Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Email #84 - Another Transfer Gone

April 16, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Family! How are you all doing?! I sure hope all is well and that you've had a great week. This week has been a pretty normal week as a missionary. We knocked a lot of doors, talked to a lot of people at Walmart, street contacted a little bit, and taught a few lessons. It's been a great time. Elder Briggs and I have been laughing non-stop! It's been a riot! So I have to say, everyone that we talk to asks, "Are you two brothers? You look exactly the same..." And Elder Briggs and I will look at each other thinking the same thing, "You're kidding right? We look nothing alike..." But everyone insists that we are brothers! You name it and they've said that to us, Bishop, Ward Council, All the members, investigators, potential investigators, missionaries, every random old joe on the street. EVERYONE! We've at least been told that 50 times this last transfer. It's been hysterical! haha! And that's not an exaggeration which is the funny part. Maybe once a day someone will say that to us. It's either that or they say, "Are you related to Vaughn J. Featherstone?" Such an amazing thing to come to the places where my grandfather has been and served and that I can meet these people and serve them as well.

So we had a really cool experience this week. We were on exchanges with the Elders in the Huntsville Spanish Branch and we were biking out to see an investigator. As we rode into this apartment complex we past a former investigator that was taught about 6 months ago. He was getting out of his car, so we stopped and said hi. He said, "You guys haven't been by to see me in a minute." Here in Alabama a minute could mean a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a month, a year, a decade... you get the point. Anyway, he said, "Hey I gotta get the kids situated but can you come over in like 5 minutes?" We told him yes, so we knocked a few doors and then went over and he let us on in. We taught him the Restoration and he committed to read the Book of Mormon! He was SO excited about it! It was super amazing! It was as if he didn't really understand what we were teaching the first time but the second time he let us in, he understood everything! It was super super cool! Sometimes I see that people aren't ready at one moment but they will be ready later. The Lord is preparing people to hear His message. Some may be ready now, but others in a month, and others in a year. It's all on the Lord's timetable. This is His work and His glory. I have learned to love the Lord more as I have been a missionary. He really is our Savior and as missionaries, we represent our Savior. What a privilege it is to wear the Savior's name over my heart everyday. It's amazing. 

Well it's transfer time again. So I'm staying here in the Byrd Springs Ward with Elder Briggs for another transfer! So we are super super excited! It'll be fun! Love you all! Have a great week! Keep kickin' tail and remember.... ROLL TIDE!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Email #83 - A Week of Revelation

April 9, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Hello Family! I hope that all has been going well this week. It sounds like it's been quite the week... I sure am grateful for tender mercies from above.

So this week was another great one. We had many amazing experiences. One of the best experiences of this week was at our Multi-Zone Conference with Elder Klebingat of the Seventy. He mentioned a few really amazing things. So I want to share a few of them quickly with y'all!
1) We made premortal covenants to gather Israel. Just think about that. We promised the Lord that we would serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength as both missionaries and members. That was an amazing thought that had never crossed my mind before.
2) He answered a specific question that I had that was rather specific but it was amazing that it was one of the topics that he discussed. I always wondered why the first missionaries in this dispensation went to Europe. Why couldn't they just do missionary work here in the US? Well it all goes back to the Gathering of Israel. When the Lord scattered the tribes, he knew where they went. He was never confused. He knew that Ephraim had the charge of preparing the earth for the coming of the Lord. So that's why he sent the missionaries there to convert those of the line of Ephraim in Europe. The large portion of his lineage was in Europe so that's why It was so important for the missionaries to go there first. So in 2018, I would be able to be a part of that great charge. To help bring His children home. How amazing is that?! Elder Klebingat definitely helped us see the big picture and why the work of the Lord is so important.
Those were two of my favorite things at Zone Conference. It really was a revelatory experience to be a part of. There were many answers to prayers that I received by way of the Spirit.

Last night we had an amazing experience as well. We had a goal for new investigators and we were 2 investigators short. So we didn't know how we were going to make it happen and find 2 more of God's children that want to hear more about our message. So we went tracting and knocked and knocked and nobody... So if got about time to leave and we said okay... We have to find one person! So we kept going and... We knocked into a man named John. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and he committed to read it. It was a super cool experience! Then today while we were doing our shopping we ran into him! Haha! It was super super funny! He is a great guy though! That was definitely an answer to prayer and one way that the Lord showed us this week that this is His work we are participating in.

