Wednesday, December 15, 2010


PART 1 (written last week December 6,2010)

Hello Family!
Do you all just feel tired all the time? Sounds like you would be.... jaja, you all do an awful lot. Almost like being missionaries, just crazier.
While you all are planning birthdays and cultural events, this weekend we have somehow got ourselves into planning a wedding and a baptism at the same time on Saturday at 6 pm. We told a couple they could get married whenever they want, great couple, hilarious. The lady, Guadalupe, said "My birthday is on Saturday! Lets do it that day!" So with all our missionary authority and faith we said, sure, no problem. Then we started making phone calls. Well the branch president cant do it. Neither can the stake president. To get authorization for other bishops outside the stake to marry them, he called the 1st Presidency. (yes). The chapel is already being used like twice for Christmas parties that night. So we called the couple and asked to combine their wedding with the ward christmas party. They said yes, but then their friend called and said they were mad. So we went by and they said they already invited the whole Relief Society and friends from all over, they all got off work for that day, and if we failed them for Saturday they probably just wouldnt get married. Or baptized. Ever. SO we quickly called everyone again, moved it back to Saturday. All this from 9-11 last night. Yikes. SO we have a wedding planned, with NO chapel, NO bishop to do the service (did you know that missionaries have the authority to marry too? but need permission from the 1st presidency...), a BAPTISM at the SAME time but not sure what chapel, and still have to get the lady a form of ID to buy the marriage license... we're going to Sams Club today to get them a membership, because technically the card they give is a photo ID... we're a little crazy right now. heheheh. Pray.
Sad about Grandpa's car getting whomped by a tree. :(
Thanks Stefan for the gloating. But I ate turkey. With my grandma. Hahaha.
Heidi congrats on your voice recital, I want to go to some! And glad Feast went well for Jeffrey! Figures he'd eat the cake...
At the baptism on Saturday, it was beautiful. This girl has done a lot, and is super firm. The first talk was given by Sister Torres - my favorite member. Single mom, joined the church in 6 days a few years back. Super strong. We're going with her to take out her endowments this next week. She bore testimony of baptism and the Church, and just the love and support and testimony of Christ she gave filled that room with a tangible Spirit. Many investigators from all of Logan were crying, and are super close to being baptized because of it. Only problem with the baptism is the water was freezing...
Another baptism on Sunday - familia Galvan - we taught them in LAYTON last february, elder preciado and me. But they moved! We thought they'd never be found, BUT some Elders found them, they were ready, and got baptized on Sunday - remembered us and invited us to baptize a few people in the family too! As we sang a hymn about the first vision, the father's face shone, and he just closed his eyes and felt the Spirit. Amazing.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to everyone that just had a birthday! Aunt Jill needs to get an award. Aunt Jill has been the most faithful writer throughout my entire mission, equalled only by my own mother - every week there is a dear elder in my mailbox. I always know what is going on with my cousins, the spiritual insights from sacrament meetings or personal scripture studies, or funny stories from my own family. I sincerely appreciate you Aunt Jill, thank you, your letters have supported me many times when I need a lift. Love you aunt Jill, hope your birthday was really great!
And GRANDPA! HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY grandpa! Love you a lot too! I've found myself really wanting to spend time with you and grandma. I love you and appreciate all you've done for me.You're a great grandfather, and an amazing example. Happy birthday!
And JEFFREY is turning 18? That's really weird. Happy Birthday Jeffrey! You're an awesome browski, I do miss you and wish you could be out here working with me too. Will write more.
I love you all! the week is crazy and I got to go, but I do know Jesus is the Christ. I feel His love when I am in the temple. I know that He loves us. He is the intercessor with the Father. I know that if we follow His gospel we can be with Him. The Book of Mormon is sure tangible evidence of the divinity and reality of this work, and is the most powerful testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior and of the gospel path of faith, repentence, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endurance to the end. If we set our eyes on the Savior, and are faithful to His Church and His annoited prophet, there is nothing that will stop us from coming unto Him and receiving all He has for us. I know He lives. He is merciful. This is His work.
Love you, Elder tHelin
Ps sorry Ames about the Spider woman play! Who knew Spider Woman was a Native American weaver, not a superhero... bummer
Pss SUPER cool about President Monson... he was seen in a restaurant up here, but I'm always in the wrong place.
Pspss ha, glad Thanksgiving worked out with all the chaos, yes, I got a good chuckle out of that...

