Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Final Post - Chris' Homecoming!

Elder Gagnon landed safely in Montreal at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 after a long flight home from the Philippines. Many thanks to everyone who supported him with letters, thoughts and prayers over the last two years and thanks also to those who came out to the airport on the coldest day of the year to welcome him home! God Bless!

Friday, January 18, 2013

January 14th, 2013 - Last email home...

Hello family! I can't believe this is my last email home. Time has gone so fast and I'm on my last week of missionary work in the Philippines. It's been an amazing two years and I'm going to miss everything so much. I have really loved the work so much! Unfortunately Chris' baptism will not go through on the 19th. It had to be moved to the 26th because they have to attend a wedding of a friend. So I won't be having anymore baptisms in Gen.Trias, but that's ok. I feel really fine knowing that I did my best here for my last two transfers. This has probably been my favorite area though. I'm kind of sad that I didn't get to stay here longer. Last week we were able to find a lot more investigators that are really great. We weren't able to teach Albao because they have been away. Brother Rojas, Brother Don, and Brother Padayao all received callings. It's just been a few small responsibilities but it still requires them to help out the church. They are all now preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood for the next stake conference! Brother Bejucos wasn't able to attend church yesterday so he hasn't received the Aaronic priesthood yet, but he will this Sunday. We also got a new ward mission leader last Sunday who will help out the work soooooo much. We were really happy about that! :D Things are going great in General Trias. Tonight we have a zone activity so that will be fun. I'm excited to come home in a week. Haha. Well I can't believe my 2 years is up. I have learned a lot about myself. President Stucki said once that "A lot of missionaries go on missions to find themselves, but they never will find themselves until they lose themselves. That has been fulfilled on my mission. As I have learned more about the Savior and his Gospel and have gotten lost in the service I also learned even more about myself. I've actually thought about it a lot and it's kind of sad because it's really only 2 years where we can wear the name tag and be called Elder/Sister ________. I testify that it is that greatest calling there is, next to being a father or mother. It is also the most important thing we can do on this earth, next to building an eternal family. One of the greatest things about missionary work is the time we get in the morning to study. It wasn't on my mission where I learned how to study the scriptures, but it was on my mission where I learned to "Feast upon the words of Christ." I don't think I ever had a doubt that the church was true, but it was on my mission where I became even more converted to the Gospel and developed an even greater love for the Lord. I really do love Him. I would just like to testify that Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother, and our Savior and Master. I testify that he lives and that this is his church. I know the Gospel is true and that it can change people. I have seen it throughout my mission and it really is the greatest thing ever. Thank you to everyone who helped me come out. It really has been the best two years. Mahal ko po kayo. Elder Gagnon P.S: See ya soon!

Happy New Year!!

Hello Family! Happy New Year! Last week was good in General Trias, we had a few dinner appointments. We had one on New Years Eve with the stake president and that went really well. We had to be in though at 6pm so we just went home that night and played Monopoly. There was actually an old board that someone left at our house a while ago, so we played that. Then I also slept for awhile and that was about it! haha. There were fireworks but it wasn't like Palawan. Palawan was a lot crazier! Hehe. We weren't able to get back to a lot of the people that we wanted to go back to though. And I'm not sure I will have another baptism on my mission now... We will have to see we might have two on the 19th but it's not for sure yet. We might have Brother Chris and Brother Lloyd. We just want to be 100% sure that they are both ready to be baptized and have testimonies and everything. :D Something else that was kool was I got to see L.A.(From Makati 2nd) last week, he was visiting family here in Gen.Trias and he came to church here as well which was really kool. We also had an exchange, so I worked with my batch, Elder Teodoro in my area. It was a good exchange. Oh and something else that's really good is Brother Bejucos finally got confirmed! He was away in Manila for a while right after he got baptized and wasn't able to get confirmed until last Sunday, but now he is confirmed and everything is great! I also bore my testimony last Sunday in church. I'm not gonna lie... I cried....A lot....Haha. It was actually really cool though, I was sitting right behind Brother Bejucos after he got confirmed and he turned around and looked at me and said "I really feel like I should go up." So I told him that I would go up with him and he would bear his testimony first, then I would. So he did and did an awesome job! Then I went and just couldn't help but cry because it was the last time I would be here for a fast and testimony meeting. It was pretty sad. I'm really going to miss the mission soooo much. I have loved it a lot and I'm going to miss helping others become closer to Christ. We also had a ZL/DLC which was pretty much a ZLC with all the district leaders there. Elder Comish is super funny. He actually packed his bags and left them at the mission home at the ZLC. It was pretty funny. Haha. He seems pretty excited to go home in a funny kind of way. Elder Morris is also excited. Haha. Anyways, I need to copy a lot of pics on to my USB so I gotta go.... Love ya! Have a great week! :D Elder Gagnon