I hope you are all just doing quacktastic! Have a great week! And remember, there is no time for sleep, when you're gathering sheep.

Strength and Honor
Elder Noah Featherstone

Exchanges with Elder Lewis! He is the man!
Zone Conference!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Email #82 - A New Age

April 2, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Hello!!! How has your week been?? It's been quite the week here in Alabama. We received our smartphones this week and it has been very interesting... We have been doing a lot of Facebook messaging with investigators and all that good stuff. We were able to have a Skype call with Meleah the other night and that was a very cool experience. We taught her the Word of Wisdom. It's pretty crazy all the new stuff we can do to help our investigators with these smart phones. This really is a New Age of Missionary Work. The Lord is hastening His work.

So anyways! General Conference! Wow! I was blown away... The changes that are being made are going to be amazing! I'm really looking forward to all that will be happening. I want to add my thoughts to the conference meeting. I loved Uncle Brian's talk it was something that was a great reminder for me. One thought that I had was that when we truly know that we are divine sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we know where our power lies and we know that we can do all through Him. The knowledge of being children of God can profoundly bless our lives when we truly come to know that for ourselves. Pretty amazing. Another talk that I loved was President Nelson at the end. When we live in a way that we are able to receive spiritual promptings from the Holy Ghost, we can be led in a divine way. We will experience joy when we listen to the quiet whispers of the still, small voice. He will help us know how we can follow the Savior more exactly. 

I love General Conference because it's an opportunity we have to be led and guided. We can receive the revelation we need for the next 6 months. When we listen to the spirit, he will tell us the things we need to know. The things we can improve on and who we can reach out to. 

One last thing that came to my mind is the sacrament. Are we repenting daily of our shortcomings? Are we truly striving every day to come closer to the Lord? 

I love this gospel and I love the Lord. I pray for y'all every day. Have a great week. Love you all!

Strength and Honor

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

-Elder Noah Featherstone

All the amigos at our Technology Training this week

 Elder Devereaux and I on exchanges

Mr. Piddles and I. He doesn't like to snuggle...

El "Chubascote" y yo

Monday, March 26, 2018

Email #81 - Prophets are Called of God

March 26, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Hello!!! How is everyone?? I've heard a lot of fun stuff that has been happening this week. Sounds like it was a riot! Makes me happy to hear about all the good stuff going on! Well... This week was just like every other week. A completely stellar time!

We had one of the greatest experiences ever this week. We were visiting a less active family and they have a grandson named Aren that we've been trying to teach and this week we finally had the opportunity to sit down with him and the rest of the family. He is 8 years old but he will turn 9 in about 2 months. So as we were teaching the Restoration, we talked a little about Prophets. His Grandma spoke up and said, "Do you remember the story of Noah and the Arc?" "No... What's that?" She tried to refresh his memory a little bit and then Aren spoke up and said, "Oh yeah! I remember him! He was the one that saved all the animals! and the reason that we don't have unicorns any more is because he forget to let them in the boat!" We couldn't help but laugh! He is such a bright kid. We are super excited for him. He came to church for the first time yesterday with his Grandma and Grandpa. So that was great to see them at church. We were sitting in the row in front of them in Sacrament Meeting and I heard him say to his Grandma, "Can I go sit with the missionaries?" So he ended up sitting with us. ha! He's the man!

This week we had an amazing lesson with Meleah. We taught the lesson at the Hess Family's home. We taught about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It was a great lesson and the Hess' shared some wonderful insights with her. As well, in a neighboring ward here in Huntsville, there was a convert baptismal service and we invited Meleah to come. She loved it! It was a great service and she just ate it up. So we are excited for her. She has a baptismal date for this Saturday but it'll get pushed back because we still have a few more lessons to teach her. 

