Quote of the week:

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


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Week 21 Santa Fe, Argentina

The twin boys, Benjamin and Israel.
(Notice how dirty Josh's shoes are???
Looks like they have been walking on some dirt roads!!!)


Decorating a little Christmas tree with Georgina, and her twin boys,
Benjamin and Israel.


Josh's companion helping decorate the Christmas tree


Elder Hjelmstad and his Companion


"Yesterday we had our special Christmas conference and it was perfect!"
President Giuliani and his wife Sister Giuliani



FELIZ NAVIDAD EVERYBODY!!!!

I can't wait to talk to you guys tomorrow!!!! woohoo!!!

So, I feel like I just wrote you guys yesterday and not much has happened in the past 4 days! First off a BIG THANK YOU to Lexi and the Jorgensen family for that package of goodies! I shared them with all my latino buddies and they were in heaven. haha and Addison I finally got your letter! Woohoo! and a big thank you to the Lundquists for the card! I love you guys! Thanks to the Maderis family too!

So, on Wednesday we had the funnest time decorating a little christmas tree with a less active member, Georgina, and her 2 twin boys, Benjamin and Israel. I was super excited and even though it wasnt the same as up there in America, it was amazing. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! oh and we took pics!

Yesterday, we had our special Christmas conference and it perfect! We heard from President Giuliani and I learned a ton of things that I can do better in! I'm so grateful for President and his advice, leadership, and the revelation he receives for our mission! After we heard from the assistants, Elder Buhl and Elder Troncoso. I look up to those guys so much. Elder Buhl talked about how Heavenly Father works in simple ways and talked about how basic and humble the circumstances were of Christs birth. When he was talking I started thinking about how perfect and peaceful His birth was. I think we can do a better job at maintaining the reverence of Christmas! Then Elder Troncoso talked about how we have a huge potential as missionaries and as children of a Heavenly Father! I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father that loves us so that much, that He has a plan for us to attain all that He has and more. We have so much to be grateful for and God has much more blessings to give us if we would just be obedient! Then Sister Giuliani talked about how we, like the 3 wise men, need to give Christ something. She said that we need to give Him something that would be a sacrifice, like the 3 wise men and their expensive gifts. She went on to say that what better thing is there to give than ourselves. President closed and bore testimony of the Savior and we need to make Christmas personal and and apply it all year long. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I'm so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and all the He did that we can return to live with Him and our families after this life. I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father, and a loving family. I'm the luckiest guy in the world!

Gracias todos por su apoyo, amor, y oraciones. Yo espero que todos de ustedes tengan una Feliz Navidad con sus familias. Les extra├▒o y les amo!

LOVE,
ELDER HJELMSTAD

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week 20 Santa Fe, Argentina

Elder Hjelmstad with his homemade advent calendar and "Christmas tree".
(All decorated with lights and ornaments, with messages from home written on the back).


Service:
Painting houses at Christmas time!!!


We believe this is Josh's apartment?


Taking a shower with buckets... "Karma!!!!"

It’s Christmas time….

Sooooooo Transfers are today and we just found out that Elder Rivera and I are both staying! 6 more weeks of the Chile-Cali duo! Crazy crrazzyy. I will probably be here for 6 months now since Elder Rivera only has 2 more transfers after this one! We have a lot of work to do still! Oh and my American buddy, Elder Hull is leaving to a different area and another native is coming, so my Spanish is going get a lot better because I wont get to speak English...ever!

So Christmas here is going to be interesting! I can’t wait to call you guys! I’m going to cry, so have the tissues ready. Here in Argentina they celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas! It’s called Noche Buena or Good Night and they party and eat super, super late in the night! My comp said that people start eating dinner and stuff around 11 or 12! Crazy! So we’re probably going to visit some members and then take some food back to the pinch. I want to buy a watermelon. haha (Christmas colors!!) Oh we finally put up the lights and ornaments on the cooolest Christmas tree ever!! I have pictures too! NOBODY listens to Christmas music here, which is a big bummer. But I love that you guys are doing all the Christmas stuff together. It really makes me happy and thankful for all the traditions and memories that we have! I’m SO GRATEFUL for my family! I hope that we all can remember our Savior at this time of year and all that He did for us and continues to do for us.

