Thursday, April 29, 2010


PERU?? That's crazy! I think thats the farthest we've had in the family for a while, right? Germany was pretty far, I wonder which is farther. Dude, Peruvians are so cool. They are pretty prideful of their country, but I like the people from there... congrats to Steven. He should come up and do splits one day in Ogden :) heh...

Wow, long week. Had interviews with President and we begged to stay together - luckily this morning they called and confirmed that! Elder Baquedano again in Layton, the best branch in Utah. I love Layton. We actually heard rumors of a temple being constructed here - a small plot of land was reported to have been bought by the Church and many have seen President Monson walking around it with a group of people.... would be cool, to know we've helped increase the level of members needed here by 8 people... the people are all excited here too to have us. We are teaching a family that usually has at a bunch of kids listening, said they couldnt get baptized if we get moved. We've found a lot of sweet families lately. We've decided to consecrate all and be 100% obedient and contact EVERYperson, even if they growl at us (has happened).

So many good things here. Wednesday, we taught a family home evening at the Church. We had almost all the investigators show up - and also we heard someone that has never talked to missionaries was coming - a daughter in law of Leticia (the lady who got baptized). So, we talked about prohpets, and then for the millioneth time tied in the Restoration of the Gospel. The lesson wasnt making much sense, standing in front of 20 investigators and more members. I began to pray, just begging for the Lord to take over and touch their hearts. As I did I felt something grow - warm, peace, of course, the Spirit. But it came more and more, until it filled the room. As he spoke, the Spirit touched everyone there. My companion said after that he was trembling because of the power he felt moving through him. I've rarely in my life felt the Spirit that strong - it was so thrilling, I felt like standing on a wall and speaking to thousands so they could feel and be happy and know. It was so cool seeing the eyes of these good people fill with tears and knowing that somehow they felt that too, and knew. Who cares if its the millionth time - the Lord testified, and probably for that one lady there. We gave her a Book of Mormon after - funny, I'd prepared a copy with our testimonies and address and number and all a week before - but somehow didn’t manage to give it out to anyone all week. Figured every night coming home that maybe the Lord was reserving it for someone - I was surprised when I reached into the bag and pulled out that one. It was for her. Cool, eh? Sweet experience.

Also found a family from Guatemala, never have heard missionaries before and never have accepted them from any church until we came. After a month of cancelling appointments, we made it to one and their whole family is pretty psyched. All baptism age. Nuts.

Another cool thing was a "carne asada" - a BBQ - at the Ward mission leader’s house (mansion). All the recent converts and investigators came. Cool to see them uplifting each other and socializing, gave me hope for them, that they won’t just fall away. Very cool.

My brain and body are dead. We hiked up a mountain this morning - intense trail, not easy. Like 5 miles - took 3 hours. Went from grass to forest to rock to SNOW to a waterfall. Crazy member with us, a former elder here, climbed up a rock face and basically crawled up the hard way, very dangerous, like 100 feet above the trail, leaping from rock to rock.... but cool. don’t worry, we were obedient missionaries and stayed below taking pictures. Fun stuff. But TIRED.

Sounds like Aladdin is going well! Good luck HEIDI! You're so cool.

Viva la Vida is now stuck in my head after reading about Jeffrey's Acapella concert.  Coldplay is Elder Baquendano's favorite band too. I still think it’s kinda religious... and funny about Clore - typical. Yes, I laughed. Just like the old days...

Hope everyone is enjoying the winding down days of the school year. Absolutely inconceivable that everyone is moving up another year - don’t even ask me what grades everyone is in, I'm still on track from back before I left for college. Nuts. I love you all, and increasingly miss you guys, but am trying to stay focused. Keep being good, follow the commandments, and especially the Holy Ghost. The little things matter and keep us close to the rod of iron and safety. Do them, the reward will come. I know the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ is true- how to be clean, how to come unto Him, WHY we come unto Him and need Him, how He sees us, all of that - THAT, the GOSPEL, was restored to the earth, with the authority to do that. Really, the Church is true, but we say it like it’s the thing that saves us. The GOSPEL is the way, and Christ is the Savior. The Church contains the authority of the Priesthood of God, and the correct teachings of Christ, all of it, its fullness, undiluted and unconfused, taught here. THAT’s why the Church is important. What it teaches is true. The Prophet is a true prophet, the only one on the earth. The authority is real. I know this is Christ's Church and His doctrine, the truth. The Spirit witnesses.

Thanks for all the support and prayers. You're all the best! Love to all, Elder Thelin

Ps I'd love to write Henry (Hank) and Nick, I don’t have the addresses but that’s so sweet!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Halloo family,

How it be? You're right, the annual rollercoaster of events isn't happenning for us, no book fairs, projects, plays, soccer games, or concerts - just missionary work! Kinda nice... Hahahaha next year? Chauffer? Maybe! - I've basically had planned I'd stay and work in VA and try to pay some of my own way for the next semester of college, maybe go back to BYU in the next fall... just thoughts, not that I'm planning extensisvely yet.... (10 months left, crazy everyone always says ph almost done? NO. Cmon folks, dont rush me :) )

Baptism was great. Leticia got baptized at 4 pm. Her little daughter didn't yet- soon hopefully. Leticia was so happy. She invited EVERYONE. I performed the baptism. She was crying the whole time. Very strong. Several family members came and just cried the whole time, with members by them telling them that what it was that they were feeling for the first time: "This is the Holy Ghost."

