The Longer Ones

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ch 98 Third Time's The Charm!

I'm in a new mission now!!! Nothing much has changed. The rivers are still black. McDonald's still has my back. Still baptizing. And my comp is still Elder Hough. still the same ward! GREAT!!! We're meeting our new Mission President tomorrow though and hope all will be well. 

Last week I sent about 35 letters to my friends that I'll miss... and I said goodbye to a lot of good friends. I'm going to miss them a lot. We left a good legacy in Quezon City North, now it's time to make a better adventure in Quezon City. The pictures below are from my last MLC in Quezon City North and a picture with one of my favorite companions (Elder Bjornn). It's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me right now but life is fine. 

It's weird though no one knows who we are in this new place... It's a new beginning for us. We could rarely change the way we start but now whoever is new here can start the way they want to and can be the best missionary they can be. Actually, I'm wrong. It's not rare at all. All of us can change. All we need to do is accept Him in our lives. Every challenge that comes in our life is an opportunity to come closer to Him. Yes, changing missions is a hard thing and it's a struggle that probably way harder than smartphones, but we'll endure and see it not as an obstacle but a challenge to our integrity and honor. I've been out here for 16 months now... Idk what y'all are going through but I know that whatever it is Jesus Christ can help. And if we let him into our lives and accept His atoning sacrifice for us, we can be cleansed. We can be happy. We can find purpose. We can find peace.

-Elder Villanueva
Tayo Na Pilipinas! (Let's Go Philippines!)

Me with Elder Bjornn at MLC
Last MLC with QCN
A picture of me and some extended family

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Ch 97 Two Down, One More to Go!

For my letter this week, this is an excerpt from my letter to my mission president and I think it shows a lot about my feelings about the mission split. I'm about to be transferred to a different mission which is exciting and fun and I'm glad that this mission has helped me grow and whelp... I'm happy with the work I was able to give, hope it continues. Here's the excerpt from my letter to President Hughes. 

But this is what I want to talk to you about. I want to say thank you. Thank you so much because of all you've done to help me be who Heavenly Father needed me to be. When I arrived here my goal was simply to pay my debt. I saw coming back on the mission as a way to receive restitution from my previous sins. I didn't expect that I would sincerely change and work for the salvation of others. I was selfish and prideful and even if I didn't show it sometimes, I was an idiot. An idiot that seemed like I knew what I was doing. But I've learned a lot. From all the companions you gave me, I knew that they weren't given to me by chance, it was because you knew they were the ones I needed to sincerely change. Elder Lutz who taught me to work and put the work above all else. Elder Nelson who taught me the value of planning and following through with what we promised. Elder Ouabe who taught me to care... and to teach with heart. Elder Lowery who taught me what my potential could be if only we worked to truly save others. Elder Lewis who, like a mirror, showed me exactly who I am, and what I need to sacrifice to be who I want to be. Elder Bjornn who taught me how to show love and show sincerity. Elder Tumaliuan who taught me to be happy and to always have a goal in mind. And Elder Hough who taught me value or being emotionally mature. To have control of my emotions to be an example for everyone else, even if no one is doing the right thing. 

I've learned a lot. I've met a lot of people. I've taught a lot. And most of all I'd like to think I've changed a lot on this journey. Yeah, there were a lot of times that I fell into a valley of despair, but I'm proud of the boon I was able to collect, err learn. And I'm ready to share it with everyone else I'm going to meet today. 

1 more funny story. 
The other day we were walking and having a fun time. We were looking for a new investigator and we didn't know where to go to find it so we walked and walked and walked until we saw someone with potential! immediately Elder Hough went closer and started to BRT the mom. At that moment I decided I have to BRT the kids or the neighbors and then I saw something... In the corner of my eye, it was glaring at me.. with a devilish sinful look. Oh, it was staring at me but I looked. And it was too late. It was like David and Bathsheba and I could not turn away. I walked over a few buckets and came closer and I held her. Except it was him...
It was a chicken. Now You need to know the circumstances This is a gorgeous chicken. Thick thighs, longer claws, colorful feathers of brown, grey, black, and red. And it was about 2 feet tall. This chicken. No dare I say, This fighting rooster is the lifeblood of the family we were about to teach. The chicken is from the province and you know this rooster felt love. I held it. It was good for me. 

-Elder Villanueva
Tayo Na Pilipinas! (Let's go Philippines!)

