Quote of the week:

"The Lord doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 105, Nogoya, Argentina

Last oneeeee

Alrighty everybody.... this is it, my last email. My head hasn't quite understood the whole going home part but...yeah. So this week was pretty good! We taught some great lessons and had a good time. Church was great and everything. I was able to share my testimony and I would like to share it with you guys as well. So as some of you know, I was supposed to get home last wednesday but because of changes in the missions around the world we got two extra weeks added on. When we found out I had no problem and just accepted it like it was nothin. I said, "If God wants me for two more weeks, then Ill give him two more weeks." Then last week came and there was a little part of me saying, "I would've been home right now!" Then I realized why God needed me for two more weeks, or better said, why I, Elder Hjelmstad, needed God for two more weeks. First I realized that I needed my comp, Elder Lindeman. He's really helped me learn more about myself and about the post mission life because he has 2 older brothers that already served missions. The Lord has blessed me through him. Last week we were walking and Elder Lindeman said something that I will never forget. He said, "It's funny how that out of everything that we have the only thing thats really OURS, is our ability to choose, and God asks THAT of us." I don't know if you guys will understand that, but I loved it. It's something I'd thought about a lot but the way he said it was just perfect. It's ironic. God wants the only thing that is ours. The thing is that by, "giving in," we come to find out that we become even more free, and receive even more blessings. After thinking about that for a few days I realized that I need to be grateful and that I need to be humble. I have so much to learn but that's why I'm here! That's why were all here! Every day of life is one more day to learn about ourselves, and one more day to learn about Heavenly Father. We must learn to give Him our heart and do as He would do. We must learn how to give Him our hearts so He can trust us. I know that I have SO MUCH to learn but I'm so grateful for my mission because it has helped me start. I've just begun. This party is just getting started.

Love you all!
Elder Hjelmstad

p.s. SEE YA NEXT WEEK!!!!!!

(This is Elder Hjelmstads Mom)

I asked our missionary what his week looks like and this was his response...

"On Sunday night I'm going to the Mission home. Monday is our PDAY but Elder Hull and I are just going to go around Rosario doing some sight seeing and then at 6pm on Monday we have dinner with president and then a tetimony meeting and Sister Giuliani cuts our ties and we get a pin. Tuesday morning we wake up and take a mini bus to the temple in Buenos Aires and then go to the airport and then......"

We would like to thank everyone who has followed our sons blog, for your love and support. This was his last email home but this will not be the last entry. We will be posting pictures of his homecoming at the airport and some pictures of his open house. :) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 104, Nogoya, Argentina

                                        amazing argentine sunset. 

                ASADO! we ate heart, liver, and pork ribs, and sausage.

This week was pretty good! We were able to teach more lessons, did some service and ate some good ole ASADO, or BBQ. We found some great people this week which was a true blessing. We found a guy named Alejandro that let us in and has some sincere desires to listen and get closer to Christ. We're hoping to find him tonight so well see how it goes. Another super miracle happened on Saturday when we were knocking doors, or clapping I should say because we clapped outside their gate. Anyways we clapped and a little boy came running out and went right passed us and ran two doors down where there was a lady selling wooden furniture. We went on over to talk to her and introduced ourselves. She said her name was Carolina and grabbed some of the wooden chairs that she was selling so we could sit down and chat. We started talking about her beliefs in God and what she lives for. All she talked about was her family and how it is everything for her. Her husband is a truckdriver and they have a young family with 2 kids under 5. We talked about the family and the importance it plays in our lives and how the gospel and church help us be more united. We taught her how God could bless her life through His church and invited her to pray and ask God if what we share is true. She had no problem and even said the prayer to end! We're excited to meet her husband and start teaching them! 

So yesterday the Stake President came to our branch and taught Priesthood. He taught about how Obedience is Freedom. I love that topic. I have a very strong testimony on Obedience. I know with a surety that the commandments of God are for our benefit and not to hold us back like lots of people say. I know that God loves us so much that He wants us to prosper and find TRUE joy in this life so He gives us His commandments. The stake president compared it to a guy that goes to the beach and sees the sign that says, "No swimming. Riptides." In that moment the guy has many options. He has his freedom. He can sit there, wet his feet, get his head wet, swim, or go home. Once he gets in and is getting carried away by the riptide his options turn to none. In that point he has no freedom but must live the consequences of his action. We must always remember that  "Decisions determine destiny," like President Monson always says. We must trust in God and be obedient! I know that when we are obedient we will receive blessings because the Lord said, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say. But when ye do not what I say ye have no promise."

Love you all!!
Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 103, Nogoya, Argentina

Wellll Elder Jonny Lyon is home! That's crazy! I'm excited for him! 

Anyways, this week was great! Well besides last Monday night and Tuesday when Elder Lindeman was sick. (I think he got food poisining but we never figured out from what because we ate the same thing.) Anyways, after he was better we were able to teach some people! 

