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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hello!
I am here in Argentina! I am alive! haha. The flight was super crazy! There were 5 other missionaries that left Utah with me, and when we reached the Atlanta airport we met up with 6 other missionaries. We then had a overnight flight and landed in Argentina at 9 A.M. As we walked through customs and baggage claim, tons of people were trying to ask us questions, and yelling things that we needed to do.....and I just stared at all of them....and did not say a word. The MTC here is pretty nice. There are about 30 american missionaries and 40 Latinos. Immediately we started attending classes and studying the language. My companions name is Elder Taylor. He is from Kaysville. He is the district leader, and so he is super strict on the rules....It has been interesting to work with him....I can't say that much about him..because he is practically reading over my shoulder...but lets just say we have very different ways of doing....everything...Anyways.On our second day in the MTC Elder Taylor and I had to teach a practice lesson to a pretend investigator. The lesson is called a IP. We had to do it in all Spanish....It was extremely difficult because we wanted to say a bunch of stuff, but we couldn't, and whenever the investigator would ask us a question....we didn't know what the question was or how to respond..haha. I have had tons of funny experiences this week, along with a ton of spiritual experiences.
Spiritual///Every single day, we have a devotional, and there was one that stuck out to me in particular. We talked a lot about life, and there were a ton of great quotes. I am going to share a little bit about what I learned. The race of life is not a 100 meter dash. We are running a long distance race. Each of us have different ways to run the race. Sometimes the race is easy, and sometimes its very difficult. At some point...we will fall.....how long would it take you to get up? Have faith, and endure to the end.I know that my mission will be full of ups and downs, but I didn't come on a mission to start a race, I came to finish it.
Funny/// So this week in class we were asked to show pictures of our family and tell a story about them in all Spanish. We all proceeded to attempt to tell a story about our families to the class and show pictures. We got down to the last missionary, whose name is Elder Bowyer. He has a super serious girlfriend back home, and he is completely convinced that they are going to get married. Anyways, he walked up to the front of the class, and opened his book. As he was starting he yelled....Es Mi Novia! which means "Its my girlfriend". It was filled with pictures of him and his girlfriend kissing and stuff...and you should have seen the look on our teachers face. We all busted out laughing, and he flipped through page after page of pictures of his girlfriend. The teacher asked where the pictures of his family were...and it turns out...he didn't bring any. She got upset with him and said he was supposed to bring pictures of his family...He then tried to get out of getting in trouble by explaining that she was going to be his family...In two years. Another quick story is that the two strongest elders in the MTC, who are both wrestler, decided they were going to wrestle on the lawn. Everyone was watching them, including all the girls, and one of the elders python squeezed a very loud....fart...out of the other elder...It was insanely awkward...and everyone was silent for like a minute, and then we all just starting laughing until we were crying.  Haha. Anyways, there have been tons of funny moments, but its hard describing them because sometimes there are just things you have to be here to see.

The language is starting to come along. I try to talk to the locals a lot, but they speak super fast. There are lessons where I will understand every word, and others where I understand none of them...Learning the language is going to be difficult, but I am supposed to be here.

Every weakness you have is an opportunity for God to show His strength in your life.
Love you all,
Elder Vanderlinden

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