Monday, May 21, 2018

Email #89 - Families are Forever

May 21, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

¡Mi querido familia! If I were to describe this week into a few words I would say, the tender mercies of the Lord. It's been an amazing week. I have been surrounded by several missionaries on Exchanges that were able to uplift and inspire me. With Big V passing, it's been a hard week. But it was still great because the missionary work here is flying! Here in the Byrd Springs Ward, the Byrd is flying high! We don't have a ton of time today but I do want to share one quick experience. We had invited all of our investigators to church and nobody was able to come, but we did get a text yesterday morning from Luis. He said that he was driving home from work last night and he got T-Boned in his car. His car got totaled but he was fine. We made some cookies for him yesterday after church and took them to him and his family and they were very appreciative. We talked with him a little and he was sore but doing better.  He knows a member that I know really well from the Spanish Branch here in Huntsville. So I called this member last night and asked him if he could get in contact with Luis and he said of course! It's been amazing to see how the members are able to help their friends learn more and come closer to the Lord. I was reading a talk this morning from President Ezra Taft Benson about Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon. So I want to challenge y'all to do something that Elder Anderson challenged our mission to do. Memorize 10 Book of Mormon scriptures that you really believe - 10 scriptures that you have a firm testimony in. So I want to challenge you to do the same. I know that as you do this your testimonies in the Book of Mormon will be strengthened and that you will be able to share these memorized scriptures with those you come in contact with. It's been amazing to be able to recite these scriptures to those we meet on the street and it truly has been a blessing.

I'm so thankful for eternal families and that each of us will be able to see our loved ones again. Grandpa V was a great example to me and I'm excited to continue to remember him and learn from the experiences I was able to have with him. He will be remembered as a man of Christ. He, as Enos and Jacob, has become unshaken and steadfast in Christ. That's the goal. That is why we have this mortal experience. To become unshaken. I love you all and I am grateful for the love and support you give me. You are all in my prayers!

Strength and Honor
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
Elder Noah Featherstone

Picture Max the first time he found out our name was Featherstone.  We made pancakes with food coloring... hahaha!

It rained while we biked all night...we looked like we jumped in a pool...

Biking with Elder Devereaux...on the highway...
The next American Ninja Warrior

Email #88 - A Week of Miracles

May 14, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Family! How great it was to talk to each of you yesterday! I'm so grateful for the light that each of you carry with you. It was definitely an amazing experience. I want to share a few miracles or "Emmaus experiences" that I saw in the work this week.

1) So in my last letter I talked a little bit about how we did tons of tracting and didn't see any results. Elder Briggs and I prayed on Tuesday morning that we would be filled with the spirit as we go about the work because we were both struggling finding the motivation and the faith to go knock more doors. As we left the apartment at 10 o'clock on Tuesday, we rode our bikes past this apartment building and I look over and it's a member! We stopped and said hi and she asked if we could give her son who is sick a blessing. So we did and it was great. He was smiling and laughing by the end. So that was miracle number 1! And number 2 was as we left her house we jumped on our bikes and rode down about 2 houses and we saw this man struggling to lift his TV. So we stopped and helped him. Turns out that he went to high school with a member and has had a lot of questions about his purpose in life and which church he should go to recently. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he committed to read it. Wow! How the Lord was blessing us with amazing things right from the get go! As we continued on our way, we stopped at an investigators house named Luis. He and his wife are super hard to get a hold of because they both are in the medical field and are super busy. So as we were biking, I thought, "We need to stop by Luis house." It wasn't part of our plan but I felt like we should. So we went by and they were just leaving. They both lit up with they saw us biking over to their house. We talked for a minute or two and got a return appointment with them. So that is number 3. This all happened within the first 30 minutes of the day out proselyting.

2) Skyping with Grandpa. I called President Sainsbury thinking, "Man... I sure hope he says I can call and say Goodbye to him." I called and we talked for a minute and he said, "I think it would be a real treat and a blessing if you were to call and say goodbye to him." I was speechless. I didn't think he was going to say yes. But that was one thing that I will never forget. Grandpa was hurting but all he was worried about was me and those around him. He is such an amazing example of selfless service and charity.

3) Zone Conference was really good this week.  We got some really good insights and I learned a lot! There were a few things that they mentioned that I want to apply in the work. We are really working on becoming master teachers so that's the goal! To teach as the Savior would teach.

Anyways! Thank you so much for your support and the love you show me. You're in my prayers!

Strength and Honor
Elder Featherstone

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Email #87 - The Lord's Blessings

May 7, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

"YOUWHOOOOO!!! BIG SUMMER BLOWOUT!" hahaha! How are you all?! It sounds like there is a party going on in Scotland and Sweden.... and ALABAMA!!! I hope everything has been great out there! Everything has been a complete riot here! Elder Briggs and I have had a blast of a week! It's been a lot of finding but it's been good!

This week we knocked a lot...... and we didn't find anyone. So I was thinking about that. Why is it that we are working so hard but nothing has been coming from it? As we were finishing up the week last night, we taught an investigator about the sacrament and a little review on the Restoration. At the end, we committed him to be baptized and he accepted! It was amazing to see how we work so hard in one area of the work but the Lord blesses us in other ways. We were so diligent and full of faith that we were going to find someone but the Lord blessed us through this investigator. It was one of those weeks where you work your tail off and then the Lord throws you a bone at the end and says, "Nice Job. Keep it up."

