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Monday, December 26, 2016

¡Feliz Navidad! 
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It was so fun to be able to see my family. Christmas in the mission has really made me come to appreciate my family and friends. It has also given me the opportunity to realize the real importance of Christmas. Christmas should be more about giving, than recieving. We should also take time to reflect on all that we have been given. We have been given time, life, family, friends, a Savior, hope, and a way to return and live with our Heavenly Father again.

This last week has been full of ups and downs. It is pretty difficult to find people who are willing to recieve us during the holidays, but I am grateful for every chance that I get to share what I know about the Savior, and how much love he has for us.
I am loving my time here in Uruguay!

Love you all, have a great week!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "It is when we forget ourselves, that we do things that are most likely to be remembered." -?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Service project: Cutting down someone's jungle/ lawn

Making Chileno Completos with a member

Feliz Navidad!

First off, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! This past week has been full of fun! My companion and I planned a Zone Conference training, and it went really well! We got to know the missionaries in the Zone a little more, and it was a great way to start off the change. We were playing a game, asking questions to get to know each other, and the question for one of the Elders was, "What is your favorite food from Uruguay" or something like that. We were all spitting out answers, and joking around. Meanwhile, there was a member setting up stuff for a Christmas concert in the background. Just so you all know, here in Uruguay they pour a looootttt of oil on pretty much every food. So, I yelled out "Oil!"...Everyone went super quiet, when we realized that there was a Uruguayan in the room....what a awkward situation. This week I have just been kind of saying everything that comes to my mind, out loud. Another example is that we made a contact, and the lady didn`t want to talk to us and said "I out of here." and I without thinking  spurted out "We are out of here!" and turned around and started walking.....I was like whhyyyy did I just say that! Haha. 

Yesterday we had a Christmas concert in the Stake Center. It is a super big deal, and members from all over come to watch. They had a huge light and sound system set up. It looked more like a game show. Haha. It was tons of fun. However, it was kind of weird. There were a lot of non-members...haha. I hope they don`t think that Church is always like that. If so they are going to stand up during a talk and start dancing and clapping. Haha.

Anyways, I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas season! I also hope that you can remember the true meaning of Christmas. I love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Oh yeah...our investigators are doing good.

Quote of the week:  "In three words I can sum up everything I`ve learned about life; It goes on."  -Robert Frost

Monday, December 12, 2016

Preaching the good word!

¿El Espíritu de Navidad? 

This last week has been full of changes! On Wednesday, my comp and I traveled to the station to help with transfers and to help the new missionaries get to their areas. It was lots of fun to see a bunch of my buds, but it was kind of chaotic with so many missionaries. It was really easy to see which ones were new to the mission....because their eyes looked huge as they were looking around staring at everything for the first time. Haha. Then, on Friday, we had a ward Christmas party. It was a huge success. One of our investigators brought a lot of her non member friends and relatives, and our other investigators were there as well. The ward sang some Christmas songs and the youth did a little skit, and the primary did some songs and a nativity scene. It was fun! Then, on Saturday and Sunday, we had Stake Conference. On Saturday there was a meeting for the Priesthood leaders. The Stake President invited my comp and I, and it was a great experience. However, while he was talking, he said, "And here we have the Missionary Zone Leaders, Elders, what does section 4 of D&C say?”……yeah...he killed us with that one. We were not prepared....after a short silence we muttered words like “faith…" The Stake President finished the scripture for us. After our district office missionary was like "Hey, what's D&C 4? duhhhhhh...nice work" Hahaha. 
Looks like I need to do a little bit more memorizing. 

The Saturday night and the Sunday sessions were awesome. One talk that I really liked was about how we need to learn to be self-sufficient, not just temporally, but also spiritually. It made me reflect on how we need to be self sufficient, yet how we also need to completely depend on our Heavenly Father at the same time.

Also this week, we taught the word of wisdom to Paolo...He was like "That is hard, because I drink tea, coffee, alcohol, and I smoke weed..." My comp and I were are literally doing the opposite of everything. However, he said he is going to change!

I am doing great! I’m to get in the Christmas spirit even with the heat….….I’m trying.
Love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Uruguay Montevideo Mission
(Sorry, this is the best photo we had. I am under the sun:)

Va pa alli.
Hello everyone, I hope that you are all doing well. I am… I am also doing well! This past week was pretty crazy. My companion has been having some bad knee problems, so we went to the hospital to get a MRI on his knee and ended up getting home at 1 in the morning....then, yesterday we had to travel to the hospital and take the results to the doctor. I think they are going to give me a gold membership to the waiting room because I am there so much. Haha.

