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Monday, August 29, 2016

"Old Town" Montevideo

Hey everyone!
This week was full of traveling. We had the opportunity to travel to the center of the mission and while we were on our way we stopped by “Old Town” Montevideo and took some quick photos in front of a historical statue and a government building. It was very cool to see a different side of Uruguay. The city was filled with huge buildings and tons of isn`t quite what I am used to. It was probably the first time that I have seen traffic of cars and not cows. Haha. Anyways, this week was also full of meetings. One was our temple conference. We were able to go through the temple, which was a great experience, then our Mission President talked to us. He focused on having the faith to work miracles. This is a topic that our mission has been focused on for a while, but it is paying off for sure. Just yesterday, family Caligaroli made it to church and they loved it! We are looking forward to teaching them more this next week.

This week has been extremely rainy and very cold. I heard that for every rain drop that hits your face, it means your wife will be more attractive. I certainly hope that is true...because I got destroyed by the rain. Apparently there was a level Orange storm warning....but we kept working. My companions umbrella snapped because the wind and rain was whipping so hard. Haha. Fun times! 

Well, I got to get to work! Have a great week everyone.
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Elder Ward, Jorge, and me!

       Jorge got baptized!!! This last Saturday we spent practically the whole day preparing the baptismal service. However, the hot water was barely trickling in the font. Even just a few minutes before the baptism, there was hardly any water in the font. My comp and I were praying that somehow the water would fill up in time. We started the service and when we opened the doors to the font, it was filled to the brim. Some people even commented that there was a lot more water than normal, which was a miracle. The baptism went great and on Sunday I was lucky enough to participate in his confirmation. What a solid end to a looong week.

I say this week has been long, because for some reason, this week we have found all of the people that don`t want to hear our message. It seemed like every door that I knocked on, there was someone waiting for me to tell me that I was wasting my time. Everyone took shots at our message. I walked away many times feeling sad. The reason that I was sad was because I was sorry that the people were so confused. However, after they didn`t accept our message, I tried to calmly share my testimony, tell them that God loves them, then move on. I know that there are people prepared to receive our message, I just need to pass these tests to show that I am worthy and ready to find them.

Elder Ward and I had some discouraging days, but we also had many miracles take place. I would like to share another one that happened yesterday. Last night we went to a lesson with a complete family and their neighbor that we are teaching. (They went to church!!). They were not we walked away disappointed. My companion suggested that we should offer a prayer so that they would be home. We said the prayer and were convinced that because of our faith, they would be home when we walked around the block to check again. We walked back to the house and  we knocked on the door....nobody answered. We knocked again, but still nobody answered. We slowly walked down the street....completely deflated. I was trying to think of something to tell my comp, and I broke the silence by saying, "We just have to accept the will and the timing of the Lord.” Before I could go on, a car honked at us from down the street. It was the family! We had a great lesson. We invited them to be baptized, and they accepted. Yippee!

Have a great week everyone!
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "I have learned that not shrinking, is more important than surviving." Neal A Maxwell


Monday, August 15, 2016

Fishing on P-day!

Faaa Ya Pasó una otra semana...

Hello everyone, 
I hope that you are all doing great! This past week was full of work! My companion and I are working hard to help the ward grow and to help our investigators progress. This week we have been focusing on finding people at all times. One day we were walking down the street and we said, “Alright, we are going to talk with all of the people we see, because we don't have any plans.” We played marbles in the street with a few little kids, and then we went back to talking to everyone. I stopped a man to talk and he told me how wonderful he thought it was that we took the time to play marbles with the kids in the street and that it touched him. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and he promised that he was going to read it. It was a great experience, because I thought we were wasting our time by stopping to play marbles with the kids, but it lead us to someone who was prepared to hear the message.

This week has been super crazy...but really fun. We also have a baptism coming up this Saturday!!!  I am really looking forward to that. Anyways, I don´t have much time to write, because we went fishing today for P- day. We didn't catch anything though....I guess that makes us “Fishers of Men.” Haha

Have a good week everyone!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: Learn it, live it, share it!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Picking up my new companion Elder Ward and seeing my trainer,
Elder Fonseca (2nd from the right)

Me and my new companion, Elder Ward

¡Encontré Oro!

I got a new companion! This last Wednesday, I had the privilege of welcoming Elder Ward from West Jordan, Utah to the Uruguay, Montevideo Mission field. I am super excited to be able to work with him. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for with his great faith. He is a very prepared missionary. Even in his first days, he was able to study for investigators and share scriptures with them and he also has had the confidence to make contacts in the street and on people`s front porches. I had to laugh, because he made a contact the other day and he introduced us and said we were missionaries. The lady wanted nothing to do with us and tried to respectfully decline. However, he didn`t understand, so he just kept explaining about the picture of the temple that was on the card. She said that she didn`t want to talk to us.....but....he continued...Haha. We have been making some hilarious contacts.

Something amazing happened this past week. A man invited us over to dinner, mainly because he wanted to talk about the United States, but he also has family members that are members of the church, so he wanted to have dinner with us. Then later in the week we were walking by his house and he called us in and sat us down. My companion didn`t really understand what was going on, so he told the whole family that he was going to share a scripture with them. They brought out some Book of Mormons. Then the man told me that the missionaries had taught their family before, but at that time they weren`t ready to recieve the gospel....but that now, they are ready! It was a great opportunity to find a complete family who is ready to progress in the gospel and receive the blessings that the Lord has in store for them. I was also surprised at the prompting that my brand new missionary companion received to share a scripture with them.....because I wasn`t even sure what I was going to share with them.

Have a great week everyone!
Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” 
-Vidal Sassoon

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My birthday was great! One of our investigators made me a really nice cake. It was awesome!
We had a party. Yippee!

!El tiempo pasa mas rápido cuando estoy escribiendo!

Hello everyone! I don`t have much time this week, because we just got done with our last zone activity. Alright, so changes came Sunday night. I am going to be staying in Las Piedras for the next three months! It is crazy to think that I am going to be here for 6 months of my mission. This Sunday a member of the ward gave a talk about how the Lord doesn't choose the people who are the most prepared, but the ones who can learn the most from the assignment. President Eddy called me on Sunday and hit me with a double whammy. Tomorrow I am going to travel to the mission center by myself without a comp and I am going to train a new missionary. I am extremely excited to train and it should be a great opportunity to learn. I am also the new district leader. I have been reflecting on that talk a lot these past few days....and I think it is totally true. I am excited for the new opportunities that I will have, but I also know that I have a lot to learn. Time to get to work!

Also, I wanted to share an experience that happened this week. We were in a lesson with a less active who smokes a ton. We explained that it was not good for her and her family, and that we could help her to stop. Then we did an experience called an “Answer by faith.” Well, thats what I like to call it. We said that we wanted her to open the Book of Mormon to a random page and verse and that if she received an answer, she needed to stop smoking in that moment. My comp asked her if she had the faith to receive an answer. She replied that she did, and quickly opened the book and pointed to a random verse. My comp read the verse and it said that you need to stop and repent, or you will be destroyed. She started balling....and a few minutes later, we left her house with her pack of tobacco. I don`t know how long she will be able to hold off from smoking, but it showed me how powerful the Book of Mormon is...and if we have sufficient faith, anything is possible.

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Food of the week: Mondongo----The rubbery lining of cow stomach. Super…….nasty!

Quote of the week: “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak