Quote of the week:

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 8 MTC


Como estan?? Just another super fast week here at the MTC. Seriously, I've stopped keeping track of the days it flies so fast! Seriously.

SO the funniest thing of my life happened this morning. We were hangin out in the room and all of a sudden Elder Christiansen screams... MOUSE!!! hahah we all screamed and Elder Thompson and I tried catching it and stuff! It was under MY bed the whole time and every time it moved we all screamed like little girls. Seriously, the funniest thing ever! It moved along the wall and then we eventually forced it towards the door and then we didn't know where it went!! But that was pretty dang funny! Makin memories here at the MTC!

The devotionals this week were GREAT! On sunday we heard from Bro and Sis Wilkins, who served as mission pres in Brazil. They both talked about facing trials. Sis Wilkins said, "we have to be prepared for when the challenges come because they WILL come". Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall". Helaman is a perfect example of this. We always need to have our foundation in Christ so we can withstand the storms that come! Bro Wilkins was great too. He said that in life there are no problems, only opportunities. We need to choose to look at every trial as an opportunity to learn! Because, "No pain is wasted"- Orson F Whitney. I think we all could do a better job at managing our problems and turning them into opportunities. And we dont need to worry because "today is the tomorrow that we worried about yesterday." SO COOL! - Thanks Andrew. Somethin that keeps coming up in that we need to CHOOSE to be happy! Its all about attitude!

So craziest thing happened on Sunday! We were studying outside and LEXI JORGENSEN walks into the MTC! It was so cool to see her! Even though she was a little awkward. haha it was so fun! We didn't get to talk cuz she was on her way to a meeting but it was still fun to see a friendly face! Hahah and this week she sent me a package with a surprise inside... COOKIE DOUGH! gotta love same day delivery! It was still cold! So good!

On tuesday, we got to hear from Elder Russell M Nelson! He talked all about the importance and role of the Book Of Mormon and how it is a witness of Christ, and a companion to the Bible. I love the Book of Mormon and the power that it has within it. The October Ensign is amazing too! You all need to get it!

On Wed we got to host the incoming new missionaries! It was so fun but so sad seeing the cars driving away with everyone crying inside. I may or may not have shed a tear. I'm so glad that we just did the airport thing, cuz I wouldve been a WRECK. haha

SO...... I leave in 4 days. Complete insanity. Its about to get real bumpy real quick, but I'm so excited and so nervous! I'm so excited to call home on Monday too! CANT WAIT!!! Any ideas about what I should do on the plane?? I'm more nervous about that than anything else! haha

So my latest AH-HA/ Lightbulb moment came this week. I was thinking about Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi and how Nephi learns that the "Tree of Life" is the Love of God. I got to thinkin that we need to come unto the "tree of life" JUST like we need to come unto Christ. And the scriptures or "Iron Rod" leads us to Him! And once we get to the tree we can partake of the fruit or of eternal life! That probably doesn't make sense, sorry, but Basically we need to follow the scriptures and come unto Christ! And we are promised blessings when we do! I have loved learning about the Love of God and how it ALL comes down to love. We obey out of love and Everything that God puts in our path is because He loves us. I know that when we love each other, and serve each other, it will make us happy.

Thats so crazy that Garretts goin to Hong Kong on his mission! CRAZY!! Good luck bud!

Thank you for all that have written me this week! I love you all so much! The last day I receive dearelders will be tomorrow so if you want to write me, write me before Friday morning at 11am!

I love you all so so so so much!

Thank you so much!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 7 MTC

2 Nephi 31:20
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfast in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

ANOTHER WEEK IN THE MTC! CRAZY! I can't believe how fast it's gone, only one more p-day! And next week we FINALLY get to host and receive missionaries at the curb!! I'm so excited!

So by far the best part of this past week was something that Elder Christiansen said. He's from Hooper Utah, aka farm land and has a lot of funny sayings that I call "Hooperisms" This week at lunch he ate a jalepeƱo and said, "Thats right! Dance on my tounge Jalepeno!" He was dead serious! We died laughing. haha the littlest things amuse us in here.