January 30th, 2012

Christmas with Brother Chris and Sister Angel
Christmas at Sister Judith's
Hello Everyone! I can't believe this is my 3rd to last email home! Haha. Actually starting this week I started to get a little bit excited for coming home. I'm not trunky or anything, I'm still going to go out working really hard but I would be lying if I said it's starting to get hard to not think about home. Last week was a bit difficult. We had a great temple tour. The Rojas family came and loved it. We all had a really great time. Brother Arnie and his son who is 12 received the priesthood last week. It was really great. Sister Rojas was there when they were ordained and she was in tears. Last Sunday we had a combined lesson with the R.S and E.Q and the bishopric called on people to bear testimony and share experiences. They called on Sister Rojas. She was just really really happy that her husband came into the church and that he is so active. She said it was amazing because she has been a member for almost 30 years and she has been less-active for the last 15 and now she is back. After Brother Rojas was ordained she tapped me on the shoulder and just said "Thank you so much Elder." It's been definitely one of the biggest highlights of my mission helping the Rojas family progress in the Gospel. I really just love them so much and want the best for them. The Albao unfortunately didn't come to church last week, well sister did, but brother didn't. She was actually the only investigator who came to church. So we have to move their baptism back again, which is too bad. But they are also really amazing. Sister is ready for baptism, but we would rather have her baptized with Brother. They should be ready in February. :D We also have Brother Chris, who is still doing great! He will be ready for January 19th. He is going to be ready for that date. We just have to make sure he is ready for his interview. :D Then we also have a few potentials, we actually found a huge family of 14, the Villagomez family. Except one of them is already a member, the father is working in another country and 2 of them are under 8. So we can only baptize 9 of them.... They all seem really interested. My goal is to get all 14 of them at church before I go home and prepare them for baptism the best we can. :D We also have many more potentials we can go to. :D Um I'm not sure who got all competitive, I would guess Patrick Carpenter, but I'm not sure. Haha. Christmas was really good. We went to Mall of Asia last Wednesday and had fun there, we also had dinner with Sister Judith and her family. She has a husband she wants us to teach that isn't a member, his name is Jojo. Then we also had Sister Angel and Brother Chris (our baptism Jan. 19th) on the 25th of December. I would send pictures, but it really takes too long to. But think about it, in 23 days I get to show you all the pictures I took on my mission! So that will be great! Anyways I have to go now! I hope you guys have a great day! Take Care! :D Love you! Elder Gangnam style (that's what everyone calls me now!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 26th, 2012

Hello family! Last week was a good week for the most part. I don't have too much to write today because we spoke yesterday. It was a bit of a hard week because everyone was so busy going to other places for family. Things are still going really good though. :D The Albao family wasn't able to go to church last Sunday, so we were a bit sad about that. Their baptism is moved to January 19th. So is brother Chris'. So hopefully, those will be my last few baptisms before I go home. Brother Chris is doing really great. He really wants to get baptized. We ate at their house last night for Christmas and shared a message about Christmas. We also went to the Rojas' family's house yesterday. They are doing amazing. Brother Arnie will be getting the priesthood this Sunday. Actually we dropped by their house yesterday, we saw him reading a manual about the family! It was really cool to see. They are also coming with us to the temple tour this coming Saturday. This will be my last temple tour in the mission. It's kinda sad. Haha. Last week we also had a Christmas party at the ward. It was really fun and every auxillary did the Gangnam style dance. It was funny. Anyways. I'm really sorry this email is so short. I will have more to say when I come home in a few weeks! :D Anyways gotta go! I love you guys! Elder Gagnon

December 16th, 2012 - Flight itinerary...Coming home January 23rd at 9:15 p.m.!!

