Tuesday, October 27, 2009



Sweet to hear about Amy's baptism! That's really cool! Sounds like it was really special. Keep that COMFORTER nearby! The "spiritual toolbox" sounds like a sweet object lesson - I'm not allowed to stay up till 5am (sometimes I get UP then) so my genuis is forced to be used in the thick of the day... I'm excited about the singing you did, when I get home maybe we'll have a Thelin quintet? Congrats Amy!!!

Speaking of baptism, last week we weren't sure, but as it worked out, we had FIVE baptisms on Sunday night!!!! Two sisters, and three of their children, were baptized! They were all related to the family that was going to be baptized but moved to California. This family has come since September, kids sang in the Primary program, etc. It was sweet. They were all there on time dressed in white! They chose members from the ward for all the program, to give the talks, the baptism, etc. Ha, the man who baptized them is our branch mission leader, from Dominican Republic - speaks very loud with a voice of authority, kinda dramatic. "LUPE REYNOSO! HABIENDO SIDO COMISIONADO..." Funny. But good baptism. One of the older people that went to California came back to see it! And just about all the branch came to support them. Way cool.

OK, not much time: maintenance: Yes, got the package! Thank you! Waffle bowl died, but it still tastes good! You could send a card with the song on it, prob won't play in MY camera, but maybe my comps... cassettes are allowed too, but I don't have a player..

Music I can listen to: just about everything. EFY, Motabchoir, LDS artists... music I've looked at might be "trek" ,"Reflections of Christ sountrack" (look it up, heard it was cool, sweet photography project...) and really anything that looks cool! Music always welcomed!

Ok, well, I've got lots of thoughts, and comments, but good luck on everything, stay firm and learn from each day. I really can't remember life without being focused on important things, hopefully its possible to stay focused... get more sleep! Important! snowed here for first time, winter may be reeeeeeeally fun... and cold... wash hands, swine flu is scary, haven't received vac's but might, mission is trying to order them. Pray and don't worry... WAIT is it a RENTAL spaceship car you are talking about, or is it really OURS? Every sheep is way important, help them all! Good job JEFF, keep it up, that's my browski, Jeffrey BEASTLIN (my nickname here now...)

LOVE YOU ALL! I know its true. Jesus Christ lives. This is His Church. I've felt it confirmed to me over and over. I have a testimony of agency, we CAN always choose the right. DO IT!

Love you all!
Elder Thelin the Christopher Beastlin

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Hey Family!

What's up? Hope everything's ok with everyone, and everyone's well! Sorry I couldn't send an email yesterday, we had our Pday on Wednesday this week, so we couldn't get to use the computers till now. Ah well!

Amy! Congratulations on the baptism! It was cool, WE actually went to a baptism on Saturday too! A little boy was being baptized in the branch - his family was baptized a year ago, but he was only 7 and wasn't able to - it's hilarious, because in their baptism photo last year, all are there with big smiles except for little Steven, and he's looking quite sad and disappointed, looking down. Now, he finally turned 8, and was jumping up and down to be baptized - before they closed the curtains on the font we could all hear him say "ALL RIGHT!!" I was asked to speak about the Holy Ghost. It was cool, I got to talk about how, 2000 miles away, my little sister was ALSO getting baptized! That's really cool Amy, we're all proud of you! I hope everything went well - the pic didn't work on the computer, but I'll await the package from mom. Speaking of, thanks for the package with my contacts and treats! I ate all the candy corn before taking pics of the boat, but we'll see what we can do. The cd's are a lifesaver, we were going crazy with the same 2. We're allowed to have just about anything, Tabernacle Choir, EFY, various piano, Viva la Vida, Jack Johnson..... ok, well, almost anything... but yeah, MoTab is fine, one missionary has like all classical music known to man, even some Disney soundtracks, like Narnia... its all up to the missionary, basically, whether its going to inspire, or just be entertainment and distraction.

Hmm, what else... we've done a lot of traveling... we got a call from a man in Malad Idaho, saying there is A spanish woman there, could we go teach her? So, we went... LONG ways away, we didn't think we covered even that area, but apparently we do. There are roughly 300 people in Malad, its fairly barren - check out some pics on the internet - but there was one lady from Peru there who told her English husband she'd love him forever, and he told her that could be arranged, ha, so now she is very interested in being sealed to her family in the temple, only she is moving to Baltimore on Saturday, so we won't see her baptized. :( It's all good though. Also, we had a Zone Conference, and learned much, then had a SPANISH Zone Conference in Ogden, and learned some things specific to the Spanish program. Swine flu is a big problem here too- we have 20 missionaries quarantined - we're not supposed to shake hands or touch anyone, and we wash our hands continuously. 4 English Elders above us are quarantined for 7 days. In one apartment. I think they're going crazy, and their songs they sing are growing more interesting each day...

