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Monday, August 7, 2017

Everyone pretends to shoot whoever is going home next! Guess that's me. Haha

Our last assignment was to cook dinner for our zone conference. 
Good thing our bishop is a chef.

We went on an adventure for my last p-day to a place called La quebrada de los cuervos.

See you all soon!

La Uruguaya Misión Querida,

I would like to take a moment and thank you all for the love and support you have given me during these last two years. Thank you for your prayers, letters, and encouraging words. My mission experience has been changed because of it.
It has been an amazing opportunity to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to serve him here in this wonderful country. Although I won’t always carry a plaque on my chest, I will always have his name engraved in my heart.

I would like to share with you all my humble testimony that I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. I know that this is the church with the priesthood power to make covenants and promises with God that will last for the eternities. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, was crucified, and on the third day rose from the dead. "He lives! All glory to his name! He lives, my Savior, still the same. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!"
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
-Elder Vanderlinden

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Monday, July 31, 2017

A member made me a cake for my birthday!

20 candles for me!

A zone activity where we had to get a piece of bubble gum out of a pile of flour and see
who could blow the first bubble. It was fun!

It is crazy to think that my time here in Uruguay is coming to an end. This past week was great! We were able to find some new investigators. My companion was "sick" which made it a little bit harder to work, but I pushed him really hard and we were able to knock a lot of doors in our area. My birthday was pretty good. We were able to find some new investigators which was a nice little birthday present from heaven. Haha 

There is a volleyball team that has been using the church as their practice court. We always try to throw something spiritual in there before they start the practice and this last week we managed to get them to watch a Mormon message and it seemed like they really liked it. It is really interesting to be teaching a group of like 20 people at the same time. Haha

My companion and I are pretty slammed planning a multi-zone conference lunch. We`ll see how it turns out... 

I hope that all of you are having a great week! I will be writing my final update next week!
Nos vemos!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ...for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes." -Romans 1:16

P.s. I have figured out a trick.  Every time I get a craving to eat or I want something sweet to snack on, I pause and I watch my companion eat....just for a couple seconds...and my desire to eat food completely disappears. He would be a great help to anyone looking to go on a diet. Haha
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Leadership meeting with President Eddy and his family.

A really cool bridge!

Happy Pioneer Day!

I am missing the fireworks a little bit today, but that is okay. This last week went by really quick. We were able to find a decent amount of new people to teach, which was nice. On Monday night I was walking in the street and talking with my companion about how I wasn't sure if I remembered how to hold a conversation in English. Just a few minutes later we were contacting a man and he directed us towards another man who had long blond hair. We started up a conversation with him. His Spanish wasn’t very good and I could tell that he wasn’t from South America. We asked him where he was from and he said he was from the Netherlands. I presented myself as Elder Vanderlinden (My last name is Dutch) and this man’s face lit up. He started speaking to me in Dutch and I had no clue what he was saying. I tried hard to remember the few Dutch words that my father had taught me and I remembered these words, "Egg Shmack a Lick.” (I have no clue how to spell it) Which means "Enjoy the food" or something like that. So I said it. Then he started speaking more Dutch and I wasn’t able to pick up very much. Then I started talking to him in English and sure enough he also knew English. Another blonde man walked over and the Dutch man that I had been talking to said, "Hey look, he is my dutch friend,” and he put his arm around me. Then they started speaking Dutch to me again. I responded with "Egg Shmack a Lick.” We had a good laugh. I was able to make the contact with them in English and as we walked away my comp was like, " wanted to know if you could hold a conversation in English...there you have it!”

To end off the week we had a ward activity in the park. We played soccer, frisbee, and had a scavenger hunt that we set up. We also had a large BBQ. It was lots of fun.

I am doing great! Have a good week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden
Quote of the week: "The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so, but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, of hunger, and mosquitos and silly people.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Count the blessings that you have instead of the ones that you want!

Love you all!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Did I mention that we had to ride the bus to Montevideo.....again?

At least we had a good view.

A Montevideo otra vez.

Ooopa Che! (the couch)
This past week was great despite the fact that Elder Cabrera and I had to travel to the city again. Luckily, the next time I have to make that trip will be my last. He had to go sign some documents, so I pretty much just had to wait around all day. 

