Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Email #9 - Temple / Baptism / Missionary Work (How Stellar?)

September 26, 2016
Albertville, Alabama

FAMILY!!! This week has been completely amazing! Loved every minute of it! So I'll get started real quick so I don't have to keep you all waiting.

We are able to go to the temple once every 3 months here in the Alabama Birmingham Mission, and it happened that this was the week that that was going to happen. So Elder Messick, Elder Devereaux, Elder Faustin and I all took off early Tuesday morning for the temple in Gardendale. Elder Devereaux and Elder Faustin are the other Elder's here in Albertville so we see them at least once a day if not 2 or 3 times. But the temple was such a good experience. I loved it so much! The fact that in St. George we live what like 5 minutes from the temple! That's so dang nice! It was about a 90 minute drive from Albertville so I'm kind of jealous. It was an awesome trip to go down there and remember the covenants and all that happens at the temple. I mean it is the House of the Lord and we can feel so close to him when we are there. How amazing!

We also got to drive up to Huntsville and Madison to go to a baptism. Elder Messick taught a man named George Laws when he was there and then he was transferred so we ended up driving back up to attend the baptism which was super cool. It was a really good reminder of the purpose of baptism and why it is so essential to return to Christ.

We have done a lot of tracting this week and have had a lot of people trying to Bible bash us so that is always interesting. But I've loved it! Plus just part of the Hispanic culture is to be very nice and welcoming no matter what. So they are always willing to listen to you. So that's always nice! We teach a lot in English as well! It's super nice cause we just knock doors and about 50% is in Spanish and the other 50% is in English so you get a good mix and my translating skills are improving so much which is great! I love how close I have come to the Lord in these last 3 weeks that I have been here. But GUESS WHAT!!! I have just about 22 more months of this!!! I love it! Missionary work is the greatest! It is something to be super excited about!!!! We are here to help others to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. That through the Atonement we can return to him someday. That's the beauty of the plan. We can live with our families forever. There is something about teaching the Plan of Salvation to people. It brings the spirit so fast and I love it! People down here grasp on to that lesson faster than anything else! BUT!!! Can I get some excitement about the Gospel? Like there is no time to be down! We've got stuff to do and we have people that we need to talk to about the truth! What they are missing! Missionary work is the greatest and I love it so much! Thank you so much for everything! Love you all so much! Many pictures are coming your way just for a reminder of what I look like. Ha! Love you all! "Party on Garth!"

Here is my scripture for the week for all of you that need some excitement about the Gospel!
-D&C 128:22 ;)

Strength and Honor,
Elder Noah Featherstone

                  Elder Curtis and I went to High School together! Such a stud!
                                     Elder Messick and Elder Devereaux
                                      Elder Tyler Roger's son and I

                                      Visiting a Members Chicken Farm

                                      Elder Messick and I at the temple

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Email #8 - "Can't talk the Game is on!"

September 19, 2016
Albertville, Alabama

Family! So this week has been stellar! We have done a ton of contacting and tracting this week so It was a lot of sweat and knocking on people's doors. But also, we had church yesterday and it was super fun cause almost every other person that I introduced myself to noticed my last name and said. "Are you by chance related to Vaughn J. Featherstone?"  I have probably heard that about 30 times and I'm not exaggerating one ounce.  It's been fun to hear stories people have shared about Grandpa V! My companion actually got an email a few minutes ago from his mom and she told a story about my companion's dad who had to come home early from his mission because he had cancer and he was in the hospital and guess who showed up to visit him and to give him a blessing! GRANDPA V! So I was super excited when I heard that. It has crossed my mind so many times this week how blessed I am to have the heritage I do with both my grandfathers serving in the Quorum of the Seventy. It's amazing to learn and to be able to become better through them and listen to their words. I have done a lot of reading the last few weeks of some of both Papa and Grandpa V's talks and there was so much that I learned and I have just been feeling extremely blessed because of them.

This week we ran into a guy that was super interested in the gospel and was asking questions and was just super into the discussion. He said, "Can I have your guys phone number and could you come back another time and talk a little more about this stuff?" Man. Music to my hears... I may have only been out for 2 weeks but I'm pretty sure that doesn't really happen... So Man! That was super cool! So we have a lesson planned with him in the next few days!

We went to visit a less active family this week. Their name is the Bartolo Family. We talked to them the other night and we had an incredible discussion about the scriptures and it was super awesome to feel the spirit with this family who is less active and help them come back to church. AND GUESS WHAT!!! I asked what their cats name was while we were there and they said that she didn't have one. So! He said we could name their CAT!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT????!!!!! My companion and I decided on Isabel. But in a Spanish accent as you know. So that was the greatest!

And the last story of the week is about tracting during the Alabama Game! So as you know football is huge down here. and the word "huge" doesn't even come close to giving it justice. So….we were out knocking doors during the game and door after door after door  people would open and say  "What do you want? I'm watching the game!"  Then the next person would say, "I'm watching the game. You can come in and watch if you want but I can't talk right now."  Then the next person would say, "Ain't nobody got time for dat!" HA! and fun fact of the week. The lady that says that in the interview? If you know what I'm talking about? "I GOT BRONCHITIS!" She is from HUNTSVILLE!!!! Holy crap! I was crying when I found out that was here in BAMA! Hopefully I get to meet her sometime in these next 2!

