Monday, April 24, 2017

Email #33 - The Weedwackerer?

April 24, 2017   
Birmingham, Alabama

Hola Familia! Como han estado? I hope you have all been doing well. This week sounds like it's been an eventful one. I love it! I love hearing about all the fun stuff that is going on and all the success that you are all having. This week was a busy one here as well.

This week we have been doing a lot of service. And yes... I have probably used a weedwacker more this week than I have in my entire life! In the trailer parks where a lot of the members live there are a lot of weeds and their weeds have gotten a little out of control. They called up the missionaries and we got to work! I have used a weedwacker a lot! But it's been a complete blast! We may or may not have used a machete to cut down things as well... ;) Ha!

On Saturday we were able to visit a lot of our progressing investigators and they are all doing super well. It's amazing to see how far they have progressed and how they have changed and become more like our Savior. It makes me so happy to see how they have changed their lives to truly do what the Lord wants for them. We were able to visit a member referral named Gabriella who has been doing awesome. She is the neighbor of the Relief Society President in the Branch and they are super good friends, so I sure hope that it continues to get better.

This week a member called us asking if we could come and give her son Angel, who has been sick, a blessing. So yesterday we went over and gave him a blessing and it was super amazing. Whenever we have the chance to give a blessing I always really look forward to it because it has an amazing spirit to it. It is incredible to truly be a mouthpiece of the Lord in that situation. When the person truly has their faith in the Lord, and knows and loves Him, there is an incredibly strong spirit present and it always makes me feel of the joy that we can find if we are truly following the Savior.

As I was doing a lot of weedwacking this week, I was thinking about the symbolism in it. You are probably wondering where I'm going with this... But just hold on ok?! ha! So let's say we have this nice fresh cut lawn, but we haven't used the trimmer to make the edges look good as well. So this is how we are as members of the church. We get baptized and we have a freshly cut lawn, but then it continually grows back as none of us are perfect like the Savior. We all sin. So then we go to church each Sunday and it's like a newly cut lawn again! It looks great! It's green, and it's free of leaves. Then you have those edges that still look like they need some work. The Savior is there to help us get rid of that extra grass that is sticking out over the sidewalk. To help us really do His will and not Our will. We continually read the scriptures, we serve others, we pray, we obey the commandments, and we continually grow closer to our Savior. We need to find those little things in our lives that we can make goals to continually do better with. Those are the things that are preventing us in having the Spirit as fully as we could. I have been thinking about that all week and have been making goals to become who the Savior wants me to be, and to have the Spirit as fully as I can.

This week has been a great week! I've really loved it. Thank you for all you do! I hope you have a great week. You are all in my prayers! EVERY ONE OF YOU! EVEN YOUR DOGS! "Stop petting the dog!" I said that the other day and everyone looked at me really weird... #familyjokes   

LOVE YOU ALL!        
Strength and Honor        
Elder Noah Lawrence Featherstone
Selfie Gang

La Casita Amarilla con Elder Krupa y Yo

Monday, April 17, 2017

Email #32 - Easter

April 17, 2017
Birmingham, Alabama

Family, How was your Easter? I sure hope it was great. This has been an interesting couple of days. I'll start from last Tuesday.

Tuesday we were able to go to the temple again. It was super super good to go back. I loved it! The temple is such an amazing place where we can feel so close to the Spirit and so close to our Father in Heaven. After the temple we had Zone Conference. It was super good! President Sainsbury talked about the Atonement and specifically repentance. It was really good. I really enjoyed it and I took away a lot of things that I could do to improve and to help me teach better to the needs of our investigators. I always look forward to our Zone Conferences and the meetings we have because they aren't only a time for us to learn, but also a time for each of us to receive personal revelation. We go to church to partake of the sacrament and to receive personal revelation. So It was a stellar day!

Wednesday we were in Tuscaloosa visiting a lot of Less Active Members. We are starting to develop some really good relationships with the members out there. It's been super great. We are going to do our best to get a weekly Family Home Evening with all of the members there together. It could be so good for them and be a blast as well so I really hope that it turns out.

Thursday I was sick and I thought that I just had a cold... but nope. Friday I went to the doctor and I found out that I had a sinus infection. How great is that! #shoot #dangit #crap So from there on it was a little bit of a hit and miss week. There were times when I couldn't go out in the morning, but we would go out later in the evening, or vice versa. So it was a little bit of an interesting week with Illnesses, but I'm all good now! So nothing to worry about!

I always love this time of year when we get to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior. I was thinking about how we always are super excited for Christmas, and that is the holiday that we all anticipate the most. Realistically we should feel that way about Easter, Easter is the holiday where we celebrate the fact that Christ lives. He is watching over each and every one of us. We can be resurrected again through Him. I don't know if you all have seen the Easter Initiative that the Church put out but it is AMAZING! It gives me the chills every time I watch it with an investigator or members. PLEASE GO WATCH IT! It's really amazing. It helps us not only feel the Spirit but it helps us know of the importance of Easter.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I love you all! I hope you have had a great Easter. You're all in my prayers.

Strength and Honor

Elder Noah Featherstone

Elder Curtis and I


Model pose

Elder Featherstone, Elder Wilson, Elder Krupa, and Elder Nelson (Our Zone Leaders)


A bunch of the Elders in the Zone

A McDonalds Worker Selfie

Monday, April 10, 2017

Email #31 - Springtime

April 10, 2017
Birmingham, Alabama

Family! How are you all? It was a great week here for us.