This week we were able to find some new people to teach which was awesome. Also, to end off the week we decided to head out to a village that is pretty far away. There is a ward over there with about 5-10 active members. We went out there to see if we could help them out a little bit. There are only a couple of buses that head out there, so we made the decision to stay until the last bus, that would pass by right before the end of the day. It was kind of an interesting decision to stay until later, considering that we didn’t know where we were...but we decided to stay. We felt like there was something there that we needed to do. We roamed around and talked with people and we were able to serve a few people. Late in the night, we found a little old lady that was sooo happy with our visit. When we walked in the door I saw a picture frame of the First Presidency hung on her wall. She said she never would have imagined that the missionaries would pass by to visit her. (They took out the Elders from that village a while ago.) She was thrilled by our visit! I am glad that the Lord was able to use us to cheer her up.
Y si?

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

Quote of the week: "What we do and don’t do really matters because actions have consequences as does inaction." -Elder L. Whitney Clayton

Monday, July 10, 2017

Our recent convert, Andres
My new area
¡Pasamos demasiado tiempo en el omnibus!

Hey everyone how are you all doing?
This last week was great. I really like my new area. It is out in the countryside. Everyone here is super laid back, and compared to the city where I used to work it seems like everyone here is living their life in slow-motion. Haha. Everyone walks down the street slowly. People drive their cars slowly. There is no rush to go anywhere to do anything! Haha. It is awesome. It is also really safe here. Everyone leaves their doors open even when they aren’t in their houses. The other day we knocked a door and it swung open but nobody was home. There are also a lot of cowboys here. It is funny to see someone dressed up like they are from a wild wild west movie walking around in a super market. "This supermarket ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

Elder Cabrera and I are getting along and we are working well. When I got here we finished up the lessons of one of our investigators, and we baptized him this last weekend! His name is Andres and he is really cool. We are working with quite a few other people so I am really excited for what happens this last change!
See you all soon!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Missionaries on Sunday
Missionaries on p-day

¡Me voy a 33!
Happy 4th of July!!!! AMERICA!!!!!
My companion and I decided to celebrate the 4th of July by making some awesome steaks, some amazing mashed potatoes and some stuffed grilled bell peppers. It was amazing! 

Changes got here, and I am headed out! It looks like I will be spending my last weeks in a place called Olimar, 33. It is really far away and there are a lot of gauchos (Cowboys) out there. So it looks like I will be teaching to the people out in the countryside. I am excited! It will be a huge change from where I am at right now, because I am currently in the city and I am headed very far away from the city. I had no clue that I would be changing areas for my last change, but I am sure that the Lord has something there for me to do. I will be living with only Latinos, so hopefully I can come home with my Spanish in tip top condition. I don’t know how well my English is going to be though.

I am doing great. Time is flying by super quickly. I don’t have much time to write today because I have to get back to the house and start packing. This last week Elder Childs and I have been working really hard. We were able to learn "Long suffering"....Looonnngg Suffering!Hahaha. This last week really helped me develop more patience and endurance. I am grateful for the gospel in my life and I hope all of you are also! 

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: “The most effective missionaries always act out of love” -Dallin H. Oaks

Monday, June 26, 2017

Visiting Old town Montevideo

Playing a little basketball for p-day. President Eddy's son joined in.
It has been a very interesting winter week down here in Uruguay. It was freezing just a few days ago, and then today it was really warm outside. One day I walk out with a scarf and gloves, and the next day I get a sunburn with a short sleeve shirt on! It is crazy! 
This last week I went down to Ciudad Vieja and I became a legal resident in Uruguay! That makes me wonder what I have been for the past 21 months. Haha

Elder Childs and I are doing great. We are working hard. This last week we had a few exchanges with some of the other missionaries in the zone. I went with one of my good friends Elder Manzanares and we had a great time. We found lots of promising people and the lessons we were able to have went really well. Everything seemed to work out, and it was a great opportunity to work with a good friend of mine. We have been in the same zone for like 7 months now, and that was the first time that we had worked together.

On Sunday night, we had an activity called “This is why I believe” where the recent converts got to share their testimonies and their conversion stories. It was awesome to see how the Lord was preparing those people to be baptized and helping them get where they are. One of the converts that spoke had been baptized on Saturday and then confirmed on the Sunday of the activity. He did great! Haha. Talk about hitting the ground running.

