Monday, February 29, 2016

Email # 87

February 29, 2016
Goteborg, Sweden

Helllooooooo family!!

This week has been a KILLER one! Elder Albertsen and I have been having a TON of fun, working hard, and we've just been laughing on the way.

In other news, the Utby II elders have drafted Elder Samuel Halterman from Jakobsberg to join their team for the coming transfer. The only comment we received from his future companion, Elder Featherstone, was as follows... "You know what? I'm actually really excited that we were able to pick him up. He's been a great contributor to the Stockholm Zone and he'll be a great help to our offensive front." Haha gosh... Greg... you always made me crack up when we'd talk about "post-game interviews. Haha anyway... I served with Elder Halterman in the same district when I was in Skellefteå and let me tell ya... this companionship is going to be LEGENDARY! I'm excited nonetheless.

SO... Like I say every week... ANYWAY... we've had a great week full of miracles and more miracles. We have been working with a less active member named Fredrick lately and we've been wanting to start teaching and working with his girlfriend Emilie. They're living together right now but we're trying to help them get married and get everything figured out. Last Monday, I was on splits with Elder Mecham who's serving in Frölunda right now and we went to teach Fredrick and Emilie. We told Emilie that we help people find out more about the church and help them in finding out/ receiving an answer themselves. ALSO... we need to practice our Swedish... so we asked if we could start teaching her the lessons... anddddd... she said YES! SO... we're so excited we can start teaching her. We had a couple in the ward invite them over to dinner last night with the missionaries and the ward is starting to take them in which is so sweet! The Utby ward is on FIRE right now. Gotta love it baby!

As well... we started working with a less active member named Uche and his girlfriend Marielle. They just had a baby this past weekend and we're starting to work with them. Marielle took lessons from the missionaries before but Uche feels like now is the time. We're going to start teaching them and I think it'll be great! Marielle and Uche are incredible and we're try to see if we can get them married and help Marielle get baptized too! The Law of Chastity is a killer for us right now! We might be the wedding planners this week instead.

While I was on splits with Elder Mecham on Tuesday, we went to teach an investigator named Daniel. He's from Iceland and is such a STUD! We sat down with him, set up expectations, and then we taught him about the Book of Mormon. He's super positive and he also has a girlfriend that wants to meet and talk more about the church. Now... get this... Emilie, Marielle, and Daniel's girlfriend are all SWEDES! Talk about a miracle! Swedes are probably the most stubborn people ever when it comes to religion. BUT... when they accept the gospel... they're probably still some of the most stubborn people ever and are SO loyal. So when a Swede gets baptized they're doing it because they know and they're locked in for the rest of their lives. It's the coolest!

SO... we're teaching a lot right now and this area has almost the PERFECT balance of finding work, teaching, and zone work. It's just about the coolest thing ever! I'm lovin' it here in Utby and I'm SO stoked to get Elder Halterman next transfer.

Later in the week, Elder Bailey and I went on splits in the other Utby area. It was the first time that I had been back on buses and inner-city trains since I was in Jakobsberg. I started with buses in J-berg, then VH and Skellefteå I just walked everywhere, then Umeå, Södertälje, and Utby we've had a car. SO... I was pumped to contact people on the buses and trains again... ahhh... good times... goooood tiiimmes. ANYWAY... we taught this SUPER cool guy named David from Nigeria, we taught him the Restoration and it was INCREDIBLE! Elder Bailey and I were bouncing off each other like Stockton and Malone. Weez was teaching in harmony like Beethoven's fifth! It was a super good time and we taught him about the Book of Mormon. Asked him to be baptized and he said YES! We're trying to get him in the water by April 2nd. It'll be great!

Later that day, we contacted a Swede named Simon. We contacted him right in the middle of an ocean of busy Swedes and he stopped to talk to us for like 20 minutes. People were rushing by the entire time but looking back, I don't remember hearing them or even noticing all the people. Simon said that he is Christian and that he's been looking for a church but that everything he reads in the Bible goes against what the churches do. We said he's "searching for the truth." DIRECT QUOTE. I got the classic "Featherstone smile" on my face when something ridiculously cool happens, looked at Elder Bailey and gave him the "Oh buddy... this is going to be fun! Giddy up!" look. We taught him the entire Restoration right there and talked about the Book of Mormon. We stopped talking and then he said, "Ummmm... can I buy that book? How much does it cost?" Then the classic "Featherstone smile" came back out and I said... "We usually charge people 300 krowns but I'll give it to you for free." Haha JOKES... I didn't actually say that... we just gave it to him. It was such a sweet experience though! And the Spirit was there even though it may have been loud, chaotic, and busy, the Spirit testified to all of us that the Book of Mormon is true.

