Tuesday, January 26, 2010


AND THERE THEY WERE, battling through snow, knocking doors, speaking to strangers, driving a red Toyota Corrola around Layton, preaching the gospel, teaching sons and daughters of God, keeping them from the evils of Babylon..... more or less, that's how it is. Pretty epic, eh?

Hello family! How are you all? Glad the ski trip went well, and no one died. I'd love to ski...... I have learned that skiing should only be done when one has skiis - using dress shoes with little to no traction left on the bottom works, but usually lands you the ice...anyhow....

Football time, neat... haha. I think I will get into FUTbol after the mission (soccer), that's more exciting than American football. I'm basically pro now, we've played soccer once a week for 2 months now, and in Central and South America, its basically a religion. The Catholic Church actually sainted a player in Argentina... Its intense though. A ver.

We will pray for Colton - amazing for Reagan! That's so awesome!

Funny story about your meeting, Mom.  Don't worry, we are good at tracking people down. We leave Ward council meeting on Sunday early to not just call, but go knock on the doors of our investigators and get them to church. Usually works. This week we invited a lady Saturday night, and then Sunday morning we were going to lead a lady to church, and passed by. Turns out the lady was ready, wanted to go! We drove to church with a train of 2 cars and kids follwing us to the chapel, kinda cool... tell our Elders to be smart and get 'em there. The thing that works best is if members get to know them, then call them before Sunday. usually come... so ask the missionaries if you can help with that...

This week has gone well, we did a lot - knocking, talking, teaching. We've had some sweet lessons and experiences, people coming to church and loving it. Hmm. We are commenting here that we really do have good weeks, we just can't remember what happened THIS week... well.... guy stopped smoking... Carla Garcia is getting baptized the 6th... two days after transfers. We'll see if we stay or not. Elder Preciado thinks he's leaving. Who knows. He's cool, but it's hard to understand each other because he talks fast, and never in english. But he's got the desire. He only has 2 years in the church since he was baptized. Amazing. I don't want to leave Layton, I like it here, feels like home, a lot of work here, nice people. I know almost all the members here now, and they are awesome. Very funny people, but great. We're working hard and finding many (I have purposefully avoiding finding out the exact definition of "soliciting" my whole mission. Supposedly a police officer said missionaries aren't involved in that, though I have been accused of it a lot..haha.) Well, we must be go now, but I love you all and think of you often. I miss Saturday night movies in the basement and apple cider and such, but I know we'll have all our lives to do that. Make each day count. An investigator's brother died this weekend, just fell dead while on the phone. We never know how much time we have left. Make it count, and appreciate everything we have. I know after my mission I will appreciate my opportunities for education, family, the Gospel, a home, etc a lot more. He lives and He loves us. He knows our thoughts and prayers, and is so patient with us. Trust Jesus Christ, make Him the center of our lives.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, I love you a ton! Thank you so much for everything, for loving me and helping me through my life, for your patience and constancy, for everything - you are amazing. I used to think all mom's and dad's were like mine. I know now that you have worked so hard for us, and how amazingly blessed I have been. Thank you mom. Have a wonderful birthday - forget the age and enjoy it!

Love to all,

Elder Chris

PS Culpeper rules.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Halloo, howdy! Wow, busy busy busy...

Happy Martin Luther King day to you too! Haha, Amy is hilarious.  I forgot to celebrate because we don't have like a day off or anything to identify one day from the next, its all just one big day... interspersed with dark times in which we close our eyes for a few seconds and wake up again... sounds like you all celebrated appropriately. Ha. I have a dream...

Good luck with the fridge situation. Amazing.

Glad there was snow for Spencer, sounds like a blast. That sounds pretty impressive. Our snow here doesn't melt either... especially by our apartment - I carry the curse from our house or something, because snow falls off our parking covering's roof, and makes a mound behind the car... which is almost insurmountable, and we have no ice melt or shovel. Neither do the less active neighbors. We attempted destroying it with kitchen knives... We'll just wait till spring...

This week was pretty good, we have been seeing improvement in the work - we picked up another investigator preparing for baptism on the 6th of February - powerful lesson, he felt the Spirit very strongly.

