Sunday, November 21, 2010


Dear family,
Hello! Hm, too late on the Grandma thing, I called her last night! I debated and debated (as i tend to do) and decided ah heck its been a year since I've seen my Grandma, so we're going down for Thanksgiving! Not sure how, but we are. I'll be able to eat and talk with all the converts and such here for a few more months, and plus Thanksgiving isn't exactly a Hispanic holiday-- they make tacos and stuff not turkey. I still have to ask our President, but I think it'll be ok. Plus she said Kayla and some other cousins will be there, so it'll be fun. Now we just have to figure out how to get down there.... haha.
HA my companion is super trunky. He tries to convince himself that he isnt, its really funny. "I'm not trunky, am I? Ok, I kinda am. But thats ok, right?" That's ok, its his last week. Oh by the way dad, I think you'd like Elder Contreras a lot - he is completely in love with Rush, and explained to me why Rush is the sweetest band on the planet, and I have come to appreciate them. Yup. Hahaha.
So, Heidi! How was it? Was it scary being on stage, being the star of a play for the first time? HA, and having everything falling down around you? I'm sure that made it hard to concentrate. Wish I could have seen it. I will see the recording but I mean live. Just keep trying to be in plays and I'll make it to one when I'm back! I'm excited to see everryone - I got a packet of photos from aunt Jill this week and man, Heidi and Jeffrey look WAY older. Holly and Amy too. Heck, 14?? I thought Heidi was 12......... sorry!
Harry Potter 7? They made the 6th?
Amy, so glad you didnt have to retake the picture! I know what its like to have a bunch of adults make you do something and not listen (like the flu shot the mission forced on us a few weeks back, blegh....)
So mom, they may not have enough nativity stuff in the stores to make you happy, but Kohls is giving away 5$ cds of trans-siberian orchestra, pure songs about the Savior, really cool. A nice lady bought us one on our way out of the store, so we have proof that Christmas Spirit exists among the people and the stores. But then again, in Utah Wal-mart sells mormon tabernacle choir cds and in the jewrely sections there are glass things with the temple, Joseph Smith, and the Christus designed on em. Utah may be weird but there's something to say for that.
The work is going well. The area is being blessed - in a nearby ward that I have served in, 26 investigators showed up to sacrament meeting on Sunday! CRAZY! We are seeing a lot of good things happen.
HAHA we forgot to tell you, but we are moving to a new chapel with one of our branches. They announced it last week, redistricting of ward boundaries and such - going from a new stake center to a little old red chapel thats like 60 years old. SO funny, the hispanic branches are hilarious. The stake representative announced it kind of nervously, and then we saw why. It was testimony meeting. There is an elderly lady in the branch (literal translation of her last name is "Village of Wolves", hahhaa) who is infamous for disrupting everything - well, she watched the poor man giving the announcement, then up she went, hobbling up to the stand. Several people tried to get up first, but no, she was determined. She launched into a 15 minute "testimony" talking about how the gringos were discriminating against the latinos, and that for the last 20 years the hispanic branches have moved from chapel to chapel. "We are like the Jews of Ancicent Israel, wandering and wandering from place to place, never to rest!" (at this point the former branch president stood up, very composed, and then turned around to go out the door - when he looked at me he lost it and started cracking up) Then the woman turned to the stake representative and said "Take this message to the Stake presidency! We want them to build a chapel JUST for the hispanics, and we will never move, ever again!" Then she kept staring at him, and said "And dont look at me with that face!" It was sweet. Seriously, moving chapels? I guess its a big deal. It's not like it doesn't happen all the time to everyone. The church grows, new buildings are built, boundaries's just the way things are. So it is funny to see people react this way. But I'm sure it will work out fine. Haha. Can't wait until Sunday.... :) I love it. (Don't judge them-- just love them.)
The adversary is sending out [spiritual] tsumanis, just like you talked about in your YW lesson Mom. We've seen it, among missionaries, among branches, members...all around in the world. He doesnt rest. He attacks at any little hole in our armor he can find, often several at once. He tries to pit us against parents, against spouses, against leaders, against our neighbors or friends, and even against the Savior and Our Father. Its getting rougher for everyone, but the gospel still brings joy and an iron rod. I wish more of those I've seen be baptized could understand that - at times they are weak.
I love you all a lot. I know the Church is Christ's. At a study we had on Saturday we learned about what should motivate us. All we do must come from a love of the Savior Jesus Christ. I know He knows us and loves us. Each of us is precious to Him, because we are sons and daughters of God. Even though we fall a lot, He came and died for us. We went to Salt Lake City to see a play with some investigators called Savior of the World (in Spanish) about the birth and ressurection of Christ. I pondered why everyone was so excited this baby had been born - because of Him, and His suffering and love, we can repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost to santify us from sin. We can become like Him by making and keeping covenants, and Jesus Christ's grace will attend us and make it possible to have an eternal family if we give our all to Him. He lives. In the play, the Resurrected Lord asks Peter: "Do you love me?" "Yes Lord!" "Feed my sheep." Which he said 3 times. If we love Him, we must serve Him, and serve Him by feeding His sheep. That is the mission's motivation. If we love Him, and show it by keeping His commandments (John 14:15), that will be the biggest motivation we can have in life.

