Wednesday, December 15, 2010


PART 1 (written last week December 6,2010)

Hello Family!
Do you all just feel tired all the time? Sounds like you would be.... jaja, you all do an awful lot. Almost like being missionaries, just crazier.
While you all are planning birthdays and cultural events, this weekend we have somehow got ourselves into planning a wedding and a baptism at the same time on Saturday at 6 pm. We told a couple they could get married whenever they want, great couple, hilarious. The lady, Guadalupe, said "My birthday is on Saturday! Lets do it that day!" So with all our missionary authority and faith we said, sure, no problem. Then we started making phone calls. Well the branch president cant do it. Neither can the stake president. To get authorization for other bishops outside the stake to marry them, he called the 1st Presidency. (yes). The chapel is already being used like twice for Christmas parties that night. So we called the couple and asked to combine their wedding with the ward christmas party. They said yes, but then their friend called and said they were mad. So we went by and they said they already invited the whole Relief Society and friends from all over, they all got off work for that day, and if we failed them for Saturday they probably just wouldnt get married. Or baptized. Ever. SO we quickly called everyone again, moved it back to Saturday. All this from 9-11 last night. Yikes. SO we have a wedding planned, with NO chapel, NO bishop to do the service (did you know that missionaries have the authority to marry too? but need permission from the 1st presidency...), a BAPTISM at the SAME time but not sure what chapel, and still have to get the lady a form of ID to buy the marriage license... we're going to Sams Club today to get them a membership, because technically the card they give is a photo ID... we're a little crazy right now. heheheh. Pray.
Sad about Grandpa's car getting whomped by a tree. :(
Thanks Stefan for the gloating. But I ate turkey. With my grandma. Hahaha.
Heidi congrats on your voice recital, I want to go to some! And glad Feast went well for Jeffrey! Figures he'd eat the cake...
At the baptism on Saturday, it was beautiful. This girl has done a lot, and is super firm. The first talk was given by Sister Torres - my favorite member. Single mom, joined the church in 6 days a few years back. Super strong. We're going with her to take out her endowments this next week. She bore testimony of baptism and the Church, and just the love and support and testimony of Christ she gave filled that room with a tangible Spirit. Many investigators from all of Logan were crying, and are super close to being baptized because of it. Only problem with the baptism is the water was freezing...
Another baptism on Sunday - familia Galvan - we taught them in LAYTON last february, elder preciado and me. But they moved! We thought they'd never be found, BUT some Elders found them, they were ready, and got baptized on Sunday - remembered us and invited us to baptize a few people in the family too! As we sang a hymn about the first vision, the father's face shone, and he just closed his eyes and felt the Spirit. Amazing.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to everyone that just had a birthday! Aunt Jill needs to get an award. Aunt Jill has been the most faithful writer throughout my entire mission, equalled only by my own mother - every week there is a dear elder in my mailbox. I always know what is going on with my cousins, the spiritual insights from sacrament meetings or personal scripture studies, or funny stories from my own family. I sincerely appreciate you Aunt Jill, thank you, your letters have supported me many times when I need a lift. Love you aunt Jill, hope your birthday was really great!
And GRANDPA! HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY grandpa! Love you a lot too! I've found myself really wanting to spend time with you and grandma. I love you and appreciate all you've done for me.You're a great grandfather, and an amazing example. Happy birthday!
And JEFFREY is turning 18? That's really weird. Happy Birthday Jeffrey! You're an awesome browski, I do miss you and wish you could be out here working with me too. Will write more.
I love you all! the week is crazy and I got to go, but I do know Jesus is the Christ. I feel His love when I am in the temple. I know that He loves us. He is the intercessor with the Father. I know that if we follow His gospel we can be with Him. The Book of Mormon is sure tangible evidence of the divinity and reality of this work, and is the most powerful testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior and of the gospel path of faith, repentence, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endurance to the end. If we set our eyes on the Savior, and are faithful to His Church and His annoited prophet, there is nothing that will stop us from coming unto Him and receiving all He has for us. I know He lives. He is merciful. This is His work.
Love you, Elder tHelin
Ps sorry Ames about the Spider woman play! Who knew Spider Woman was a Native American weaver, not a superhero... bummer
Pss SUPER cool about President Monson... he was seen in a restaurant up here, but I'm always in the wrong place.
Pspss ha, glad Thanksgiving worked out with all the chaos, yes, I got a good chuckle out of that...

PART 2 (written December 14, 2010)

Hello my dear family (I accidentally typed dead. We ARE in a family history center, but I would like to talk to my LIVE family right now... haha)
Mom. Stop stressing. Its a Christmas card. :) Testify of the meaning of Christmas, and send a picture. Its ok. It'll work out. "Things that matter most," President Uchtdorf's talk. :)
Presents: Its really ok, I dont need anything, and its true, I'll just have to pack it up again... Elder Ruvalcaba... I dont know if he'll have something or not, actually, cause his family really doesnt even know what he's doing, and he never really hears from his parents much. But he's pretty easy going about it. You guys are great, I'm just excited to call you all(!).
Stop enacting suicides in plays, my thespian siblings. Keep eating belgian waffles.
Holly sang in church too? sweet!
Wednesday. Spent like 2 hours calling building coordinators for a dozen chapels in east Logan. Many chapels=3x as many wards. December= Christmas parties. EVERY CHAPEL had a christmas party. for relief society, elders quorum, or just plain ward party. In addition the 1st Presidency responded and said we'd have to send a letter in order to marry the couple OUTside of the stake boundaries. so we got a hold of an English-speaking bishop, and just found a translator. FINALLY we convinced an EQ president to do their party in a different room (we couldnt use it because the lady said we couldt have food in there because of the new carpet. AGHH!!) We go to Sams club and buy a membership for them, so they have a card with their name and photo on it, to get the marriage lisence (photo ID required.) Thursday. Intense. Alejandro, the husband calls. "Bad news, we decided to call it all off.' "WHAT???" "Naw, we're just kidding. But we did decide to be baptized the same day." "WHAT???" They were saying they'd get baptized like in may, but his wife sat down that morning, started reading the Book of Mormon, and felt he Spirit, and called her husband and asked if they could on Saturday!!
MIRACLE - Fasting does work miracles.
SO we needed to find ANOTHER place to do the baptism - and it had to be AFTER the wedding, but in another building. We couldnt move the wedding, because remember we need 1st Presidency permission to have the wedding outside of the stake. And in the stake, the baptism rooms were all holding drinks and jello or being used as nurseries for Christmas parties. AGH.
But it all worked out beautifully. We had a simple ceremony. The wedding part took 3 minutes - the bishop didnt give any counsel because he doesnt speak Spanish. We realized we planned an hour long wedding ceremony and kinda figured it would take an hour, so after 3 minutes we had 2 newlyweds and 30 people looking at us like "whats next?" and the Elders improvised more events.... like cutting cakes and pictures....
Then we all drove - pretty much "fast walked" like you suggested, Amy - to the Tabernacle, for the baptism. Beautiful. They said they felt so good. Then back to the church for party. CRAZY. But they are really happy. And we're dead tired.
3 of our investigators are telling us that surprise, they want to be baptized Saturday!!!! Another crazy week! but its a good crazy.
All is well. We are enjoying things here. I love you all a lot. Merry Christmas. Focus on the Savior and family. Dont stress out. Hope Dad's work goes better. Be faithful, read the scriptures, pray, temple - the problems have solutions, and He can give them.
I know the Savior lives, I know good triumphs over evil, and that this is the Lord's true Church. I know that the Spirit testifies of this.

Love you all, Elder Thelin

Ps So sad I dont get to meet Harry the Christmas Tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Hello family!

How're you all doing? Sounds like all is going pretty good. I enjoyed hearing the voices on Thanksgiving - haha, I was totally expecting you to call, but decided it would be bad to talk since my comp can't talk to his parents - he's the only member in his family, he got baptized after 15 days of hearing the missionaries, he said he knew it was true without a doubt in his heart... and his parents are in Mexico and live in a little ranch that doesn't even know what missionaries are or any other church outside of the Catholic church. They have really no idea what their son is doing, pretty hard with such little support, but he doesn't care. Anyhow, but it was good to hear from you all! And going down to Bountiful was sweet - we thought it was going to be a bad ride. Tuesday there was a monster blizzard, total whiteout, like 10 inches in 5 hours. Intense. Thursday morning we went to the stake center to play soccer with the elders - -7 degrees. In case you missed that, that's 7 BELOW 0. COLD. But the ride went well. Went with Riley, a long distant cousin of mine living in Logan. It was sweet to see Grandma and Grandma Baer and Kayla all day, played a lot of games, yes hung up christmas lights for Grandma, ate a LOT. Good stuff.

Hopefully your Turkey day was good too! Sounds like the food as always was a hit. I love home food. But I will miss Hispanic food too...

Hmm, well, the week is going well. Elder Ruvalcaba is my new companion, super good missionary, loves the Lord and the people, its really good serving with him. He has a lot of faith. Like I said, he's had an interesting 3 years since he was baptized. His girlfriend and other friends and even his brother basically rejected him for life for joining the Church. But he felt the Spirit, he took leaps of faith, and the Lord showed him the way. He said that when all that happened,he decided instead of feeling rejected, he'd prepare to serve a mission. They sent him from Twin Falls Idaho where he was living at the time, to Ogden Utah! Great guy.

My last companion is now officially NOT a missionary! Pretty traumatic, the process, it seems like. Though 24 hours after he was released, he got a girlfriend and on Sunday was called as a ward mission leader. Funny.

We are really excited for the baptism this Saturday. Janet keeps saying that every time she reads or goes to church one more time, she likes it more and more and feels its right. A lot of faith. Through all the experiences and spiritual confirmations she has had, probably one of the most converted people we've seen.

This weekend is going to be amazing. The Lord has blessed a lot of people with the oppotunity to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There are 16 people that despite all types of challenges and backgrounds, have decided to be baptized into the Church and make covenants with Jesus Christ. 16! In this our zone! Its cool, some were people that my companion and I in Layton last February were teaching and had moved, and now are found again and have been preparing to act on what they had learned so long ago - for example, there was a man who was going to open a restaurant, we taught him about the Sabbath day, and he said he couldn't close his business on Sundays. But after he moved he decided to do it, has been blessed, and now is being baptized with his whole family. Lots of miracles. We're psyched. Other families are teaching their friends about finally finding the church, about the book of mormon, etc. Yup.

We're really enjoying the work here. There's a lot to do.

I hope all is as well at home. Holly, hope thanksgiving got better for ya! I miss the family a lot. Did everyone start school already again? Has it snowed yet there? Is it even COLD??? What kind of plays or high adventure, or musical performances are going on? Is mom still sick? If the meat pie had leftovers, leftovers can do that - our refrigerator is still pretty amazing at growing things. We dont really eat at home...

