Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Hey family,
?Que pasa? Me parece que estan completemnte locos alli, sheesh! (What's up, it seems like you're a little crazy??) Girls Camp and High Adventure can do that to you though, haha. Glad Girls Camp was fun, although a little trying. Everyone is learning how to interact with other people, and we're all at different stages of it... some a little farther along than others... I can't talk because I'm sure I offend a couple people a day. Ha.

And the high Adventure - I'll just have you know I'd die to go on a campout right now, I cant think of very many things that'd be more fun. Even to put my feet in some 6 inches of water'd be sweet. There are some Venice-like waterways that run through Logan, we've been thinking about rebeling and wading to our knees in them. Probably has junk in it, but whatever...

Elder Paustenbaugh left yesterday - well, today at 3 am - to Sonora Mexico, by Arizona (now called Ari-zion, there are a lot of church members there i guess, haha). Funny, I've been getting a new comp like every 3 weeks lately. Elder Paustenbaugh was one of my favorites by far. Hilarious. This kid was in the MTC for 4 months, and he was way pumped to be "outside". He gave me daily seminars "at half price" on how to be a better person, or on the subtle differences between "humility' and "being humble", or people in the mission that he has only ever heard about. It was a lot of fun, and we saw some miracles, like the baptism of Isabel, and praying for people and them showing up as we arrived, etc. It was sweet. BUT his visa came, he has to go tame Mexico and survive the drug war there (it sounds TERRIBLE there, like fullout war between drug cartels and the people.... he was psyched.) So now I'll be in a threesome for a bit. But all is going well.

Are you all watching the World Cup? it sounds intense, half the ward and about 0 investigators came Sunday because Mexico played Argentina. Kinda disappointing when the Ward Mission Leader shows the new converts by example that futbol is more important than teaching the 2nd hour - we had to do it... but I think I'll watch more soccer when I get home, its actually pretty intense - my playing isnt so great yet, but I enjoy it...

Cool miracles yesterday, was on an exchange, and we met a family of 11! The lady told us that she was fine in her church, and she wasnt looking to change at all. She was a little resistant, but offered us a drink of water, and we accepted - to buy some time in the door, and mostly because its 90 out now and we were on bikes - but I prayed the entire time that we'd be able to get in for a lesson that something might change in her heart and she'd feel it. She gave us the water, and then asked a question that led to a mini-1st lesson on the porch. My comp at the time told of his conversion, which is sweet - he was training to become a Catholic priest, just 2 years ago. A friend gave him a book of Mormon, and he didnt touch it for a while, but once missionaries stopped by, bore testimony and invited him to read and pray. He did that, just out of courtesy, but when he prayed the Spirit touched him. He is the only member in his family, he gave up the honor of being a PRIEST in the Catholic church, and is serving a mission now. As we spoke, this lady ended up saying, "well, we're good in our church, and have faith in God, but it doesnt hurt to learn more about Him." That's NOT what she said at the beginning! Prayer works, as well as persistence. Cool stuff.

Yup, good stuff, I'm enjoying myself more and more. I really miss everyone, but 8 more months seems too short. Yeah, I'm curious about the movies I see on the theaters, and swimming, and family and all that stuff seems pretty awesome... but I'm realizing this time is coming to a close and even though some days you just want to stay in bed, this is the coolest thing ever to do. I used to think I'd be perfect afterwards, like a mission is a refining process that'll make anyone into a super wise and perfect guy, but I'm realizing that's a life process and the real focus here is bringing people to Christ and His true Gospel. Boy do they need it, families getting shredded, people preaching AGAINST keeping the commandments, the Virgin Mary saving us with Christ as a supporting role, the Church of VIDEOGAMES (yes), etc etc. There are a lot of weird ideas out there. The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't new, it's restored, in all its simplicity and power from when He himself ourganized it. It is HOW we come unto Christ. FOLLOW IT.