Also a 20 year old named Jorge - I love Jorge, I feel like he's a good friend. Maybe because he speaks to me in English or he's my age, but he's awesome. He's battling some hard times right now, but coming to Christ. He cried at the baptism too. Pray for him.

Volcanic ash? What the heck - I've heard we've had 7 major earthquakes since the new year started, and now this? Listen, world...... I like how you ended that epic paragraph Mom depicting the possible end of the world scenarios with "Haha. Wild stuff." You are funny.

Attic fan... wow I miss home sometimes, hahaha.

It's true, that scripture you quoted. We can't do anything without the Lord's help. I mean, we CAN, but it will fail eventually. If we rely on Him, He has power to change everything. Last night we taught a lady who had been studying a different church for the past year and was really questioning about Joseph Smith and as we explained, she began to get it. Then explain it to her husband. Then we mentioned Jospeh was killed and how his family suffered greatly - and she basically quoted that epic talk by Jeffrey R Holland last October - "Would he really have held up a farce, lied when his FAMILY, friends, etc would suffer? Would he REALLY testify of a false book with a mob charging to kill him and his loved ones?" She told us that, and how she really could believe it, for once, it was enough for her, and the Spirit came so strong. I felt it just filling me and testifying that the things she was realizing were true, and he was a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, that this IS HIS Church, and the Book of Mormon IS true, and the Bible IS the word of God. Amazing.

Love you all, be faithful,

Elder Christopher Thelin

Ps Jeffrey is crazy. What a life. Enjoy it. Sheesh. haha (btw, I'll have to introduce you to Belt Wars. Despite firm commitments to not make warfare with the English Elders, its a little hard not to retaliate. On your mission, you should be better than that... holy cow... Dad, hope stuff like that sounds familiar from your mission...)

Ppps Grandma and Grandpa, hope you guys are well, and happy. Sometimes relxing at your house is definitly something I miss - I'd love to talk with you both for just an afternoon, hear about life, your views on things. You're both such super examples to us, and just fun to be around. I'll try to write a full blown letter sometime, before February, haha.

Ppps Sisters: writing letters today. Be excited.

Psnspos Rest of family, you're awesome.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Heyho, howdy!

WELL, it snowed again. Rats.

I really don't feel like its been an honest 7 days since last Tuesday, someone must be messing with the earth's rotation or something - maybe the earthquake in Chile affected more than they thought (we heard it actually moved the earth's tilt like 5 milimeters, intense...)

Jeffrey, feel free to clean up my side of the room. We have a whole house here to clean, so...

Lets see, what happened this week... good lessons, exchanges (other missionaries almost crashing our car, good stuff), met a guy who alternates between being Dan and Danielle, etc... I'm way tired, can't really think straight, I mentioned that we have two missionaries that moved in, and that the prank potential would go up... well, it certainly has, and its been war for 7 days straight. Pretty awesome, buckets of soapy water on top of half open doors, messing with the power breaker while people are taking a shower, slamming a twinkie in someone's face, many belt wars (painful), hiding and scaring people, setting alarms for 3 am, running in and waving a flashlight in sleeping people's faces while dragging them and their sheets toward the stairs, leaving live worms on people's desks... its all pretty epic, and probably should stop... but hey, what can you do?

Two baptisms this coming saturday, Leticia and Leslie, the ones from the hospital. Very solid. Leticia calls us her "angels" kinda weird, but she says she feels the Spirit way strong when we are around. Should be good.

Well, Miss Frary is getting hitched?!?!?!? That's pretty crazy, but expected. Actually, I KNOW Lehi Yanez's parents, and his brother - his brother's family goes to our branch, also called the Yanez family (Ja-nyez). The parents visited here once, nice people, very funny. Madeleine mentioned she had come up here to Layton a few times, and the Yanez's were talking about some girl at BYU that knew his brother Lehi, that she'd always come up and their two kids would go crazy yelling "Maddie!" It was pretty weird when we figured out we knew the same people. I figured she was getting married pretty soon, they should come up and do it in Ogden, that'd be sweet to go attend! I wonder how that'll work, if she'll be learning Spanish... hopefully Lehi speaks English too. Haha. Best of luck to 'em, that's crazy!


Man, those stories are hilarious. Good times, don't miss high school at all, good job with the fence Alex.

That's cool Holly, seems like a lot of people are bringing up the Church when they're around you! You're doing a good job being a missionary, we're proud of you here!

Steven... missionary?... everyone's growing up FAST.

Layna is smart, Shamra should take pictures and send them to me of Europe, and I knew about Kayla's mission thoughts. Awesome!