Well, we are going to get going here, but I love each of you! The gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and friend - and this is His church on the face of the earth. The priesthood, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the temple, the gospel in its fullness, knowledge about the pre-existence, eternal families, and the purpose of life - they are not found in any other church. Not one. This is the truth. And the Spirit is willing to testify of this over and oever and over again. We just have to invite it into our homes and lives. Sometimes you just want to grab people and say "LOOK, if you have a little faith and exercise it, just open your heart I know what we're feeling right now - you'll feel it too, and KNOW! If you just read the book, if you just pray and mean it, you wont have any doubt! Your problems will get better, your marriage wont fall apart, you will find a job, and you will be happy." When people are able to do that, its awesome. Thanks for all you've all done for me. Keep on being such a great family!

Love you all, Elder Thelin

PS HEIDI HAPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Como estas? Heidi, you really cant be turning 14. Like thats old. Like stake dances and stuff. When did you get so old? Sheesh, last time I saw you you were 12. You're awesome Heidi, a good actress, a good singer, student, friend, and just a great sister. Hope your birthday is sweet and you have a really happy day! Love ya, Chris!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Dear family,
Hello! Hm, too late on the Grandma thing, I called her last night! I debated and debated (as i tend to do) and decided ah heck its been a year since I've seen my Grandma, so we're going down for Thanksgiving! Not sure how, but we are. I'll be able to eat and talk with all the converts and such here for a few more months, and plus Thanksgiving isn't exactly a Hispanic holiday-- they make tacos and stuff not turkey. I still have to ask our President, but I think it'll be ok. Plus she said Kayla and some other cousins will be there, so it'll be fun. Now we just have to figure out how to get down there.... haha.
HA my companion is super trunky. He tries to convince himself that he isnt, its really funny. "I'm not trunky, am I? Ok, I kinda am. But thats ok, right?" That's ok, its his last week. Oh by the way dad, I think you'd like Elder Contreras a lot - he is completely in love with Rush, and explained to me why Rush is the sweetest band on the planet, and I have come to appreciate them. Yup. Hahaha.
So, Heidi! How was it? Was it scary being on stage, being the star of a play for the first time? HA, and having everything falling down around you? I'm sure that made it hard to concentrate. Wish I could have seen it. I will see the recording but I mean live. Just keep trying to be in plays and I'll make it to one when I'm back! I'm excited to see everryone - I got a packet of photos from aunt Jill this week and man, Heidi and Jeffrey look WAY older. Holly and Amy too. Heck, 14?? I thought Heidi was 12......... sorry!
Harry Potter 7? They made the 6th?
Amy, so glad you didnt have to retake the picture! I know what its like to have a bunch of adults make you do something and not listen (like the flu shot the mission forced on us a few weeks back, blegh....)
So mom, they may not have enough nativity stuff in the stores to make you happy, but Kohls is giving away 5$ cds of trans-siberian orchestra, pure songs about the Savior, really cool. A nice lady bought us one on our way out of the store, so we have proof that Christmas Spirit exists among the people and the stores. But then again, in Utah Wal-mart sells mormon tabernacle choir cds and in the jewrely sections there are glass things with the temple, Joseph Smith, and the Christus designed on em. Utah may be weird but there's something to say for that.
The work is going well. The area is being blessed - in a nearby ward that I have served in, 26 investigators showed up to sacrament meeting on Sunday! CRAZY! We are seeing a lot of good things happen.
HAHA we forgot to tell you, but we are moving to a new chapel with one of our branches. They announced it last week, redistricting of ward boundaries and such - going from a new stake center to a little old red chapel thats like 60 years old. SO funny, the hispanic branches are hilarious. The stake representative announced it kind of nervously, and then we saw why. It was testimony meeting. There is an elderly lady in the branch (literal translation of her last name is "Village of Wolves", hahhaa) who is infamous for disrupting everything - well, she watched the poor man giving the announcement, then up she went, hobbling up to the stand. Several people tried to get up first, but no, she was determined. She launched into a 15 minute "testimony" talking about how the gringos were discriminating against the latinos, and that for the last 20 years the hispanic branches have moved from chapel to chapel. "We are like the Jews of Ancicent Israel, wandering and wandering from place to place, never to rest!" (at this point the former branch president stood up, very composed, and then turned around to go out the door - when he looked at me he lost it and started cracking up) Then the woman turned to the stake representative and said "Take this message to the Stake presidency! We want them to build a chapel JUST for the hispanics, and we will never move, ever again!" Then she kept staring at him, and said "And dont look at me with that face!" It was sweet. Seriously, moving chapels? I guess its a big deal. It's not like it doesn't happen all the time to everyone. The church grows, new buildings are built, boundaries's just the way things are. So it is funny to see people react this way. But I'm sure it will work out fine. Haha. Can't wait until Sunday.... :) I love it. (Don't judge them-- just love them.)
The adversary is sending out [spiritual] tsumanis, just like you talked about in your YW lesson Mom. We've seen it, among missionaries, among branches, members...all around in the world. He doesnt rest. He attacks at any little hole in our armor he can find, often several at once. He tries to pit us against parents, against spouses, against leaders, against our neighbors or friends, and even against the Savior and Our Father. Its getting rougher for everyone, but the gospel still brings joy and an iron rod. I wish more of those I've seen be baptized could understand that - at times they are weak.
I love you all a lot. I know the Church is Christ's. At a study we had on Saturday we learned about what should motivate us. All we do must come from a love of the Savior Jesus Christ. I know He knows us and loves us. Each of us is precious to Him, because we are sons and daughters of God. Even though we fall a lot, He came and died for us. We went to Salt Lake City to see a play with some investigators called Savior of the World (in Spanish) about the birth and ressurection of Christ. I pondered why everyone was so excited this baby had been born - because of Him, and His suffering and love, we can repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost to santify us from sin. We can become like Him by making and keeping covenants, and Jesus Christ's grace will attend us and make it possible to have an eternal family if we give our all to Him. He lives. In the play, the Resurrected Lord asks Peter: "Do you love me?" "Yes Lord!" "Feed my sheep." Which he said 3 times. If we love Him, we must serve Him, and serve Him by feeding His sheep. That is the mission's motivation. If we love Him, and show it by keeping His commandments (John 14:15), that will be the biggest motivation we can have in life.

As we discussed this, and meditated it as a group of missionaries, tears fell down one Elder's face. He is new, and waiting to serve in Mexico. (which by the way is pretty brave). He was asked to speak, and he said he had just realized how much the Savior has done for him, how much he loves the Lord and wants to show his gratitude by serving His children. As this Elder spoke, the Spirit just was poured out. I felt it really strong. How ungrateful I've been, and how the Lord was accepting this Elder's offering and gratitude. I know He lives and knows us. Never leave Him. That's what I learned this week. I know I probably sound way too serious and preachy cause I write a lot of stuff like this in my emails, but I know these doctrines are what will keep us safe and heal whatever problem. The Lord's asked me and given me authority to teach these things right now, for a little more time, so I hope that as an authorized servant, something I write in my emails can lift someone else. Plus half the stuff I learn its too much to share to investigators in our short discussions. Yup.
Ok, pues, love you all, hope all is well, be good!
Elder Christopher Thelin
Ps haha, ok. if you want we can just start the story from a new place...
Pss: coming out of temple this morning, got pelted by huge pieces of hail relentlessly until we got to our cars. Ouch. Like, intense!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Wooooooow, that's the trunkiest thing I've been told in a long time! I'm coming home February 17th! I think that's a sweet plan, lets do it! When Sister Langford called, that was fun listening to the 20 minutes of options, she really does a good job at that, huh? Funny lady. I hope its not too much trouble to send Dad Jeffrey and Heidi out, I just think that would be really sweet to show them around and not go home alone. Its totally cool that not the whole family can come, I understand, it'll probably be easier and that way I can ease into the family gradually, haha. Getting released in Virginia is cool too. I want to talk to at least a couple people on the plane as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ...

Hmm, I'm not sure if I'll eat dinner with Grandma on Thanksgiving. It WOULD be super fun, but I have the dilemma of a lot of people here inviting me to feasts of all sorts and I'll never be able to eat with them again like that, hm, I'll think it over, see if I cant do both, I imagine we will also be at her house in February. Tough decision, I do have her number and address, so we'll probably get in touch.

I agree with the plans of going to Logan and the Kaysville - hard because the majority of people will be home later in the day, I'm going to be trying to organize that all out so we can see them or I can visit other people in the evenings before. But these are all far distant things, so we'll not worry too much about them now... lol.

This week is going really well. The work is exploding around here. Lots of people are coming out of the woodwork, families searching for the truth, recognizing the servants of the Lord, answers to prayers, miracles, reading half the book of mormon, deciding to overcome fears and be baptized... its pretty sweet. We're really happy with the way things are working right now.

Cool little miracle of the week: after something at the church, turns out my companion lost the car keys. We looked EVERYWHERE, in the car, the church, the bathroom, the piano, the TRASH... and they were nowhere. Asked everyone, and no one knew. So my companion and I went to a room and knelt and prayed.We stood up and thought about it, and my companion just said "The trunk!" We went to the trunk of the car, and lo and behold the keys were sitting right there. It was super cool, just an instant answer to prayer. I know prayer works, the Lord does answer back!

To the fam and friends:
Regionals sounds amazing, good job on faceplanting it in the mud Jeff, that sounds epic. Don't die.
Holly, HAPPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY! We thought about you a lot yesterday! Sorry birthday presents havent happened this year from my end, I'll make it up at Christmas. :) Cant wait to see your new camera! Take lots of pictures so I can see what you're doing!
FREAK! Try to illegally film that play ifyou can... GOOD LUCK HEIDI YOU'LL DO AWESOME!!!!!
I've met a lot of people that know where Puno is, weird. They are excited for Steven! RIDE A LLAMA!!!
Stefan! Finishing! YIKES.
I'll write Jeff! Oh, and if we want to backpack to Argentina: San Carlos de Bariloche is the name of the place. Look it up. LESS than 2000 bucks and Elder Sigal's family in Buenos Aires would be down for being tour guides, they explore the Patagonia "(southern end) of Argentina every summer (actually their winter).

We're headed out to do ice skating right now. I'm convinced the ukelele is amazing, an elder here plays like a pro and probably with his voice will make a cd someday. look up a polynesian/tongan/hawaiian something song: "Lullaby" incredible.

Hmmmm, Sweet experiences with a lot of people lately. Gospel is really true. We prayed in the temple as an entire zone and the Lord let us know there is a lot to do and a lot of success coming up here this month. We're psyched.

