Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Email #99 - Final Entry

May 23, 2016
Skellefteå, Sweden

"Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel!"


Whew... I'm just getting teary eyed thinking about what I'm going to write in my final email of this adventure. This has been the most amazing and satisfactory experience and man, am I going to miss it all. The Lord has been so kind to allow me to serve him like this for two years.

This week has been incredible! Elder Kilton and I have worked our absolute tails off and we've been blessed so much! On my first day in Skellefteå, we sat down with the Branch President, Kjell, and asked him what he would like us to do during this next six week period. He told us that he felt inspired that we should knock a certain area, work from the church - eastward, and knock all the doors possible in that area. Knock them all. SO... this week, we absolutely knocked the tar out of that area and it was incredible! During the past week, we've found over 20 individuals/families that are interested in hearing more about the message we have. And every single one of them is SWEDISH! Talk about a miracle! We taught each one of them the Restoration or the Plan of Salvation, and they want us to come back. We were only able to follow-up with one of them so far and he is incredibly positive! I have absolutely LOVED this past week and I think it could deliver more fruit than any other week of my mission. I know Elder Kilton and Johnson will cap it off and I know amazing things are going to happen here.

On Saturday and Sunday, we had Stake Conference up here in Umeå with all of Norrland and it was phenomenal! I was able to meet all of my Umeå members again and it was the neatest thing. During President Beckstrand's talk in the conference, he asked me to stand up and bear my testimony for the members of Norrland. I love these people so much. It's probably going to be harder to leave Sweden than when I left the states two years ago. I bore my testimony of the Second Harvest, that it's happening right now, and that the Lord guides his work. This week, the Sweden Stockholm Mission was able to baptize ten converts during one weekend. That is more converts than this country has ever had during a single weekend in the history of the Restored Gospel. It's happening now. The Lord is hastening his work. And it's been such a blessing to be a part of it.

I've never told the family this, but when I was 12, we lived in the house across the street from the church. I remember one day, I was thinking about how I wanted to serve a mission. Back then, I thought it would be seven years away but it ended up being only six. I was thinking about how bad I wanted to serve a mission and how bad I wanted to serve the Lord for two years. I was scared that the Lord would take me early and I wouldn't get the chance here in this mortal life. I got down on my knees next to my bed, and plead with the Lord, that he would allow me to serve a full-time mission when the time came. I didn't care what would happen after, I just wanted to serve. With tears streaming down my face, I felt a confirmation and the Lord telling me that I would be able to do it one day.

Back in Södertälje, I remember studying one morning. I was thinking a lot and I just leaned back in my chair to just think. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me so I walked into the bedroom, closed the door, fell on my knees, and sobbed because of the opportunity the Lord had given me to serve a full-time mission. I thought back to when I was 12 and I was in the same position, by my bed, weeping like a little baby. In my last FHE, I remember Brian telling me how fast the mission was going to be, and to just focus on the work and "go" because you will be back home before you know it. I vividly remember him emphasizing how important a mission is and how much it can help you in your life. I wanted to come back, feeling like the Lord had accepted my offering, and knowing that I gave all I had. Brian seemed to love his mission so much and I looked at him and thought, "I want that love for the people. I want that love for the country. And I want that love for the work." A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Greg talking about how important these last few weeks are and how important "Enduring to the End" is. I hung it above my desk and looked at it everyday. The thing that hit me the hardest was when Greg said that the mission homestretch is "a defining time period." I always wanted to be missionaries like Dad, like Greg, like Brian, like Preston, and define myself as a disciple of Jesus Christ forever. I have tears in my eyes thinking about the day I'll have to leave these people in this country. I love these people. I love this country with all of my heart. And most important, I love my Savior. He lived and died and lived again for me. Christ isn't a man who lived two thousand years ago. He's the Savior of the world and he lives today. I know that now. It doesn't matter what the world has said, says now, or will say, his church is back. And he leads it. I want to be "all in" for the Savior for the rest of my life. And I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity he's given me to serve.

I love you all so much. I can't wait until I can see you again. It will be an amazing experience. Thank you family for your prayers, and your support while I've been out on the Lord's errand. It's true. It's all true. I love you. I love Him. I love this work. What a cause we are enlisted in!!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel!

Strength and Honor
Elder Caleb Hendrik Featherstone
Tracting this past week! WAHOO!
The classic "Elder Burton" picture pose. haha
Elder Bailey and I on the buss. This kid is one of my best friends. I'm really going to miss him.
Elder Cox and I! This elder is one of the most loving people I know! One of the most incredible District Leaders I've known.

Bailey o Feathy round 2 at District Meeting in Luleå

 Our investigator Samson! Absolute STUD! Gonna miss this kid.

The process of my "death" as a missionary...  

Yahaaa... gotcha!!
Wait what??

Noooooooooo!!! I'm hit!... dead.

Elder Kilton and I... "on the waterrrrr... OH" ... I'll explain that when I get home. #nashvilletribute
                                                   Staying the night with Umeå and Sundsvall!

  Boden, Umeå, and Skellefteå on the way to Stake Conference! Love these fällas!

Elder Featherstone: "President Palm! Is it alright if I take a picture with you?"
Håkan Palm: "Of course my boy! Should we take a selfie??"
Elder Featherstone: "hahaha... you got it!"
When Grandpa V came to Sweden in 1973, he stayed at Håkan Palm's house in Borlänge! 
Grandpa V! Håkan says hi! 

The boys in Umeå! Älskar de här killarna!
Elder Chugg o Elder Bailey at Stake Conference!

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