So on Sunday, we were all taking showers and when it came time for Elder Hulls comp to shower the water just turned off for no reason. haha So he had to shower out of a bucket. It was pretty funny. haha but then... KARMA. On Monday we woke up and still had no water, so all of us had to shower with buckets and when it came time for Elder Hulls comp to go, the water turned back on and he got to take a shower. RANDOM but so funny and a memory made!

So this week Elder Rivera had to go to Rosario to do things for his visa and the only person that I could stay with was a member of our ward! He’s like 22 and is doing all the stuff for his mission papers but is super shy. We went out all morning and taught some people and I was basically having to do everything. It was very humbling. haha We taught this one lesson to a family and I totally was tripping all over the place with my words and questions. But overall it was really good! I learned a lot and have a ton to learn.


Our investigators are doing pretty good! This week at church we saw some miracles! Graciela is really smart and really wants to receive an answer if the Book or Mormon is true but had never wanted to go to church with us! After teaching her on Saturday night, she kind of surprised us when she said that she was going to come! She came and loved it! We had the primary program, which was really cool cuz she loves kids. We also had a couple come that totally surprised us and the twins, Elizabeth and Lorena came too! I REALLY hope and pray that we will have baptisms this transfers. They’re coming!

I’ve had some pretty cool dreams this week! haha I was joking with Elder Hull about how dreams here are like the movie Inception! Were living in Argentina but at night were living back in America with our families! I had a dream that I was hanging out with Ty and we were talking about what I was doing on my mission. Then I had a dream that Dee and I were talking about all the experiences that we’ve had on our missions and then I had one that I was just at home chillin. I love dreams!! haha

So I was trying to think about something that I could share with you guys. I went through all the stuff that I’ve read and nothing really stood out. The only thing that I thought I could talk about was.... CHRISTMAS. I can still remember perfectly last year on Christmas Eve when we sat down with the lights off, candles burning, and read about Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. The girls were tired and wanted to go to bed but we focused on the real meaning of Christmas and read and bore testimony of the little baby Jesus. Afterward I showed Mom the song "Mary let me hold her baby," and then we went to bed. I remember feeling different when we were reading. I remember thinking; THIS is what Christmas was all about. I know now that the best thing we can do as a family during the holidays is focus ourselves in Christ. I hope that you guys can do the same thing this year and enjoy time together as a family. I’m so grateful for the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that loves us so much that He has a plan for us and thanks to this plan and Christ, we can return to live with God and our families FOREVER. I’m thankful for my eternal family. I have the best eternal family!

I love you all sooooooooo much. CAN’T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU!!!!

With Love and Christmas wishes,

Elder Hjelmstad

p.s. Shout out to Addison! I’m still waiting on that letter! We get mail on Friday and I’m looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

week 19 Santa Fe, Argentina

Josh and his companion...
showing off their Christmas stockings sent from home!!!



"I scream... You scream... We all scream for Ice Cream!!!!"
(We think it's from one of the Ice Cream delivery trucks he talked about.)



Taco seasoning packets sent from home!!!!
(He's in heaven)


HOLA FAMILIA!!!

This week has been pretty different! On Tuesday, I had to go to Rosario to do stuff in order to stay here in Argentina. Hopefully, I wont have to do it again soon. But for tramites, or the stuff we have to do, we go to this government place that's basically is like the DMV and yes it's just as horrible with all the numbers and waiting in lines and stuff. While we were waiting there I was talking to an Elder in English and all of a sudden we hear a girl from behind us say, "Do you guys work here?" IN ENGLISH!!!!! We both got freaked out a little bit and it turns out that she was from Chicago! Pretty dang random, but cool. Then on Friday, I started not feeling very good in the afternoon. My throat was hurting, I had a headache, blah blah blah. Turns out I had a fever and was FREEZING when we were walking home at night when it's still really hot. That night we went to the hospital and waited to get a shot, but after 45 min and Ibuprofen, I felt a little better. I rested Saturday morning and was out walking and teaching Saturday afternoon! Miracle!