Well, we gotta get headed out, but I love you all, just want to let you know I'm happy, and I have really felt the Lord closer in my life on the mission. He has let me know in no uncertain terms that this is His Gospel. Christ is the Savior, the only way back Home. God IS our Father, and we His children. He will pour His blessings into our lives, and I have seen that. Focus on Christ.
Love you all!
Elder Thelin

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



I'm writing from outer darkness! It’s our Pday, obviously, and we decided we needed a change of scenery, so we are in the top of the mission, Star Valley, Wyoming! It’s actually in our zone, just so far that no one bothers to go there. So we decided to spend Pday exploring. Kinda pitiful, I don't know if you remember before the mission we looked up some of the tiny little towns on the mission map - we went through them today, Grover Population 100..... yikes! SO beautiful, check out pictures of Bear Lake sometime, Bear Lake is breathtaking. If only it wasn’t so brown up here... super cold though...
So family, sounds like you had a successful weekend! Congrats Jeffrey on the race! That's pretty sweet! 15th place and injured is a miracle, I'd say. My comp and I were praying pretty hard for everything to work out, so I'm glad it did! And the drama auditions are exciting, hope that you could get into one of those schools. I have friends at all 3.
And Heidi, nice job on trying to go extreme camping and freeze in the cold. I would’ve gone for the hot chocolate too. That’s great that you're doing cool activities - I super miss camping, so enjoy it. Even if it’s like torture and super cold, it makes a better story that way.
JEFFREY: I think I may have found the sweetest place to take our trip, still money is the only problem, but check out pictures of ... crud, I forgot the name. Check out like "San Carlos de Bolinche, Argentina" or something like that. Apparently its where the General Authorities and Apostles go when they visit Argentina, but our ward mission leader showed us photos, it’s beautiful, lakes of crystal clear water, mountains on the border of Chile, super amazing, and pretty cheap flight plans and all that. Like 2000 bucks would get you there and for a super long satisfying vacation, so check it out. South Argentina...
I gotta see pics of Frank and Bob, switched...
Our Halloween was good, we had a super sweet training in the morning about "The Challenge to Become", and then in the night we got like 8 missionaries together in an apartment and played games and ate junk food until we all had to go home. Pretty good stuff, playing risk, or Catchphrase in Spanish, getting missionaries to eat whole pieces of cake whole or dancing like a gangster, etc. haha. yeah....
That’s funny that you guys gave talks about the temple in church, that was the subject here in our sacrament meeting too. Huh. That was a cool Ensign about the temples. We're excited for the general conference one. How far is the temple from Culpeper again? It's going to be really weird being so far away from a temple, here in every area I've been within sight of a different temple and within 20 minutes driving distance of one, and even two temples, and several are under construction. Crazy. Cool though, there is always a beacon of light in Utah. Sad that they go unnoticed sometimes. All the recent converts think Washington DC temple is the coolest.

I'm not sure if we'll eat down in Bountiful for Thanksgiving. Transfers are like the day before, so I'll have a new companion, but I'm sure he wouldn’t mind eating there. I think I know who it will be, and he speaks very little English, but it might be ok. The only thing is I don’t know if we could drive there since we're so far away. I'll see what I can organize...
Well I love you all a lot. I'm really thankful to grow up in our family. Just the problems and ways Satan is destroying families is sad. So many problems that people tell us about. I know that this Gospel is true, it is the path God would have us take, and the way to happiness. I know the Spirit testifies to our hearts. Our Father does live and is intensely aware and interested in us. His Son Jesus Christ, Our Brother, understands and can heal and walk with us. This is the truth, and I know it. Be good everyone!
AND Holly, I'm not sure I can get something mailed in time, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You'll be 11 right? I hope it’s a sweet birthday, and that its lots of fun. Presents aren’t the most important thing (but I hope they're good!) but have fun being with our family and your friends! You're a really cool little sister, and I'm proud of you. I'm always telling people "Oh, my sister Holly would love that or she would say this..." Love ya Holly, have a great birthday!
And love you all too!
Elder Thelin

Ps: glad Donna is doing better!
Ps where are we in the story?
Pss: not trying to be super trunky but I've been told the office will give me my "trunky call" soon where they ask me about travel plans... I still don’t know, it’d be cool to have Dad and Jeffrey come out or something, but if not that’s fine too. I've got a lot of stuff but I can always leave some at family's houses here in Utah. Let me know what you've all been thinking, and we can figure it out. Yikes! I am excited. I do love being here, but I do miss family and my old life too at times. Unavoidable. Having a trunky companion doesn’t help. Haha. Love you all take care!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Hello! Yeah, I got the "dearElder" letter from you last night! What the heck Jeffrey, don’t die! Hopefully your ankle does get better for the meet and all that, but don’t overdo it and then have it messed up for life and all. We put his name in the temple prayer roll, so the ankle is being prayed for. Long board? that sounds intense, I'm assuming Ivan got a long board as well...haha
We prayed for Tanny too. Name isn’t in the temple, but we do hope she pulls through... it’ll be ok Holly. She is a good dog.
That's awesome that Steven is now in the experience! Peru sounds pretty sweet, we ate dinner with Peruvians on Saturday. Good food - they were talking about visiting Machu Pichu, said it was NOT easy to get to, but once you do, its super fascinating. A LOT of history and artifacts and such down there. Lake Titicaca - funny that Steven goes to another hemisphere and speaks another language and his first investigators are named Elmer and Freddy... haha! I expect that here, but down there? nice. Teaching lessons in that situation must not be easy - we always pray for the kids to go to another room or fall asleep so we can get the full attention, but there's not much you can do with a bunch of turkeys I imagine...
Cool! A mystery package? We'll await it here, I have the suit ready today at the shop, it ended up being $170, because there were a few alterations, but it’s supposed to be a $300 suit, so... I'm excited. I also found a dry cleaning place that lets missionaries use it for free, and an investigator's wife is sewing all the holes that we have accumulated in our pants over 2 years. Pretty sweet, we're feeling quite proud of ourselves for taking care of things like that. Never mind that she's just laughing at OUR attempts to sew them up, I thought we had done pretty good...
Haha, good job cleaning the garage, if Heidi wants to come clean our apartment that would be sweet. Unlike Steven, we get enough food for 2 or 3 companionships, people seem to think that we stay up all night just eating food or something. We don’t get to eat it all, of course, so we've seen some prrrrrretty interesting things happen in our fridge.... Mold takes on many colors and textures. Don’t worry, it’s getting better....
Que mas? Um, this week we had a cool training for the zone about how missionary work brings joy, and had all the missionaries share experiences of the best baptisms they had seen. Really spiritual, I know that there really is joy in seeing that change happen.
Also during the week one of the APs left back to Monterry Mexico - maybe I said this already - but he was 27, amazing missionary, amazing teacher and leader, Elder Ramirez. We went to his farewell, and the members where he had served spoke about how he changed their lives. Then they said "When you are going to get married, don’t forget to invite us!" "Ok, you're invited. It’s on the 22nd." And everyone exploded - he already is engaged, his fiancee has been waiting for 2 years in Mexico, and on Friday he gets married. We found some old letters of his, that said "I can’t believe it will be 20 MORE MONTHS, but I think we should have the reception in such and such place..." No idea how he made it for 2 years and stayed so focused. We heard from him just now and he’s super happy. He just had life pretty well figured out, 2 years dedicated service, and then a week later get married. Good stuff. Haha.
Pues, I think I gots to go, but I know the gospel is true, and the Savior knows each of us, Heavenly Father knows His children, and loves each one. All happens for a divine reason, to teach us something or allow us to be stronger. I know this is His gospel, and it is the path home. Especially this week, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, is a true book and is a solid, tangible, irrefutable second witness that Jesus is the Christ, that God lives, and that Joseph Smith really was called to be a prophet. The Holy Bible witnesses of Christ - many we meet say ok, well the Koran witnesses that Muhammad was a prophet, and this book says Buddha’s path is right, so how do we know...but, The Book of Mormon is evidence, a SECOND witness from another part of the world, that Jesus IS the Christ, the savior of all of us, and what He expects of us. The way it was brought about, was miraculous, and could in no way have been invented. Elder Holland said that because of this and the content, there are only two options: it is true, or it is not. We must decide, but there is no middle ground. I love the Book of Mormon for that, it is a do-or-die decision, and makes it so each one of us either rejects or completely accepts this Gospel. I know it to be true. I've received my witness over and over, and know that by living these principles it draws me nearer the Savior, it teaches me to follow the right, and guides me away from darkness. It is a solid, tangible witness of the truth that goes hand in hand with the Bible. I was just thinking about that this morning. Love you all!
-Elder Thelin

Ps: Whatcha'll doing for Halloween?
Psps:dont worry about Columbus day, I had no idea it had happened.
Ppppssps: but Mom, the cranky doors are the best ones! Don't worry!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Hey family, que pasa? Ha, dont worry about the email last week, its ok. Hopefully Heidi feels better by now. I saw Dad say he was going to write a letter, but we needed to leave so we figured I could read it this week. Seems like everyone is a bit sick right now. 103 is high, and bleeding tonsils arent cool. How long did it last? Hopefully her teachers scheduled the SUPER boring days for the ones she missed (they always seem like they make certain days ALL boring on purpose, you know?)

Wow, Grandpa sounds like he has some Mexican blood in his family - he really ate whole jalepenos? Thats pretty intense! A lot of people cant handle them. HA, the funniest thing in the world was when I had my Argentinian companion, he couldn't eat ANYthing, because in Argentina, they DONT eat ANYthing spicy. In Mexico, its 100% opposite. So, the first meal we ate he asked for a chicken torta, or like a sandwich. "Quiere jalepenos, or chipotle?" (you want jalepenos, or chioptle chiles?) He didnt know what they were, so he asked for jalepenos. He was all happy, took a sip of his horchata (a milk drink) and then pleased tried his torta. It had just a SMALL piece of jalepeno in it... His eyes bulged out, he started like hyperventilating and flapping his hands (I think he thought it would help), and making noises like "MMMGGGGG!! mmmMMMMMGMGMGgmggMMM!!" (sound that out, its pretty accurate) and then he drank his horchata drink, MY horchata drink, and ANOTHER one that they passed down the table to him. Needless to say, Jalepenos helped humble my prideful Argentinine friend quite a few times. Good job Grandpa for being a man and eating them straight.

Ok, I'll buy a suit. Thanks :)

Send the card here. I really could care less now if my address is secret - Elder Contreras is going home in 6 weeks, and he saw his parents for the first time after 23 months in General Conference. So of course they HAD to take us to eat lunch, and now they have our number, and just "happened" to pass through Logan on Sunday to do "something", so we took them up to see the temple, etc. Point is, if Brother and Sister Contreras can come see their son at his apartment in Logan, I'm pretty sure my parents can know where I live from across the country, haha.

"Live Like You Believe" is a good song, Heidi! Its on one of my efy cds. Good luck Heidi! Its so weird to think of all of them, Heidi and Virginia and all them, being like 13...

