Quote of the week:

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 26 Santa Fe, Argentina

Camila and Elder Hjelmstad

Elder Hjelmstad and Augustine giving us a "thumbs up"

Elder H, Elder R, Diego and family

Elder R, Camila, Maria and Augustine

Hey! 6 months down! SUPER INSANE!!! It’s flying by!

So, I haven’t gotten my new companion yet but I know we’ll be staying in Santa Fe, so I’m going to have about 7 months here! crazzyy!! But I don’t know who he is or anything until Thursday, so next week I’ll tell you all about him!

This week we saw some miracles again! Eight investigators came to church!!! So that was really exciting and fun but the only downside is that none of them have a baptismal date set because they need to get married first! :/ But they’re coming along! At church we talked about temples a lot and about the example of Jesus Christ in our lives and how every single day we need to push ourselves to become a little more like Him! I know that as we do the little things like praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church, we will increase in our love for others and will grow closer to our Heavenly Father!

We ate something really good this week! It’s called Ñoqui. Look it up on the Internet! It’s mashed potatoes that they make into noodles and then have this super good red sauce and cheese on top! I’ll try to get the recipe cuz it’s so good!

So this week we taught the Plan of Salvation, or the Plan of Happiness a lot. It made me think about it in general and the questions that we answer, like Where did we come from, Why are we here, and Where are we going after we die. We’re so lucky to have this knowledge! Thanks to a living prophet and the Book of Mormon, we have these answers! Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has a perfect plan for us, his children, that allows us to attain ALL that he has. I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father that knows us personally and desires our happiness. I love the scripture in 3 Nephi 28:10 that says .......

10 And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;

Christ suffered for our sins so that we can a FULNESS OF JOY like Heavenly Father! I know that Jesus Christ died for each and every one of us and thanks to his Atonement, we can live with God again, together as an eternal family! I know that we lived with God before this life and I know that we came here to gain experience and a body like God. I know that thanks to the resurrection of Christ, all of us will live after death with a body of flesh and bones and be judged according to our actions. I know that through the Atonement of Christ we can become perfect! I know that God loves us SO MUCH.

Thank you everybody for your support and letters and everything! I really suggest that everybody read this article by a living Prophet. I know that if we do these things, we will be happy, even in the rough times! I know that god wants us to be happy! http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/01/living-the-abundant-life?lang=eng

You are all awesome! I love you!

Elder Hjelmstad

P.S. Josh has sent us two short videos. If you would like to view them they are found on the sidebar to the right of this blog. enjoy!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 25 Santa Fe, Argentina

Alrightyyyy, things are about to get interesting...

Elder Hjelmstad is going to train a newbie!! yupppp! Gunna be crazy! I got a call on Wed night from the assistants to the President and they told me that I had been called to be a trainer! I couldn’t believe it! There are 27 new missionaries coming from the MTC on Feb 1! I’m super scared and super excited at the same time. haha but it's going be fun and totally crazy! We don’t know where yet so I could stay here in Santa Fe or go somewhere else but we think I’m staying. But ya! Crazy!

We had a training meeting with the Mission President on Friday and it was amazing! We talked a lot about using the spirit in everything. In the scriptures it talks about how we must "Teach by the spirit, or no other way." It's true! Most of the people that we talk to have never had spiritual experiences in their lives before. We have the responsibility to help them feel, know, and do what the Lord wants for them! I’m so grateful for this sacred responsibility. We also talked about the power of a testimony and how that no one can fight against a testimony. We talked about how in order to gain an opinion, or testimony, we first need to hear the opinions, or hear people testify of what they know is true. I want all of you guys to know that I know that this church is true. I know because I have prayed, read the Book of Mormon, and felt the Holy Spirit testify that it’s true. I know that anybody can find out for himself or herself that it’s true too. I know that this message brings light and hope into the lives of those that accept it. I know that by obeying the commandments of God, we are happy. I know that families can be together forever. I’m so grateful for the chance I have to be in Argentina to share this message with everybody!

So this week we did service and it was so funny. There’s this old single lady that’s super funny and she asked us if we could go trim her bushes and trees and so of course we said yes! We showed up and she had a dull AXE and a MACHETE!!! haha Elder Rivera got the machete and I got the dang axe. haha It was so funny. We forgot the camera though :( But yeah I’m never going to forget trimming shrubs with an axe. ha only in Argentina.

Other funny thing this week was this week in Sacrament meeting they asked if I could lead the sacrament hymn. I said sure why not! problem...no piano. Usually I just look at the hymn first to remind me how it is in English and then sing in Spanish but...I forget to figure out what hymn it was before I got up. I had no clue how it went. It was HORRIBLE cuz everybody was lost through the 3 verses. Oops! I felt bad cuz I totally destroyed it. The members were laughing at me. haha

I found a scripture this week that I love. It’s different because it makes you think. It’s Helaman 12:6 It says…

“Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.”