Hello family! Things are going great here in General Trias. We had a really great week of work and people here are really getting excited for Christmas. Last Sunday we had brother Joel Bejocus' baptism. It went super great! He was so happy to be baptized and he asked that I baptize him. It was a really great service. It's actually a good thing to have a baptism on Sunday because so many people attend. The only thing is he won't get confirmed till this coming Sunday. He has been super amazing. He has been sharing the Gospel with his friends and reading the Book of Mormon everyday and really studying it. We were really happy that he decided to join the church. His kids also counted as returned to church last week so that was also really great! Also, Brother Rojas was confirmed on Sunday so the Rojas family are now all members of the church! We are so happy for them. What was really amazing about Sunday though was right before the baptism one of the speakers dropped out! So we were really looking for someone to give a talk. I jokingly asked Brother Rojas if he would because he has done stuff like that before. He actually did it though and did a fantastic job talking about baptism! He is sooo amazing and knows the doctrine and scriptures really well. I was so surprised that someone who got confirmed that day was that ready to give a talk at a baptism. Him and his family will be coming with us to the temple tour this coming Dec.29. :D Brother Don is also doing really well. He is going home to Bacolod for the holidays but he will be back soon. Bishop has been saying that he will have a calling or responsibility soon after he gets back. We also still have the Albao family who are doing great. They are just getting ready for their baptism this coming January 5th. We really love them a lot and are sooo happy for them. We also have brother Chris, who should also be ready for his baptism this coming January 5. The ward has been really excited for his baptism because he has been coming to church for sooo long. We have been having a lot of success with less actives.. This family (Giganto family) we taught came to church for the first time in over 3 years. The ward has been working with them for a long time and everyone was really happy to see them come back. We also found someone on a jeepney who has been less active for a bit over 30 years. She is from Quezon city and remembers how good it was to be in the church. We went to her house, taught her and her family, who are not yet members and this sister went to church with her daughter. Her husband wants to come, and we actually committed him to be baptized, but cannot yet because he works everyday. They are the Maglayon family. We are also working with a lot of other new people who we have found recently who are also doing really good. Unfortunately, our ward mission leader just left on his mission. It was kinda sad. He really helped us out so much and was a great friend for all of the people we were teaching. Well next week our Pday is on Wednesday so I think I will just do a set up call sometime during the week. Don't worry! :D Anyways I have my flight plans now! I will be coming in at about 9:15pm January 23rd. It's kinda weird because I leave January 23rd, but because of the time change I also arrive on January 23rd. Haha. Kinda funny isn't it? Anyways that's about it for now. I love you guys! Have a great week! :D Elder Gagnon!

December 10th, 2012

Elder Gillette, Elder Querubin and me. This their last day in the mission!
Hello family! We had another great week this week! It's too bad that Lei went to church in Gen.Trias this week because we had stake conference in Rosario... So she probably didn't get to go to church... That's really too bad. She should try again though. Haha! Sorry Lei! Last week though, we were able to teach Brother Larry again and he is doing good. He wasn't able to attend stake conference but he said that he really felt different at church, because he hadn't been since he was really really young. He is really trying to make a big change in his life though, he has been progressing great. We are teaching the Word of Wisdom tomorrow so we are going to see how that goes. We also went on exchanges last week. I worked in Kawit with Elder Gillette who is going home today. It was a good exchange, we are both really old in the mission so it was kool to work with him. We taught a bunch of less actives and taught really good lessons together. We were also able to teach the Albao family last week 3 times! We are so happy for them they are progressing so great. They are getting ready for their baptism this coming January 5th. It's been a huge blessing for Elder Woolsey and I to watch them progress in the Gospel. Our last discussion was on faith and I love using Ether 12 to explain faith. They also told us that as they have listened to us and done the things that we have had them do, their faith has increased a lot and they feel closer to God. They also came to stake conference. Stake conference was crazy there were sooooo many people they weren't even able to fit in the chapel and the cultural hall so they had to set up a camera and put T.Vs in all the other rooms and have sort of a broadcast. We were able to save the Albaos seats but we weren't able to get in. It was still really good. The Cavite stake just split into two and the new stake President of Cavite stake is President Maurillo from General Trias! President Stucki also spoke and so did Elder Collado and Elder Ardern of the Seventy. The Rojas also were able to attend the stake conference and Brother Arnie really liked it. We were surprised to see him all dressed up in his shirt and new tie. It was really awesome. We unfortunately were not able to teach him this week. He will also be confirmed this Sunday and will receive the priesthood the following week! :D This week however, we do have a baptism. Brother Joel has been really progressing great! The first time we visited him, we gave him a goal date for Dec.15, well he has working that day so we're going to do it on the 16th. So that day, Brother Arnie will be confirmed and the Brother Biocus will be getting baptized! We are really excited for him! He has been doing amazing. We also taught him about faith last night and it went really well. Him and his kids are all coming to church again and it's really great. :D Then Brother Don is also doing really great, we are currently working on getting him a calling or responsibility in the church. Hopefully we will see something happen this week! :D Oh yea and I've really been praying a lot lately about what it is I should do when I go home in 6 weeks and I was wondering if you could maybe ask Steve if he would happen to have another spot open for me when I get home. That would be really great. I'm thinking I might work right when I get home and then go to school in September. I have a few other things in mind that I want to do but we will just have to see when I get home. Haha. Also if you know anywhere else that's really good that is hiring... please let me know. Thank you! Also.... I'm planning on buying a few things before I go home. Just things like shirts and long sleeve shirts and shoes....It's all cheaper here... So if it's possible could you please maybe put about 300 dollars on my account? Also if there's anything at all you want me to buy please tell me because it is soooooo much cheaper here. I can also find anything. Just let me know. Thank you again! :D Also this week is transfer day. I am staying with Elder Woolsey. That is about it for this week though. Not too much else to say. We are going to be working with a few new investigators we have found this week so we're really excited for that. Anyways that is about it for this week! Hope you guys have a great week! Take Care! Mahal ko po kayo! :D Elder Gagnon