Hmm, bueno, this week.... oh, well, funny how much damage 2 missionaries can do - we heard something about stake conference [a "stake" contains several congregations, so this is like a special area meeting he is talking about] coming up, and told all our investigators and half the branch it was this weekend. Spent the whole week drawing maps to the stake center, explaining how it was at a different time and everything, and how everyone could sleep in a little. WELL, get a call about 8 am on Sunday, a little something like "HEY ELDERS, WE JUST FOUND OUT IT'S NOT STAKE CONFERENCE TODAY! IT'S NEXT WEEK!" I guess we heard the announcement wrong. And so commenced the next hour of desperately driving and trying to wake everyone up and tell them... I thought we did pretty good, got 6 of them to church, so...

Also, really cool, remember that guy Moises (Moses) I wrote about? His best friend is an American lady, Sister Danielson, who lives in the trailer next door, and she doesn't speak Spanish, and he doesn't really speak English, but they talk through hand signs and pocket dictionaries and a few words here and there - we've taught Moises for like 3 months now. He's a slow progresser, feels unworthy to do just about anything religious, wouldn't even say prayers for a long time. Well, recently, he's been saying a prayer - a quick one, but still a prayer - every day before work. He's quit drinking altogether in 3 months. Also, he reads the Book of Mormon some. We taught him a lesson over at Sister Danielson's trailer, our last there for awhile as she has to go to Texas for the next 2 months. A few days earlier she woke up in the night thinking the thought Moises is getting baptized. We felt the same when we did weekly planning. Also, all Saturday when we saw members, they asked "Hey, how's Moises doing? He going to get baptized?" When we called to confirm the appointment, he sounded happier and more friendly than I've ever heard him, he was making jokes, asking about how our work was going, encouraging us to keep teaching people... 10 minutes before the appointment, we felt again that he was ready, just not sure how to approach it... I've never wanted someone to be baptized so much, this man has shared all kinds of things, and seems to feels he's lower than the dirt, just unworthy and can't change, just seems burdened. Baptism is the key, lift all the burdens and come unto Christ to be healed. We taught a principle, and he revealed his doubt, why he feels so terrible. We were so grateful that, instead of judging him, the member missionary with us explained that Christ can heal us, and we opened the Book of Mormon to Alma 7:14-15.

14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

I love this scripture - powerful, and explains why we need to be baptized. He read it, and then said "Actually, I've thought a lot about this lately. I know this is what I need to do. I actually made the decision about 3 weeks ago, I just wanted to know some more." It was crazy, it was so happy, translating that to Sister Danielson ("He WHAT?") The ONLY thing is he wants to wait until she gets back form Texas so now we have to wait till December to baptize him. But this'll be good, give him time to come to church on his own, without Sis. Danielson, and make some friends (he's really shy). But it was a crazy Saturday, we just have to keep him on a spiritual high for 2 more months...

Well, family, I don't have much more. Just that I know its all true! I've felt more spiritual this week than ever before in the mission, opening my heart to the Spirit, I know we've been directed to homes, invited the Spirit, helped people feel it. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know He will come one day. I've thought over that a lot, how its all winding down to the end. Imagine that morning, after all the fury of the world, all the wickedness and darkness giving its last rage before being taken from the earth, and then the stillness. The light. The Savior returning. Imagine being there on that morning, having weathered the test of life, and passed, standing with the strong, the faithful, the proven, and hearing His voice as He embraces you, with tears in His eyes, saying "Well done." I want to be there. We can all be there. We are His children, and He will never leave us if we come unto Him. He answers prayer, and can do miracles. I know its true!

Have a wonderful week all, I'm praying for you!

Elder Thelin

JAMIE, got a letter for ya, but don't know your EMU address...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Hey s' up family, how ARE you all?

Sorry about the lost pictures, Mom. Sometimes we gotta shrug and let things go right? Like our baptisms last week. And the fact that I forgot to get a receipt for gas yesterday that I needed to give to the mission office. And now I must account for. Haha. Whoops...