I am having a blast! I hope that you all have a great week!
-Elder Vanderlinden
MVD Uruguay

Quote of the week: “I´ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I´ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”-Michael Jordan

Monday, June 19, 2017

An older photo with some of my pals!
¡Perseverar hasta el fin!

This last week was very cold.... I don’t know if I can explain with words how cold a humid cold feels. The wind chills you to the soul. Haha. This last week was also rainy, which made things a little bit difficult. My companion and I couldn’t help but laugh as we walked around in the pouring rain without umbrellas. Let’s just say that the ¨Water-proof¨ jacket from Mr. Mac is NOT waterproof. In fact, I am pretty convinced that it is “water absorbent.” Haha

My companion and I are doing well and we are working hard. We had a lot of let downs this week and lesson after lesson kept falling through. I was trying to understand what  Heavenly Father was trying to teach us. We felt guided and prompted to knock doors of people that would reject us, so we were walking around kind of confused. On Sunday we were both disappointed to see that our investigators didn’t show up to church. As I was sitting in sacrament, I was trying to think about what lesson I was supposed to learn from such a challenging week and then one of our investigators sat down next to me. I was pretty stunned. I feel like the lesson I was supposed to learn this last week was patience. I am glad that our Heavenly Father is always willing to teach us, as long as we are willing to learn. The investigator loved church and wants to come back next week. 

I hope you are all doing well! Have a good week!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: ¨The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.¨ -Richard B. Sheridan

Monday, June 12, 2017

Living the good life!

Re piola!
This last week flew by in the blink of an eye. It was full of ups and downs. We were able to find a few new promising people, but we had to let go a few people that weren’t progressing. We had one day in specific where almost all of our charlas fell through. We were trying to keep our hopes up and we decided to knock on one last door and make one last effort to end off the night. We found a very bitter man who didn’t want ANYTHING to do with us, and he made sure we knew it. I shared my testimony with him, politely and patiently thanked him for his time, and left. That experience made me think a lot. It made me grateful for the testimony of the gospel that I have, because I am constantly reminded of how a life without the knowledge of the gospel would be. 

Another thing that happened this last week is that we started a contact with a 19 year old kid who was really nice. He explained that his family is from Brazil and he wants to move back there to play professional soccer. We started talking with him about religion and we started to explain the Book of Mormon. I pulled out my Book of Mormon to show him a copy of the Book. I was shocked to see that I was holding a Portuguese Book of Mormon. I hadn’t even noticed that I wasn’t carrying a Spanish one. It seemed like it was meant just for him and his family. It was a very cool experience! He gratefully accepted the copy and took it home with him.

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
"If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.”


Monday, June 5, 2017

Leadership Meeting

“Another grand week in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission” 
-Old mission Slogan

Así es la vida!
This past week was pretty eventful. On Wednesday I had to travel to Old town Montevideo to get my citizenship papers figured out. It took quite a while, so while we were waiting for everyone to finish up I was able to take a stroll around some of the most beautiful parts of the city with a few other missionaries. There are many old and historic buildings that have interesting statues or designs on the outside, and the government made it illegal to destroy the look of the outside of the buildings. The owners are allowed to make the inside brand new, but they aren’t allowed to change the outside, only restore it. That has helped preserved the old town feel of the city which is actually pretty neat.

Elder Childs and I were able to find a lot of new investigators this last week which really helped us fill up our teaching pool more. We had a multi-zone conference on Thursday and we are trying to apply what we are learning to see the results in our area. This past week I was able to teach a lot about the Book of Mormon and the importance of the Book of Mormon in my life. President Eddy asked us to think of all of the things we know thanks to the Book of Mormon, and then for a minute, forget about all of them. As I thought about everything I would not know, and everything I would lose without the Book of Mormon, I came to realize all of the blessings that I have in my life thanks to the Book of Mormon, and how much it has changed the person that I am.
I am truly grateful for the Book of Mormon and the clear and precious truths that it teaches me. I know it is true!

Have a good week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: 
The past is behind, learn from it.
The future is ahead, prepare for it
The present is here, live it

-Thomas S. Monson