This last week we did a few changes with some of the other missionaries. It is always a great opportunity to get to know another missionary, and to see how they work. This last week our progressing investigator Rosario accepted a baptismal date! She finally opened up!!! My companion and I are really excited. She has changed a lot. I remember the first time we went to visit her, and she said that she didn`t want us to ask her any questions. She wanted us to teach, and she would listen....nothing else. It is amazing to see the change that the gospel can make in the lives of the people. She was always filled with a lot of doubts, and questions, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is helping her find all of the answers.

Also this week, one of our awesome investigators named Paolo took us behind his house to show us.....that he is growing weed....not awesome. Haha. That is going to be a problem. I am doing great, and having tons of fun. I am going to be staying here with my current companion for another change, and I am excited to see what we can do! 
Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him.”

-Bonnie D. Parkin

Monday, November 28, 2016

You can call me Dan Jones.

Entera cansado!
This week has been...tiring. My companion and I did a little bit of traveling. He had to go to the doctor, so we had to travel to the big city to the hospital. When we were returning, we saw a Burger King....and we couldn`t pass up the opportunity to eat some American fast food....BIG mistake! We were bed ridden for a chunk of the next day.  
Other than that, this week has been work, work, work. On Saturday, my comp, some other Elders and I set up a stand in the street market. My comp and another missionary played guitar and sang christmas songs, meanwhile my job was to call everyone to repentance. Haha just kidding. It was a great opportunity to talk with everyone and try to share the gospel. I tried to not fear anyone, and talk with them regardless of what they looked like. I mostly just got sunburned.

Then, on Sunday, my companion and I were super tired at church and honestly, we were really disappointed, because none of the new investigators showed up to church. I was a little confused, because I felt that I had worked so hard...and I wasn`t seeing my work pay off. However, one of our investigators pulled us aside. Her name is Rosario. We have been working with her for about a month and a week now. We invited her to be baptized like a month ago, but she rejected us, and every since....we have just been kind of waiting to see what happens. Anyways...she pulled us aside, and was like..."I have been thinking about why I should get baptized, and I received my answer, so I want to be baptized.”..Wow! Our Ward mission leader nearly jumped out of his seat when he heard the news! It made me realize that the Lord was preparing blessings for the hard work that we were putting in. However, I want to make it clear, that blessings, most of the time, aren`t baptisms. A lot of the time the blessings are the things that I can learn from the hard moments, or the things I can get better at.

I hope that you all have a great week! I am doing great!
Quote of the week "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” -Will Rogers
Love you all,

-Elder Vanderlinden

Monday, November 21, 2016

Elder Molina and I at Zone Conference 
Missionaries! Haha.

This week I had the incredible opportunity to shake the hand of Elder Rasband, from the Quorum of the twelve . We had a multi-mission conference, and it was amazing! I feel like he really lifted the spirits of every missionary. You can really feel the power that he has as a servant of the Lord by hearing his testimony, shaking his had, and looking in his eyes. He had a warm glow to him. He expressed the love that he and the other members of the twelve have for the missionary work. Among the many things that I was able to learn from him, is that he said that missionaries come on missions for many different reasons. Some for good reasons, other for....different reasons. He expressed that it doesn`t matter why we came....what is important is that we are here, and by the time we go home, we will know that we were here to serve the Lord.
My companion and I are doing great, and working really hard. The Lord is blessing us in lots of ways! Not baptisms.....but....I mean Blessing are blessings! Haha

Here is a funny experience that happened.

This week in church, during the sacrament meeting, it was super silent and peaceful, but there was a small electronic buzz quietly playing on all of the speakers, from the microphone. One of the Bishops counselors stood up to fix the microphone and everyone was watching him. (The first counselor to the Bishop reminds me of Goofy....just to give you an idea. He kinda looks like Goofy too...Haha). Anyways, he went to adjust it and when he did, the quiet buzz turned into a loud...LOUD static playing on all of the speakers. He quickly tried to wiggle the microphone into place...but it took him like 20 seconds. Everyone was staring at him and laughing, while he tried to fix it. I think everyone completely forgot about the sacrament.
I thought it was funny.

