The Longer Ones

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ch 68 Training a god with 11 Baptisms CLICKBAIT NOT CLICKBAIT

So lemme tell you something about my companion. He's really good with a computer. Like I don't think you know.... but he's really good with a computer. Like really really good.

Lemme tell you a story.

so being here in the philippines there are sketchy computers every now and then.... there are a lot of sketchy computers and because of that, our flashdrives and SD cards are often filled with viruses/malware and other horrible shats that should never be inside your camera or other devices.

Anyway being the computer whiz that he is, convinces me that one day (on a p-day) we should clean these flash drives to make sure we don't have anything bad on it.

anyway after a while we cleaned mine, and Elder Lewis' and then we got to some flashdrives in our district....

Anyway in one of the Sister's flashdrive's it was so bad that it all the code was in random characters and changed the desktop colors on the computer. But the worst one was our zone leaders.  When we plugged it in into the Church computer. (BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY a clerk's computer and church wifi is the best thing to use to kill viruses)... the computer started to glitch and shut itself off.

"Elder we need to bring this computer back to pre-windows XP, create a virtual environment, scan through every file, and use command prompt to kill em manually" -E. Lewis

"I have no idea what that means" -E. Villanueva

"I'm a fetching god" -E. Lewis

"Whelp I'm glad I taught you some humility there" - E. Villanueva

**two hours later**

"That is the cleanest flash drive I have ever seen" -E. Villanueva

Afterwards we ate wendy's, got real milk, worked, and elder Lewis just got his 11th baptism. And I am not a good trainer. I am horrible at teaching tagalog and I fall behind with some expectations that Heavenly Father might want for me. Also I should teach my anak a lil bit more humility. But we work. We strive to get the job done and at the end of the day we pray together and hope that we've done enough. And my spiritual thought for the week is this. after all we've done, remember to pray to do better with every new day.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission


Ch 67 Where am I?

Personally I'm doing alright. A bit sad because I am almost certain that I am leaving Valenzuela ward this transfer. But all is well. it is making me work harder than I ever have to build it up and continually make it into the best ward I know. I am also really happy this week. Like unbelievably happy this week. on monday I had a very good email session, let's leave it at that. Tuesday we worked and found a few golden people. Wednesday. same thing. Thursday, we unexpectedly had 4 dinner appointments after our investigators accepted a bap date. and friday was baptizing some good friends. Saturday was a lot of teaching. and sunday was a lot of reaping in the harvest. Overall great week!

Also my stake president here in Valenzuela is dope af, like 10/10 inspiring, fun, helps everyone out. it just needed to be mentioned.

This week I let Elder Lewis lead a lot more. Anyway after finding a great family, he decided, you know what? let's go take this way! maybe it's a shortcut to our next appointment. So we walked and walked and walked.
.
.
.
Until we reached the end of the road. But right when the road was about to end, we saw an esquinita (small passageway through an extremely narrow dirty path). Naturally we went through it and we ended up on the NLEX (national highway system).
"Elder Lewis, where do we go from here?"
"let's keep walking!"

and immediately a guy came out of a van and yelled at us and walked toward us. and there's me thinking
"oh geez, did we do something bawal. I swear if I go in a filipino jail you will never lead again"

"hey Elders! I'm the ward mission leader in the neighboring ward, you should probably head back, because if you keep going there's a police outpost over there that will arrest you" -Bro. Dimatulac
"Thank you Bro. Dimatulac!" -E. Villanueva
"What's he say?" -E. Lewis
"We should probably turn back" -E. Villanueva

so we did and Elder Lewis continued to lead.

"Let's go through esquinita #2!" -E. Lewis

And then suddenly we found ourselves in a strange swampy pond thing. We took some pictures and then noticed an amphibious cat leave the green murky water.

"You know elder, we should probably keep going" -E. Villanueva
"so sad, okay." -E. Lewis

Eventually our shortcut became a 2-hour detour but we had a really fun time.

And we got lost to a lot of other places... let's just leave it at that.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission


Ch 66 WHAT THE FETCHING FETCH! FETCH THOSE FETCHING FETCHERS

Personally I think life is good. I feel very happy and Elder Lewis and I are sowing more for next transfer on whoever will be here. In fairness this week, I have little to nothing to say. it has been a fairly average week. Zone interview was inspiring as always, and Elder Cook has taught us a more loving way to teach Lesson 3 and we are experimenting every day to teach it with the same power as he did last wednesday. 

As a companionship we are getting a little tired of each other but we are working nonetheless and laughing way too much. Like I don't know how to explain this. I am a fairly happy elder. Elder Lewis is a very happy Elder. and we complement each others happiness. We need to be separated because we are laughing too much. Like we slept at 11:30 last night because even though were already in bed by 10:30. We just kept laughing. and saying jokes. I mean it's nice. But quite frankly my cheeks are hurting a lot from the laughter and joy we experience everyday and I am afraid that after one more transfer of this we will both look like we had botox injected in our cheeks from the happiness we are experiencing. It's a happy problem to have. 

Fun stories. 

The Title of this post is inspired by my zone leader yelling at weekly numbers.

This happened yesterday at church. #fastestbaptismofmylife
"Hey John Carlo what's up?" -E. Villanueva
"I'm doing good, this is my friend Eric" -John Carlo
"That's so dope, how old is he?" -E. Villanueva
"12yrs old! he's actually been going to church for a while! and he loves missionaries" -John Carlo
"Oh that's sweet! is it okay if we come over and teach you sometime Eric?" -E. Villanueva
"yeah sure! can you teach John Carlo too! because he's not baptized" -Eric
"Wait what!?!?! John Carlo!! you've been going to church for like months!!! are your parents baptized?" -E. Villanueva
"nope" -John Carlo
"who brings you to church, you're like 10 years old!" -E. Villanueva
"I like it here. it feels special. And I love primary. So I always go to church." -John Carlo
"What the flip alright we'll teach you tomorrow is that okay?" -E. Villanueva
"yeah but we live 3 km away if that's fine?" -Eric
"Are you telling me you've been walking 3km every sunday to go to church for the last few months and you haven't been baptized?" -E. Villanueva
"yeah." -John Carlo
"is it okay if we baptize both of you?" -E. Villanueva
"yeah I'd like that" -John Carlo

Thanks God. I love God. God is so great. He's a real one. That's my spiritual thought of the day. God is a real one. He's dope. 10/10 great guy. I encourage you missionaries to use that during a lesson. it surprisingly works. 

In other news. We subconsciously convinced an entire ward to DAB during a christmas party. Yes that's right.to DAB. we had a party extravaganza for one of our housemates. I am learning how to play the ukulele. we will have 3 baptisms next week and an upcoming 9 within the next 3 weeks. I recently rebinded my PMG to look dope. it now looks dope. Stay tuned next week for thanksgiving shenanigans, binyaged na, at iba pa sa TV PATROL! (and many more in TV PATROL)

DAAAADUMMM DADUMMM DADADADUM!!!
-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ch 65 Another Day

I was naughty this week.

