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"

                         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


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. 


Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 70, Venado Tuerto, Argentina


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!!!


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