December 2nd, 2012

Ocean baptism in Naic
Cavite Zone activity
Brother Don's baptism
Hello! Last week was another fantastic week. Brother Arnie Rojas got baptized yesterday. It was one of the best baptismal services ever. A lot of people were crying because it was just such an emotional service. Sister Rojas was really crying because she had been married to him for 15 years and had been inactive for most of that time, but had been praying that her husband would be taught and join the church. I actually almost cried. It was really amazing. We are so happy for the Rojas family. They are really amazing. Brother Arnie asked that I baptize him and right before we got in the water he just started telling me how excited he was to be baptized and everything. It was really amazing! Actually last week something that is pretty cool is that Brother Arnie is looking to go work abroad and his goal is to eventually get him and his family to........CANADA! He really wants to move to Alberta. So I thought it would be funny if he did end up going soon and got see the other Elder Gagnon :) Something also really exciting was Sister Quilloy, who we taught just a few weeks ago came back into activity in the church. She has just completely changed since the first time we met her. It's really amazing what can happen to a person when they repent and come back to church. She has changed a lot. Her kids will also be returned to activity next week. Then we also have Brother Cuenca, who was the first branch president of General Trias, return to activity next week and then the Biocus kids who will return to activity in 2 weeks. Their father,Brother Joel, will also be baptized in 2 weeks. So things are going really awesome! The Albao family is still doing good. They really want to be taught be they don't have a lot of time... They were not able to come to church last week. Be they still have their goal date for this December. We also found another family, the Perez family. Sister wasn't too interested in the message, but Brother Larry, who is a seaman, was. He actually invited us in to share a message, so we did. He also told us how much he wanted to be closer to God and shared some trials he is currently going through. We went back to him again and taught him the restoration and gave him a baptismal date for January 5. Hopefully everything goes good and we can get his family to listen as well. He came to church last week too for the first two hours. Also another great thing that happened last week was Brother Don received the Priesthood. It was cool. They are now looking to get him a calling or responsibility. So things are really picking up and doing great in the General Trias ward! :D That's about it though for this week. OH! We had a trainer's meeting last week, so I got to see Elder Villa and my Grandson! :D And that's about all that happened last week. It was really great and I hope you guys have a really awesome week! Take care! Mahal ko kayo! :D Elder Gagnon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 26th, 2012

Hello Family! Last week was another really great week! Things are going really great with everything. The missionary spirit in the Branch has gone up soooo much! Last week there was almost not enough space in the building to fit everyone. Bishop said it was the most he had seen attend in a really really long time. It was really a great Sunday. We had 11 investigators come and 10 less actives that we have been working with come as well. It was really awesome! Last week the whole Rojas family came for the 4th time in a row meaning they have returned to activity! And this week Brother Arnie is going to be baptized completing that family! :D We also had brother Don's baptism. I ended up doing the baptism...it was really great. Brother Don didn't know he was supposed to give his testimony but he still did it and really did a great job. I really see him as a future leader. We're just doing everything to make sure he stays active. Then we also gave 2 more baptismal dates...Brother Biocus, who is the dad of 2 kids that are members(not sure how that happened.) But Brother Biocus is really ready. He has been to church 3 times now and really wants to get baptized. He is doing great. Then we also gave a baptismal date to Brother Chris who has been going to church for a year with his wife and kid but never wanted to get baptized. UNTIL NOW! haha. His goal date is for the 5th of January so we are hoping and praying that it goes through. He is actually someone I have been praying for since I got here and he finally decided to accept a date:) Then finally we have the Albao family, still doing awesome. They will be ready this December 15 and we are going to make sure they know everyone in the ward and have home teachers and everything so they can get to the temple in about 1 year from now. We really love that family and hope everything goes great with them. Then we also had a mission tour last week with Elder Neilson of the 70. He spoke about receiving revelation and establishing the church here in the Philippines. He made sure that we weren't just focusing on baptizing but also on re-activation and retaining those baptized. So far I think we have a pretty good balance. We just need to keep finding more people to rescue and to baptize. It's ok. Don't worry about sending a Christmas package. I don't really need one. I will be home in about 60 days. (weird.) Time goes by so fast. I'm excited to come home but at the same time I'm not because I'm going to miss this place a lot. I really love this last area too. I love the people here in General Trias. I'm going to miss this area a lot. Anyways. I gotta go. I hope you guys have a great week! Take care! :D Elder Gagnon