Wait no that sounds wrong. Scratch that.

I did something I probably shouldn't have this week but I have no regrets. Let's start the story.

Last monday I was sad. Like pretty fetching sad. Like really really sad. Like watching puppies die while someone called me an "alipin" (Slave), sad. I was sad.

And how do you fix being sad?. . . . whelp whatever I did it was not it. Instead of like looking for upbeat music or whatever. NOOOOOOOOO instead let's go to national bookstore read 2 sad books about relationships falling apart and ask an employee to play the fray on the speakers and feel sad.

I was sad.

My companion could tell too. (gift of discernment right there wubs). Anyway he sensed I was sad. Probably when he saw me reading a book that was clearly depressing from the way it made my face do this weird ugly sad face.

I look ugly when I'm sad. Ugly sad face.

But anyway he sensed this so he hatched a plan. I could imagine it pop inside Elder Lewis' bright thinking. I COULD COOK FOOOOOOOD!!!!

And that was precisely what he did. He printed out a recipe he knew by heart. The recipe to make a Caniac from Raising Cane's. You see for y'all who don't know, Raising Cane's is a Fast Food Restaurant based in Louisiana that creates some of the best Chicken, Sauce, Fries, and Texas Toast that I have ever had in my life. And a Caniac is a meal that contains all of this. Anyway... this fetching brilliant Anak of mine decided,

"because my friends worked at Cane's and I know the recipe, how about we make authentic Raising Cane's here in the Philippines!" (E. Lewis)

And that's exactly what we did.

And I had the fastest and most intense mood change I've ever had in my life. Like depression to inspiration, let's get to work, sorta mood change. He lifted me up When I needed it most and now we are eating like kings.

But anyways yup. Life is good. Also we had a baptism this week. it was dope.

Story Credits:
Elder Lewis for his divine inspiration
David Levithan for your sad but lovely novels
Mom for helping fund some of the best food I've had in my life
God for being the same as always; Always good.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Ch 64 Halloween

Good Morning y'all!

Last week we had Halloween. It was pretty cool. To be honest though, I didn't realize that people celebrate Halloween in the Philippines. I remember growing up and during Halloween season people usually had a lot of candles out for their loved ones that passed but no one dresses up sets up anything cool. Until I got here in the field. And apparently a lot of people do celebrate it!! like dang!! I am surprised!!

But since Elder Lewis and I are companions and we are both weird happy dinguses We decide to take it up a notch.

And so a plan was hatched between our Zone Leader, Elder Lewis, and myself to scare the literal crap out of everyone who's moving into our zone (our zone was split this week because it was too progressing so we have a lot of new peeps).

And so a plan was hatched. Elder Lewis will wear an all black outfit with a taser and a butcher knife and chase the newbies in the dark with no light other than the taser that will stab them.

Perfect.

and life was good. I also saw a big statue of Voltes V. It was dope


-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ch 63 Trunky day

The story I have isn't necessarily the funniest thing, but it was interesting. Let's call it chill day.
Last sunday we decided we were going to have a chill day. We've been working so hard it's burning us out so we planned no appointments or anything special on sunday except church and a dinner appointment. THAT'S WHAT WE HAD PLANNED. I'm such a bad trainer I know. But let's just say God had other plans for us.

Woke up. Like always, staying woke. at 6:30. Woke up my companion then we got a call not even 5 minutes after from an unknown number.

**Ring Ring**
"Hi Elders, you don't know me but I went to Mormon.org last night and was wondering if you could teach me before church and show me where it is so I can go to church" (an investigator I've never met)
"Oh cool okay, how's 7:30am sound and we can meet at Mcdo?" (Me)
"Sweet see you then!" (the investigator)
**hangs up**
"Elder! get out of bed we got an appointment in an hour!"

So we taught an appointment before church then showed them the church. After Sacrament we decided rest in the empty sacrament hall when all of the sudden another phone call (an unknown number again).

**Ring Ring**
"God is this you? I am so sorry we were resting" (Me)
"aaheeemmm this is Sister Caro, our phone is dead so this is Bishop's phone, can you come over GenT ward and interview some baptismal candidates" (Sis. Caro)
"Okay cool, on the way" (me)
**Hangs up**

Immediately we sprinted and got to their chapel in 30 minutes. We did a few interviews and now we are cutting it pretty tight to go to church. We got on a jeep, and are on our way to church when lo and behold

**Ring Ring**
"Elders! we need your help, we're about to be evicted" (our Recent Converts)
"What!?" (me)
"Driver! stop right here" (Me towards the jeep driver)
"On the way!" (me)
**hangs up**

Apparently they need $40 or else the entire family will be evicted. Of course we are not allowed to give money away, but we care about them. We didn't give them money but bore our testimony to the landlord and they were given an extension on their debts. and we consoled them and asked them to go to church to meet with bishop. We all went to church

We are at church. and after 3 hours we finish church... okay.

"Elder Lewis, you know what? let's wait. give it 5 minutes God will ask us to go somewhere. Just wait for it. oh you just wait" (Me)
"I just want to rest and die" (Elder Lewis)

And we got a text! from one of our progressing investigators

"Good evening Elders, my father is in town and I think your message can really benefit him, is it okay if you come over and teach us the restoration in English?"

And off we went. after which to a few more appointments until our dinner appointment at 8:00. and our Chill day was overall chill.

Jesus Christ lives, God is there for us. And even when it doesn't seem like it at times, oh He is there. And trying to comprehend Him or find Him might make your head spin at times.  But He is there and He loves us and cares about us and I promise that even in days that we tired, and especially in days that we don't want to, He is there and He continually pushes us to do what we need to do.

Oh yeah and we got a few baptisms that were pretty dope. I saw a few people get shot. And a storm is about to murder our area like always. #10/10woulddoagain

-Elder Villanueva
Mission whaaaat? 2017-2020
Quezon Bulacan Pangasinan yaasss
Your favorite dingus with a nametag                                                                                                     







Ch 62 Distracted

I don't really have much stories right now actually. it's a very vanilla week. In fairness a lot of things happened, I just don't have a lot of time and I'm still thinking about it.

Speaking of Vanilla, I owe someone some Ice cream. it's one of those problems.
7/11 has good ice cream

Oh we also had MTC exchanges the other day. They looked so young. They haven't even witnessed their first murder yet. Ahhhh so young.

We also had 4 baptisms, they were a nice family. I wonder if the water was cold.
Maybe they liked it cold.

My companion likes making memes and calling everyone thottie while dabbing to the sound of cats.

I walk fast but Elder Lewis walks faster. it burns my calves.

I should name my calves one day. "oblong bean" would work.

