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.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Yalo, sup? Wow, sounds like you all should be dead tired. Michigan, YC, family, everything, thats quite a bit! Intense! You guys need to take a vacation now! Ha. I've been thinking a 3 day vacation to the location of my choice would be merited, I NEED to swim!! But alas, I shall continue on. Yup. You've GOT to let me come up to Michigan after the mission. Please.

We had quite a week here - where to start? Pretty sure my comp has proposed to the girl in Venezuela by now, sweet. Um, trying to un-trunky him. I'm staying here (its transfers technically, but I've changed companions once every 2 weeks for the past 2 months anyhow). I'm a district leader again over like 11 elders and sisters, and I'm training another new guy, this time he's going to stay in our mission and not go to Mexico. We'll see who it is tomorrow. This area is booming, its so cool! A family we've worked with for quite a long time, and who other Elders have known for like a year, have decided to get baptized. It took an ugly separation (this is the family with the cockroaches) - but the mom moved back with the kids, and they fixed it up. So cool, she used to teach Catechism (sp?) in the Catholic church, so she knows her stuff and her scriptures - and shes so firm in the gospel. They'll get baptized in 2 weeks. Amazing - they are struggling in a lot of material ways, but the Lord provides little tender mercies for them, and we've gotten to be really good friends with them. So cool!

ALSO the COOLEST news ever I got on Sunday - 1st you probably dont recall, but when I was in Hyrum we worked with a man named Moises (Moses) and he felt unworthy to even pray to God, haunted by past sins, etc. We were really close. Anyways, a week ago he finally decided to be baptized, and invited me down to confirm him! He actually remembered me. It was so sweet, after our like 9 hours of church meetings that day, we went down to Hyrum- most of the branch actually remembered me too, first time I'd been back! The baptism was super spiritual - Moises was the one that had an english neighbor and they talked about the gospel for hours using two spanish-english dictionaries - she told his whole conversion story, and the Spirit was there. Then all the 8 missionaries that had been invited sang as an octet. When I laid my hands on his head, and told him "receive the Holy Ghost", I felt the Spirit settle in, and the words came. I saw him wipe a tear away after. So sweet, I had prayed to not go home before seeing that baptism. So sweet.

AND THEN, Elder Baquedano was there from down in Ogden, and he told me the coolest news ever - that guy Jorge from Layton, the one that came to pick me up from Logan, he proposed to Karla Sandoval, the girl that had all that opposition from her family! She accepted! Though said that they should probably date a little first haha.... That is the single COOLEST thing ever, if they get married! Jorge had told me before that he had thought about marrying her and taking her to the temple - maybe next June, so I may be coming back here next summer, who knows! Amazing. Great weekend.

Hmm, only other news is that in this zone, our zone leaders did a fantastic job, helping us have faith and give our all to invite the Lord's miracles to the work - we set a baptismal goal of 30 for this month, which is higher than the record in this area. Well, there were a total of 14 baptisms this weekend alone, and we're at 28 already this month! SWEET!

Glad that YC was an adventure, Mom, pole vaulting sounds cool. Those stories from the testimony meeting sound amazing. Like I told Jeffrey, YC can be lame at times, but it can strengthen us too. Give and take.

That's sweet about Maddie's marriage. So glad it worked out! The Lord definitely was in it. Obviously He is, but especially so in this instance.

Amy, funny, my companion has been singing the Jungle Book song lately too. I'm going to try the paper rolling idea. That's genius Amy, can you be my psychiatrist?

[clarification here: Chris is responding to the following story I wrote him...Amy, while we were at Michigan came to me and said, “Mom I am having this terrible problem. I cannot get the Jungle Book song out of my head (Steven and Jeffrey had been singing the Gonna Walk Like You Talk Like You song). I have gone through a whole stack of paper and it is STILL there!” I asked “what are you talking about…what paper?” “Well, it’s like this. When I try to go to sleep at night, my brain is going like crazy. So I pretend I take a sheet of blank paper, white, and put it in a slot in my head. Then I roll it in. Then I concentrate on the blank part and I fall right to sleep!” I was amazed. She went on to explain, “So I tried doing that with the song, and I’ve gone through a whole entire stack of blank paper and it is doing no good at all.”]

Love you all family, be good, be strong and know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us, and that this is truth. Don't waiver.
Elder Thelin!

P.S. Jeffrey, keep up the positive attitude! Also get the motorcycles ready! Ha.

FROM JULY 12, 2010 (We were in Michigan and had a little trouble with the email. Chris got our letter a few minutes after he wrote this!)

