He was only 10 years old at the time, but Elder Moisés Villanueva has never forgotten how he felt as the missionaries taught him and his family the gospel in Oaxaca, Mexico.
“I remember the Spirit that they left, the peace that I felt in my heart,” he said.
When Moisés was baptized with four of his siblings, his mother—a single parent raising Moisés and his seven siblings in difficult circumstances—returned to Church activity.
Later, as 18-year-old Moisés prepared for his mission, his family continued to face temporal challenges. He doubted his decision to leave and told his mother he wanted to stay home to help her.
“If you really want to help me,” she told him, “go and serve the Lord.”
Kneeling by his cot at the close of his first day in the Mexico Hermosillo Mission, Moisés felt that the Lord was pleased with his decision. He credits his mission for the growth of his testimony of the restored gospel.
“This Church is led by our Savior Jesus Christ,” Elder Villanueva said. “He knows each one of us by name. He knows our needs, our challenges, and our concerns. He also knows our strengths and even the desires of our hearts.”
Moisés Villanueva López was born on December 13, 1966, in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, to Rubén Villanueva Platas and Delfina López Domínguez. He married Leticia Ávalos Lozano in the Mexico City Mexico Temple on June 30, 1995. They have three children.
Elder Villanueva earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southeast Regional University in 1997 and a master’s degree in innovation for business improvement from Tecnológico de Monterrey in 2011. He most recently worked as the chief executive officer of Sertexa, a transportation company.
At the time of his call, Elder Villanueva was serving as an Area Seventy in Mexico. He has also served as president of the California Arcadia Mission and as a high councilor, counselor in a stake presidency, bishop, and public affairs director.