This week has been incredible! Being a missionary is the coolest thing and I am really going to miss it. I'm sprinting to the finish! I'm really trying my best to give a "5 dollar job" so that I can come off the plane knowing I gave it all.

I love you all and I hope you all have a STELLAR week! LOVES! and...

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

A new convert in Utby named Lennart. He's our grandpa here in Utby. STUD!


The sun is bright. This is the old church in Göteborg.

Elder Featherstone o Albertsen at member's houses for lunch

Elder Featherstone o Albertsen at member's houses for lunch round 2


 
Frölunda o Utby district selfie!

 
Service.... "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED??"


The Göteborg Zone last transfer! STUD!

Lunch with the legend known as Elder Sahlin... he's "Felix" now.

This kid is the biggest STUD ever! Love my Göteborgian!

               Lunch at Zone Conference! STUD!


More Lunch at Zone Conference! STUD!

The dynamic duo. The new Piano Guys. Elder Featherstone o Archibald. #actionshot

Last night's dinner with the Fougelbergs!

MLC a few weeks ago in the mission home! Love these fellas!

More MLC at the mission home.

The original dynamic duo from Västerhaninge returns! Father-son at MLC.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Email #86

February 22, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

The clock strikes 6:30 and the alarm starts ringing. The tired elder looks at the clock just to make sure it's not 6:00 and he has another 30 minutes of precious sleep. "Nope... time to get up." The young elder says in his mind as he yawns and does a morning stretch. "Yup... there it is." his companion thinks. "Just like every morning." The familiar noise of his companion as he sings with his morning voice. "OHHHHHHHHHHHH.... it's nice to get up in the marrrrnin... when the sun begins to shine!"

Yup... my Poelman side of the family would be proud of Elder Featherstone when "it's nice to get up in the marrrrnin!" The entire Göteborg zone knows that song know and we joke around about it all the time. We'll get calls from zone members all the time that go like this... "Hello this is Elder Featherstone." *the other elders in synchronization* "OHHHHHHHH..." It's been quite the joke lately. The alarm hits 6:30 and then I just let out a great.... "OHHHHHHHHHHHH." We don't get to far until I am laughing so hard that I can't sing anymore. That's how the mornings usually start out here in Göteborg.

ANYWHO...

Wow... talk about a great week! Elder Albertsen and I are just CRAZY busy and we have zero down time so that is super good!  We're staying busy, working hard, and we're both happy campers right now!

The other day I had a super neat experience. A few weeks ago, Elder Albertsen, Bailey, and I contacted a man on the street whose name was Aleksander. He was from Serbia and he was a super nice guy. He wasn't really interested in the message we had but we invited him to take a look at the website (mormon.org) and that he could learn a little more there if he'd like. We left and I didn't think any more of it. The other day, all four Utby elders were on our way to a member's house to help give a blessing. We usually say a prayer in the car before we go in but I hopped out to buy a little ticket so we could park in that parking spot and then the plan was to hop back in for a prayer with the other elders. I walked over to the machine, got a ticket, and started heading back to the car. On my way back, I saw a man walking towards me so I thought "Hey... might as well contact him." Then... I realized that in the EXACT place we had met him before, it was Aleksander that walked by. I decided I'd just wave and maybe go talk to him anyway. I said, "Hey! How's it going?" and Aleksander lit up. He totally remembered me and he started firing questions at me about the church. We ended up talking for over 20 minutes and I taught him the entire Restoration. It was the coolest experience! I testified about the Restored Church of Christ and the Spirit was definitely there. That means he felt it too! "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." (D&C 50:22) We had a super neat talk together and Aleksander said we could come back and we could give him a Book of Mormon in Serbian.

Coincidence that we met in the same place? I think NOT!

ANYWAY... this week we were able to go to a professional Swedish Hockey game here in Göteborg which was a ton of fun! A member invited us and we took a few less actives with us so that was super good!

Alright family... I don't have a ton of time right now so I gotta say "HEJ DÅ" for now. Love you all and hope you have a great week!

OH.... this week's S/O goes to my boy NOAH! Congrats on getting accepted to the Y duder! Proud of you! Love you!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

The Frölunda Indians!