Love you all, be good, be positive, enjoy the family (my 4th of July will consist of teaching, going to church, and going home at 9, so...), and keep on going!

elder Thelin

Ps cool Zone Conference: we talked about Mistakes - sometimes we may feel leaders have made a "mistake" - "why am I in this area?" "How is that decision right? He's not inspired..." "This calling should have been mine" BUT we talked about how not everything is a mistake, the Lord uses situations that seem wrong, or even genuine mistakes or poor choices, for our benefit. With ANY situation, even a mistake, the Lord expects us to learn from it. When we sin, a MISTAKE, He lets us learn the consequences, then allows us to turn our heart back to the right and repent and be forgiven. When we have a mistake in a leader, we can accept it, be patient, and grow, and see the Lord work through it. We had a testimony meeting about how we've seen that happen - I know I have, I wasnt "supposed" to be in Logan 5 weeks back, but I know now WHY that "mistake" happened. Cool concept.

pss Uh, yeah, just tell Madeleine and Lehi: Felicitaciones, best wishes for them both! Hope they are both super happy and that Lehi can take care of Madeleine - and the siblings-in-law, more worried actually about him having Ryan as a brother-in-law, good luck! haha

Everything got a bit crazy and the gang flew out of the whale. Its kinda gross, flying out of someone's sneeze, Heidi thought, as they sailed through the air. Jiminy cricket was trying to sing a song about flying, and Holly was screaming about how they were starting to STOP flying, and were goin to hit the ground that was coming up.... rather quickly....

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Helloo Thelin Clan! Kings Dominion? Ah, temptations, temptations. I've had quite the urge to be on a roller coaster lately, funny.

SO no I didn't forget Father's Day, nor your birthday, Dad, I just forgot to write about it before the event, oops. How old ARE you now? like 43? I lost track. I know I feel old, but then I don't - I frequently am asked if I'm 13. Yeah. There's always someone much older than you, seems like. You think 20 will make you a full fledged adult but everyone still thinks you're a kid. Good grief. Sounds like you had fun for the birthday then, good stuff. And I'm sure everyone had some scrumptious meal for father's day - its kinda weird just hearing about everyone celebrating things like that, we kinda just work all the time so...

Yeah, so is this Sarah girl REALLY a girlfriend, or a friend girl, cause I've heard this name mentioned off and on for the past couple o months, in various relationships toward my brother, so... I don't even know who she is! Jeffrey shouldst write his brother, methinks. hint.

And good job on the talk in sacrament meeting Heidi! That can be a little scary. But I'm sure you did awesome. What was it about? I expect a full report, of course. Also about girl's camp. That sounds like good story potential, rat poop and junk. Exciting, isn't it?

Ugh, speaking of dirty living, man, we have a guy we're teaching, speaks Espanglish, in a bad time in his life. Anyways, he's been trying to keep up the house and kids by himself for a few weeks, and its a wreck. We came over to help him change what we thought were some kitchen tiles in his trailer, but it got really bad. This guy knows nothing about house work. His kitchen floor is bowed up from water damage, and he wanted to see why, so he took a hammer and beat a few holes in the floor and found a pipe pouring out water, the insulation is ruined with mold, and he needs to replace the whole floor. The mess in the house is too bad though to really do anything, so we took out a lot of stuff. We lifted off the kitchen table top.... and saw more cockroaches than I've ever seen. UGH. 1000's living in his kitchen table!!!!! He just dumped some poison on them and his kids were playing with them and stuff, ugh, not good. He had dirty dishes with bugs in them EVERYWHERE. Nasty.

Oh yeah, better subject. Sweet baptism on Saturday. Isabel. I was present at the first lesson almost nine months ago! I've heard about her progress and then her falls since and finally two weeks ago an inspired lesson plan brought the spirit WAY strong, and she decided that she could act in faith on that spirit and put all the doubts behind. It was so cool. The Lord has given me so many opportunities to see people come 180, also like second chances - people I felt I messed up on or something, he's allowed me to see much later. Its really cool. Isabel showed up 20 minutes late to her baptism, but her son - who has been against it - decided to come and support her. The branch President came and baptized her, and the Spirit was very stong. Funny, she had like 6 missionaries there, she'd gone through a lot. She shook all our hands and thanked us for the parts we played and encouraged us to do more. She cried when she got confirmed a member of the Church. 3 weeks ago she had been put aside as a dropped investigator, and now she is a member. The Lord does miracles.

I wish I felt as confident with some of the other people we're working with, very tough problems with each, and not much window of opportunity. President Olson emailed me a sweet bit of encouragement, maybe I'll share it:
"I suspect that each of these people with disasters in their lives were sent by the Lord to you to help them. It was the Lord that brought them to you. He knew of the disasters that were pending. He wanted you to help them. They may or may not join the church; but the principles of the gospel can help them make it through these trying times."

