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!


  1. Thanks for another great letter. I sent an excerpt to Steven. Glad you got the pictures. Thinking of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. You don't sound preachy, you sound like a missionary. Tanto chico...your testimonies are always good for a lift...

  3. You don't sound preachy you sound like a missionary. Tanto chico...your testimonies are always good for a lift...