Quote of the week:

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


Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 73, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

"Video of us singing Oh, Holy Night"

video


                         
                         Our Christmas "Shrine"

Elder Haderlie and his new companion Elder Millheim


 "I ate a burrito!!!! There's like a little hole in the wall that claims to have mexican food. It wasn't that great, but it's the closest that I've had to a real burrito!"
My District


Our District at our Christmas celebration with President and his wife on Dec 18th



Merry Christmas!!!

As we celebrate this Christmas season I don’t know what could be better than explain what Christmas is for me. These past three Christmas´ have been different for me. I say three because it all started when I was up at BYU. That was when I really came to understand the true meaning of Christmas and became grateful for season. When I was up at BYU we were assigned to read a book called the Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. By reading about, understanding, and experiencing the Atonement in my life, it opened my eyes to what Christmas really is. I learned that Christ was the reason for the season. I started looking past the gifts and decorations and became more focused on the symbolism behind them. I remember coming home from BYU and finding people stressed about presents and time for this and that. Although traditions are great and fun, we must not let them distract us from the real meaning of Christmas. Seeing this craziness kind of set me back. As sons and daughters of God we owe it to Him. Without the birth of our Savior and Lord, we are nothing. There would be nothing to celebrate if he hadn’t been born in a manger. That year at BYU changed my view on Christmas because I learned to understand the Atonement.

Then last year, I learned the importance of Love and Family. With the help of an awesome companion, I learned how to be grateful for the littlest things. I learned that we are so blessed and fortunate that it’s seriously not even funny. I learned that the best thing we can give is time, love and a smile. We shared lessons with families about Christmas and even got to help a family decorate their two-foot Christmas tree. Then receiving a photo calendar from my family was the best thing in the whole entire world, seeing that it was my first Christmas away from home. I learned that Christmas isn’t the same without family but through emails and a phone call, I could feel their presence anyways. 

This year I think I’m learning how to give and give special attention to people. I’ve felt more of the giving spirit, which is pretty rare for my thrifty self. I don’t write this to jactarme, I don’t know the word in English (he meant boast) but anyways there’s a family here that is sooo great and so special. They are also very poor but you wouldn’t know it by their smiles. They both gave us a little present that we haven’t opened up yet and I kept thinking and thinking what could I give them! So.... I gave them the little tree that you sent me! haha I felt so good! We also found some Christmas lights in the apartment so we gave them those too. :) I love Christmas and hope we can all really focus on what matters. Gifts come and go but Christ’s Atonement doesn’t. Lets take advantage of this season and give Christ something or some part of us. Lets read his story from the Bible and allow it change our lives. 

I love all of you guys and cant wait to SEE YOU tomorrow!!! woohoo!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week 72, Venado Tuerto, Argentina


It's almost Christmas!!!!  I just found out we get to use Skype (camera and all!) on Christmas day!!!! Woohoo!!! I’m so excited!!! It’s getting close!!

So this week was great! I got a letter from Tawny (THANKS!!!!) and Lexi (THANKSS!!!!). I love getting letters and seeing how you are all doing. It’s so crazy to hear about all the girls going on missions! CRAZYYY! Supposedly there’s like 20 sister missionaries coming to the mission in April so that’s cool. In my district, there’s a companionship of sisters and they’re great. I want to talk to the sisters missionaries that taught Mom and Dad!

Anyways, so this week we went out to a little town called Murphy. It’s suppperrrr small and so cute. Seriously out of the movies. We technically have Murphy in our area but we have to take a bus out there and it’s somewhat expensive to we only go when we have referrals. We went on Wednesday to get to know it and then the branch president called us and asked if we could give a talk so we said yes. We both spoke on missionary work and it went really good! My companion is so great. He got up there all nervous but did awesome. I had some scriptures to share and just started talking and before I knew it I had talked too long....I’m officially turning into Dad. I used some scriptures in Alma 5 that talk about our change of heart.

Alma 5:13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

I talked about this change being what happened before we get baptized. At one time we have this change. For some people it’s big and others not so big, but there definitely were some changes that took place. But baptism is not the end, it’s just the door. It’s like getting through the gates at Disneyland and staying next to the Mickey garden in the front! There’s so much more to enjoy! Sadly, often times people get stuck there and it’s like if they hadn’t gone in at all!  In Alma 5:33-34 it says...

33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. 