On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Giuliani. I love that man. We talked about Nogoy√° and he gave me some advice to not comment about home. So I made it a goal of mine. So far so good. He asked if I had any questions and I asked him to give me a peice of advice in general about life. He said, "Dont give up. Never stop trying. Whether it be in your job, in your marraige, or in the church, don't give up! Never stop obeying the commandments. Never lose the sight of your goals." So thats my advice to you all today! Never give up!!

Another great thing that happened this week was when we were able to teach Sandra, Nicole (her  daughter, shes 8), and Rosalia (her mom). She also has a 4 year old son named Dylan. So We went with Pres. Britos and talked about the Restoration of the gospel. The most special part of the lesson was when we bore testimony about how we know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  We then asked her if she (Sandra) would like to know if the Book of Mormon was true and why. She had the best answers. To sum it all up, I think you could say that she has "real intent." They all accepted to be baptized if they come to know that it's true! Yesterday she came to church with her mom and her two kids. It was so great to have them there! My companion taught their class IN SPANISH on faith and did great. We're excited to keep visiting her! 

Our scripture of the week was Alma 36:3. I like the end of the verse that says, "I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their  trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."
Elder Hjelmstad

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week 102, Nogoya, Argentina

                                 That's how they cooked the locro.

                       This is where we hold sacrament meeting :)

My birthday cake (we made).
Thanks for the birthday package.

This was taken on the day of transfers. This is when I met my new companion,  Elder Lindeman.

Well this week was pretty good! We tried to visit more members and help them share the gospel with their friends or neighbors and it went pretty well! Our branch president has a neighbor that just moved next door and they started talking to her about church and she's asking a ton of questions! She is a single mom and has 2 kids, Nicole is 8 and Dylan is 4. They went to the primary activity and a branch activity that we did on Saturday! Remember last year when I told you that I went to an activity and they served me a soup thing that had little pig hairs in it? well we ate that for the Activity! This time it didn't have hairs so it was superrr good! The dish is called LOCRO if you wanna look it up. Anyways, so she came and loved it! She was set on coming to church but sadly didn't show up but I'm not too worried. Two other ladies that aren't members came to the activity too! Way cool!

So this week I don't really have anything super legit to write you about but Dad had asked me some questions that really made me think. He asked me, "How much of an impact will your mission have on the rest of your life?  How has it changed you the most?" To respond to that question i think the mission has changed my perspective on my life as a son, brother, future Dad, etc because I'm starting to understand the big scheme of things..aka...the Plan of Happiness, Plan of Salvation, etc. I have learned that we are here to learn how to be celestial, how to be like God. We are to practice heaven right now. We must learn and adquire his holy attributes through continous repentance thanks to the atonement. Life is a transforming process that helps us perfect ourselves. The mission has helped me know Christ more and I know that through him and his eternal sacrifice, the Atonement, we can become perfect one day. There's a ton to learn and we will never be able to learn it all but through the Atonement we can progress towards heaven. I love my mission and everything that I've learned and keep learning!

Elder H

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 101, Nogoya, Argentina

 Thanks for the birthday package!!!

 Our oven was broken...
 so for fourth of July, 
we made brownie batter and just ate it. 


Well this week was great! On Wednesday I said goodbye to Elder Romero and said HOLA to Elder Lindeman. He's from Alpine, Utah. He's so legit! The first thing that I liked about him is that he said he played SPORTS! He played football and loves to do excersises! We then got talking about that stuff and he went to BYU for a semester before coming on the mission. He was waiting for his Visa in Nashville, Tennessee. He speaks pretty good spanish and is excited to work! We're already best buds.

This week we are trying to find new people to teach and so far, so good! We've been trying to find some people that used to go to church so we can help them get back on track! Yesterday we talked to a young man, Alejandro, that is totally willing to go to church and he's the only member in his family so we hope to teach his family! 

Being with Elder Lindeman has been fun because we just understand each other and have the same desires. I love missionary work! It's not easy but so worth it! Yesterday Elena came to church! There was only 10 of us but it was still a great testimony meeting! I taught the Sunday school class on the Priesthood, or the authority of God, and how lucky we are to have it! I started off the class by asking why everybody was grateful to be a member of the church. People said things like knowing the truth, understanding God's plan, the commandments, temples, and families. We then looked at all the answers and talked about without the priesthood we wouldn't have any of those things. I'm so grateful for the priesthood! It is a blessing to mankind. It is literally the power of God, delegated to man for the benefit of God's children. 

I love you all so much!!! Thanks again!!

Elder Hjelmstad

1.  Tell me about your companion...  HE'S THE BOMB!!!!

What's his name? Elder Lindeman

Where's he from? Alpine Utah

Was he a visa waiter? yuppp

If so, where did he serve before his visa arrived? 

he was in nashville tennessee for 3 months

Is his mom on mission mom's? i dont think so.

What are his interests/hobbies? he plays football. likes to stay in shape. 