Have a great week everyone! I love you all!
Quote of the week-- "Don`t be a whiner…..Its actually a mockery of God if you are"-Elder Rasband

-Elder Vanderlinden

Monday, November 14, 2016

Splits with the assistants.

FHE with a really rich family. haha
¡Uruguay no mas!

Hey everyone!

Phew! This last week was a busy one. On Thursday, we had a multi-zone conference with our Mission President. It was in our church building, so we had to find lunch for 37 people….which was a lot of work. Everything went super smoothly though. Then after the conference, we went with the Assistants to do splits with them for the day. It was tons of fun! I left with Elder Ford, from Payson, Utah. We found a man named Eduardo while we were walking around talking with people in the street. He was really friendly and we set up an appointment with him later in the day. We found his house, just as it was getting dark outside. He invited us in and introduced us to his mother and sister. Eduardo and his Sister are both around 45 years old, and their mother is a nice elderly woman. We started to teach them about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. As they participated in the lesson, they accepted everything. We were like.....wait...what?....this is too easy. So, we invited them to be baptized…..Haha. It looks like the Assistants have three more baptisms planned for December. What a miracle! 
Elder Molina and I are finding a lot of new investigators. We are going to work hard with them to get them to go to church. We found a younger dad named Matias. He is really awesome! Well....I mean...he couldn`t make it to church he is kind of awesome....Haha

I have heard that Donald Trump is President, mainly because people yell, "Donald Trump” when they drive past me….Haha. They also yell "Harry Potter" though.....I don`t know why they yell that....but for some odd reason they yell that at me a lot. Haha.

Anyways, Have a great week everyone!

Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: “ We are all in this together. With fellow ward members and missionaries, we plan and pray and help one another. Please keep the full-time missionaries in your thoughts and prayers. Trust them with your family and friends. The Lord trusts them and has called them to teach and bless those who seek Him.” -  Elder Neil L. Andersen

Monday, November 7, 2016

My new zone 
Helga and Gheronimo get baptized

Me, Helga, Elder Ward, and Elder Cole

Wow! What a hot week. So apparently I don`t tan very well....I just burn. Haha. Anyways, this past week we had the opportunity to meet with President and listen to his plans for the mission. It was awesome to be able to hear his inspired vision and put down some goals to be able to accomplish it. Then, later in the week, Elder Molina and I had the opportunity to train the zone based off of the vision that President had conveyed to us. It was super fun. Other than that, this week has been pretty difficult. Elder Molina and I have been walking a lot. We had our days full of futures, and lesson after lesson kept falling through. However, we just kept walking and trying. On Sunday, we were dragging our feet a little bit and we tried to make one last push to end off the week. We knocked on a futures door and the husband said "You can come in if you want, but I am already telling are wasting your time.” We entered and just started testifying and sharing about the importance of family. We asked if we could say a prayer with them and when we ended, the mother of the family was in tears. It was a great experience, because after a harrrd week, we had finally found some people ready to receive the gospel. 

I also had the opportunity to travel to my old area to see my Oro Elder Ward and his new comp, Elder Cole. Two of the investigators that I had the opportunity to teach were baptized this last Saturday! It was an amazing baptism and I’m grateful I could be there.

Also this week...
I got eaten alive by mosquitos during a lesson. My comp and I were trying to slap them away as much as we could, but they killed me.....we also looked like fools because like every ten seconds we were slapping ourselves….Haha. Also, a drunk man stopped us in the street and explained to us that he had just had surgery and lifted up his shirt to show us his scars. There was a bag connected to a hole in his stomach...and the bag had like his organs in it or something. It was super almost made my comp and I sick.....I am pretty sure he did home surgery…..YUCK! Haha. 

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: “The Lord will shape the back to bear the burden that is placed on it.” - President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, October 31, 2016

Me and Elder Molina

Taking a short cut! Haha
Good photo op!

Hello everyone! This week has passed by extremely quickly. My new companion’s name is Felipe Molina. He is from Chile, but lived in Spain for 10 years. He actually speaks English pretty well, so I have been helping him practice. He wants to go to BYU after his mission, and he has a soccer scholarship to go there. We are getting along really well and working really hard! We both are trying to set this change off with a very fast pace, so we left the house and just started talking with everyone. I have never talked with so many people in my entire life. On Friday, we managed to make 42 contacts.....that is like half of Uruguay. Haha.

