Wednesday, February 23, 2011


FEBRUARY 14, 2011

Hello! Well I did have a little time to write today - its a crazy day, not accomplishing half of what I should, all my stuff is strewn across the apt. But we decided to go bowling and then to lunch and then buy ties and then walk 10 blocks... now I have to go burn my worst suit up in the canyon, and pack.... yeah...
The Wedding went well, all except for the DJ - blasting some pretty raunchy rap music in the church... but the couple was super happy with everything, kept making announcements about how much they loved each other, yadda yadda. Too bad they stayed dancing so late that they didnt go to church...
Also the members (ay, these members are sweet) bugged me all week about leaving, inviting me to eat and stuff. Yaneth, the girl that got baptized in December found out I was leaving, and organized a missionary farewell in the church sunday night! Some membrs did that for my 1st companion when he left, and he told me that it rarely happens when missionaries leave - I've seen only 1 or 2 my whole mission, and didnt expect them to do one for me. The members got up and said some really nice stuff about us and what we've ben trying to do here. One lady just got up and cried, and couldnt say much before she left the room. It really hasnt hit me that I'm leaving them yet...
Last night too I said goodbye to some people - you'd love the Crane family. They're American and both speak spanish, about 45 years old and travel the world, work at the University and stuff, and super strong in the Church - well, at the farewell a lot of returned missionaries told me that after the mission Satan tries you and tempts you like never before and its pretty rough, but I should dedicate myself to not losing my missionaryness and stuff - I was kinda worried, but Brother Crane just looked at me and said "hooplah, thats ridiculous. They were the best 2 years of my life, and every 2 years after were even better, and better and better. Life isnt about suffering and enduring pain and such - God's plan is a plan of happiness, and He's not going to ask how much we suffered here. The best is yet to come!" Made me feel great about going home instead of like dirt. Just kept saying "how EXCITING! HOW exciting!" I like his way of thinking a lot more. Good old brother Crane.
SO thats about it, I'm coming back! We've got a lot to do! Stay up late, watch movies (we'll take them little by little), play some games, get me a calling at Church, eat some really good Thelin style dinners (Im talking stirfry, or ribs or pork chops or spaghetti. And we're making ... what are they CALLED? MEGABARS! yeah, and Cinnamon rolls!) ride some bikes, do some sweet fam home evenings, etc! Most of all just talk to you guys! Forgive me if I'm exactly one of those RMs that talks incessantly about the mission, I've got a lot of stories and experiences and such, so hopefully they're fun to hear... the pictures and stuff.... we gotta take out grandmas trash on Sunday too. Thats important.
I love you guys a lot. I know the Savior lives. Especially in this the end of my mission, I've felt His love and His hand, comforting and guiding me. I know this is His work. He loves us, He can heal us, and He can teach us the truth. We just have to trust Him. NOS VEMOS! (we'll see ya!)
Elder Thelin
PS: Mission Accomplished.

FEBRUARY 9, 2011

Hello! Yes, I found a way to contact y'all (gotta get back into the Culpeper swing...)
Perfect! That was all the information I was hoping to ask for right now! This week is pretty intense. I'm torn between being excited, between doing this or that or seeing them or waiting.... hijole, its crazy. I dont recommend ending a mission to ending one. Starting yes, but leaving no. In some ways its harder than leaving the family... Next week I only know about Wednesday: My interview changed to 3:00 pm, so we have a little more time. Here's what I'm thinking. The gang can pick me up in Logan at my apartment in the morning. We can go see a few people up here, I've asked a few people to let us eat lunch or bear their testimonies or do hispanic stuff, hah, just let you guys meet a few of the people I know here. Then maybe around noonish we can go down to my first area in Riverdale, and stop by a few people there, go to the interview at 3 (it shouldnt be long, I've heard it consists of : well, how'd it go? Got plans? Get married. Study. Anything else? see ya. So it should be short. Then maybe after that, before the dinner, we can finish up with a few people in Ogden. Or maybe if its quick we can run down to Layton. If not, Thursday: I dont know how the whole BYU thing will work out or when we're going down: if we dont go to Layton on Wednesday, we have to stop by a few people on Thursday. Like half the converts there are inactive and I havent been back since I left - and the other missionaries arent taking care of them like they should, so we need to urge like 3 people to repent and go back to church. I also would like on the way down to BYu to stop in Draper and say hi to Presidnt and Sister Joyce, my former mission mom and President (sometimes it felt like it was in that order, hah, Sister Joyce had more influence than President sometimes...) Then we can do party in BYU, yeah, and show Jeffrey around the sweetest campus ever. Dont count on me feeling normal, you may have to just ask me about my mission a lot, because I dont have a lot of opinions on any current movies or books or world events (unless its about temples being built in Spanish speaking countries or the baptismal statistics for various states of mexico....). I also say "man" a lot now, because thats just what the Spanish missionaries do... then Friday: I got the itinerary in the mail (these constant letters from the office about details are so helpful in focusing ha) - looks like a mega flight, get home at 11. I could just stay a missionary, I dont think pres kitchens wants to release me at midnight. The Elders in Culpeper could start a threesome. Shame Stefan didnt wait to get released, we could have waited together and been companions, ha. This doesnt sound easy, ending and all, I keep asking returned missionaries how it was. I asked Elder Contreras, my last companion, last week and asked if it wasnt so bad - he said, sorry man, it hurts. a lot. So, a lotta consolation on this end, ha. But I am really excited to see you all! I cant wait to see how changed everyone is, see how the house changed (Im not talking about cleaning it, dont freak out. Cleanliness is not something I've worried too much about. we just spent 30 minutes cleaning egg out of our car - another elder threw the third egg this month at us, and it landed INSIDE the nice 2010 Malibu... and dried there. Yeah....)
So yeah, it should be sweet.
Lame, but we were going to have a super wedding/baptism this weeked - but the couple decided it was too much for one weekend, and moved the baptism to the next saturday. grrr, been working 10 months with them... Funny, the branch up here has a sweet missionary activity at the time I should be arriving in Virginia - the theme? "Plane trip to Hawaii"... While my plane goes to Dulles, the members and investigators will be boarding a plane to Hawaii in the chapel (which consists of a airport gate by the stage, and seats in rows up on the stage.) The Branch President is a pilot up here, like 26 years old, and he has a flight simulator and a projector, so he'll dress up, and make it look like they are taking off and flying to Hawaii.... the only catch we arent telling people is the plane is going to crash (the simulator does crashes too, convienently) and everyone dies. Then the lights go off in the whole building. And an angel in white opens the door, and announces: "Be not afraid. Welcome to the Spirit World. You have all just finished your mortal probation. Please come with me...." and everyone will take a tour of the Telestial Kingdom in the basement, the Terrestial Kingdom on the middle floor, and the Celestial kingdom on the top floor (3 floor chapel, convenient...). Gonna be pretty sweet. Hope they send photos...
Ok, well, I had a sweet trip to Salt Lake on Tuesday, the Temple is incredible there (President Olson got us all up in a sealing room and to break the silence just said "so who's gonna be back in this room for a wedding first?" haha. Someone had plans for a month...) and we got to see where president Monson lives, the Church Office Buildings, the Conf. Center (incredible), the Tabernacle, all that stuff, it was sweet.
OK! Well, good luck with everything, I think I'll text you guys to see what the plans are before Wednesday, just to get everything ready - love you guys! Be good, and look to the Savior. LOVE: ELDER THELIN

ps. Parades in Ogden are kind funky actually - pioneer clothes and bands are to be expected, but you also need Rooster, the homeless man that plays hymns rock style to the missionaries on his air guitar (and alsways finishes with "Heavenly Father what can I do for you?), you got people dancing like King Kong in Main street, a group of people looking for UFOs, a lady screaming something about being a pagan, a bunch of loose dogs... the group saw that the parade was getting out of hand. Someone asked Rooster where Elder Thelin was - in all the hulabaloo, he pointed north, and began to sing "Welllllll I think that he, went to Cache Valleyyyyy, been there for, 10 months or more....."

FEBRUARY 1, 2011

Hola Family,
Dang, I'm not 100% sure if I'll be writing an email next week, I'm going to Salt Lake to the Salt Lake Temple on Tuesday. this is intense, everyone's reminding me how much time I dont have....
Ha, I did get the letter from dear Elder, glad Stefan is back in town, ha, incredible how the Magura's life works out everytime. Hopefully we plan our trip a little more than that....
Poor Amy - sorry she got sick - I was down for 2 days with a cold last week. Did you know that by drinking a mix of cinnamon lemon and pure honey, sore throats are cured? Amazing. Learned about bundling up better in 9 degree weather. Yikes.
The prayers for Adan worked out - he talked with his parents after praying and fasting with a lot of people. His parents conceded, but he has to wait 3 months :(. Thats better than 3 years though... miracle!
Yup. Its been a good week. Still working hard. Theres a lot to do here, and I feel sad that I'll be leaving here. The people are excelent here. But all things have their time. I know the Lord has blessed us a lot. I've seen a lot of miracles and seen people come unto Christ. I've associated with other missionaries, and seen the Spirit work through them and strengthen us to do what is right. I dont have a whole lot to say, but I know this is the Lord's work. The Holy Spirit always will testify of this work. I love you guys a lot, and look forward to seeing Jeffrey Heidi and Dad in a few weeks! Not sure what we'll do here, but we'll do something sweet, I'll try to set up a way so you can meet some of the people here, it'll be hard to do in the morning. Love you guys! Have a good week!
Elder Thelin
Ps. In Wyoming the group started talking to the moose, and asked the moose to guide them to Utah. The moose began to lead them to a nearby mountain, where they began to ski down the fresh snow, passing Morgan and coming down into South Ogden...

