Monday, March 28, 2016

Email #91

March 28, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden


WOW... talk about a week! First and foremost... a HUGE S/O to the future Elder Featherstone who is headed to BAMA baby! SO cool! Proud of you buddy! You are absolutely going to KILL it down there in the south! That's where the Lord needs you no doubt. I'm still thinking through the fact that I may have to start cheering on Nick Saban and the rest of those Bama punks who win every year... we'll see... we'll see.

Speaking of Noah's mission call. It was SO good to skype and see you all! I was only able to talk to Mom, Dad, and Noah but as for the rest of you... I still love you just as much så inga bekymmer!

Whew... this week has been a busy one. But I have absolutely LOVED every second of it. Haha Elder Halterman is probably Featherstone material. He could definitely be a Feathy. So... it's been a good ride these past few weeks with him here in Utby.

Last Tuesday we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with a man named Peter. We brought a member named Fredrik that we're super close with. His wife Jenny was just baptized. We taught Peter and he absolutely loved it! We taught him a little about the Book of Mormon and how he can know it's true. Fredrik bore just a powerhouse testimony of the truthfulness and how he found out and it was just prime. NAILED IT! While we were teaching and testifying, Peter would randomly open his Book of Mormon and start taking notes in the front cover. The pressure was on. After the lesson, we challenged him to read Alma 32, pray and ask God if it was true, and then write down his thoughts and feelings after the prayer. After we left, we walked to the cars with Fredrik. He gave us a big hug and thanked us for asking him to come because he hadn't taught with the missionaries in over four years so overall, it was an incredible experience.

Switching gears here for a second. I don't know why, but for some reason, all the Swedes wear american professional sports apparel. The funny thing is that they have ZERO idea what team they're repping. SO... that's where I come in...

"Excuse me, sorry, I just have to ask. Is that a Orlando Magic basketball jersey?"

"Ha... uhhh... yeah it is actually."

"Oh alright! Super cool! Do you like that team or is it just a jersey."

"Ehhhh... it's just a jersey. I've seen like two games on TV though!"

"Nice! That's sweet! I was just curious because I come from the U.S. and I don't see much American basketball here."

*Then... you just wait until their curiosity eats away at them and why a stranger from America that likes basketball and is wearing a white shirt and tie is talking to you.*

"So... uh... what are you doing here in Sweden? Are you studying"

"Haha... good question..." *BAM Restoration.

That same conversation probably occurred around 6 to 7 times this week. Whew... I guess all those days watching SportsCenter and ESPN finally paid off.

Thursday was probably one of my favorite days on the mission so far. Elder Halterman and I did not have one thing set up the ENTIRE day. SO... what we decided to do was just hit the streets. We went out at about noon to this new area we found in our area called Olskroken. It is the most central Göteborg you can get in our area. We parked the car, said a prayer for the Lord to help us do what he would want us to do, put on our game faces, and went to SHRED! It was the coolest. We had a couple super neat talks with people. I just get this TIDAL WAVE of motivation and energy when I get the chance to go out and contact for a couple hours. It's the coolest. We'll see if President Graff would be up for a little contacting in Olskroken this weekend with me. ;) But I think it's so amazing how the Lord can build you up and turn you into something bigger because he needs you to fill a specific role in that time. That's how I feel every time I go out to contact. The first contact of the day is TERRIFYING. So scary. BUT... the blessing from opening my mouth is so apparent, and the Lord gives me the energy and the enthusiasm that I need to help these people that we talk to. Back again to "The Lord's Way." The Lord will bless us AFTER we show our faith. Sometimes we want help to do, but I think the Lord's way is to help us KEEP doing, help us retain the remission of our sins, and help us keep enduring, which all comes after we show our faith, trust in him, and ACT.

