fun over the past week or so. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my entire life. We're going to be together for another week until transfers next Wednesday. We'll find out what is happening this Friday so we'll see what happens.

OH... alright... so I have to tell you all this super fast. Yesterday morning, I was talking to two older members here in the Utby ward. I was just checking up on them and then then one of them turned to the other and said, "You know what? You know who he looks like? Jimmy Stewart!" I busted up laughing and said, "What? No way? For real?" Then.... get this... we were at Kirk's (the American member. He's from Holladay, Utah) house last night eating American pancakes for dinner and Mama Cammans turned to me randomly and said "You know what? You look like Jimmy Stewart." I looked at Elder Bailey and said, "No way! Did you hear what she just said?" And we busted laughing. "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down."

On Wednesday, we had a super good day. Elder Bailey, Albertsen, and I drove over to Skövde to go on "work-overs" with Elder Murri (the one I was in Umeå with). Skövde is kind of known as a hard area in the mission and the elders there were having a super tough time together. SO... we decided we'd go down for a day and help them out with some work, try to lift their spirits, and get them stoked to go out and baptize the WORLD! We had a super solid day working with them. We had been pretty worried about them throughout the entire transfer so we wanted to help them and hopefully set the course for the rest of the transfer and possibly even next transfer. Later in the week, I called Elder Murri to talk about the day we were there and how he was doing with his companion. He was struggling when we got there and when we got on the phone a few days later he said, "Elder Featherstone, thank you for coming to Skövde and doing work-overs. It helped a lot and my companion and I are doing great! I would be totally on-board for another transfer with this elder in Skövde." I was so pumped and proud of them. They're doing great and it was so neat to see the change.

The next day, I went on splits with Elder Bliss!  Elder Bliss is a super good friend in the mission and we were companions for a week while I was training Elder Burton in Västerhaninge. We were in a tri-pan for just a week and it was a RIOT! Anywho... all we did is contact all day and it was STELLAR! We had a great time, worked hard, and it was a super solid stund together.

I'm going to jump back a little bit now. A couple weeks ago, I was with Elder Albertsen in an area called "Studiegången." We were contacting people down a street and when we got to the end of an apartment building I saw a man walking up some stairs about 30 feet in front of me. When I got closer, he was at the top of the stairs outside but I said, "Hey! Excuse me! My friend and I are the missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ and we're sharing a special message about Jesus Christ." Ernest walked down and we started talking. We just stood at the bottom of the stairs and ended up teaching him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He said, "Hmmm... I've never heard of this before. This is all pretty new." I told him that we teach people more about this church and the message in this book and asked him if we could come by and teach his family sometime. Ernrest said that would be totally fine and that he'd even try to come to church! We went by a few days later and ended up teaching his entire family. We walked into their house and they were very humble circumstances. Ernest and his wife moved to Sweden from Rwanda and the night we met Ernest he said, "We only have three chairs so we can buy another one so you don't have to sit on the floor." I looked at him, put my hand on his shoulder, just thought, "God Bless you dear Ernest." It was a pretty neat experience. We are now teaching Ernest and his family and are hopefully going to get them a baptismal date this Thursday.

Earlier this week, we were driving home and I started thinking. We hadn't eaten dinner yet so I was pretty hungry, but I felt like we needed to go do a quick contacting stund in Partille. I said, "Hey, Elder Albertsen, I feel like we need to go contact for a couple minutes. Is that alright?" We turned the car around, drove to Partille, and hopped out of the car. I looked up and there were a couple of teenagers that were just about to walk by. I closed the door, said, "hey!" and walked over to them. We talked for a couple minutes and it turned out that all four of them would like to meet and talk more about the message we have. We got their numbers, said bye, and walked away to contact more people but it was a neat experience that I was able to listen to a small, little prompting, and we were able to teach a lesson to them.

We have also been teaching a woman named Jenny. She's married to a less-active member in the ward named Fredrik. Jenny has always been pretty hesitant when it comes to missionaries but as we've been teaching her, she was able to open up and now she has a baptismal date. We've been working to re-activate Fredrik and we had a miracle take place yesterday. Fredrik blessed their daughter in sacrament meeting. Fredrik is now active and Jenny will be baptized on the 27 of February. Such a blessing and it's been so amazing to teach them both. They're goal is the temple so that will be an amazing day.

Here in Göteborg it finally snowed! We have been having so much success and the zone is doing so much better! I'm super proud of them!

Overall, Elder Featherstone is a happy camper. Everything is going well here in Göteborg and I'm glad I'm here.

This week we read a talk together as a zone. It's called "This Day" by President Eyring. "By serving Him this day, you will come to know Him better. You will feel His love and appreciation. You would not want to delay receiving that blessing. And feeling His love will draw you back to His service, wiping away both complacency and discouragement.

As you serve Him, you will come to know better the voice by which you shall be called. When you go to sleep at the end of a day, the words may come back in memory: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things." I pray for that benediction on this day, on every day, and on our lives." Let's serve him "this day."

I already told Dad this, but at the beginning of my mission I wrote note down in my Preach My Gospel. It says, "Give a five dollar job for two years." That has especially been my focus for these final months. A couple weeks ago when President and I had our little chat before zone conference, he asked me where I would like to serve to close out my mission and he asked me to think about it. I've been thinking a lot about if I want to see southern Sweden (which I haven't before), be with good member friends and missionaries in Stockholm, or go back to an isolated area, serve the Lord, and do a five dollar job. I've asked the Lord and I feel like it's up to me but I've decided that I want to go to a hard area, give it my all, and serve the Lord "this day."

I love you all and I hope you have a KILLER week! Make it hap'n capt'n!

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

Swedes and their black licorice...

Finally got snow in Göteborg!! The beginning of the tri-pan

Göteborg University

Tri-pan elevator selfie... haha
Splits with Elder Bliss... STUD!

Kirk and Mamma Cammans! Love these people!

The first sign of snow in Skövde

Distrikt selfie with the Utby-Alingsås-Trollhättan district

        Elder Bailey and I in Göteborg

A super funny contact with Elder Bliss. This guy would not break eye-contact. haha so Elder Bliss took a picture.

Celebrating Elder Bailey's year mark 

City pics of Göteborg

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Email #79

January 4, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


Helllooooo! Whew... feels like it has been AGES since I wrote last. We have had such a crazy last couple of weeks. BUT... we're all happy campers over here in Göteborg! I'm loving it here and Elder Albertsen and I are having a great time together. Just thought I'd share a couple experiences so here we goooo...

Well... I talked to you a little bit about it during the Skype, but I don't think I told you the backstory of this entire "mini transfer" from Södertälje to Göteborg. SO... here it is. My last week with Elder Burgin was INCREDIBLE! We were working our tails off, laughing our heads off, and everything else-off. We were having an absolute RIOT! I felt like I was coasting a little bit though, so I decided I would get on my knees and pray for a "mountain." I've thought a lot about Elder Eyring's talk called "Mountains to Climb" and President Kimball's talk called "Give me this mountain." Both talk a little about "mountains" (or trials) and how they can help us grow and bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. I didn't want to coast so I decided to ask God for a mountain or a trial so I could be able to grow more. I got on my knees, prayed, stood up, and then got right back to work. Transfers happened and I thought, "Hmmm... well... awesome! I was expecting something hard to happen but I ended up getting a stellar companion and everything was going well in Södertälje. Two days went by and we got a call from President saying I would be moving. I was shocked and I was a little bitter about the entire thing. I thought, "What?? President... come on. What is going on?" I don't think I ever had a transfer that was so hard. I went down to Göteborg and I kinda felt like I wasn't supposed to be here. A few days went by and we ended up having Zone Conference in Göteborg that weekend. I asked President if I could talk with him for a few minutes at Zone Conference and so he pulled me aside and sat me down with him on a bench in the chapel. We talked for 20 minutes or so and then all of my concerns and worries were gone. President told me that the Lord wanted me in Göteborg and that I'm needed here with the zone. It was a pretty neat experience and I've been grateful for this "mountain" here in Göteborg and what I've learned about accepting the Lord's will.

Sorry family, my mind is super scattered right now. We've had a couple of mission emergencies this morning so we've been running all over Göteborg. Everything is ALL good and there are no problems at all but that is probably going to have to be the email for this week.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Hope you all have a great week! Keep "shredding" back there! I'm praying for you all! Especially Dad! Get well soon pops! Love you all! It was SO good to see your faces on Christmas! I'll see them soon when Noah opens his call! Älskar er!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Frölunda Indians

Teaching with Michael the Persian and Olof the Swede! 

I <3 Pizza. Göteborg kebab pizza is supposed to be some of the best in all of Sweden! 

The Umeå crew at Zone Conference! Elder Murri and Nelson! 

Thai food with the Frölunda elders at Familjen Falck's house
Julmust! This is the classic Christmas soda in Sweden! Apparently, Swedes drink more julmust during the month of December than Coca-cola during the entire YEAR! CRAZY! The Swede's love their Julmust!

Lennart is a new member here in Utby! He loved my hat and wanted to take a picture with me. 

Apple Cider and the New Year! 2016!

This is Kirk! He's an american and is the best person ever! I love this guy! I'm sure you'll hear more about Captain Kirk soon!