Monday, July 6, 2015

This is the Villa

Hey Guys!

It has been a crazy week....  I mean, I still can't believe that we've lost two beloved apostles of the Lord.... They will be sorely missed.  Honestly, I just wish I would have taken more advantage of their words before my mission, but what I've learned from them is highly based in their example.  They died standing unmoved in the truth that must be proclaimed to all the earth.  I advise everyone to read their words carefully, and don't seek to counsel the Lord's anointed, or take their inspired words out of context.  The truth has been stated, and we ought to support it even until the end of our lives, as these valient men have done.  I am grateful for them, and I will show that gratitude by doing, at least a little, what they have done.  

Elder Putnam, Isis, and Elder Huff
Next little thought, Cries of Freedom crew, I LOVE YOU GUYS.  I know you guys were AMAZING.  I definitely rushed into the fire on the fourth of July in honor of you - even if that fire was actually a baptismal font. 

Finally, after 2 changes together, Elder Putnam finally got to baptize for the first time.

Isis Cruz - and she's PILAS.  Super great, and hopefully next week Elder Putnam will throw Fernando in.  It was a wonderful baptism, and it was humbling to watch my kid put her in....  First try, too!  Words, perfect, ordinance, perfect!  SO proud, guys.  Great way to head out the Villa, huh?
Fernando and Elder Huff

And.... Speaking of that.... Although it isn't totally sure, I've had four changes here in the Villa.... 

What does that mean?  

It means I'm probably out.  Which is sad and kind of sucks, but....  I'm kind of learning you need to get used to it.  But....  I'm not very good at that.  So.... I figured I'd give a couple last words to the Villa Olimpica.
When I first came to the Villa, I did NOT want to.  I had given my heart to Danli, and I missed it more than words could describe.  I missed my old investigators, I missed the other members and I missed the feeling of Danli altogether.  So... Coming to the Villa, as optimistic as I tried to be, made me incredibly sad.  There were many times that I said that I would never love an area like I loved Danli....

Well, I think I was wrong.

To describe the Villa, I'd have to put it like this....  I've already said that the city is pretty full of people asking for money and mocking us and saying bad words in english and laughing hysterically because they're probably using drugs and all that.  And, to be honest, that is exactly what I saw when I first came here.  It was not a shellshock, cuz I'd already seen it before, but it was sad cuz there was so much MORE of it.  
Villa Olimpica

But then, something happened.

I stopped thinking about all that.  Instead, I made kind of a secret oath to myself to meet everyone in the area, and try to understand why life is how it is here.  Did I accomplish it?  Definitely not.  Did I meet a LOT of people?  

Villa Olimpica
Villa Olimpica

..... um.... I think it's safe to say yes.  Like, a LOT of people.  And guys, there is something beautiful amongst this people.

And weirdly enough....  When I started doing noticing that, I started getting closer to all of them.  And....  From there....  I just started getting close to everyone.  There were a couple parts of the area where I don't think anyone had not talked to us at least once, and there are few people who don't know Oof and Pootman.  I know these streets so well, and I know all the dogs and the dips in the road and the time of day to avoid and it just... It's kind of come to feel like home.

So.... Where am I now?  

Well, honestly, lost for words.  When I walk down these streets now, I see a hundred people who I've already gotten to know - or more like... A family.  My family.  I see them smile, and I see the seeds that are growing every day within each of them.  If I can leave something with the people of the 28 de Marzo, and the Residencial Maya, and Villa Universitaria, and Monte Verde, and Los Ciruelos and the Magical Valley of Waste and the whole Villa Olimpica, it would be this:

I love you.  Thank you, each and every one, for the role you played in my life.  Every family, every person, everyone who gave us food, everyone that shut the door in our faces, everyone who didn't even open the door even though we could see you look through your mail hole, everyone that DID let us in, everyone who I now call a part of my life - Thank you.  You've taught me so much, and I look forward to talking to all of you after the mission.  You will NOT be forgotten - and I kind of hope you don't forget me either.  Plus, we have a long time in the future to see each other again - I'm totally gonna take advantage of that.  

Stay strong, and keep doing the most important work in the world.  Because THIS is the work, and THIS is the Villa.  See you soon, if it so is. Y una vez mas.... Les amo mucho. 

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Still by Ben Folds, Over the Hedge version.

Thank you Jesus!

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