So Christmas here isn't the same, but I get really excited whenever I see any type of Christmas decorations! Lots of people have little tiny Christmas trees that are so simple and so great. Nobody puts up lights on their houses sadly, only inside their windows at times, but it's all good! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! AND 13 DAYS TIL WE GET TO TALK TO MY FAMILY!!! WOOHOO!

So this week I was reading in the Book of Mormon and the word "heart" really kept popping out at me. I started to realize or try to understand why in the scriptures they always use the heart to describe the desires of the people. I then realized that this life is basically a war of hearts. Every day, every decision, we're either softening out hearts and giving them to God or hardening them and turning away from God. Dad and I always talked about this and how there's two sides to every single little thing. When Elder Holland spoke to us at the MTC, he said that if we could give Jesus anything to pay him back for what He did for us, we should give Him our heart. I think that Christ never had any problem giving His heart to God. He knew His purpose and he aligned it with Gods, "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I hope we can all try a little harder to make our Heavenly Father proud with our choices. I know that if we do, we will be happier! I really hope to learn how to give my heart to God.

So for Christmas here everybody paints their houses! This week we're going to help 2 different people to paint their houses, in the HEAT. It's so weird that were seriously having Christmas in June, basically. But it's different and kinda cool too! We do fireworks for the 4th of July and they do them for Christmas and New Years!

So were teaching a preaty good amount of people and they're all doing way great except the challenge for everybody is to come to church!!! I've already learned that IF they have the faith to come to the church on Sunday, they will get baptized. Eva, the cute 81 year old, has a friend named Perla and she accepted the invitation to be baptized as well! We're so excited for them, but the only thing that we have to figure out is how they are going to get together the money to go to church every Sunday. They really want to go but they have to use a taxi because they live far away. We're so spoiled with our cars and such. Only two families have cars in our ward. The rest ride the bus, or a vespa to church. By the way, I saw 5 people on one scooter this week. Record for me. haha. But seriously going to church is so important and essential and not something that we should take for granted! The twins are doing great too, just their mom needs to start coming to church again! Missionary work sure isnt easy. Lots of this, "aww man." ha but it's okay! I love how it says in Alma 17:16 that they preached repentance that PERHAPS one would listen. Oh and Karina, the girl that got baptized is doing FANTASTIC!! Super strong and has tons of friends. Also, some less active families are starting to come out to church! So cool!

and last night....WE MADE TACOS!!! SO GOOD!!! Pancakes for tortillas or course.

Well I have to go...

I love you so so so much and pray for you everyday.

Love you!

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, December 5, 2011

week 18 Santa Fe, Argentina

Josh and his Paper Christmas tree sent from home



HOLA!

I gotta make a birthday shout out to my best bud in France, Elder Davis! Happy birthday! and second to my BEST CUZ, TYLER!!!! WOOHOO Happy Birthday TY!

So...20 days til Christmas! Sadly, the only difference here is the little fake Christmas trees that stores put in the windows. :( But its all good! We're startin to decorate the apartment which is fun! Thank you so much mom for the advent calendar and Christmas tree! SO COOL!! We need to buy glue to put up the ornaments and lights.

This week... nothing really big happened. Just doin the Lords work down here in Argentina! We're teaching this family and they're grandma and they're so nice and listen pretty good! Their grandma is 81 years old and is so humble and sweet and feels really good when we pray. It's so fun to see people progress in their knowledge of Heavenly Father and all that they have in store for them. I know that Heavenly Father has so many blessings in store for us if we would just be obedient and ask Him for help. Another cool experience that we had, was when we passed by Natalia´s house, a girl that's 14 that weve talked to before, and we started talking about church and prayer. She's never had religion in her life and we taught her how to pray and she says that shes tried a few times! woohoo!! We then showed her the temple magazine and she kept saying Que hermosa, or How Beautiful. Then we talked for a little bit more and were about to leave when she said in the most innocent voice ever, "You guys are leaving?" (in spanish of course).. but it was so touching, how she really wants to learn more about Heavenly Father. It's really sad when we meet people that have no faith in God. We are so lucky!!! We have so many blessings it's insane. Never take it for granted.

