Three years ago I was 18 years-old ending my freshmen year at Brigham Young University-Idaho and getting ready to head back home to New York City and get ready for my 2- year mission. Its crazy how fast time flies, but something I find crazier is having to continue something. I graduated high school 4 years ago and feeling the ending of that journey was something interesting knowing I was not coming back. The same feeling I felt when I was leaving for 2 years. Through out that school year I knew that it was going to be my first and last year for a while. Being shipped off to Paraguay for two years school and people from my past became distant. While being on my mission I was accepted into Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. Thats when I began to realize the my door in Idaho had closed and something new would start when I was going back to school. Now this is the first time in about 4 years where I am not ending anything. I am going to continue my education here at BYU for the next 2-3 years. I am filled with anxiety and confusion and stress. What do I do? I haven’t even been accepted into my program yet, meaning I don’t even know what I am studying. Things are moving so fast and I am saying goodbye to people who were in the same position as I was 3 years ago. But at the same time I look back and I am proud of where I have come. This is my first time continuing, but this is also the first time my life has begun to settle in. I am a lot more independent, 21 years old, living in an apartment I pay for, working as a social media marketer/advertising intern, having friends and just feeling closer to God. I guess I just have to continue to grow and learn about what real life is. What it really is to just continue on with something.
Failure, it’s something that everyone has to go through in their lives. Failure is also something most people fear of going through in their lives. But the plain truth is that “You will lose, You will embarrass yourself, You will suck at something.” This is an ideal that I had to face. I recently got rejected from the Advertising program here at Brigham Young University and for a moment I really thought it was the end of the world. I believed that I had failed and was just done with everything. Then I looked back for a moment of what my life has been. And it has been nothing but a compilation of failures. But these failures have not kept me down but pushed me forward and have given me my persevering personality. When I first started driving it every time I tried to parallel park I would hit the car in front of me. I auditioned for 4 performing arts high schools and was rejected by 3. I auditioned for the musical theater program at my high school every year and only got in my senior year. I failed all 3 attempts of trying to get into the chamber singers in the vocal department. I bombed the SAT and ACT which I took 3 times each and ended up applying to universities with 1500 SAT score which is a pretty average below average score. I was rejected by BYU the first time. I wasted 9 months of my mission trying to become something that had little to no relevance to the big picture of my growth. But I didn’t quit on any of these things, on the contrary, every time I fell, I fell forward. I now have the drivers license and can get places and park without killing myself. The one performing art high school that accepted was on of the best ones in the state and country. The one year I was in the musical theater it was a production I actually enjoyed. I might not have gotten into the chamber singers but I was able to work on my vocal technique and helped my voice and repertoire grow twice as much. I now attend Brigham Young University being accepted the 2nd time. Accepted with the SAT score I had and attending with a full ride scholarship thanks to the community service hours and performance resume my high school offered me. I am an honorably returned missionary who served 2 years and loved every moment of it. Life is not just about the success you have but the failures as well. When you fall, fall forward because that’s what success really is. So AdLab I will be applying again and I will be falling right into your program.
It has been about seven months now, of me being home from my mission. Crazy how fast the time flies being home. Things have been very different being home. Especially different then what I had imagined in my head. Before I came home I knew there were going to be a few differences and one of the main ones being that my parents had split up and that my father had been excommunicated. Not knowing what to expect I pretty much put it in the back of my head and tried to forget that it was something real. Obviously, that wasn’t something I could just wish away. When I got home I could feel the difference in my home, it didn’t feel like my home it felt so much colder so much more defiled. I was only home for five days before I had to go across the country from New York City to Utah so I could start school. Before I left I was informed about what had actually happened in my home while I was gone, what was it that happened. My dad lied to my mom for 4 years, he had a child with our neighbor someone my mom was friends with once, someone she helped with work who she shared the gospel with. It crushed me on the inside, it left me feeling so abandoned and alone. Again I folded my clothes, got my room ready, spread the sheets and my mother could see a tear down my cheeks even though I tried to smile and be strong. I told my mom not to worry, that I was fine and that I was strong. Seeing my mother’s face the face on my 9-year-old brother’s face I could see how broken they were, I couldn’t be broken too.
I went to school and I started my first semester at BYU. I immediately pretended like nothing was wrong. I smiled and laughed and tried to socialize with all the other newly accepted students. What more could I want right? I was a return missionary attending Brigham Young University on a full ride scholarship all expenses paid for. I failed almost every exam I took, I struggled with my classes and paying attention and even learning what was going on. I never cried in front of anyone, I maintained my back straightened and tried to put on a facade. Gave my mother advice over the phone, gave her support and told her everything was fine on my end. I told her that I finally had found what I wanted to study, Advertising. I was going to apply for the program at the end of the semester. She was so excited and happy for me. The semester came to an end, and I was going back home for the Christmas break.