It's possible. I understand more why the Lord brought me here 3 weeks ago in the middle of a transfer. I got to know these people before their super trials attacked. Pressure, so I'm here, and I'm just as clueless as the next Elder on how to fix a broken family, or save a guy from being deported. We're praying a lot, obviously.

Through it all, I know the Lord loves us. I guess I haven't always been sure of that. My mission has seen some of my best and worst moments, but I know now He is guiding these things. Sometimes we're just stupid 20 year old guys, but I'm grateful that Heavenly Father chooses to let us experience this, and see miracles and be instruments in His hands. Thanks Dad for all you've done to help me get this head start on life. You've done a great job - ha, I was going to say "training me"- I feel like the mission is the perfect analogy of life-- so thanks for being my "trainer". Happy Birthday, and Happy Father's day, and just happy Tuesday, have a good one! I love you and our family, and am so thankful I've been allowed to be part of it. Keep it up, don't feel too old, we ate dinner with some people from El Salvador yesterday they're like 85. Thanks for the prayers and the efforts, for patiently paying my mission - when I could have worked a lot harder and earned this privilege a little more - and for well, you get it, everything. Your efforts aren't ever wasted, even when we don't pay much attention as kids. Thanks Dad, love you family, and see everyone in a while (like 8 months!)
Love, Elder Thelin

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Wow, most confusing week of all time, its been intense! Glad that home is the same, at least we know that craziness is a constant there. Ha, yeah, they called me 2 hours after I wrote last week's email and told me that ACTUALLY 10 elders who were "visa-waiters" headed to Mexico had arrived, and we needed to create 10 more areas with 10 trainers for them - SO I'm training Elder Paustenbaugh from Oklahoma until he goes on to Sonora Mexico(by Arizona). We had a few confusing days in which 3 of us in Logan were without companions, so we made a threesome and just taught people in a big combined area... but by Thursday we had things settled out, and the AP's decided to call us finally and tell us what to do. Confusing!
Last day of school, eh? Wow, took a while, here they finished like 2 weeks ago! Not fair eh? Enjoy the summer, it finally got above 59 here yesterday...
Hope the hamster funeral goes well. Cookie is in a better place for sure. Everything you learn in primary IS true, Holly, so don't worry. We actually taught a lady once that was very concerned if she'd see her dog in heaven. My companion at the time actually found some scriptures that seem like we will be with the animals that were here on earth with us, and that they will be happy and perfect. So, don't worry.
Can you believe I only have 1/3rd left of my mission? It's crazy! June just started! I'm kind of envious of Elder Paustenbaugh, he's just starting - but stinks that he waited in the MTC for 4 MONTHS for his visa and it hasnt come yet (surprised he survived that...) I remember talking Spanish at the beginning, yikes, painful experience. So weird that I can actually understand it, and I promise I have not put forth the necessary study and effort to speak it as well as I do now, I've been pretty blessed. Missions are pretty crazy stuff.
I don't like how some things are out of our control though - Satan has taken a huge hit on a lot of people this week. If there is one theme I've seen, Satan attacks families. I have seen SO many divorces and spouses just walking out and leaving the other with nothing. Its sick. We know a family here, 5 kids, and the wife wanted to feel "young again" or something, and now is living in another town, probably dating some people, and her husband is distraught with 5 kids every other week and not knowing what to do, after 15 years of marriage! and Satan keeps dragging them down and away from what we're teaching him. Another guy, nicest guy EVER punched his wife saturday, someone called the police, and he's probably getting deported. Ugly, she doesnt know what to do either, probably won't ever see him again. They were doing so well, thinking about all getting baptized and finding faith in Christ... Its crazy, like someone just flips a switch and the family that looked so nice now... isnt... just everyone try to invite love into the home and read the scriptures and go to church and pray and all that, it works. And pray for these families...yikes.
Anyways, sorry, less serious - so last week we hiked a mountain again - Sergio took us. Sergio is like the missionaries' best friend, baptized like 7 years ago, he wants to do stuff with us all the time, funny and kinda different guy, but anyways, we went, hiked a mile across a valley, then started climbing up, and halfway he announced that he was going back, and if we wanted a ride back, we had like 40 minutes and he was gonna leave. So we continued, got to the top (coool) - neat because we went to the back side of the mountain and saw there was a valley way up in the mountains, and an even higher mountain on the other side, its impressive) and realized we had 20 minutes left. And 3 miles to go down the face of a mountain and a whole valley to his car. We took some pictures, then began to sprint. Down a mountain. (The Elder with the Air Jordan shoes only fell twice). It was sweet. We got down the ENTIRE mountain in 8 minutes, with 2 30 second water breaks, and then we sprinted the remaining 1 1/2 miles across the plain in the valley in 12 minutes. I've never ben quite so close to death, ha. Oh man. Beautiful, but intense. we made it though, at 2:00 we got there and Sergio made us eat cake and some questionable turkey sandwiches. Good stuff. The mission is crazy. Thought we needed a story to match the boating and storm adventure.
Oh man, well, 2 baptisms here in Logan Saturday, Michael and that lady Isabel, and a girl that didnt get baptized in Layton invited me down Saturday afternoon, so 3 baptisms Saturday, good week! Good job surviving another year of school, luck with the song mom, that sounds pretty classic, I'll see it all on Youtube in a few months, I'm sure.
Gospel is true. Pray, read, and let the Spirit in. Love you all a lot, hope life is good, and we'll hear from you later!
-elder christopher tHelin

