Quote of the week:

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 99, Nogoya, Argentina

Alrighty so this week was great! It went by way fast too! We were able to teach a lot of lessons even though we had a lot of meetings. Leandro is doing great! He believes in the Book of Mormon and came to church yesterday even though it was freezing cold. He walked about 30-40 minutes to get there on time. We were so happy to see him. He is such a special man! He's about 60 something but NEVER complains about anything! If everything goes well he should get baptized on July 6th. 

We saw another miracle at church too! After the first hour a young couple walked in dressed in street clothes. We shook their hands and asked if they'd ever been before. The guy, Christian, got baptized two years ago but hasn't come for a while. His girlfriend, Barbara, isn't a member and came to accompany Christian because he felt like he needed to go. In Gospel Principles class we each went around presenting ourselves and Christian basically bore his testimony saying that what he feels in the church, he can't find in the world. He said that Barbara is actually pregnant and he wants to start coming for his child. SO AWESOME!!! We talked about the 10 commandments and Barbara participated and everything! She's so great! The members really made friends with them too! It was a great Sunday!!!

So the pictures that I attached are from a Family Home Evening that we did with the Godoy Family. They just came back to the church a few months ago and their two oldest sons got baptized right before I got here. They're sooo great. They have six kids that are sooooo cute! haha so we taught them about how we all sin or make mistakes so we made them go outside and put their hands in the dirt. Then we talked about with dirty hands we cant eat or do anything because it just doesn't feel good so we must repent! We each put a drop of soap in their hands to represent repentance and told them to rub the soap in. They rubbed the soap but were still missing something to get all the way clean.... WATER...aka...Baptism! They all went to the sink and washed their hands until they were clean. They then had clean but wet hands! We explained the importance of the Gift of the Holy Ghost or what the scriptures call "baptism by fire." They then went and dried their hands using the heat of the fireplace. It was a cool way to show them the process that we go throughout life because we must repent daily and take advantage of the sacrament every sunday so we can feel at peace with ourselves and with God. Moroni 6:8 says that, "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness with real intent they were forgiven." We must excersise faith to repent and receive the forgiveness of our sins continually throughout our lives. I know that we will be happier if we follow these simple steps that Christ gave us. :)

Elder Hjelmstad 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 98, Nogoya, Argentina

My companion was taking my picture and he kept getting closer and closer... so I just busted up laughing!!!

This week was really good! We were able to teach a lot of lessons and see the people we are teaching progress. 

First off I want to say Happy (belated) Fathers Day! Yesterday in church a sister talked about her Dad and described him as a "Great man". I started to think about all the "Great men" that have touched my life up until now. I am thankful for the things that I have been able to learn from each and every one of them. From primary teachers to my Dad, they all have helped me get to where I am now. 

I can't remember how long ago it was because time doesn't really exist in the mission but a while ago I told you guys about an experience I had. Today I feel like I should share it again because it was really special for me. One morning I was studying about the Love of God and got thinking about my own Dad. I was thinking about how I know that my dad would do anything and everything to make sure that I'm safe, healthy, and well. I know that nothing would stop him because he loves me. I then thought that God, being my Heavenly Father loves me just as much, and maybe more. In that instance I felt my relationship with Heavenly Father grow. It's still hard for me to believe, but I know that it is true. I know that our Father in heaven wants the very best for us. I know he protects us but loves us sooooo much that he lets us fall so we can learn to get up. He respects us and our agency so much that sometimes stuff happens that we don't expect. I know that He is there helping us every second of the way. I know this because I have experienced it. I know he knows each one of us personally. We must learn to love Him like He loves us.
John 17:3 says 

And this is life eternal , that they might know thee the only true God , and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 

Love you all!!!
Elder H

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 97, Nogoya, Argentina

My new area

Our apartment

The kitchen

So this week was great! 

Last monday we had a Zone meeting in Parana and we talked about Trusting in God and it became my theme for the week. We talked about if we learn to TRUST in God, we will learn to forget our will and accept HIS. As we learn to trust in God, we will begin to ACT like God or His son Jesus Christ. We will become true saints and become instruments in His hands. Yesterday in our Priesthood  lesson we learned about the same thing! We read in John 5:30 that says, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." We need to learn how to trust in the Lord and put His will in front of ours. On Friday night we taught a lesson and it was 8:00pm when we finished so we had an hour before we had to be in the apartment. We went by a bunch of people that weren't there and then had 45 minute left. We looked at each other and said, "alrighty, its cold, dark, and a friday night..... ugh... Lets knock some doors!" haha so we got to talk to come people. Some weren't too happy to see us and some told us to come by another day but I felt content because I knew I was doing what the Lord expected me to do even though maybe I didn't want to bother people on a cold, dark, Friday night. I know that we need to go through these experiences in order to LEARN to trust in the Lord. May we each look for the Lords will every day. Proverbs 16:20 says, "Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."

Elder H

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 96, Nogoya, Argentina

Another week down! This week was pretty good! We were able to find a lot of people to teach, which was way cool. We're teaching a man named Omar. His son is actually a returned missionary that lives in Utah with his family. We knocked on his door and he happened to let us in. :) We got to talking and he said he never got baptized because he never has received an answer about the Boook of Mormon. He said he was always waiting for a sign or a dream of something like that. We were able to testify that God loves us enough to answer us through the Holy Ghost. We were able to teach him that the Holy Ghost does not always answer us with huge events like dreams or things like that but instead gives us answers through impressions like feelings or thoughts. He said that he doesn't think it's NOT true and we told him that that was his answer! He looked at us like we were a little crazy and then had the "ahhh ha" moment. :) We later were able to teach him about agency and the POWER we have to choose. Everything that surrounds us is God's, even our bodies, but the only thing that is ours is our agency. We are FREE to choose. I was 
reading in 2 Nephi 2:28...

28 And now, my Sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and harken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit

...when Lehi exhorts us to CHOOSE ETERNAL LIFE. Every decision that we make has two sides to it. We must be aware of both choices and CHOOSE the things that bring us good consequences. Elder Bennett said, "My dear brothers and sisters, your eternal destiny will not be the result of chance, but of choice. It is never too late to begin to choose eternal life!" Decisions determine destiny! 

I love you all!!! Thanks for writing!!!
Elder H

(Elder Hjelmstads Mom. Here's an interesting fact he shared with me:)

My area is probably the biggest I've had yet. We live in the middle and it takes 30 minutes to walk to the edge, so about an hour to cross the whole city.