Wednesday, October 20, 2010


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

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all, Elder Thelin

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Bueno! How are you all family!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hey fam! How's it going?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Chris

aka secret agent Elder Thelin

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

pps congrats on the running, Jeff!