Ps way to go Henry!
pPs good luck with girls camp, heheheheheh

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


WOW, big week, last week of transfers! Pretty intense, a lot happened. Despite all that President said about me staying here with Elder Johnson, one of the coolest companions I've had, I got a call and will be serving with Elder Margolies, his last transfer and he's a little trunky. Pray for me to be patient and get work done. Please.

Man, ok, I have no time at all, but here it goes:
The 19 year old that I started teaching from Bolivia in my first 20 minutes of this area is getting baptized on Saturday! Cool guy, told us that he felt the Spirit and knows its right. Sweet!

Also! Last week Layton called me, and Jorge Pineda, the 20 year whose wife left him and he had started progressing, well, he decided to get baptized! I was scrambling for a ride over there, I've never been invited to come back to a baptism, but I couldn't find one for Satruday. The elders told Jorge, and he said he would rather pick me up than not have me there. So he drove up through extreme traffic for like 3 hours to pick me up and take me to his own baptism. Hands down the best experience in the mission and the coolest couple hours, just talking to him in the car (we went on exchanges, my comp stayed up here.) He just started thanking me for sticking with him and teaching and being a little stubborn in my teaching and inviting him. He said that he didn't believe us much at first, but then he saw when he stopped going to church, blessings dropped completely. When he DID again, and read and prayed every night, he FELT it, his life changed 180, and he mostly, like EVERY 5 minutes as we drove, told me for the first time in his life he felt so, so happy, so at peace, and never felt surer of anything. It was so amazing. Sometimes I wonder if people do what we say 100% or what they think, but this ride was amazing, I got to see him testify of his own conversion, and see what happened with him the whole time personally. He told me of prayers answered, etc. MAN, so he prayed to meet someone that would help him keep in this new path, and then came to church... and entered gospel principles class and said he stopped dead when he saw KARLA SANDOVAL, (remember her? the girl that her family didnt support her getting baptized and I asked you to pray for her). Well, they are basically head over heels for each other, came to a fun singles activity, made marshmallow temples together, and Jorge said if things work out, hes taking her to the temple in a year. SO COOL. We got stuck in traffic, but we stopped and prayed - had a 35 minute drive left and only 20 minutes to get there to the baptism - prayed, and traffic dispersed, and we made it in time. He was so happy. His dad - who has had a huge turnaround in his relationship with his son, baptized him (ha, 3 times, didn't get him all the way underwater!) Jorge came out and told me that either he had heartburn or felt his chest on fire with something. It was the most spiritual baptism I've been at. He told me later on the way back that he had few best friends, but he considered me to be one of them. I dont know, it just was amazing, and made me feel like, if I hadn't have done anything else in Utah, that this one person would have made these 2 years worth it.