This Friday the ward had a Luau, and it was a blast! ha! We actually came and cooked the hot dogs for everyone and then they all went inside to have a family dance while we cleaned up. It was super fun to be able to serve the members and let them not have to worry about it. I really enjoyed it. This has got to be one of the most solid wards in the Church. They are just a huge family. It's amazing to see. I've definitely learned a lot from them and their selfless acts of service.

As I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week I was in Alma 39. I started reading verse 1. I'm going to change it a little bit but this is what came to mind. "And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I have said unto thy brethren; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brethren, their faithfulness, and their diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, have they not set a good example for thee?" I was thinking about Dad saying this to me, and how I would respond. and I would say to him, "Yes, they are steadfast in the ways of the Lord and are STELLAR GUYS!" So I just want to share my appreciation for my brothers and the amazing examples they have set for me. When I grow up I want to be like Greg, Brian, Preston, and Caleb. I thought a lot about y'all and all you have done to serve and love me. Thank you.

I thought about Nephi, "having been born of goodly parents" that are mis amigos and are two of the most teachable, charitable, and service oriented that have ever walked the planet.

And Sisters that are full of faith, patience, and love toward those around them, that have raised children to do the same as the Pioneer children that went through so much to help others down the line to know about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm so thank for each of you and your steadfastness in the Lord. This message is truth. It's all true. Love you and have a great week!

Strength and Honor          
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"        
Elder Noah Featherstone

Bike Gang

We made pancakes on Exchanges

We didn't knock this door. So I hope they heart the Gospel someone down the line.

Tocando Las puertas anoche

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Email #86 - Love Toward Others

April 30, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Family! How has your week been? It sounds like it's been quite the week! I'm loving hearing the fun things going on in Australia, Sweden, and Scotland! Makes me super happy to hear how well everyone is doing! 

I wanted to give Grandpa V a shout out today! This week has been super amazing to be able to serve the same people that he served so many years ago. This week I was able to talk to a few members and hear the stories that they have about Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone. It is incredible to see the lives he touched as he served so selflessly and humbly. Thank you Grandpa V for the great example you are to me and all those around you. Love you!

This week was a rollercoaster of emotions. We had a few investigators that had stopped progressing and we decided it was best that we drop them and find those that are ready to hear the gospel and be baptized. It was so hard to drop these people that you have grown to love so much. As we were finishing up, I turned to Elder Briggs and asked him, "Elder, why is missionary work so hard? If it's this hard for us then I can't imagine how hard it is for Heavenly Father." He thought for a minute and said, "Remember what Elder Holland said? Because Salvation isn't a cheap experience." I thought about that and how you learn to love these people so much. As we serve those around us, we learn to have Christlike love toward all around us. 

During the Sacrament yesterday I sat there thinking about Alabama and how much I love the people here. They are so amazing. I really do want the best for the people here. I love the ministering program because it allows us all to focus ourselves outside ourselves and love others and serve others the way Christ would. It's amazing to see the friendships that we make when we selflessly serve those we come in contact with. In Matthew it says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." I know that is true. When we serve others, we are serving God. 

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts. I love you all! Have a great week and remember the Lord as you go throughout your week! 

Strength and Honor 
Elder Featherstone 

2 of the MTC Roomies


P-day Hammocking!

Email #85 - Service = Smiling Souls

April 25, 2018
Huntsville, Alabama

Family! How are you all doing?? Sorry it's been a long week. We were able to go to the Temple this morning and it was great! I have really missed being able to go and experience the Spirit in the House of the Lord. So that's why our P-day was moved. We have like ZERO time to email so this one is going to have to be real short. So I'll give you a few key things that happened this week. 

1) We helped our friend Vonn set up a trampoline for his son. When he asked us if we would help, I thought, "Oh we got this." But little did I know that trampolines are getting more and more complex... Haha! It was a nightmare. We basically sewed the thing together. Like the net on the outside to the springs. The amazing part of the experience was that he just lit up toward us afterward because he was so grateful. It was a great to see how his whole countenance changed after we were able to serve and uplift. 

2) We have done a lot of tracting this week and it's been amazing to testify the truthfulness of this message to so many people. It is always a privilege to share my testimony with those around me. 

3) We had Stake Conference this last Sunday in the Huntsville Alabama Stake and I want to share some thoughts with y'all. 
     - As we are focused on ministering, we are to "behold the man." (Acts 4) Each is a unique son or daughter of Heavenly Father. We are to encourage, uplift, admire, and love.
     - One impression that I had, was the reality of repentance. The Savior really is asking us to do all we can to reach our potential. He sees that potential and when we slow down in our growth, he probably thinks, "Don't stop! Go go go!" He continues to give us feedback as a coach would. He helps us see how we can improve and become better. 
     - Our Patriarchal Blessings are essentially eternal documents that we should turn to often. 
     - We should get out of bed every morning and get on our knees and say, "Heavenly Father, it's been a great day. I've kept the commandments. I haven't offended anyone, but I'm going to get out of bed and I need your help." Ha! 
     - What is our plan to become converted to the Savior? The goal is to be converted but what are the steps I will take? 

I hope you have a great week! Y'all are in my prayers! Travel safe to Scotland! 

Strength and Honor               Elder Noah Featherstone

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!