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Monday, January 30, 2017

All the Leaders (minus two) who got to meet with the Apostle, Elder Stevenson.

Mucho gusto,

This last week I had the opportunity to meet the Apostle, Elder Stevenson. It was an amazing experience to listen to him teach and testify. We weren`t a very large group of missionaries, so he came down from the stand to teach and practice with us. He is an inspired man. Let me tell you all, you feel something different when you shake the hand and look in the eyes of an Apostle. What a wonderful experience!

My companion and I had a great week. All of our contacts started to pay off. On Friday, we passed by a bunch of futures, and they let us teach them!!!! Haha. It is difficult to not act surprised when someone invites you into their house. We act all calm like we are used to it, but inside you want to jump in the air and do a fist pump. 

This last week my companion and I made a contact with a man who started going crazy about how the churches take your money and how all of the preachers rob from the poor, and how the Catholic church is soo corrupt and how it is a corrupt organization and a bunch of other stuff. (He just started bashing on the Catholic church)....We were just standing there awkwardly and we asked him "Do you go to a church?" and he paused and said "Uhh..yeah...I go to the Catholic church"....Hahaha.

I am doing great. Elder Campos and I are having fun. We are talking with a ton of people, and we are knocking a lot of doors. It makes for fun times and funny experiences.

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week “No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies.” Hymn 105

Monday, January 23, 2017

President Eddy and his family at Christmas time.
Sorry, forgot to post this!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the freezing cold in Utah! I am doing great here! It turns out, that the sombrero that I have been wearing is like putting an oven over my head. I am pretty sure I cooked my brain in the sun. This week was so HOT! The people said it was 104 degrees....and with the was even toastier. Haha.

I got a new companion named Elder Campos from Peru. We are getting along really well, and working really hard. In just a few days we have already found quite a few new investigators. We are really trying to speak with everyone, and share our testimonies of what we know to be true with as many people as we can.

Yesterday, we were walking around knocking doors, and nobody wanted to listen. We kept walking, and kept knocking. People were rejecting us all over the place. We were both pretty tired and about to give up. We stopped a woman to talk, and she rejected us quite unkindly.....I asked her if she knew anyone that would be willing to receive us and she said "Nobody on this street will receive you. You can knock their doors, but they don`t want to talk to you. Nobody on this street is interested! ”...(Rude, right?).. It was obvious that the adversary didn`t want us to find someone on that street, someone who was prepared to receive the gospel. Instead of giving up, we talked with the next woman that we saw. We sat down and taught her about the plan of salvation. It was a wonderful lesson that helped her cope with the death of her mother. We both walked away from the lesson feeling amazing! We were so happy that we didn`t give up, especially when the adversary was throwing everything he had at us. 

Have a great week everyone. Remember that good things come to those who work.

Quote of the week:
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” -Hugh Downs

-Elder Vanderlinden

I forgot the quote from last week!!!
I know for sure what we dwell on is who we become. 

-Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saying goodbye to Elder Molina
In front of the women's jail. It used to be an insane asylum......scary!

It’s change week! It is pretty crazy to think back on this change, and realize that 6 weeks have already passed by. This Thursday my companion will be returning to Chile because of knee problems. It has made me realize how short my time is as a missionary. I never know when my time might come to a end, so I always need to give it my all. As you can imagine, he is pretty disappointed, but he is also happy because he feels like he gave his all. I am sure that the Lord is happy with his service.

I am going to be staying in my area, and my new companion`s name is Elder Campos. He is from Peru. I will meet him on Thursday. 

Even with my companion`s knee problem, we tried to give it our all and talk with everyone these past few days. We found a lot of good people, so I am hoping that it will pay off. We had a lesson with our investigator named Paolo. Unfortunately, he isn`t making any progress, so we tried to be as frank as we could with him, and let him go. As we left the lesson, I felt sad....I felt bad because I know that this gospel could bless his life. Maybe he couldn`t see it, but I could. I feel like many times, as missionaries, we feel love for the people that we teach, because we know something that can help them. It is hard when they don`t accept that help, but it is nothing to get down about, because that tells me that somewhere, somebody is waiting who is ready. 

I hope that you guys have a great week.
I love you all!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Monday, January 9, 2017

Leaving on our missions 
One year and four months later.

Menos Sal, Mas Vida 

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all doing great, and that you are enjoying 2017. This past week was a little bit difficult as far as the work goes down here in Uruguay. Everyone here lives and works in a rhythm, and the holidays kind of threw everyone off their rhythm. Haha

This week I had a inter-change with Elder Sarkady. It was tons of fun. I met Elder Sarkady 1 year and 4 months ago in the Salt Lake Airport. (See photo above) It was good to look back on the past and realize how much both of us have changed. For example, I have gained like 10 pounds! Haha. It was interesting to reflect on where we started, and where we are now. 

This week we did a lot of walking....a lot. A lot of our set lessons fell through, which gave us time to make contacts in the street, however, nobody was in the street because it was like 100 degrees, which made things a little more difficult. I am sure that the work will start picking up this next week. 

Yesterday, Yolanda got confirmed as a member of the church. It was a great experience, and I am grateful to have been able to play a part in her conversion.

Funny story from yesterday....

Yesterday, we were eating lunch with a very old man in the ward. He gave us raviolis, with butter. My noodles had an unbelievable amount of butter on I thought I would toss a little salt on my noodles to make them taste better. I delicately shook the salt out, because I noticed that the salt came out super quick. The old man noticed I was putting salt on the food, and he thought I was having trouble, because I was putting it on super cautiously.. He grabbed the salt shaker from my hand and shook it super violently and dumped salt all over my noodles..."There ya go!" he said....
I barely noticed the Noodles in my plate of pure Salt and Butter. Eww
I am pretty sure I have a ton of health problems now. Haha

Have a great week,
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
"Those who wish to sing, always find a song."

Monday, January 2, 2017


New Years 

Yolanda's baptism

Happy New Year!!! 
This past week was an interesting way to end off 2016! To celebrate New Years, my companion and I invited the other missionaries over to our house, and we had an "Asado". It was a huge BBQ. The portions were massive. I thought it was a little ironic to be fanning the fire with a "word of wisdom" phamplet. Haha. Then at midnight, we got up on the roof and watched the fireworks. It was great. Unfortunately, the Elders we invited stayed the night, and we all jammed into the same room, because there was only one fan.....I literally melted the entire night. It was like 90 degrees and humid, in a room with 6 elders. Haha.

This week I have been thinking about the New Year, and the importance of fresh starts. Many times, people wait until specific dates to start making the changes in their lives. I admit, sometimes I do it too. However, we should start over everyday, and we can, that is why the gospel is so amazing! 

Yesterday we had a baptism, and it went awesome. Yolanda was baptized! It has been a very long process to teach her. She was an athiest from Jewish heritige.....but now she is Mormon! Yipee! Her husband was re-activated, and he baptized her. It was interesting to teach someone that shares practically none of the same beliefs. It was a great opportunity to see how the knowledge of our Heavenly Father, his son Jesus Christ, and prayer can change the life of even the hardest of hearts.

I hope that you all enjoyed your New Years, and that you are loving life. I am doing great. Enjoy the snow. Seriously...Enjoy it!

-Elder Vanderlinden
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in." -Jeffrey R. Holland