We also almost fell off a jeep. it was quite exciting. we didnt fall off though

yup no more time, nothing too much to say, I guess I was a bit distracted today.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ch 61 A Light in the Dark

I'm doing alright. A little bit busier so I can't put out the level of work I want to but overall life is good. As a companionship I need to be a better teacher. I am making him experience a lot of new things on his own, but I need to be a better teacher in Tagalog and need to continually ask "what can I do to be better?" I know that there are times when he probably doesn't appreciate it, but it's alright. As long as the ward continues to flourish and he is still diligent, all will be well. There are also a lot of times that we goof around, but don't worry we still work and we don't let it interfere with the people we teach. As a kabahayship we are doing really great. We have this running gag where Elder Lutz is an Actor, I am a Character, Elder Haight is a smiling Emoji, while Elder Lewis is an interactive Meme. We are running a very happy house.

Now the fun part... Some stories!!!!

This week we had the great pleasure of inviting Dilim to our apartment. Dilim means darkness in Tagalog and basically we had a blackout..... we had no electricity or clean laundry or none rotting meats and we had a fantastic desirous experience.

I remember I woke up at probably 4:30am and I said to myself
"My bed is soaked.... it's so hot"
I looked around and I noticed a silence. But more than that a quietness.
.
.
.
It was so quiet. I think I heard my companion fart in his sleep.
Nope nevermind it was just Elder Lewis waking up a little bit too
"Elder Lewis! you awake?"
"yeah" (in a groggy voice that sounds like absolute death)
"I'll check the power"

And you know what I found? something very peculiar. We went outside and everyone had power except our apartment complex and then I see it. In the corner of my eye... a vampire.

I'm just kidding, but I did see a hole in the wall. I didn't think much of it and we just decided to try our best to go back to bed.

6:30 comes around and we talk to our ZL's.
"Y'all don't have power too?" (our ZL's)
"yeah... same with the Jehovah's Witnesses next door"

And then comes the real investigation.

And apparently.... apparently... someone stole.... the transformer.... for our apartment complex.
"That is the ghetto-est thing I've ever heard." (Elder Lewis)
"Welcome to the Philippines" (Elder Villanueva)

Speaking of transformers, in the same way that Optimus Prime and his merry men of Autobots can lead us to salvation from the Decepticons, Jesus Christ is the only way we can be led in the right path. (I was really trying on that transition). Last week we were blessed to listen to General Conference and whether or not you've listened to it,I ask that you watch or hear it. My favorite was saturday afternoon session and I hope you watch that one first. And I know that because we have apostles and prophets today, the Heaven is still open, Heavenly Father still loves us, and if we try just a little bit to listen. You will never feel lost again. Even if sometimes you might feel like you're in the dark. Through Him, You never really are. 

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Ch 60 Gardens

Lately I've been pondering about Gardens.
A lot of times we worry about struggle and stress and heartaches but whenever I do, I look back on times I feel the most peace. Personally I look back and remember a nice drive with a good friend of mine, or just sitting in a park with my dog. And when I was reading my scriptures the other day. I realize (or maybe it's just me being dumb but) I think God does that too. Have you noticed that the most dramatic and influential events in history did not happen in a war. Did not happen in a fancy room with papers flying everywhere. But it happened in a Garden.
The Garden of Eden - Where we left the presence of God to have the freedom to choose
The Garden of Gethsemane - Where Jesus paid for our sins and experienced the Atonement
The Garden Tomb - Where Jesus overcame death and was resurrected for all of us
These events are sacred, peaceful, and necessary for us to be happy. Yeah sure we stress about those little worldly things, but if we take the time. Even by doing something as small as reading the scriptures and praying, it will be sweet. Our testimonies can grow stronger. Let your garden grow. To gain a testimony you don't need a lot. sometimes. a lot of times, you only need to go to your backyard.





Monday, October 1, 2018

Ch 59 Small Simple Things

I believe we should appreciate the small and simple things in life. And because of that, that is exactly how I'm training my Anak in the mission. we've been appreciating every miracle and thanking everyone for anything and everything good that happens. And because of it, people's attitudes can also change to feel more gratitude in their lives. Sometimes that we don't have enough or that we need more. But that is contrary to a simple truth that we learned, that even though we have so many problems in life sometimes, if we feel grateful for the things we do have and remember those small more important things in life that we do have, we will feel peace. We will be happy, and we can keep going.

Today no funny stories just funny quotes. First off some quotes from my District
"cremation is my last chance for a smoking hot body" -Elder Lewis
"weh-weh" -Elder Haight
"This milkshake is so good I wanna sew my butt shut" -Elder Villanueva
"Don't call me Big Cupcake" -Sister Caro
"Manok? Chicken yes" -Sister Ng Wun
"Dito na tayo, dito na kayo, dito na kami sa harap ng Chicken Deli" - Sister Eaton
"oyminyoy minyoy!" -Elder Lutz

Now some funny quotes from the P90X video we watch every morning to workout
"AAABBBBB RIPPERRRR X"
"25=30"
"Make stinkin contact elbow thigh!"
"Now that's the face of a girl, That's working hard"
"Keep your legs straight! Together!"
"Get your butt in the air! get your butt in the air!"
"They're workin hard I know you are!"
"yeah Jason's the rip king!
"And a bonus he's a mad man"
"We might even do some extra!"
"Adam's a hotshot!"
"that's mah brother"
"Mermaid wiggles!"
"Tip of the day, don't do this everyday, you don't need it!"
"imagine doing a hundred of em, 25 isn't so bad"
"this isn't ab ripper 100 or 200, this is ab ripper 339"
"Don't hit my hands!"
"Change when you hear the number only!"
"I know it burns! get em up!"
"If you need a break, take it"
"Let's finish up with the kids"
"See what I'm doing, This is wrong"
"How do you feel that day!"
"That is harder!"
"Let's climb our legs"
"The closer your foot is to your butt, the harder it is"


We also had 2 baptisms, it was cool.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ch 58 How To Train Your Dragon

So far I'm doing well. I'm still a bit surprised to be a district training leader but I'm happy and I'm loving my calling so far! it's a bit busier than I anticipated but it's nothing I personally can't handle. Right now I'm just hoping I'm training him correctly and showing him the right skills to do what he needs to do.

As a companionship, Elder Lewis is a very interesting missionary. He's funny a bit awkward but has a genuine desire to learn. There are times when I believe he's being a bit too mean to himself but I'm asking him to be more patient with himself. Emotionally he is not sad or depressed and is also very talkative like me. Which I like because I'll keep him talking to get his mind away from homesickness. He's very proactive and reminds me anything I might forget. Right now though he feels a little bit inadequate when teaching lessons and I'm trying to encourage him more. Last week for companionship and language study we focused more on learning tagalog. But this week we will focus more on Lesson plans and lesson 1-5 so he can teach in taglish.

Our wards, are still incredible. we had a baptism last week and could get 6 more this saturday, and Elder Lewis is having a fun Filipino rollercoaster ride. The wards are loving us more and we are doing everything we can to support them and visit members that they miss. Not only is it reactivating but it's helping us build overwhelming trust between missionaries and wards.