34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;

We are the arms or hands of God on the earth. We must invite these people to partake of the fruit whether they already tasted a portion or haven’t tasted it at all. We must do it because we love them! Love is the motive. It is my hope that we can give something to Christ this Christmas.  Serve others because after all...we're serving God. I'll end with this....

 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.
Love you all!!
Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 71, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

That box is actually an instrument. You sit on it and it's hollow so it sounds cool.


Elder Haderlie and I playing some instruments

My new comp Elder Laguado

2 missionaries from my district, they're super legit. Elder Brasher on the left is from Holliday Utah and Elder Larson is from Arizona.



We had a special conference with Elder Viñas and we ate chinese food for lunch!

Then my comp spent like 5 min looking for his sock when I was dying laughing because he had it on his shoulder hahaha


HOLAAAAA

Alrighty, well this week was great! On Tuesday I gave the workshop in district meeting and we talked about our purpose: inviting people to come unto Christ. We talked about how we should always do it and how we must challenge people to follow Christ more in the their lives by being baptized. It was really fun and everybody got excited and the week turned out to be great! Elder Brasher and Elder Larson are my new best friends and we have two sister missionaries Hermana Huaman (peru) and Hermana Solomon (Lehi, utah). Turns out Hermana Solomon knows the Campbell’s and I told her that my parents got to know the church through them! Small world. 

On Thursday we had a special conference in Rosario with Elder Viñas of the Seventy. His message was super simple and we just talked about working more effectively and building up the church here in Argentina. He told us to be satisfied with what we're doing and to keep progressing. It was something that I really needed to hear. 

Then this morning I listened to Pres. Ucthdorf’s talk from last general conference and he talked about having no regrets. My favorite line was to "Find Joy in the Journey." In everything we do we always seem to have a timeline or something else to do. He compared it to riding his bike with his wife. At times he wants to speed up or race but his wife always tells him to enjoy the ride because before you know it, its over. I can do a better job at finding joy in the journey and making the days count rather then counting the days. 

This week a good mission buddy had to go home for medical problems and I feel terrible for the guy. I don’t want to go home and don’t want to look back on my mission with regrets. I’m here to help others come unto Christ and that’s it!! 

I hope you all can find joy in the journey and joy in this Christmas season and take upon yourselves the Christmas spirit. Because after all, if you take the last syllable off it’s the CHRIST spirit. Lets be a little more like Christ, especially in this time of year. 

LOVE YOU!!!!!

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 70, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

HOLA FAMILIA!!!!

We're doing just great here in Venado Tuerto! My new companion is Elder Laguado. Super cool guy. There was only 4 new missionaries that came this week and three of them were from Peru and only one from Columbia. I wanted the Columbian. haha Anyways, so they always do a drumroll and stuff and guess who is my new companion? The Columbian!  He's from Cucuta, Columbia. He's a recent convert of 2 1/2 years, but you can't tell. He's the only member in his family but it doesnt bother him. He knows a lot about the scriptures and is excited to be here! He doesn't really have any hobbies besides looking fresshhh. Haha He told me he likes dressing up for dances. To his prom he wore a white suit with a red bow tie. Niceeee. haha 

So we got to Venado Tuerto on Wednesday night. The bus ride ended up being 3 1/2 hours but I got to sit next to a guy that was super great, Andres. He's like 60 years old and we talked about a little of everything but then started talking about the gospel. We talked about EVERYTHING and it was so great. I liked it because we were just talking and it wasn't like a formal lesson. He told me that he doesn't believe in the churches and stuff and we got talking about the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ and then he had questions about life after death so we talked about the plan of salvation, and then we talked about baptism. Super great guy. I left him with the invitation to read and ask God. He said he would get baptized if he felt it was what he had to do!

Something I realized from this experience was that the gospel doesn't have to be something so weird. We can talk about it like nothing! In the scriptures it says D&C 84:85.


Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.

I love being a missionary and I love sharing the gospel! You can do it too! Just TALK TO PEOPLE!!!! There's nothing better!!!

LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Hjelmstad




(This is Josh's Mom)

These are some of the questions I asked this week:


1. Tell me about your new companion.

His name is Elder Laguado from COLOMBIA. He's a convert of 2 1/2 years and the only member in his family. He's super cool and has good style. haha we're excited to be together and excited to baptizeee

2. Tell me about your new area.

My area is small for the first time! It's only about 10 blocks by 15 blocks. We split the branch with 2 other elders. The members are SUPER united, so thats way cool and they love missionary work. They were in a rented house before but 7 months ago they built and dedicated a new and very pretty church building. It's a great branch!