My new area is pretty interesting! The ward is really nice and super supportive of the mission work! The area is huge!! We take the bus a few times every day to be able to work in the areas with investigators. I have a lot of streets to learn....Haha. Elder Molina and I are already seeing the blessings of talking with everyone! We are passing by a lot of future investigators this week, so wish me luck! Hopefully all of our plans don’t fall through!! but if they do...there are always doors to knock. Haha.

Have a good week everyone!
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week---- Learn it, live it, share it.

I will try to include a story next week.....but I need to get to work!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Florencia is baptized!

Saying our goodbyes!
¡Me voy! 
I am headed out tomorrow morning! I am going to a new zone called Norte. My new companion is a Latino named Elder Molina....but that is about all of the details that I have on him for now. I am going to be super sad to leave this area. It feels like this is my home now. After six months, it feels like the members and investigators are my best friends. However, I am excited for the new adventure and new responsibilities that are waiting for me in Norte. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to help and serve other missionaries and I am excited to get to know another part of Uruguay!

This last week was very good. Florencia was baptized on Saturday. The service went perfectly! Then we had a testimony meeting after, and the testimonies were sooo amazing. It was a very spiritual and uplifting event. I felt soo happy the whole time. I was nearly on the verge of tears the whole time. Anyways, other than that, this week has been full of a lot of sad goodbyes. However, they are happy goodbyes.....I know that doesn`t make much sense....but as sad as I am to say goodbye to these people, I know that there are other people that are waiting that I need to find. I am very excited for Norte and the missionaries that are there! I will be sure to include more details about the area and my companion next week...but I got to keep this short, because I have to get home and pack!

Have a great week! I love you all!
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” -The Pharisee and the Publican

Monday, October 17, 2016

Seeing Ester and Enrique before I go.
Me in a field! Haha
Opa Che.

Welllll..let's see....this last week was great!
Yesterday, while we were in church waiting for the sacrament meeting to start, the ward secretary called us over in front of one of our investigators named Geronimo. Then he was like ¨You guys need to give him a baptismal date! Give him a date right now!” ¨The reason that he is worried about getting baptized is because he isn´t working, and he is worried he won´t be able to pay tithing!¨.....So I said....¨If you aren´t making any don´t have to pay tithing....cause you aren´t earning any money.” Then my comp was like ¨We have a baptism on the 5th. Do you want to get baptized?¨ Well…. He accepted! What a strange…miracle!

My companion and I are working really hard and the Lord is rewarding us. Not in Baptisms, not in investigators, but because we are happy, and our knowledge and testimonies are growing! I am going to be very sad to leave this area....especially because the baptisms that we have planned out...are going to be after I am gone. It will be sad if I can´t make it, but at least they are going to be baptized!!

Oh! I almost forgot....The Bishop asked me to throw down a farewell talk, while I was eating lunch just a few minutes before the sacrament meeting. I had literally like 2 minutes to prepare a talk. They only scheduled two talks for the whole sacrament meeting! The first lady sat down with 25 minutes to spare......and then it was my turn. Haha. I am soo grateful that the Lord helps us by filling our mouths when we go to open them! 

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: ¨You have to give a talk on Agency.¨(Bishop) ¨Can I use my agency and say no?¨(Me)  ¨You can use you Agency in your next ward.¨(Bishop)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Me, Brian, the Caligaroli Family and Elder Ward

Hola! Este semana fue locaso, pero terminò bien de bien.

This week was great! It was full of up and downs, but it finished on a high note. We had lot’s of preparation for the baptisms on Saturday. Luckily, everything went great!! Familia Caligaroli and Brian were baptized on Saturday and confirmed members of the church on Sunday. I had the opportunity to baptize Brian. Luckily, I have been doing my exercises, so I didn`t leave him underwater. Haha. Actually, he said that I left him under longer than the other people. We told him that was because I was making sure he was really clean. Haha. 
Finding and teaching these wonderful converts has been an amazing experience and it goes to show that the Lord is always preparing people who are ready to listen and receive the gospel. 

Also this week, Elder Ward and I were walking around and we planned on passing by a members house to coordinate the baptismal service. She wasn`t home, so we turned around with like no plans...Then, we felt that we should pass a contact that lived close. We went to her house and when we knocked, she pulled out some chairs and started talking with us. We taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized. She accepted and committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She was able to go to church this Sunday. It is quite a miracle, because we didn`t even plan on passing by her house and we didn`t think that we were going to be in the area. I am glad that my companion and I were able to receive the prompting to pass by her house and teach her.