During those hours on Thursday, we contacted two guys and then right out of the shoots they said, "Woah, woah, woah... you guys... we don't want ANYTHING to do with your church." I just laughed and said, "Why is that fellas?" "Nahhh... we don't want anything to do with your many wives and yeah... sorry guys... not our thang." They just kept walking away from us and I ran back over to them and said, "Woah, woah, woah... guys... just listen to me for a second. That's not our church." "Nah... you guys are Mormons right?" "Yeah dude... I promise... that's not us... I have one Mom I promise. One Dad too. haha" "...... Oh... alright then... then what church are you with?" We ended up speaking with Issac and David for the next twenty minutes. Issac was born in Sweden but comes from Ethiopia and then David comes from Lebanon. They were the coolest! Next thing I knew, we were talking about the Book of Mormon and teaching the Restoration to them. THEN, on top of that, Issac said that he plays basketball and that he wants to play with us sometime. HALLELUJAH! It was so dang cool! I was lovin' it! We taught them and then got his number. We're going to ball and teach them both later in the week.

Like, 20 minutes after that, we contacted a girl named Caroline. Elder Halterman stopped her and said, "Hey! We're talking to people about this book." Before he could get anything else out, Caroline said, "Well... tell me about the book then." My eyes just got wide and I was just thinking, "Wow... uhhh... alright... that's not the usual response we get. But sure! Here we go!" Caroline is a student at the university right now in Göteborg and she was so cool! Turns out that she has been living and studying all over the world and she's religious too. She said she is searching for something but doesn't really know what right now. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she LOVED it. We are going to meet with her during the week so we're excited about that.

SO much is happening right now here in Utby! We are being blessed so much right now.

Funny happening of the week. After Zone Conference... (you'll read more about that below) Sister Beckstrand came up to me after I bore my farewell testimony and told me that I she's not going to let me leave Sweden. There is a joke in the mission that our MTC group that came to Sweden with the Beckstrands is the "favorite group." Kinda like the favorite child because we were the first-born group under the reign of the Beckstrands. Anywho... Sister Beckstrand told me that Elder Israelsen, Elder Archibald, (two of my mission heroes) and Elder Featherstone are now known in her book as "The 3 Nephites." haha I love her.

This week, we also had Zone Conference here in Göteborg. The entire Malmö zone came up to Göteborg and it was INCREDIBLE! I'm really going to miss zone conferences. That was my last one on the mission which was super sad. And because it was my last one, I gave my farewell testimony to the mission. I love this mission. I love these people. It's going to be hard to leave. I know I still have two full months but it's going to go fast. Just want you all to know that I love my mission. I've loved everything about it and I have come to know that Christ's organization is back on the earth in it's fullness and that he lives. He really does. This work is his work, and there is nothing that I would rather to than be out here on his team working together to help my brothers and sisters here. I love my mission.

I hope you all have an incredible week! Keep doin' WORK! Make it happ'n capt'n. I love you all!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Bohus Fästning last P-day 

The Utby crew from the past three weeks

"Elder Featherstone, I can't carry it for you. But I can carry you!"

More Bohus Fästning...

Climbing the wall

My alarm on Wednesday morning... 

Feathy selfie baby!!

Sankt Pauli Kyrka i Göteborg på den shredding torsdagen

Random selfie at Zone Conference feat. President Beckstrand.

Zone Conference with the Swedish legend Äldste Svensson

Elder Rhoades. haha MTC group baby!

Äldste Päärkä the fin. Love this kid. 

Äldste Kendall and Äldste Hemmingsen... these kids are the real deal. 

How many texts we get after an hour lesson. haha ridiculous!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Email #90


Holy schnikees! Talk about an incredible week here in Göteborg!
"Göteborg, Göteborg, den här underbara plats. Ooooo!" Elder Halterman
and I are having a complete RIOT together! We've really been getting
at it, working hard, and we've just been having some good clean fun.
You could say it's the #dreamteam

Anywho... as said... everything is just great here in Göteborg. This
place has the reputation for being the city in Sweden were people are
actually nice. Haha I've been lovin' it here. The ward is incredible
and we've seen some HUGE changes in the work which gets me PUMPED!
Gotta love it!

Well... last Monday we received a text from the Assistants extending a
challenge for every companionship to work towards a goal: Every
companionship gets an additional baptismal date during the week. Last
time the Assistants extended a challenge like this, baptismal dates
doubled in the mission. In the past three months, the number of
baptismal dates in the mission has tripled. Could it really be The
Second Harvest? Coincidence? I think NOT! Well... Elder Halterman and
I took the challenge to heart and we were going to do it. We set
goals, planned it out, got out eye-paint out, and we hit the streets.
We had nine people who we wanted to get baptismal dates with at the
beginning of the week, and then lessons fell through one... by... one.
By Thursday, we hadn't been able to get a baptismal date so we really
prayed and asked the Lord to help us make it. Saturday came and we met
with our Icelandic brotha, Jeff. He's such a stud! We taught him and
his girlfriend about the Restoration and it went super well. Elder
Halterman and I have really been focusing on not using "filler words"
and saying things that have worth instead of just trying to fill the
time. We asked the Lord for his help, we did our part, and the Lord
blessed us. The goal for Jeff is going to be April 30. We're really
going to be working for that date so please keep him in your prayers!