Jeffrey, good job being interesting. Good job for getting 6th, for going to a scary "school" dance, and for putting Alex in a dress. Wow. Good luck on the ACTs and junk.

Amy is incredible. Sticks are perfect combs. Film the Haunted Bathroom, please...

Hmm, what else have we been doing this week... teaching people? Trying, looking for more people to teach and obviously baptize. Did a lot of fun blitzes with like 15 missionaries in one area at a time, had to calm down the Tongan I was with because of a bad door contact. We knocked, the guy opened up the door and was looking pretty ticked. "Hello, sir, what's your name?" I said with my hand stretched out. He didn't take it, and just asked "You missionaries?" "Yes!" And the other hand flipped up with the finger... and a door slam (I moved my hand first). The Elder I was with said his family always thought beating a guy up worked a lot better than forgiving them, hahaha, had to work for a while to convince him not to go back and kill the guy! I love Tongans. Ha, there's another Tongan here, his first week his trainer said "hey, 6:30 wake up." Then 7:00, "Hey wake up" then 7:30, "Hey- " "HEY, I got an idea. We'll go outside and fight. If you win, I wake up. If I win, I sleep." The missionary let him sleep everyday. Then his 2nd comp was a tongan too. First day together they went thhrough the same routine. at 7:30, he said: "We'll go outside and fight. If you win, I wake up. If I win, I sleep." The new companion said "ok." So EVERY morning they went outside for 30 minutes at 7 and fought each other, like blood and everything, then finished hugging and crying and went in to go eat breakfast. I love how my culture just taught me to wake up and make some cereal.

Also we had transfers - I stay here again, prob will be here till February. Crazy, we had a visa waiter waiting to go to Mexico, they made him a senior and he was training ANOTHER visa waiter, and now presidetn prayed and decided to make him a district leader too! He has a whopping 2 months... hahahhahahahahaha.

WELL, family, love you all a lot. I know the Gospel is true. I know the Savior lives, and if we follow Him, we'll be blessed here and especially after. I love the line from President Uchtdorf's talk "We shouldnt think less OF ourselves, but less ABOUT ourselves." Do that! Hard stuff...

Love you all, Elder Thelin

Thanks for Kaylas address, I think she must be getting married because I havent heard from her in forever, lol. Any one else I know getting married?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Bueno! How are you all family!

Been a crazy week, we've been all over the place. I imagine it was for you all too. Maybe you sent a email but it will come later, or maybe you're just super busy, but dont worry, I'll read next week. Man, we went everywhere this weekend. The plan was to go with some other Elders to Ogden Friday night, and we got there to the APs apartment. Man, not fair, they seriuosly live in a SUPER nice place. Like, fountains in front, plazas, crystal stuff inside, they have a keycode to enter the building, and go to their apartment - like 3 bedrooms, nice kitchen and living room, etc. Just fancy. One of the APs who is from Mexico then drove us all the way to Bounitful where we spent the night on the floor. One of the elders there was super sick, felt like he needed to throw up but couldn't, so he ate a banana, drank a glass of milk and then a liter of coke (apparently a Sister missionary from Peru recommended this remedy earlier in the day). I saw the video, pretty classic, he just starting jumping up and down and rolling on the floor and groaning and such, and STILL didnt throw up. Yeah.... he finally got better. Learned a lesson... SO, on to other things.

Conference was SWEET, we got to sit in Plaza seating every time we went down to Salt Lake, we were right up front. I actually shook Elder Russell M Nelson's and Jay Jensen's hands, as well as numerous other general authorites that I didnt recognize. Pretty cool. When Jeffrey R Holland passed by us, he dramatically blew all the missionaries a kiss...they are pretty funny guys in real life! Ha, I loved when President Uchtdorf lost his voice - "this is one of the essential things I need to give this talk...." It was also really cool how so much of conference was missionary oriented. Russell M Nelson's talk, when he began and said for all the full time missionaries to please stand, it was cool to be part of that. I felt like I was part of the ranks, like he was recognizing us, pretty good feeling. I also felt the Spirit testify when president Monson testified of our divine call as missionaries. It was cool sitting in the audience there before the conference started, seeing the choir practice, seeing the general authorities come in, seeing Pres. Monson from a different angle than the usual 3 that the cameras show... it was impressive, I was looking almost from behind the pulpit, so we could see the speakers and then 1000's of people in front of them. It was a different perspective. How intense it would be to step up to that pulpit and face so many thousands and thousands of people, knowing that millions are watching from around the world, and testify. What would it feel like? I thought more about how they must feel, realizing that for all the world's problems, right now they are the mouthpieces for the Savior and are supposed to stand and help the world come back to the Savior, be faithful to Him, to feel light and faith. Thats a huge pressure. I guess I felt more strength in saying that they are really the 12 apostles and the prophet of Jesus Christ today. Cool stuff!

We spent 2 nights there in Bountiful, then went to Ogden for Sunday night, and had a meeting in Ogden Monday morning. It was cool we didnt have a dinner Sunday night, but we were driving by layton and we figured we'd try to see if the families in Layton still remembered me. The Garcia family, as soon as we walked in, were super excited to see me, and within 2 minutes, they asked if we had eaten. No, so they immediately made us a bunch of the sweetest tacos ever. Pretty sweet, fun time. Kinda felt like a vacation... but now we're here and ready to go again.

Hmm, what else? Well... good lessons, companion is even more trunky, went to the temple today... oh yesterday I talked to the Ogden Temple security guards. That was pretty classic. Ogden is... different. Some describe it as a spiritually dead zone, like you feel the spirit leave a little when you cross the bridges to get into the city, haha. The people are pretty... interesting. They said that at the temple, crazy people are always coming by. One regular is UFO lady, who says shes been abducted a bunch of times since her childhood by aliens. She's convinced the Ogden temple is the mothership, and always asks for them to let her in so she can join her alien friends in the sky. They figure that when they do the renovations and change the outside appearance of the temple in 2 years, she'll freak out and be mad that the mothership left without her...

Hmmmmmm so did you all do anything crazy this week? meltdowns, discoveries, world happenings, good laughs, families taught in our home with the missionaries, plans?

Hey, recently found out that there is a store here that can give us $300 suits for $150. They're really nice. I currently dont have a full suit, all pants from both suits are torn in ways that seamstresses here said are irrepairable, so I'm "high-priesting it" with similar colored - but - non-matching pants day to day. Maybe before the end of the mission I can get a pretty good deal on a new suit to use at home for the rest of my life. If not I'll keep looking at DI. But just saying, that's a situation I can take advantage of here... I've become more thrifty I hope with the money I have right now, no more 5 dollar ties...

Weeeeeeeeell, I guess I'll talk to you all later, love you all a lot, I know the church is true, and I think a lot about you all. Take care!
Elder Thelin

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hey fam! How's it going?

You think there will be blizzard action this winter when I get back??? Great... I'm ready. Haha. Yeah, last p-day my companion just slept and so I had some free time to write, so I hope everyone enjoyed the letters. By the time I got to Heidi's, I was ready to start just doodling, so I thought I'd go all out. Amy, promise I'll write one that'll keep you busy next time. Hah. But now it’s YOUR turns to write ME, so we'll see :)

That's sweet that my mission is paid for! Thank you so much for all the generous support from everyone. I have only read a few articles in newspapers, but the economic situation still seems pretty grim I guess. I want to repay all that money you spent on my mssion, and pay my way through college. I need to learn to make it on my own, we've got too many other kids coming up that will need the money now. I dont know HOW to do all this mind you, I just know I NEED to. Something I want to master here is managing money, and I'm terrible at it. We've been blessed with TONS of "hookups" that give us free food or cheap ties or whatever - our President just outlawed ALL of them, so that means I need to learn to manage the money better. Whee. Loved the story about "Uncle Alfred"! right...

That's a lot of missionaries going out that we know, and a lot of updating on friends! Thanks mom! Hope everyone is progressing and get all straightened out in life.

Coolest things of the week (there’s a lot!):

Elder Robbins of the 70 came to Zone conference, again instructed us for 3 hours straight, amazing! He taught that in order to change behavior, we must teach doctrine. This is the key to successful parenting and leadership and missionary work. If we teach correct doctrine, TRUTH, it motivates more than any rules to obey and change behavior. God teaches us the WHY (doctrine), then explains the WHAT (principles), but RARELY teaches the HOW (rules) because that's our own application. In church lessons, we often mess up and teach the application too much. For example, we might hear "on Sunday we need to not shop, and read scriptures for like an hour, and we need to stay dressed up all day" Thats not doctrine. Doctrine is "the Sabbath Day is a Holy Day, and we must honor the Lord." Principles are the fact that we dont work, and we renew covenants, and that its on Sunday. How we choose to apply those principles of the doctrine are our applications. Interesting. Another example might be if a kid writes on a wall, we could teach that our home should be like a temple, and we don't write on temples. This will motivate more than always saying "DON'T WRITE ON THE WALL." He talked a lot about how the mission is preparation for family life -so true, super cool. Learned a ton, these men are really called of God.

Sunday we had a baptism, "Chuy", or Maria de Jesus, was baptized at 6 pm. It was way cool. She also was confirmed in the same meeting. From the first, she said she felt something very different around the young women at Church. She felt a difference in the spirit while she attended church. She knew it was true before we really started teaching her. At her baptism, I spoke on baptism, and then her brother in law baptized her. Her older sister Janet is like 22, and was baptized 3 years ago, then married Colby, a returned missionary, here in Logan. Janet's marriage was sealed in the temple, and has prayed constantly for her family - ANYone in her family - to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. For her, Sunday was a miracle - she got up and cried out of joy. Finally she pulled herself together and smiling welcomed her little sister into this new path, encouraged her, told about why it meant so much, what the temple meant, how she longed for their whole family to be sealed together, and etc. It was awesome. Colby, Janet's husband, confirmed Maria, and the whole branch banded together to welcome Maria (and the rest of her family. We're hoping more will be baptized soon! Praying for a miracle...:) The spirit was there, and Chuy/Maria said she felt super happy inside. I always ask how someone feels right after their baptism. They always feel it. It may be peace, coming home, happiness, joy, like God is around them, clean... but they always feel it.

I know this is the truth! It requires faith, repentance, baptism, following the Holy Ghost after receiving it, and enduring to the end in all faithfulness. It requires confessing, going through, and proving real conversion and devotion to the Savior Jesus Christ. I know He's the one guiding all of this. I'm super excited to go see living disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ this weekend at General Conference - we are going to all 5 sessions live!! When Christ was here, He would have been on the stand with them, OK, well probably on a hillside with them. I have faith that he is just as present now. Elder Robbins testified that the General Authorities are inspired. I know that is true.

Love you all a ton! We're doing fine here. Keep enjoying life, dont stress, I think about you all a lot, and can’t wait to see you all soon!