So another cool thing, was that I finally weighed myself! And I'm proud to report that I havent gained weight!!! Pretty much a miracle because all they do here is eat bread. Carbs, carbs, carbs. It's really good though! haha but we walk a ton so it helps a little.

My favorite scripture this week was from the advent calendar. In Mosiah 3:5-8
it talks about Christ coming to the world to heal the sick and afflicted as well as atone or suffer for our sins. I definately know that we need to do a better job about focusing on Christ during the holidays. Nothing is better than a gift from God. We have already received that gift too! But each person opens it in their own time and takes advantage of it in different ways. Some dont even open it, some open it and then put it to the side, some open it and play with it for a little bit then move on to something else, and some people open it, cherish it, and use it every single day with reverence. I hope all of us can focus a little more on Christ this year!

So another "Argentine Update." I've never drank so much juice in my whole entire life. All they do is drink juice. Water and Tang (Yes they use the same Tang) It's pretty good, but most of the time I just want water! haha but it's fine. Sugars always good. haha and we saw 15 people riding in the back of a truck today. Totally legal. So is J-walking. Pretty sweet.

Elder Hull got sick this week and went to the hospital and they told him to lie down and the lady just pulled down his pants and stabbed his bottom with a needle. Then while laying there with his bottom hangin out Elder Hull started talkin to her about the church. What a champ. haha

Welllllll I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much! Look at some Christmas lights for me!

Con Amor,
Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, November 28, 2011

week 17 Santa Fe, Argentina

4 months...check.


AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY JADEN!

This week was actually pretty good! We met a lot of new people and our area is slowly progressing! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and for everybody that writes!

Thanksgiving was hot and not very thanksgiving-like. haha I dont even remember what we ate but overall, I missed you guys a ton and honestly was a little distracted. But I hope everything went well and you all ate a ton!!

Esta semana...oops. This week I found a new favorite scripture! Alma 36:24-25.

24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;

I love this scripture because it's my purpose as a missionary, to help the people in Argentina learn about their Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, and help them feel the happiness or JOY that we have. We are so lucky. We don't realize it as much as we should and don't even come close to being worthy of it. We are blessed. SO BLESSED. We need to share this with our friends, our neighbors, and family. Our extremely great joy is something that we have been given, a like a enormous cake, there's a piece for everybody!!

We had a training this week with President and he shared a great analogy about obedience that I love! We all know what we SHOULD do and most of the time we do it, but something that we need to learn how to do, is LOVE to do it. In the Book of Mormon there's a story about 3 brothers who were commanded to travel long distances and retrieve things. 2 of the brothers had a bad attitude but still did it but the other brother, Nephi, chose to do it for the right reasons. We can become better people when we turn our burdens into blessings, and do them out of love for our family and Heavenly Father.

So a really cool thing about Argentina is that they have ice cream delivery! Like ordering pizza! haha and the ice cream is really, really good. Another thing that I keep forgetting to tell you guys is that lunch here is our dinner. Like a full on meal that the whole family is at the table. And for dinner... they dont really have dinner. Just a snack which is usually a sandwich. Not only is the weather flipped around down here, but the food is too! And then after lunch they have this thing called the SIESTA. Literally from 2-5 everybody sleeps or does nothing. All the stores close and everybody goes home to sleep! I don't really like it. And on pday nothings open so we just sit in the apartment and do nothing!

This week we went on exchanges and I went with Elder Artunduaga. He's from Colombia and we had a good time. We saw a cow in a garage...which was weird, and we passed by a house blasting Justin Beiber. Always a good day when I hear Beibs.
If I stay in the area until Christmas, I don't know if we'll be able to Skype but I'll keep my eye out for a member with a camera.

So a normal day goes like this...
6:30 Wake up, pray, and exercise for 30 min.
7:00 Eat my cereal and shower
8:00 One hour of personal study and one hour of language study
10:00 Talk to people, visit people, and invite everybody to come unto Christ
1:00 Lunch
2:30 Companionship study
4:30 Talk to more people, visit more people. :)
9:00 Come back to the apt and plan for the next day
10:30 Lights out!