PART 2 (written December 14, 2010)

Hello my dear family (I accidentally typed dead. We ARE in a family history center, but I would like to talk to my LIVE family right now... haha)
Mom. Stop stressing. Its a Christmas card. :) Testify of the meaning of Christmas, and send a picture. Its ok. It'll work out. "Things that matter most," President Uchtdorf's talk. :)
Presents: Its really ok, I dont need anything, and its true, I'll just have to pack it up again... Elder Ruvalcaba... I dont know if he'll have something or not, actually, cause his family really doesnt even know what he's doing, and he never really hears from his parents much. But he's pretty easy going about it. You guys are great, I'm just excited to call you all(!).
Stop enacting suicides in plays, my thespian siblings. Keep eating belgian waffles.
Holly sang in church too? sweet!
Wednesday. Spent like 2 hours calling building coordinators for a dozen chapels in east Logan. Many chapels=3x as many wards. December= Christmas parties. EVERY CHAPEL had a christmas party. for relief society, elders quorum, or just plain ward party. In addition the 1st Presidency responded and said we'd have to send a letter in order to marry the couple OUTside of the stake boundaries. so we got a hold of an English-speaking bishop, and just found a translator. FINALLY we convinced an EQ president to do their party in a different room (we couldnt use it because the lady said we couldt have food in there because of the new carpet. AGHH!!) We go to Sams club and buy a membership for them, so they have a card with their name and photo on it, to get the marriage lisence (photo ID required.) Thursday. Intense. Alejandro, the husband calls. "Bad news, we decided to call it all off.' "WHAT???" "Naw, we're just kidding. But we did decide to be baptized the same day." "WHAT???" They were saying they'd get baptized like in may, but his wife sat down that morning, started reading the Book of Mormon, and felt he Spirit, and called her husband and asked if they could on Saturday!!
MIRACLE - Fasting does work miracles.
SO we needed to find ANOTHER place to do the baptism - and it had to be AFTER the wedding, but in another building. We couldnt move the wedding, because remember we need 1st Presidency permission to have the wedding outside of the stake. And in the stake, the baptism rooms were all holding drinks and jello or being used as nurseries for Christmas parties. AGH.
But it all worked out beautifully. We had a simple ceremony. The wedding part took 3 minutes - the bishop didnt give any counsel because he doesnt speak Spanish. We realized we planned an hour long wedding ceremony and kinda figured it would take an hour, so after 3 minutes we had 2 newlyweds and 30 people looking at us like "whats next?" and the Elders improvised more events.... like cutting cakes and pictures....
Then we all drove - pretty much "fast walked" like you suggested, Amy - to the Tabernacle, for the baptism. Beautiful. They said they felt so good. Then back to the church for party. CRAZY. But they are really happy. And we're dead tired.
3 of our investigators are telling us that surprise, they want to be baptized Saturday!!!! Another crazy week! but its a good crazy.
All is well. We are enjoying things here. I love you all a lot. Merry Christmas. Focus on the Savior and family. Dont stress out. Hope Dad's work goes better. Be faithful, read the scriptures, pray, temple - the problems have solutions, and He can give them.
I know the Savior lives, I know good triumphs over evil, and that this is the Lord's true Church. I know that the Spirit testifies of this.

Love you all, Elder Thelin

Ps So sad I dont get to meet Harry the Christmas Tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Hello family!

