Wednesday, December 23, 2009
OK so MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Tis the season! This has been a crazy time for all of us, running everywhere, trying to get things set up for things, mission conference, etc etc. BUT its been a good week -we had a baptism on saturday! 10 year old Leonidas from El Salvador. smartest kid ever (well, besides our family of course) but yeah, sweet baptism, he actually wanted to get up and say a few words afterwards! Unfortunately we had to fill the font with buckets again... apparently that's "just how you do it" here. Excellent.
Well, I guess we'll start with transfer news - Elder Tetelpa is getting trasferred to STAR VALLEY Wyoming! aka the Death Star, its a whopping -30 degrees up there, and he's going to be in a zebra area (half spanish half english). Gonna miss him, he's one of my most imteresting companions. Gone through a lot of change in a short time, lived pretty wild before the mission. Hearing him turn everything into a rap song was interesting ... hilarious guy. But he needs to go up north! And I'm going to be staying here as a district leader with a new elder. Good kid, from Mexico, convert for a year or so. Speaks little English. He has had a rough mission so far, so I'm a little worried about how I can help him grow and feel comfortable and want to stay here. We shall see. I've felt the Lord's promises to strengthen me lately. I was thinking maybe I'd get a really strong companion and baptize 50 people, but He has different plans. There is a purpose in this, and we will have huge success in any case. It'll be interesting... no more rap or beatboxing though, heheh...
Hmm, well, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGES!!! "Frank and Bob's Christmas in a Box" has definitely made the apartment festive!, Thanks frank and bob! I love it - I had made a tree of colored post it notes, but the one you sent is so much better and real! And thank you Royston family! We're anxious to wait till the 25th! Many Elders were jealous of me walking out with so many packages from Mission Conference. THAT was interesting - all 180 missionaries together in one place all day friday. We did a Christmas talent show - the Spanish Zone in the South did a really funny skit about the crazy antics we have to go through trying to get people legally married here so that they can be baptized (welcome to the Spanish program, nightmare... It goes something like this..."No, I'm not married to my girlfriend I've been living with for 12 years. Can't marry her because I'm married in Mexico. No, we can't call her. No phone. Oh, and my girlfriend needs a divorce too. Same deal. Me and my girlfriend have 5 kids." YIKES. The Law of Chastity is always fun to teach! And then we sang "La Bamba" and "Feliz Navidad" to the mission (fun, I know all the words now... "para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de gracia"...) Other highlights included a movie we made on P day - an Elder Limon from Canada is basically my twin in everything, movie making is a favorite hobby, and he knew a professional movie editor with film equipment, so we made a mock-companionship inventory(where we as companionships evaluate ourselves at the end of the week) and did it kinda like the Office... fun) So yeah, good stuff, it was fun. Crazy to see all my former companions, find out about people we baptized in other areas... Poor Elder Minson got his Dear John, dated and baptized the girl before the mission for 7 years, all he talked about was future plans with her... has 5 months left and she revealed she'd been dating another guy for a year...rough. All who are waiting for a missionary, don't wait till the end to Dear John someone, ouch...
Well, family, I'm excited for Christmas - I have 40 minutes to talk, probably easiest to call in the morning hours, like maybe noon for you? If not, maybe a little later on - I can call at noon and then if its not good just tell me when to call and I'll hang up and try again... and I'll call the house? hmm. Dang. We haven't planned this well. Ok, well, if all is lost and you are somewhere else with a different phone, or soemthing, and we havent been in contact by noon on the 25th, my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. But I'll try calling you first I guess. Heck, we'll figure it out. Ok, well, love you all! Focus on why we are here, why Christmas is special - remember the Savior! He is real, and he lives. That is the meaning of Chrismtas. Joy to the world!