Well, yup, its been a fairly crazy week here too. Working, singing, talking to EVERYONE (new theme here for us, before we tried to do 10 unplanned contacts a day. President Olson declared that if we don't have 10 unplanned contacts a day, thats pathetic. So we speak to EVERYONE. Including pulling over the car to talk to walkers, shouting across lawns, etc., etc. Intense. Missionary license. And Elder Baquedano is pretty awesome. He grew up in Mexico City for 13 years, then moved to Las Vegas. Unlike Elder Muro he didn't lose his Spanish - we talk just about 95% in Spanish now, which is a blessing for my Spanish. I actually think in Spanish a lot - the other day I was imagining a conversation between me and Jeffrey and Dad, then realized that in my mind Jeffrey was using words like "entonces" or "loquisimo"... and it occured to me that Jeffrey has never had that conversation with me because he's never spoken Spanish with me, so I was translating in my head... yeah... weird. Probably means my mental processes are like moving at half the speed, but hey, whatever.

HEIDI, stop being sick. That's always a bad idea. It's not fun, and it's not cool. So stop that. Ha. Man, that's no good! You gotta get better quick kiddo. No, we don't have too much of "the swine" here, but we are trying to keep clean. I'll start using more hand sanitizer again. And I've heard that the shot is scary, so careful with that. And sweet about Reagan! Amazing! I regularly put people on the prayer rolls at the temple, and we pray for all of you, so I'm glad she's well. Grandma too!

And WHOOO AMY! That's so exciting! Your baptism is on Saturday? That's so cool! Fun! I talk about my baptism all the time with people. Baptism is really cool. It's one of the best feelings in the world. You're going to love it. You just feel really clean and happy, like you're wrapped up in a warm blanket. It's been like 12 years since I was baptized, but I still remember it. The Holy Ghost will warn you of things, help you remember things, help you feel happy when you are sad, help you calm down if you are nervous, and will be like a best friend inside you. I am so glad you are excited, and are going to be baptized! That night, write down in a safe place how you feel - I forgot to do that, and wish I had it written down. But a long time from now, you will want to read that and remember how you felt. It will be a great day. I love you Amy, and am so glad you are part of my family. Good luck, dude!

Speaking of baptisms and confirmations, we had the privilege of confirming Adrianna after 2 weeks! She is now a full-fledged member of the Church of Jesus Christ! She is happy, and hopefully more of her family will follow! Her sister's husband came to Church for the first time on Sunday - he promised EVERYONE he'd come - before he never came because he said "la cama siempre gana" or the bed always wins. Good grief. It was pretty good though. Also, we met a lady that was offended 40 years ago, and left the Church. We taught her, and I was on exchanges with a greenie, Elder Brown - he is still learning Spanish, and trying hard to talk. I turned to him, and he started just giving his testimony. It was very simple, but one fo the msot powerful testimonies of the truth I ever felt. She was crying. A little later we gave her a blessing for some health problems, and she cried again, and told us she felt a peace and joy she hasn't felt for years, and then, in a firm voice, declared she would not miss another Sunday. She is going to Church this Sunday no matter what, even if she's dying, even if the world's ending, NO MATTER WHAT. It was super cool. We've had a lot of spiritual experiences like that this week, where I know that people felt what we said is true. It's true! The Spirit testifies.

Dad, cool, you're going to be a boatsman, eh? The many sides of Gordon Thelin... just don't be too crazy with the money...

Well, yup, life is crazy, not quite used to these responsablities, but I can see how the Lord is trying to stretch me, and what I'll learn from all this. Just means a lot of working and changing to get there. I still think just imparting pure knowledge instantaneously is easier, but I guess it's something we have to work through. The Lord has a plan, and we are able to do all He hands to us, even if we don't think we can. And it sure looks like we can't sometimes. I guess that's the secret. We learn WE can't, but HE can, and humble ourselves enough to let Him work THROUGH us. We should never fear or doubt our potential in this life. As a general authority told us at BYU, "God is for us, Christ accomplished the Atonement for us, and the Spirit is with us." Can't fail. 2 is a majority when one of them is the Lord. Just need to lean on that Rock, and learn to stay there. This Gospel is true. God has given so much for us to build upon. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I am thankful for the faith of Joseph Smith that was so strong - like a rock, he knowlingly faced persecution, faced all hell and earth could throw at him, and as a Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ weathered it all in defense of the truth, for us. I am thankful for the temple, and the promises we are given there. And most of all, I am thankful for the Savior, and for all He has given and made possible. We can grow and live and change and have hope because of Him. I know He lives.