On Thursday, we went on splits to do one of my favorite things in
Sweden. We went over to L.M. Engström (a high school here in down-town
Göteborg) and taught a class of juniors about our religion. We had
SUCH a RIOT! So much fun. We were just laughing together, having a
super good talk, and we felt super good about the entire experience
there. Total blast with the kids and we're hoping to meet up with a
couple of them and teach them more! The selfie we took with the class
that I'll send is CLASSIC!

OH... super sweet! Do you all remember the lady I talked about a
couple weeks back named Gittan? She's now investigating the church
with her husband and we had a SWEET lesson with her and her husband.
We took the bishop's wife with us to the lesson and Syster Tittus and
Gittan just hit it off! They're best friends now so we're super stoked
for what's happening with that.

In other news, Elder Featherstone has been asked to sing a duet with
Elder Halterman in Sacrament Meeting next week. Yes, you heard that
right. He will not even touch the ivory. Talk about a change! It'll be
the debut for the un-trained voice, but we'll have further news coming
next week with a re-cap of the performance.

OH... random fact of the week. The other morning, we went out to kick
field goals for exercise and I hit a 40 yarder! It may not have been
the prettiest thing in the entire world but it went in! Haha It's
become my new favorite thing. Elder Halterman and I are going to go do
it a couple more times this week.

#2 random fact of the week... I probably ate the most foreign thing
since I've been on my mission. This week, Elder Halterman and I were
munching down on cow heart and cow tail. Haha our boy Uche hooked us
up with the goods! I'll send a picture of the occasion.

As well... I would like to acknowledge all of my Poelman family
participating in the March Madness. Man, I'll be honest, I do miss the
beloved trash talk of my own flesh and blood. May the best Poelman
win! As of now, as one of the Lord's full-time missionaries, I will
abstain from any trash-talk until March of 2017. For now, I send my
Swedish love to all of you and wish you the best of luck.

While we're talking about news back in America. I heard that Dad is
walking with a cane now. Hmmm... reminded me of a talk that Grandpa
gave in General Conference and a little snippet. It goes like this...
"Henry Eyring, a leading scientist and a great teacher who recently
passed away, would have contests with his students. Even in his
mid-sixties he could standing broad jump to the top of his desk. He
challenged university students to a thirty- or forty-yard foot race.
One day just a few short years before he died, he was in the Church
Administration Building. His brother-in-law, President Spencer W.
Kimball, came out of his office and saw Henry Eyring standing there
with a cane. He said, “Henry, what is the cane for?” And Henry Eyring
said, “Style, President, style.” No wonder he had such an influence on
the minds of young men all over the Church. He had “style.”" Dad...
keep reppin' the "style" alright? Love you pops!

Something that has been super neat that we've been doing recently is
going through a part-member family list and trying to help re-activate
people and help baptize their relatives. It's a pretty good "win-win"
combo there. When Elder Halterman and I are deciding on which name we
need to go by, we say a prayer to ask the Lord where he wants us to
go, and then we decided on a name together. It seems that we always
feel like we need to go by the same person. It's been incredible to
see how the Lord is guiding us to certain places and how we're being
tools in his hands here in this area. We've met so many people in
different places that I know were orchestrated by the Lord. This
really is his work.

Honestly, the work here is just BLOWING up! It's the coolest! Utby is
just killin' it right now and the Lord is blessing us with so much
success! The ward is on fire and the work is just going to go forward.
Hurrah Hurrah for Israel!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week! We'll see if I get to
see all of your faces when Noah opens his mission call this week!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone

A pano of Göteborg. The coolest place ever!

More scenic Göteborg...

Whenever we are home and missionaries call us to report baptismal
dates, we have a little toast party and celebrate the occasion.