BR Picture.jpg

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ch 96 Road to Enlightenment

This week was a waaay fun week. 

Over the past few weeks, our zone has been kicking every other zone's butts so we decided to plan an activity. Something that would give them a break from the nature of our area. Currently, we are assigned in the Caloocan zone and it is the most congested, polluted, and city area in our mission. So we decided they need some time away from that. Luckily in our area, we found something pretty cool. We found a Buddhist temple with a zen garden! so naturally we talked to the workers and the guards and they let us have some peace and harmony in their temple, even for just an hour.

Needlessly to say we had a very peaceful time and it was kinda like a quiet oasis in the city. Other than that my week has been pretty good!! working really hard, life is fine, been having funny dreams lately. 14 days till we're part of a different mission but still working hard.

Oh and we smelled a and heard a cow the other day. Pretty good smell. I miss the cows. Oh and we got a few mangoes outside our house

-Elder Villanueva
Stay Awesome


Monday, June 10, 2019

Ch 95 Carebears

First off I need you to ponder this picture. 
Look at it. Isn't it wonderful?
This is an Elder Hough in his Natural Habitat. It is said that if you moo 3 times to the east, a wild Elder Hough will suddenly appear and glare with disappointment in a carebear outfit. This is my companion for the last few weeks and He's a cool guy. Very quiet and controlled guy. I respect him a lot and to be honest he's helped me be more conscious and aware of what I say. 

A lot of times I forget the power that we hold as missionaries, but every day we like it or not, we are creating a legacy. A PERSONAL legacy of who you are, a MISSION legacy of why we're out of here, and more importantly a legacy of the two names we hold to our chest every single day. 

As a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we always hold two names to our chest everywhere we go. On mine, it is Elder Villanueva and more importantly, the other name is Jesus Christ. As we walk as we teach as we are who Heavenly Father wants us to be, we are creating a legacy for our FAMILY and more importantly, we are representing JESUS CHRIST. We are proud of the fact that we are here and we work because we wanna make em proud and we want to create a legacy that will honor those we serve. I'm just lucky because my companion knows that way more than I do and he makes sure that I remember in times that I don't. 

Strange... I know... But I think sometimes we all need a good Carebear to teach us that

We had a wonderful week!! 
-Had a lot of tasty food and weird ones (we ate horse)
-Had zone conference and zone interview
-had a few more baptisms
-worked a little harder than normal
-Flooded a bit and it was good
-Elder Villanueva
Stay Awesome

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ch 94 The Elders' Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So we had an okay day yesterday. It was alright. I mean.. was it the best. NO!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! but it was a day. it was a dayful day. a day.

It started out alright. We woke up on time. I got out to work a little earlier and then it started. 
1.) my sock suddenly had a hole in it. This is okay.
Then I walked to the kitchen then suddenly I realized
2.) it's fast Sunday, I will fast for blessings and I will not eat. It was alright.
Then we walked out and proselyted before church, hopefully, to pick up investigators. then
3.) She wasn't there
4.) He wasn't there
Walked to the chapel. This is okay this happens all the time. Who knows? maybe they're already on their way to church. Anyway, church starts and we realize
5.) Every progressing investigator did NOT go to church... but every new investigator did.. this is okay
6.) Bishop forgot to say we have an upcoming baptism, his counselors chastise us for not reminding them enough
7.) An emergency happens in a different ward, we leave halfway through church.
We come back after our emergency to our ward and we find that
8.) one of our investigators is now very offended
9.) The ward is angry that we left and that we are late to one of our meetings
10.) a mom yells at us for not being better teachers. And wishes that her sons never help us  with missionary work
At this point. It was noon... 

I am not going to talk about the rest of the day because well it progressively got worse as the day went on. 

But I did learn something. With every good and bad thing that happens in our life, we always have the choice to see it as an opportunity to learn or an opportunity to judge. I believe that every criticism is a disguised compliment. Yesterday a lot of people were angry. But that's okay. instead of judging or criticizing we apologized and apologized and apologized and let them have their moment. As missionaries, we're only here but a season, but they'll be in the church forever. I would rather have them be angry at me than being angry at each other. Yesterday I admired my companion a lot because he taught me that. He taught me to smile and take it in, to never forget what you're here to do, even if no one will ever appreciate you for it. We had a bad day, but we did our best, and even if they don't believe it, I'm happy with what we're doing so far.  

-Elder Villanueva
Stay Awesome