Quote of the week:

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 86, Venado Tuerto, Argentina



So this week was great!! 

At the beginning it was sad because Elder LAguado didn’t want to leave. He left on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was alone for the first time in 20 months. I had to take the bus alone to Rosario! soooo weird. Then we had a little training from President and then the news came in! My new companion is ELDER MAY. He’s from Kansas. Great guy. He’s way funny and way scared of dogs. hahaha He has great desires to be a good missionary, so it's way fun.

My new companion... Elder May, from Kansas. Great guy!

Our highs for the week were 2 things.

1) All week we were preparing Marta for her baptismal interview and it was hard for her so understand some things but her testimony is so special. She cries every time she talks about why she wants to be baptized. She feels the need. She has changed so much and LOVES reading the Book of Mormon and the gospel principles book. On Saturday she passed her interview and we’re all set for her baptism this Saturday, so be praying for Marta!

2) So right after Marta’s interview, we has a lesson with Milton and Yanina Taulet. They are a couple that we’ve been teaching for a while but they haven’t progressed much. They said they hadn’t received an answer yet so we were prompted to read 3 nephi 11 with them because it not only is when Christ comes to the Americas, but because its when Christ comes to us. We wanted them to focus on their feelings. As we read it, a special spirit entered the room. We finished reading it and something told me not to talk. I followed the prompting and the couple started talking about what we read. They both said they felt weird, but good. They felt happy. They kept talking and Yanina said, "maybe that was our answer." We testified that it was and that we also felt the same thing. It was really special. I know that the church is true and "him that diligently searcheth, findeth." I love being a missionary! They went to church yesterday! Now we have to talk about the Word of Wisdom because they both smoke. ha :) but hey, I believe in miracles!

Oh so the church changed the policy on writing people via email! We can now write friends and everybody! So if anyone would like to write me, my email is joshua.hjelmstad@myldsmail.net.

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 85, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

On Thursday, our Branch President had set up a service project to put down concrete at a blind members home.




Then on Saturday, we painted our favorite family’s home. The Loza’s are an amazing family.  


This week was full or SERVICE!!!! On Thursday, our Branch President had set up a service project to put down concrete at a blind members home. I actually learned a lot by helping out! It was the first time I dealt with concrete! Before the mission I didn’t really enjoy service but in the mission it’s so fun to get dirty and work with our hands instead of our brain! haha Then on Saturday, we painted our favorite family’s home. The Loza’s are an amazing family!!! They are so humble and so loving. I can literally say that I love them. I feel like I’m part of the family. The house turned out great!

So this week as part of our studies we studied more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We were asked to read John 3:16 and D&C 76:41-42.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Doctrine and Covenants 76:41-42

41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;

42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him

A while ago Andrew shared something with me that really impacted me. He said that as missionaries and people we can be "Saviors" for those that have not received the gospel yet. Both of these scriptures talk about how Christ was sent be our mediator. He atoned for us so that we can return to God’s presence. I was thinking… in the same way that we, by sharing the gospel, can become saviors in the lives of people. People can get to know the restored gospel through us. I love hearing my Moms missionary moments. We must not be scared to share. We have taken the name of Christ upon ourselves by being baptized, so we must act according to that covenant. And "Perfect love casteth out all fear." Be examples and invite people to follow.

Sister Giuliani (My mission Presidents wife) shared a quote that I love... "When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed." The Grace of Christ is sufficient to transform us...little by little. I loved our lesson in priesthood class yesterday.

Anyways, so there are going to be some changes… my companion is leaving and I’m going to train again! The rumor is, is that the new missionaries are Americans, so I’m pretty stoked!! woohoo!! I’ll be traveling to Rosario, on Wednesday, to pick up my new companion. I love to train, so I couldn’t be happier!!!