L. M. Engström with the peeps. These kids were hysterical!! Haha such a RIOT!

Elevator selfie on the way to visit Azi!

Our boy Jeff! Mr. Iceland is his stage name! April 30th here we come!

Our cow heart/ cow tail party in Kung Älv with Uche!

A buddy named Colin took this randomly. Haha super epic. "Staring into the Lion's Den"

Colin is a buddy of Elder Halterman's that came to visit Göteborg. He's AMERICAN!

SVEN LUDWIG! This guy is probably my favorite to walk the streets of Göteborg någonsin!

The Bohus castle with Elder Päärkä. #STUD

Straight face with Jared and Jonathan. Love these kids!

This morning, we went to go grab something from a member at his work and we saw this. Skipped rocks for like 15 minutes. 

We were in-charge for the Young Men's activity this week. This is a couple of them. We ran "The Book of Mormon Relay." Göttmås vs. Det Persiska Laget

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Email #89

March 14, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

Hellooo my dear family...

Sounds like you had an incredible week! Sammy's wedding, some mission-call anticipation, and more of Sammy's wedding. If Sammy ends up reading this email, all I have to say is, "A job well done my boy. A job well done. #lavafallscrewforlyfe"

As far as Noah's mission-call anticipation, I think I'm more stoked than anyone else! I told Dad in my email to him that it's going to be a little like "Cinderella Man" when they're announcing James J. Braddock winning. "And the new..." *INSERT ROAR of the crowd*. You have been assigned to labor in the Swed... *INSERT ROAR of the crowd* Ahhhh... I cannot wait for that. It'll be pretty dang cool... we’ve got Scotland, Texas, Brazil, Tonga, Nauvoo, Sweden, and.... *TO BE CONTINUED* As far as my brotherly words to Noah go... "A job well done my boy. A job well done. #istillholdthedoubleshotrecord" haha love you buddy!

This week was INCREDIBLE! We had MLC again in Stockholm so we took a train that morning up to Stockholm, had MLC at the Mission Home in Täby, and then took a train back that night. It was SO good! We talked a lot about the new Easter video that the church has put out called Hallelujah! It's pretty neat! During MLC, I realized that I have been trying to help people find out which church is true when Swedes don't care about church at all. Swedes care about their families more than anything so Elder Halterman and I have really been pushing the Plan of Salvation and helping people realize that they can see their loved ones again. The new video isn't really an entertainer, but more of a teacher than anything. If you haven't seen it. DO IT!

On Friday, we had the entire Göteborg Zone come in to the city for Zone Training! Elder Halterman and I were in charge and I felt super good about how it went. We introduced the new Easter Initiative with the new video to the missionaries and then we talked about "The All-In Missionary." It was incredible and we had a great meeting together!

Later, I went on my final splits with my good friend Elder Lincoln Dent Archibald. The full name is necessary because this kid is a STUD! We had a ton of fun, worked hard, and did a lot of good together. In the MTC, people used to joke around about how Elder Archiblad was "Buzz-lightyear" and I was "Woody." It's crazy to think about how much has happened since then.

The rest of the week, Elder Halterman and I have been SHREDDING. We've been on the streets, talking with people, baptizing the world, and preaching the good word. Doesn't get much better than that. I am absolutely LOVIN' it right now! Göteborg is the name, The Restored Gospel is the game.

Hope you all know I love you! We'll see if I talk to you all this week for the big man's mission call. LOVES! And keep doin' WORK!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Lennart... talk about a stud!

Kebab Pizza for dinner... SO GOOD!

Sunday School lesson with the YSA!

MLC with the three generations. Elder Burton and Kendall.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Email #88

March 7, 2016
Göteborg, Sweden

Helllloooo family!

Whew baby... what a week! The Caped Crusader and The Boy Wonder have finally met up here in Utby. We haven't decided who is who but you could definitely say that this is THE dynamic duo here in Göteborg right now. Everything has just "clicked" and it's been such a blessing this past week. We've been able to do so much and we've really tried to set the tone for these next couple of weeks. Can I get a "whoop whoop?"

First of all, Elder Albertsen will be mad if I don't send him a S/O in my email because he's going to read this on the blog! SO.... S/O to the dane. Lööööövvs!

