Quote of the week:

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

week 17 Santa Fe, Argentina

4 months...check.


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....


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.


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.

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!


Elder Hjelmstad