How're you all doing? Sounds like all is going pretty good. I enjoyed hearing the voices on Thanksgiving - haha, I was totally expecting you to call, but decided it would be bad to talk since my comp can't talk to his parents - he's the only member in his family, he got baptized after 15 days of hearing the missionaries, he said he knew it was true without a doubt in his heart... and his parents are in Mexico and live in a little ranch that doesn't even know what missionaries are or any other church outside of the Catholic church. They have really no idea what their son is doing, pretty hard with such little support, but he doesn't care. Anyhow, but it was good to hear from you all! And going down to Bountiful was sweet - we thought it was going to be a bad ride. Tuesday there was a monster blizzard, total whiteout, like 10 inches in 5 hours. Intense. Thursday morning we went to the stake center to play soccer with the elders - -7 degrees. In case you missed that, that's 7 BELOW 0. COLD. But the ride went well. Went with Riley, a long distant cousin of mine living in Logan. It was sweet to see Grandma and Grandma Baer and Kayla all day, played a lot of games, yes hung up christmas lights for Grandma, ate a LOT. Good stuff.

Hopefully your Turkey day was good too! Sounds like the food as always was a hit. I love home food. But I will miss Hispanic food too...

Hmm, well, the week is going well. Elder Ruvalcaba is my new companion, super good missionary, loves the Lord and the people, its really good serving with him. He has a lot of faith. Like I said, he's had an interesting 3 years since he was baptized. His girlfriend and other friends and even his brother basically rejected him for life for joining the Church. But he felt the Spirit, he took leaps of faith, and the Lord showed him the way. He said that when all that happened,he decided instead of feeling rejected, he'd prepare to serve a mission. They sent him from Twin Falls Idaho where he was living at the time, to Ogden Utah! Great guy.

My last companion is now officially NOT a missionary! Pretty traumatic, the process, it seems like. Though 24 hours after he was released, he got a girlfriend and on Sunday was called as a ward mission leader. Funny.

We are really excited for the baptism this Saturday. Janet keeps saying that every time she reads or goes to church one more time, she likes it more and more and feels its right. A lot of faith. Through all the experiences and spiritual confirmations she has had, probably one of the most converted people we've seen.

This weekend is going to be amazing. The Lord has blessed a lot of people with the oppotunity to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There are 16 people that despite all types of challenges and backgrounds, have decided to be baptized into the Church and make covenants with Jesus Christ. 16! In this our zone! Its cool, some were people that my companion and I in Layton last February were teaching and had moved, and now are found again and have been preparing to act on what they had learned so long ago - for example, there was a man who was going to open a restaurant, we taught him about the Sabbath day, and he said he couldn't close his business on Sundays. But after he moved he decided to do it, has been blessed, and now is being baptized with his whole family. Lots of miracles. We're psyched. Other families are teaching their friends about finally finding the church, about the book of mormon, etc. Yup.

We're really enjoying the work here. There's a lot to do.

I hope all is as well at home. Holly, hope thanksgiving got better for ya! I miss the family a lot. Did everyone start school already again? Has it snowed yet there? Is it even COLD??? What kind of plays or high adventure, or musical performances are going on? Is mom still sick? If the meat pie had leftovers, leftovers can do that - our refrigerator is still pretty amazing at growing things. We dont really eat at home...

Well, we are going to get going here, but I love each of you! The gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and friend - and this is His church on the face of the earth. The priesthood, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the temple, the gospel in its fullness, knowledge about the pre-existence, eternal families, and the purpose of life - they are not found in any other church. Not one. This is the truth. And the Spirit is willing to testify of this over and oever and over again. We just have to invite it into our homes and lives. Sometimes you just want to grab people and say "LOOK, if you have a little faith and exercise it, just open your heart I know what we're feeling right now - you'll feel it too, and KNOW! If you just read the book, if you just pray and mean it, you wont have any doubt! Your problems will get better, your marriage wont fall apart, you will find a job, and you will be happy." When people are able to do that, its awesome. Thanks for all you've all done for me. Keep on being such a great family!

Love you all, Elder Thelin

PS HEIDI HAPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Como estas? Heidi, you really cant be turning 14. Like thats old. Like stake dances and stuff. When did you get so old? Sheesh, last time I saw you you were 12. You're awesome Heidi, a good actress, a good singer, student, friend, and just a great sister. Hope your birthday is sweet and you have a really happy day! Love ya, Chris!