ANYWHO... we've had so many miracles take place during this week and the Lord has been so kind. Remember the man named Simon that I talked about last week? We contacted him on the street, taught him the Restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was the definition of being prepared. Anyway... he ended up not living in our area which is kinda lame but he's living in the other Utby elders' area so he'll still be close. Elder Williams and Reed called Simon last friday and asked if they could meet up. They set up a lesson for this coming Tuesday and then asked if he was able to read anything in the Book of Mormon. "Yeah... I have a little bit. I am at the end of Alma right now. It's very interesting and I've loved everything I've read so far!" How cool is that? He has literally read half of the book in 7 days! I'm excited to see what will happen with Simon!

Another super cool experience happened yesterday after church. We just finished having a new mission prep class that the bishop wanted us to start. During the lesson, we talked with the "prospect elders and sisters" and asked who wasn't there. We talked about a few names and that was it. But after the closing prayer, the coolest thing happened. We had two young men in the ward who stood up, looked at each other, and said, "Hey... let's go get Oliver and see if we can get him to come next week." They got a few young men together, hopped in the car, and drove to go get Oliver. It was the coolest! And that is how it should be done. When we say in the closing prayer in church, "Please help the people that weren't able to come this week that they can come next next week," we should say "Amen" and BE the way the members can come back. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:22-25) Our friends over at "Nike" said it best. "JUST DO IT." Let's be "doers of the work." Learned a huge lesson from Egon and Viktor that day.

Earlier this week, we talked to a lady named Gittan on the street. Now get this... Gitta is a name in Swedish. It's short for Birgitta. "Gittan"... with an "n" means "The Gitta." Kind of like "The Caleb." Haha anyway... you just need to know that she's the real deal. We contacted her on the street and she didn't seem super interested and started walking away, but I decided not to let her go and asked her why she wouldn't be interested. She walked back over to us and she didn't leave for the next 30 minutes. Next thing I knew, we were laughing together about the fact that our boy Donny Trump is a possible candidate for the presidency. Haha I have ZERO idea  if he won the candidacy for the republicans or not, but we won't talk about both religion and politics at the same time. Dangerous turf. It actually worked with Gittan though so maybe we will try to politic people into the message of the Restoration. (P.S. That's my thing to do. It's like my trademark... making nouns into verbs... so just roll with me alright? Sweet!) Anywho... we ended up talking to Gittan on the street for half an hour about the Book of Mormon and she LOVED it. We're going to go by her this week and teach her again. We talked to her and told her we'd bring a Mormons "bock" to her. Wrong choice of pronunciation because we meant to say "bok." We told her we'd bring her Mormon's Ram to her. Like a sheep. haha that's our little inside joke now. She's a super cool lady!

Well... that's about all the time I have this week. Elder Featherstone is a happy camper right now and there are a lot of INCREDIBLE things happening right now. I don't think I've ever looked more towards what's going to happen during a transfer. We're headed up to Stockholm on Tuesday for MLC (might be my last one... *tear drop*) and I'm excited for that. We'll have Zone Training on Friday and then splits with the Assistants on Friday and Saturday. It'll be a good week!

I love you all and I hope you have a "quacktastic" week. Make it happ'n capt'n! Be a DOER!

Strength and Honor

Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Hemma hos Lennart

Elder Albertsen's funeral on the mission.

We all wore black to fit the occasion.

Check out all this JUICE! #grocerystoreselfie

Sending off the Hawleys (a missionary couple) with some P-day bowling!

Selfie with Qais in Trollhättan!!

The Utby crew with Kirk, the ward mission leader. Love these kids.

A new convert in Utby named Azi! She's the funniest!

Dinner with the Wallentin crew. I love this family! Vikor (the one I talked about in the email) is the one in this picture! #STUD

Saying goodbye to Elder Albertsen before he hops on his train home. Too bad we're not looking at the same camera.

Waiting for Elder Reed with Elder Williams at the airport. Elder Bailey is in the terminal above us.

Hahaha.... uhhh... just having some fun.

The new Utby crew for this transfer! It's gonna be a RIOT!



Wallentin family! I love this family SO much!

My boys Uche and McQin at church yesterday. They're the greatest!

Droppping Elder Bailey off at the airport in Göteborg. Gonna miss this kid. #umeåbound