November 19th, 2012

In his new area, General Trias
Hello family! We had a really busy but great week in General Trias last week. It went really well. As you know last Wednesday was temple day and that went really great and we had a great time. Last Thursday was a good day we taught the Albao family, who are doing really amazing. Sister Albao even came with us for the temple tour that happened on Saturday. They are doing so amazing. Actually last Thursday, we had to teach them at 6:30am because brother had work at 8:00am till 9pm. We got up earlier and then went to teach them. We're currently teaching the plan of salvation. We just taught the first three principles of the gospel. Things are going great with them though. We also have still been teaching brother Arnie. His family will be counted as re-activated this week, then the next week Brother Arnie will be baptized completing the whole Rojas family. Brother Arnie really loves church and I know he is going to be a strong member. Also, this Saturday, Brother Don is going to be baptized. He has been doing great and the ward is really excited because it's the first baptism since the beginning of May. We are all really excited for Brother Don. He is really great. Last week we had a recent convert family come with us to the temple tour and so did Sister Albao. They all really enjoyed it and I would send pictures but I do not have my card reader on me now. Sister Albao said she was really curious to know what was inside the temple. I know that the time will come when her and her husband will both go in and get sealed. They are a really great family. We had a missionary fireside last night and it was in Imus which is far away from Gen.Trias, so we ended up sleeping at the zone leaders house last night. That's why I don't have my card reader. I'm really really sorry. Anyways I know this is a really short email, but everything is doing really great and I don't have much else to say. Don't worry about me getting trunky. It won't happen. :) I'm going to die strong. :) I will admit though, I'm starting to get a little excited to go home. It's really all mixed emotions. This week is my last zone conference and I will be giving my going home testimony. It's really sad. I really have loved my mission so much. It's really been the best thing for me so far for my life. That's about it though for this week. I hope you guys have a great week! I love you! Elder Gagnon P.S: Don't worry about Christmas... haha. I go home like a month later. Thank you though! :D

November 13th, 2012

Hello Family! Today was temple day so it was also our P-day. I'm here in Mega Mall in Makati zone with the Zone leaders and 2 other elders in our zone. Last week was super amazing. We had so much success and we are really seeing the missionary work go up in General Trias. Brother Don is going to get interviewed this Sunday for his baptism. We taught him the plan of salvation last Sunday and it went really well. He is really ready to be baptized. Last Tuesday we had our zone meeting which went well. Something that the whole mission is focusing on is finding. We had a really good experience last week finding. Actually we found this family 2 Fridays ago and taught them last Thursday for the first time. It started 2 Fridays ago when me and Elder Woolsey were lost looking for an address and I actually have a trick to do finding. I talk to everyone and ask them if they know where a certain address is to try and start a conversation. We did it to one sister last week, Sister Shirley and she agreed to have us over the next week to meet her and her husband. We taught them the restoration last week, extended baptismal dates on the first lesson and then taught about the Book Of Mormon Introduction 2 days later. That Sunday the husband, Brother Joelan came to church and loved it! I'm sure both of them are going to be baptized this coming December 15th. They are both really ready people and love listening to us. They are the Albao family. We also have been teaching Brother Arnie Rojas. I think 2 weeks ago we extended him a baptismal date for the 1st of December. At that time he wasn't really sure if he was ready, but last week we taught about the Book Of Mormon and he had read it himself and said that his faith in Christ increased so much and all he read was 3 Nephi 11 and the B.O.M Introduction. It's just really cool to see where he was a few weeks ago where he wasn't sure if he wanted to leave his old church because he was a teacher there and everything. But he really wants to be baptized. He shared to us last night how much he really loves the church and everything. It was another great spiritual experience for both Elder Woolsey and I. Also last Monday, we found 10 new investigators, some that I really think have great potential. We found another family of 4 where we were only able to share a 5 minute lesson about God and prayer. It was great though. I have a really great feeling about them. We are going back to them tomorrow. I'm really excited for everything that is happening in General Trias. That's about it though for now. I'm really tired because we had to get up at 3:30 a.m. this morning to come to the temple. But we had a great session and everything went well. Things a going good with Elder Woolsey. His Tagalog is coming along. He is a bit quiet in lessons and everything but it's all good. He's a hard worker. Training is really fun! :D That's about it though for this week. I forgot my card reader so I will unfortunatly not be able to send pics... But I will send some next week! I hope you guys have an amazing week though! I love you! :D Elder Gagnon