Going back home I saw once again the nightmare my mother was living. She was living in a home that meant nothing anymore. She lived in front of the women that had stepped into her life and took everything from her. A woman living with her husband’s child, right across the street. I told my mom its time for us to leave because this is no longer our home. So we made a plan to leave and move out to Utah. I took advantage of the Christmas break so I could get ready for my advertising application. I started my portfolio and studying for the entrance exam. An exam I obviously had to study extra hard for because of the fact that I had learned that test taking was not my forte. Plans were then expedited on New Years Day when a drunk man and women approached us. It was them, the neighbors that had ruined my family. The man began to grab my mother asking her to speak so she could tell my father to stop going after his wife, as his wife just stood there and laughed. I calmly asked the man to let go of my mother and to walk home and leave us alone. He couldn’t even recognize me of how drunk he was. Once he realized who I was he yelled hey look its little Hector he is back from his thing. He yelled towards his wife “LOOK LOOK he’s back the kid that caused your man to leave you!” I grabbed him and walked him home and said: “please go inside leave us alone I have nothing to say to you awful people.” I could see across the street my mother and father yelling at each other in a heated argument as I dealt with these drunk people. Next thing I knew they were following me across the street again which then hit my last fuse so I yelled and said please take you and your drunk dog home I am done here. Next thing I knew that woman was smacking me across the face and what happened next I guess is self-explanatory. My mother jumped to my defense and then her husband then me. Next thing I knew there was a fight on new years day and we were those people. My dad then chooses to defend the other woman and not me or my mother. He said we were done with him and if we were going to keep making him feel like shit to just leave.
How much I wish that was the end of that. That woman called the cops and accused me of jumping her then next thing I knew there were cops at my door yelling at me saying I was going to be arrested. By the pure grace of my Heavenly Father, a neighbor who saw the whole thing testified on my behalf and all charges were dropped. But after this it was very evident it was time for us to leave this place because we were only living a nightmare. In 2 days we packed everything we could arrange a place to live in Utah and left the home that my family worked so hard to achieve, a house my little brother was born in and I had known since I was 10. We made it to Utah and the winter semester started in 2 days. I had not studied for my exam but I was a little more pre-occupied with my mother. Thankfully blessings did come, the family my mother is staying with is very loving, charitable and amazing. They helped my brother get into a charter school where his education would not be hindered, my mother found a Job in the second week and things were really looking up. I was very happy for them.
I bombed my entrance exam…. 77. I tried to have hope that my portfolio and video would be enough and applied anyway after speaking with the professor. I went on with the semester, exams were still hard for me to pass. Classes were still hard to focus on with everything going on in my head from what my life had become. I strayed away from God a little because I didn’t even know what was going on with my life. I realized that that wasn’t the answer. My dad had cut me off completely with any help and I knew that the only dad I could really count on was my Heavenly one. The time came for the decision letter to come in and I was informed that I was not accepted into the Advertising program. And now we are here two days after that letter.
I write this not to receive pity. I write this not to feel entitled to anything. I write this because I am tired of keeping inside and to myself. This is me letting go of all this. It happened and there is nothing that I can do to change it. I believe God does love me and that he does bless. Despite my inner man feelings I know he still has a plan for me. My mother and brother are so close to me now and are in a better situation. My mom is working, my family and I are healthy. I know this and I know God still has a plan I just have to be patient.
Well Its been 2 long but short years hasnt it? Well this is my last email as a missionary here in Paraguay because I am coming home this week. So no more will you be bombarded with these annoying emails every monday. But I would really like to thank all of you for being with me on this journey. For all the support the emails, the letters and packages. Honestly its been an amazing time here in Paraguay and I love this place so much. My companion has also made this last change amazing. Well for some last few stories we had a Baptism this last Saturday. Milagros was able to get baptized. So it was my last baptism on the mission for my last weekend on the mission. But so of course even though it was the last one the work was not going to be an easier. So the water cut in the whole area and it was awful- We had to go the huge water reserve bucket well thing and scoop up just so many buckets of water to be able to fill up the baptismal font. And of course it wasn’t going to be a simple water bucket fill up but it ended up turning into a water fight. And we were both soaking wet by the end of the font being filled. It was actually a lot of fun. This Sunday was also my last sunday in Paraguay and I gave my last testimony. And Everyone went after me and it was the saddest thing ever. Everyone just started to cry and say how they will miss me and its making it super hard because I still cant process me leaving. But thanks everyone for the love and Support. This has been the best decision I could’ve ever made for myself. I am so sad to leave but excited to see what is next. Ill be seeing you all at the end of this week. For anyone who wants to contact me now Ill be getting home Saturday at 6:30 in the morning so you can Facebook me. and well until next time. Thats a wrap.
Hey everyone sorry yesterday we did not have anytime what so ever to be able to email so im doing it today. I hope everyones week has been going farely well. Its been really sad at the same time. I have been saying farewells to a lot of my old areas and just how hard it is that I wont see these people for a long time is really hard. My companion and I are having a really good time though which is only making it harder for when its time to go. The weeks go by but they feel like forever at the same time becasue of how much fun it is. This Saturday we will also be having a baptism my last baptism as a missionary so thats actually super emotional. I also gave my last talk on sunday because next sunday its testimony meeting and it just broke my heart because everyone was crying. And after wards a member came up to me and said Elder I am upset with you becasue you made eveyone cry in Sacarament today. Then explaining a little more on the title they gave us a piece of cake and it tastes like a sweet tamle gone bad. It literally wasnt the best cake. BUt mostly because they ran out of milk so they used water and they didnt have enough Sugar either so yeah it just want not a good time. But all in all it was a fun week. Now its only 10 more days until I am back it New York. Until next week.
