Saturday, May 14, 2016

Email #97

May 8, 2016
Skellefteå, Sweden

"Righteous Hustling" - Putting the focus on "The One."


Whew baby! Talk about another week here in the lands of the north! Skellefteå is the name. Missionary work is the game. Here's a quick update on a couple of this week's events...

This week has been the coolest! A ton of fun, the weather has been SO prime, and we've been talking to the Swede's on the streets and in their homes... alll weeeekkk. It's been good though. A normal day in Sweden would probably look like this:

Morning stuff and studies 6:30 AM to 10:00

Go out and do some "shredding" from 10:00 AM until sometime where we come back and...

Eat lunch and study language for two hours

Do more shredding on the streets until 5 PM

Eat dinner from 5 PM until 6 PM

Knock for the rest of the night...

We have been meeting SO many people and we've been having a ton of super sweet experiences with them all. This week there was a huge festival in town promoting anti-racism and we were able to meet all the people we usually do, but in the MASSES! We've met people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan, Somalia, Uganda, The Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, and Yemen. Whew... still with me? Alright cool! It's a lot of countries! Hey speaking of countries! Have you ever heard of an area called "The Middle East?" Yeah... you could probably nickname Sweden as "Little Middle East" with all of it's refugees and immigrants. It's the coolest! I have grown to love these people and we've had some great success with them in the church. This has been a part of the Lord's plan to help these people receive the Restored Gospel and it's been amazing to be a part of it all. Anywho... It's been a pretty solid schedule for the last four weeks and you know what? We got two more weeks of it so buckle down, pony up, strap yourself in, and get ready because there are lives to touch!

In other news, the weather is starting to get better here in Skellefteå. Do you know what that means? If you thought anything like, "flowers start to bloom, grass turns green, or the like" yes... yes... "you are correct sir." BUT... it ALSO means that people start playing basketball! Which means that there are people to hustle. Now listen here... the word "hustle" usually has a bad connotation but I'm gonna help you understand the term known as "righteous hustling." Haha it goes like this... This week, we were on our way to talk to more people on the streets in town but I happened to notice a game of immigrant basketball taking place. SO... I went over and said, "Alright fellas... if we win, you listen our message about Christ. If you win, I'll buy you a pizza. (which... in turn... still ends up with them listening to our message about Christ.)" They kinda chuckled and said, "Alright kid... you got it! Deal!" And we shook on it. SO... we played, and ended up LOSING. WHAT? Good thing it was "first one to five games to two points." haha I was a little ticked inside so I said, "Elder Kilton, we have a lesson we have to be to in 30 minutes. It takes us 20 minutes to bike there so we really gotta hustle and beat these guys. Game face!" SO... we balled em all up in about ten minutes as I said, "Alright... we won... but we'll have to teach you another time." And laughed and said, "You got it! Same place. Same time. Next week." Hence the term... "righteous hustling." It ended up happening again later in the week. Gotta love it! I don't have my "twin towers" partner Scottie Tew to side bump with so I taught Elder Kilton the ways and he's filling the role although he's only 5'6".

Earlier in the week, I got a call from a good mission pal, Elder Burton. He said that a member named Fidelis (who is from Nigeria but was baptized in Södertälje) was moving up to Skellefteå and would be a member here now. Fidelis was taught in Skellefteå, then he moved to Södertälje, and is now moving back. He will make a huge contribution to the branch up here and he could be the key to starting everything back up. We called Fidelis up and decided to meet on Saturday. Thinking it would be just Fidelis, we ended up running into our investigator Samson, and Samson's buddy, Jeff (We'll say it was "Jeff"). We stood there and just talked for a little while and Jeff was super interested in what we had to say. He even said that he wanted to get baptized!! We got to know Jeff a little better and he was the coolest guy! We found out that he lived in a refugee camp with Samson and that they had almost nothing to live off of. Jeff said he didn't have "this", and "that", and I was heart broken. I just thought that everyone had those type of things. Jeff lives in a place called Jörn and he has just enough money to come to Skellefteå twice a month. He just sits in his room in the refugee camp all day and does nothing. Later, we sat down and taught Jeff about the Book of Mormon and about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved it and asked if he could have the book. I said, "Jeff... it's all yours buddy!" He said, "Thanks man! I'll try to come to church tomorrow. Even if the bus only comes until 12 and I'll be there for 10 minutes of church." Probably one of the most humble people I have ever met. Then he looked at me with a embarrassed look on his face and quietly said, "Hey, Elder Featherstone, do you have any extra undies? I don't have enough money to buy any. No one knows I don't wear but I just wear my one pair of jeans." I didn't have any money on me so I couldn't go buy him some right then, but I said, "Jeff, I'll go buy you another pair of pants and some undies tomorrow." Nothing I had would fit him. We had previously said that we were on our way to the apartment to eat lunch but I thought it would be best to stay with him for a little while, even though our numbers wouldn't be as good, even though we wouldn't be able to talk to more people, I decided I'd try to make the absolute most of his time here in Skellefteå. We were with each other for a little while and then he had to go back to Jörn. On our way back to the apartment, I just said a little prayer to Heavenly Father and thanked him for sending me to a home with the Gospel, with a mother and a father, and with food in the cupboards. I know I couldn't do everything for Jeff, but I could do what I could, and God could help him the rest of the way. We just tried to focus on "the one."

Maybe you can all try something this week! Pray and ask for an opportunity to serve someone and really just focus on "the one." I promise it'll come faster than you think so keep your eyes peeled.

On Sunday, we gave the Sunday School lesson and it was on the Book of Mormon. Can I just say that I love that book? I know I've said it a thousand times but I know that book is true and I've been able to get to know the Savior better through that book. Not just know who he was and what he did, but know HIM, what he is, and what he does today. It's true.

I love you all so much. I hope you all know that. Elder Featherstone loves his family. Mom, Dad, thank you for teaching us the Gospel and for all of those wonderful monday nights at FHE.

Hurrah for Israel!  
Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone  
I finally did it! I finally walked through one of my pairs of shoes! I left the other one in Utby because it was too damaged! 
Ran into Tistou who is a member from Umeå! Such a stud!

Ice-cream with the birthday boys at Therese's house. Elder Kilton's birthday was on the 6th! Super funny!

Elevator selfie with Therese! 

Balloon "light-saber" fight at Specialized Zone Training in Umeå. Elder Featherstone o Bailey vs. Elder Mott.

District Picture in Skellefteå with the ZLs and Elder Bailey/Kilton fighting on top

"Righteous Hustling" round 1. One point to the Skellefteå elders!

On the bus to Umeå for Specialized Zone Training in my "Malcom X" glasses.

The "Nougat Pillow Party" with the Boden elders. This cereal is the greatest! I'll tell you more when I get home! haha

Mid-shot dance party to EFY music with Elder Bailey in Skellefteå. haha #boyband

Knockin' the doors" feat. Skellefteå äldsterna

Ran into the dude from Halo! haha Elder Kilton was freaking out!

My boys Charles, Samson, and Fidelis. Charles taught us a little bit of "Pigeon English" this week. haha SO COOL! 

"How fa man?" #pigeonenglish

                              Love these kids! 

A text from our mission mom. Haha I love Sister Beckstrand! She's the greatest!

Missionaries... "Vi hjälper dig må bra." - Direct translation is "We help you feel good!" 


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