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 5th, 2012

Me And Elder Gadberry right before I left to go to General Trias.
Elder Navalta and I in our area.
The Rosario District. (Elder Fernando, Elder Reyes, Elder Navalta, Sisters Richardson & Stromberg, and Joice, who is a ward missionary for the sisters)
All the trainers with their trainees this transfer
Me and Elder Woolsey with President Stucki!
This is Me, Elder Villa(my first anak), Elder Woolsey(my second anak) and Elder Acosta (my apo!)
Hello Family! Last week was really great. I said goodbye to a lot of members with Elder Navalta and got to know the area just a little before I got my new companion. I really like this area a lot, actually this is the same area where Elder Glodo finished his mission, so people know him a little bit. He was only here the last six weeks of his mission. And now the big news! My new companions name is..... Elder Woolsey. He is from Beaver Utah and is HUGE! He's a big guy, but loves to work hard! It's really cool training again. I'm really happy to be with Elder Woolsey. The members already love him! Last Tuesday we had district meeting. I really really want to focus on becoming Preach My Gospel missionaries. So we played a game last week where I said random phrases in Preach My Gospel and had the district find them and talk about them a little bit. It was a fun game. Then we also discussed finding through your own efforts and decided that we are going to set up english classes as a district. The district here is really small. It's just us in Gen.Trias, the Elders in Rosario, Elder Reyes and Elder Meyer and then the sisters in Noveleta, Sister Richardson and Sister Stromberg. Then on Wednesday we said goodbye to a lot of members, Elder Navalta packed, and they had a small goodbye party for him. It was an FHE. It was fun. I really like the members here a lot. They all seem really nice. The only problem really is that we don't really have any investigators. It's changed a bit but we still have to do a ton of finding.... But Elder Woolsey and I had a good day last Friday in our area. We taught Arnie Rojas and were able to give him a baptismal date for this coming December 1st. He really wants to know the truth and we really have high hopes for him. We also found a lot of less actives and found one who hadn't been to church in 8 years. After talking to her for a while I felt impressed to share from Jacob 5. It was a really spiritual lesson. We thought for sure the sister would come that Sunday... but she didn't. So it was kinda sad. We also taught a few other really great lessons that day to quite a few less actives and recent converts. Then on Saturday we did a whole day of just finding people. We found 2 familes, one that we have an appointment with later tonight. We are really excited for them. And we also found another family that we plan to go back to later this week. They all really seem interested too. Then On Sunday we taught someone who had been an investigator for 2 years and finally wants to be baptized! :D So we taught him about the qualifications and about a few of the things he needs to do before he is baptized and it went really really great. His name is Brother Don. We set his date for November 24th. So were going to have a baptism! :D The ward was really happy about that when we reported it in our ward council meeting. Oh, I'm going to stay in Lasalle ward when I come back. I don't plan on going to the singles ward. It's too far. Haha. Just kiddin'! But I really do want to stay in Lasalle. Also that will be fine, I could do my homecoming talk on the 27th. Please don't tell anyone though. I don't want it to be some kind of big event, or have even have anyone there. Haha. That's about it for this week though. I'm going to be able to send quite a few pics today. So that's really good. I have to go now though. I hope your week is awesome! I love you guys! Love, Elder Gagnon