That about sums up my week. Haha.
I love you guys!
-Elder Vanderlinden

"To abide in God’s love in this sense means to submit fully to His will. It means to accept His correction when needed. … It means to love and serve one another as Jesus has loved and served us."

—D. Todd Christofferson, "Abide in My Love"

Monday, October 3, 2016

We decided to take some photos in a random trash field in our area with Elder Mason 
(the short one) and Elder Jones. They are both good friends of mine. 
Elder Jones is training Elder Mason.
I hope that everyone enjoyed the wonderful conference weekend that we had. I loved it! I was extremely touched by many of the talks and I know that our investigators were as well. If you guys didn`t get a chance to watch conference, I advise you to make the time and do it! I noticed that in this conference, it seemed like all of the speakers went back to the basics. Praying, reading the scriptures, going to church and enduring to the end. They also talked a lot about how good people pass through trials too. However, it is important to know that we can always find comfort and support in the gospel.

This week has gone by extremely fast! On Tuesday, we had interviews with our mission President. It was a great opportunity to meet with him and discuss his goals for the mission and for me personally as a missionary. 

One interesting story from this week: We have this one family of members with probably the biggest dog in the world. It is a dog from Brazil and apparently they use packs of these dogs to hunt Jaguars....sooo yeah it is a massive dog! It goes insane when we enter in the house, so the Dad has to leave and hold it back even though it is on a huge chain and it just pulls the Dad around. We went to visit them and we quickly ran in the house as the Dad was holding back the dog. Then, exhausted, he let it go. When it reached the limit of its chain, its collar snapped off...and the dog ran straight toward us. My companion quickly jumped to the other side of the table and the dog lunged at me. His huge head hit me right in the hip and almost knocked me over. I quickly swung my arm down and smacked the dog right in the side of the head. Then I grabbed its neck and shoved its face towards the ground...the Dad ran in and jumped on top of the dog like a horse and yelled for me to get back.....they were like hitting the dog and wrestling it so that it wouldn`t turn and attack me. Then I reached in my pocket and there was some of the dog food from his mouth.....that was a close one! 

-Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: "I am not losing you” -General Conference 

Monday, September 26, 2016

My District!
Hola! I hope that everyone had a good week.
     As I was walking this last week...I realized something interesting. As a missionary, whenever I think of a destination....I calculate how many minutes it would take me to get there walking and I don´t even take into account if I will have enough energy to get there. I have become sooo use to walking, that it isn´t even exercise anymore. I am pretty sure that’s why I am able to walk like 10 miles and still gain weight. Haha. My companion and I did a lot of walking this past week, a lot of contacting and we knocked a lot of doors. It was a good experience and we were able to find some miracles.

One cool experience from this past week:
      The family we are teaching wanted to get baptized this Friday. We changed the date of the baptism until the 8th, because of General Conference, so that they can be confirmed the day after. I walked up to tell the Bishop this and Brian our other investigator said jokingly, “Tell them I am getting baptized too…Haha.” So I walked up and told them. To his surprise, they announced his baptism. We passed by later that night and he was a little bit surprised about the baptism date....but it was the little push that he needed. We have family Caligaroli and Brian with baptismal dates for the 8th! So we are going to be working a lot with them these next few weeks. Also, we are going to be making a lot of contacts..because after they get baptized.... we are going to need some new investigators. Haha

I am doing good, and having fun! Have a great week everyone.
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only having more of it than the next man.”---C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 19, 2016

A non-member made this for me. Jesus in Uruguay!
My Zone
¡Un otro gran día en la misión Uruguay Montevideo!

Hello everyone,
This last week, 50 other missionaries or so and I had the opportunity to listen to the Area 70 for South America South, named Elder Texiera. He spoke to us about the importance of giving out as many Book of Mormons as we could and trying to use the Book of Mormon more in our contacts. He gave us an example of the effectiveness of using the Book of Mormon as opposed to a pass along card. He explained it like this, "Here is a card with a small picture on it of a book that could change your life......Here is a picture of a huge ice-cream that is really yummy"....and "Now here is the real thing. The real book, and the real ice-cream" Which ones do you want? I have left the house to work with a Book of Mormon in my hand since then, not tucked away in my backpack. Then his wife spoke to us and totally just raked us over the coals. Luckily, I consider myself an obedient missionary, but even then I felt a little guilty. Haha. He built us up and she tore us down...What a good team.

