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Monday, April 24, 2017

A quick bite in the city before our leadership meeting!
Just a little bit of energy before we play hoops on p-day!

Puertas, Puertas, Puertas

This week we knocked doors. A LOT of doors. Haha. I always enjoy the feeling of excitement I get when somebody opens up the door to talk to us. It is like opening up a mystery box, because you never know what you are going to get. Unfortunately, we didn't get anything! Haha. But, at least we tried! We knocked on one door and a man stuck his head out, and said "No no no, I don't want anything. I already know everything..." and so my companion thought that he would catch him off guard by saying, " don't even know who we are! ..You’re Mormons,” the man replied quickly, and then slid back into his house. We laughed about it and walked off. He is right. I am a Mormon! and I am proud of it!! This past week I have seen and talked to so many confused people. They don`t know what they want in their lives, and to be honest they don't know where they are going....
Luckily, we do! We know God's plan, and we know exactly where we want to go!

Today we had a Zone activity and played some soccer and made tacos. I tried to brush up on my soccer skills a little bit today, but there is an Elder that was getting paid to play soccer before his mission, and he didn't bring his soccer shoes, so he was playing in socks and he still worked me! haha

I am doing good! Elder Peterson and I are finding a lot of "interesting people". The other day we found a man who looked like he was going to be really friendly...and it turned out that he was just looking to debate. Finding people like that has really helped me to learn to be patient and learn to see people with love. Have a good week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden


quote of the week:
 “Consecration is the process of a lifetime and likely more than a lifetime.”
-President Eddy

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Marcia, Mery, and Emily are baptized!
Easter dinner with President and Hermana Eddy!
¡Marcia, Mery, Emily se bautizaron! 

I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. This last Easter weekend was pretty unforgettable for me. On Saturday, Marcia and two of her daughters got baptized, and on Sunday they got confirmed. It was a great experience! I was thrilled to be able to get in the water with them and help them make such an important promise with the Lord. A lot of the ward members came to support the baptism, which made it even more special for them. 

This Easter weekend has been a great chance to learn more about the the Atonement and the Resurrection. It has helped me remember the real meaning of Easter and the reliance of the Savior in my life.

On Sunday night three other missionaries and I were invited to go have Easter Dinner with President, his family, and his parents that are in town visiting. Elder Peterson and I helped hide some Easter candy in the house for the kids to look for. The Dinner was incredible!!! The food was super tasty! We even ate a chocolate cake with toffee heath bar on top for dessert. Then, I was able to share a spiritual experience with everyone, my companion played a song on the piano, the AP’s gave an Easter message, and President Eddy shared a very special message with us missionaries…. and it totally capped off a great night. I felt like I was on cloud nine!

Yesterday, we had a leaders meeting, and it was another great chance to hear from our mission President. We studied and discussed "The Living Christ" as a group. I would recommend that you all read and study it. 

There is a lot going on in our mission, and we have made a bunch of progress from where we started. Uruguay is being blessed, and I am grateful to be here while it is happening! 

I am doing great, and having fun!
I hope that you all have  a great week!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save."-Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Throwback to when I was learning how to be a missionary at the CCM...

and my first district!

Another change come and gone! I can't believe how fast the time is flying by. I am going to be staying here in Maroñas another change with Elder Peterson. It is his last change in the mission so I will be "killing him." I  am really excited to be staying here because we are seeing a lot of miracles in our Zone. We are working with Marcia and her two daughters to prepare them to be baptized this Saturday.(Fingers crossed). The rest of our house is staying as well, which is great because we are becoming really close friends with the other guys.

This last week I had the opportunity to go around and give a couple of baptismal interviews. I gave one to a little kid, and it was super awesome to see how prepared he was. I love being able to tell these people that they are ready to be baptized, and see the smile on their faces.

We are doing a lot of looking here in Belloni...We aren't finding very many good investigators...but we are looking. That is the important part. Haha. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful Easter weekend and remember the real reason that we celebrate Easter. I know that the Savior lives, and he loves each and every one of us.

Have a great week, and Happy Easter!!
-Elder Vanderlinden

"It's one thing to survive, but is another thing to find joy in surviving.”

Monday, April 3, 2017

I guess it is time to get new shoes!
Studying and sugar go together!

¡Buen Dia!
What a wonderful conference weekend! This past week, my companion and I focused the majority of our efforts into helping and inviting our investigators to General Conference. We made invitations, and hand delivered them with a message focused on committing them to coming to conference. We also passed by their houses to walk with them. We were waiting on 21 people that we had firmly committed. In the end, only 6 showed up. However, I felt a sense of accomplishment and peace. I knew that we had done everything on our part to help them come and have a spiritual experience. As big as our faith may be, it cannot change the agency of somebody else. Elder Uchtdorf taught that in one of his past conference talks.

Overall conference was a very spiritual and fortifying experience. It was awesome to hear some of the speakers who had pre-recorded their talks in Spanish, speak in their native tongue. However, there was one talk, where it started in was going for about 30 seconds in English....and then I realized "Wait,,,,nobody can understand this"....Then we heard in a very strong Spanish accent "I.....I...can`t hear him....." It was the translator on TV, that was waiting to translate the talk. Hahaha. The other american Elders and I had a good laugh about it. All of the Latinos had no clue what was going on, or what we were giggling about.

I enjoyed all of the talks, and I loved to hear the Prophet remind us of the Book of Mormon, and the difference that it can make in our lives. I hope that you are all reading. If you aren’t, now is the time to start!
Also this week. Elder Peterson and I were headed to a charla, when we saw a huge crowd start gathering together in the street. There were like 50 people, and they were in the way for us to get to our lesson...Then some of the people in the crowd busted out fighting and punching. It turned into chaos and there were people throwing rocks towards the mob. Some kids near us took off running toward the fight, one with a gun in his hand. Realizing the danger of the situation, we quickly turned the corner and tried to go around the madness. We heard yelling and fighting as we got around the corner. Then, out of nowhere, some kids flew by us running away from the fight. One flew by us with a gun. Luckily we ducked out in time, and we were protected. I am so grateful for this name-tag, and for the protection that the Lord provides me with. I am doing good. Have a good week everyone!

-Elder Vanderlinden

(A charla is a lesson)

Quote of the week: "If it once was, it will always be.” -President Eddy