So, yeah, it was awesome. Good week, good stuff. I love you all, it sounds like life is good at home, Jeffrey, good job mooning everyone. Be good everyone, and know that the Savior lives, and literally guides this work. A lady that has listened for 9 months decided to get baptized (I was present at the first lesson in September!!) We prayed 2 weeks ago to know what to teach her, felt inspiration, and made a lesson plan, and this past week we followed those inpsired plans, and she felt the Spirit - we all did - so intensely. She had seen some anti-Mormon dvds and had so many doubts about the book of mormon and such in the past, but she felt the spirit and cried for a few minutes, then she told us, by herself that this was true and she knew it, and asked for us to schedule her interview and baptism!

I know the Lord lives, loves us, and this is the truth. If we follow the Spirit, and really open our hearts to do His will, we will know this is true always.

Love you all, Elder Thelin

Ps size 16 I think.

Ppps Jeffrey, congrats on the Eagle, DO IT, because it will be a blessing for your life to be an Eagle. Sweet!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Oh yeah, it was Memorial Day... there were more people home I guess... the only meal we really ate was "orange chicken"-- a famous dish apparently in some Mexican state. Basically, a chicken drumstick sitting in a bowl of ORANGE JUICE and vinegar and onions. You eat that with a spoon (it’s a common thing, but I still think it’s hard to chop bits of meat off a bone with a spoon and under several inches of liquid. Sweet. Ugh)

Well, it’s been a week here. I mean, it FEELS like a day, but it’s been a week, ha. Man, Sundays, we go to church twice since we cover two branches. In the small Temple Boulevard branch, they asked us to teach the combined third hour, and teach on inviting friends to learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then on Saturday, the other branch asked if we could teach gospel principles. Ok... and THEN the 1st branch asked if we could do THEIR gospel principles too. SO we basically did the sacrament, then 2nd hour and 3rd hour, and then went to Valle Hermoso branch and did opening and closing prayers for sacrament meeting and then taught the second hour AGAIN. Pretty intense, felt like we were in charge all day... but it worked out, kinda fun. Hah.
Sounds like you've had some fun adventures this week - canoeing sounds so cool right now - well, if it were warm and sunny here - but yeah, I'd love to canoe a bit, be on a river. Amazing that we've survived the raging rapids of the Shenandoah time and time again, it’s quite a wild ride. And good job Amy for being strong and having fun even after feeling bad. That's sweet that the blessing worked out.
Are there really a lot of Hispanics in our area? I really didn’t know before. That's so cool if there's a lot from El Salvador and Honduras - probably means there’s good restaurants nearby if we know where to go. And super awesome people too. I'm proud Dad of your Spanish efforts to save the people from poison ivy, that was pretty good. I can only imagine. Glad Holly got to know Chihuahuas a little better, but don't ever get them...
The rocks in the shins sounds pretty familiar, I don't think I've ever gotten into that river without getting bruises or something to show for it :) Was the fast part the part from the State Park to that little landing or whatever that has "Doldrums" usually? Or did we avoid that this time, ha. Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you...
We still have the anchor of truth?