3. Do you know why was your mission was extended two weeks? Is it just for the Rosario mission?

With all the changes in the ages of the missionaries they shorted the MTC to 8 weeks and had to change some of the tracks of the missions. Ours got pushed forward 2 weeks. 

4.  What's your apartment like?

Terrible. We're looking for a new one. The contract expires in 2 weeks

5.  What's your ward like? How many people?

The ward is great like I said and the attendance is about 70 every week. Pretty dang good

6.  How far are you from the mission home?
 
About 3 1/2 hour


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Venado Tuerto was founded by Eduardo "Casey" in 1847

Week 69, Las Delicias, Rosario, Argentina

Back in villa diego. That's a train station behind me.

Me contacting Ronald McDonald. haha
(I didn't have a Book of Mormon)

Elder Hixson - Springville Ut.

Elder Butler - Riverton, Ut.

Elder Donjuan (Florida), Me, Elder Haderlie, Elder Ferreyra (Argentina)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

I am thankful for everyone that has supported me while on my mission. Thanks so much for writing me and praying for me.

So, this week was full of ups and downs. We had some great times at our FHE and then unfortunately Cristina didn't get baptized. She needs more, time but its okay. 

Alrighty, so I'm getting transferred!!! I literally just found out!!! There were a few missionaries that just got here to Argentina, so I'll be training one of them! We're going to a city called Venado Tuerto that's pretty chill and calm. I'm super stoked and we're going to work like crazy there! I don't know if my new companion is american or latin, but whatever he is, he better have nice shoes because we're going to work and baptize!!! I'm Stoked. 

This week for my "spiritual part" I would say that God knows us and tests us. He does it to help us grow. We were kinda getting tired of doing the same thing over and over again because we've been together so long but God already knew. I feel like after lots of prayer, God answered our prayers! I'm super stoked to train and go into an area without knowing anything! It's going to be great! Patience, prayer, then perseverance. I know that the church is true and that God knows us personally and loves us personally too. We have the task to become like him. But He helps us. 

I love being a missionary!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JADE!

LOVE YOU!! 
Elder Hjelmstad 

(This is Elder Hjelmstad's Mom)
I just received this message from a family that our son was teaching... (We had to have our Son-in-law translate it for us :)

It says: hello dear joanne, today your son, our missionary, was transfered to another providence of our country. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to say goodbye to eachother, but I want you to know it was an honor and a blessing that he visited our house and passed many special times with us. I wanted to come back and tell you that you have an amazing son that we will never forget. God bless you and know that a family in Rosario Argentina learned to love you.

Week 68, Las Delicias, Rosario, Argentina


This is a porcelain figurine that a member made me.

The Scripture is from Doctrine and Covenants 18:15
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"




HOLA FAMILIA!!

This week was great! First and foremost I’m staying here in Las Delicias for my 5th transfer! Elder Haderlie and I aren’t sick of each other yet,lol. We’ll be together for the holidays! We’ve now been together for 4 months. We’re working hard but need to baptize!!

Unfortunately, Cristina got sick on Saturday so she didn’t get baptized but no worries. This weekend it shall be. Cristina is so great. She talks a ton and always says stuff that makes you laugh but she never laughs! haha She’s a crack up. She watched the Restoration video and loved it. She understands everything so good! She loves the service part of the church and how we’re always helping people. She went to a Christian church before and said sometimes she felt like she was at a rock concert and not at church. She has a son, Maxi, that is also way cool. He’s studying to be a lawyer and washes cars on the weekends for money. He was raised good because he doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, stuff that’s super common in Rosario for 20 year-olds. He should get baptized in December.

Last night we had a Family Home Evening with two families in the ward. We talked about the family and the role of the home. We used the Family: Proclamation to the World and I wanted to share a part with you guys that I love.
It says, "THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a Father and a Mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." We talked about how we need to make an effort to progress as a family and focus on one of those many principles.

