Quote of the week:

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 55, Las Delicias, Rosario, Argentina

Elder Hjelmstad eating some yummy treats!!!

I believe they are making homemade ñoquis. This is Josh's favorite dish! He likes it with a tomato puree and chicken. He told me today to practice making it, so when he comes home we can have them!!! lol

Here are some fun facts I found online about them:
Argentinos eat gnocchi together on the 29th of every month, and it's a national holiday.
Excuse me while I swoon. 
Yes, that's right--people all over the country get together on the same day every month just to eat gnocchi.  Now, that's s my idea of a national holiday! I didn't grow up with any sort of food traditions that are celebrated like this on a national level.  But in Argentina, the tradition is that on the 29th day of each and every month, one is supposed to eat gnocchi.  Okay, twist my arm... 
Argentinos  are fond of the expression 'a full belly, a happy heart,' and on the 29th they prepare Ñoquis (as they spell it) at home and invite friends over to share the meal; it's also quite common to find ñoquis on the menu in restaurants on this day.  Either way, diners end up both full and happy.
Traditionally, money is placed under the plate to attract prosperity.  The money is kept by the diner as a good luck charm, is left for the hostess to pay for the gnocchi for the following month, or can be given to a member of the party who is in need.
There are a number of stories about how this tradition got started.  Italian immigrants (whose descendants make up about 50 percent of Argentina's population) may have brought this tradition with them. Some say that an Italian saint named San Pantaleon, one of the patron saints of Venice, was canonized on the 29th, each month this day is celebrated as his feast day. 
Some say it was a group of housewives in the 1970s that finally made the tradition widespread, a way to celebrate an otherwise dreary time of the month for most households-the last days of the month before payday, when the money had run out.  (I particularly like this idea, since Housewife is my day job.)
(- Courtesy of "Argentina with Love" Blog)
Cute Little Argentine kids!!!  I know Josh loves little kids, so I'm sure those big dark eyes just melt his heart!!!

(Not sure who this family is in this picture are but I'll be sure to ask him next week.)

Another week flew by! This next week is going to go by even faster.

Yesterday FOUR people came to church! We were super excited that they came.

Alejandra and MIlagros are all set and ready for their baptism on Saturday! They’re so ready! Alejandra is a great lady. She messed up and had a child when she was 21 years old but has truly repented and is super, duper excited to get baptized. We had a lesson with her and she just poured everything out and was crying and after she said she felt way better. They will get baptized on Saturday at 5:30pm! Pray for them!  

This week we saw some more miracles!

On Friday, it was pouring rain and we still went out. We had an appointment with Rodrigo at 11:00am and when we went by his house he was still sleeping, so he told us to come back at 12:00. So when we went back at 12:00 his buddy Maxi (We had taught him once before) was there and they were already reading the Book of Mormon together. (Not normal. ha) We sat down and started reading the Book of Mormon too and then from nowhere Maxi said, "You know what? Last night, I prayed to God and asked Him to show me the true way. I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to come to Rodrigos house and now I feel really good." We explained how God answers prayers and he said that he believes it to be an answer from God. We kept reading and then at the end he expressed how he felt and said that he didn’t feel confused and was really interested in reading more. I really know that God answers prayers. He answers mine! He answers Moms too because I’m still alive. :) haha jk but really, I know that God has a truth, and as missionaries we help people try it out, like trying a cake. I believe and know that God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be confused. He has a truth. And I know that I am a representative of that truth. Anyone can know for himself or herself. We don’t have secrets, and neither does God. His church has been restored and the Book of Mormon is the proof of that restoration.  

I love you all so much! Thanks for your support!

Elder Hjelmstad

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