Anyways! Love you all! This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and we are here to move his work forward. The people that say "A bible! A bible! We already have a bible!" They have no idea what they are missing and this is what we are here to tell them! That the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that through the spirit we can know all things! Not just one. ALL!!! This is the Lord’s work and I am on the Lord's errand. He lives. He knows us and He is the Savior of the World.

Love you all! Hope you have a stellar week!

Strength and Honor        

Elder Noah Featherstone

Monday, September 12, 2016

Email #7 - Roll Tide

September 12, 2016
Albertville, Alabama

Family! Hello!! How have you all been? Well this week has been pretty dang good! We got to Alabama at about 2 PM on Tuesday and we went straight to the mission home in Hoover where we had dinner and interviews with President Sainsbury. They sent us all over to a hotel that night and all 27 of the new missionaries stayed there Tuesday night. Then Wednesday was transfers. My comps name is Elder Messick! He is a complete Stud! Love the Kid! He is from a little town in Wyoming. We get along super well. I am in a little town called Albertville which is about an hour southeast of Huntsville (at least I think so. I don't really know where I am at to be honest). But everything has been great! We had stake conference in Huntsville yesterday and Elder Uceda, President Sainsbury, and President McChesney (Birmingham Temple President) all spoke. It was quite the meeting. Elder Uceda has a way of speaking that brings the spirit and keeps you completely sucked in the entire 40 minutes. He spoke while I was in the MTC so it was super good to hear him speak again.

I have a pretty cool experience to tell you about as well. Elder Messick and I have had zero investigators and zero people we know cause we both are new to the area and we got doubled in to this small town so we don't know anything! But I'm up for the challenge. We had just knocked all the doors in this apartment complex and we got back in the car and started driving. I asked him if we could pull over and say a prayer to see where we should knock. We pulled over and I said a prayer. We both lifted our heads up after the prayer and were both lost in thought. We looked over and saw this house that looked like it was shining. Well, there was a motorcycle in front of the house that the mirror was faced right at us and the sun was shining off it. So I said "Thats the one. Right there." We parked the car and went and knocked on the door. This guy opened the door and started ripping into us thinking we were Jehovah Witnesses. We let him give his "shpeal" and he was pretty uptight and frustrated with us even though we had only said "Hi, How are ya?" So we then explained that we were Mormon missionaries and he went off.... He was saying stuff that was not even in my vocabulary. So he starting talking bad about the Book of Mormon and I said, "Well have you read the Book of Mormon?" Wow.... Like Wow.... That was not me speaking. He instantly backed down and apologized and said "Ya know I haven't so I have no room to be treating you like this so I apologize." We then asked if we could give him a copy and he said that he already had one and we challenged him to read it and pray about it. He said he would. I walked away from that door knowing that the Spirit works through us and we are here to let others see the Light of Christ in themselves and feel the spirit in their own lives. It was truly an amazing experience. This gospel is amazing! It is so exciting and it is something we should all be excited about whether we are missionaries or members or hold a calling. We can all help this work move forth, even by just being an example and saying hi to random people or waving to them as you drive by. This gospel is amazing and I know the Lord loves everyone and he wants the best for you. He just needs you to reach out to him. He is sending his love to each and everyone of us constantly and he wants us to reach back to show us that he lives and that he loves us!

Thank you all for the support and the emails! I love hearing from everyone! And yes. I did hear about the BYU game.... "KAHNNNNNNNNN" and yes I was getting play by play updates on every door that I knocked on. Football is insane down here. People are walking down the street doing the Heisman pose. Like honestly anything I tell you won't give it justice but just know that I am getting play by play updates! So that's about all I can ask for! I love football and at least I'm getting updates! HA! Love you all so much! You are the greatest people ever! Love you FAMILY!!!

(I don't have my camera right now and I don't have time to run back to the apartment and get it so I'll just have to send tons of pictures next week!)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Email #6 - Alabama Here I Come!

September 5, 2016
Provo MTC

So... FAMILY! I leave tomorrow morning early for Alabama and I have  a half P-Day today so I don't have a ton of time today. Even less than usual! So this one has to be a little short! But this week was a blast!

We finished up all the basic Spanish classes so now its just speaking and learning more vocab and speaking the language I guess! ha! We had a devotional last night by Chad Lewis who was a player at BYU and he played in the NFL for a few years and he talked about the missionary opportunities he has had in his job as well as those on other teams and such. It was pretty dang cool! Just seeing a few pictures of football made me super happy! I miss it! But I hear that Alabama is doing well! So it is going to be crazy in BAMA!!!!! So pumped to go! LETSSSS GOOOOOOO!!!!!  

So this week... hmmm... I can't think of anything super new that I can report on.  Oh! We went and saw "Character of Christ" last night again and it was so inspiring. The talk is incredible and makes you want to do everything you can to be that much better in your life. I love it. I honestly don't have much to tell you cause we just sit in classes. But TOMORROW IT ALL CHANGES!! Super pumped! I'll have more to tell you next week! But I am so grateful for this opportunity that I can go and serve Christ for the next 2 years. This gospel is the greatest and I love it. I had a few missionaries come to me this week that said they would not have been here at the MTC if it weren't for me helping them out and being an example to them these first few weeks. It made me super happy that I could be there for them. But I can't take the credit. The Lord put me in the right place at the right time and gave me the words that they needed to hear. I love the Lord and I am so grateful for all that he has given me. He lives and He is the Savior of the World. Thank you for all your support and the wonderful examples you are to me! Love you all!​​​​​​​​​​​​

Strength and Honor

Elder Noah Featherstone