Another funny thing that I love is really random. A shoe horn. They're totally pointless but so great! Haha I have no clue why I even use it but it's kinda fun. haha Elder Thompson and I always have to announce that were using the shoe horn, it's hilarious.

So on Tuesday we got to hear from Elder M. Russell Ballard! It was so great! He told us a quote from Joseph Simth that said, "Round up your shoulders and bear it." I liked this because it reminded me that Gods not going to leave us alone in our trials. Lexi Jorgensen shared this with me in her last letter. "If God leads you to it, He will guide you through it." I thought that was genius! Just like how in the criptures it always says, "And it came to pass" NOT, "And it came to stay!" Another thing that I liked that he said was that, "the Closer we come to Christ, the closer he comes to us". In class we were faced with the question, "How far would you walk to see Christ?" We need to constantly be striving to do what's right and He will help us! All we need to do is Trust In Him!

That was what my studies were about this week, hope and going forward with faith. I read about Hope in the missionary Handbook, Preach My Gospel (maybe look up the seciton, it's under christ like attributes. kinda short) and then I looked up scriptures. My favorite one was 2 Nephi 31:20 "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfast in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
I love this scripture! It's everything we need to do! I cried when Mom said that she loved that scripture too and wanted me to read it this week because I was gunna share that with you guys today! I also loved Ether 12:4 and how Hope needs to be the anchor of our souls."Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God". Elder James Faust gave a talk about hope in Oct 1999. It's amazing! I realized that I need to go forward with faith and trust in the Lord like it says in Proverbs 3:5-6! "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
We need to do our best to trust that what the Lord has in store for us is JOY. Because he wants us to be happy! He is our Heavenly Father and we are His kids! This week read Ether 12. It's about faith and hope. I love it!

I saw Elder Carpenter, finally! I didn't see him til Saturday but it was so cool to see him! He seems to be doin great! I was so happy to get through my first week and I bet he feels the same way!

Spanish is still coming slowly! The hardest part is using what you learn! Cuz we learn so stinkin much but it's hard to put it into use! I can read Preach my gospel in spanish pretty much. I'm expecting to start over when I get down to Argentina and realize how little I know.

About my tooth ache: I went to the clinic this morning and they have a dentist come in and check you out before they schedule an appt with a doctor and he thinks it might just be sensitive because of my toothpaste so I'm going to get a different kind, w/o whitening stuff.

We haven't heard if we have our visas yet but we get our official travel plans tomorrow morning! So stoked!

Yes, I mailed my mission call letter home today, so it should come beginning of next week.

Mom, I don't need anything as of right now and I have no clue what you're talking about with Sis Hollingsworth and those treats??? :)

Nothings really different yet about us leaving the MTC soon but next week we have one day that describes what we'll be doing and it's sort of an orientation.

My knees are still weak, so pray for me that they will hold up for the next 2 years. And sleeping is just like home, some nights good, some nights bad. But I miss my bed like crazy! And my pillow!!

Alright, well I love you so much! I never stop thinking about you!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

MTC Week 6

2 Nephi 25:26
" And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for remission of their sins"


This week has gone by so fast! Seriously, this place is like Limbo! One day takes FOREVER and then it's been a week. I totally remember writing in my journal, "Its only been 2 days!" and now it's been 6 WEEKS! Insane.

Well first off I got the package! Thank you so much! I loved the scripture case! and I love all the other stuff! Thank you so much! It totally made my day. And I may or may not have secretly listened to Carrie Underwood right away...haha. But really! THANK YOU! I love getting packages cuz I feel like its a little piece of home. Oh and Mom remember when you called the clinic to pay for the shots?! Well, I WAS IN THE WAITING ROOM! When she hung up she called me over and was like, "Your mom loves you! I just talked to her on the phone!" So close but so far! But, I get to call you guys in 18 days! I'm so excited! They have call cards here for pretty cheap, so I'll buy some.

