The Longer Ones

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ch 4: His Infinite and Everlasting Sacrifice

One thing you should know about me is that I'm a little unconventional and I love story telling.

Here's my story. 

Once upon a time, there is a young boy. He always did what he was told, even when he doesn't know why. Growing up, he saw a pattern that if you follow what your parents say or what other adults say, then you'll be alright. And that proved to be true for the most part. He read his scriptures, went to church, got high grades, and did all that was expected of him, until a trial... a real trial came his way; a girl came into his life.

Now girls and young women are not and should not be a trial in your life. The problem is your intention and what you choose to do with other people. They talked. They laughed. They became friends, and one night.... Things went out of hand. He remembered what he learned in the past, he remembered the ordinances he was suppose to keep, and he heard something inside screaming he shouldn't... but somehow...  he didn't listen.

A few weeks passed and soon he left on a journey. He kept on moving and quickly his mistake was out of his mind. He didn't humble himself and kept saying "whelp it's not my fault I'm happy like this." It's like his mistake disappeared! 

But scars like that doesn't fade or magically vanish. He went through the motions in the MTC, did what he did all his life and followed what his superiors told him, until he arrived in the field. He taught a few lessons, and even befriended a ton of new people, but all the while felt himself rot. Every morning, he mourned but can't figure out why. Every night, he found the reason but continually denies its existence. Then came the fifth day. His companion noticed something was wrong and he spilt the truth. It took a little while more, but eventually he told his Mission President and he accepted that he's going home...
I'm going home. 
I truly did my best. I love and care for my companion Elder Manrique, the people of Calasiao Pangasinan, and the branch that I serve. But I'm not worthy enough to be there. I hid the truth because I was afraid of being sent home or being excommunicated... but I realized that the loss of the Holy Ghost is worse than any earthly punishment one can receive. I felt broken and don't know what to do next... So I read the scriptures. I read and found Psalms 38. It described King David's sorrows for his mistake and his cry for forgiveness. And soon I remembered Jesus Christ's sacrifice for all of us. That I'm not the first person who begged to take away my pain. That our companionship is not the first to struggle in this mission... in His mission. Jesus Christ gave His all for us. That through Him we can be saved. That there is a plan prepared for us to come back IF WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS INFINITE AND EVERLASTING ATONEMENT. He gave us all this path that we may repent and become perfected in Him. None of us are perfect... none of us are even close... but that's why we need Him, so that we can strive to become perfect. I thank Him every day. And feel His love deeper now. Though I'm being sent home, though there will be harsh judgments and disappointment. I'm not the first to feel this way. I'm not the first to feel this pain, HE WENT THROUGH IT TOO! And he lives... oh heck yeah he lives! and we can too!

Sure! I have no clue what'll happen next in my life. But think about it! Who am I to decide who I am and tell myself who I can be. For once, I have no plan for myself. But because I know I'm following the Lord and His plan for me, I know everything'll be alright... whatever happens next... all is well. All is well.

I never knew my time as Elder Villanueva would be so short... however even though it was short, we brought many souls to Him. And oh how great is my joy.

-Elder Villanueva  (signing off for a while)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CH 3: Meh it's okay so far

The Gospel is true. In the realest way I know how. through experiences. It wasn't just a peaceful feeling after reading the scriptures. I used the scriptures to show love towards my zone. One of the missionaries was feeling a bit out of it and down and somehow... even though i couldn't think of anything to do, I found a verse. It uplifted him and I know that through him, countless more will be blessed in the next few years. I love my district and my zone. And though the Lord has assigned us to do this additional work, with his help, I know that I will be given what's necessary to bless and help those around us.
I do miss my family but I'm feeling okay. Yes, homesick, but that's normal. It's how I know I was cared for and loved by my friends, family, and mostly everyone in this email list. I'm losing myself in the work and though I do love all of you, I know I need to be here. I love my investigators, and every day I can feel my love for the gospel and to my investigators grow. I'm gonna be honest, some days this week kinda sucked. like "broken heart and contrite spirit and I feel like I'm gonna poopin die" kinda suck. But by remembering why I'm here, and by seeing the joy this gospel can have on others, I'm constantly reminded that this is where I need to be. This is where I want to be. And this is where the Lord has plan for me.

Stay lit y'all

-Elder Villanueva

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I apologize but this is gonna be short and my grammar is gonna be really bad because i have 10 min to write.
The translation of the book of mormon came from two sets of plates. LArge plates and small plates (for the sake of simplicity and argument). The large plates contained superficial stuff like what did I eat and where was what and what happened while the small plates contained important morals.

Here are my plates for the week.
Large plates: I became a zone leader. It's a bit daunting but I know that with the help of the Lord I can do my duty and help those around me. The food is so frickin good. but I don't have a lot of time to email. roughly 50 minutes per week. I only have 2 weeks left at the MTC. and I can't upload pictures.... i'll figure it out.

Small plates: I'm not perfect. Far from it. The language is harder than I expected but I'm getting there. Although I'm leading people I can barely understand at times, I know that with the Holy Ghost, I will be led to do what's right. A lot of times I became sad and homesick and that's natural but I know by focusing on the work I'll be alright. and it will be alright. I love the people here and I hope that all is well back in the states.

-Elder Villanueva