Well, love you all so much! Take care, don't get SICK, and love life!
Love, Elder Christopher Thelin

PS Calc is crazy, just look it up online...

PPS Jeffrey--WRITE about SNRa Johnson, haha, funny lady

PPPS I lost Kayla and jaime's addresses - can someone send them? I want to write, but cant

PPPPS MUSIC- we have none here.... the 2 other EFY cds are in the white shelves in DVD like cases. I'm not sure if I have any other that's appropriate, but I'll think... could you send those with the contacts? THANKS!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey mi familia!

Oh MAN, this week was different. The Lord likes to stretch us, even if we aren't very elastic-like. Like, I feel like I'm a rock or something and He's taking me and starting to pull.... cause He sure dumped about as big a change as He could on me. DISTRICT LEADER? A TRAINER? I'm still trying to get used to just being a senior companion and leading a single area, let alone be worried about 4 Elders, reporting, making significant decisions for people's lives, and being the perfect example in everything for the other missionaries etc., etc., etc. It's sure going to change my mission though. I think it is exactly what I need at this point, but it sure feels like the Lord is doing an Elder Thelin Overhaul here...

Well, let's start last week around Wednesday morning. Get up before dawn to drive the hour down to Ogden. SNOWING. Yes, SNOWING. Get down there, go to the big meeting for all the Trainers with President Olson. Intense. (He asked us to pattern our training on what OUR trainers did. Hahahahahahahahah, I haven't started attacking things in the apartment at random with kitchen knives or started calling my Greenie "Billy" or anything like that.... yet... ha, Elder Gurrola was so great!) Then we had a District Leader training, also intense. I have a greater view of accountability and stewardship now, looking at 4 Elders and determining what my actions can do, all the time, to lift and better them. Still working on that one...

Then I meet: Elder BAQUEDANO!! (Bah-kay-dah-no) He's from Mexico City, but more recently from Las Vegas. Cool guy, he's on fire. Working hard to talk to everyone, really sincere, bigger than I am, has a brother who decided to serve a mission at the same time, and they both started the same day, were comps in the MTC, and he is serving in Salt Lake City South, crazy! So now we are speaking almost entirely in Spanish. I'm turning fluent, yesh...

But yeah, really good, we're working hard here. Not easy, but good! And what a crazy first day - we made the voyage back to Hyrum in Cache Valley, driving quite slow through the blizzard, got home, then began to tract immediately. Oh, I forgot: as a zone, we only get so many miles to drive a month - and, although WE still had like 800 miles left to spare, by the time everyone in the ZONE made the 100 mile round-trip to Ogden, the zone had used them up, so when we got back, well, we had to walk. In the freezing rain and snow. Like, miles. It was a blast. Luckily we got a ride to our REALLY far appointment (tip: find out what state of mind people are in BEFORE you ask for a ride. Explanation given when this man picked us up: (in Spanish) "OK ELDERS, we have 20 minutes." "Why?" "Because I just drank a lot of Nyquil for my headache, and I'm going to be asleep in 20 minutes." Luckily the appointment was only 15 minutes away. Yes, we learned our lesson. Heh.)

And yeah, so far we're doing good. Difficult, but the Lord is changing us. It has been one of the most stressful and intense weeks of the mission, but I have also felt the Spirit a lot, and had some wonderful experiences. Yesterday is the example: Monday apprarently was REALLY Monday for the whole WORLD, because we started out by losing 2 appointments. Then, we stopped by the two older people we've been teaching, Araceli and Igancio Alvarado. They have a baptismal date for Sunday. They informed us that they had a problem and it was neccesary for them to go to California. And probably MOVE THERE. Gone. They're like family to us, so nice - I can't tell you how many tamales she gave us - but that's how it is. I was pretty frustrated, but my comp told me not to worry. As we drove past another house on the way out, he pointed out they were home, and we had missed an appointment with them the day before. So, we stopped, and, well, they were home, and we taught them a lesson. The Spirit was strong. Sometimes people don't listen and don't seem sincere after, but this time when we asked how they felt, they seemed changed, and really had felt the Spirit. Just after we had another small miracle and met the husband of a lady we want to teach, and he set up a appointment.

