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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Goodbye Norte Zone


CAMBIOS! This week is change week! I am leaving my area here in Norte and headed to a zone called Maroñas, Belloni. Apparently…….
I am currently in the 2nd most dangerous area in the mission.....Barrio 13 Norte, and there is only 1 place more dangerous...Belloni! Haha. 
I am super excited though! My new companion’s name is Elder Peterson, and he is a Piano Wiz. He played when Elder Stevenson from the Quorum of theTwelve Apostles came. (Just so ya know how good he is). I am hoping that he can teach me some of his skills. Anyways, for the first time in my mission, I am headed to a house with 4 Elders, which should be a blast. We are living with the AP´s and they are some of my best buds, not to mention that my new comp is a good friend of mine. I am beyond excited!

The Zone that we will be in charge of is one of the hardest working zones in the mission, and the people that are there are really humble, and there are many people prepared to learn about the gospel. 
My time here in Norte has been really good. It has been filled with ups and downs, and I have learned a lot. When I stayed here last change, I asked myself why I was staying in my area, when I felt like I had found all the people I was supposed to...Turns out, I was here one more change to learn patience. This last week in church an investigator named Damian came and he really enjoyed the meeting. Tomorrow he is going to get a marriage date, get married and then be baptized. Patience pays off!

Have a good week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means." -Albert Einstein

Quote from last week: "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, February 20, 2017

This is a train track bridge that we were messing around on.
 It's actually really high in the air. My companion was pretty scared. 

Bueennno Gente,

Another week down, here in Uruguay. This week, my companion and I went house shopping with the Senior missionaries. It was a fun experience. We saw a couple of houses, but they were all crazy expensive, so in the end...we just gave up, bought ice cream, and went back to our broken down house. Haha. We are looking for a better house because when it rains...the rain comes into our house. So when we hear thunder, we start running around like crazy trying to put bowls and pots all over the house to catch the rain, and we have to throw the stuff that we don’t want to get wet onto our beds. I imagine watching us run around and throwing stuff must must look like a minute to win it challenge. Haha

My companion and I were running around quite a bit this week, to help some of the other Elders out. I am currently working in a Trio with my comp and another Elder that is also from Peru. I don’t know how long we are going to be working in a triple companionship for....they didn’t really tell us...the assistants just dropped him off with his stuff. Haha.

Experience from this past week:
My companion and I were walking around passing by futures and contacts that we had made in the street. All of our plans fell through in a matter of we weren`t sure what to do. We decided to pass by some futures, that we had tried to contact previously, but that had never answered. A woman opened up the door and we asked if the people we were looking for were home......It turns out....that they didn’t even live there. They had lied to us, and gave us a fake address….however, Carmin, the woman that lives there, was soooo ready to listen! Coincidence? I think not! Her kids are members that live in the U.S. She already had a Book of Mormon, from when her son got baptized, and she was extremely grateful that we visited her and taught her. She was extremely touched when we gave her the new Book of Mormon (She had the really old version without the pictures in the front). She was very grateful for the Book, and surprised by the gift. It made me realize and ask myself,  "How grateful am I for the Book of Mormon?" 
I hope that you are all grateful for the Book of Mormon. Grateful that God still speaks to men. Grateful that the connection with the heavens isn’t closed. Grateful for the priesthood. Grateful for the simple truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I sure am!

Have a great week!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Monday, February 13, 2017

Elder Campos and I

and the beautiful sky!

Hello everyone! 

This week was very eventful. We had interviews with our mission President and we had a multi-zone conference. It was awesome to hear what our President had to say to us and the inspiration that he receives to help the mission.

This week was a little bit hard as far as the mission work goes.....we had the potential of 13 investigators in church...but none of them showed up. Church attendance is pretty tricky here. That’s ok though.

My companion and I have been doing a lot of contacting this week.....or every week for that matter....Haha. It was an awesome experience because we talked to a few people that were needing our help. One was a man that was walking in the street with a motorcycle helmet and some other things in his arms. We asked him how he was doing and he said "Not well....I just got robbed down the street, and they stole my motorcycle.”....he started to explain that he lost his parents, and his wife, all in the space of 5 years. We started to explain the Atonement and how God knows all the pain that he is going through. It seemed to lift his spirit. He thanked us for helping him and changing his mood. He is looking forward to receiving the missionaries and learning more.

Even though at times it seems like we are just walking around a lot, we seem to find lots of people that just need somebody to talk to. Even when they don`t receive a return visit, it makes me happy to know that we could help them with a few words of inspiration.

I hope that you are all doing well! I am!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” -Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Just playing a little hoop on p-day with my Steph Curry socks on.....of course!

¡Che, anda a echarte!

Hello everyone, I hope that you are all doing well. The weather this last week in Uruguay was pretty darn crazy. One minute it would be pouring rain and then it would stop and the sun would come out and then it was instantly super hot. Haha. Yesterday there was a pretty crazy storm, and the wind was blowing really hard. The wind ripped a bunch of huge branches down along with some electrical cords in the street. Unfortunately, most of our plans fell through, so we were walking around during the storm....and it turns out that my jacket isn't as waterproof as it says it is. Haha. We got destroyed by the storm. Luckily I didn't get clubbed in the head by a falling tree clubbed me in the leg pretty bad though. It felt like somebody had shot a paintball gun at the back of my leg. Haha

Other than that, our area is doing really well. We were waiting for quite a few investigators at church this week, but unfortunately none of them showed up...but there is always next week!!!

On a good note, we found a young single mom walking with her kids in the street. She was extremely nice to us, and we passed by yesterday to teach her. She was super receptive and accept the message. She also commented that she has seen us before and she has been wanting to talk to us for a while now!! That doesn't happen very often!! To make things better, we invited her to be baptized and she said, "Yes!" After all of the rejection that we have been receiving, it was nice to find somebody prepared. I think that every time somebody wants to argue, or yell at me about "Donald Trump" or drag me over the coals, it is because the Lord is testing my patience, and testing to see if I am ready to receive the people he is preparing. Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Vanderlinden
"In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."  -Theodore Roosevelt