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Monday, October 31, 2016

Me and Elder Molina

Taking a short cut! Haha
Good photo op!

Hello everyone! This week has passed by extremely quickly. My new companion’s name is Felipe Molina. He is from Chile, but lived in Spain for 10 years. He actually speaks English pretty well, so I have been helping him practice. He wants to go to BYU after his mission, and he has a soccer scholarship to go there. We are getting along really well and working really hard! We both are trying to set this change off with a very fast pace, so we left the house and just started talking with everyone. I have never talked with so many people in my entire life. On Friday, we managed to make 42 contacts.....that is like half of Uruguay. Haha.

My new area is pretty interesting! The ward is really nice and super supportive of the mission work! The area is huge!! We take the bus a few times every day to be able to work in the areas with investigators. I have a lot of streets to learn....Haha. Elder Molina and I are already seeing the blessings of talking with everyone! We are passing by a lot of future investigators this week, so wish me luck! Hopefully all of our plans don’t fall through!! but if they do...there are always doors to knock. Haha.

Have a good week everyone!
Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week---- Learn it, live it, share it.

I will try to include a story next week.....but I need to get to work!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Florencia is baptized!

Saying our goodbyes!
¡Me voy! 
I am headed out tomorrow morning! I am going to a new zone called Norte. My new companion is a Latino named Elder Molina....but that is about all of the details that I have on him for now. I am going to be super sad to leave this area. It feels like this is my home now. After six months, it feels like the members and investigators are my best friends. However, I am excited for the new adventure and new responsibilities that are waiting for me in Norte. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to help and serve other missionaries and I am excited to get to know another part of Uruguay!

This last week was very good. Florencia was baptized on Saturday. The service went perfectly! Then we had a testimony meeting after, and the testimonies were sooo amazing. It was a very spiritual and uplifting event. I felt soo happy the whole time. I was nearly on the verge of tears the whole time. Anyways, other than that, this week has been full of a lot of sad goodbyes. However, they are happy goodbyes.....I know that doesn`t make much sense....but as sad as I am to say goodbye to these people, I know that there are other people that are waiting that I need to find. I am very excited for Norte and the missionaries that are there! I will be sure to include more details about the area and my companion next week...but I got to keep this short, because I have to get home and pack!

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

Quote of the week: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” -The Pharisee and the Publican

Monday, October 17, 2016

Seeing Ester and Enrique before I go.
Me in a field! Haha
Opa Che.

Welllll..let's see....this last week was great!
Yesterday, while we were in church waiting for the sacrament meeting to start, the ward secretary called us over in front of one of our investigators named Geronimo. Then he was like ¨You guys need to give him a baptismal date! Give him a date right now!” ¨The reason that he is worried about getting baptized is because he isn´t working, and he is worried he won´t be able to pay tithing!¨.....So I said....¨If you aren´t making any don´t have to pay tithing....cause you aren´t earning any money.” Then my comp was like ¨We have a baptism on the 5th. Do you want to get baptized?¨ Well…. He accepted! What a strange…miracle!

My companion and I are working really hard and the Lord is rewarding us. Not in Baptisms, not in investigators, but because we are happy, and our knowledge and testimonies are growing! I am going to be very sad to leave this area....especially because the baptisms that we have planned out...are going to be after I am gone. It will be sad if I can´t make it, but at least they are going to be baptized!!

Oh! I almost forgot....The Bishop asked me to throw down a farewell talk, while I was eating lunch just a few minutes before the sacrament meeting. I had literally like 2 minutes to prepare a talk. They only scheduled two talks for the whole sacrament meeting! The first lady sat down with 25 minutes to spare......and then it was my turn. Haha. I am soo grateful that the Lord helps us by filling our mouths when we go to open them! 

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: ¨You have to give a talk on Agency.¨(Bishop) ¨Can I use my agency and say no?¨(Me)  ¨You can use you Agency in your next ward.¨(Bishop)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Me, Brian, the Caligaroli Family and Elder Ward

Hola! Este semana fue locaso, pero terminò bien de bien.

This week was great! It was full of up and downs, but it finished on a high note. We had lot’s of preparation for the baptisms on Saturday. Luckily, everything went great!! Familia Caligaroli and Brian were baptized on Saturday and confirmed members of the church on Sunday. I had the opportunity to baptize Brian. Luckily, I have been doing my exercises, so I didn`t leave him underwater. Haha. Actually, he said that I left him under longer than the other people. We told him that was because I was making sure he was really clean. Haha. 
Finding and teaching these wonderful converts has been an amazing experience and it goes to show that the Lord is always preparing people who are ready to listen and receive the gospel. 

Also this week, Elder Ward and I were walking around and we planned on passing by a members house to coordinate the baptismal service. She wasn`t home, so we turned around with like no plans...Then, we felt that we should pass a contact that lived close. We went to her house and when we knocked, she pulled out some chairs and started talking with us. We taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized. She accepted and committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She was able to go to church this Sunday. It is quite a miracle, because we didn`t even plan on passing by her house and we didn`t think that we were going to be in the area. I am glad that my companion and I were able to receive the prompting to pass by her house and teach her.

That about sums up my week. Haha.
I love you guys!
-Elder Vanderlinden

"To abide in God’s love in this sense means to submit fully to His will. It means to accept His correction when needed. … It means to love and serve one another as Jesus has loved and served us."

—D. Todd Christofferson, "Abide in My Love"

Monday, October 3, 2016

We decided to take some photos in a random trash field in our area with Elder Mason 
(the short one) and Elder Jones. They are both good friends of mine. 
Elder Jones is training Elder Mason.
I hope that everyone enjoyed the wonderful conference weekend that we had. I loved it! I was extremely touched by many of the talks and I know that our investigators were as well. If you guys didn`t get a chance to watch conference, I advise you to make the time and do it! I noticed that in this conference, it seemed like all of the speakers went back to the basics. Praying, reading the scriptures, going to church and enduring to the end. They also talked a lot about how good people pass through trials too. However, it is important to know that we can always find comfort and support in the gospel.

This week has gone by extremely fast! On Tuesday, we had interviews with our mission President. It was a great opportunity to meet with him and discuss his goals for the mission and for me personally as a missionary. 

One interesting story from this week: We have this one family of members with probably the biggest dog in the world. It is a dog from Brazil and apparently they use packs of these dogs to hunt Jaguars....sooo yeah it is a massive dog! It goes insane when we enter in the house, so the Dad has to leave and hold it back even though it is on a huge chain and it just pulls the Dad around. We went to visit them and we quickly ran in the house as the Dad was holding back the dog. Then, exhausted, he let it go. When it reached the limit of its chain, its collar snapped off...and the dog ran straight toward us. My companion quickly jumped to the other side of the table and the dog lunged at me. His huge head hit me right in the hip and almost knocked me over. I quickly swung my arm down and smacked the dog right in the side of the head. Then I grabbed its neck and shoved its face towards the ground...the Dad ran in and jumped on top of the dog like a horse and yelled for me to get back.....they were like hitting the dog and wrestling it so that it wouldn`t turn and attack me. Then I reached in my pocket and there was some of the dog food from his mouth.....that was a close one! 

-Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: "I am not losing you” -General Conference