Man, and Sunday, for the first time in a while, THREE people came to church. Sweet. We've been teaching a 20 year old who lives in the US alone, family in Mexico still, but he's hilarious. He always says we're lying. No idea why. Fun to teach him. He said he was burning me a cd of Mexican music - Jeffrey, look up Camila, said it was good. But yeah, we taught him again and he's always said he has work on Sunday and can't come to church. This week we dug a bit and he admitted he CAN come to sacrament meeting. Big progress. And we got him to pray out loud for the second time in two months! I prayed once for his parents, and told him he had to return the favor. He specifically prayed for both of you, Mom and Dad, and ALSO that we wouldnt be liars. Hilarous. He walked two miles to Church in 20 degree weather Sunday. Sweet.
Also we had a sweet lesson yesterday - taught about the Book of Mormon to a family, and the father was a little reluctant at first, but we taught that God spoke to the people here in the Americas. His face changed and said "Wow, I've had that question my ENTIRE life. That's amazing. I've always wondered why Christ didn't come here or something-" and we turned the page to the painting depicting Christ visiting the ancient Americas... sweet.

So yeah, the work is going well, the companion is good - I just misunderstand a lot, and don't identify with a lot of the culture differences, in humor or ways of doing things. Interesting. Learning...

Well, we have to get back down to the train, we're going bowling today as a zone... Good luck on the SATs Jeffrey, the carnival on Wednesday, Senora Johnson (she did the same thing to me, just dont even worry about it) Yes, we heard about Haiti, sounds horrible. Keep praying for them. Sorry about the uke, haha, I just loved the soft island sounds when I heard them... sorry...

I love you all! You're all awesome. Thank you for being a sweet family, and doing so much. I constantly am reminded of how much I owe to all of you for who I am and all I have. Thank you! The Gospel is true. Be firm and faithful in the cause of Christ!

L;ove, Elder Thelin

PS Mom, I think your birthday is next week. If I'm wrong, sorry, I will write next week. If I'm right, ignore this.

PPPs Hmmm... the little wonder pets boat was attached to a slab of ice, and they began to tow the gang in a northern direction...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Helo - wow, I just typed that and almost didn't recognize that it was wrong...

WOW lots of news from the outside today! Baby boom! Congratulations to the Follmers!  I think Michael's response was very appropriate. Haha.  New babies always need plants watered. Congratulations to all the Thelin cousin babies as well!  Makayla is a cool name. So is Kakeo. I wanna go to Hawaii - there are several Elders from there here and are always singing the coolest chillaxed songs with their ukeleles (sp?) - Jeffrey, learn to play the Uke. Congrats to all!

That's hilarious, Mom, the tile home improvement project - so typical. Funny, we went to an appointment last week and they opened the door... and there was no furniture. This family has the strangest ways of not being able to have us teach there, they said people were coming to clean the carpets and were late. The whole family was sprawled out on the floor eating food - which was hard to get, because all their furniture was stuffed in the bathroom and apartment kitchen. A smaller child had to crawl in and fetch the food and an older sister could just reach the cups and plates. I assured them that this really actually made me feel more at home, but they wanted us to come back another day when the couch wasnt blocking the fridge. Ridiculous. I tried hard to explain about boxes and truckloads of stuff always being shipped to our house and putting us in similar situations and such, harder to explain in Spanish..

Heidi good luck with the play!

Sounds like Sacrament Meeting was good there! I recently found a scripture I liked in John I think where Jesus says something like "Fear not, for I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not." Humbling thought, yes, to think He has taken time to pray for each of us, to make it through, to pray for our weaknesses.

Hm, so this week was a LOT better than the previous ones. Started out slow - I've never felt quite so much outside opposition from people before, but we began to try to be more positive and faithful, and the Lord blessed us. We were blessed to find a woman who said at the door "So many of you knock my door - from many churches. How can I know which one is right?"... She is getting baptized the 6th of February.

Then we had a day of absolute miracles on Thursday. One of the best days of my mission. Something just clicked in the companionship, in the attitudes, and things flowed. At dinner, we shared a scripture. I was thinking of one in my mind, and my companion pulled out the same one, without consulting me. It was the right one, because we asked the family to think of someone the Spirit would indicate who needs the gospel. There is a sister of the family in Honduras who will be receiving a knock on her door any day now. Then we taught a man later - he came to the US a year ago and felt down and lonely. Two  missionaries ran into him and talked for a few minutes. I guess it changed his life - he began to see things differently and happily, and listened, but lost contact. When we asked him how he felt as we taught, he told us we wouldn't believe him. He is also being baptized the 6th of Febraury. And finally that night we went to another appointment but they werent home. We decided to go to another house - and found another guy, who just came from Vera Cruz Mexico. Walked to the nearest church last sunday, in Ingles, and didn't understand ANYTHING because of the language barrier, but FELT amazing. He is ALSO preparing to be baptized. He told us as we left that he had prayed that morning, because he felt lonely, with his wife and kids still in Mexico; he asked God to send an angel or messenger to him. He told us that we were the answer, and he would do what we taught. Amazing!  Miracles are being poured out here. I've felt the Spirit stronger, guiding us to say things, or supporting our invitations. Very sweet. The trick is keeping it rolling. The Lord provides the miracles, and we need to do our part now, ...