Sunday was great! That was so cool to hear that Dad got up and bore his testimony. The whole "airport scene" was so surreal, I'm glad that the ward got to hear about it. I just thought of it as leavin my earthly father and entering into my Heavenly fathers care. On sunday, we had mission conference and heard from 6 different people. The whole thing that I got from it was OBEDIENCE. Heavenly Father loves us so He gives us commandments to help us find happiness, and we obey cuz we love Heavenly Father. John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments" and were promised blessings by doing such! I'm so grateful for obedience because it's such an important lesson. We obey out of love! Everythings out of love!

So, this next week... WE DONT GET "DEAR ELDERS" until Thursday night! So tomorrows the last day I'll get em... hint, hint. The mail room is movin, so it's gunna be a little crazzyy. THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY THAT WRITES ME! I love getting mail! It always makes my day!

So, this past Saturday we had a sub teacher and we talked about what we want to get from our missions and how we plan on acheiving that. I said that I wanted to come back a better man, son, brother, and friend. She then asked me how I plan on acheiving it and I was kinda stumped. She then told us that in order to change, we have to invite love into our lives. We need to learn to love Heavenly Father, then people closest to us, then it's a domino effect from there. From then on I've tried treat my companion with love and look at everybody as Heavenly Father would look at them. It's definately a challenge because it has to be on the top of your mind ALL the time! But, I really have enjoyed it because you feel better, and they feel better! But First we have to develop our Love for Heavenly Father and Christ. I invite all you guys to try a little harder, to be a little better every day in the way you treat and look at other people!

So something that I haven't gotten to talk about is the Service that we do once a week for an hour. On Tuesdays, we wake up at 5:50 and have to go to another residencial hall and basically do chores! Haha from cleaning the bathrooms to vacuuming, to takin out the trash, we do chores! It's really early but it's also pretty fun! We just talk the whole entire time and clean! Pretty sweet!

This week in personal study I've studied a bunch of things but I've started to read the Book Of Mormon in spanish for 20 min a day. Our teacher said that if we do that, our comprehension and speaking abilities will improve and be mastered by 6 months! I think it's worth a try! I still am struggling with my R's. I blame my high pallet. But it's gunna take time, so it's all good. Other things that I've studied in personal study is the life of Christ! I started reading "Jesus the Christ" again and it's so great.

My spanish is comin along but it seems like I'm at a stand still, but I know I'm learning a little every day. We started learning about a new tense called SUBJUNCTIVE. It's pretty much insane. We realized that we need to use it like half the time we speak...haha so that should be interesting. But again...with time I know it will come.

The other suggestion that I have for you guys is to read 2 Nephi Chapters 31-33. Chapter 31 is called "The Doctrine of Christ." I love these chapters because they're very straight forward. I love how it says that we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ as best as we can! Another of my favorite verses that I found was 2 Nephi 25:26, " And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for remission of their sins". Christ is the center of the gospel! Just like he is the center of my name tag! It is only through Him that we find pure JOY! He provided the way!

I love you all so much! You're all awesome! I miss you so much! Oh and I decided when I get back I'm not goin to fall semester cuz I just want to be home. :) haha

And congrats to Adam Pulsipher! Chile will be great and spanish is the best! I can't even IMAGINE learning chinese or something. Props to Bro. Lundquist.


Elder Hjelmstad


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 5 MTC

My new ring....

My CTR ring!
(CTR= Choose The Right)
HLJ ring up close... (Haz Lo Justo)
...which means "Do The Just"

My classroom. Pretty legit TV's!!!

"Card in the bookstore! haha We thought it was Mary but....

Nope! It's Jesus!"