Hello Everyone soooo this week was super awesome!! Soo Elder Harder and I are working really hard on tryin to Help Benjamin Aceval get back on its feet. Its a lot of fun in the aspect that there is a lot to do and at the same time im working with my best friend as my companion. So this week actually felt like forever. I felt that it was a really long week. But for sure in a good way because at the same time we are having a lot of fun. Speaking of fun so the reason why somtimes being friends with Elder Harder is super hard is because he makes me do things like go out of my comfort zone. Like climbing water towers…. and im affraid of heights…. so that was fun right. Also we started getting a little frustrated with trying to find people to work with that will progress. But just as we were about to give up we met a miracle. Like actually we met a girl named Milagros shes a cute little 10 year old girl who is the daughter of a Sister in the branch who we just reactivated I literally had no idea. We thought all her kids were members and she told us she wanted to baptise her daughter and we were like yeah we will tell the Branch President and she said no like shes 10 so you guys have to do it…. And we could not beleive it. It was soo crazy and funny at the same time. Soo turns out we will be having one more baptism. Hope you guys enjoy the pictures too. Of my comp and I getting on a water tower.
Holy Cow so this week we had changes and it honestly will not lie has felt like an eternity!!!! Like not in a bad way but in a good way. Like i was thinking what am I going to write I feel like everyone knows about changes and stuff but it was only this week. I guess Just so much has happened this week it has felt like longer then a week. SO to start off I am in my last 3 weeks. I will be ending my mission here in Benjamin Aceval making it 6 months being here and 2nd area ive been that long in the 1st being Itaugua. And My companion is the best Companion ever because its Elder Harder!!!!! What yesss we are companions again and he is going to kill me. SO this so awesome but so sad at the samt time because I just want to take him home with me. BUt its not too bad because he comes home 3 months after me so I know he´ll be home in no time.
Well so im going into my last 4 weeks of my mission meaning only 4 more left of these bad boys how exciting right??? Actually im freaking out of my mind because I dont even know what to do with my life. Im also just really nervous because changes are coming around tomorrow so I have no idea what is happening if I am staying or whose going to be my companion and its just one more meltdown one last time. But I am honestly not that nervouse because as weird as this sounds I kinda feel deep inside that everything is going to be alright im nervous but I know God knows me and the situation im in and he will give me what I need. Atleast idk if thats me with a lot of faith or just hoping so I dont have a mental break down lolol. bUt this week was pretty good it was my companions last week 😰 so that was super sad. But im excited for him and to see him in 4 weeks so its not that big of a deal. We had a baptism in the dark this saturday. So a light post got knocked out on the block of the chapel so all the lights were out on the block which meant no light in the chapel. SO we had A Baptism in the dark so we used flashlights and we did it anyway. It was actually a really cool experience. But probably woundnt wanna do that again. Well I actually dont have to much time this week because of finalinterviews last minute things but all I can ask for is if you read this by tonight pray for Elder Martinez so I have good changes and a good last 4 weeks. IM realll nervous after all. And espically becasue I want to stay because my birthday is on thursday and the members want to throw a birthday bash. So we will see what happens. But thanks everyone. UNtil next week.
hello everyone so this was a really crazy week. So this week we were traveling back and forth between chaco area seeing the tribe called Tobacon that is progressing really well and then I went on Divisions in Villa Hayes and that was a lot of fun too. Me and my companion are still in so much shock that we are companion again but its still super awesome.
It honestly helped me a lot be able to move forward a little more. Then today we also had our Zone Activity. Elder Libby and I kind of came up with this really fun idea for a re lñay race with a bouncy house haha, Which is one of the first Zone Activites I had back when I was in Molino. And it was a lot of fun. I thank my 2nd ZL for that idea haha. But it was a lot of fun. Also Its always greay to see your frined whose all the way up north and your 2 children on the mission. SO that was nice. Oh and Best part is when you get a phone call from your little brother on the mission asking “hey so I know you sing so dont lie and by the way you are singing for President tomorrow” lol okay so I guess im singing for my mission President tomorrow lol For his last capacitation with us its actually really sad. He will be ending his mission at the end of this month so Ill have a new mission President for my final interview. But I hope this song goes well lol. And I hope you guys enjoy the pictures. Thanks for all youre emails love and support.
OKay sooooo I dont know how many of you actually remember about this but I actually sand for my mission President this last week. SO My Mission President is ending his mission and they asked me to sing a special musical number so I had my good Friend Elder Vela acompany me on the piano and it was not a total disaster but almost there. I think eveyone was just too into the moment at the time to think wow this is terrible so everyone just thought to themselves that was so great and spiritual and cried. BUt besides that part of the week we are having a good time trying to really Help Benjamin Aceval really reach its potential as a Brnach. It was also our friends birthday today so what better way to celebrate then with Pizza. The little luxries we like to give ourselves every once in awhile.