Hey family - dont know if email was hungry and ate the emails this week or there was a lot of intense Thelin activity in VA, and things were a little hectic - so if there was a email sent and I'm not responding to it, next week I'll write to it. BUT anywhow, here is my week!

YESTERDAY: knocked on the Logan Islamic Center and got a free Quran - I've always respected the Muslims a lot, but you know, after reading a few passages - says Jesus Christ wasnt crucified, wasnt divine, and apparently taught Muslim theology, so as Christians we apparently just have apostate records and traditions - its a beautiful book and all, and is very true and correct, just some minor problems like that, haha... but sweet that they gave us a free one! Hey, it was worth a try.

Michael got BAPTIZED. It was great, he invited his non member dad and brother to the baptism. We did it in the Logan Tabernacle, beautiful font, and a lot of people came. The two college students that called us and asked us to teach them in their dorm room my first day in this area gave the talks, and the Spirit was there. Very cool. His dad said that he would like his son to baptize him in a few weeks! GOOD STUFF.

Haha, my companion is a little funny, he has 2 weeks left in his mission. Pretty trunky. He started writing a girl in Venezuela, who was a cousin of a member here. Well, he's convinced he's marrying her. Writing songs, he's called and just about organized the plane trip to Venezuela, he has the "proposal poem" written... its awesome, very fun to watch happen, being trunky is pretty entertaining... hahaha, I promise that I won't start writing a girl in South America before I come home...

Hmm, also.... we gave talks Sunday, this branch we're in is kinda gossipy, and its sad how many people go inactive because of it. We kinda rebuked the ward - with love! - but had 30 minutes at the pulpit, talking about how we've seen people's excitement in the gospel diminished by the actions of others, and how to have a functional ward family. Talked about how before this life we were all brothers and sisters, and how now, even though we dont remember, we need to acknowledge that, and treat all that way. Its like iniviting brothers and sisters who've been away for a while to a family reunion, but if the family doesnt really care that you're back, then its not worth going to them. We need to watch our thoughts, words, and actions concerning those we know, and make sure we really are inviting them to feel the savior's love. The Spirit was there as we spoke, so I think we did a good job. My companion did a little more of the reproving, and I softened it by the way to fix it... intense!

Then there was a man who spoke almost no Spanish was present and he asked someone to translate - he shared how in college he was an active member, went to all meetings and everything -appeared fine. But inside, his testimony was being destroyed. He broke into tears as he expressed gratitude for a persistent and loving home teacher and friend there who always stopped in, and shared his testimony and everything. "He saved me. He saved me from leaving the Savior." The Spirit was super strong. Being a home teacher isn't just a job, its a sacred care. Cooooool.

Well, I guess thats all I got. I know more than ever that this is all true. I love you all much, and hope all are well!
Love (elder) Chris tHelin

ps if people could tell me where they live now, itd be cool, namely Jamie,Kayla and Kimmy Nicholson, i can try to end the mail silence, I just dont know if they've moved or not, and kayla's gets forwarded back to me, so...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Wow, good job living everyone! Sounds like that was an intense week you all had. A little more eventful than mine I think. My 4th of July consisted of going to Church in English and Spanish, from 9 to 4, teaching a class to a bunch of recent converts and investigators without any notice, then eating a pretty sweet El Salvadoranean dinner with some older people who actually celebrate 4th of July, then teaching a lesson to a man that was excommunicated and is coming back around. And then going to bed. Yep! Being Sunday, there were no fireworks here on the 4th, but there were some big shows up at the USU campus on Friday, a parade on Saturday night - the Cache Valley Cruise-in, like 200 old fancy cars parading down Main for 3 hours, making missionary work impossible, we should have just gone to the parade... but yeah, good stuff!

Man, I'm so dead right now. Let me take you through my P-day to this point. We got up at 6:30 after an intense night of me dreaming about a hurricane in Logan. Then we took our car, which has a flat, to Big O tires (so sweet, you walk in and "Elders! What happened and when do you need it back?" We say, "There's a screw in the front right tire, we'll be by at 6. Here's the keys." They say "Thanks Elders, see ya." Nothing else, no paperwork, no payment or anythng. Gotta love Utah for some things.) Then we got a ride up to Deep Canyon Gorge with the zone. Intense hike for 2 hours, looked steep, so we started moving with our little band of 8 elders, then realized it got steeper, and after an hour we were well above the valley, but still far from the top. Another hour of walking through dense foliage, well, really hiking is the word,(I like to pretend different parts of my mission are like other countries - today we were in like Brazil for a day), we FINALLY saw a patch of snow, and got to it, and collapsed in it, rolled in it, made snowballs, etc. At this point we could see Logan Utah, Preston Idaho, and well, a lot. Really high up there. My calves are still shaking from the climb, intense, with like only one water bottle. YEAH. Then we noticed some older guys further up, so we went to go contact them on top of a mountain, and noticed that it really was the top, and we were on the edge of the Cache Valley AND the SALT LAKE VALLEY, so we could look at both at once, and could see the Salt Lake (only that was ugly, all white and crusty looking, like you know, SALT), Brigham City, almost to Ogden.... and then hiked 10 MORE minutes to a HIGHER ridge that let us see all that AND Logan, really beautiful, the top of the world.... and THEN we had cell service, and our ride said he was going to leave us, so we RAN down the mountain, pretty intense. Our ride he was actually waiting for us halfway up and scared us on the way down, yeah, it was an intense hike. Then I took a power nap, a short cold shower, walked here to email my family, will now devise a way to get to a Walmart, pick up a car, then go preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for 3 hours, and end up by crashing in bed. P-days are not used for resting, EVER. Whoo.