Friday, November 2, 2012

October 29th, 2012

Hello Family! It's been a crazy week! I got here to my new area last Tuesday night and it's really awesome here. I already met quite a few of the members and they all seem really excited. My companion's name right now is Elder Navalta, he is from Pangasinan. My anak gets here on Thursday, which is transfer day. Right now Elder Navalta is showing me the area and who the members are and stuff. We actually had a pretty good week even though we were only able to work for half of the week. Elder Navalta is a really awesome missionary. General Trias seems like a pretty hard area. I think it might be one of the biggest areas besides the ones on Palawan. It is a lot like Naic. It's actually really close to Naic as well. We don't really have a lot of investigators but we will change that around soon. Actually something that was kinda sad was that I didn't really get to say good bye to the members in Naic. I'm really gonna miss them, even though I was only 5 weeks with them. Last week, here in this area, we contacted 2 referrals. We contacted one family, the Dosa family and shared to them about God and how the Gospel blesses families. It went really really well. I really have high hopes for that family. We also contacted a husband of a member who isn't a member yet but is really curious. He is really active in his church, but I also have really high hopes for him. He was away from home working abroad for a while and now he's back. We even committed him to come to church last week and he came with his whole family. It was really good! :D Something that was also really kool was last Thursday we had a trainers meeting, so all the missionaries who will be training this coming transfer went to this meeting. I was really happy because guess who I saw there?.....Elder Villa! :D So my anak is going to have an anak, I'm pretty excited for him. President said that was the first time he saw a trainor and a trainee at the same trainers meeting. It was cool. :D We have had a dinner almost ever night here in General Trias. The members here are really awesome and seem to really want to help. I'm really excited to be working with them. I also can't believe I'm coming home really soon. Time really does fly by. Part of training is this 12 week program and it kinda weird to think once I'm done this twelve week program that I'm going to be done my mission. It's kinda sad really. That is about it though for this week. I'm going to try sending pictures, but I still won't be able to get the ones of the baptism in the ocean from a few weeks ago. I will try getting it to you guys soon though. I hope you guys have a great week! :D Mahal ko po kayo! :D Elder Gagnon P.S. Actually I'm really sorry, I will not be able to send any pics this week. My card reader is broken and they don't have one here. I'm going to buy one today. I'm really sorry! I love you guys!

October 22nd, 2012 - NEWS!!

HEY!!! I just got some really big news... So big that I had to come back to the email shop just to tell you guys. We were at the house cleaning and about an hour after I finished emailing, President Stucki calls.... Elder Griffin answered the phone and President told him there was an emergency and that we needed to find a ward missionary in our area in Naic to be with Elder Griffin for a week. Elder Griffin said we would try, and President said that it would be because I will be leaving Naic TOMORROW to go to my new area, where I will be training!!! Then President asked if he could speak to me. I had told him in an email that I wanted to train again because it was my favorite part of my mission. I did say though that it would be up to him. He said he prayed about it and said that that's what he is feeling I should do, so I will be shotgunning in General Trias and training. I will also be district leader again. So I'm really excited and nervous at the same time. I just thought I should let you guys know. President told me this would for sure be my last area. I'm kinda disappointed that I have to leave Naic so soon though. I just started getting close with the members and we really started having great success.... It's ok though. I leave tomorrow to be with Elder Navalta who is assigned there and we will be companions for a few days, then I get my anak! Anyways, that's just the new news! I now have to go home and pack and wash clothes and finish cleaning the house... I love you guys! :D Elder Gagnon!

October 22nd, 2012

Hello Everybody! I hope your having a great time in Utah. I can't believe Justin goes into the MTC this Wednesday. It really went by so fast. Next week will be transfer week and a lot of good friends that I have met in the mission are going home. After this transfer day I only have 2 left! Time goes by so fast it's crazy. Things have been getting better here in Naic. We had a harder week last night. We both worked in Tanza last week because they were really struggling with the work. I got to work with Elder Tietiewa. He is from Kirbati. He has been out for about 5 months now and he is really awesome. He came into the mission not knowing and English or Tagalog, but now he is doing alright. We had a really good day and were even able to extend a baptismal date. Their work this week was really amazing and we were really happy for them. We also were able to go on splits last week and I worked with Patrick, our branch mission leader. It was a pretty good day. We visited this one less active, named Imy Jean. We shared a message with her then we even brought her to an appointment we had with another less active, the Duazo family. It was great because both Imy Jean and almost that whole family came to church that week. It was great. Unfortunatly we really got punted this week from a lot of our investigators. We weren't able to teach the Manuel family or the Linas family... BUT! We were able to teach the Alano family last week which went great. Sister Vangie Alano hasn't been to churh for about 7 years and her husband is not yet a member, we found them last week and taught them again yesterday. It was a really great lesson, both committed to come to church this week and Tatay Alano even committed to be baptized this coming November 24. So we are really excited for him and his wife. We are really still in the progress of finding. We have a lot of baptismal dates that we gave out, but a lot of them don't look like they will end up going through. But we are pretty sure Tatay Alano will go though this coming November. Other than that, we really need to help our investigators come to church. It's been the hardest thing for us so far. Then again, we did have 9 less actives at church. The Ambubuyog family came for the second time in a row. We are hoping to have them fully active again and on the way to the temple. We actually had a really spiritual lesson that I tried with them for the first time. It was on faith. Their big concern is that Tatay just doesn't have enough money to come to church every week because he doesn't have enough money. We committed them to come one week, they came and then that week Tatay found a job and was able to get money so he could keep coming! It was really really great. We're really happy for them. Oh! Last Saturday there was a baptism. Someone from Mandaluyong, who lives in the sisters area requested to be baptized in the ocean. So they coordinated with us and we were able to rent a place at a beach for them to do their baptism. It was cool seeing people from Makati again. I ended up conducting the baptism. Five were baptized that day and before I left there was this chinese investigator that the sisters had been teaching who was also baptized yesterday which is really great! I would send pictures but I cannot today.. I will try next week.... Promise! :D Well, that's about it though for this week. This is the last full week of this transfer. It went by really fast. I hope you guys have a great week. I hope Justin has a great time on his mission. I really do love him and am so proud of him for wanting to serve. Well I love you guys! Have a great week! :D Elder Gagnon