On Friday we drove out to Tuscaloosa to visit a few members that have been Less Active because it is so far for them to drive every week for church. One of the members we visited was named Eric Zuniga. He got back from his mission about 2 years ago and he is super solid but can't make it out to Birmingham every week because of work. We visited him and he gave us a lot of members to check up on that were Hispanic and haven't been coming to church either because of the drive they have to make every Sunday. It ended up being a really productive visit to T-Town and we were able to find a few investigators there as well. So it was super good. We'll be spending a lot more time out there in the future!

This week was super good and I really loved it! It was pretty full of meetings though so we didn't get to do as much missionary work as I would have liked but it was still great! This morning I read a super good talk by Craig Manning. It's titled "The Power of Your Words." In the talk he explains the difference between faith, and doubt. I guess the reason I really loved it is because he is a tennis player and he talks about the mental strength that it takes on the court. It is a very good talk that I would recommend reading.

That is about it for the week. Sorry not a whole lot of eventful stuff happened.  Anyways! Love you all!

Strength and Honor

Elder Noah Featherstone

Zone Picture

Aidan Arrigada and I, this kid is the biggest stud!

Elder Krupa and I knocking some doors!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Email #30 - The Tuscaloosa Life

April 3, 2017
Birmingham, Alabama

Family! How are you all? I've heard it's been a great and hard week. I don't have tons of time today so I'm going to do my best to respond to a lot of the comments that I got from all of you! So I'm going to get right to it. The Tuscaloosa Life

So first off, I heard about Grandma Janet, and Preston's Grandma as well, that had the opportunity to join our other loved ones on the other side. It's always hard to hear about others moving on, but at the same time it is a great reunion on the other side. We often see the ones that we love finishing their purpose in life and continuing on to the next life. In the Missionary Discussions in "The Plan of Salvation," it says,

"From an earthly perspective, physical death may seem like an end, but really it is a beginning, a step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan. At death, your spirit will leave your body and go to the spirit world, which is a place of learning and preparation. In the spirit world, your memories of this life will remain with you.  Death will not change your personality or your desire for good or evil. If you choose to follow Christ during your life on earth, you will be at peace in the spirit world and will rest from your cares."

As I think about what we have been taught in the last few days in General Conference, there were many talks that related to the Plan of Salvation. This is where we find hope, joy, and happiness. I really love the fact that death really is the beginning. I'm not saying that it's not hard, because it is. But I do know that both Grandma Janet, and Preston's Grandma are both cheering us all on from the other side. They are literally walking beside us every step of the way. I know that it is extremely hard for us to lose those we love, but we also have the great knowledge that we will see them again. As I have been here teaching the Plan of Salvation, a lot of people don't realize that there is a life after this and that we will see our loved ones again. What a great knowledge we have. We have hope, we have joy, and we have the knowledge of the things to come. I just want you to know that you are in every prayer that I offer. I may not be with you but you are definitely in my prayers. I hope that you could feel of my love this weekend during General Conference.

On another note, before I get started to the week, I was sitting in the chapel this weekend during General Conference as they were announcing the New General Authorities. Uncle Brian! I saw him walking up to the stand and thought to myself, "Wait... Isn't he in Texas?" But nope! Not anymore! It was a great experience to go and serve there for a few days in their mission, but now he is moving on! Please send my love to their family, and let them know they are in my prayers.

OKAY! So this week. WOW!  Starting from last P-Day - We were able to take a guided tour of the Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. WOW! It was a spectacular sight! It definitely made up for not being able to watch any college football this year! We got to walk through the whole thing. We saw the locker room, the recruiting room, the field, press boxes, you name it, I saw it. It was spectacular! Just look at my face in a few of the pictures and you'll see how happy I was.... ha! ROLL TIDE!

This week we got a call late at night from our Branch President. He said, "Elders, I need you to come over quickly and help me give my wife a blessing. She is really struggling." She is pregnant and has really been struggling and been in a lot of pain lately. She ended up asking me if I could give the blessing. It was definitely an act of faith with Spanish, but it was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and she had complete faith in what was said in the blessing. It was an experience that I don't think I'll forget. She was listening so intently, and has so much faith in the Father. I really admire the faith that she has exercised. Do we pray with faith? Do we have faith in priesthood blessings? Do we truly rely on the Savior everyday? It was a very spiritual experience.

General Conference- Wow. I am always amazed at how spiritually fed we are every 6 months. It's amazing that we can take something away from every person that spoke and apply it in our lives. One of my favorite talks was in the Priesthood Session by Elder Bednar. He talked a lot about missionaries but as well about the members. The difference between the call to serve, and the location. It really benefited me and was something I needed to hear. I also feel that I have developed a new love for the Prophet, and President Eyring. As they speak, you can truly feel of the love that they have for the Savior. I want to come as close to the Savior as they have become.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and for your continuous prayers in behalf of the missionaries sharing the gospel. You are all in my prayers. Also, Greg, and Brian, Will you please tell your little ones that I love them? And that I pray for them? And Mom and Dad, thank you for raising me to know the truthfulness of the Gospel, for teaching me how to love others, and for teaching me how to do my best in all that I do. I will be eternally grateful for the love that you have shown me. Greg, Mimi, Brian, Kelsey, Megan, Preston, and Caleb, please know how much I appreciate our friendships and for the amazing kindness that you all show toward me. Thank you for being great examples that I can look up to and strive to be better. Thank you all for being great examples of Steadfast Disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Strength and Honor

-Elder Noah Featherstone

 Where Nick Sabin gives the Press Conferences.

Selfie's with Sabin

Elder Gibbons, Elder Butterfield, and I



Elder Power and I

South End Zone

Zoom In

The Panoramic

Elders Krupa, Nelson, and I

Elder Gibbons, and I

Mid Side Bump Picture


Elder Krupa and I watching Conference at a Members