Monday, January 17, 2011


Hola family,
Yes, of course we all thought a lot about MLK day... actually, at the gym in the morning we did glimpse the news playing there that President Obama asked for all to serve someone else in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. So, we did missionary work. Thought that would be appropriate...
The ski trip sounds about normally insane and stressful. Screaming, patience, teaching interesting teenagers to ski and not worry about social image simutaneously... hm, real shame I missed that experience... haha.
This week has been pretty sweet. We've definitely seen miracles. Let's start with last Wednesday. To do that, we need to start last April. A young couple, about 28 years old. Began going to our church just before I got into the area. Wendy's mom, who has been part of the Apostolic church all her life (like 50 years) began going too, estatic that her daughter was willing to go to ANY church. they have been coming just about every week for 8 months. They've been through severe trials - His wife, who is basically incredulous and doesnt have faith in God, during that time began to pray a lot more, and told us for the first time in her life she felt faith in Jesus Christ. Jose read the Book of Mormon during his trials and came out of that experience testifying that the Book of Mormon is indeed scripture, that over and over in the jail he felt God witnessing that it was true. He wanted to be baptized, but Wendy needed to get divorced from a 1st marriage that had dissolved like 10 years earlier. Usually that takes about 2 years. Through miracles, it took 3 months. Alejandra, Wendy's mom, through all this time LOVED going to church, reading, learning, but NEVER wanted to get baptized because she said she was already baptized twice. However, she began to get a testimony of the Church. A family member began to rail on "The Mormons" and said they worship Joseph Smith, dont believe in Jesus, etc. Alejandra in that instant told her sister to stop talking about what she didnt know. "You have no idea what you're saying. I've gone to this church for 6 months now, and WE do not worship Joseph Smith. He was a prophet of God, like Moses and the prophets of the Bible. And he testified of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior. WE believe that Joseph just restored the true church." OH YEAH, super sweet. WE believe. She then went to California to visit her mom - while there, her mother died. After the funeral, she announced she would soon be getting baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ. About 30 members of her family, all Apostolic for life, began to argue and try to convince her not to. Through it all, she testified, and told how she felt. Jose also defended the church for 3 hours against all the opposition. They all came back to Utah on Wednesday. We went to console them, then asked about baptism - Alejandra told us what had happened, and announced she'd like to be baptized on SUNDAY. Wendy had a fit - she doubts everything 10 or 20 times - and was yelling "GIVE ME ONE WEEK! THINK about it, a little longer! MOM, what-" and her mom Alejandra said "Quiet, Wendy! Mind your own business! I know this is true, and I have nothing else to think over. I'm getting baptized on Sunday." Someone suggested that Wendy would get baptized in a month, and we should film her reaction that night so we could show her after her own baptism how much she had changed. "I'll never change" said Wendy. We filmed her there in the lesson ranting and doubting and upset at her mom.
Sunday. Alejandra's baptism. A lot of her nonmember family came. Alejandra was super happy. She went down in the water, and the Ward mission leader baptized her. As she came out of the water, she was crying. Sobbing, she embraced the man that baptized her standing there in the font. "Thank you! Thank you!" The Spirit was really strong. We watched a DVD about the life of Christ and His miracles (Finding Faith in Christ, my favorite DVD on the mission). The Relief Society and Presidency testified to her, and welcomed her lovingly into the branch. We talked after - Alejandra said she felt the love of God envelop her as she went under the water. It was different than her other two baptisms. "I know its true." she said.
Then a bigger miracle: Wendy had been behind the scenes, watching the baptism from the steps to the font, ready to help her mom change afterwards. She told us she felt something incredible run through her as she stood there. She said "that was the Spirit. I felt it. I finally felt it." We brought out the camera with the video of her ranting and doubting from 4 days earlier, but she said "please, destroy that. Erase it or something - because I dont think like that anymore. What happened here today, changed my life." Complete change of heart. Her husband Jose looked really happy, because that means he will be able to get married to Wendy, and finally get baptized.
Super sweet stuff. Another investigator that day - Adan, a young man that wanted to get baptized but his parents wont let him - talked to his parents again, and they decided to LET HIM GET BAPTIZED. He was super happy.
I know these miracles are from God. We dont earn them - we try to do all we can to show the Lord we are willing to serve Him, and He blesses us with them. Actaully, they really arent miracles for us, they are for the people we teach. Its just a privelege to be there and be part of them. I know the Savior lives, and loves us. He is the Way. I know that baptism is the key. It is how He taught we needed to fufill all righteousness. To witness we accept Him, and will take upon us His name. That we will keep His commandments, because we love Him. And He promises to send His Spirit, and give us remission of sins. This is the gate. I know from experience that the Lord wants each of us to be baptized and make those promises, and He wants us to do it in His Church, by His priesthood authority. Thats how He did it. That is how His Apostles admintered it. That is how it is done today, in His Church. I have felt the Spirit of God sweetly confirm that 1000's of times while teaching these things in living rooms, sacrement meetings, hallways, in cars, in buses, the street, back alleys - I know this is His Church, and all who sincerely seek that answer, and to humbly know and follow the will of our Father and His Son Jesus Christ do obatin that witness. I love the Savior. I am thankful for these things - that I was allowed to make that covenant, be washed clean, and renew that relationship every Sunday in the sacrament.
Love you all, a lot. Have a wonderful week! Try to get some sleep. Dont crash any more cars. haha
Elder Thelin

ps President Olson is doing the BYU thing today online.
pppps Wisdom is Optional - thats scary....... haha

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