Love, Elder Thelin
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Haha, sounds like Christmas is pretty crazy at home, as usual, of course! It kinda feels weird without all the concerts and hooplah that you usually go through, but its still Christmas time! We've celebrated with extra activities, watching g rated movies ("Imagine That" with Eddie Murphy was pretty good), a Mission Conference on Friday (no singing Fireside for the public like in June, sad... President isn't very musically inclined...) and yeah, to top it off, transfers on Tuesday. Excellent. I'm very confident I will be staying, so yeah, I'm not worried about adjusting to a new place. But man, thats no fun for all the missionaries that will be transfered... And as for the cold, our zone leaders fixed our heat in our apartment now (ha, yeah, that was dumb, didnt realize it was broken..) so its warmer, and we're not outside tracting too much. It is cold, but not deadly freezing or anything. Thermals and sweaters will do the trick.
This has been a pretty crazy transfer, but fun. Layton is a great place, with great members. There are several families with sons on missions, so they call us frequently to ask if we want food, or this or that - we're cared for. The branch here has over 200 people too! Usually they have less than 80... And- OH yeah, I almost forgot - so the main event of this past week was Oscar - I think I mention him in the last email, he's a 19 year old, and he's living with some members of the branch for a few weeks. He has been to church a ton in other wards, and loves it. He decided he wanted to be baptized, and called us up. The catch is that he had to leave to LA again to his home on Monday. So, we taught him all he needed to know in 7 days! Sweet investigator, good guy. Weird that we taught in Spanglish, and got to know him pretty well. It felt weird talking to someone more our age, getting to know him a little better. Anyways, he always told us that he felt the Spirit when he prayed ("Hey, I felt it again last night!") and read a lot of the book of mormon. Talked a lot about going on a mission someday! Then on Saturday we had the baptism! CRAZY, beacuse when we got there, the font didn't work. Only a trickle of water. After 20 minutes and only an inch of water, we had to switch plans fast - the baptism was starting in like 1 hour, and usually it takes 2 hours to fill normally. So, we opened up all the bathrooms and changing rooms, and found the showers that actually worked... then found all the trash bins that looked cleaner, washed them out, and filled them up, running bucket after bucket to the font, like 10 gallons at a time, for 45 minutes. It was exhausting. Absolutely crazy. BUT it got filled, and was ready at 4:00! Sheesh. And the printer of a member didn't work, so we made a program handwritten, pasting picutres we cut out of a pamphlet to the front and photocopying it. All in all, 40 people showed, including non members, and Oscar was baptized. It was a powerful service, and a sweet experience. The next morning he was confirmed a member of the Church, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. And now he's gone! CRAZY. But it was sweet, how much the Lord worked through him, and let us work with him!
Haha, is the Hansen's van still in Grandma's yard?
and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jeffrey, good job getting to 17, and with the play and all. Sounds like the party was fun, stop losing phones...
Amy, get better! Hannakuh is definitely important! (THAT was funny).. as well as Continent Day! Can't have Christmas without em... glad to hear Reagan is still feeling optimisitc.
THANK YOU Magura family for the cookies! I think I didn't mention that last week - they were delicious. We loved them - and they helped keep some elders involved during a district meeting I was teaching, so many thanks! And Grandma Pat, the office called me and told me a christmas elf dropped off a package - and they hand delivered it to Layton - the christmas candy is excellent, it feels a lot more like Christmas with your window candy and almond roca and such, mmmm... thank you! And we're enjoying the extra lunches at McDonalds! Thank you so much! We're going to cash the check as soon as possible!
Well, family, the work is good here. A lot is changing, and things are always getting better. We're finding many people, and people really do want the gospel. We talked with a man who doesn't believe in God, or if He does exist, He surely doesn't love him. We felt inspired to share a scripture - 3 Nephi 9:13-15 - and as we explained that there is a Savior, and He can heal us, his eyes teared up, and he changed his manner of speaking and treating us. He felt it! I know this gospel is true. It is the plan. He IS the Savior, the Messiah, the Way. Heavenly Father lives and loves us, and if we exercise a little faith, the blessings flow.
Merry Christmas to all! Peace on earth, good will to men.
Ps No frank and bob package yet...