Äldste Bailey och de "goa gubbar"

Qais and the missionaries round 2.

Qais... a new member in Trollhättan and all the missionaries at a baptism this past weekend. Qais loves the missionaries! 

This CRACKED me up today. That's a game we play all the time. Making jokes with license plates.

Pre-game


Got a picture with the Frölunda Indians mascot


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Email #85

February 15, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

Hallllååååå!!!

How is my wonderful family doing? This email stund (session) has been great. Well instead of saying "hope you're doing well." I'm just going to say, "Keep it up." SO... family... keep it up.

ANYWHO... this week was a super solid one. Elder Featherstone has had two more opportunities to play the piano during devotionals, baptisms, and what not. SO... another S/O to Mom for making me practice! Now I'm just pounding on that ivory!  It's a ton of fun. I finally figured out what I was playing three days before the actual performance. SO... that just shows how sketchy playing is on the piano. I pretty much just sight read the entire thing. Noah... keep practicing buddy... I'll keep the piano keys warm until you get here to Sweden. ;)

Another S/O to Noah just for being the biggest stud ever. Proud of you for putting your papers in buddy! Love juuuuuu!! #swedenbound #sweden #stockholm #mission #dynamicduohitssweden

On Thursday, we had Specialized Zone Training here with the Göteborg Zone. President and Sister Beckstrand came down with the Assistants and we had an incredible training together!

Later that night I was able to go on splits with my long lost buddy Elder Archibald! Probably the biggest stud ever. Anywho... our day was mostly full of swing-by's, contacting, and some tracting. That's honestly what our week has been consisted of as far as the work goes. We've had a lot of meetings, planning sessions, and other things we've had to do with the zone but it's been a super good week! Elder Albertsen and I are staying busy and we're ready to hit it hard this week! I'm super pumped!

Lately, I've been thinking about something that I'd thought I'd share. A couple days ago, we were with a member and the wife asked for a blessing and for me to give it. We gave the blessing and I just thought it was so interesting that the words will just come naturally through the Spirit. I know that I'm DEFINITELY not the most talented speaker in the world and that it's probably something that I struggle with, but it's so amazing what the Lord can do through the Spirit and how He can turn us into something bigger that he needs us to be at a certain time. I look at others in the mission and think "Wow... that missionary is an incredible speaker and everything he says is pretty amazing." I've thought about that and how I am not an incredible speaker in front of the zone and at trainings and what not, but it feels like I am almost a different person when I need to step up. It's amazing what the Lord can do to us when he needs us to do something for him. I love the scripture in Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." The Lord really build us up when he needs us, we just have to be worthy and willing to respond to the call. I've seen that so much and how the Lord really does work through us and helps us do things we couldn't do on our own.

I hope you all have a great week! Keep on keepin' on! I love you all! Go change the world!

Strength and Honor              
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

I saw some of my favorite people from Umeå here in Göteborg! I LOVE these people! The greatest!

The Umeå crew!

Eating Chinese food with Cathy and Andreas!!

TOFU SELFIE!

We had a meeting with the Stake President yesterday. President Landrö is the best!

The Assistants left this box in Göteborg. Now we have to send it to Stockholm...

Straight-face


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Email #84

February 8, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


FAMILY!

Hellllloooooo all of you beautiful people!  I have just about the coolest family on the planet earth. You guys are the greatest! You know that right??


Anywho... that is SO awesome that Max was baptized on Saturday! Super sad that I wasn't able to be there but I was doing the same thing here. #buildingthekingdom Max, you're the coolest cat I know! Thanks for being such a incredible boy! Keep smiling and being an awesome example! Love you buddy! This week's S/O goes to YOU. I think Maximus got the S/O last week too but he deserves it! Rock on big guy!


We had a funny happening this morning while we were emailing. It went like this....
Äldste Williams "Hey! The Broncos won the Super Bowl this week!"
Äldste Bailey "Wait, the Super Bowl happened?"
Äldste Featherstone "Haha that's what I said!!"
Hopefully that's a good sign that we're all "forgetting ourselves" in the work.


Well... this week has been an interesting one. We've been doing a LOT of things that have to do with the Göteborg Zone but it always makes me happy to help out the missionaries here. We are really seeing a difference in the trust between the Zone Leaders and the missionaries in the zone so that's super neat to see. They are starting to call us for questions and things so that makes me happy they trust us and aren't scared of calling us for little questions here and there. This zone is on FIRE right now and they're the mission. I know I say this every week but I'm so glad I can be here in this zone and that I can serve with these amazing missionaries!


