Quote of the week:

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

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).

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!

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