As we discussed this, and meditated it as a group of missionaries, tears fell down one Elder's face. He is new, and waiting to serve in Mexico. (which by the way is pretty brave). He was asked to speak, and he said he had just realized how much the Savior has done for him, how much he loves the Lord and wants to show his gratitude by serving His children. As this Elder spoke, the Spirit just was poured out. I felt it really strong. How ungrateful I've been, and how the Lord was accepting this Elder's offering and gratitude. I know He lives and knows us. Never leave Him. That's what I learned this week. I know I probably sound way too serious and preachy cause I write a lot of stuff like this in my emails, but I know these doctrines are what will keep us safe and heal whatever problem. The Lord's asked me and given me authority to teach these things right now, for a little more time, so I hope that as an authorized servant, something I write in my emails can lift someone else. Plus half the stuff I learn its too much to share to investigators in our short discussions. Yup.
Ok, pues, love you all, hope all is well, be good!
Elder Christopher Thelin
Ps haha, ok. if you want we can just start the story from a new place...
Pss: coming out of temple this morning, got pelted by huge pieces of hail relentlessly until we got to our cars. Ouch. Like, intense!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Wooooooow, that's the trunkiest thing I've been told in a long time! I'm coming home February 17th! I think that's a sweet plan, lets do it! When Sister Langford called, that was fun listening to the 20 minutes of options, she really does a good job at that, huh? Funny lady. I hope its not too much trouble to send Dad Jeffrey and Heidi out, I just think that would be really sweet to show them around and not go home alone. Its totally cool that not the whole family can come, I understand, it'll probably be easier and that way I can ease into the family gradually, haha. Getting released in Virginia is cool too. I want to talk to at least a couple people on the plane as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ...

Hmm, I'm not sure if I'll eat dinner with Grandma on Thanksgiving. It WOULD be super fun, but I have the dilemma of a lot of people here inviting me to feasts of all sorts and I'll never be able to eat with them again like that, hm, I'll think it over, see if I cant do both, I imagine we will also be at her house in February. Tough decision, I do have her number and address, so we'll probably get in touch.

I agree with the plans of going to Logan and the Kaysville - hard because the majority of people will be home later in the day, I'm going to be trying to organize that all out so we can see them or I can visit other people in the evenings before. But these are all far distant things, so we'll not worry too much about them now... lol.

This week is going really well. The work is exploding around here. Lots of people are coming out of the woodwork, families searching for the truth, recognizing the servants of the Lord, answers to prayers, miracles, reading half the book of mormon, deciding to overcome fears and be baptized... its pretty sweet. We're really happy with the way things are working right now.

Cool little miracle of the week: after something at the church, turns out my companion lost the car keys. We looked EVERYWHERE, in the car, the church, the bathroom, the piano, the TRASH... and they were nowhere. Asked everyone, and no one knew. So my companion and I went to a room and knelt and prayed.We stood up and thought about it, and my companion just said "The trunk!" We went to the trunk of the car, and lo and behold the keys were sitting right there. It was super cool, just an instant answer to prayer. I know prayer works, the Lord does answer back!

To the fam and friends:
Regionals sounds amazing, good job on faceplanting it in the mud Jeff, that sounds epic. Don't die.
Holly, HAPPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY! We thought about you a lot yesterday! Sorry birthday presents havent happened this year from my end, I'll make it up at Christmas. :) Cant wait to see your new camera! Take lots of pictures so I can see what you're doing!
FREAK! Try to illegally film that play ifyou can... GOOD LUCK HEIDI YOU'LL DO AWESOME!!!!!
I've met a lot of people that know where Puno is, weird. They are excited for Steven! RIDE A LLAMA!!!
Stefan! Finishing! YIKES.
I'll write Jeff! Oh, and if we want to backpack to Argentina: San Carlos de Bariloche is the name of the place. Look it up. LESS than 2000 bucks and Elder Sigal's family in Buenos Aires would be down for being tour guides, they explore the Patagonia "(southern end) of Argentina every summer (actually their winter).

We're headed out to do ice skating right now. I'm convinced the ukelele is amazing, an elder here plays like a pro and probably with his voice will make a cd someday. look up a polynesian/tongan/hawaiian something song: "Lullaby" incredible.