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 84, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

Alrighty, so this week was pretty good! Last Tuesday we had zone conference in Pergamino, a city about 2 hours away, so we had to wake up at 3:00am to make the bus by 4:30am. We got to the conference and we were able to enjoy the talks by the assitants and President. One of the assistants gave a great workshop on teaching people instead of teaching lessons. He said that people are like a combination lock. We must find out how to open them up. We must pray for, study for, and love the people we teach. We had a cool experience on Saturday with this. During the week we had gone by a couple that we're teaching. They weren't really progressing and I was starting to think if we should keep visiting them or not. She asked us about praying to saints and she explained that she was Catholic and had always prayed to saints. She said, "If I get baptized, it's like I wont be Catholic then." We both felt that they needed to understand the Restoration of the gospel one more time. We had to leave for another appointment so we set another appointment with them for another time. So, we prayed, studied, and showed up. We read from the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses that we shouldn't worship anything else besides God and she seemed to understand. But she wasn't totally convinced but of course she wasn't, after 30 years of doing something, we were the first people to tell her it's not okay. I kind of forget how the topic came up but we introduced the restoration again. This time, they understood. The spirit was able to testify through us that what we were saying was true. They finally got it. They understood how God shows his love by calling prophets. They understood how Christs church fell like a piece of glass because the people rejected it. They understood that with that fall, God took his authority from the earth for a time until we were ready again to recieve it. They understood that many churches started looking for the truth but couldn't find it without a prophet from God. THEN, they understood how God restored his church by calling a prophet in our time. I don't remember the words we shared. At the end we shared our testimonies and invited them to get baptized. They said they are going to read and pray and if God answers them they'll get baptized. 

I love this work. I love teaching. I love being a missionary (even though it's sooo stressful). I love these people and I love all of you!

Elder Hjelmstad

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 83, Venado Tuerto, Argentina

Elder Hjelmstad and his companion

These are pork sandwiches... wayyy good!

Argentine FUN!!!

(Josh's mom: I love how this little boy is just hanging on to Josh. Josh loves little kids and I just thought it was so sweet that this little guy felt so comfortable with him. )

(Josh's Mom: The young man in the blue shirt is Josh's "adopted" little Brother. I'm not sure what Josh is doing but his "brother" is watching and little boy, on his left, is still hanging on :) ) 


So this week was pretty good! We had a fantastic lesson with Hugo and Jessica about the restoration of the gospel. They're so amazing. They're so excited to go to church and get baptized. They were all set to go to church but Hugo, who has been looking for work, got called into a meeting for a possible job at 11 am and went there instead of going to church and Jessica didn't want to go alone. Ugh. But I have the faith that this week they will go. Pray for them! We'll try to take a pic with them this week so I can send it to you.

Cool thing that we learned this week....KNITTING. We're knitting machines now. haha we're both knitting scarves. Way cool. It gives us something to do when we have free time at night and in the morning. I'll send you a pic.

I got so excited when everybody emailed me and almost all of you guys mentioned the Atonement of Jesus Christ, His eternal sacrifice that he made for us. When I was at BYU, I took a class called missionary preparation from Brad Wilcox. As part of the class we had to read the book, Continous Atonement. I thought I knew what the Atonement was until I read that book. Jade quoted this and I love it. 

"The Atonement is real, and through repentance and sanctification it is transforming. But that transforming change is a process that takes time—a long time. The Atonement is a continuous force in our lives. Perfection is the ultimate goal, but we get lots of chances to reach it."

The Atonement gives us the opportunity to live as eternal families in God´s presence. Through the Atonement we can become clean spiritually again and again and again. The Atonement keeps us going until the very end. In the Book of Mormon we must have "hope through the Atonement of Christ." That hope will help us get through ANYTHING. Elder Holland Said this...

I testify that the Savior's Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair.  I promise you He is not going to turn his back on us now.  When He says to the poor in spirit, "Come unto me" He means He knows the way out and He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way. 

I am so thankful for the Atonement in my life.  We must use the Atonement and become perfect in Christ. Study the Atonement this month in preparation for Easter. 

Elder Hjelmstad