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Monday, May 29, 2017

Our zone conference was right by the temple!
Say hello to Elder Childs.

Ooopa Che!

Changes! My new companion Elder Childs is finally here and we hit the ground running. We are talking with a lot of people, and we are finding some quality futures. It is interesting to see to what extent people will go to in order to not have to talk to us. Sometimes you will see elderly people sprint to get into their houses and we quickly clap in front of their house before they can get inside. Haha. This week Elder Childs and I made a contact with a woman who initially wouldn’t even shake our hands. We tried to make small talk and then we just started sharing our message even though it didn’t really seem like she was listening. It was interesting to see how she started to change and her heart softened. I am glad that the Spirit has the power to soften peoples hearts, because it is a huge help! 

Today we had a zone activity and we played soccer with the zone. There is a Elder from Peru who played semi-professional soccer before the mission. It was interesting to see him wreck everyone in his black church shoes. Haha. It was awesome! I am really excited for the zone this next change. We set some huge zone goals and I believe we have the faith and work ethic to achieve them! Big things are happening here in Uruguay, and I am sure glad to be a part of it. I am doing great! Have a great week!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you're right." -Henry Ford

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What a busy week!!
This week was really special. It was Elder Peterson’s last week in the mission, and we both felt an urgency to work and testify. As soon as we left the house last Monday night, I could feel that the week was going to be different. It was as if there was electricity in the air. On Monday alone we were blessed to be able to find 10 new investigators!!! This is pretty unheard of. We gave it all we had and it paid off!

During the week we also were blessed by the visit of Elder Packer from the Quorum of the 70. President asked me to conduct the meeting. I felt pretty special sitting up on the stand with such powerful men.

Changes got here last night and it looks like I will be staying here in Belloni! My new companion’s name is Elder Childs. I am excited to show him the ropes, and to work hard!

Story-There is a store called TaTa where we almost always go to buy our food and stuff. After passing by the store so many times, we have gotten to know the people that work there pretty well. When we go we normally pass by right before they are closing, so the workers are generally more talkative. Lately they have been asking us questions about what we are doing and why we are here. My companion and I have been able to share gospel principles with them and we even stayed to teach them for a little while. Long story short, two of the workers have Books of Mormon with our testimonies written in them and are reading what we marked for them! Haha. I don’t know if they will ever progress, but it was still a fun opportunity to share something so special with them. Now we are the super stars of TaTa. They treat us like royalty. Haha

I am doing good, and having fun! Love you all!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week:
“Kneel down to pray. Step up to serve. Reach out to rescue. Each is a vital page of God’s blueprint to make a house a home and a home a heaven.”—President Thomas S. Monson, “Heavenly Homes, Forever Families”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Having another asado!

It's sorta hard to see, but yes, those are just a couple of horses hanging out in front of the church.  

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mothers day! I loved talking with my family, and it made me happy to be able to see their faces. 

This past week has been good here in Belloni. We are working hard to talk with lots of people. Last night a couple of people approached us in the street at started to talk to us. The people almost never approach us, so I thought something was a little fishy. We asked the man who had started talking with us if we could walk to his house. He accepted, and we walked to his house and sat down with him in front of his house to teach him. After we started talking to him we quickly found out that he was crazy. Haha. I don’t want that to sound mean or anything, but he really was crazy. Various people that were walking by in the street stopped while they were walking by and just stared at us talking with this man. It was a really odd situation. This guy was just saying a bunch of weird things and the people watching were probably like, “Look the crazy guy is talking to the missionaries.” Oh! I almost forgot to mention! There was a crazy girl there also who kept on staring at my companion and kept trying to touch his knee, and then was like, "I am pregnant"...and the crazy guy was like, "Congratulations!" Then they started holding hands and cuddling....and it turns out they were cousins…..

This week we also had a huge ward activity with all of the priesthood leaders in the ward. There are two people in the ward that work in the cooking business, so they made some awesome food for everyone. Then we had a serious ping pong game and it was tons of fun. The people here are surprisingly good at ping pong. 

Other than that we had to do some traveling to old town Montevideo to get some paperwork done. It was a fun trip. 

I hope you are all doing well!

-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week: "If you worry about yesterday’s failures, then today’s successes will be few.” -?

Monday, May 8, 2017

This is my Zone

¿Que te iba a decir?
This week was pretty solid. We had an interview conference and it was awesome. It is always a privilege to listen to President Eddy and to hear what he has been influenced to speak to us on. I enjoy having a mission President that works so closely with us.

This week passed by really quickly. I went on a change with Elder Richmond, and it was fun to work with him because he has been a friend of mine since nearly the beginning of my mission. We visited a family that he is currently teaching. It always makes me grateful for what I have when I see people that are living in such humble circumstances. I like to hope that the mission has taught me to be more grateful for what I have, and to make the best out of it. 

Funny story: A little while ago we went to visit a man named Miguel. He offered to say the closing prayer. He said it in a very quiet voice. We could just kind of hear him mumbling a few words. It was really hard to hear what he was saying and then out of nowhere he just stopped talking....We waited in silence for him to continue for like 30 seconds...Then I started peeking to see what was happening, and he was just sitting there...and his eyes were slightly I just assumed he was feeling the spirit and having a special moment. I closed my eyes and waited, and after like 30 more seconds, I opened up my eyes again. My companion opened up his eyes also and we were just staring at Miguel waiting for him to talk. He was staring off in the distance and then he looked at us and said, “I am sorry if you didn’t like my prayer because it was so short.” We then realized that he had said,  "Amen," and ended his prayer, but we hadn`t heard him and had just been sitting there with our eyes closed. We had a good laugh about that. 

I am doing great down here. I have been eating a lot of yummy food lately. My companion wants to learn how to make some local dishes before he goes home, so some members are showing us how to cook! 
I hope that you all are doing well!
The church is true!
-Elder Vanderlinden

"Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them."


Monday, May 1, 2017

This is an Asado that we had outside our house!
¿Que pasa Mufasa?

Another great week in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission! This week Elder Peterson and I found an investigator named Lina, and she is 90 years old. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t run away from us….Haha…just kidding. We have been finding a decent amount of futures, but we will see what happens with them this week. Some little kids that were 11 and 13 started talking with us, so we sat down on the curb to chat with them. It turns out that they new quite a bit about the Catholic church doctrine because the mom of one of the boys was a preacher or leader of a local Catholic church. They were really funny to talk to. They tried to argue with us and one of the kids said to his friend, "Ahhh man, why do you always try to argue with other churches?" Haha. Elder Peterson and I had a good laugh about it.

On the weekend we headed out to a place called Pando to help them do an "open house" church. There was a 19 year old boy that went through the open house, and asked when he could be baptized. He went to church the next day also!!

For some reason there is a huge wave of mosquitos that has been passing through the country. The other day while I was sitting in a charla I was eaten alive! My companion and I were trying to teach while we were swatting and slapping ourselves and each other. It probably looked pretty comical. 

Y si...que va a hacer

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Vanderlinden

Quote of the week- "Words that can be firm in information can be soft in spirit" -Elder W. Craig Zwick