That dream house of Uncle Steve's sounds pretty intense. A POOL COMPLEX sounds AWESOME right now. Ari-zion doesn't sound like the optimum location, but I'm up for anything.

You're painting the fort? No way, thats sweet. I cant wait to see that! Dont paint it pink!

Oh we got the packages today when we got back, pretty sweet stuff! Love the buzz ligtyear blasters, already have started a war with them. You can tell the Maguras that the Zuccini bread nourished me in my moments of weakness before my power nap. The two talks were EXCELLENT, good job Heidi and Holly! Heidi, thats a sweet idea about listening to that primary song before praying, it gets you in the mood! "a Childs Prayer" is one of my top 3 favorite primary songs, so sweet!

I am now in a threesome (still) with Elder Margolies and Elder Jessup. E. Jessup goes to Mexico City at any day now, and Elder M finishes the mission in 4 weeks, and is the most trunky companion i've had, haha, planning to marry a girl in Venezuela that he writes to and never had met. If you want to know anything else about Kelli I can tell you any detail you want. Suprisingly, we're still working full hours, so I'm good... Actually, cool stuff, we have Michael from Bolivia being baptized this Friday (HOPEFULLY), and a lot of miracle families falling in our way - man, yesterday we were walking in the morning, and I said hey lets go knock this door, I talked to him a few weeks back. We went, and I think we woke him up, but he said to wait, got his wife and a bunch of chairs, and invited us in. He explained that since he's been here (9 years) he's wanted the Elders to come by. He's asked them, been to friends houses when they were teaching, etc, and they never have come. Incredible. He said he had a lot of goals - this kid is like 22 maybe, and has GOALS, which is unheard of among the Hispanics here - and had the goals written on posterboard all over his living room. He said that one of the goals was putting God into his family, because if God is in your life, you will find success in everything else, right? YES. We started the lesson, and the wife ran back to bring up 3 books of mormon (book of mormons, copies of the book of mormon, however is correct to you). She said that her dad grew up in Mexico, the "Utah of the Catholic Church - one on every corner" and was devout Catholic, never went to any other church - BUT he had read this blue book, and told her when she was little that of all the religions, la religion Mormona was the mas bonita, or the most beautiful of them all. CRAZY. So we taught the first lesson. She was super excited about prophets - and when we talked about 12 apostles, she said "REALLY?" He husband asked if any other church had these things, and SHE told him that there definitely wasn't. She explained to US the apostasy, the need for a restoration, and loved the Book of Mormon. Amazing lesson. They will definitely get baptized soon. SO cool!

I love you all a lot, I know this is the truth, God works a lot in our lives and in the lives of us all. I am grateful for this country - we REALLY dont realize how awesome it is here, our police don't mug us or break in to our homes because they want our furniture for their own homes, or stuff like that. Its a country bought at a price, and we shouldnt forget that.

Love ya see ya and que gana la Copa Mundial Argentina! heheh. If not, Germany.
-Elder Chris thelin

Ps haha, no I havent gotten the SD card back...

Pspss 3000 lightyears away, a evil mastermind was hatching a plan. "We MUST stop the three female younglings from reaching the Elder!" he said to his servants. "Yes mi'Lord!" they all said. "You will tell our counterparts on the human planet to make way for the island of FIJI, and there you will stop them!" "Yes mi'Lord!" they all said. So, they started sending intergalactic messages to a small outpost in the United States of America, and from there the plans were laid forth. The small army was moved into voyage mode, and through some careful planning, made their way on a merchant ship to Fiji, where they cleverly put themselves in wide open view - as the Mautzs led the girls through the village, Amy noticed a store - "Hey, are they selling LORD ZERG toys from Toy Story over there????" Dun dun dunnnn