Since every thing's really planned out, we never really get to lay low, but it makes everything go by so fast. These weeks are flyin by.

THE WORST PART RIGHT NOW IS THE WEATHER. It's not that hot but it is REALLY HUMID. I'm starting to write my will because I'm going to die in Jan and Feb. Supposed to get up to 100 degrees and hard core humidity.

Well all is well and I love all you so, so much! Thank you for everything!!

with LOVE,
Elder Hjelmstad


Monday, November 21, 2011

week 16 Santa Fe, Argentina


Elder Hjelmstad and Karina

Her BIG day....


HOLA FAMILIA!

First off. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAMMA AND JADEN! I hope you have a great day! Love you both!

This week was an interesting one! The baptism went great!! Getting everything was a little/really crazy though. We went to the chapel in the morning to clean it up a little and I ended up mopping the whole thing and cleaning the bathrooms. Thank you mom and dad, I have the cleaning fever. The baptismal service went pretty smooth! I directed the service and we sung "High on a mountain top" and heard a talk from Hermana Espinosa about Baptism and then we sang a musical number "I’m trying to be like Jesus" with the Elders we live with. Carina’s Grandpa baptized her and then we heard from Hermana Noguera about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then sang "Nearer my God to Thee." It went really good and I wanna have another one soon! The whole day I was thinking about Kellie and her baptism and how happy I am for her. Baptism is such an amazing thing because it’s the Door to happiness! We can have faith and want to repent but the only way we can show our faith is by doing something, or getting baptized. I love 2 Nephi 31:5

And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

I know that baptism is so important and were so lucky to have the authority back on the earth so we CAN baptize! I’m so grateful for the chance I had to see a miracle in Carina’s baptism. And then yesterday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and I realized how thankful I am for the Holy Ghost in my life. The Holy Ghost is like a special friend that’s there to help us learn, be comforted, and can warm us of danger. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and we need to be worthy of its companionship every day.

So I’m already getting Spanish and English mixed up. This week I seriously couldn’t remember the word niece and nephew. haha I sat there forever like uhhh I know it's Sobrino and sobrina in spanish but my English was lackin. weird. Oh and it's way easier to say "y" instead of "and." I think English should adopt that.

This week we had a really, really, really strange run in with a guy. We were on our way to lunch and a guy from the other side of the street called us over and so we were like cool, lets go. So he asked us if we believed in the second coming of Christ and we said yes...and how He will come in great glory and power. The man then said that Christ has already come. We asked where He was and he said that Christ is in Argentina, in Sante Fe. My comp then asked where and he said that we were talking to him. Seriously. We tried not to laugh and my comp asked why he was smoking then and he said that he smokes when he’s mad. We quickly shook his hand and when we were leaving he said he wasn’t finished talking and quickly got out of there. Probably the weirdest and craziest thing that’s happened. I seriously could feel the absence of the spirit when we were talking to him. So those prophecies about false Christ’s in the bible, yup. We then walked about 50 yards and looked back to see the crazy man sending his dogs towards us. They were bookin it toward us but they went right past us and looked as if they were lost. Miracle?

So one of my favorite things to do here is smile and wave at all the buses that pass by because everybody looks at me like I’m crazy. haha

Diego is doing good, but has started workin on Sundays so were pretty bummed. But tonight we have FHE with them so were pretty excited. Were trying to help them in every way possible we really want to help them become an Eternal Family!

So about a month ago we taught this guy named Jose and have wanted to teach him again but he’s always busy so we’ve started talking to his daughter Natalia, who is about 13 or 14 I think. SHES AWESOME! We actually haven’t even taught her anything except leave her things to read! She read a pamphlet and then read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and we left her with another chapter to read yesterday! She told us that she has never had religion in her life and feels good when reading! I know that this good feeling is the Holy Ghost testifying of the truth! I love the scriptures and have felt the difference in my life since my mission because of the scriptures. SCRIPTURE POWER!! woohoo!

K well I don’t really have anything else except that its really hard for me to believe that Christmas and Thanksgiving are so close because its so hot here! It’s going to be weird!