Anyway funny stories

Have you watched the How To Train Your Dragon 3 Trailer yet? I haven't. But it's okay because my last week was even better. Or at least I hope it was. Anyway for my week I wanted to make Elder Lewis have a fun time. Like a really fun time. So we had the most adventurous work we ever had.

Day 1 of Elder Lewis' missionary extravaganza. I was dead tired. I couldn't sleep. I was so excited I ended up cooking breakfast at 4am only to pass out while eating breakfast. then I woke up. It was 6:00 and at that moment I knew I was screwed. All I was thinking was
"Oh no! I woke up late! President will make me a JC till I die"

And it was at that moment that I got ready, showered, sprinted, found a jeep, and called texted the AP's I was on my way. This took 5 minutes. The next 20 minutes was followed by traffic and me contemplating how I will be thrust down to hell.

Anyway I got there 40 minutes late and Surprisingly it was not too bad. After a lot of workshops and testimonies, I picked up my Anak and we got to work. We visited the leadership and ward members so he gets to know the area more and we practiced Tagalog till it hurts to talk. He loved it!

Day 2 of Elder Lewis' missionary Extravaganza I decided we need to have more fun in the work. I looked up and I saw some dark clouds heading our way. and you know what that means.

"Elder Lewis, leave your jacket and umbrella at the house, your bag is too heavy!" -E. Villanueva
"Those look like rain clouds" -E. Lewis
"Elder we're going swimming" -E. Villanueva

We proselyted for a few hours, showed him our recent converts and our baptismal candidate then waded through 2-3 foot or flood waters to get home. It was great!

Day 3.... We went to Norzagaray. and sat in a jeep for 6 hours to get to the baptismal interview. that was fun. But the best part was when Elder Lewis paid for the fare. now there are these 2 words in Tagalog. Bayad and bayag. Anyway his pronunciation wasn't golden yet and instead of saying
"My fare sir, for two" (Bayad ko po, dalawa)
He accidentally said
"My testicles sir, both of them" (Bayag ko po, dalawa)
And I just couldn't hold it in. I bursted out laughing and so did a few of the passengers. it was a fun time

Day 4 and 5 was a fairly simple day. had a baptism and church and that's about it. Nothing too interesting happened but it was good.




Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ch 57 I'm Pregnant.

Okay a lot of fun stuff happened this week but I guess I ought to start on the title of this post. Before I start with this post, some side info Buntis=pregnant and binyag=baptize, do not mix them up, we ask people to come closer to God and get baptized, not come closer to us and get pregnant. Those are two very very different things and you will need those 2 words to keep up with this post. I am buntis y'all! I'm about to train a new kid! Just as a clarification, no I am not actually pregnant, it just means I'm training a newbie! like new new. like so totally fetching new right from the MTC. HE'S A BABY MISSIONARY!!!!! I'm gonna be his trainer and I'm totally pumped! I still don't know who he is because I'm going to pick him up tomorrow, but I bet he is guapo as fetch! and hopefully diligent and obedient or I will burn him with nothing less than eternal damnation... okay too far.
.
.
.
anywho, I'm gonna miss my current companion Elder Lowery though, I'm gonna miss his weirdness, his strange but effective methods, and ummm his low-key annoying but incredible finding skills. 10/10 guy. But anyway he's leaving and going to be a Zumba-Lord in a different zone binyag-ing all the nanays and inas. And I'm buntis taking his place here as a District Leader. Oh it'll be a fun transfer mate! I'm so pumped!

The ward is still good, we're just prepping 2 families to be baptized, among a few other peeps. except you know the funniest thing happened. 22 out of our 35 progressing investigators EVACUATED THIS WEEK! we taught a total of like 10-20 lessons this week (weaksauce) because well they're not home. );

It's okay though they're still heading back to their homes... The storm was alright, some 2-3 feet flooding and some fetching strong winds but nothing bad enough that we stop proselyting. kaya patuloy pa rin ang work (so the work continues)...

Now for some fun stories.

One of the less actives in our ward just gave birth. anyway she was buntis. and my comp and I decided to visit her at the hospital and say hello and stuff. But while we were walking we decided hey we should buy her a birthing gift? is that a thing? birth gift? anyway. Elder Lowery bought a kilo of rambutan (sweet fruit that looks like pink hairy balls), I bought 15 pesos worth of dandelions (I'm poor), and our worker got a small thing of baby powder. Anyway thinking this was all normal, we went to the hospital, showed them our nametags and said
"Yes we need to be here, we are representatives of God. 3rd floor. Female ward. Mormons." -E. Villanueva
"Oh okay, come in!" -The Security Guards

We walk upstairs, wave at the nurses, and walk in the female ward. And this less active looks at us surprised and says
"What're you doing here?

And there's my sarcastic quirky attitude going like
"I heard you asked for 3 ghetto Filipino wisemen, we gotchu some gifts" -E. Villanueva
"So how was birth?" -E. Lowery

"Gifts? He ain't Jesus and I definitely ain't Mary!" -Less Active Lady
"Yeah close enough" -E. Lowery and Villanueva

It all went well! they didn't go to church though because they were flooded in their house and she just gave birth. It's okay there's always next week. One cool thing to ponder about this story though. We are all Children of God. THINK ABOUT THAT. That means we can become like Him, We have the opportunity to change and become more than what even we believe is possible because "When we comprehend the character of God, we comprehend ourselves" (Teachings of Joseph Smith, 2011). Yeah sure that newborn baby may not look like much right now, but like all others here, we have the divine potential to change and learn and become more like Him. Who knows? That baby? might be a missionary too one day.

Next story. Elder Lowery Shows brotherly kindness in a very very visual way. Is he kind verbally? not at all. Is he kind physically when it's the two of us? once in a blue moon. but when it really matters oh he's kind. Oh he is very kind. He is kind beyond kindness sake.

So lemme tell you my story.

Because of the storm, work and school is cancelled in a lot of places. Because it's cancelled and it's a strong storm, some people thought it was the end of the world. And like all apocalypse scenario there are some that come closer to God and there are some that come closer to their bottles (alcohol).

Anyway my comp and I are still proselyting while the world's falling apart, and decided to visit a part member family but on our way there we had to go through this one alleyway filled with drunks. and a few of them started harassing me. He said a lot of not nice things. And I just thought we were going to walk away and then Elder Lowery, this heaven-sent countryboy from Florida, confronted them in perfect Tagalog. (Next part is loosely translated)

"What? What's you're problem! You got a problem with us? That is my companion. Don't you talk to my companion that way! I Don't care if you're drunk! Don't you ever talk to my companion that way!"

They were so close they were pretty much face-to-face. And I was just there in the corner going like "Wow. please don't fight. please don't fight"

I was just speechless. And the other guy was stunned. Not only did Elder Lowery know Tagalog, he did it in a way that had power that I hadn't seen before in Elder Lowery. It low-key blew my mind. Little did I know that during this incident the part member family was listening and the dad went out and chastised him till he left. It was a cool time. and it shows that Elder Lowery, though doesn't show it, can be a powerful mother bear when protecting his companions.