Speaking of the zone, this week we started up "Frälsningschatrum" again here in the Göteborg Zone (Salvations chat-room). It's where the missionaries will send in little success stories on the zone group text and pump up other missionaries to go out and hit it hard! I know I've talked a little bit about this before because "frälsningschatrum" was born when I was in Umeå in Norrland. A little bit ago, the Assistants extended a challenge to do the Nike motto and "Just Do It." They talked about contacting and how we need to "Just Do It." It was so sweet and all the missionaries were stoked to go out and make it happen! This past transfer, the Assistants went with Adidas and now the Sweden Stockholm Mission is going "ALL IN." We've been trying to help our zone and try to get them to be "ALL IN." During our little success stories session during "frälsningschatrum" all of the missionaries would signature their text by ending it with #allin. It was so cool so see how all of the missionaries are going to be #allin for the Savior and their brothers and sisters here in Sweden. Are you #allin for the Savior?


I don't have a ton of time but I just thought I'd share a little experience this week. Earlier in the week, we were just finishing up dinner and getting ready to get out there and SHRED! Shredding with the missionary work is the coolest! That means you're absolutely ALL IN, you're giving everything you can, there's no such thing as "awkward", and you give the Savior your best. "Shredding" has become my mission motto. We shred here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission and especially here in the Göteborg Zone. Anyway... we were on our way out and Elder Albertsen and I got on our knees to ask where the Lord needed us right then. We prayed, stood up, looked at each other, and I said, "Elder Albertsen, where do we need to go?" "Elder Featherstone, you always ask me!" I laughed and said, "Alright... fair enough. I think we need to go visit Linnea again." He looked and me and said, "Yup, I agree." "Alright big guy, let's hit it." Right when I was getting on my knees to ask the Lord, I was thinking, "Isn't it just amazing that the heavens are still open, we can counsel with the Lord in where he needs us to be, and we have absolutely no doubt that the Lord will answer us." We went out, worked hard, talked to everyone, and no one was interested. We got back in the car after a few hours of working and I turned to Elder Albertsen and said, "You know what? Even though no one we talked to was interested, I'm 100% positive that we talked to the person that the Lord wanted us to talk to." That felt good that we did everything we could and that the Lord led us to that area and those people even though immediate blessings weren't apparent.


I love you all and I hope you have SUCH a KILLER week! Äldste Featherstone and the Sweden Stockholm Mission are #allin for the Savior and His gospel. Are you?  

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Brushin' my teeth in Borås with our boss elders there


Splits with Elder Johanson and a member in Borås

License plate with Skellefteå AIK! Love that place! S/O to Skellefteåååååå

Preaching the gospel in stan to the masses

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Email #83

Feb. 1, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


HALLÅ FAMILJEN!!


Hellloooooooooo!! Hope you all had an incredible week! We sure had one
over here in the sunny paradise known as Göteborg. OH... super fast
fun fact of the week. SO... there is kind of a rivalry that is
constantly going on between Göteborg and Stockholm. They don't really
like each other. Göteborg always says that Stockholm is the "back
side" of the country. Like the "rear end" of Sweden. And then they say
that Göteborg is the "framsida" or "front side." SO... everything is
just great here on the "framsida." ;)


ANYWHO... talk about WOW. This has been such a fantastic week! We've
had amazing success and we're all happy campers here in the Göteborg
area. PLUS, we're getting more and more sun every day! Gotta love that
sunshine! The sun only sets at 4:30 so we're making HUGE progress!
We're actually planning on going out today and playing Soccer and
Football today. It'll be a fun time!


OH... before I forget, I just want to send a weekly S/O to the stud of
the century! Max Knell! I cannot believe you're getting baptized
buddy! I'm so proud of you! We'll hang out ALL the time when I get
back alright? Love you buddy!