PPs The ship began to sink. "EVERYONE IN THE SUB!" cried the penguins. They all went below and zoomed off just as the ship sunk underwater. As they drifted past the ginormous iceburg, Heidi spied something on the bottom. It looked like a cave. "Lets check that out!" said Amy. "I dunno" said Holly. As the sub got closer, they saw...
Ppppps I'll figure out the contacts asap, but havent been able to get to Ogden..,
PPppppppps Elder T says he wants an alarm clock. So he can get up on time. A really loud one, that is difficult to shut off, and by the end, leaves one VERy awake. his exact words were "anything is good", but i think thats what he meant...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
WOW this week HAS been crazy, on all sides of the Thelin Family. Goodness. Good job surviving the YW in Exellence, plays, birthdays, minor snow flurries, etc! I would love to see that play... in a year and 2 months (where is it going??) Ha, ok family, 4 inches of snow. Ok, so this morning we slept over in Bountiful as a zone to be here for a P day activity. We slept in a church building watching the movie "The Testaments" last night, and slept on the floor. FREEZING. Wake up... about 6-10 inches of snow and still climbing... I'm learning to drive in the snow, new adventure... 10 miles an hour is way fun...
And BOY have we seen miracles this week! This transfer has been a slow one, trying to solve problems here and there, organize the area, life, missionaries... we thought no people were going to be baptized this month. But something clicked after Thanksgiving. We picked up two baptismal dates. Then, another man that has listened for 6 months accepted baptism. Then a 10 year old came from El Salvador, reunited with his family, and wants to be baptized. And THEN a 22 year old who is living here with a family for one more week called and said he wants to know how to become a member of the church. In one week. Baptism scheduled for every Saturday this month now. Miracles. So cool!
When did Jeff get contacts? Was that before my mission? Vague memories of former friends and family...
Sweetness. Other good happenings... we are singing in a Spanish Elders Quorum choir next sunday for sacrament meeting (Elders Quorum is the same in Spanish or whatever language. Funny) I am now playing PIANO for sacrament meetings. Excellent. We found many people this week. Hmm, my apartment is still sweet...
OH so, I'm not sure yet, but I think my contacts are going bad. Rather, my vision is going bad. Grr. I know. I'm an idiot. But I'll see. I can get a free eye exam here, and know a guy that gives missionaries 1/2 off glasses (maybe contacts too...) so, I'm going to check. Heh. Grr.
And hope Heidi's birthday went well! Was it fun? Do you feel old now? Like a teenager? Yikes, you're OLD, and just starting the fun! Happy birthday Heidi, miss you lots! And happy birthday Grandpa! Hope all is well and you are enjoying life! Are you making good use of the saxophone? Funny, I miss playing it sometimes, just want to hear some jazz. And most of all miss coming over to your house and seeing you, Sunday is a little different without that! Hope that your birthday was great, your Christmas is white, and all is filled with the Spirit of Christ!
Congrats Robert on your baptism!
Dad, you're amazing. In the video of our lives, I'm probably hitting replay a lot for your life, to catch the awesomeness of those deep sleep comments... hahahahha... Hilarious stories mom.
Well, family, I love you all very much. I know that this crazy thing I'm doing is true. That God lives. That Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, the Savior of all people, MY Savior. He forgives, comforts, strengthens and guides. Follow Him. It requires childlike faith. This past week I have grown towards Him. Seek Him out - I know He lives. What mom and dad are teaching you is true. Follow their examples, and remember our Heavenly Father. This is not just a Church - it is the Kingdom of God. It is true. We were sent here to earth to be special, to be strong and brave and righteous, and help all our other brothers and sisters everywhere to come and be happy, and make good choices. Our Heavenly father has given us SO much by giving us our two parents, our cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, this church, friends. I've never appreciated that like I have here. We've grown up in a fairytale, our home has been more like heaven than I realized - there are billions that can't even imagine a home and family like ours. I'm glad to be here to try to change that.