Pray for these people to follow through. We baptized over 2000 people in this mission in 2009. It is a record! We need to be faithful and trust in miracles, and follow the Savior. I know He lives. I have felt His peace. I have seen miracles. I know He is the Savior, He is the light, and He is the way. If we only look to Him and follow His example, we wont go astray. If we focus on the Savior and His role in our lives, we will never go astray. And I know simply because I've prayed and asked and felt it! A man tried to tell us this week "you don't KNOW, you just 'believe' young man." I am grateful we were able to say "I'm sorry, but we do KNOW." Follow the Savior!

Take care everyone, be good, and try not to destroy the house, and I love you all!

-Elder Thelin

PS (what does chuttering mean? I like it) Hundreds of little guinea pigs surrounded him. "What the...?" They began to chutter to themselves - something about their leader - then lifted him on all their backs and began to carry him further down the tunnels. From above, the group began to follow him further into the caves. "What's happening?" asked Amy as they carefully moved down the slope. "Wait, I hear something!" cried Holly. They all paused and listened carefully... and heard a faint song... "Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets...."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Alright, I have exactly very few minutes, as we are waiting for a ride that we did not schedule and so we are now infringing on people's hospitality.... HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! Ours was kinda lame, tried teaching but most of the general population was drunk more or less, so we went to 15 minutes of the ward dance, but no one had really shown up, so we talked and left... apparently it lasted till 2 am though, Spanish wards know how to party!... I didn't get the Frank and Bob package yet for new years, and BACON??? Oh boy. Jefffrey, way to go to New York on the spur of the moment, sheesh...

It kinda been a rough week, we haven't had a lot of success. Funny, I gave a district meeting on developing Christlike attributes, and picked patience as one I am developing... and the Lord has been putting it to the test! People cancelling appointments, just little things, antagonism... grr, frustrating. We were ready to teach a lesson and saw the family piling in their van and peeling out before we arrived!  Ridiculous. One of the few lessons we taught, we were trying very hard, but between their hyper dog and the 1 year girl, Abril, we couln't teach, as they were coming over, trying to tear the scriptures out of our hands (the dog), taking off our nametags (the kid), etc. Adorable, but interfering a LOT. We told Abril to go get something in the kitchen to distract her and she trotted off and came back with a loaf of bread... yup... VERY helpful, but very funny... anyhow, patience is being learned. Pray for our area to bounce back up and for the people to open their hearts some. Ha, all in a normal week.

Holly, good job! We'll pray for your friends. Way to be a missionary!

Heidi, great job with all the service. I'm so proud of you. You're an awesome sister, and I love you a ton.

Amy, you're awesome. Keep being awesome.

I love you all, and missed the festivities, but imagined you all enjoying them. We managed to find things to do here, and were fairly stuffed with food from going by member homes - they've invited us over a ton lately, lunches and dinners and after-dinners etc. Dad, we will stay away from freaks. There are a lot of them. Sheesh. I imagine its the same in all missions - we are blessed with a ton of members to make it better, they take good care of us.

I'm sorry, I really haven't related much good news here - how bout, a person I had been teaching in Kaysville (my area split and so now other missionaries are teaching him) quit smoking for the first time in 20 years and is getting baptized on Saturday! Sweet miracle, he's been taught for like 7 months now, and had a change of heart!

I know this work is true. I know the Spirit can guide us, and that Jesus is the Christ. He loves us, and is working actively in all our lives. Come unto Him is the invitation.

Love you all,

Elder Christopher Thelin

PS Jeff, sweet CTR ring, I like it - very slick : D   Chubby Bunnies, oh yes...

PPs Luke Skywalker jumped on the sled. "Man, I can do better!" and, trying to make himself go faster with the force, slammed into a wall.... and BOOM, the ice there cracked and he flew through the wall and down... into a dark hole...