Wow, I'm kinda without things to say today, so I guess we'll wrap this up. We met a man yesterday that basically was a friend of Korihor [a man in the Book of Mormon who denied there was a God]: I don't believe in a God, you can't prove it, show me a real miraculous sign and I'll believe, its all just garbage, I don't need God and I can figure out my life best on MY OWN. It was intesne, we spoke of feeling the Spirit, of faith, but he just couldn't accept that. Hardened. He had let life and things get to him, and now can't feel the Spirit, can't accept that type of answer, has no faith. I think we take for granted how much faith we have in the Lord. Some people want signs, but if even they have them, they won't believe. In contrast, if we believe, I know we will see signs, miracles, things outside our control. We taught a lady yesterday, strong in another religion, but we shared our testimonies the best we could about what the Prophet Joseph Smith saw, and that God lives and of His truth - and as has happened weekly to people that we teach for a year now, she said "I feel something... peace. Tranquility. It just came while he was talking..." That's the Spirit, my friends. I've seen people try to "convince" or speak with great emotion or eloquence, and it doesn't produce the same thing that simple, sincere, heartfelt testimony does: the Spirit enters the room, children stop crying, loud music next door gets softer, and everyone feels peace. I know that God lives. I know that this is the truth. Its not always easy to accept and live it, its not easy to share it, its not easy period, but its true, and its worth it. As we put the Savior first, have faith in Him, and move forward obediently, I have faith we will receive answers. Everyone that I have asked to do that, and they have done it sincerely with effort, recieves that witness. I know its true. Share it with your friends!

Love, Elder Thelin

(I got here in the mission field 1 year ago....)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The world is green in Virginia? We thought we were getting to that point.... then yesterday at 6 it started crazy raining, and we got out of a lesson around 9 and everything was covered in 4 inches of snow! Fun trying to fishtail our way up hills in the trailer park we were in, took a while getting home.... sheesh. Who the heck is still praying for snow, its not like they will get out of school for it :)

SO Conference Weekend was cool. In a surprise turn of events our mission president made a new rule: Attending Conference in Salt Lake City is fair game, so we we scrambled, found miracle tickets, and took Leticia and Leslie (the family that got blessed at the hospital that I talked about last week) and also a family E. Baquedano baptized in Hyrum, and we went down for the Sat Morning session. Pretty cool, being there with like 20,000 people, and the Mormon Tab. Choir... Intense. I think we got a picture in the Ensign, we'll see. But it was cool, being there with investigators that had no idea what was going on and explaining "This is a conference for our church shown throughout the whole world.  That is Pres. Monson--he is a prophet of God on the earth today..." Leslie was really impressed with how funny President Monson is. True! Cool stuff. And the rest of Conference was awesome. Jeffrey R Holland is hilarious, a tough topic well handled ("and some invite bad thoughts in for tea and crumpets... we shouldn't be serving tea anyhow..." haha) Priesthood was incredible, talked about how we get called as missionaries. Helped boost testimony that we aren't here just randomly. God really wants me here in Ogden.  Easter Sunday was good too! All good!

The week went well - we just had two English missionaires move in with us last night, now life is way more fun and a lot less sane. Pranking should be more fun with 4... haha.

OH, cool, we were at home yesterday waiting for the others to come move in, and we had 10 minutes. We debated staying there and doing some planning or something, or going out on a walk for 10 minutes. We decided a walk would be more productive, so we went out. First person we saw, we talked to. She said: "Oh yeah, I read the Book of Mormon a LOT, I'm halfway through. I actually went to Buenaventura branch for like a year (my first area) but the Elders got switched and then we moved here. I tried going to church, but they were in English." We showed her where the Spanish branch is, and asked if she was baptized. Nope. But was preparing before. THen she said "Yeah, I've missed it a lot. I'm still reading. I think that if the church wasn't true, it wouldnt be growing so much." HECK yeah, most amazing miracle contact ever.  I'm convinced she's getting baptized in 3 weeks. God gave us exaclty the miracle we were hoping for in the exact time we had. NEVER stay inside if you can go out and talk to someone!

Got the package, was great! Elder Baquedano stained his hands good with dye. I've got a good Elder Egg (Misiohuevo if anyone gets that...) The candy is sweet, the spinner from the Maguras is much loved for all its value... ha, but my companion got sick of the song and ran it over with the car or something like that while I was on exchanges. Greatness lived and died...

Glad everything is well with you all. Mole projects, plays, Turkey, roller coasters... man, life's crazy. THANKS for the letter Heidi, I'll write back I promise. I miss Culpeper I do admit, the "Ground Hog Dinner" looked like a blast... holy cow, Culpeper rules...

Please keep praying for Karla. We visited her last week, and asked how if her baptism was what she was expecting. She said much much better - because of what she felt. Everyone talked about the change of peace in her face from before and after. She's so strong, but still facing trials at home. Just please continue to pray for her father to have his heart softened or something. You always read stories about these kinds of things, but its different when you know the person... and you were the one that invited the person to make that choice. But we and she prayed, and the Spirit confirmed strongly how right the choice and the timing was, so we'll keep trusting. Please pray.

I love you all, and wish you a good week! You're the best. God loves us, and we can trust in Him. Jesus Christ is the Savior, and this is His church. The Spirit confirms it powerfully.

Love, Elder Thelin