I was thinking about this a lot... about the times when I ignored the advice given to me, or when people tried to help me and I didn't listen. I have really gained a really strong testimony of the commandments and all the guidelines that The Lord has provided us. Just like this scripture says, God, in His great goodness and mercy, has created these things to help us, but we "will not that He should be our guide." I know that we're happiest when we obey the commandments! I know that God loves us so much and wants the best for us!

Last thing....

We found a COCKROACH this week. Not cool. Were going to buy some raid to make sure there isn’t any more of them. I freaked out like a girl.. I mean... like a missionary.... haha

So if anybody wants to write me through DEARELDER.COM that’s fine with me :)

I love you all and hope that all is good at home!

Les quiero,

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, January 16, 2012

week 24 Santa Fe, Argentina

Last monday (our p-day) we were hangin out in the pinch and it was SUPER HOT and the cold water from the shower was coming out hot. So I had the idea to fill up buckets of water and pour them on me.
I miss swimming!!

This is my desk top


Alrighty! Thank you everybody that wrote me this week. :) I tried sending a video but it didn't work. Just pictures this week! (Hopefully they work.)

So this week went by really fast! And Dee´s more than half way done now! CRAZINESS. But I'm doing good! Our area is a little slow again but that just means we have a lot of work to do! But were teaching a guy right now that is a walking miracle! Ezekiel is 21 and let us come in, we taught him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he accepted the invitation to be baptized if he received an answer through prayer and the Book of Mormon. He told us that he wanted to quit smoking drugs and wanted to find out if the church was true! SWEET! We went back on Tuesday and he had read 162 pages of the Book of Mormon and hadn't smoked!! Sadly, he couldnt come to church, but he asked us all about it and what we learned and everything. We realized that the people that listen to us are the people that are humble enough to change. Here, just like in the U.S., nobody wants to change but when people let us in and listen with intent, that's when it's different. Anyways, we went to a baptismal service with him last night and he loved it! A good ending to an alright day! I was kinda bummed because nobody came that we invited and committed to come to church. The talks were about families and I may or may not have cried when we sang "Families can be Together Forever" at the end. haha but since nobody came to church I started to think about how important it is to go to church. I think going to church everyweek is like going to the gas station, to refill us with the strength we need to keep going! But the truth is, that it's even more than that. We should go to church to receive revelation and the answers to our prayers. I heard once that Church is like 3 letters from God. If God sent you three letters, would you want to open them? YES!!!! It's the same with the 3 meetings we have at church! 3 topics that we can really gain from! We need to have a learning mindset when we go to church. As humans, we forget a lot of things, and often have to remind ourselves. I love the scriptures, like Helaman 5:12 that says "REMEMBER, REMEMBER, that it is upon the rock of your Redeemer that you must build your foundation." We need to remind ourselves of the promises we've made with God and all that we have learned! Every week at church we get a little reminder of what we need to fix. I know I have a lot of stuff that I need to remember.

I'm trying to think of something funny that happened this week.....oh yeah! Sooo yesterday at the baptismal service we were waiting for the guy that got baptized to get changed and it was kinda awkwardly silent. So I decided to play the piano a little, for the time being. Then Bro. Niz asked me if I knew how to play a hymn and I told him I knew number 15, so he said alrighty were going to sing it right now. (I was really regretting quitting piano in this moment.) We started off and it was alright.... and then I was missing a few notes here and there...and then some keys don't work...and the people dont know how to sing...and the song has 4 verses. Basically...train wreck. I was dying laughing the whole time when I was playing the piano. haha oops. I would try to join them singing but then would distract myself and mess up. hahahaha good times.

So, it's pretty dang hot here and we dont have air conditioning. If you open the windows the mosquitos eat you alive (there are no screens on the windows) and we only have one fan for 4 missionaries because the other elders fan broke. We decided to move our mattresses downstairs so that we could all enjoy the fan. haha oh and on Saturday, I counted 38 mosquito bites. Kinda a lot. But if you don't touch them you're good. Just can't think about them. Like 25 of them are on my ankles cuz when we teach people at night the mosquitos love my blood in my ankles. Yup.

Alrighty, well I don't really have anything else! I love you all sooooooo much and
I miss you tons! Have fun in the cold :) I realized, I'm living the endless summer!

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, January 9, 2012

week 23 Santa Fe, Argentina

Elder R., Elizabeth, Lorena, Elder H. and a ward member
before the twins baptism....


This week was HOT, and good!

We had the baptism of Elizabeth and Lorena on Saturday and despite a few set backs, it was really good!! The baptism was supposed to start at 5:00 pm and we went to their house at 4:40ish to check up on them. They were almost ready, so we told them we would see them at the chapel and when 5:00 came around, nothing. 5:15...nothing. We sang a lot of Hyms. haha finally at 5:30 they arrived and changed and everything went smooth from there! Karina, the girl that we helped baptize 6 weeks ago, gave the talk on baptism and did an AMAZING job. The spirit was so strong when she bore her testimony and told the girls how proud Heavenly Father was of them. David, a member of the ward, baptized both of them. After the baptisms Elder Rivera and I gave a little talk on the Restoration of the Gospel. I love baptisms! They're miracles!