Monday, January 4, 2010


Feliz Navidad, Thelin Clan, and Prospero Ano Nuevo as well! Ha, you're right, we need to figure out how to use these 40 minute phone calls talking about things other than cashing checks and such, ha, not fair, in the Provo mission they get an hour and a half--we ate dinner with a family waiting for a phone call! Ah well, such is life. Lets see, Christmas, we... left at 10 am with our zone leaders to North Salt Lake (last point in our mission, exits for the Salt Lake Airport..... point of temptation for all missionaries there) and all the Spanish missionaries in the south here ate breakfast with a former mission president from Honduras. Amazing mansion house, it was literally on top of the mountain, amazing how they stack houses up there. Beautiful. Good breakfast, then we all headed over to a stake center and played indoor soccer for a few hours, where I became awesome at soccer (not really - my 4th time) and then came back, stopped by and sang carols with people from the branch, convinced a family to let us over for dinner ( our planned families cancelled, lame!) and played Uno with the branch President - hard to explain Killer Uno in Spanish (tiene que pegar el frente con la mano y luego las tarjetas... btw, when someone calls "uno" and you are actually playing in Spanish, its a lot harder to recognize... just kinda sneaks in...) So yeah, good Christmas! Weird, tradition in the Spanish culture is to have all the family and such over on Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve, and all the parties, and then at midnight everyone opens presents and sits around talking till like 4 am. Christmas Day there aren't so much presents and stuff, just sleeping till 2 and leftovers... I like our tradition, the both days are sweet...

As for the rest of the week... well, Saturday's highlight was getting pulverized at a door. Looking for Spanish people, and we talked to these two American girls, and asked if they'd ever read the Book of Mormon... they came OUTSIDE in the 20 degree artic cold, cornered us on their porch, and began to battle, like in battle stance, for 45 minutes! We just stood there, them pushing their fingers in our faces, attacking - smiling, but creepy smiling - telling us this and that, ("LOOK at you, in your suits, your nice buildings - Jesus walked in rags!") Sheesh. We kept trying to bear testimony and they just kept laughing, saying "that's what all the missionaries say, you're all following a script." Duh, that's what we say, cause its TRUE. Probably the worst contact of my mission, we kept trying to leave, but man, they wouldn't let us. "Why aren't you looking happy? I'm happy. You just look cold and unhappy. That's cause you're telling lies." Ok. Done. Just wanted to vent. We were pretty frustrated after that. That night we went home and read Jeffrey R Holland's talk from conference. Felt the Spirit. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Spirit is sent of God - God wants us to trust Him and listen to that Spirit. By it we may be guided into all truth, and know the truth of all things.  I know that it is true, because I've knelt down, and sincerely prayed about it. And in quiet moments, the Spirit of God  has come and peacefully whispered it is true, filled me with comfort and guidance, helped me make the right choices and strengthen me from the wrong. I know it is true, and I'm not just saying it because I'm a missionary following some script! The Spirit of God testifies that Jesus Christ lives, that we must keep His commandments, that God is our Father, the Book of Mormon is in very fact the word of God together with the Holy Bible, that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God, and this Church is the Kingdom of God on the earth with authority, power, and inspiration of God. I know that is true, and even if others can't grasp it, it is true.

Jeffrey, don't split your head open. Forgot to tell you that on the phone... I LOVE the electric blanket, Dad. That is amazing. Once again, Dad is right. Everyone loves the Kalimba! Culpeper ward is amazing, the box was awesome. Magura family, thanks for the Virginia calendar! I've been trying to help people understand what they are missing back east... and the cookies rock! Thank you Farrells! The tie, the cd's (perfect, Joey and Steven, they are both sweet), everything was awesome - thank you!! Thank you all who sent things, I felt the love, and wish you all a merry Christmas!! Well, family, merry Christmas to all! Thank you for everything. I've felt your love a ton - this Sunday in Elders Quorum we talked about our families, and how sadly many people don't tell them they love them often enough - one man broke down crying, his mother passed away recently and he never had told her that he loved her. So, I love you all! Mom and Dad, I'm so appreciative of everything you've done for me, for loving me and trying to guide me in my life, taking time for me and being so awesome. I love you both! Jeffrey, you're a browski. Love ya. Heidi and Holly and Amy, love you all! Ok thats enough. But seriously, we have such a great family, and I'm so glad. Thank you for everything. Happy New Years! Be safe and have fun!

Love, Elder Thelin

PS The gang was entering the iceberg when...