Love, Chris

aka secret agent Elder Thelin

ps will pray for Sister Badger and her mom. I was thinking of them last week - met a lady named Sister Badger, she had family in Virginia, but wasn’t sure if it was a John Badger...

pps congrats on the running, Jeff!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Greetings AWESOME family!

HEIDI! Congrats! Wow, you're going to do AWESOME! Sounds like a weird play, FREAK?but I bet it will be amazing. When will it be? March? hehe, if so I can go! (weird, I can say things like that now???) What does your character do? At this point I'm picturing like a clown or something so enlighten me.... you'll do GREAT! and hopefully the choir auditions went well!

Fam, sorry I didnt write on Tuesday, once again we had a training to be at in Ogden, but it was really sweet! A member of the Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Robbins, came and trained us for like 4 hours straight, and will train all the missionaries at zone conference on Friday. Man, he is awesome. Really called of God, you can feel it when he teaches. More about him later.

HOLLY! Got your package! THats sooo cool that you are on We-he tv, the tradition lives on! What did you do on it? Was it scary? or fun? YOU GOTTA GET BETTER KIDDO, good thing you got to go back to school (well, depends on how you look at it, huh?) I LOVED the pictures, they were REALLY good, and I'm not just saying that, you do super horses, I can't draw them at ALL, so yours are better! I'm jealous. I liked all the other ones too! Family of artists!

AMY sounds like she had the COOLEST birthday party of ALL TIME, I WANT A RE-DO next year of it. Hopefully nothing blew up or anything.

Isn't it Grandma's birthday about now? HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!!

We DO have an awesome family, good stuff! I'm glad we're awesome.

Ha, sounds like mom, you've got a lot of free time on your hands. Hopefully there are valuable lessons that you learn from all the hooplah, dont go crazy. Dad too. Just try to remember to breathe every once in a while.

You would have liked Elder Robbins' training. He talked about gaining 100% control of our lives (he was co-founder of the Steven Covey company, you know, about time management and life skills, etc.) He talked about how the root of losing control is avoiding responsibility. We all love our agency, the ability to choose things, but if we avoid the companion of agency, which is responsibility, we lose control. For example, we avoid responsibility by blaming things on other people (example, "THEY didnt set THEIR part up well, so MY part failed"), ignoring ("I need to do this, but I'll forget about it and let it go"), self-pity >("I have so many problems! Its not fair!") etc. We made a long list. Then, we talked about just swallowing pride and assuming responsibility for all things in our life. Even if we are right, and someone is arguing saying THEY are right, its better to just take responsibility and say, "ok, I'm sorry" even if we have nothing to be sorry about. Cool story, a wife and husband were arguing, the wife went and prayed for her husband to see the light and apologize. she felt impressed to say sorry to him. She pointed out to the Lord that she hadn't done anything wrong. These words came to her head: "Would you rather be right, or would you rather be married?" Sweet.

If a missionary area is going bad, we cant blame a companion, or the members, or lack of a car - they are all good excuses, but if we accept that we have 100% responsibility, we gain control. Its hard to explain, but it was really good. I love being close to general authorities of the church. My friend is serving in the southernmost part of the mission, in a stake that has President Eyring, President Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar, and Elder Christofferson I believe. Imagine a sacrament meeting like that! They have eaten dinner with President Uchtdorf. Also a lady here we met is a personal friend of President Monson, and might invite us to dinner next time her comes up to see her. She also knows all of the current 12 Apostles and many of the Seventy personally. Incredible. We're trying to go to all 5 sessions of conference live this time.... the Elder in the Apostles' stake might have some leverage...hah, did I ever tell you that we called President Uchtdorf once?

Pray for our baptism on Sunday, I told Jeffrey about it. We're excited! A lot of good things are happening here! Gospel is true. The Spirit gives real specific guidance. When I came here I had trouble finding it, and didn't understand, and for a while wasn't sure if inspiration really would come or not. It definitely does. The Spirit of God is the key always, and we're just the instruments! We just have to have faith, and then it comes, and you can see it touch people to the core. Sweet!

Love you all, take care! Talk next week! Elder Thelin

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Everything backwards? Of course I feel that way, I find it actually normal to wear Sunday clothes while doing dishes or pushing cars out of a ditch or just walking long distances in the middle of Main Street. In the rain. Yup. Backwards is pretty accurate. Haha. Also, retiring in my 20s and working later does seem like a sweet idea. I think I'll go for it. I'm all for unexpected things, but I'm just so used to doing the expected. Grrr. An epic journey does sound cool. I'm not sure what it'd be, maybe bike cross country?? Go to Hawaii? We'll talk it over, me and Jeff. I think that would be excellent.

Oh, and night person - I'm definitely still a night person. Although it’s nice to have so much time in the mornings to get things done and not be rushed. But I still like the night, don’t worry.


Camper life, moving to OBX.... sure let’s do it. It couldn’t be too bad. I can only imagine the additions that we'd be able to put on the camper after selling the house. I think it’d be cool. I'm sure we could be in national news and such if we do it right.

Well, it’s only been like 4 days since I last wrote you. Not a whole lot has happened,,, ha, we had a stake conference too, we did it in the like 150 year old tabernacle here in Logan, has balconies and an organ that rivals the Mo Tab organ. Was pretty cool until the 2nd counselor of the Elders Quorum recruited us to translate. We had to go to a little stuffy booth for 2 hours and translate, and the Hispanic people listened in headsets. So, yeah, we had to watch through a little window... man, it’s REALLY challenging to listen to someone talking in English, and say the same thing but in another language at the same time. A lot of people talk REALLY fast, so their random funny story about dogs biting their ankles next to a farm and relating it to an obscure scripture that has a play on words.... translated as: "....... they're talking really really fast...... dogs bite our ankles.... it hurt..... uh, there's a scripture in.... (can’t find it in time, so just read the first good one on the page)... and that relates to faith... (even though it doesn' he's talking about something completely different....) I'm sure half the talks made zero sense after we butchered them, but it was kind of fun. Inventing words on the fly and making exasperated faces to the other translators... anyhow, fun stuff.

Haha, thanks for the encouraging words, being a ZL isn't all too stressful so far. Just getting things coordinated in such long distances is hard. And making sure Elders aren’t homesick, fights get resolved, etc. Today we have a zone activity, going to watch Joseph: Prophet of the Restoration - have you all seen that? It replaced the Testaments movie at the Visitor's Center- that movie about the visit of Christ to the Nephites. The Joseph movie is sweet, tells his life story, from a kid to his death. But it’s super powerful, the situations and the persecution. It also shows his focus on the Savior. Really good. If it’s at the Visitors Center in DC, I'd go sometime and take an hour to watch it.

That’s a sweet miracle your mission president told in conference! Good job Elders.... and amazing that our stake is doing so well! Did I tell you I know a guy here that served in the Fredricksburg spanish branch a few months back? And that I met Elders that served over Culpeper when they used to meet in the bingo hall? They were really impressed that it had become two separate wards.

Amy, that’s sweet! WEHE-TV is the best. Hopefully someone still does Bookworm Bill. Wow, that was eternity ago....

Haha, thanks for making an online birthday party for me, Jeffrey, I hope everyone had fun and left satisfied. The Lambaren party like I said really didn’t happen - the oldest kid had their birthday the 6th, so I went to hers, and on my actual birthday they were going to do something but the mom had to work from 8 pm Monday to like 11 am Tuesday, and didn’t have time, but did wake up and come out and talked to me for quite a while, which was really perfect, gave me some confidence that they are going to be ok. Super faithful. Sorry that Grandma Pat couldn’t come to the "party" here, hahaha!

Ha, well, I love you all a lot; we're doing well, and having success. A 14 year old will be baptized the 24th of September, pray for Maria de Jesus (Mary of Jesus - that's a girl’s name. For short, they say Chuy pronounced "Chewie" I'm having a hard time not making jokes about that). We talked about the plan of salvation on Sunday, and she said "an eternal family - I want that, a LOT. Like, for MY family, my WHOLE family." Pretty sweet.

Also cool, in our stake conference a counselor of the mission presidency spoke about how WE cannot ever convert anyone, it’s not our role. It’s ONLY the role of the Holy Ghost. WE are just instruments for providing opportunities for the Holy Ghost to touch people. Cool, because a couple we're teaching last night brought up a lot of doubts - "I'm not very convinced now, how do I know if the Book of Mormon is true, everyone says their church is the right one, maybe the Bible isn’t even true, just a story" She kept asking for things to convince her, because she said she didn’t think the Holy Ghost could tell her the answer. It was a huge comfort to say "We can’t do that. We can prove the truth with a million scriptures, we could show you evidence, temples in South America with these things engraved in them, we could show you miracles - but it will not convince you because the ONLY way to KNOW is for you to believe with faith in Christ, and humbly ask Heavenly Father if this is true or not. There is no other way. Don’t believe because we're your friends, don’t believe it because we have good scriptures to back it up. Pray, and you'll know." And it’s cool, because once we have that knowledge, we KNOW, not just "Ah, I think it’s good, and I'm kind of convinced that this is good, makes sense." Nope. It lets us be able to say "I know. Period."

Love you guys, hear from you later!

Elder Chris

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Whooooo! Okay, well this weeks been nuts. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY!!!!!!! 9 YEARS OLD!! ALMOST to double digits here. INTENSE. Hope it snows and you're not in school right now. I agree with Holly, why can't we call and say happy birthday? But yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY kiddo, love you a ton, hope your birthday is awesome!

THANKS for all the birthday awesomeness that was sent to Logan this past week - the package got here SATURDAY so I opened it Saturday - it was sweet! We really enjoyed the mixup jelly beans -me and Elder Contreras were eating them for like 20 minutes the other night, seeing if it was licorice or skunk flavored, peach or barf, coconut or baby wipes. They nailed all those flavors, its exactly like what the say it is... ugh. Really fun. Also, I like the Calle shirt, its like spanish and soccer combined here, ha, dont know how much soccer I'll play in this area, the Spanish Central zone went against an English zone, got intense, and someone broke a finger, so Soccer is outlawed at the moment. But the shirt is super comfy, I wore it this morning! And I appreciate the CDs, its very refreshing. Charlie Brown Christmas has been the #1 cd I wanted to have last Christmas, so thanks!

I celebrated Dyana's birthday on Monday, just passed by to eat cake with them and their neighbors - he's wanted in 10 states and is on "break" from jail for September on like a 5 year sentence, really nice guy. I'm not really sure if the jail knows he's out... -and then on Tuesday, MY birthday, we gave a training to our new zone, it was cool, and then had interviews with President Olson, then an exchange with the APs of the mission. We went by the Lambarens, and the kids were all still in school, but the mom woke up and came outside just to talk to us for a little while, which is all I really wanted to do anyway. It was cool, because she was telling us about some hard things she's been going through, tough decisions, and how she's been praying and getting answers about them, and also how she keeps having dreams since her baptism of aunts an grandparents that have passed away... coming in white, being nice to her, approving this or that. She is excited to do family history work now. Very cool.