Alright... so we'll start this off with an experience. A couple weeks
ago, we were teaching a young lady named Linnea. She was SO positive
and was just loving everything that we were saying. WELL... she pretty
much just dropped off the map because she was never home and her phone
number didn't work. We were pretty disappointed about it but we still
tried to go by and land contact with her. Almost two months went by
and... nothing. On Saturday night, we were about to go out again after
dinner so we got on our knees, and asked the Lord where he needed us to
go. We prayed, stood up, and we both said "Studiegången." We hopped in
the car and went over there. On our way to Linnea's house we stopped
and talked to a few people. We were able to get four telephone numbers
(from people who would be interested in learning more) in a matter of
an hour. We went to Linnea's house, knocked on her door, and who
answered? Linnea!! Turns out that her phone was broken, she had gotten
a new phone number, AND she was moving the next morning! All of her
stuff was in boxes and bags.... "It came without ribbons... and
somethings... and tags." Ha... oh boy... the Grinch... classic.
ANYWAY... we talked to her and she was still super interested. We were
able to get her phone number that works and her new address. It was
pretty incredible to think about the fact that if we hadn't come that
exact night, she would have been gone and we would have never been
able to get back in touch with her. That was a super neat experience
because we listened to the Spirit, tried to involve the Lord in his
work, and we acted on the prompting we received.


On Tuesday we had MLC in Stockholm again. MLC is the coolest thing
ever and I always learn so much! At MLC, we re-evaluated the mission
goals called "Standards of Hastening the Work." They are goals that
President Beckstrand and the Assistants have set up that the mission
is always shooting for. We had a big discussion together about the
goals for 2016 and set up some INCREDIBLE goals for this year. While
we were talking about it in the mission home, the Spirit filled the
room and everyone was getting so excited to just go out there and
baptize the WORLD! The missionary spirit is so contagious and we've
seen so many changes just over the past month or two. The Second
Harvest is happening right now and it makes me so happy!


On Friday, we took everything we learned at MLC and took it to the
zone here in Göteborg. We had an incredible time together! Right
before the training was supposed to start, Elder Albertsen had
mis-placed the iphone so we weren't able to start the training yet. I
called the office and we got a track on it. The phone was just sitting
there and then the office said that it started to move. Next thing I
know, Elder Bailey and I hop in the car to go track down the phone
thief and take him down. Haha not really but we really needed to find
this phone. We were driving ALL over the city and then when we got
close, we hopped out of the car, and started sprinting to where the
office was tracking it at. It was the funniest thing. Elder Bailey and
I are in our suits, sprinting through the Swedish streets of Göteborg,
trying to find this phone. Elder Bailey and I were cracking up because
we felt like we were in a movie. Elder Bailey was Jason Bourne and
Elder Featherstone was James Bond. We were laughing so hard and we
were stopping everyone we could to ask if they had our phone. Thanks
to a prayer that we had said a half our earlier, we found the phone,
hauled back over to the training, and made it safe and sound. Ahhh...
what a day.


After P-day last Monday, Elder Albertsen and I were on our way to an area
called "Studiegången." We were driving when I had a thought that maybe
that wasn't the place that the Lord needed us to go to. We were
driving in the car and I asked Elder Albertsen to pray about it. We
said a prayer, thought about it, and we decided that we needed to go
to a place called "Hisingen." We drove to Hisingen, hopped out of our
car, and we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to a lady right
on the street. She is now meeting with the other elders because she
lives in their area. We knew we were supposed to be there for a reason
so we started knocking on some doors and the first door we knocked was
Mats and Patricia's. We knocked on their door and Mats opened. We
started with the usual introduction and then he said, "Hey! Come one
in!" We were able to teach Mats and Patricia the Restoration right
there and we had an incredible time together! It was such a neat
experience! Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the Spirit and
the importance of it in the work. It's literally everything. You can't
do anything as a missionary without the Spirit. Elder Albertsen and I
have been praying a lot lately and we're always praying for help that
the Lord can guide us to those people that he needs us to talk to.
It's been such an incredible transfer so far and I'm stoked for the
rest of it.


I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Just remember,
"There's no traffic jams along the extra mile."


Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Äldste Bailey and the Göteborg University


Throwin' it back to the tripanionship

Throwin' it back to the blizzard last week

Felix Sahlin... the legendary Swede

I ran into Antony from Västerhaninge when I was in T-central on the way to Täby!

On the Tunnelbana in Stockholm. I love these bad boys!

MLC Södertälje Selfie with Syster Lund and Äldste Burgin!

The Södertälje crew from two transfers ago! Love these people!

Elder Burton and Elder Hemmingsen. These kids are legends! #STUDS

Round 2 Elder Burton and Hemmingsen

My Västerhaninge buddy Äldste Peterson

The father-son sensation returns #featherstone #burton

Äldste Murri at Zone Training

Äldste Williams and Bailey at Zone Training

Äldste Jensen at Zone Training