Quote of the week:

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week 82, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

Church talent show

Hey Family!

Thanks for all the letters and emails. I love hearing from you guys.

This week had its highs and lows! We taught a 13-year-old Juan and he was progressing really good until his friends started making fun of him. When he’s with us, he loves the church but when he’s with his friends he feels embarrassed. The whole experience really made me think a lot about friends. TRUE FRIENDS. I’m sooooo thankful for the friends that I had in high school that helped me stay on the straight and narrow path. Right before I left on my mission Colby and I talked about this a ton. Without a solid support system it is so much easier to stay strong, in hard situations. I seriously believe that friends are one of the biggest influences in the world. We must choose wisely the people that we get together with. I forget who it was, but somebody talked about that in the church once, we must have two types of conversions. Social and Spiritual. Our spiritual conversion comes by asking God if the Book of Mormon is true. Our social conversion comes by interacting with people inside the church. Sometimes people get a testimony before the get a friend and sometimes people see the examples of Mormons and then get interested in WHY we are so happy. I love my family and my friends. I found a cool scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

9  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
 I love you all!!!!!
Elder Hjelmstad

Week 81, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

This is "My little Brother" I told you about. I love this kid!

Alrighty, well this week was great! We had some great lessons with investigators and members and we were really excited for Sunday but then it rained. Sidenote: when it rains in Argentina everybody stays inside their house. But Juan, a friend of the Loza family came to church! We taught him and he’s excited to get baptized! He has a date for March 2nd.

Lazaro was way excited to get baptized and got home from the activity last week and asked his Mom if he could get baptized and she said no. So pray for her please. We’re going to go by his house today and we hope to be able to gain some trust with his Mom. 

Sooooooo the funniest thing that happened this week… it was pretty dang funny. On the 14th we were outside doing personal scripture study, us 4 missionaries together. Out of nothing Elder Bringhurst says, "Hey happy valentines day." and I, trying to be funny screamed, grabbed my comps head and gave him a huge wet one on the cheek. My comp looks at me like a complete freak and then I realized....Elder Bringhurst said it in English, so my comp didn’t understand AT ALL why the heck I grabbed his head and kissed him. We about died laughing. hahahahaha you know you’ve been in the mission for too long when you kiss your comp on valentines day. hahahaha

So yesterday I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish! I tried to take my time and really study it. I can honestly say that when I read the last verse, I was sad, that it came to an end. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon and I know that it’s true. I know that the Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, contains the everlasting gospel and the answers to our questions. I love the end of the book of Moroni that says, 

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.

Only through the grace of Jesus Christ we may be cleansed, and one day, perfected. I have learned so much about the grace of Christ. If you want to understand what grace is I recommend this talk. 
It’s kind of long but an amazing talk. He makes it really easy to understand.

K I love you guys so much!!! Have a fantastic week!

Elder Hjelmstad

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week 80, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

The new apartment


45 minute bus trip to the church farm in Cordoba




That is the Bar-b-q (where the chicken was cooked)




Hey guys!

Happy Birthday Grandma and Katie!!!

and Happy Valentines Day!!!

This week was eventful. haha So we moved from a super cruddy house to a super crowded but brand new apartment. It’s a long story… We had it all planned out that on Thursday the other elders were going to take the apartment contracts to the realtor and get the keys to our new apartment. We were so anxious that we took down everything and put it outside waiting for the moving truck. BUT they went to the realtor and they wouldn’t give them the keys because we didn’t pay the rent yet, so Elder Rodriquez took out money from his personal account to pay for one of the two apartments. We ended up moving all of our stuff into one tiny apartment. It’s ridiculously crammed. haha But tomorrow we’ll get the keys to the other one.

ANYWAYS, this week we were able to start teaching Lazaro, a members cousin. He went to mutual (youth activity) a couple weeks ago and liked it, so we set up an appointment and taught him twice. We’re trying to teach him super simple principles. He loves the activities and stuff, but we want to teach him the doctrine so he can be truly converted. He’s read everything we’ve left him so were super duper excited! He went to church too! His best friend/cousin is basically my little brother (He’s pretty much the little brother I never had. I love that kid). We helped him come back to church and he recently went to the temple! He loved it! I feel like Jed a little! haha His names Nico.

We’ve taught other great people this week as well that were excited to see progress.  So this week should be a good week! 

Yesterday we got permission from our mission president to go out to the church farm called Kilgruman. It’s in Cordoba where Andrew served his mission! It’s right on the border, about 45 minutes away, so we didn’t think we would get permission… but we did! It was way fun! We went out there with the branch in a bus and played around. There was a pool and everybody got in the pool, while us missionaries had a water fight with buckets. :) We made bbq chicken which was really good. On the way back the bus broke down and we had to wait on the side of the freeway until another bus came and got us. It was fun! Nico and lazaro came too!

This week I had some moments when I just realized how grateful I am to be a part of this church. I’m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that has opened the heavens again to help us in the most complicated time in the history of the world. I’m so grateful to have a Prophet, chosen of God himself, to help us know what we must do to return to God’s presence. It almost seems too good to be true. I know that anybody can know this message is true. It’s a fairy tale that I believe in. I know that families can be together forever through the power of God.

I love you all!!

Elder Hjelsmstad

p.s. thanks for the letters…

Ashlyn- congrats on the mission call! New Jersey doesn’t know what they’re getting!
and BROOKE-- what the Japan? haha that’s so cool!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 79, Venado Tuerto,Argentina

So....this week FLEW by!
So sad to hare that the 49ers lost. It's all my fault cuz I wasn't there cheering them on. haha But next year we'll get them. Grandpa you wont have to call the "suicide prevention hotline" next year. haha
Alrighty, this week we found some great people in miraculous ways! We had received a referral from some Elders of a guy that they talked to in the street. We went by his house about 5 times and never found him but the last time the Mom said that he was around the corner in the house with the fruit stand, so we went over there and out comes, Yanina. When she came up to us I thought about asking her if Victor was there but instead I asked if she would like to listen to a message about Christ for 10-15 min. She said "sure! Let me go get my husband!" Sure enough they come out and we sit outside and start talking. Milton, the husband, breakdances! haha and they have a daughter named Celeste. She's 4. We taught them and then went back on Saturday night. They were waiting for us and we taught them about the restoration of the gospel and while we were talking about the authority of God she said that they haven't been married by Gods terms because they were only married civilly. I felt prompted to take out my little picture of the San Diego temple and testify of eternal marriage. They paid close attention and the spirit filled us all. We're really excited to keep teaching them.
Funny thing this week... was when I fell on the bike again. hahaha This time we were in the part in the field and we saw a little entrance through thick, tall bamboo so we went in. Turned out to be a backyard motocross track! we went down this little hill and looked around for a minute and I decided to act like a dirt bike and went really fast and had to make the 90 degree turn to get up the little hill. Well...the dirt was actually sand so the wheel (which has no traction) slipped out from under me when I went to turn up the hill and I fell in the dirt/sand. It didn't hurt at all...I just got covered in dirt...haha so we quickly went back to the apartment so I could change. I don't know if you could understand that, but overall we were busting up laughing. ahahah
The work is progressing!!
homework this week.... please read this talk. It's awesome!!!

Elder Hjelmstad

P.S. Welcome home Dee!!! I miss you buddy.