I love you all, and wish you a Happy birthday Jeffrey, happy Day of the Ninja on the 14th, and a very Merry Christmas!!
Love, Elder Christopher Thelin
PS The neverending story....They shuffled on board, and sat down. A few crazy penguins wearing backwards eye patches were lounging around, popping open some sparkling cider and sloshing it everywhere trying to serve up some glasses for the guests (and doggie dishes for the dogs). "What is this?" asked Holly. "This? This is nothing. This is just the old clunker we took to get OVER here. No, my pinkish biped friends - and canines - the REAL gem is down BELOW. The submarine is-" Suddenly ther was a loud boom outside the pirate boat...
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
December 1, 2009
Yolah! How's everyone doing? Happy Thanksgiving! It was weird, this family called us while we were at Grandma's house, who could it have been? Haha, no that was funny, sorry I couldn't talk. Yes, I said "I no a speaky English, Call back on Navidad!". Sorry for being lame and obedient - I considered talking a minute or two, but I felt bad for Elder Tetelpa, that was a huge sacrifice for him, letting me see my family and him not getting to seeing his - I'm not sure if I told you that, but he was born in Vera Cruz Mexico, but he's lived in Salt Lake City - no kidding - for years. Was going to Chicago on his mission, but they switched it last minute. He's kinda affected by that, we can see Salt Lake City from our area, and I think he was feeling like we should just take a 10 minute drive south after Grandma's. But yeah - anyways, it was a good time there! Awkward, ha, feeling like I was back in time or something, but your'e right, it totally helped me recharge and get a fresh perpective on life, remember what it feels like to be with family and not just talk about it. And thanks so much Grandma and Grandma Baer, Kayla, Amber and Sam for helping that all to work out! Hopefully I wasn't too weirded out by seeing family, but it was fun! Pie was EXCELLENT.
Good job on the driving adventure to the bowling alley, Jeffrey. Study the maps, dude. I spent like 100 miles the first day in this area, wrong turn after wrong turn...
I like the talks, that's cool - both good suggestions, sounds like a missionary style talk, hah. WE had to give talks too this weekend, we were preparing for like 7 minutes, then they called and said oh, could you do more like 12 each? Yeah, sure..... but it was good, we spoke about guess what, missionary work. I talked about light - I found an old email you sent mom at the start of my mission, and stole some off that - but talked about the light we have in our lives, how we obtain light when we recieve a testimony, and how we can share the light with others, how their faces change as we teach them. It was fun, and a whole bunch of members loved us after, offering us Christmas dinners and help and referrals. Sweet.... and we had a successful week! We found a bunch of new people, and got two people accepting baptismal dates, which has been a struggle for a while here, but its starting to pick up! Starting to work better and learn how to work here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI!!!! HOW'RE YOU DOING KIDDO??? How the heck are you a teenager? I hope your birthday is awesome Heidi, and you can eat a ton of cake and stuff! I love you a ton, and am always talking about you to people. You're awesome, and I miss you tons!
Allrighty, I gotta go - my comp doesn't email and is ancy waiting for me, so, love you all! I know this is the truth. We are so blessed in our lives it's ridiculous. Jesus is the Christ, and He is here to help us. I'm looking forward to growing closer to Him as Christmas comes closer!
Love, Elder Thelin
PS No string no necklace, Frank and Bob... yet, hah
PPS AND THE SHIP SAILED UP, with the gang watching on the shore. "What's it doing asked Holly. It was turning, and the cannons were turning towards them. "Uh oh" said the Platypii. "What?" said Heidi. "Pirate Penguins..." he said as he put his platypii hands up in the air...
PPPPS Got the address! Very funny Kayla. Thanks for coming all the way to Grandma’s house to give it to me.
PPPPPPs Megan Frary, tsk tsk tsk. She couldn’t wait for me. Hahha.
PPPPPPPS THANKS FOR THE THANKSGIVING PACKAGE AND THE CDS AND THE WAMPUM HEADGEAR AND EVERYTHING-- YOU ROCK!!!