Elder Hjelmstad and Brown!!!
Buddies from Water Polo in H.S.
and BYU

Elder Hjelmstad and Lyon...
Both born July 8th, 1992
Roomed together at BYU
Submitted their mission papers on the same exact day
Josh reported to the MTC one week before Elder Lyon
Elder Lyon just left for Peru where he will do the remainder of his training and serve his mission.

This is Sister Tenney
aka... Tressa or Jackie's best friend
She will be leaving to serve her mission in Russia about the same time Josh leaves for Argentina.
They both leave the Missionary training center at the end of September.

Hey Family!

So the weeks keep pickin up speed! I cannot believe that I've been in here for 5 weeks! Totally crazy. This week was really good, but just like any other week, it had its ups and downs!

After I got my shots last Thurs... I got sick. I HATE IMMUNIZATIONS. I laid low pretty much the whole entire day on Sat and then felt way better.

Sunday was great as usual too. The devotional on Sunday was given by a member of the Mission Presedency here at the MTC. He's a retired doctor, so he talked about the importance of being healthy on your mission and to not do anything stupid to get yourself sent home. It was a really good talk because he said that we have to be healthy missionaries in order to be effective missionaries. He gave us a breathing exercise that will help our stress levels not effect us too. I really enjoyed it.

Monday was the best Monday yet! I usually don't like them because gym is in the morning so theres really not much to look forward to afterwards. But it was actually really great! We had a sub in class and He served in Argentina! We talked about the food, people, etc. for like an hour! It got me really excited! I can't wait to meet the people and love them! At lunch I got a letter from ELDER DAVIS!! That was great! And then at dinner I saw LINDSEY AND CAPELLA. Then I got a letter from KELLIE about her baptism! I felt like I was hangin out in Tmec again! It was so great!

Tuesday was Really, really, really, amazing! It had been rumored that an apostle was going to come speak to us at the devotional but we didn't know for sure. We sang in the choir again, just to make sure that we had seats in the gym! Right before the meeting started...Elder Jeffrey Holland walked in. He gave an amazing talk about missionary work. I took a ton of notes and I want to give you all of them, so I'm going to send them in my next letter and maybe Mom can type them into here. My favorite line he said was, "Let your mission change your life forever." After the talk there was a special musical number, a duet with 2 girls. It was a special duet though because one girl sang, while the other signed the song. The song was fantastic and then on top of that I thought about Jenee and her ASL and between those, I basically started balling. The spirit was so strong and I could really feel the Love of my Heavenly Father.

In choir we sang, "Faith of our Fathers." It was really great cuz I kept thinking of how grateful I was, for you guys and your faith to join the church. Thank you so much!

Speaking of love, This week I've been studying love and how we need to love others because God loves us. I've really loved studying it because not only do I feel loved, knowing how much my Heavenly Father loves me, but I realize how much I can love other people. For me I've always struggled expressing my love, but It's been a goal of mine to show people I love them, by serving them and listening to them. 1 John 4 nails it right on the head. I love that chapter.

My favorite scripture of this week is Corinthians 2:9!!!
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

I know that when we love others, serve others, and look at them like God looks at them.., WE are happier!

So my language goal this week was to learn how to ROLL MY R'S. ITS HARD!!!! I basically just have this list of words that I say over and over and over and over and over again. BUT.... ITS WORKING. Haha I've gotten a little bit better. A teacher said that it took her 3 months to learn, how so hopefully my tounge catches on soon.

So the food here is actually not too bad, but... THE FRUIT IS. The fruit is never very good/ripe/normal colored. Oranges are yellow, bananas are green. The only good fruit they have is cantaloupe. Luckily, I just started liking cantaloupe like a month before I left, because I eat it pretty much every single day here! Sometimes they have pineapple and those are the best days ever.

K, well I cant really think of anything else except that I'm doin great! I love all of you so much! And I love being a missionary! OOhhh and I have the BEST FAN CLUB EVER!

Elder Hjelmstad

Elder Landers (Roommate) & I

Elder Thompson (Roommate) & I

Elder Drete (in coat) & Elder Barker