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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.