JANUARY 25, 2011

Wow.... Stefan coming home? That's just not right... Time goes by WAY too fast. I'm so glad the Magura family is still the Magura family!
It shall not snow on Feb. 11. My siblings must come to Utah. Gotta see this place... I'm just hoping its not too snowy HERE cause when its too snowy no one can enter Cache Valley...
John Clubb WASNT a member all this time??
Brother Riner goes to our ward again?
This week has been crazy here, but thats just usual. We actually got up to 40 degrees - everyone was out running, walking in tshirts, we rode with the windows down. It was pretty much springtime...
I finally ripped one of my suit pants completely and irreparably. Now I know which I will be burning...
No one in the branch will let me forget how much time I have...
Hmm, oh yeah, SUPER miracle. Last week I mentioned that Alejandra got baptized - her daughter had gone 8 months at Church without deciding. But like I said, at her mom's baptism, she felt something amazing, something she had never felt before. Well, This wednesday we went over to their house, and started talking about baptism and her getting married to the man she lives with. She started freaking out, and we just calmly kept talking about it. We asked her husband - he said yes. We got their calendar down, figured out the next date in 3 weeks that they could do it, and just marked it on their calendar. The whole time the daughter is just freaking out, dumbfounded : "Married? me? and BAPTIZED? JOSE, are you sure? You really want to MARRY me? Yes? Oh man, thats big, REALLY?" But she was really excited. They will be getting married on the Saturday, and baptized on the Sunday, before I leave. They're already talking about NEXT February 14th - in the temple, being sealed. I've been waiting 8 months to see this happen, its sweet! The whole branch is helping to organize a wedding... Sweet! She felt the Spirit, and told us that it changed her life.
Also,11 year old kid got baptized - felt so bad for him, his mom called us and told us to come over because they were fighting. He was yelling at her and she at him, calling names, etc. It was ugly. We sat down, and just talked and listened for like 30 minutes. His mom is getting divorced from the dad. His dad is an alcoholic, and violent. He told us about times he had to protect his mom, etc. He's 11 years old, and was saying things like "I feel like my heart is wounded. I feel like its torn in half and cant ever be fixed. Stress is like a disease I just feel stress all the time cause I dont know what will happen to my family and I know its all destroyed." 11 years old. We knelt with them and said a prayer, and the peace of the Spirit returned to the house. He was so excited to be baptized, and said he felt so happy afterwards.
I dont have a whole lot else to say. I feel like its time, and at the same time I'm overwhelmed by what is coming ahead. I know that the mission is just the MTC for life. The real test is ahead. Its sad how many young men dont make it to the Lord's MTC (the mission) because here He prepares us. Teaches us simply and repetitively His doctrine. Teaches us to seek and recognize and follow His Spirit. To serve others. To respect and use His priesthood power and be worthy of it. To overcome temptation. He shows us miracles firsthand to bolster our testimony. Teaches us to live in harmony with a companion -to prepare us for an eternal companion. I havent learned all the lessons perfectly, but I have tried to fight for the truth, to serve others, to learn His will. Its not over yet either. I know its the Lord's will that we serve missions. Its not a sacrifice. Its anything but. Its a blessing. I have received infinitely more than any small thing I've given to the Lord.
This is His work. The Lord loves us. His love is felt through His Spirit. I love laying my hands on someones head, or taking them by the arm and proclaiming in the name of Jesus Christ and by the authority of His holy priesthood that they be healed. Or baptized. Or receive the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God fills the room so many times. Specific blessings are given, people feel the Lord's love and approval. Sins are washed away. I know that this is the way. It is the way of Jesus Christ. I know this is His Gospel. John preached repentance and the ordinance of baptism in Matthew 3, and the Lord Himself was baptized by immersion, and the Spirit descended upon him. In Acts 8:18-24 we see that Simon tried to buy the Priesthood, which is the power needed to give the GIFT of the Holy Ghost like Peter and John did. John, his Apostle, in 1 John, the whole book, teaches us the need to endure to the end by keeping the commandments and discerning the truth by the Spirit. The Book of Mormon teaches this in such simplicity. All who are willing to pray and ask can know. All who read the scriptures with an open heart to His Spirit can know. All who have faith to act on the word gain experience and a witness. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet, and this is the work of the Savior Jesus Christ.
Love you all!
Elder THelin
The french mongoose told the group to head to Alberta Canada, where Grandpa Murray grew up ( did I tell you I met a man that knew Grandpa Murray? He lived on the same street in Glennwood Alberta, knew him as kids. Said the Thelin boys were crazy...)

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