K I love you all so so so so much and am always praying for you. Every day try to come a little closer to Christ and invite Him into your life. Rely on Him and you will be surprised. He wants to help us, we just need to ask.

LOVE YOU TONS!!!!

Elder Hjelmstad

Some people call me Elder “H” :)

Outside of the church building before the baptism


The missionaries filling the baptismal font
(Look at his companions shoes... no sidewalks or asphalt in Santa Fe, just dirt roads!!!)


Pure JOY
Hermana Noguera (Josh says this Sister reminds him of his mama), Elder H, Elder R (his companion) and "Carina"


Let the celebration begin....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 15 Santa Fe, Argentina

" el centro"
(basically means downtown Sante Fe)


Brother Antoniazzi.
He's the ward mission leader and is so nice!



Brother Trejo- my favorite guy.
He's so cool and so wise and so funny!



Mail Time,

I don't know if this should be my favorite part of the week...but it is! I love hearing how all you guys are doing and what your doing! It's so fun to see you guys doing missionary work too! That's something that I never realized before my mission and it's a HUGE part, that members have in missionary work. Now that I think of it, all baptisms come from friends or relatives of members! We're trying really hard here to work with the members and show them how big of a role they have in helping people come unto Christ!

So, I don't really know where to start cuz theres a bunch of stuff that I wanna talk about, but I think first and foremost...WE ATE TACOS!! WOOHOO! haha Hermana Suvilia made us tacos this week and they were pretty dang good! They didn't have taco seasoning but she made some AMAZING salsa(got the recipe) and their tortillas here are pancakes! haha Seriously, like exactly what we do to make our pan-crapes! That was the food highlight of the week.

I hope you all enjoyed the luckiest day on the Universe on 11/11/11! Dee and I always talked about that day. For me the day was very unlucky. Of course. I have no luck. But ya, I wasn't doing so good. I think I ate something bad cuz I was all weak, my stomach was killin and had a really bad headache. But It passed pretty quickly! I took an hour nap and drank a ton of water, some tylenol, and PRAYED! It worked! I know that prayer is so so powerful. Remember how we've all been prayin for Elder Riveras family to write him???!! THEY WROTE HIM! His ex-girlfriend went to his house, had them all write a letter, and then she typed them and emailed them! He was so happy!

So you know we meet a lot of people as missionaries because we talk to a ton of people. We met a member that's a Native American (from South American) and he bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon! So Cool! He said that he knows it's true because he knows the end of the story. He said that according to his people there were 2 sides, people that believed in God and others that didn't. Eventually there was an enormous battle and the bad guys wiped out the whole other civilization, and spread out all over the land. Definitely a cool and testimony building experience! I love the Book of Mormon and know that it is another testament of Jesus Christ. With the Bible, they both testify that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

My favorite scriptures of this past week were Helaman 3:35 and Joshua, 22:5.

In Helaman 3:35 it says,
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
I love this because it shows that our testimonies are like a plant that we need to take care of! We need to fast, pray, become more humble, live according to our faith, and obey the commandments! With these things we will have joy and consolation! I know that I need to give more of my heart to God. That will always be the fight for me, I think. When His will becomes my will.

And I love Josh 22:5
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."

this scripture stresses how close we need to be to God. To walk in ALL His ways, to CLEAVE unto Him, and to SERVE Him with ALL our HEART, MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH. Dang. You got a lot of work to do Elder Hjelmstad. I could go on forever about this stuff but really, all we need to do is become a little better every day. Improve ourselves in every which way and we will come closer to Heavenly Father.

I think the relationship between Jesus and Heavenly Father while Jesus was in His ministry was so amazing. They're so close because they have the same purpose. Christ knew Him perfectly. The ultimate example of this, I think, was when Christ was atoning for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and said, "Abba." Elder Jeffrey R Holland said that this can be translated as "Daddy." The more I have come to know God, the more I see Him as my Father. I hope all of us can come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in our lives and I know that by doing so we will be happier.