So, I’m going to go on a little tangent and say that I’m super excited to get married. Jackie asked if I was "Wedding Hungry" and I would say yes. haha I cant wait to find my eternal spouse and start a family! Some may think I’m crazy but hey, I already am.... I walk around in a different country, speaking in a different language and talk to people about God. haha So, appreciate your families, They are MOST IMPORTANT. Spend real time with them and get to know them better. Family Home Evening is an activity that you can do every Monday night. Ask my mom and she can tell you how to do it. IT’S THE BESTTTT!!!!

Oh yeah and I got a 2 week extension to my mission. I finish on August 13th. For some reason in 2013 we all get 2 weeks more. So put that on the calendar. haha

LOVE YOU TONSSSS

ELder Hjelmstad

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 67, Las Delicias, Rosario, Argentina


Alrighty, this week was good! SUPER FAST! We had plans on every single day. From splits, training meetings, and a district meeting it was really interesting and different!

On Wednesday, we had the training meeting and learned from President and the Assistants. I learned how to plan better and more effective, (something that I’ve always wanted to improve on). A big part of missionary work is using your time wisely. I can’t believe how much time I wasted when I was home. hahaha So after the conference, we had splits with the assistants and I went with Elder F to his area. We taught some great investigators and I learned various things from him!
1) Make lessons spiritual experiences
2) Visit members and teach them according to their needs
3) Congratulate people for their faith.
I have so much to learn!!! Then we did splits again within our zone. Elder F came to my area and we had some good fun. :) He’s 25 and was into drugs and stuff but quit drugs and went on a mission! We went to one of the families that we’ve been teaching so he could share his conversion with them. It was so special. He shared how he had changed. From one day to another he stopped doing hard drugs, smoking cigarettes, and smoking marijuana. He never relapsed. Bro S really loved his conversion story and it got him excited to get rid of his bad habits so he can get baptized. 

On Saturday, we passed by Cristina and taught her. She read the whole gospel principles book!!! She’s crazy!! haha She understood everything from the creation to baptisms for the dead. She loves the Book of Mormon. Her son Maxi who’s 20 yrs old listened and admitted he is looking for something to fill the vacancy inside him. I know that the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ fills that gap. She will get baptized this Sunday! We’re stoked!

Camila loves the church and was super excited to get baptized, so she called her mom that lives in another province and her mom said she can’t get baptized...pray please for her and that her Mom’s heart to soften :)

Also, we received a hand full of referrals from members, so were way excited about that! We have transfers next week so well see what happens... 

So, something that I learned this week was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a way to live. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end is a never-ending process. We do it every week. As we do these things, we begin to perfect ourselves. I love the End of the Book of Mormon in Moroni’s farewell when he says,

(Moroni 10:32) Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot."

Moroni 7:32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

This life is a process and a test. We must ask ourselves every day if we have improved and become more like Christ. Are we more friendly than we were yesterday? Do we love more than we loved yesterday? Nephi invites us in…

2 Nephi 31:20 "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of 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 you all and hope we can all become like Christ, so that when He comes, we will be as He is. We will be pure, as he is pure.

Love you tons,
Elder Hjelmstad 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 66, Las Delicias, Rosario, Argentina

We played soccer this morning...



Alrighty...

So it’s starting to get hot!!!! Gunna be fun... not. :) 

This week was great! We had interviews with Pres. Giuliani and then had mission council on Thursday. I really learned a lot and am super excited for November. In the interviews President talked to us about Hot Air Balloons... He told us that just like a hot air balloon must take out its sand bags to fly, we must do the same. We cannot expect things to change if we don’t do anything different. He talked about how we need to elevate ourselves and think about what things we can leave behind and stop being good, and be excellent. I really took it in and decided that I need to suffer more. I need to sacrifice more and try even harder to help others around me. President told us that our number one responsibility is to TEACH. Teach the people doctrine and teach the missionaries how to be better missionaries. I love being a missionary!

This Sunday was great too! We had three investigators in church in which two of them went for the first time! Camila, is the grand-daughter of a part member family and loved the church. She has a baptismal date for the 16th. :) Then Guiliana also went, but is still scared to ask her dad if she can get baptized... it’s a work in progress. Then Cristina, a lady that we’ve taught for like three weeks went! We were so happy! She loved Relief Society and is excited for Enrichment! haha We’re doing good here in Las Delicias and hope to baptize here real soon.

I heard that some of you got your postcards! Sorry it took so long. We don’t have a postal office in our area. ugh

Alrighty. love you all tonssss!!!

Elder Hjelmstad