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Monday, May 30, 2016

At the zone conference

On our way back from the conference
De la calle,

How is it going in the 801?  I am doing great down here in the 598. This week we had a Multi-Zone Conference, and our mission President spoke to us for the last time. It was really sad, but it is incredible to see the love that he has for each one of the missionaries. He started crying when he admitted that he wondered who was going to take care of the new missionaries. Then he showed us a couple of photos of the new mission President. His name is President Eddy. He is from Provo Utah, and he is really young. He is around 40 years old. He is bringing a of couple younger kids with him to Uruguay. One of his sons is currently serving a mission in the Dominican Republic, and one of his daughters is studying at BYU Idaho....just in case you wanted to know a little about him.

Also this week our zone did an event called an “Open Church.” We opened up the church for visitors and people who are curious about what goes on in our church. We set up posters and banners to help explain brief summaries of gospel principles, and two missionaries were even dressed up in Baptismal clothes to inform the people. We walked around in the neighborhood, and tried to invite a bunch of people in the street. The whole event went really well!

Also....this week we found two new investigators. I am teaching one of them English. It was a very interesting experience, because he is blind. He went blind when he was 16 years old. He is now 30 years old. I had to change the way I taught him English because I couldn`t use any visual representations. The other investigator is his girlfriend....and she is 67 years old. I am not going to lie, I thought the lady was his mother, or even his grandma, but nope...its his girlfriend. Haha. They are really great people, and it should be really interesting to teach them.

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

Quote of the week: “Be miserable, or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it`s always your choice.” -Wayne Dyer

Monday, May 23, 2016

This is our investigator Fernando, and his family. We cooked dinner with them.

¡Este semana pasó volando!

¡Hola! This companion and I knocked a lot of doors....a LOT. I really enjoy knocking doors, because each person we talk to is completely different. As the door slowly opens, it makes me anxious to see who is on the other side. Unfortunately, if it is a Grandpa, they are always super grumpy. Haha. I made a contact with this grumpy geezer (No offense to all of my geezer loved ones Haha) and he didn´t want anything. I explained ¨Oh ok, thats fine, thanks. Do you know anyone around here that we could visit?¨ Then he responded, ¨Visit the whole world, I don´t care¨... and then quickly hobbled into his home.... Haha. Now, every single contact that we make counts as a contacted reference, which is boosting our numbers a ton! Haha just kidding.

This week has been super good. We found quite a few future and new investigators. One thing that my companion and I are doing, is at the end of the first lesson, we explain to the people that we don´t cook very well, and we want to learn how to cook some Uruguayan food. All of the people think they have some amazing traditional Uruguayan food, so they invite us over to dinner. It is a great opportunity to get to know the investigators. We try to help them cook the food, we eat with them......and then they are roped into listing to another lesson. Haha. It is great!

Also this week, we played soccer with the Elders in the ward again. It was super competitive, and they are all super good. However, nobody guards me at all. Like there is never anyone guarding me, they must think that I can´t even run. Haha. However, I got the ball on a break away, and I rocketed a goal in the top left corner of the net, and it surprised everyone. I am not gonna lie, I was even a little surprised myself. I also managed to score a header. So I am starting to gain some respect on the soccer field. Haha

I am having tons of fun down here! 
¡Vamo arriba!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
—Winston Churchill

This quote really applied this week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

My last Bishop and his wife. He is the professional chess player,
the one who destroyed me and the other Elders!
¿Que Comiste?
First off, I am in Las Piedras! My companion`s name is Elder Montiel and he is from Argentina. He has the same exact time in the mission as me, so we are a pretty young companionship. We are getting along really well. My new area is super sweet...and super huge! We can walk, forever. We have a few investigators, and we had three yesterday at Church. I don`t know that much about the investigators yet, except that a few of them are waiting on their marriage papers, and then they are ready to get baptized!

Also this week, we have been waking up at like 5:45, walking over to the church, and playing soccer in the mornings. It is super hard to get up that early, but I am enjoying the exercise. I am getting a lot better at soccer, however, we played with the priesthood group, and I got humbled, again! Haha. I will be playing a lot of soccer, because my companion loves it. 

This week I tried some interesting foods. The first one, is that I ate was actually really good. It wasn`t too flavorful though....and I am pretty sure Ostrich meat is illegal....but whatevs. Also, some members were telling us about this food called golfi. It is like a powder that you put in milk, and it is full of...idk..healthy stuff. It is the flour that comes from roasted corn. The husband wanted to give us some, so he gave us each a cup. It didn`t have any milk....and he put some sugar in it to make it sweet. I thought it was a joke...but I slowly ate a cup of corn flour and bueno! Haha. Anyways, I am having lots of fun. I hope you guys have a great week!
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:    “This isn`t missionary work. This is missionary fun
-Elder Neil L. Anderson

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I will miss my zone!

I will miss my friends in Melo!
¡Faaa los cambios me matò!

This week has been great! It was amazing to talk with my family on Mother’s day, and it made me super happy to see them. Also, this week we have changes....and....I am leaving Melo! I totally thought that I was going to stay, but I guess the Lord has work for me to do somewhere else. I am taking a bus tomorrow to Montevideo, and then I am headed to my new zone called ``Las Piedras``. I know literally nothing about it...and I have no clue who my new companion is...but I couldn`t be more excited! I know my new comp is from Argentina, and thats pretty much all I know about him.

This week our zone had divisions, and I was able to work with another Elder named Elder Carol from Arizona. We got along extremely well. We tried to head out to the most cowboy, farmer area we could find, because normally out there, people have never talked or seen missionaries before. Haha. We didn`t find anyone..... and pretty much the only thing that happened is two dogs started fighting with each other....however, we did feel like explorers trudging through the muddy fields.

Overall, it has been a busy..busy week. I am super sad to be leaving Melo, and the Guitar that we have in the house....but I am excited to see another part of Uruguay, and get to know more people! I should have more details next week!

I love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

`There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Monday, May 2, 2016

My zone leader playing the guitar and me drinking Mate'(not really) and playing the gourd.

Something that you see often in Uruguay!

Puertas....y mas puertas
Hello everyone! I hope that you all had a great week. This week was busy, as always. We knocked a lot of doors. I actually like knocking doors. It is always interesting to talk to a ton of different people, and hear all of their funny excuses. However, every once in awhile, it pays off. We found a younger family and the husband is really receptive. We are gonna pass by later this week, and I will let you know if anything happens. 

Also this week. My companion and I played the Bishop in Chess. The Bishop of our ward plays chess at a professional level. Haha. He has studied chess for many years, and he even wrote a book about chess. Sooo, we decided to challenge him to a match. The Bishop played against five of us at the same time, walking down a long table, and making a move on each board. He embarrassed each one of us, multiple times!!! After he won, he would explain why he won, and what we could have done, and why he still would have won. Very humble of him. Haha.

Other than that, it is starting to get really cold here. The weather is changing really drastically because of the tornado a little while ago....or so the people say. There is a rumor that it might snow in July, which is completely unheard of here. Nobody knows what the snow is like. This last week one day would be really hot, and the next day, cold. It is a humid cold, and the wind is always blowing, so it feels colder than it actually is. Not to mention, our house is a cement box. I don´t really mind it, because I always stay bundled up. But it is kinda funny to be able to see your breath inside of your house. Haha

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

Quote of the week- ¨Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.¨