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Monday, April 25, 2016

Me and President Cook
Missionary Food Inventions! Bell peppers stuffed with cheese, fried onions, and bacon. Then you put the whole thing on a Sausage patty, top it with sauces and buns and eat it like a giant hamburger. Super healthy!

¡Ala la maura!

I hope that everyone is having a good week. This week was pretty eventful for me. First off, it has been raining close to every day, I mean really raining. There was a tornado last week, and the wind levels have been really high. Melo was on Red alert for the tornado, which scared all of the people. No need to worry though, the alert eventually went away. However, we have had some crazy storms!

This week we had a zone conference, which included interviews with our mission President. It was great to talk to him. It was my last interview with him, and my next interview will be with a new mission President. The night before the conference, the AP called me, and asked if he could work with me. So, after we had the conference, I went on splits with the AP. It was an amazing opportunity to work with him, and he taught me a lot. 

This week we have been knocking doors like crazy. I am starting to like the door contacts a lot. While making contacts, we walked past a soccer field full of teens playing soccer in the mud. The field was completely torn up, and they were running and sliding in the mud. They yelled to us, and said they needed two more players. Within seconds, my companion and I were running around on this trashed field, trying not to slip, in our dress shoes and white shirts. Haha. It was tons of fun. One time, I juggled the ball, and passed it to the center for a goal. When I juggled the ball and made the pass, everyone was a little stunned, including me. It was super funny!

This week was great, and it keeps getting better. I hope that all of you are having fun! I love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week ¨For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ...for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.¨¨ Romans 1:16

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jorge is Baptized!
As you can see.....he was a little nervous! Haha
I hope that everyone is having a great week! I am doing great! First off....Jorge was baptized!!! This last Thursday we had his baptismal service. He was super nervous, and I saw him silently praying while we were waiting for everyone to arrive. I felt prompted that I should go over, and offer a prayer with him, to help him calm down. The baptismal service went very well. The missionaries in our zone prepared a special musical number, and Jorge started crying when we started singing. Despite his nerves, the baptism went great. However, the water was a little chilly....Haha. Then, yesterday, he was confirmed a member of the church and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost. Over the past little while that I have been teaching him, I have seen a change in him. The gospel really can change lives! Yesterday, I also had the opportunity to speak in sacrament, and then help teach Principals of the Gospel....Man, they are working the missionaries here. Haha.

My companion and I are working....walking...a lot. Knocking doors and making contacts has been great.This last week I was able to go on two inter-cambios, so I was able to get to know my Zone leader Elder Mitchell from California, and another missionary named Elder Rodriguez from Peru a lot better. I tried some Peruvian food, which was super good! English class is going good. However, I don´t know if my students are learning....It is a very slow process...Haha. All they can remember is how to say "I like Tango"....which isn´t the most useful phrase.

¡Que Tengan una bunea semana!
-Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: "When we obey God´s commandments and involve him in our plans, we become who we need to become-not who we thought we wanted to be."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jefferson (a recent convert who baptized a friend) me and Silver

Me and Silver just messing around!

¡No es changa la cosa!

BAPTISM!  This last Saturday, I had the opportunity to baptize a 19 year old named Silver Perez. He is a super nice kid, and we get along really well. He loves basketball, and joking around. I have been helping him keep up with his goals for his baptism date, and because we have always been honest with each other, he asked that I baptize him. I was super excited! It was the first time I have ever baptized someone in my life. I was a little nervous, but as soon as I stepped into the water, my fears seemed to melt away. As I preformed the ordinance, it was incredible to think that when he came up out of the water...he was completely clean, free of all sins and worries. I felt so peaceful and happy. Our Heavenly Father doesn´t just want us to feel this joy and peace at our baptisms, he wants us to feel it all the time. It was a great experience.

Then, the next day at church, my companion and I were sitting in the congregation, and with seconds notice, they announced that we would be confirming 3 people members of the church, and giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost. Once again, that was a first for me. I have never preformed an ordinance like that before, but I didn´t feel nervous at all. As I put my hands on their head, I was completely calm, and I did my best to follow the promptings of the Spirit. What an amazing weekend, and what an amazing opportunity.

Other news--Jorge our investigator stopped smoking! His baptismal date is this Thursday. ¡Vamos arriba! 

Also, a less active member loaned us a guitar…so I have been learning how to play!

I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for supporting me on my mission.
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week ¨God does notice us, and he watches over us, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs¨- Ensign Dec. 1974

Monday, April 4, 2016

My New Zone!


Conference weekend! I just want to start off by saying that I loved conference. If any of you didn´t get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend that you go back and do so! The messages are inspired to help everyone individually. It is amazing!

Anyways, this week, I got a new companion. His name is Elder Santa Cruz, and he is from San Antonio, Chile. He is tall, chubby, and for the last 20 months of his mission, I don´t think he has stopped sweating. Haha. He is super loud, and super funny. He knows a ton about the scriptures, and teaches very well. He is very ¨flexible with the rules,” which we are going to have to work on a little, haha. However, overall he is a great person. We get along really well, and he is becoming a really good friend to me.

This week was filled with a few crazy experiences. One of them was that Elder Leaño forgot to set the alarm one of the nights, that was supposed to wake us up, so he could catch his 6 hour bus ride to the city. We woke up with minutes to spare, and as we were driving to the terminal, the bus left...... so he missed his bus to leave the city..... at midnight. However, our taxi driver was able to somehow beat the bus to one of its stops....Yeah...he drove really fast. Haha

This week, I am pretty short for time, so I can´t write that much, but I will try to include some more details, and some pictures next week. As for the work, our investigator Jorge, is having a lot of problems to stop sadly, he won´t be ready to be baptized this Saturday....but we are going to keep working with him, and hopefully we can make some progress. I love you all, and thank you for your support! 

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote- “When you´re on the right path, it will always be uphill.”  President Eyring