One other cool experience we had last night. We were having dinner with the Wright Family and Brother Dietrich. They are all elderly and live together so they invited us over to dinner. As we were wrapping up, we started to share our spiritual thought that we had prepared with them. They have been going through a lot of stressful times and things of that nature. Health problems, family problems, and all of the above. Usually we share some sort of scripture with an invitation for them to do a little missionary work of there own, but as I started to speak up and pull out my scriptures I felt like we should do otherwise. I opened up my scriptures to the last verse in the Book of Enos. I shared with them the last line of this scripture. It says, " Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." I then bore my testimony of the reality of that scripture. They are such great examples to the ward, to their families, and to all that they come in contact with. We thanked them for the support they are to us, and for being steadfast in our Savior. As we started to end Elder Briggs spoke up, and said, "Also, we are preparing to perform this musical number at Zone Conference next week and we'd like to play it for you if that would be okay." They jumped at the idea. So as I played the piano for Elder Briggs, you could feel the spirit in abundance in the room. As we finished we looked back at them and they were all in tears. It was exactly what they needed. It was an amazing experience. Brother Dietrich jumped up and gave us both big hugs and said, "Thank you for being diligent servants of the Lord." The Members here are amazing. Alabama definitely has my heart.

I look forward to General Conference this weekend and to know that as we all sustain our new prophet President Nelson, I will be raising my hand along side with each of my family members. I know that we have a prophet who leads and guides this church. I know that he is the mouthpiece for God on the earth right now. As we listen to our Priesthood Leaders we will be following the Savior's counsel. "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." 

I love you all and you will be in my prayers this week. And as we always say here in the ABM. There's no time to sleep... when you're gathering sheep. Love you all! 

Strength and Honor & ROLL TIDE

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

-Elder Noah Featherstone

Teaching the Plan of Salvation to the McMahon Family!

Food Glorious FOODDDDD!!!

Elder Briggs cleaning this morning. haha! I needed pictures to send home.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Email #80 - Spiritual Promptings from the Lord

March 19, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Heyooo! How is everything? I heard all about Goblin Valley! Sounds like it was a riot! I loved all of the pictures and videos! Y'all are the best! 

This week was another good one. Elder Briggs and I have been really busy. We had a few amazing experiences knocking doors this week in the same place... So I guess it's a holy land here in Huntsville! ha! But anyways... a little background on the story. Last transfer Elder Damaso and I had knocked a few doors in this apartment complex but nothing really came of it. When Elder Briggs got here we decided we'd give it another shot. So we continued knocking where we left off. After we had said a prayer in the car, we got out and started walking to a specific building to start. As we got about 10 steps away from the car I stopped, realizing that I had already knocked that building so we moved onto the next building. As we walked in, we decided let's start at the top. So we go upstairs and start knocking this door with a balcony that looks over to the bottom of the stairs. After we knocked the first time, someone walks in the bottom door and is checking her mail at the mailboxes on one side of the entrance. We were really quiet... At the moment, I was thinking, "Should I knock this door and make it super super awkward and just go for it? or just be silent until she leaves?" So I decided what the heck! I knocked and she just immediately looked up at us... So we just kind of looked and said, "Hey how's it going?" And she said, "good? Why you knocking on my door?" So we went into the whole schpeal and she started to tear up. She said, "I have been going through so much in my life and it's more than a miracle that I have y'all right here right now. I only check the mail once every 2 weeks and I never come in the front door, I always go in the back. This is the only time you would catch me. I can't help but think that God is watching over me." It was an amazing experience. Most people don't see that, but it was amazing to see how she could feel of God's love for her in that moment. 

We had another experience knocking in that same apartment complex on Saturday evening. We had been knocking doors for about 2 hours at this point and we decided that it was about time to leave. So we finished up and had not seen much happen. Most people were shut off and just ignored us. As we started driving away, we drove past a specific building that for some reason stuck out to me and I felt like we needed to knock that building, but I didn't say anything to Elder Briggs. He all of the sudden said, "One more." I said, "What?" "We've gotta knock one more building." So I was kind of weirded out a little and said, "Okay?" So he said, "Let's go back to where we were knocking and knock the next building so we don't lose track of where we have knocked. So we go back and nothing. Everyone said no. So we start driving off again and I said to Elder Briggs, "We need to knock this building." It was the same building that I had felt like we should knock before but I ignored the prompting. I had felt the same thing again and I thought I can't let this one slip away. Someone needs us. So we knock and nothing. We get to the last door, and this man opens up. His name is Barry Jones. We got talking to him about college and things because he had an Alabama A&M T-Shirt on. As we got chatting he said, "I made a new years resolution that I wanted to come closer to my Savior this year. How can I do that?" My mind was blown... We kept talking to him about the gospel and he asked a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon. We ended up inviting him to Church and we are going back tomorrow to see him. It was an amazing experience to see how the Lord directs His work. I felt bad that I had ignored the first prompting so I knew that I needed to go knock those doors when I received the same prompting a second time. I am beyond grateful that the Lord gave me a second chance on that one. 