2.  How's the weather?
cold but bearable

3. What are you doing today for your birthday?
we're going to buy empanadas and make the cake (that you sent me)!!

4.  Does anyone know it's your birthday?
a few people. very few. haha

5. Who wrote you today? TONS OF PEOPLE :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week 100, Nogoya, Argentina

                                                   My Calendar ended!!!!
(Josh's Mom: This was a 18 month calendar we sent him as a gift for his first Christmas away. )

Elder Romero and I made sopaipillas today! They're like scones but you boil a squash and mash it then add flour. then fry :) they tasted like sweet potatoe fries. haha pretty good :)

HOLA MI FAMILIA! First offf...today is transfer day and I just found out that I'm training again!! woohoo!!! I think my new companion is going to be American because supposedly lots of them are getting here. Going to be fun! I can't believe it's my last transfer!!
This week we were able to work hard and have some great lessons! Leandro couldn't go to church because he was sick so that was a bummer. Elena was all set to go and at the last second her Mom needed her help. She was SO CLOSE!! We're going to keep doing everything to find those who, "Are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." We had a sweet lesson with Fabian and Paola, a young couple that don't belong to any church. We got talking about our missions and stuff and let us leave a prayer with them. They were very grateful and Fabian said that he wants to find the true religion to be able to raise his family in. We are excited to keep going by!
Elder May, Marta and I
So last Monday night I got a call from Elder May (my old companion), who is still in Venado Tuerto, my last area. He asked how I was doing and then I asked him and he said, "okay." I knew something was up so I asked what had happened. He said,"Well I don't really know how to say this but...Marta died early this morning. On Saturday we had an amazing lesson with her and she shared her testimony and everything. Turns out that she fell during the night and hit her head pretty hard. She couldn't remember even her own kids. She made it to the hospital but later past away." To be honest, when I heard him say that she passed away, I was so happy for her. She had been struggling with her health for so long and never let it get her down. She was recently baptized and cleaner than fresh snow. I know for a fact she went home to her Maker, her Heavenly Father. In Doctrine and Covenants 42:46 it says, "And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them;" I know that it was indeed sweet unto her. I know for a fact that I will see her one day. I am content because I know that she is happy. In Alma 40:11-12 it says. "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have about the life after death. There are no secrets. God has revealed His plan through modern prophets. I know that Marta is in spiritual paradise. I know she is resting from all her cares and sorrows. The only desire that I have is that her family will look towards the church as a refuge from their pains. I hope they can come to know of its truthfullness like she did. Marta was an amazing example and I miss her positive attitude. The nurses loved her because she was still smiling even though she was going through pain. I'm thankful for the chance that I had to get to know Marta.
I love you all!!!
Elder H

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 99, Nogoya, Argentina

Alrighty so this week was great! It went by way fast too! We were able to teach a lot of lessons even though we had a lot of meetings. Leandro is doing great! He believes in the Book of Mormon and came to church yesterday even though it was freezing cold. He walked about 30-40 minutes to get there on time. We were so happy to see him. He is such a special man! He's about 60 something but NEVER complains about anything! If everything goes well he should get baptized on July 6th. 

We saw another miracle at church too! After the first hour a young couple walked in dressed in street clothes. We shook their hands and asked if they'd ever been before. The guy, Christian, got baptized two years ago but hasn't come for a while. His girlfriend, Barbara, isn't a member and came to accompany Christian because he felt like he needed to go. In Gospel Principles class we each went around presenting ourselves and Christian basically bore his testimony saying that what he feels in the church, he can't find in the world. He said that Barbara is actually pregnant and he wants to start coming for his child. SO AWESOME!!! We talked about the 10 commandments and Barbara participated and everything! She's so great! The members really made friends with them too! It was a great Sunday!!!

So the pictures that I attached are from a Family Home Evening that we did with the Godoy Family. They just came back to the church a few months ago and their two oldest sons got baptized right before I got here. They're sooo great. They have six kids that are sooooo cute! haha so we taught them about how we all sin or make mistakes so we made them go outside and put their hands in the dirt. Then we talked about with dirty hands we cant eat or do anything because it just doesn't feel good so we must repent! We each put a drop of soap in their hands to represent repentance and told them to rub the soap in. They rubbed the soap but were still missing something to get all the way clean.... WATER...aka...Baptism! They all went to the sink and washed their hands until they were clean. They then had clean but wet hands! We explained the importance of the Gift of the Holy Ghost or what the scriptures call "baptism by fire." They then went and dried their hands using the heat of the fireplace. It was a cool way to show them the process that we go throughout life because we must repent daily and take advantage of the sacrament every sunday so we can feel at peace with ourselves and with God. Moroni 6:8 says that, "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness with real intent they were forgiven." We must excersise faith to repent and receive the forgiveness of our sins continually throughout our lives. I know that we will be happier if we follow these simple steps that Christ gave us. :)

Elder Hjelmstad