Funny thing of the week...We were teaching Diego and his kids were watchin a movie in the other room and I literally heard one song and KNEW that it had to be Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. I was tryin to focus on the lesson and kept finding myself daydreaming about what part they were in and how many times we watched that movie when we were little kids. Good times. Sometimes in my room while were studying I have little Country concerts and sing to myself some Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and Lady Ant. haha My comp thinks it's funny. Also, we taught this guy this week that looks exactly like Doc from back to the future! hahaha he's crazy!

K, I don't really have anything else except that I love you all so very, very much and still get teary-eyed when I talk about you guys. I pray for you all every single day and I can feel your prayers for me. Thank you so very, very much.

Try a little harder to be a little better.
Stand a little taller.

LOVE,
Elder Hjelmstad!

Friday, November 4, 2011

week 14 Santa Fe, Argentina



Greetings from the Dust Bowl!!

I feel like I just talked to you guys yesterday! I totally forgot to tell you that our pday was today (Friday). I'm still not absolutely sure why, but something about the the mission pres having a meeting so were doing it today instead of Monday. Transfers are tonight, but we wont move so I'm not really worried. But hey! I survived a transfer! :) like 14 more! haha But I'm so glad that the missionary moms told you the p-day was changed, cuz I was worried I wasnt going to get to hear from you. Today were goin to play FUTBOL!!! The zone leaders have the mail too, so hopefully I get something!

So this week has been pretty good so far! The bishop just took in a 15 year old girl named Carina. Her story is really sad because her parents split up and left her to live on her own. She feels like it was her fault and is really trying to find God right now which is great! We met her on Wednesday night and told her to write down all the questions that she has about God and life. Last night we taught her and she had 8 really great, sincere questions that she really wanted to know! Most of her questions were about the Plan of Happiness, or the Plan that Heavenly Father has for us and prepared for us before this life! Carina, her situation, and her desire to learn about God has really made me think a lot about how blessed we are. From having the best family in the world, to having the knowledge of a Heavenly Father that loves me so much that he has prepared a way that I can learn and progress in this life, become clean through baptism, and return to live with Him with my family. I know that Heavenly Father loves every single one of us and wants us to return to Him. I've also learned how important it is to live by faith. I know that the more faith we have, the happier we´ll be. Were so lucky to know our purpose in this life and know where we came from and where were going. I'm really grateful for Carina and her willingness to learn and change! We're really excited to teach her and help her progress towards baptism!

Another thing that we've studied this week is prayer and the power that we can gain from it, if we pray sincerely, reverently, having faith! I know that prayer is hidden treasure that we too often take for granted! In Preach my Gospel in the Section Pray with Faith there´s a quote from Pres. Hinckley (I think) that says that Prayer isn't just something we check off the list every time we go to bed, eat or whatever. We need to pray with FAITH! Prayer is where we can thank Heavenly Father for the blessings and tender mercies in our life and then ask Him for help, and ask Him for guidance in decisions. In the Bible Dictionary it says that "Prayer is where the will of the child and the will of the Father meet." I know that prayer is so powerful if we use it correctly. We are talking with Heavenly Father, and I know that He listens to us. I know that Prayer is a blessing in my life and I am nowhere near good at praying. But I know that as we pray and thank Heavenly Father for all we have, He will bless us.

Woohoo! 100 days down! Bunch more to go!

My companion is doin better! We've seen more success this week so it's been good! He's been out on his mission for a year and a half! 4 more transfers and he´s gone! crazy! I'm really thankful for my companion and the example he is to me.

I'm glad that you guys got those pictures! I will try and send more next week! I don't have my camera today cuz I didn't want to bring it to play soccer but next week I will! Aren't the scripture covers cool?!

So Sante Fe is about 2 hours from the mission home but we have to take a taxi to the bus terminal, bus for 2 hours, and then a taxi to the mission home. So it takes a while! But we only go there for our Visa stuff which is about every 3 months I heard. But the mission home is WAY NICE.

So the only bummer about having p-day early, is that we don't get another one for 10 days! It´ll be okay though cuz the days here go by so dang fast! Seriously, we never stop moving, so the days pass by like nothing!

K well I love you so much and hope all is well in the best country in the world! (Argentina at a close second place) haha

Count your blessings!

LOVE,

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 13 Santa Fe, Argentina




FAMILY!