Later that night I was feeling way stressed. Everything fell through. We said a prayer. I began by explaining to the Lord how hard everything was... and then stopped. Then apologized, and began to thank Him for everything that was going so well. It was amazing, because as we did this, the phone rang, and it was a miracle we'd been only half expecting. Then we drove to a house, and it was dark. A name came to mind, so we drove to another house, and this 19 year old, Abel, from Guatamala that we've never taught before was HOME. We taught him about the Restoration. Again, we asked how he felt. He said "Different. Something... I can't explain this feeling." It was powerful.

SO, tough week, but learning a lot. Gratitude, and positivity. Diligence, and faith. The Lord can do it all - it's just hard to let go and trust.

HAHA, I laughed really hard at Amy's comment. [When we told Amy about Christopher's new responsibilites she said with great skepticism, "They want CHRIS to be a leader? Of other missionaries? (and then whispering) Do they KNOW that Chris flooded the church and broke an ancient stained glass window?"] That's hilarious. I'm trying to do better with floods and stuff. And I really couldn't finish reading what you wrote about the annual closing up the pool conversations between Dad and Jeffrey from under the deck, I was crying so hard laughing. Holy cow, Mom, that was funny, and typical. I do miss those good old days, but not so much crawling in the mud under that deck... (don't we ALWAYS do it between Saturday conference sessions?)

Wasn't Conference good? Admittedly, I missed out on some because in Spanish its a little harder to follow, but I saw some in English - Elder Holland's was amazing. "I want it to be written down in history before God, angels, and men that I testified to the world in the plainest language I know that I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE!" ('Safety for the Soul').  Apparently all the people watching in Spanish could hear his voice over the translators... also thought it was cool that there is a TEMPLE BEING BUILT IN BRIGHAM CITY! That's MY AREA right now! YEAH. Really good stuff - we had about 10 investigators watching the conference, and all loved it.

Hyperboles... no idea. I remember what a parabola is, but only because I get it confused with "parable" in Spanish... and co-vertices sound like a trap. Good luck with that, Jeffrey.

Well, we don't have much more time here. Jeff, keep running, be the beast. Holly, you're riding again? Amy, nice party - sounds like fun, and 5 GOALS! Heidi, YOU CAN DO IT - #1 AR reader in the school - wasn't Harry Potter 7 awesome?!! Not that I am remembering it...

Well, family, I love you guys. I'm learning a lot, and hope that my dross is being consumed and my gold refined. I'm so thankful to have felt the Spirit in a greater way this week, and hope to grow much. I don't understand all things, but I want to trust without hesitation. We are so lucky to have that as children. Wish it was easier to keep it. But I know that God lives. I know that He is watching over us, and not passive, but working to help us overcome our difficulties and grow. The Savior Jesus Christ is always here, trying to heal and strengthen. It's amazing to think of that patience. He knows us, He weeps with us, He understands us. Even though we are so weak, He understands, and loves us anyways. Enough to help us overcome them. And I've thought a lot about what He expects of us. To those He has given the Gospel, the truth, the gift of the Holy Ghost, all these oppurtunities... do we understand what we have? The Lord has given us so much... think of what He is hoping for us: we are given all this not just to keep it and enjoy - His hope is that we bless the world with it. The salt of the earth isn't good if it can't be used! He is so exicted when we humble ourselves and become a tool for Him to bless others, help our brothers and sisters understand and come Home. I know this is true. I know He is always willing to help us grow and stand up again. He never designs to destroy us with our trials and experiences, only lift us. I know this Church is true. The Spirit testifies to us. Christ is leading us. God is for us. We can be laborers in His vinyard with Him. If He is helping, we can do it.

I love you all. Thank you for all you do! I hope its not as cold in Virginia yet, and school is fun, and everyone is positive and grateful! Look to Him, and never look away.

Love, Elder Christopher Thelin, who feels like he was accidentally signed up for too many spiritual AP courses in one semester...

Ps Seeing as how I can't remember where they won this battle... um, SO EVERYONE WENT TO GO PARTY, and went out to eat in a small little village fiesta in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Holly was riding a llama and everyone was great until the llama started to talk. "I used to be an EMPEROR you know...."

PPS "Best Two Years", haha, that is a pretty good representation about mission life sometimes... hilarious!
My "son," Elder Baquedano