Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Hello Fam! This will be quick! Yup, a lot of news there, don’t worry about the stuff out in the hallways of the house, really, I have come to realize it is easy to clean a living space and absolutely impossible to keep it clean for more than a day, if that. Our apartment suffers...
Mark in Brazil... wow... I am super glad I'm here. I spoke to one man once who said his son was in South America, and hopefully the government would let the American Elders out of prison before his mission ended. Yikes. And here we are, wondering which of all the friendly members might give us a ride or let us move their ward party for a baptism...
Mickey Butt... ok. Our identity stolen by a man named Mickey Butt. Incredible. It could be a movie title...
Speaking of baptism (well now we are) we went to two this weekend. We were hoping to have 2 here, but they didn’t quite make it through. BUT we took them to the baptisms in the other area. Incredible baptisms. Elizabeth has 3 weeks learning about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. She read the Book of Mormon up to Alma in that time - showed us her study journal of notes. Read all the pamphlets the missionaries had, and taught us from them, quoting verses from the Bible and Book of Mormon. Said that she has felt something so powerful in these weeks -The Holy Spirit, filling her with peace, with a vivid testimony that these things are true. At her baptism, we brought a fairly incredulous exchange student here at the university from Chile. He said he felt the Spirit there, and how could he not have? The woman got baptized, then stood and bore testimony of the truthfulness of what had happened. I felt the Spirit so strong as she testified of God, of the Savior Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel.
Also, the next day, Sunday, we brought a man, Javier, who is going through a rough time - A week after that the missionaries found him. At the baptism, a man named Cristian got baptized - young, from Argentina. He too bore solid testimony in front of everyone. The Spirit was so strong. He sat there crying after his baptism, and as we sang he looked so completely peaceful and happy, much happier than at the beginning. Javier said it helped him so much, and he is seriously considering following all the feelings of the Spirit and being baptized.
I love going to baptisms. The Spirit is there, so strong, always. The person comes out of the water, new. Childlike. I love most of all the Spirit that fills those sacred places. As faithful members of Christ's Church stand and bear witness of the truth of the Savior's gospel, the Spirit fills all with a testimony that it is true. After waiting 5 years to be baptized (wanted to repent completely), Cristian turned to my companion in the font and hugged him, thanking him for being willing to serve the Savior and teach him of his gospel, helping him be baptized in His Church. I know that baptism washes the sincerely repentant soul clean of sin. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, and a ever serving, ever patient, ever loving Savior, who is willing to heal us, guide us, teach us the ways we must come unto Him so that we may be with Him once again. I know He lives. And more than ever I know that this is His Gospel. The truths taught in this Church, by HIS prophets, by the Bible and the Book of Mormon, by His Spirit, are HIS. I have felt His loving hand. I have seen His everlasting mercy heal. I have seen His grace transform a weak and willing servant time and again into an instrument, to guide another to Him, to salvation. I have seen His Holy Priesthood, the same the Apostles of old had, in action, giving blessings, baptizing in His manner and bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost as the Apostles did in Acts 8. I have seen the merciful and fullness of Jesus Christ's plan in His holy temples. This is His Church, and I am eternally grateful for all my Savior does and has done and will ever do in my life and the lives of those about me. I know He lives. As we come humbly to Him, and learn of Him through His scriptures and prophets and commandments, we become like Him. I know this is true, because daily I've seen it in action and felt the spirit burning that witness not only in me but in all those willing and faithful enough to seek it.
I love you all! Thanks for the never ending support and love. Thank you for being my family. Love, Elder Thelin
Ps ...just ahead, what was it? a heard of... polar bears?

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