I know that this it the Lord's work. I know that He leads and guide this church and that we have a living prophet today. It's all true. This is the Lord's kingdom. I love you all. I pray that the Lord will watch over each of you as you go about serving others and are steadfast disciples of our Savior. I love you all! Have a great week.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Email #79 - Alabama, the Greatest Place on Earth

March 12, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Hello Family! It sounds like it's been quite the week! I love hearing about all
the great experiences y'all are having. This week was a great one in the
mission as well! First off, Alabama is the greatest place on earth
(other than the temple). So I guess the Alabama Birmingham Temple is the
greatest place on earth! ha! Everything has been great here.

This week was definitely a busy one. We had Transfers on Wednesday
and I sent Elder Damaso off to Tennessee to be reunited with his family,
and I got a new companion. My new/old companion is Elder Briggs. He is
the man! So when I came back out to the mission after having surgery I was
in a Trio because my trainer, Elder Messick, had started training another
missionary at the same time. So Elder Briggs and I were getting trained
together back in Albertville. So we are back together again! How crazy is
that?! It's been a completely riot together. We've just been laughing our
heads off the majority of the time. ha! So it's been an exciting week.
On Friday we had to be in Birmingham for a meeting, and on Saturday
we went with a few ward members to a Stake Service Project at Camp
Hulaco. It's a girls camp that is run by the stake and we were out there
fixing up the camp and pulling weeds and all that good stuff! It was a
great time. It's definitely been a great week.

We were able to visit with Meleah on Saturday with a family in the ward.
It was an amazing lesson. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We went
through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost,
and Enduring to the End, and as we did this family shared their baptismal
experiences, and some experiences with the Holy Ghost in their lives.
It was a great lesson. It was amazing to see how when the members
testified of the experiences they have had and the reality of Baptism and
the Holy Ghost, Meleah was able to know that the things that we were
teaching are true. She said, "This all makes so much sense! It makes me
want to repent and do better and to endure to the end. I want to have the
Holy Ghost with me." It was amazing to hear her say that and to testify of
the simpleness of the way that Christ has established for us. Like Nephi,
"my soul delighteth in plainness."

I know that's true. I know that by following the Lord's example we can live
with our families for eternity and we can return to God's presence. It's
been a great week as a servant of our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope y'all
have a great week! You're in my prayers.

Strength and Honor

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

-Elder Noah Featherstone

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Email #78 - Keep on Keepin' on

March 5, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Family! How is everything? I hope everything has just been fantastic.  
I've heard lots of good things about all that is happening back home.
Makes me super happy to hear about how the Lord is looking after all
of you.

This week was one of those weeks where we've been tested on if we
can keep going and endure. We had a day this week where we had
about 5 appointments set up for the evening and every single one of
them fell through. Our back up plans didn't work either so we just
started knocking the city. So it's definitely been a testimony builder
of continuing on doing the will of the Lord.

We had exchanges with the Elders in the Huntsville Spanish Branch
and that was a riot! I was withan elder that I was with in the MTC. He
is a stud!  We went to the Mall to contact for the last hour of the day
and it was empty... Like bare... So we started talking to the employees
and we had some great chats with them and got a few potentials from
contacting that night. It was a pretty regular week here in the ABM.

Since the beginning of the year, President Sainsbury has challenged
us to memorize the Living Christ and it's been quite an amazing
experience for me. If you have time this week I would recommend
reading over it. It's definitely a powerful testimony from the Apostles
about the Living Christ.

I hope you all have a great week! You're all in my prayers!

I did extremely bad about taking pictures this week so... I'm sorry.
I'll do better this week.  Love you!!!
Strength and Honor

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

Elder Noah Featherstone