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Monday, February 29, 2016

Me and my new companion Elder Leano
¡Faa el tiempo pasa tan rapido!

I made it to my new area! This last week was pretty insane. On Wednesday night I got to my new area, Melo Sentinario B, and met my new companion Elder Leaño. He is from Bolivia. He is a very nice...very strange person. Haha. However, we get along well, and we teach together well. The next day we went to work. My new area is sooo different, there are rolling fields filled with cows and horses. The people here are suuuper layed back.The next day, we hopped on the 6 hour bus ride to return to Montevideo for a multi mission conference. We arrived at 6 o´clock and at 7:30…..Elder Bednar walked in. Elder Bednar spoke to us, and it was absolutely amazing! The spirit was so strong, and he taught so well. Then, he allowed missionaries to ask him questions. He answered all of the questions perfectly, and shared some incredible stories. It was a great conference. However, it ended at 10 o´clock at we boarded the buses....and drove back to Melo. We arrived at 4 A.M, went to bed....and then woke up at 6:30 A.M. and went about our day, after only having slept for two hours. Surprisingly...I was not tired at all. I know that the Lord definitely helped me out.

Anyways, this week has been pretty crazy, but super fun. I really enjoy my new area so far, and my new companion, and it seems like this area has some really good investigators. I am glad to be here! 
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The Optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Holding a Mate cup when no one was looking! 

Visiting some members. She is not mad, just really old!
Brazil Mission? 
Hello everyone! This week is transfer week! I am leaving Montevideo and going to a city called Melo. It is the Zone farthest North in our mission, and our zone touches Brazil! On P-days, the zone goes to Brazil! I am super excited, and it should be super unique. Tomorrow, I am going to hop on a 6 hour bus ride, and then I am going to meet my new companion. I don´t know much about him will be fun. He is a Latino, so hopefully that will help my Spanish out a lot, however, because I will be so close to Brazil, I may have to learn a little Portuguese. The people in Melo sometimes speak a mix of Spanish and Portuguese. 
I am a little nervous, but super excited to see my new area. However, I am also really sad to leave the area that I am in. To start out, I had some difficulties with the ward, and some of the members, because they didn´t support the missionaries very much, but over time I have grown to love them. It was a great area to start my mission. It was very difficult here, but that taught me a lot.

I hope that everyone has a great week! I will include some more details on my area, and my new companion next week...but as for right now....I know nothing. Haha

!Que pasa bien!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the Week- To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. -Anatole France

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My District

The Red Zone in our Area (Dangerous)

¡Hola, Espero que todos estan bien!

This week was super interesting. To start off the week, we went over to a less active members house that we are currently re-activating. He told us that he no longer believes in the Book of Mormon, or in the church, or anything.....We were a little unsure of what to do, or what to tell him. My companion just started bearing his testimony. After he was finished bearing his testimony, the man rejected everything that my companion had just said...and we left his house. We were extremely sad and worried for him. However, we felt good, because we did all that we could do. We bore testimony of the truth. Then, on Sunday, as we were waiting at the door, he walked in, went to all of the classes, bore his testimony, shared personal experiences, and was extremely happy! My companion and I couldn´t believe it was even the same person. He didn´t mention anything about what happened....I don´t know what changed his way of thinking, but I like to think that it was because of our testimonies. It goes to show that you never know the power of a testimony, until you share it.

Also this week, we have been working a lot with a less active named Carlos Bobadilla....He is super weird. Anyways, he was extremely upset because someone called him this week and said that his records weren´t in the computer, so he was an observer, and not a member of the church....He was very sensitive about the fact that he was considered a observer, and not a member. His baptismal papers were never entered into the 1998. That meant that if we didn´t find the papers, that he needed to get baptized again. He was extremely angry because he didn´t want to get baptized again. Eventually, we sorted out the whole mess, and convinced him to come to the church with us. When we walked into the church, a little old lady walked up to him and introduced herself, and then she said ¨Welcome to the church, how long have you been an investigator for?..Carlos responded..¨I am a MEMBER! I have been a member since 1998!! I AM A MEMBER¨......Haha. That question pretty much just wrecked all the work we did with him the whole week to calm him down.

This week has been full of….drama. Haha

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

Quote of the week ¨If you can´t explain it simply, you don´t understand it well enough¨.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Montevideo Temple

Eating ice cream again, with the other Elders.

Estoy moriendo con CALOR,

This week flew by....and man was it crazy! I want to start off by sharing a very interesting experience that I had. So this week we were talking to a few future investigators, while they were working on their house. We were explaining what a mission is, because they had a lot of questions. Then they began to ask about the church`s standards and views on drugs. “Do you guys smoke weed?”….."No...of course not,”  we answered. The man paused.... and said, “Follow me.” We followed him around the corner.....and then he showed us a large garden....overflowing....with weed...not weeds…..WEED! We haven`t made much progress with him yet. Haha

This week my companion and I had the opportunity to have a lesson with the President of the Montevideo West Mission. One of his recent converts lives in our ward, so we went to have a lesson with all of them. When we got to the house, President Smith asked Johnathon what he wanted to learn about. Johnathon said that he wanted to learn about the Priesthood. President Smith then turned, and said, "Perfect, the Elders are going to teach you." Then we walked in the front room where we were greeted by practically the whole family, and two youth from the area, who were invited to sit in on the lesson..that my comp and I were teaching, in front of a mission President.......Haha. We started off a little bit slow, but then the spirit completely took over. The lesson went amazing, and the spirit was extremely strong. President  Smith complimented me and said that my Spanish was incredible. I am confident that the only reason I was able to speak so well, was because of the gift of tongues. President then started helping us teach, and it went even better. What a great experience.

I hope all of you have a great week.
Elder Vanderlinden

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved” -Thomas S. Monson

Monday, February 1, 2016

At the mall e-mailing home.
Me and my companion on the bus.

¡Hola! Este semaña fue muy ocupado.

I hope that everyone is doing well. This week flew by pretty quick. This week I had a inter-cambio, where I went and stayed in another area in our mission. It was super fun to see a different area. While we were returning to the house, one of the neighbors stopped us and started talking to us. We asked if we could come in and talk to him. We talked about the restoration of the gospel, and taught him about the Book of Mormon. He accepted everything extremely well, and I was able to share my thoughts about the Book of Mormon. Every time I share my testimony about the Book of Mormon, it makes me realize how key it is in our lives. It can answer all of our questions, and calm our troubled minds. When we left, he promised that he would read it. I was so happy! He was what is called a ¨Golden Investigator¨. It is a shame it wasn´t in my area though.....Haha. 

This week we organized another soccer game on the church’s field. There were a ton of people that showed up! We had 17 people that wanted to play soccer. It was a great opportunity to get to know the youth in the area, and make friends. Most of the kids were around 18 years as you can comp and I got wrecked in soccer. I don´t know why....but even the smallest kids can destroy us in soccer...Haha. It was super fun though.

Anyways, this week was great. We are still doing our hardest to look for new investigators and get references, but I am confident that if we keep working hard and do our part, then the Lord will do his part. Sometimes, the days feel long, sometimes, the weeks are slow.....but even just a glimpse of success....makes you forget all of the bad, and just think about the good. I love the work, and I am learning to love the people. 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys!
-Elder Vanderlinden

"Real Difficulties can be overcome, its only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable"

-Theodore N. Vail