Hmmmm, Sweet experiences with a lot of people lately. Gospel is really true. We prayed in the temple as an entire zone and the Lord let us know there is a lot to do and a lot of success coming up here this month. We're psyched.

Well, we gotta get headed out, but I love you all, just want to let you know I'm happy, and I have really felt the Lord closer in my life on the mission. He has let me know in no uncertain terms that this is His Gospel. Christ is the Savior, the only way back Home. God IS our Father, and we His children. He will pour His blessings into our lives, and I have seen that. Focus on Christ.
Love you all!
Elder Thelin

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



I'm writing from outer darkness! It’s our Pday, obviously, and we decided we needed a change of scenery, so we are in the top of the mission, Star Valley, Wyoming! It’s actually in our zone, just so far that no one bothers to go there. So we decided to spend Pday exploring. Kinda pitiful, I don't know if you remember before the mission we looked up some of the tiny little towns on the mission map - we went through them today, Grover Population 100..... yikes! SO beautiful, check out pictures of Bear Lake sometime, Bear Lake is breathtaking. If only it wasn’t so brown up here... super cold though...
So family, sounds like you had a successful weekend! Congrats Jeffrey on the race! That's pretty sweet! 15th place and injured is a miracle, I'd say. My comp and I were praying pretty hard for everything to work out, so I'm glad it did! And the drama auditions are exciting, hope that you could get into one of those schools. I have friends at all 3.
And Heidi, nice job on trying to go extreme camping and freeze in the cold. I would’ve gone for the hot chocolate too. That’s great that you're doing cool activities - I super miss camping, so enjoy it. Even if it’s like torture and super cold, it makes a better story that way.
JEFFREY: I think I may have found the sweetest place to take our trip, still money is the only problem, but check out pictures of ... crud, I forgot the name. Check out like "San Carlos de Bolinche, Argentina" or something like that. Apparently its where the General Authorities and Apostles go when they visit Argentina, but our ward mission leader showed us photos, it’s beautiful, lakes of crystal clear water, mountains on the border of Chile, super amazing, and pretty cheap flight plans and all that. Like 2000 bucks would get you there and for a super long satisfying vacation, so check it out. South Argentina...
I gotta see pics of Frank and Bob, switched...
Our Halloween was good, we had a super sweet training in the morning about "The Challenge to Become", and then in the night we got like 8 missionaries together in an apartment and played games and ate junk food until we all had to go home. Pretty good stuff, playing risk, or Catchphrase in Spanish, getting missionaries to eat whole pieces of cake whole or dancing like a gangster, etc. haha. yeah....
That’s funny that you guys gave talks about the temple in church, that was the subject here in our sacrament meeting too. Huh. That was a cool Ensign about the temples. We're excited for the general conference one. How far is the temple from Culpeper again? It's going to be really weird being so far away from a temple, here in every area I've been within sight of a different temple and within 20 minutes driving distance of one, and even two temples, and several are under construction. Crazy. Cool though, there is always a beacon of light in Utah. Sad that they go unnoticed sometimes. All the recent converts think Washington DC temple is the coolest.

I'm not sure if we'll eat down in Bountiful for Thanksgiving. Transfers are like the day before, so I'll have a new companion, but I'm sure he wouldn’t mind eating there. I think I know who it will be, and he speaks very little English, but it might be ok. The only thing is I don’t know if we could drive there since we're so far away. I'll see what I can organize...
Well I love you all a lot. I'm really thankful to grow up in our family. Just the problems and ways Satan is destroying families is sad. So many problems that people tell us about. I know that this Gospel is true, it is the path God would have us take, and the way to happiness. I know the Spirit testifies to our hearts. Our Father does live and is intensely aware and interested in us. His Son Jesus Christ, Our Brother, understands and can heal and walk with us. This is the truth, and I know it. Be good everyone!
AND Holly, I'm not sure I can get something mailed in time, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You'll be 11 right? I hope it’s a sweet birthday, and that its lots of fun. Presents aren’t the most important thing (but I hope they're good!) but have fun being with our family and your friends! You're a really cool little sister, and I'm proud of you. I'm always telling people "Oh, my sister Holly would love that or she would say this..." Love ya Holly, have a great birthday!
And love you all too!
Elder Thelin

Ps: glad Donna is doing better!
Ps where are we in the story?
Pss: not trying to be super trunky but I've been told the office will give me my "trunky call" soon where they ask me about travel plans... I still don’t know, it’d be cool to have Dad and Jeffrey come out or something, but if not that’s fine too. I've got a lot of stuff but I can always leave some at family's houses here in Utah. Let me know what you've all been thinking, and we can figure it out. Yikes! I am excited. I do love being here, but I do miss family and my old life too at times. Unavoidable. Having a trunky companion doesn’t help. Haha. Love you all take care!