Yes, drunk people are scary. Oh my gosh, ok, so, the other day we were walking and saw a guy, and ran over to walk and talk with him. He just got here from Georgia, and he was super friendly, and we were about to bring up the gospel, when some random large guy wandered up the street and stood next to us patiently, waiting for us to finish our sentence. And when there was a break, he kinda straightened up, importantly, looked us in the eye... and began to talk in some crazy native American language, making hand signs for the trees, and for the sun, and totem poles and who knows what else. It was so random, we all stood there stunned as he went off about something. Then, as quickly as he came, he just stopped talking and walked away. We were still pretty confused, and taking advantage of that, the man we were talking to excused himself to go to the store or something, leaving us on the street corner alone. It was one of the funniest and most randomly mind boggling things that has happened to me since Ogden, ha. Good thing is we caught up to the guy later passing him in our car, and finished the contact - he is a less active member, so we got him hooked up with the church time and stuff. But WHAT THE HECK.
Yup. Welcome to Utah. It’s a really weird place sometimes. Bernardino hasn’t been letting us share scriptures this week. Rough. He's getting sick, possibly from things he does to himself with alcohol and smoking. We'll keep going to him. Michael is AWESOME. Only guy from Bolivia I've met, but he loves the gospel, got a white shirt and a pretty nice tie, and loved church. When we had all the members do role-plays about inviting friends to learn, he did one too! Definitely could be a missionary in a few years, 19 right now. Mostly just cool to see him confident and learning how to come unto Jesus Christ and be cleansed of sin and walk in the pathway.
Also if you can pray for Jose and Norma, they are having severe problems. They have 5 kids. I remember Joey mentioning in a letter how crazy it was to be an unmarried 20 year old kid and trying to be a marriage counselor, help people get off addictions, etc. It’s crazy, but we'll keep trying.
Hmm.. can't think of much else. We had a fun - no TWO fun contacts yesterday. We met a family of Quakers (thought they were something from colonial Massachusetts times or something) who basically told us that now in Quaker theology you can believe whatever you want and do whatever you want and this father actually encouraged his daughter's rather immoral conduct. So crazy. Thank you thank you thank you for actually teaching us that morals exist and are important to you as parents and MOST importantly to God.
Then we met 2 people last night walking around. I'd never met them - but my companion had. "Hi, Elders! What's up?" they said. In my mind, members? My companion said: "Hey, Eli..... so you still serving your mission thing....?" THe guy said "Yup! And Nick here is new, just came from Canada too! He's new here, could you maybe explain a bit of your culture and theology and answer some questions?" "Uh, sure...." okkkkk..... It basically came out that these 2 young men came all the way from Canada on a MISSION to us, the LDS Missionaries of Logan Utah. I felt quite honored, actually, that I was the target of an entire mission group - learned later that all the people on the park benches were not just passerbys but the rest of the mission group, strategically placed there to take notes and "observe" the contact with us. Wow, I felt like a hamster or an animal in a pen or something, ha. Very interesting. Eli was quite well versed; he quoted long passages of the Book of Mormon, Spencer W. Kimball from the "Miracle of Forgiveness," etc. He knew a lot of stuff. I guess he feels that we are all saved by Jesus Christ's atonement, and it doesn’t matter what we do now. We tried to explain the role of the commandments - how we aren’t saved by them, but that it was very important to be willing to obey God. He told us that he believes once we're saved, he technically could go kill a man, and still be 100% ok, that it didn’t matter. Cause heck, the commandments aren't important now, right? He just said that technically we "shouldn't" kill the man, because we "should" be loving and such. But it really wouldn't affect his salvation. The people of this world are SO CONFUSED!!!
I'm thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I'm thankful it was restored to the earth in its clarity and with the authority to bring it about. The Ensign from conference is so amazing. I know this Church is true, and the scriptures as well.