Anyways, this week was also ward conference. There were 142 members in the church! That is a very large increase from just a short time ago. I am very excited for the miracles that we are having here in Uruguay! Just to give you guys an update on the family that we are teaching, they had a baptismal date scheduled for the 8th, but the father has asked that we baptize him sooner. We are in the process of preparing all four of them to be ready to get baptized the 1st of October.

Interesting story from this week---We were teaching a lesson to a man named Ce maria during a thunder storm...It was raining really hard and the wind was going crazy. His roof, like most, are made of a tin tin, that bounces up and down and sometimes flies off during storms. As you can imagine, it was very loud inside his house. The power got knocked out and it was completely so dark that I couldn´t see my hands in front of me. We had just met this guy...and I seriously couldn´t even see him in front of me.....I kind of got a little nervous and uncomfortable. Then his cell phone light turned on...and just illuminated his eyes a little bit.....(He has dark skin). It gave me the creeps! After we left the comp and I both looked at eachother and said....I thought we were going to die! He creeped us right out, and didn´t even try!

Have a great week,
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: ”Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all” -Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Newleweds!
Ester is Baptized!
This week was very eventful and also very rainy. First off, Ester and Enrique got married on Tuesday. It was tons of fun to see how happy they were. We threw rice at them after the ceremony. I know you are supposed to throw the rice up in the air, but we more just threw large handfuls of rice at them. I don`t really understand that tradition.....
Then, on Saturday, Ester got baptized! Enrique is already a member, but now his new wife is too!! Ester can`t really bend her knees that I hopped in with Elder Ward to help baptize her. As she was bending backwards, she sat down on my knee, like a chair and I just dunked her under really quick. I am pretty sure I got almost as wet as her. Haha. Then after she went up and bore her testimony that this is the true church!! Unfortunately, Elder Ward and I were in the bathroom drying our shirts....because we didn`t bring extras, thinking that we would only get wet to the shirt was soaked to my neck......I walked home with a wet shirt....Haha but the baptism was a fun experience.

Family Caligaroli want to get Baptized the 1st of October!! I am praying that they will be ready by then. I am going to be staying in this area for 1.5 months more, so hopefully I will be able to help them be prepared to take this important step.

This week, I am extremely grateful for the Priesthood and having the ability to serve others. I was able to confirm Ester on Sunday and that same day, I had the opportunity to give two blessings of health. Priesthood power is real. We have to use it!

Have a great week everyone,
Elder Vanderlinden

Thought for the week: Cast not away therefore your confidence. 
Hebrews 10:35

Monday, September 5, 2016

Elder Ward and I at the Uruguay, Temple
Cooking Asado

Nada nada empanada! 

I hope that all of you are doing well and that you all had a good week. This week went by really quickly in Uruguay....It feels like I was just writing you guys a few minutes ago.... 

This last week was really sweet. We finished preparing Ester for her baptism, so everything should be good to go for her baptism this Saturday. She is going to get married this Tuesday....and then baptized this Saturday. Haha. 

Elder Ward and I had an eventful week. We had to head to Montevideo for a conference with our Mission President. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning to take the train and the bus to get there in time. My eyes were pretty tired during the conference, but it went really well. Our President focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon and applying it more in our teaching. That is something that I am working on a lot. My love for the scriptures is growing so much, considering the fact that I didn`t even like to read before my mission. It is incredible that I can`t stop reading. After the conference we went to the Distribution Center to buy a couple items, and we found a beautiful leather bound book called Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage. The book was super cool! The lady at the front desk explained that it was a really rare book. Apparently it is a Christmas gift from the Apostles. It was really expensive, so I put it back and started to leave. A man walked in and stared at the book for a second  (I could tell that this man didn`t have a lot of money, by the way he was dressed......)  and he said, “Wow!  This is a beautiful book isn`t it?” I responded, “Yeah, it is incredible.” He walked up to the counter and purchased the book. Then as I was leaving. He stopped me and said, “Hey where are you going?”  He then explained that the book was all about faith......and he handed it to me. He told me he wanted to thank me for my mission service and for everything we do as missionaries. I almost started crying..I was completely shocked. I tried to refuse the book, but he wouldn`t  take it back. I love the Uruguayan people. Even when they yell at me, spit at me, throw rocks at me. I am starting to love this country more and more each day.  

I still love the USA though. 

Have a good week everyone,

Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week:  “See that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.