-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission






Friday, September 14, 2018

Ch 56 Ambitious as Hell

We were very ambitious this week and tried to get 30 SMA's. To do this, it required intense planning, all 30 needed to be planned. Monday we asked ourselves who are our investigators, everyone we dropped, everyone we thought had potential and everyone we know can realistically go to church. After counting we had 28, which meant we need 4 more at unites or 4 new Part member less active that I can find. and that's exactly what we did. Everyday we did splits to hit that goal. Teach. Reactivate. Invite. We needed to do everything we can to hit it. While this was going on, we also have another goal of finding every Mormon family that lives in the stake.

Quick reiteration of our 2 goals for the week
-30 investigators at church to beat the area record and to bring our wards alive
-find every family in the stake to reactivate, baptize part members, and bring them to the fold

Everyday had to be productive, with no useless minute. We did splits 4 times this week. I mapped and found reactivated and taught, While Elder Lowery maintained our 28 investigators and made sure life was okay and their testimonies will keep growing. Because whether we have 2 investigators or 4 golden families, until we give our all to the work. Until we give a part of ourselves to Heavenly Father's work every day, every hour, until I collapse, I don't believe we have done our jobs. I searched for more while my comp maintained what we have and we prayed every hour for this week that all will be well. We do this because that's what missionary work is about. If Jesus Christ, literally the only Perfect Missionary that has ever lived, gave His all for us, why won't I give my all for Him. Him, who died for me, bled for me on the cross, for someone as imperfect as me. If we are really, like really going to take upon His name and do His work, why should I settle for 95% effort. This week we worked, and we didn't come home until we were tired, and found, and were rejected, and walked, and are happy. Always happy, because I know that Heavenly Father will be be infinitely happier for each soul we invite to come to Him. Yeah as a missionary life sucks sometimes, but why should we expect it to be easy when it was never easy for Him. We smiled through it and life was good. Tiring sure, but still good.


Fun story (For me)

I worked AJ to hell.

He is one of the YSA workers and he told me (somewhat cockily) that he's ready and prepared to go on a mission, that it's pretty easy right?

"Really? Okay AJ, let's go to work and let me show you real deep-bone-pagod" -E. Villanueva (pagod means tiredness)

Luckily it was only the two of us, so I can go all out and so that we don't have baggage or have to wait for anyone else. Anyway those 9 hours went something like this.

"AJ my goals for today are to teach 8 appointments, preferably all new investigators, walk 15 Kilometers, and find at least 20 less active families. Let's go to work" - E. V.

"AJ remember, you have to be faster walking uphill than walking downhill" - E. V.

At this point I just wanted to murder him with work for fun hahaha

"Elder can you slow down my body hurts" - AJ
"Okay sure, let's get some coconut juice and stop, but I want you teach him the Law of Chastity while you buy juice" -E.V.
"I'm tired though" -AJ
"Your body sure, but testimony doesn't sleep, so preach" -E.V.

"Elder it's raining, should we wait for it to die down?" - AJ
"2 years is short, stop wasting the Lord's time and let's get a move on" -E.V.

Looking back I might've a bit mean, but he learned a lot. He knows how to work, once those 9 hours finished, he was dead and it was good. And the next day he called to work again. I'm proud of that kid. And I know he'll be fine. He's working everyday more and he's pretty cool when he's not pagod.


Oh yeah, umm we also had a baptism, increased sacrament attendance by 20-40 in each ward, and got 32 investigators at church. It was a productive and tiring week. I'm gonna buy a chocolate shake.

-- Elder Villanueva

Urdaneta Philippines Mission

Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Ch 55 He>I


Personally life is fantastic! I've been following some of your advice and here's what I've found. We work hardest whenever we always remember our purpose. When we are reminded of why we are here, when we are reminded of our purpose, when we are reminded of our personal conviction to serve, we are most effective and efficient. And the best way to do that is to look at something so close to our heart: our nametags. On all of our nametags we often forget that there are two names there. Ours and Jesus Christ. A lot of times as missionaries, we act for ourselves (oh that's MY baptism, I want a dinner appointment instead). So many "me, myself, and I's" that we forget what really matters, that we are here for Him. To do His will, to do what's right, and most importantly to invite others to come unto Christ. For the past few weeks personally I've been a bit distracted, and I don't think it's because I was arrogant or I didn't lock my heart or anything like that, but it happened simply because I didn't focus on the right person. Let's not forget in Matt 14: 20-25 (somewhere there I'm pretty sure) when Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water, and it was only when Peter looked away did he begin to sink. I believe that if we constantly remember Him, specifically in these latter days, we will never feel lost, we will never fall, and we will never be alone. I know that after the mission I won't have a nametag to remind me, but I hope and pray that at that point, I won't need it to remind me. I'm not saying it's easy because it's not, I'm asking you to put your faith and trust in Him rather than in yourself. And that's asking for a lot. But I promise that if we do that, we will come closer to our families and to Him. Because I know that no matter I well or how bad I do, He will always be greater than me.

Now some fun stories

Do you remember last week how we wanted Madueke (a less active South African  in Marulas ward) to go to church? Well We've been praying extra hard that it would happen and last sunday as we were about to go inside the sacrament hall, we saw him. In the front row, was an African man, and I looked at Elder Lowery....

"is that Madueke? no....."
"thats an Black guy! dadgummit is that him?!"
"fetch, did our passalong card work?"
"Elder Villanueva talk to him!"
"okay okay okay"

I slowly walked over and talked to him. His name is Timotheo, an investigator from Tanzania. And from my knowledge of Tanzania from that one time when I got bored when I was 14 and watched a documentary about it in Natl Geo, I used this knowledge to well talk to him and be friends.

"oh wow, are you near Unguja or Arusha? I heard it's a bit colder over there right? I'm Elder Villanueva by the way, I'm from California but I'm fluent in Tagalog too"

And then the funniest thing happened, Elder Lowery's English skills died.

"Hi I'm Florida and I speak Lowery, I mean uhhh I'm Elder Lowery and uhh I'm from Florida yeah, sorry i can't english, I'm filipino"
"You alright Elder?"
"I'll just go, yeah, talk later"

And the funny thing is, it kept going!!!!

In Valenzuela ward we have french family. Fluent in French, English and Tagalog, and before sacrament started we decided to greet them. You know to build trust and be friendly and I decided to say hi.

"Good Morning Bro. Salve!"
" ha hgbhjnm"

Right when Elder Lowery was about to say hi, he ends up saying a half hi and a strange grunt like Tim Allen from Home Improvement. Needless to say, I think we're going to practice our English a little bit more this week hahaha

As companions we also love to push other beyond our comfort zones. 2 weeks ago, he took me fishing, but this week it was my turn and I took him to a Korean BBQ place. It was $12 total for the both of us and it was pretty good but here's what happened

"Barbeque? I'm always into Barbeque!" -E. Lowery
"No no, I mean Korean BBQ" -E. Villanueva
"What in the world is that!" -E. Lowery
" well lemme show you" -E. Villanueva

We ate and got the unli beef and pork and it tasted pretty good. I liked it a lot, but I decided to ask Elder Lowery because he started making weird faces

"You're tellin me I gotta pay them money, for me to cook my own food? What kind of BBQ is this?!" -E. Lowery
"It's korean BBQ, so we can control when you want it" - E. Villanueva
"well no wonder it's a buffet, these little cups can't fill a baby up!" - E. Lowery

Then Elder Lowery decided to take a big bite of Kimchee thinking it was pulled pork

"careful! that's kimchee Elder" - E. Villanueva
"This ain't barbeque!" -E. Lowery

Anywho we had a few fun experiences and it's a weird but nice mix.

hmmmm anything else... We beat our record this week and had 22 investigators at church with 10 of them having strong baptismal dates, now for the mission record of 26, then to the area record.... Almost there! We also went to Norzagaray for a baptismal interview, taught a lot, mapped a few weird places, hiked, got Krispie Kreme, and we have another baptism this saturday. We also have dorky matching ties that ought to have died during the 70's #companionshipunity. Life is okay.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission







Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ch 54 The Narrow Path

This week was pretty good. it's a high 9/10 if not a 10/10 week. Personally I feel good. It's a great week! I have no complaints we're working hard, Elder Lowery is training me on how to be a district leader in case he leaves next transfer and we're still making sure that the work progresses and that we will continue to have investigators for next transfer. We are planting a lot of seeds.

As a companionship, we're doing pretty good! He kept laughing at me after zone conference though because I had to take out a loan and when Sister Hughes talked about spending money wisely, Elder Lowery whispered this in my ear

"That's straight chastisement from God"

It's true hahaha in my defense I lost 500 pesos and utilities in Valenzuela are ridiculous, but still I should've done better to budget. Anyway some fun stories!!!
.
.
We were looking for this one member and his name was Madueke. He's a part member from South Africa that moved to Marulas ward and is currently less active. I told Elder Lowery about him and he was like,
"Whaaaaaaaatttt I've never met anyone like that! Let's find him!!"
And then started a 3 hour journey lost in the barangays of Marulas.... after much tracting we found his house... with no one home. then we sat down, opened up and had personal inventory.
During the end of our personal inventory we came to the conclusion that,
"minsan.... we are bobos" (sometimes... we are idiots)
.
.
Yesterday we were spread a bit thin, we attended church 5 times. Marulas ward then Bocaue Ward then Meycauayan 2nd Ward then Valenzuela Ward then University Hills Ward. We were spread a bit thin... just a bit hahaha. But as we were counting our investigators in our two wards we realized something... today is the perfect opportunity to break our SMA record of 20 (this means having 20 new investigators attend church by their own free will (we did not force them, they chose to go to grow their faith and investigate whether or not they like the church and wanna be part of the LDS church)). We had 8 in Marulas ward which is a great start. and then Valenzuela ward started. We counted 12 and we realized if 1 more investigator went to church we can beat our personal record.... YAAAASSSS YASSSSS

but as time went on, it was still at 20 and Elder Lowery began to be very disappointed. Then I told him something straight from the heart
"Elder Lowery we got 20 SMA's and you're sad!? you're spoiled! We most likely have more progressing investigators than any other missionary in the next 3 missions"
"Is that girl baptized yet?"
"that's the Beehive President Elder Lowery"
**and then Elder Lowery joking around**
"What about that feller? is he baptized?"
"That's President Costales' son, he's about to go on a mission"
**deep bone sigh**
"I reckon 20 will do"
.
.
.
Last story, we were mapping to rearrange ward boundaries, because one of the wards is about to split and they asked us to help map to have an accurate boundary and to reactivate people. Simple enough. Anyway we were in a different area that we weren't familiar with whatsoever, and suddenly the skyline for the city started to disappear and we found a narrow bridge. It was over a large river and our worker told us,
"Elders I'm pretty sure this is the boundary of your mission, on the other side is Quezon City mission"
"Oh okay..."
Now like every self respecting Elder, of course we would not break the rules! no never!
"Elder Lowery do you wanna take pictures? but not go on the other side?"
"yes!"
we took a few cool pictures (; and after the pictures we felt the spirit disappear and we ran back on the right side of the bridge.

Oh we also proselyted everyday, solved a few problems, reinvigorated people's faith in God, and we're on track to get more baptisms next week. Life is okay




-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission

Ch 53 BANKAAAAAAA-i

This week was pretty good. it's a high 9/10 if not a 10/10 week. Personally I feel good. It's a great week! I have no complaints we're working hard, Elder Lowery is training me on how to be a district leader in case he leaves next transfer and we're still making sure that the work progresses and that we will continue to have investigators for next transfer. We are planting a lot of seeds.

As a companionship, we're doing pretty good! He kept laughing at me after zone conference though because I had to take out a loan and when Sister Hughes talked about spending money wisely, Elder Lowery whispered this in my ear

"That's straight chastisement from God"

It's true hahaha in my defense I lost 500 pesos and utilities in Valenzuela are ridiculous, but still I should've done better to budget. Anyway some fun stories!!!
.
.
We were looking for this one member and his name was Madueke. He's a part member from South Africa that moved to Marulas ward and is currently less active. I told Elder Lowery about him and he was like,
"Whaaaaaaaatttt I've never met anyone like that! Let's find him!!"
And then started a 3 hour journey lost in the barangays of Marulas.... after much tracting we found his house... with no one home. then we sat down, opened up and had personal inventory.
During the end of our personal inventory we came to the conclusion that,
"minsan.... we are bobos" (sometimes... we are idiots)
.
.
Yesterday we were spread a bit thin, we attended church 5 times. Marulas ward then Bocaue Ward then Meycauayan 2nd Ward then Valenzuela Ward then University Hills Ward. We were spread a bit thin... just a bit hahaha. But as we were counting our investigators in our two wards we realized something... today is the perfect opportunity to break our SMA record of 20 (this means having 20 new investigators attend church by their own free will (we did not force them, they chose to go to grow their faith and investigate whether or not they like the church and wanna be part of the LDS church)). We had 8 in Marulas ward which is a great start. and then Valenzuela ward started. We counted 12 and we realized if 1 more investigator went to church we can beat our personal record.... YAAAASSSS YASSSSS

but as time went on, it was still at 20 and Elder Lowery began to be very disappointed. Then I told him something straight from the heart
"Elder Lowery we got 20 SMA's and you're sad!? you're spoiled! We most likely have more progressing investigators than any other missionary in the next 3 missions"
"Is that girl baptized yet?"
"that's the Beehive President Elder Lowery"
**and then Elder Lowery joking around**
"What about that feller? is he baptized?"
"That's President Costales' son, he's about to go on a mission"
**deep bone sigh**
"I reckon 20 will do"
.
.
.
Last story, we were mapping to rearrange ward boundaries, because one of the wards is about to split and they asked us to help map to have an accurate boundary and to reactivate people. Simple enough. Anyway we were in a different area that we weren't familiar with whatsoever, and suddenly the skyline for the city started to disappear and we found a narrow bridge. It was over a large river and our worker told us,
"Elders I'm pretty sure this is the boundary of your mission, on the other side is Quezon City mission"
"Oh okay..."
Now like every self respecting Elder, of course we would not break the rules! no never!
"Elder Lowery do you wanna take pictures? but not go on the other side?"
"yes!"
we took a few cool pictures (; and after the pictures we felt the spirit disappear and we ran back on the right side of the bridge.

Oh we also proselyted everyday, solved a few problems, reinvigorated people's faith in God, and we're on track to get more baptisms next week. Life is okay






Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ch 52 Opening up the Bowels of Heaven (it flooded)

Oh yeah. last week, the title was "opening my bowels to repentance" because I'm starting to love spicy food and I ate a kilo of peppers with rice. my bowels repented for 4 hours. (I miss Elder Ouabe's spicy food) but I'm good now. This happened a few weeks ago, I just forgot to mention it.  This week it flooded and flooded and flooded. the worse was up to our  belts or bellybutton but we pressed on. kept teaching. and it worked-ish?

We helped a guy save his truck from drowning so we pushed the dead truck for a kilometer through the 2-3ft floods. It was nice because he said he'll go back to church the next day. Apparently a very less active man who just needed a small push to get back in the right direction. yes I mean that both ways (truck and testimony). (;

We also baptized one of our investigators Melody. She's chill. Sometimes a bit of a headache because she asks a lot of deep questions about the fall of Adam, the resurrection, repentance process and may debate. Which isn't a bad thing at all, but with great patience and love, I believe like Melody, everyone can come to know the truth. We just gotta love em. Because if a missionary (or anyone really) is more interested in winning than loving. Their work will never amount to anything in the world. Harsh words probably.... but I mean it's true. And unfortunately as missionaries we see it happen all the time too... because it's a simple truth that people often forget. If only we forget ourselves and remember Him, we will all come closer to who Heavenly Father wants us to be. Because in every moment, we are given a choice, and in those those few moments where it matters, if we decide to choose to win for ourselves rather than what we know is right, it'll only bring contention. And well to summarize, "contention is not an attribute of Christ, but is of the Devil."

I also went to the temple. Had a very fun time. 10/10 would do again.

Spiritual thought of the week is about missionary work and humility. or any kind of work and humility in general. specifically in 3rd Nephi 13. I'll summarize for time's sake but I highly recommend people to read this because well I'm guilty for needing work on this too. basically, whenever you do work or spiritual work, don't do it to show off, do it because it's what you genuinely want to do. If you do it only to show off, your gain and reward will be that. But if you do it, even in secret. if we pray because we want to, because we genuinely want to come closer to God, then he will bless us everywhere else.



-Elder Villanueva
Philippines Urdaneta Mission
Philippines Quezon City North Mission

Also sleeping with a map because we were mapping and reactivating

the temple and temple pics

oh and monumento in caloocan. it looks weird at night






Ch 51 Opening my bowels to repentance

My little brother hugged Eeyore. He was at Disneyland and hugged Eeyore. I just wanted to mention that because I love Winnie the Pooh. My week has been fantastic to say the least. a few of our splits fell through so we had to focus more on valenzuela more than marulas this week. but it's okay. I'm repairing relationship between Bishop Osma and missionaries and the ward loves us now. like really really likes us now. I can't explain it. throughout the week we mapped, found a few of our unites, and met with our referrals from jiffy. basically with or without splits, we are busy nonetheless. Transfer calls was nice and refreshing because I didn't transfer! YASS! Finally the ward will actually get to know me. I'm so happy. But I wish I get to lead. Maybe next transfer or a few transfers after that. I still have a while in the mission, but sometimes I just wish I get to lead an area, or at least to not be a secretary. It's okay though, pagtsatsagaan ko na lang (I'll work through and keep going). I guess if anything, this is probably Heavenly Father telling me, "you're still in a preparatory state, keep learning and when you're ready, something will come of it."



Elder Lowery is very funny. different from other comps. Elder Lutz as a DL was ummm a bit, he was a bit lazy as a DL but very funny and got along really well with the district. Elder Ouabe was extremely serious as a DL but got the work done. Elder Lowery on the other hand is just funny and hard working. He reminds me so much of Elder Belnap. Has great ideas but says something stupid all the time. a few nights ago he passed out on the floor (I tired him out from mapping because he's not used to it) and Elder montemayor fell asleep on his bed next to where Elder Lowery fell asleep and the two of them were sleep talking together.



"mommy, mommy, help! no help" -E. Montemayor

"shhh hushhh it's okay" -E. Lowery

"Okayyy I love you" - E. Montemayor

"Package? package? mailrun. PACKAGES!!!!!!" -E. Lowery **screaming**



Together we're doing great. I'm using my mapping strategy to find investigators and PM families on wednesday-thursday, friday is unite referrals,tuesday is jiffy referrals, saturday is unites and sunday is results day. so far it's pretty successful model for our time management as missionaries and we had 20 investigators as church this sunday. I just pray it continues.



We'll keep working on it and see how we can improve our processes. But if you have any ideas that could help, we would love to listen to them. Lately though we have been praying that we will be given more knowledge because we know, that we can only learn things that humans are to learn but it is only through Heavenly Father that we can learn divine truths to help our lives. Like Einstein and Newton (who are very religious men), I believe that those truths are only possible because of their diligence and their ability to follow prompting from God.



Our wards. Marulas is getting there. We recently jiffy-ed, finished mapping in the ward, and hoping to find more people there to teach. Maybe switch focus families , or have a few FHE's in specific PM families.



In Valenzuela ward, life is good. Ward is very active, perfect to start unites, but I think it can be more aggressively marketed in the youth instead of Elders Quorum and Relief Society. I'll talk about it with Elder Lowery more. we also brought an Iglesian family to church this week!! it's so cool and I'm proud of them so much. #repenteveryday #relentlesseveryday



some pics

-my dad and bro seeing winnie the pooh and eeyore. DANG IT!!!!

-Elder Montemayor finally catching a fish

-a puzzle of My Neighbor Totoro that I dragged for 5 km to the apartment, with a picture frame





-Elder Villanueva

Urdaneta Philippines Mission

Quezon City North Philippines Mission




Ch 50 Find and Remind

Life is great. food is good. I got sick last week but worked it off. and overall life is great!!!! Personally I'm happy. still working hard. Marulas Ward is basically done with mapping and I'm trying to organize fellowshipping assignments and facebook night with bishop to organize moveouts and to reactivate. They're getting there though and I know with some more work, it'll work out. Valenzuela ward is great and and I'll start mapping it this week while also teaching Less Actives/Part Member. They're doing great, but both wards are preparing for one of us to leave just in case on transfer day. Personally I feel happy if I stay or if I don't, either way the area is better now. Do I have weaknesses? always but always repenting and improving. the mission is going pretty fast.

As a companionship. Elder Lowery is Elder Lowery. Funny accent, great teacher, could be bit more organized. I remind him a few things he forgets about though like baptismal clothes, or appointment with bishop but all is well. I don't really have a complaint. Here's a great companion and we do what we need to and get it done. Sometimes he holds his emotions in his face though and the members notice when he's annoyed but that's an easy fix. ummmm we talk about food places like Zaxby's a lot. we miss southern food... yeah. I'm starting to lead more though and the area is getting better every day.

As kabahays. There is a little bit of contention. But we're working it out.

One important lesson/story I learned in the week. A testimony doesn't die but it can be buried away. Last Sunday I helped a few less active families go back to church in Marulas ward and it all happened because we visited for 5 minutes. we quickly introduced ourselves. And he said we didn't go to church because his house burnt down. Right then and there, I felt prompted to ask about his family. He said they're okay but a bit sad.

"Brother for yo, do you believe the gospel can help your family"
"Yes, yes I think it can."

Right then I bore my testimony on families and Jesus Christ, and he went to church. But I don't think that was because of me at all. He already knew what was right. what he needed to do. and what he needed to tell his family. sometimes they just need to be reminded that. Because when we're offended or make a mistake, if we look at the bigger picture, that's a small blip in Heavenly Father's plan for us. Like a parent waiting for their child to come home, when we get back home. When we go to church, He doesn't care what we did in the past. All that matters is that you're home. That he sees you in His home at church. If we just choose to remember what we already know, that Heavenly Father loves us, and wants us home. If we remember and do that, I know that He'll be well pleased.

Also this week we got 18 investigators at church, 1 baptism, and reactivated 2 families, life is good! and we burnt a few things... notice this is an electric stove.... it's yeah.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission


Ch 49 Villanueva in Valenzuela

This week has been very tiring. From transferring to teaching Unites to the Caloocan blitz to mapping Valenzuela and Marulas wards, we had a very productive/tiring week. I'm in Valenzuela now with Elder Lowery. I've been here for only 4-5 months I think... and I've had 10 areas.... (moral of the story: don't tell the mission president you love to travel).

But so far I love it! I am losing a bit of weight though but we're still working nonetheless. Both wards are very excited to have us and we're doing what we can to find and map and baptize the rest of them. There is one thing I noticed though, for a while I've been transferring every 3 weeks. And it's not necessarily a bad thing, in fairness I think it helps me hasten the work even more. It reminds me that my time here as a missionary is very very short, and I should work in my area everyday like it's my last. Because well it might be. I don't know what Heavenly Father wants of me, but I'm sure that wherever I'm sent to next or if I stay here, I will work like it's going to be the best last day of my life, and find and teach everyone Heavenly Father wants me to.

As a companionship Elder Lowery says a lot of stupid things but he is pretty brilliant. He doesn't say offensive things just dumb things like, "Is commodity a type of bird?" or "don't say linguist, that's an exotic dancer." it makes everyday pretty interesting. I look forward to another funny quote to write in my journal. but in all seriousness, he has a lot of great ideas. Including one called Unites. It's a play on words for Nephites and he seeks to unite an institute type class and jiffy. Basically every saturday we ask members to bring friends for some food or a short game then we teach Lesson 1 or 2.... and if they don't go to church the next day we drop them, if they continue to go and to Unites then we keep teaching them until baptism. and so far it has been very very effective.

In this zone I feel very comfortable. Elder Ewing and Lowery and Montemayor are teaching me a lot, and they're one of the hardest working missionaries I've met. I'm working harder than before and I'm excited to keep on learning and growing to do what Heavenly Father knows is best for us.

Oh also we had a baptism a found a cool burger place, I made fried chicken yesterday which was some dang fine chicken. I trained a ward clerk things, bought mangoes for 12 pesos (worth it), and waded through some belly button deep flood water. Which is the perfect height for us to wade through. I also got sick but proselyted anyway and now we got 4 more investigators!!! life is fantastic! I also stepped on poop but luckily it was not a rusty nail. #blessed

You see it's those small things in life that are great to remember. Those small and happy miracles that if we constantly look for, we'll remember and see how He blesses our lives everyday.

-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ch 48 The Work Continues

Life is fantastic! Not a lot of support left, but life is good as ever! I finally got to know the whole ward and we're 25 -35 names away from finish mapping Pangarap ward! The bishopric loves us and we're building relationship and finding a lot more new investigators. But now, I'm not needed here. It's time I leave the area for another set of elders to finish the job.

I'm transferring to Valenzuela ward with Elder Lowery and I'm so excited because we're batch! It's been a while since I've seen him, but we were in the same flight heading to the MTC and I'm so happy to see him again tomorrow. I feel so grateful to be in his area and to see an old friend again, and though I'm leaving Pangarap ward, I know it's okay because it's being left to 2 really qualified elders; Elders Ouabe and ParreƱas.

I'll really miss Elder Ouabe and our time together but I know that if he continues to study what I taught him, he'll be fluent in English before he comes home. Fun story though, one of our fellowshippers is this RM named Elder Aga. Anyway he's extremely mataray (sassy), and I just think it's funny because whenever he works with us, he finds a way to insult chastise compliment us at the same time. For example, he called me a nerd but said "it's okay keep going, maybe one day you'll be as smart as me." Many thoughts came to my head like "the humility on this guy.." but he's funny and it makes it more fun because elder Ouabe and I are very quiet together sometimes, so he keeps it interesting. I guess with him around, I learn to appreciate those small and simple things more and more and to laugh through our mistakes to learn and keep growing. He's a nice guy.

Oh we also had a baptism last saturday! She's a sweet soul (her name is Mischa), very kind and loves to read the Book of Mormon. And I don't know if I can dedicate baptisms but if I can, I want to dedicate it to Sister Tillman because she continually works to be the missionary that Heavenly Father wants, even in times that she's not a missionary. It exemplifies the characteristics in the PMG when it says that the success of a missionary is "based on our commitment to spread the truth."

In other news, I bought a Spanish dictionary and for language study I'm reading Ang Aklat Ni Mormon and El Libro De Mormon at the same time. It's interesting but I like it. Sorry sis (my eldest sister) that I took your Spanish Book of Mormon, please forgive me.

Also last thought, the Atonement and missionary work. Missionary work was never easy but that's because salvation is not a cheap experience. It's meant to be hard because it's worth it. because I can't explain it in English anymore, please if you have the time, watch this video and have an awesome week y'all!!!​
 Missionary Work and the Atonement-I6FKiNVbw3Y_x...


-Elder Villanueva
Urdaneta Philippines Mission
Quezon City North Philippines Mission-