We're helping a couple, Isabel and Martin, get married, and we have a new man, Ezekiel, that will get baptized on the 28th if he receives an answer that the church is true. Something that most people find it interesting is that there can be a TRUE church. ONE. Because theres ONE GOD. I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that has put His church back on the earth.

So, remember when you guys asked me what has been the funniest thing that's happened and I didnt have an answer? IT happened this week. We're teaching a guy named Antonio and his wife (not married) and Antonio is a crack up. He's super fidgety and has some crazy stories. This week he told the best one yet, and acted out every single part. He started telling us a story that when he was 19 he went to the circus and they were giving 1000 pesos($200) to anybody that could wrestle and pin a GORILLA. He started acting out the whole entire thing, exactly like Kramer from Seinfeld with all the fidgetiness, while blabbering in spanish the whole time. I was DYING laughing!!! He was talking about how stong the Gorilla was and how he would get so close and then the Gorilla would Karate chop him and then he had to try again. Sorry if this isn't funny, but it was the funniest thing EVER!!! Only in Argentina can you go to a circus, and fight a Gorilla. hahaha

Another funny thing was when we showed up to a members house and he was watching Chuck Norris movies. ha
So, this week I got the best surprise ever when I received a package from the Lyons! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Despite all the amazing candy and goodies, my favorite part was the November Ensign with all the conference talks! Conference was the first weekend here and I didn't understand ANYTHING. It's been really really nice and fun to read all the talks. I can't even pick a favorite, but something that really stood out to me was this quote that I think is in Elder Cooks talk about trials. It says,"Theres no chance, no fate, no destiny that cancircumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul." I LOVE THIS!!! In his talk he talks about that at times people choices can affect our lives in negative ways but we have the choice to allow it to affect us or not. Bad things happen in the world, but that doesn't mean, there isn't a God. There needs to be opposition in all things. Without the sweet, we wouldn't know the salty! We have the chance to choose and therefore, we learn. I know that as we make right choices, it becomes more and more easy to make more correct choices!
And I cant believe that Dee has been out a year! CRAZINESS!!!! That really blows my mind. Time is flying by.
Alrighty I dont relaly have anything else.

I remember when Kegan said when he got to Jamaica, that the only time he wasnt sweating, was when he was in the shower. Yup. That's a fact. It's possible. haha I don't like humidity!!
K I love you all!!!
Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 22 Santa Fe, Argentina

Happy New Year!!!! 2012!!!!

Josh Christmas Morning.....

Josh's Companion opening the gifts we sent him... Gotta love his smile!!!!

He is so happy...

Coming back after playing some ball

Josh, his Companion and another missionary he lives with.

Hey family!!!

I'm doing great here in Argentina! Still hard for me to believe that I'm here in a different culture, speaking a different language but it's kinda cool!

So first off, calling you guys was so fun! Except, I realized after we hung up, that you guys didnt even talk! I was rambling the whole entire time! And Seriously I'm doing great! I don't know why I cried so much. haha. But mom....I might not be in a safe area but everybody looks at me like I'm a giant and joke that I'll never get robbed, cuz everybodys scared of me. Oh and my comp knows a little karate. haha! but this week was good and went really fast again! I hope you guys enjoyed hearing about Argentina and how we do things down here!

So, I dont have that much to write about this week, but we saw a lot of miracles this week! We have a ton of people that we're teaching that aren't married which is interesting because in order to be baptized, they have to get married first! But we have 3 couples that are looking into what they have to do to get married, so that's great! We're teaching a lady, Paola, that didn't believe in God when we met her but now she believes and prays every day! She says that a lot of the guilt that shes carried with her has been alleviated since we've been teaching her! It's really cool! Next week the twins are getting baptized, so were really excited and so are they! It's so cute!

My little thought for this week is about Promises from God. I love when God promises blessings in the scriptures. In 2 Nephi 9:43 it says that there is "Hapiness that is prepared for the saints." I love this because I know that it's true! Then in verse 52 it says that we have to LET our hearts rejoice. Our hearts are Celestial, but we live in this crazy world filled with sin! We have to apply the scriptures, keep the commandments and then our hearts will rejoice.

Then I love in v. 41 when it says that we need to come unto the Lord, but the way is narrow, because it is His way. It's straight, we have to follow Him exactly because it's HIS path! Then it says that there is no other way for "He employeth no servant," it's necessary that we follow Christ and not a deceiver. After the death and resurreciton of Christ and the deaths of his apostles, the church, or path that He set forth, was destroyed because the authority left when the people rejected Christ and His disciples. People looked and looked for the Lords church but couldnt find it and in turn formed their own. Right now there are a million different churches, and millions of paths that "men" have made. I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father, that has put His gospel, His path, back on the Earth with a living Prophet, like in times of Old with Prophets like Noah, Moses, and Abraham. I'm thankful for the chance I have to be here to share this with the people of Argentina!

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you all have a safe New Years!!