Love you all, be good, Elder Thelin
ps Jeffrey has to actually moon people.....?

Letter from May 25, 2010:

Wow, busy week, huh? I liked the account of the Home School Band, we've heard about that for quite a long time, and now it has finally come out into the open and we've heard it I guess. Neat! Patriotic Party Pizzas... will keep that in mind for future performances. Haha.
The senior pictures thing sounds fun Mom- how did you get landed with that job? Quite a leader my mother is.
Yup I'm in the beautiful city of Logan, right in the heart of it (it’s quite a small town, but I like it a lot). Quite an interesting area. We cover two branches: Valle Hermoso, about 100 people there, and a big area to cover, and the Temple Boulevard Branch, which has about 20 active members. (By the way, the Logan temple is IN my area, and it is SWEET). Temple Blvd is small, and covers the USU college campus, so the leadership of the branch is pretty young, all students that speak Spanish. Actually, there are really more white people than Hispanics, funny sitting in a room for Priesthood meeting with two Hispanics and a bunch of white people talking in Spanish when you know we all could talk English. But cool. I really loved the Sunday meetings. We gave talks in Sacrament about service - a little about how in our lives God knows which gifts we have that will bless those about us - we see it in action on the mission, praying to share the restored gospel with someone and then open our eyes and there the person we need to talk to is. But it’s the same after the mission - in ANY part of life. God organizes us all so we can be around the people we can best help at that time. It’s not a coincidence who is in English class, our ward, our neighbors, at the grocery store. It doesn’t always look like it from our perspective, it seems like we are all quite in charge, but I know that God is guiding it all, and we have the power to bless every person we see if we will just step up to the call.
Pretty cool investigators too. Michael is 19 and moved to Logan from Bolivia a year ago. He is learning English, and some friends invited him to be taught in their dorm room up on campus. He is so cool, prayed about if he should be baptized in the LDS church, if it really was right or not, and then opened the Libro de Mormon, and the first word he saw was bautismo. In class on Sunday, the teacher asked us all what our favorite gospel principle was and he picked "baptism." Very neat. Actually sweet class, taught by a Brother Crane, who basically is the coolest man in the universe, has the happiest marriage anyone's ever seen, just awesome. He let us all introduce ourselves and tell our fav. principle, then asked us questions, like "why did you pick that? We know why it SHOULD be important, but why is it important to YOU?" and as all shared their real feelings, the Spirit was there. Then he said that we all had learned one from another, and that's how teaching in the home should be. Not really formal, not necessarily standing up and saying, "kids, I KNOW this is true...' but more informal, seen in the way we LIVE the principles, and how we talk about them as we live them - for example, when there are problems, how we decide to pray. Or when there is a challenge, we express our confidence that it will pass and we talk and do the things the Lord counsels. As we do, that testimony is more powerful. Based on Elder Bednars talk from last conf. Good stuff.
Hmm, other cool things, we're teaching in some pretty run down dumpy apartments. I feel bad they look FREEZing, and just junk like. We teach a 50 year old man named Bernardino there. He got layed off a year back, and pretty much just lays out on his bed, drinking with the neighbors and smoking, and talking about being a stunt double in Hollywood and playing for a professional baseball team. (could be drunk, heh). It’s intense, once again, I didn’t really think that people lived this way. It’s also scary, I think we're the only people that are actively trying to help him find his life again (including himself) and we don’t want to let him go. Hilarious guy, walking around, telling everyone he’s really "gabacho" (like, gringo, American, etc). Pray for Bernardino.
So yeah, fun area, fun companion (was actually at BYU with me, but I didn’t know him - possible he was in Kayla's ward... Taggart Johnson?) I'm not District leader, they let someone else have a turn, and I'm now more focused on our own people. Yes, it did snow yesterday - started out rainy, then sunny, then cloudy, then intense lightning and thunderstorm, then sun and blue sky, then HAIL, then rain, then sun. All within the same hour. It was fun alternating being able to see the east mountains and then the west, but never both at the same time. We actually once could see in the same moment blue sky, hail, snow, and lightning. There is a saying in Cache Valley: If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes.
Sounds like the wedding went well. I hope all keeps well for them. The ward seems supportive, and we learn from every experience, so hopefully they can be strong. Just keep loving them and guiding them. I'm quite proud of you all for taking charge and getting it rolling. You never know when everyone will turn and look to you to be leader...
We do miss things like wading in green slime. It’s not something everybody does, our family is quite fun, even if we're crazy. Good luck with the pool guys.
Jeffrey, good luck with the mole. Your body does the weirdest things. I think I've heard a weekly update for 15 months. Amazing. Holy cow.
I may ask for some white short sleeve shirts - mine are actually too big, but I wore them all last summer, but this one it wouldnt hurt to have 1 or 2 that fit me. (no rush, really, its 45 here and could snow still) My suits are holding up, but have various rips and tears, I'll look for a cheap one in DI (15 bucks). My shoes are alright, and the majority of socks are good or repairable. Can't really complain.
Hope everyone is well, and be happy. I love you all a lot. I want everyone to be well. I've learned a lot, and as always, its easy to say everything, and harder to put into practice, but I know this is the truth. I want all of you to be happy and feel the peace of Jesus Christ. He loves us, and His prophets and local leaders, even though they are imperfect, really do receive inspiration from the Savior, and have the authority to do what they do. Love you, and be good!
Elder Thelin

Ps. I did get Maddie's invitation - I thought it was funny that it was in English and Spanish, and the Frary family doesn’t really speak Spanish... nor Madeleine... Mt. Timp. Temple is the same as Bountiful, so good choice, beautiful place I'm sure...
pPsps We'll pray for Audrey.
Ppspss Everyone was dancing a little, even though they thought it was kinda weird to be inside a whale (stinky too). The sharks were still flopping around on the... floor? tongue? something like that... There isn’t much water in a whale, as we know from every movie that involves being inside a whale. Holly carried Dory in a little bowl, and she kept singing. They kept moving in, wondering who the heck was singing such good Funk music... they rounded a bend and saw a small cricket and a boy belting the song away. The boy was dancing kinda weird... looked a little wooden...