I think a lot. Like a lot.
If you hang out with me long enough you'll realize that either my mouth won't stop talking or my mouth won't open. It's true I talk a lot. And people notice that. my mission president even commented on it saying that,
"Elder Villanueva you're extremely articulate with your words and you speak very fast, I worry though that your strength can your downfall because depending on what you say, you can use your words to raise people up or use your words as gasoline to burn them." -April 2, 2019
But even though people keep telling me to think about my words, to be honest, I do. Or at least I try to.If I made someone smile or happy, I planned for it. and the opposite is also true, if I offend someone or make someone angry, often I intended to.
but that only happens because I think a lot. like I love to think in my head. It's my safe place. but this week I had a lot of mental debates.
1.) I am transferring to Tonsuya ward in Caloocan Stake (Near Letre, Sangandaan, and Manila Bay)
2.) This area is about to be given to Quezon City Mission (meaning I will most likely be reassigned to a different mission)
3.) This area is a bit difficult and it is one of the most dangerous areas in the Philippines due to the ongoing drug war here.
4.) I love adventures, and this area is really close to my old ward Valenzuela
5.) people are only sent to this area if they are being punished or if they are being tested
I am so excited to go back to an area I know! I'm not going to lie though, I've had a rollercoaster of emotions the past few days. I thought maybe I did something wrong or maybe I just wasn't good enough, but then I told myself to stop and to think about it and examine the facts
1.) I didn't lose anything
2.) I'm still a missionary
3.) I know that it is God who sent me here
I'm excited and I'm ready for what I'm going to face the next transfer. I'm not oblivious to the difficulty of my next area or the attitude of the people around me but I'm excited because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go deep in the center of Caloocan and make it home. My dad actually grew up in this area and talked a little bit about the people in that area and how they need the Gospel of Jesus Christ more than anyone else he has encountered.
And then yesterday IT HIT ME. Missionaries usually stay in their areas for 2-3 transfers before they transfer again. I'm going to Quezon City mission... And then a big mental debate started,
"I wonder if somehow I've offended President Hughes"
"is that why I am here? I need to repent"
"it's probably because I stopped sharing stories"
"Or maybe because I don't like to eat Sister Hughes' cookies"
"No that doesn't sound like President at all!!! Oh, I get it now! President probably just wants me to have a better homecoming talk. Yes of course! now I can start that talk something like this '34 months after I submitted my papers, 18 areas after I left the MTC, a few baptisms after I cried for repentance and got sent home, after 3 missions, after 3 mission presidents, and after a few more miles and trials than I thought I could handle, I finished and I hope and pray that the Lord is pleased with the work I've done.'"
"hmmm, that sounds nice. I'm excited to move. It'll be fun. It won't be easy but hey is anything worth anything for free?
There's always a price to be paid, I may not be perfect and I know I have a lot of weaknesses but as long as I'm here doing His work... Might as well be more Christ-like and pay the price to make it work.
in other news...
Elder Bjornn is happy for me to leave. He's sick of me and he's excited for a new companion. HAHA, I'm kidding he doesn't hate me, but he's happy to lead. It's his first time leading in his mission and I'm proud of him. I've prepared 2 baptisms for him and Elder Bagoyo so it should be alright (if they keep going). and life will be okay.