WELL now that's its been TWO weeks and I forgot half the stories from LAST week, HELLO everyone, once again!
Things are going pretty great here in good old Ogden Utah. Lots of stuff going on, all the time. Yup yup. We're trying to work our best and seeing the ways the Lord is in charge.
Cool thing - LAST saturday, a ton of plans fell through (that's not the cool part. duh.) We were in Riverdale (slightly higher class suburbs) and decided to use a large chunk of time walking to a High Councilman's house, 40 minutes away, to ask for referrals. Well, when we almost were there, a man pointed us to a neighbors house, told us to go knock it, a little out of our way. There wasn't any cars there, but we decided to try. On the way over, we noticed a family getting out of a car. We ran over - they were Hispanics (unusual for Riverdale) and they invited us in for a drink (of water. duh, again)... 2 hours later we left with a new FAMILY of investigators, who have heard missionaries before, the wife has friends in the Church and told us privately that she knows the Book of Mormon is true. We've been over several times now - they invited us for dinner on their own! They love having us over to talk. Also, after we left, the parents both had very interesting dreams, which involved the devil trying to chase them, then God saving them. The wife actually saw Elder Gurrola's face in her dream... weird, and funny (and no, Elder Gurrola wasn't the devil or anything. haha) Good stuff. The Lord gave us a miracle, and they're still coming...
WELL the baptisms went well. In the past week, I baptized Edson Torres - very cool, when I first saw him I never thought he'd be interested. But there was one lesson where he changed - opened up to us, and ever since, he's been soaking it in. He actually made us go buy all the hymns on CD for him... but I baptized him - after we got out of the font, he couldn't stop smiling and laughing. It was awesome.
And THIS week, we baptized 3 kids - 12, 15, and 16. Two of them from the first lesson wanted to be baptized - the 16 year old actually has brought a different friend with him to each lesson - already a missionary... the 15 year old was originally unsure, but he decided last week to join his brother and sister, and asked me to baptize him. They all go baptized on their sister's 12th birthday.
Ok, enough about work...
Talking to you all was really great - I really loved it, even though it was crazy. Wish I could have said more meaningful things, but that's how it is, huh? It wasn't staticky, don't worry.
Thanks so much for wanting to make sure I'm ok, Dad and Mom. You know, when I left the MTC, I don't think I really was. But I've been trying to just do it all and work on it. The mission is hard sometimes, draining psychologically and such. But finally in the last few weeks or so I've found a change in my way of working and thinking and stuff. Straight up faith. That's the way. I'm building that trust, and receiving that gift of faith. I'm fine. I'm learning things, seeing things, and I think I really needed that test. I think I needed it somehow. A lot of talks in conference were about Christ turning our challenges - sent from God, or self-inflicted - to our gain, to our building up. There is no trial designed to destroy us - but EVERY trial can make us stronger. So it is with this. I am doing great.
Ok, answering you - I get about an hour to email you each week - I'm at a (one of many in Utah, haha) family history center. There is no timer or anything, I have plenty of time to read your email and write, so don't worry.
I DID GET THE CINCO DE MAYO PACKAGE from Frank and Bob's! VERY cool. I still don't know what Cinco de Mayo is all about, but its very awesome (Americans seem to celebrate it more than Hispanics...) Pictures coming - mailing the package today...
Thanks for the replacement debit card - Sister Joyce called me immediately and I was the one who didn't call her back until yesterday... my fault.
Anxiously awaiting driver's license... hey, I might be getting a car next week at transfers! Whooo.... hope I don't have to use the pretty new VA pink and purple driver's license, what's up with that?... haha, poor Jeffrey...
Thank you to Aunt Jill for another fantastic letter - I really do love getting those, sorry I couldn't thank you more for them. That letter I wrote was pretty awesome (to Danny) haha... and the writing by Aunt Ruth was very cool. Loved it. She was an amazing person.
STEVEN - nice job on the scholarship, you genius you - and looks like you had a fun Prom experience, nice job :)
Jeff, proud of you...way to be a friend, broski.
Ok, real quick - GIRLS - WEEKLY RUN-ON STORY IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA:
Once upon a time, there were 2 little girls named Amy and Holly who lived in Virginia.They had a big brother on a mission - for 2 years! That's a long time. So they decided that they had better go find him. This was taking WAY too long. So Amy and Holly got the van packed full of junk, loaded up their two dogs, and got ready. Amy worked the radio while Holly got behind the steering wheel. At the last second, their big sister Heidi jumped in... and they were off! Off to see their big brother on his mission in Utah.... but the only thing was they weren't quite sure where that was... so off they went, and headed South to find him. Isn't Utah south? Hmm....(you all take it from here...)
Ok, well, my time is up. I love you all, and am always (well, when I should be) thinking of you all. I have a strong testimony that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. We have a prophet who guides us. Jesus Christ lives, and is the Savior. We are literally children of a Heavenly Father, who anxiously waits to embrace us after this life, and with His Spirit in this life. Faith, and onward in the work!
BYE FOR NOW -
Elder Christopher Thelin
Us and Edson Torres at his baptism
Us and Edson, and his kids, and on the far right his wife Marleth, and his sister in law, Karen