The Longer Ones

Monday, March 9, 2020

Ch 132 - 133 #GOBIGthenGOHOME

I think this is my last email for y'all. I won't have another p-day... I'm going home next week. 
Ummm before I say goodbye might as well go through a quick review

38 months ago I decided to serve God because I felt there was something I needed to do
36 months ago I applied to go on a mission
32 months ago I left to go to the Philippines
30 months ago I was sent home and for once I felt like I was honest with myself
29 months ago I felt Heavenly Father's love for me and Jesus Christ's sacrifice on why they're there... on why it matters to care and love others.
28-24 months ago was hard. it was really hard, but the sacrifice and preparation necessary to serve him were necessary for me to really love Him.
23 months ago I met Elder Lutz and I worked my heart out like never before. This is where I learned diligence
21 months ago we were mapping and I realized there's more to being a missionary than just teaching. 
18 months ago I became a trainer and I had to care for Elder Lewis. It was a reflection of who I was when I started and it pushed me to change to who I needed to become. I waited for him and I let him grow and I'm proud of who he is and what he's done. This is where I learned patience.
15 months ago I was with Elder Bjornn and he showed me what it was like to have a friend. He was kind and he was reliable. He listened and he sat with me and I knew that our bond was good. This is where I learned charity.
12 months ago I was with Elder Hough and he showed that being obedient is a sign of love and humility. that standing up for someone to do what's right even when no one cares is a way we can love those in our stewardship. Even if they hate you for it, and especially when no one wants to. This is where I learned obedience.
9 months ago I was with Elder Fowles and he showed me that you can give maximum effort in every lesson and love them if you want to give that extra effort and study for each lesson. That our love for the Book of Mormon is past just reading it... that, if you want it to hit them then you read the Book of Mormon for those you teach. This is where I learned knowledge.
7 months ago I had an argument with Elder Holman about what's possible and our intentions behind our actions. And it grew my respect and love for him. Not because he stood up to me. But he because he stood with faith. To the ones I deemed were a lost cause, he showed me that we all have the potential to come back to Him. This is where I learned faith.
5 months ago, I was with Elder Parreñas, and I saw him go through surgery. there were times I was worried about him and I didn't know how bad it might be but he pushed through with the hope of what will come next. This is where I learned to hope.
3 months ago, I became companions with Elder Hill and he showed me that we can be united no matter what happens. whether good or bad things happen to our zone, he proved to me that if we're in it together and sought after no pride, everything will work out. This is where I learned humility. 
Now let's look at this transfer
4 weeks ago, we convinced everyone in our zone to find 100 new people taught in 1 week. by Sunday we found 1339 new friends who've read the Book of Mormon, prayed and/or went to church
3 weeks ago, we had zone conference and showed everyone that having 20 investigators at church doesn't have to be impossible, but a norm if that's what we choose to believe.
2 weeks ago, we showed our zone that being a successful missionary isn't about what our results are or what we can get out of our missions, but what we choose to give.
1 week ago we gave everyone a zone hoodie that not only united us but looks pretty dope 
This week. The last zone activity ever has been done at Mt. Balagbag. it was amazing and I'm proud to have met these stellar missionaries. They truly are sons and daughters of God.
Next week. I'm going home. But don't think that means I'll stop. I won't forget what I've learned and what I can take from my experience. But I'm glad I gave my mission as much as I did because I know that I'll never regret it. The Philippines is amazing, and the mission taught me so much. With every companion that was given to me, I learned more about Jesus Christ. I know that each one of them was planned and they taught me an attribute of Christ that I know I would never have learned if I didn't meet them. I know with each area I've had, I never knew how much time I had, so I gave it my all. I know that Jesus Christ is always there for us to pick us up when we can't. And I know he will never give up on you or anyone else, because I know he never gave up on me. I love him, I love the work and I'll really miss it, but it's okay. Next week it's time for the next chapter.


-Elder Villanueva

Tayo Na Pilipinas! (Let's Go Philippines!)

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