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Monday, December 26, 2016

¡Feliz Navidad! 
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It was so fun to be able to see my family. Christmas in the mission has really made me come to appreciate my family and friends. It has also given me the opportunity to realize the real importance of Christmas. Christmas should be more about giving, than recieving. We should also take time to reflect on all that we have been given. We have been given time, life, family, friends, a Savior, hope, and a way to return and live with our Heavenly Father again.

This last week has been full of ups and downs. It is pretty difficult to find people who are willing to recieve us during the holidays, but I am grateful for every chance that I get to share what I know about the Savior, and how much love he has for us.
I am loving my time here in Uruguay!

Love you all, have a great week!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "It is when we forget ourselves, that we do things that are most likely to be remembered." -?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Service project: Cutting down someone's jungle/ lawn

Making Chileno Completos with a member

Feliz Navidad!

First off, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! This past week has been full of fun! My companion and I planned a Zone Conference training, and it went really well! We got to know the missionaries in the Zone a little more, and it was a great way to start off the change. We were playing a game, asking questions to get to know each other, and the question for one of the Elders was, "What is your favorite food from Uruguay" or something like that. We were all spitting out answers, and joking around. Meanwhile, there was a member setting up stuff for a Christmas concert in the background. Just so you all know, here in Uruguay they pour a looootttt of oil on pretty much every food. So, I yelled out "Oil!"...Everyone went super quiet, when we realized that there was a Uruguayan in the room....what a awkward situation. This week I have just been kind of saying everything that comes to my mind, out loud. Another example is that we made a contact, and the lady didn`t want to talk to us and said "I out of here." and I without thinking  spurted out "We are out of here!" and turned around and started walking.....I was like whhyyyy did I just say that! Haha. 

Yesterday we had a Christmas concert in the Stake Center. It is a super big deal, and members from all over come to watch. They had a huge light and sound system set up. It looked more like a game show. Haha. It was tons of fun. However, it was kind of weird. There were a lot of non-members...haha. I hope they don`t think that Church is always like that. If so they are going to stand up during a talk and start dancing and clapping. Haha.

Anyways, I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas season! I also hope that you can remember the true meaning of Christmas. I love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Oh yeah...our investigators are doing good.

Quote of the week:  "In three words I can sum up everything I`ve learned about life; It goes on."  -Robert Frost

Monday, December 12, 2016

Preaching the good word!

¿El Espíritu de Navidad? 

This last week has been full of changes! On Wednesday, my comp and I traveled to the station to help with transfers and to help the new missionaries get to their areas. It was lots of fun to see a bunch of my buds, but it was kind of chaotic with so many missionaries. It was really easy to see which ones were new to the mission....because their eyes looked huge as they were looking around staring at everything for the first time. Haha. Then, on Friday, we had a ward Christmas party. It was a huge success. One of our investigators brought a lot of her non member friends and relatives, and our other investigators were there as well. The ward sang some Christmas songs and the youth did a little skit, and the primary did some songs and a nativity scene. It was fun! Then, on Saturday and Sunday, we had Stake Conference. On Saturday there was a meeting for the Priesthood leaders. The Stake President invited my comp and I, and it was a great experience. However, while he was talking, he said, "And here we have the Missionary Zone Leaders, Elders, what does section 4 of D&C say?”……yeah...he killed us with that one. We were not prepared....after a short silence we muttered words like “faith…" The Stake President finished the scripture for us. After our district office missionary was like "Hey, what's D&C 4? duhhhhhh...nice work" Hahaha. 
Looks like I need to do a little bit more memorizing. 

The Saturday night and the Sunday sessions were awesome. One talk that I really liked was about how we need to learn to be self-sufficient, not just temporally, but also spiritually. It made me reflect on how we need to be self sufficient, yet how we also need to completely depend on our Heavenly Father at the same time.

Also this week, we taught the word of wisdom to Paolo...He was like "That is hard, because I drink tea, coffee, alcohol, and I smoke weed..." My comp and I were are literally doing the opposite of everything. However, he said he is going to change!

I am doing great! I’m to get in the Christmas spirit even with the heat….….I’m trying.
Love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Uruguay Montevideo Mission
(Sorry, this is the best photo we had. I am under the sun:)

Va pa alli.
Hello everyone, I hope that you are all doing well. I am… I am also doing well! This past week was pretty crazy. My companion has been having some bad knee problems, so we went to the hospital to get a MRI on his knee and ended up getting home at 1 in the morning....then, yesterday we had to travel to the hospital and take the results to the doctor. I think they are going to give me a gold membership to the waiting room because I am there so much. Haha.

This last week we did a few changes with some of the other missionaries. It is always a great opportunity to get to know another missionary, and to see how they work. This last week our progressing investigator Rosario accepted a baptismal date! She finally opened up!!! My companion and I are really excited. She has changed a lot. I remember the first time we went to visit her, and she said that she didn`t want us to ask her any questions. She wanted us to teach, and she would listen....nothing else. It is amazing to see the change that the gospel can make in the lives of the people. She was always filled with a lot of doubts, and questions, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is helping her find all of the answers.

Also this week, one of our awesome investigators named Paolo took us behind his house to show us.....that he is growing weed....not awesome. Haha. That is going to be a problem. I am doing great, and having tons of fun. I am going to be staying here with my current companion for another change, and I am excited to see what we can do! 
Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
"Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him.”

-Bonnie D. Parkin