We ate Enchiladas at a really funny guy's house for dinner, and then when we were walking, I decided to go see a guy thats been dodging us for a few weeks. "This is the last chance we'll give Antonio" I said. I was about to leave after knocking, but he opened the door, unusally just let us in, and started to tell us about some marriage problems he was having, and how he was going to leave and get divorced, like right then. It was really cool, because we just started talking about his family, about praying about it, and how Jesus was going to help his marriage and guide his kids. He gave his first prayer at the end, and he was 100% different, he thanked the Lord for sending us there, because he said he needed to talk it through with someone, and then asked God for humility and help in fixing the problem, for keeping his family together, and he said he knew the family wasn't going to fall apart. Really awesome, best birthday present I could have asked for.

But I do feel very old.

Thanks also to the Maguras! The bread is awesome! Grandma Pat, THANKS for sending the card, I loved it! Grandma and Grandpa, gracias for the card, that was really nice! Thanks also to mis hermanas for the notes and candy and everything in the package! You're all awesome. Holly, love you too. GET BETTER.

Industrial Design sounds really promising. Not sure if I'm creative enough, feel like some creativity may have been sucked out of me the past 19 months, but heck, we'll see! At least it doesn't sound boring!

Well, I gotta go, Sergio picks us up in a few minutes. Oh he sang me two Mexican birthday songs on my birthday. That was part of the whole experience. Sweet. Love you all, I know the Lord lives and its super fun to teach His gospel and see people change their lives. Thanks for the love and continual support!

Love, Elder Thelin

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


SO there we were, ready to hit the hay, around that amazing time of 10:30 when all missionary activity comes to a 8 hour pause (aka sleep). We kneel down, ready to pray and thank the Lord for a good day. But, in the relative silence of the prayer, what do we hear? BZZZZZZZ.... as we say amen, we dive for the various sandals in our room. BZZZZZZZ... where is it? We've killed at LEAST 50 flies this week! WHERE do they come from? We took out the trash... we identified the weird smell was from a sack of rotting potatoes under the sink... we've covered up the holes in the window screens with Easter pass-along cards offering free dvds about Christ... WHAP!! Good job, Elder Sigal, nailed that one on the ceiling with his sandal, and didnt even wake the guy in the apartment upstairs... BZZZZZ.. dang it, there's never just one....
We have fly problems. Impossible to sleep with flies in the room.

Wow you all have a lot going on, school, braces, work, etc. Intense stuff! So glad I'm not going to school.... heheh. Its really annoying having all of our families we're working with wrapped up in activities now. Congrats on getting the braces off Heidi! Want to see pictures of how it looks! Hope all the classes go well for everyone, sounds like they are good teachers!

Hm, news this week is we got 29 baptisms in this zone! Which is crazy cool, a lot of miracles happened and people opened their hearts and accepted the gospel. Our mission baptized 220 people in the month of August!

Jeffrey glad your work situation got resolved. If it makes you feel better, we parked the car in our street the other day to run to our house and grab a form. Came back, and a little lady was ready, waiting for us, shouting at us. Something about how we parked in front of her driveway and inconvenienced her for 20 seconds. Some people are just silly, sheesh. How long does lifeguarding go anyway? Cant go through October, huh?

Sad story, ducks in our way, we honked the horn, they waddled out into the main road, and a car SPED UP and well, it was ugly. Sad story. Dont let Holly hear it.

Hugo sounds cool. I'm glad there are hispanics in Culpeper Ward, otherwise I'm going to feel out of place back home. The people here are just hilarious all the time. Elder Sigal says in Argentina there is no depression - people call each other fat without making people go anorexic. They laugh more than judge. Ha, he's getting used to the culture change, he called a sister missionary a "little fatty" (gordita) in the MTC, which in Argentina would be fine. He didn't understand why she got so angry till he got here and I explained it. Heheheh.

I want to here the 2011 Camaro talk. Hear, I mean.

Stefan... wow.

My birthday... uh, I really don't care. Candy, pictures, whatever that seems missionary like. hmm, CDS: any cool cds of music are super welcome, such as Inside-Out cds like the one I sent home - I thought it was kind of "too fun" before. I think I was too un-fun back then... Heavensong is a good MoTab Cd it looks like. I've been told all my music is boring. Really, though, I dont care, I dont feel I need anything for my birthday. I've got a mini-party of some sort planned with the Lambaren family,Dyana, turns 13 on the 6th, so we've had a dinner with their family planned for like 3 months.

Well, no other stories are coming to mind right now. Only other news is last night the APs called (hah, I was still driving home, 2 minutes late. First thing they ask is "so, are you all settled down in your house?" "uh..... " Elder Sigal tried to stall but couldn't in time so I had to pull over, haha) and told us that the English and Spanish zones up here in the North are serparating once again, and well, they called me to be a Zone Leader here. Big stuff, kinda nervous about all that. My new companion called, he's been a ZL for a long time, and said that we're going to be going on exchanges like EVERY day with other Elders, and they expanded our zone like 4 times the size, so we cover all of the Idaho portion of our mission. Huge. Whee... Elder Sigal is going down to my first area in Ogden, he's sad to go, I'll miss him, but that's how the mission is. I'm happy because this means I will very likely stay in this area for the remainder of my mission, and I love it here already. We already have talked to almost all the hispanics it seems like, tracted out all the likely areas, so I'm excited to see miracles start unfolding, such as people just popping out of the woodwork or hearts changing 180 degrees. Good stuff. Pray for us to be able to guide all these Elders.

Love you all a lot. I know the gospel is true, of course! I know the Savior is real, I've felt His love in lessons, and extending to other people. I've seen it reflected in people serving other people. The gospel is for everyone. We learned this past week how to find and fulfill people's real needs: some people are aching with loneliness after an ugly divorce. The gospel can fill that loneliness. Some people feel they've never felt God's love for them. The gospel can bring that reassuring love. As we've done this this week, it made a huge difference in the way I see missionary work. Instead of teaching a man a lesson, we just talked with him about his frustration at not finding work because he's not legal here, and his family depending on him and feeling desperate. The Spirit came as we just focused on how the Lord is planning to help him through this current challenge, and after he opened up more and said he understood, and gladly would read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if this is the true church and if he should be baptized in it. The gospel can fulfill all things that don't measure up in life. Put it to the test, it does work. I know it's true.

Love you all, be good and be safe! Love, Elder Chris

ps HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEY! (so glad we belong to a church that approves birthday celebrating!!! There are some out there that don't!)

Pspsosp Hey Steven! Good luck, you'll do awesome! All the people that hear I have a cousin going to Cuzco are really impressed and excited for you, just rely on the Lord, and He'll guide you. Love you man, go get em!

Pspsps ok, I'm deciding that after the mission, the Lord will provide. I won't worry about jobs or anything yet. I just basically wanted to know if that sounded like a good rough sketch, staying in VA to earn money for fall.

Pshhhh THE CLAW descended on the group, and barbie and the Zerg minions started panicking (what a bothersome word). The girls and the gang (who all is in this gang now?) tried to run too, but the Claw grabbed them all. All the Zergs were left down on the beach front and the girls went up and up and up and up...

Added a little later in the day:

C ool story, we were invited to a youth activity at the ward mission leaders house, and we were supposed to speak with a kid that was leaving to Guatemala in a week. It was all going ot be outside by a fire with BBQ, BUT it was pouring rain. Poor kid speaking before us, he just kept on going even as it turned from damp to drizzle to pouring rain. After his talk we kinda figured to spare everyone and huddle all the youth under a small gazebo thing. SO with 30 some people in a 8'x8' square, the edge people getting soaked, we started to talk. Cool, because we told all the youth to pray while we talked for sun. As we talked and shared stories, the Spirit was there strong. There were recent converts and teenagers investigating the Church there, and it was cool. And, by the time we said amen, the sun was shining really strong. Cool miracle, prayer is real. We told the two Lambaren girls to pray extra hard, I'm sure it was their faith that did it. Sweet!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Haaaaaaaalllllo, how're you doing Thelin clan, you're so lucky, the people here have already gone to school, so you guys have more freedom out there. Hope it’s just barrels of fun, no envy though...

So yes, no mountains today, just the temple as usual. We hurt for quite a while after last week's adventure. Bleggh. I've decided we need to go to a Demolition Derby sometime, they had one here, and we happened to have an investigator we needed to see who was working on his car to destroy, we got all the way back to where they were trying to pull steering wheels out of engines and stuff, but the police officer spotted us (not hard, we were in white shirts and ties....) and kicked us out :( Only Demolition personnel allowed back there, you know...We should do it sometime.

New cousin! Emmeline! How many new cousins have I had in the past 18 months? I've lost count, I feel like I know them and what’s happening with them, but I haven’t met ‘em...

"Beowoof" sounds pretty sweet, Jeffrey. Glad you could take such a captivating story and make something good out of it. Have fun with Grendel, ugh. Anyone taking anything super interesting in school this year? Choirs and everything still?

Heidi - loved the package. Are silly bands really a fad? We've been enjoying ours, they smell really good, and we keep shooting them at each other. Intense stuff, does everyone just wear them, or do you have to take ‘em off to show what shape they are, or do you play some game with ‘em? Sounds amazing, just saying...

Congrats on the Eagle, Jeff, sounds cool. Glad you got it figured out in the wilderness without burning everything down or anything too bad. Welcome to the Eagles nest. Yeah...

Most interesting happening of the week... um, BAPTISM. Pablo Lambaren Jr. (Yes, we are just working through all of the members of this family). Pablo's family got baptized in January - they are cousins of Norma's family. Pablo, 16 years old, was in Provo for a year on a program. Well he just got back, announced he had listened to the Elders down there, and at the baptism of Norma, we asked him how he felt (amazing) and asked him to be baptized too. Well, he accepted, taught him the basics, the Elder interviewing him was really impressed, and he was very excited. Sunday we had the baptism after church, and it was great. Pablo's dad baptized him, his recently baptized cousin Desarie (8) bore testimony of how she was feeling the spirit, and his other cousin Dyana (12) also bore testimony, and gave the talk on the Holy Ghost (and also had spoken in sacrament meeting). Pablo's mom spoke, saying she knew her remaining two children one day soon would accept the gospel (working on that). Also a Sergent from the Logan City Police Force spoke - knew the family really well, from unexplained past encounters... So cool, Spirit was pretty strong. Good stuff. It’s cool, this family got baptized, but come from a pretty rough background, have trouble staying out of trouble. They've been judged a lot, and left the church for a month or two, but decided to come back no matter what people may say. So proud of them. It’s so hard to stop something like gossip. I've found that even I do it sometimes, just talking about people. Something I want to stop completely. But not easy.

Wellllll, what else? Hmm, this might seem kinda trunky, but a lot of elders are signing up for colleges and such - just seeking advice, I think I mentioned my plan being come home, try to earn money out in VA until September to pay for college on my own, and then go out to BYU in the fall of 2011. I don’t know how the job situation is out there, or if that sounds good or not, but just thought I'd through that out there. My current college major is classified as "something interesting"...

Well, love you all, miss you guys. I know the gospel is true, and that if we follow it we'll be happy and saved. Seek the Savior, follow Him. BYE

elder thelin

ps we'll probably be back here later on, comp needs to email more
psp I just noticed the keyboard says the following: "some experts believe that the use of any keyboard may cause serious injury." Just wanted to thank you for risking your physical safety to communicate with me.
pspsp did you know that the capital of Brazil was designed in the shape of an airplane, with all the governmental buildings in the cockpit?
psj its already getting cold here, crazy...
ppi met an elder that served in spanish in the fredricksburg stake a few months back. I've met a lot of people who've served around home - met someone who was a district leader when Culpeper was just a branch, and he had visited it when it was in that bingo hall or whatever way back in the day. cool... what year did you serve your mission Dad? Just in case someone happened to have been there at the same time...

PS (later that night) What a sweet Pday, holy cow - so after doing shopping and eating some cheap tacos made of who knows what, we were walking out of the restaurant, and someone called my name... it was a lady named Lupe and her two kids - who we baptized in October! I hadnt heard ANYthing from them in almost a year, and I just remembered that I wasnt sure how converted they were, they were my first baptisms after being made a sernior and put in charge, and I had felt that I had done everything wrong. They remembered me, are happy, and are really active! And then just now, I got a random call - it was Sinesio, who was baptized in my first area, the man who we met by inspiration late one night walking 5 minutes before going home, and that wanted to be baptized in a river - well, after his baptism, I left the area, and I heard from someone that he left the church, lived with a woman and didnt want to hear anything from the church. I was really sad and worried about him, and have prayed for him often over the past year - well he just called me! He's going to visit us here in Logan on one of our Pdays, and is back at church, active and doing really well! Just thought I'd share, man, that makes me feel so much better about my mission - sometimes I've looked at things like that and felt I had something to do with their failures, but its cool to know that not everything that looks like a disaster has to stay that way! Very good stuff! Blessings pouring down!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Hey family! Alright, this may be short, I'm so so dead, we went to hike another mountain today - like 40 minutes up Logan Canyon, then hidden in a small trail - a drive of like 15 minutes - to Tony's Grove, a small lake in the top of a mountain. Well we went there this morning at 8, then from that point hiked 3.3 miles to Naomi's Peak, the highest point anywhere around. STEEP. INTENSE. Poor elder Sigal, the highest he's ever been is 4000 ft above sea level. He is breathing heavy even just in the car. You just go up and up, then another fair sized valley, with an even TALLER rock face with switchbacks on the opposite side. "is THAT Naomi's peak?" nope, its past that and higher.

After doing that a few times, we got to a large hill (large=huge), climbed to the top of that, and then a little higher.... and there you are Naomi's peak, gorgeous, you can see every mountain for several hundred miles, with all the canyons and peaks spread out below. On the opposite side of where we'd been hiking was a steep bowl like 2000 feet deep, and we could see a glimpse of Cache Valley - actually we could see a part of Logan, with two small white dots, which we surprisingly were able to confirm as the temple. Cool, being so high, and still in sight of the temple. THEN we ran down for an hour, got to the lake again, and most of the Elders went with their ride back to Logan. Our problem, as I have had many times, was that our initial ride was unable to help take us back, so we were stranded an hour from our area in a mountain.

So obviously we began to CONTINUE walking (mind you, we already have gone 6 miles, to the highest point around, with only a handful of trail mix and a 3 bottles of water between four of us) and hoped someone would give us a ride. after an hour of walking and waving our badges at passing cars, finally we knelt down on the highway and prayed, acknowledging how dumb we were for putting ourselves in that situation. 5 minutes later we flagged down a member family who stuffed us into the back of their car (they were coming back from camping with 3 adults and 5 kids, it was a van and they had a camper). So I rode all the way back to Logan next to a 4 year old named Jacob. I wanna be 4 again. He was delighted every time he saw a green tree (all of them), or a rock, or the river. Fortunately there were a constant supply of these, so he was always amazed and shouting about them. Then we played eye spy - I'd name a color, and he'd ask if it was his shirt. On his turns, he'd say "I spy a watch." "Oh, is it... my watch?" "YES!!!" Yup, amazing. So thankful for kind members.

The work is going well, good people and good success. I hope that all is well at home, it seems everyone is really busy with the weirdest things, so thats good. Congrats on the Eagles! Thats so cool! And the missions, and the school starting etc. Very good stuff. I love you guys, think about you a lot and am excited for all the fun you have. Take care, be happy, and keep moving onward. I know the Church is His Church. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior, and knows us personally. I've seen Him personally respond to my prayers as well as 1000's of others. He loves us, and has the power to help us.

Love you all, have a good week!
Elder Thelin

Ps dont worry about transfers. Technically its in 2 weeks, but we had another one this monday. Just smile and wave, thats what we do, ha

Pspps I'll check on contacts situation thanks

Psps Grandma and Grandpa - congratulations! 60 years happily married is one of the best accomplishments I've heard of in a long time. You've always been really great examples to me, of love and how to be strong and faithful. I love you very much and use your marriage as an example often of what marriage really is all about when we talk to people. Have a wonderful anniversary, and I'll see you soon!

Pspsppspsp I have a somewhat interesting request: Elder Baquedano wants to know if you could put some things on a cd for him - specifically pictures of when we served together in Layton, such as baptisms, or belt wars pics or videos, pranks haha, uh, anything of that sort - like from march to may. If that could be done sometime, that'd be amazing. Glad you all liked the pics, hehehehehheheheh. Trying to make more. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



Yallo, how're you all? Exhausted from relaxing at the beach? Sounds normal! Mom, a seagull does sound like a good reincarnation choice. I wonder if we would be able to choose stuff like that. Haha. Only problem would be eating carcasses and stuff.

Good job, Jeff and Ivan, the air mattresses in the hurricane-storm sounds like a good idea.... dont worry, I fully appreciate the drunk people you encountered at the campsite, thats hilarious, I love drunk people, I keep running into this family of drunk native americans here, and had some pretty deep comversations with them, good stuff. Nothing as deep as "you're the [poop]" though, thats intense.

I'm sorry no one found a conch shell. You ought to do something sweet with the shell pieces, like make a sculpture or something... you gotta get the conch song on camera plz! Sorry about the dying bird, thats very tragic. It sounds like you did all you could to make its demise comfortable and painless. I'm glad Holly was there to save it and not me... :) Ha, the singing in the car.... wow. I'd like to say I've developed more patience on my mission, but I'm not sure its enough for something like that, although I've had companions do similar things and just had to bite my tongue... heh, glad that Jeffrey has kept his role in the family.

When's school start for you all? Senior year, man, thats crazy! What grade is everyone else in? I've been telling people Heidi 8th, Holly 5th and Amy 3rd? Something like that...

I DID get the packages! Thanks for the cables and card and candy! Also the pictures were awesome, loved them and all the extra paraphanelia (?) that was in there. Stefan is definitely doing a better job celebrating his mission markers with fire, I've been in city and thus its been hard to burn anything legally..... loved the talks, both very good. I didnt really know that Hosea Stout had gone ACROSS the plains, somehow I had thought that he was in Nauvoo and stayed there? Funny, but that was so intense, I bet that must have so hard, knowing if you just gave up you could go back and be in comfort, but deciding to suffer and follow the Savior and His prophet. Cool!

Hmm, coolest thing THIS week was definitely Dyana Lambaren's baptism! Finished up the family! We decided to have a hot chocolate party with her to celebrate her new life as a former-coffee-addict-for-a-day. It was fun. Again most of the ward came to support her, all the young women, got her hooked up with the necessary bracelets and charms and YW theme posters and such. She had to get baptized 3 times because she INSISTED on wearing a baptism DRESS and not the jumpsuit, so parts of it kept floating up. Best part was Norma, her mom, got up to bear her testimony, and it was so powerful. She is possibly the most converted recent convert of the mission. She bore solid testimony that this was indeed the TRUE and RESTORED church of Jesus Christ, and told all the things that had confirmed it for her and her family. "I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and if my family follows it, we will be ok, and one day make it to the presence of heavenly father." That's one of the coolest things to hear, she's not just here because she was sad or cause she thinks its a good church, she KNOWS the truth, and is committed to it. Amazing. Even cooler, her mom comes in from Mexico today and we're eating dinner with them, so maybe we'll get to baptize her too! And their teenage cousin decided to be baptized the 22nd. SWEET!!!

Elder Sigal is doing well, a lot better. I'm SO glad I went to college first, I think the family separation thing is a lot harder this way, just completely severed with almost no communication... Funny, HIS dad is a computer programmer. They have a side business selling things from their home. He worked for his father (only he didnt get paid). The whole family usually had to pitch in to help. Just funny that even on another hemisphere in a different language people can be a lot alike. Their business was selling computers - the name of the business was KOLOB COMPUTADORAS - funny, the logo is a planet...

We ate dinner with the coolest family in the world the other day, and they had been all over Cuzco - they couldn't believe that Cuzco was its own mission now and they almost died of excitement for Steven. They said it will be amazing, and is so beautiful there. Their son, an Elder Crane, will enter the MTC the same day, going to Chile, so keep an eye out for him, Steven! Good luck!!

Weeeeeell, love you all, thanks a bunch, live the gospel and enjoy the last... precious... moments... of.... your summer. Bwhaha. So glad I dont have to go sit at a desk all day for the next year :)

Love, Elder Thelin

Ps OK Mom, after hearing about the oil spill in the gulf Im officially afraid of fish now. Also Yellowstone is pretty close, that could be bad... I met a convict running from the law, wanted in 10 states and Utah joined in, didnt make it though to Texas, which was his plan for escape. Suprisingly, his wife, who does drugs and such, lives in the trailer next to Norma's and ironically played a critical role in resolving Norma's baptism doubts a few weeks back. Never underestimate people. Hilarious.

Ppsps Poor Tanny. Fyi, if we decide to have more dogs, DO NOT get a chiuaua and DEFINITELY never a cat, they're both evil.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Oh man, I love you guys, you're all pretty hilarious. Holly, I was pretty much planning to put seafoam in my armpits today, but now I know that that would be a bad idea. Haha. And good job Dad, with the windsurfing. I'm sorry your sons are fairly challenged with that... Jeffrey, fail on not bringing the uke to the Outer Banks. I like how you guys bring replacement young people for me on vacations. Hope Ivan is having fun with you all in my place. Let's go to Hawaii please next year! I'm troubled on the fact that I feel the need to be coming out here a few times next year depending on if certain investigators get married or go to the temple around next july, but we'll plan that as it comes...