So probably the biggest thing that happened this week was a...FLOOD! Haha seriously! On Monday night we were walking and talking and after an appt we went outside and it was POURING SO HARD!! We hid under a little patio thing and talked to a lady for about 20 minutes hoping that it would calm down. Yup, it didnt. We tried calling a taxi but they were busy, so we ran back to the apartment in the rain/waterfall from heaven. We were pretty far from the apartment so we were SOAKED and the streets were already starting to flood! We got back to the apartment just in time to save the others elders stuff that was on the ground. We have a little patio in the back but the drain didn't work so a bunch of water was coming in! After all, about an inch of water was in on the ground. We quickly got their stuff upstairs and then... the power went out. ha it came back on about 20 min later and the rain stopped. Pretty crazy stuff! When I got here I hoped for a flood cuz I wanted to go swimming but after that I think I'm good without floods. Ha

This week my big AH-HA moment in the scriptures was about Jesus walking on water. I was reading in Jesus The Christ, and it said that the apostles had been at sea all night and the storm was so bad that they had barely moved anywhere when in the middle of the storm they saw somebody walking towards them and naturally got scared. Then Jesus said, "Peace be still." And Peter walked out on the water but then started to fall and Jesus saved him, pulling him back up. I never realized how much symbolism is involved in this! Life is full of difficulties, struggles, and challenges and usually when the first sign of help comes we get scared and turn them away. Then we realize that we need their help and boom...peace. But we have to go out on the water a little bit and show our faith. Obviously we dont have perfect faith so we will fall from time to time but I know that Christ will always save us from our struggles and usually lift us higher. We gain peace when we come unto Him because the closer we get to Him. the closer He gets to us. I know that whatever afliction that we go through in this life can be helped through the Atonement of Christ. In Moroni 7:41 It says that we should hope through the Atonement of Christ. But how do we hope through the Atonement? For me it's the knowledge that He has felt every single pain that we will ever feel. That no matter how hard it is, we share that pain with our Brother, Jesus Christ, and through that knowledge we can have hope that it will be ok. I love in Alma 7:11-12, it says that he succors the people according to their infirmities. I know that we can be comforted at any time if we just show our faith and pray for comfort. I know that Christ suffered for everybody personally. I don't know how, but He did, and He knows us personally and loves us personally.

So Diego is doin good! I feel like that he trusts us a little more and he has started reading the book of mormon! We're pretty excited for him! We're not finding much success lately so it's a little rough but it cant knock me down. I know that it's our time to learn and progress. My comp has been a little depressed lately though so I've been trying to be SUPER happy, which I like. I'm a firm believer in choosing to be happy, like I said before. It's so true! My comp gets discouraged easily and his family doesn't write him and that just makes me so sad. I always tell him that he's the beginning of the chain and to look forward. I think I can do a better job at helping him, but It's hard in spanish. haha



So speakin of spanish, It's pretty crazy how I speak it every day for pretty much the whole day. It's a complete miracle. Thank you everybody for praying for me and my ability to speak. I can't understand everything but I feel that I can always get the just of it. I'm improving little by little! It's weird too that I'm actually a missionary. Haha I think of that almost every day. Like, whoa! I'm a missionary! ha

So weird things this week that..were weird. haha
1. We saw 2 dogs that were joined at the hip. One was a big dog and one was smaller. My comp said one time he saw the big dog bookin it down the street and the little dog was just getting dragged on the ground. haha
2. Breastfeeding. Other elders had told me that it's not a big deal here to do it in public but I hadn't seen anybody do it until this week. We were contacting and a lady let us in and we were just talkin to her when her baby ran up crying to her and next thing you know I am looking at the ceiling. Luckily the baby wasn't hungry, cuz that was weird.

We got our hair cut this week too. That was sketchy. There's a lady in our ward that said she'd cut it for cheap so we went. She didn't do perfect but It's all good! No girls to impress so I don't really care. haha

My favorite songs this week are: I will not be still by Kenneth Cope and Every Word by Debra Fotheringham.

Thank you everybody for all your support and love. I love you all so much and count your blessings! We're so spoiled in the U.S.

LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Hjelmstad