We killed off Elder Margolies (meaning we sent him home), one of the mission's most famous trunky missionaries. After the baptism on Saturday, he felt it necessary to thank the Lord and cap off his mission by driving up Logan Canyon a few miles and burning his suit. It was kinda awkward getting out at the campsite, and walking past a family eating smores with our nametags, white shirts and ties, and a full missionary manikin made of a suit and clothes hangers at 8:30 pm. we tried to kinda just move quickly, but the kids were quite observant "hey, dad, are those MISSIONARIES?" haha, yeah....... beautiful night though, sun setting in the mountains behind the Logan temple on the hill with a double rainbow in view, Cache Valley is amazing.

Packages! I havent gotten em yet, they'll come next time someone comes up from Ogden probably. thanks for trying so hard!

I do carry the Ooga Booga spirit, Dad. Thank you. And I'm partially insane, it helps.

Ha, my trunky companion made me think a lot about home, I sure do miss some songs lately, and swimming... and roller coasters... and all that... but we'll wait. I'm bummed that I get home in February and the pool wont be up. Anything cool going on in the world? Scary? Normal?

Erin sent me a letter for the first time my whole mission, I was excited about that!

Its cool, my current companion from Argentina baptized 5 of his best friends in the last year. I'd love to be able to do that! We're focusing a lot on baptism right now, miracles all over. I'm still really excited about the baptism we just had. the Lambaren family was to THIS point the sweetest baptism of the mission! Norma, the mother, and daughters, Dena age 10 and Desarie age 8 were baptized. One is being baptized on Sunday, Dyana age 13. That family was sincerely converted. That experience sacrament meeting last week, then throughout the week at various times the Spirit spoke to them. Dyana was worried about her extended family rejecting them for not being Catholic. She had a dream about her grandfather, who passed away, very Catholic, but she dreamed he came and told her he was very very happy for what their family is doing right now. Then Desarie was worried, she didn't know if it felt right to go through with it. We sat down and talked with her the day before her interview and told her that it was really simple - she just had to ask, and Heavenly Father would tell her and make her feel good if its the right thing. The next day at her interview she came up and told us all separately: "Elder Thelin Elder Thelin! Guess what happened?" "What?" "Well, I remembered what you said yesterday, about praying, so last night before I got in bed I kneeled down and I told God I didn't know what to do and to tell me if it was right to get baptized. And then I felt God like come in me and I felt really really really happy, and I heard Him say "yes"!" I wish everyone had the faith of a child... so cool!

The baptism was amazing. Like 60 people showed. Norma was so excited. The ward banded together to welcome them. The branch president baptized Norma and Desarie, and Dena asked me to baptize her. It was awesome. As Norma stepped into the water, her faced just beamed. After she was baptized, I watched her climb the steps to where her daughters were waiting, and she just buried her face in her towel and cried. As I watched her, and then her other daughter Desarie get ready, I felt the Spirit just be poured down, filling with gratitude and love and confirmation of what was being done, especially how this family was being united so strong to the Savior. I felt it for the rest of the evening, just this peace and profound love of the Savior for this family that has struggled so much. After, during testimonies, her brother in law and wife, who were baptized in January and then went inactive because of getting offended by what someone said about their tatoos and other problems in life, well they stood up and said they knew it was true and were going to come back and stay, no matter what. Dyana, the other daughter being baptized next Sunday, she stood and said "I'm not really sure what a testimony is, but I think its about how you feel. I feel happy. I love my mom and sisters and btothers more here. This is the first place where I feel I belong, and where there are people who are like a family to me. I feel like I'm understood here, and feel good. I'm so excited to be baptized next week." Amazing. Desarie told me after that when her sister was baptized, she felt the same thing that I had felt. At their confirmation, Dyana and her got up and gave their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting - that takes a lot of guts, 8 years old, a brand new member, and getting up to tell how she felt in her baptism. So cool. Anyways, as you can see, we had a sweet weekend. I'm completely psyched to baptize a million more people. Sorry, that was long. I just wanted to share that with you all.

Love you all, I know the gospel is true. I know God loves us, He is our Father, and this simple Gospel is the way to Him. Jesus Christ is the Savior, and the only way. Make these things our priority and focus, and we'll make it through.

Love Elder Christopher the Thelin

Ps Congrats on the Eagle Jeffrey!
Pssnd: thanks for sending the package!
Psnidh: cant talk back and forth on email like we did last week anymore, found out its against the rules. Poop.
Poospheilkf: Enjoy the beach, sheesh!
Kupielkdin: Dad did you ever have a homesick companion? Mine goes up and down, and suffers it really bad. He's doing better, but advice?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


WOW long week! Crazy this life is... ha, ok, first, the money situation: I have recently been introduced to the amazing store Levens, owned by the nicest guy on the planet. They sell ties there. Over the last 17 months, I have been told I have extremely "lame ties." The man at Levens demands that we buy ties for only 5 dollars (usually $40) so I've indulged and bought like 4, so now I have "nice ties." Uh-huh. The $14.35 overdraft is explained by my new companion. Story follows:

SO like I said, I'm still in a trio with Mr. Trunky, who spends all his time talking about getting married to the girl in Venezuela who he's never met, and now I'm training a brand new Elder, Elder Sigal (basically pronounced seagull, heh). HE is from ARGENTINA, BUENOS AIRES, like the southern tip of South America. No joke, he's never been the the US before. I've had like 5 hispanic companions, but all had lived here before the mission. Its intense, he's as white as I am, but I cant understand the accent a lot! BUT the $14.35 is from MATE, which is the traditional drink of Argentina, they drink it like 5 times a day. It was the first thing we did on the way back from Ogden - it involves the Mate itself, a small gourd usually which serves as a cup, or it could be a ceramic one, but the gourd gives better flavor. $6.50. Then the Bombisha - a small metal straw like thingamajig, which has a filter on the bottom. Everyone shares the bombisha and passes it around. I'm not sick yet. $6.50. THEN the yerba mate, which means mate herbs. A pack that contains what appears to be lawn clippings, with small twigs and such. $2.50. Then the sugar, because yerba mate is pretty bitter tasting. We got mint flavored though, and orange. You put the yerba in the mate (gourd cup) with the sugar and fill it with boiling water. Then you sip in gingerly with the bombisha straw until its drained, then fill it with water again and pass it to the next person. Interesting. bitter, yet good. Expensive. Sorry.

Jeffrey the Lifegaurd. Is it fun to yell at people? Had to dive in yet? Declare when adult swim is on? I bet the obesity situation at the pool could be shocking... so glad I'm on a mission... and a ukelele!!! YES, PLEASE let me use it and take it to college, heh, good luck learning, I've heard its pretty easy. The coolest song thats mission approved has lyrics that go "I wanna be Samuel the Lamanite, I want to be Benjamin the Wise, I wanna be like Abinidi..." look it up, sounds awesome.

I'm good on shirts, its occured to me I'll be going home, so whatever. The card will be appreciated, tahnks! I've got a lot to show you all, its been since like November, right? Should be fun! Dont worry about the birthday, sounds like this package will be exciting enough to last months. Haha. I've also got birthday plans with the family getting baptized this Saturday, they all have Septemberr birthdays. funny, I spent my LAST birthday with their cousins...

I'm glad Grandma can write me now! Ha, of course I'll see them in less than 7 months, I havent doubted that once. So glad she's optimistic about it!

Cool happenings: Sunday, in Sacrament Meeting, Elder Cherrington of the Seventy came. He's cool, lives in Logan, I've seen him a few times. He testified of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. SO cool because he remembered the familia Lambaren had their baptism announced at the beginning of the meeting. He addressed them directly from the pulpit, and testified as a witness of Jesus Christ that this was right, that by being baptized they would be forgiven of their sins, and if they were faithful this baptism would open the doors of eternal happiness to their family. Norma (the mom) was captivated, she understands perfectly in English and Spanish. She was just beaming, just happy. She has been through hell with this divorce and her kids going crazy from all the extremely hard circumstances, but she had peace. And from the moment Elder Cherrington said "the Lambaren family" I felt one of the most intense and sacred outpourings of the Spirit just overwhelm me. I've only felt the Spirit so intensely that I've cried like 5 times, and this was one of them. I specifically felt the Savior's approval and gratitude for their conversion and for our efforts in helping them in what we could. It was incredible. My companions felt it too, and we told Norma yesterday, and she said she had felt the same thing, and could not ask for a greater confirmation from Heavenly Father that she was doing the right thing. Amazing. I've wondered sometimes if it was for the better, if we're doing it all right, etc. I'm glad for the direct assurance. Norma was so excited and stayed at church for sunday school and relief society/primary meetings, its the only place I think she could get her kids quiet for an hour ha) Very cool, in all aspects.

Well thats really all I've got for this week. I know the Church is true and we are cleansed by the Savior through his Atonement. It comes through true repentance and faithfully continuosly and humbly seeking His help and mercy and enabling power. That's the gospel. Easy.

Love you all, enjoy NC! be careful! Elder Thelin

PS thank you to ANYONE who has contributed to this mission in any way. The money is a sacrifice, and I am grateful for the generosity. I know its made possible a lot of changes in other people's lives, so thank you!

Psps I want to hear about Barbie and Lord Zerg.
Pspspspsps anyone know the addresses of Kimmy and Kayla yet? thanks

Chris had a few more minutes so he added some extra--this is the proposal part:

Hey other cool experience! So we were invited to participate in the Pioneer Day Parade here in Logan! (July 24, the day commemorating the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley) Intense stuff, not as big as the Ogden parade one last year but the same cheering and everything for the missionaries (we're really mascots here). So funny, this guy (not a missionary) came up dressed in shirt and tie and everything and asked if he could walk with us. As we were marching and giving high fives to kids and singing "Called to Serve", he asked for a pass-along card about eternal families (a little card that missionaries pass out with information about the church) - and he then unfolded a brilliant plan to propose to his girlfriend. So, when we got to Center Street, he told the whole zone to start drifting to the side of the street (ha first we went to the wrong girl, held up the whole parade) and we surrounded this girl and then he came out from the middle of the group knelt down with a ring and handed her the pass-along card. "Eternal families are really important to me - do you want to be part of mine?" And of course she started crying and kissing and stuff so we ran back to the parade singing "Families Can Be Together Forever". Being a missionary has a lot of weird experiences...

Oh yeah also we shattered the record for Logan and maybe for the mission with 35 baptisms as a zone in July. Before the record in Logan was 21 in one month. Intense. I know numbers aren't the most important thing, but seeing some sweet ones is pretty awesome.