October 15th, 2012

Hello Everybody! Last week was another good and tiring week here in Naic. It's only been since Wednesday since I last emailed so I will start from there. We had our temple day and preparation day last Wednesday and man, it was the craziest P-day ever!!! We left from the computer shop to go to the temple, spent about 2 hours on the bus, I got my going home Xray at the area office next to the temple, did a session, then spent another 5 hours on the bus. And that was our preparation day! Haha! We were really tired after being on a bus for 7 hours, but at least we got to go to the temple which was really great! Hopefully next time though our temple session isn't at 3 in the afternoon though. Thursday was a good day. We visited the Duazo family. Part of the family is inactive and part is active and one of the sons wife is not yet a member. So we taught the son, Don Jon and his wife Mirasol. They are a really great family. Don Jon is actually a returned missionary who served in Angeles mission. We really want to see him come back and have his wife come into the church. We also taught the Manuel family that day, who are doing really great. When we saw them that day we were able to teach them about prophets. We had a really good lesson with them. We were even able to give them a baptismal date that lesson in November. We really want them to come to church this week. Brother Manuel has been really reading everything we have given him and finds it pretty interesting. We have a return appointment with them this week. Brother Joseph is doing really great too. He is only going to be baptized in November though because he smoked once. He also needs to start coming to church again too. He really has a desire to be baptized though. Then we also have the Novero family. They are all doing really good. We were not able to teach them this week, but we're going to really focus on them and get them to church this week. We seem to be doing pretty good with finding. We only were able to get a few investigators at church last week. One of them though was very interesting. We talked with someone on a trike who was driving us to the church for the Saturday session of General Conference. He said he knew a few people that were members and after talking to him for a bit we finally got to the chapel, and he said our church to him always looked really nice, so I asked if he wanted to come inside to see what it looked like. We brought him in showed him around showed him the sacrament hall, the tabernacle choir was singing at the time for Gen.Con and then we walked outside. He was really happy and said that he felt like he was in heaven. We invited him to come to church tomorrow and guess what? 20 minutes into general conference during President Eyrings talk, I see him standing way in the back, so I went to him and brought him to sit with us at the front. He stayed for the whole session and loved it. I even noticed tears when he was listening to Elder Hollands talk! He lives in Trece, which is an area in the Naic zone so the sisters assigned to that area are going to teach him this week! We're really excited for him. I unfortunately will not be able to send pictures this week. Have you guys been getting the ones that I have been sending? Because I have been sending pictures. Also if I had any advice for Justin, it would be to really study and apply everything in Preach My Gospel, especially Chapter 3. A great thing would be to always work. In Chapter 6 under diligence there is a quote by Ezra Taft Benson that says the secret to missionary work is WORK! If he always works then he won't have any problems, even if things aren't going well in the work or with his companions or just about anything he will always feel better when he works! Also one more, this is really just loving everything about the work. He will do great though. OH Something else, that I wish I knew is that ALWAYS finding is very important. It's something that our mission has been struggling with, but there really shouldn't be a time on his mission where he isn't finding some new people to teach. I'm really excited for him though. I hope Andrew doesn't get too lonely though. It will be weird to only have one boy at the house. As for General conference I thought it was really good. I was actually talking about it with Elder Gadberry, one of the district leaders here and we both thought that everything was more directed to the whole world instead of just our church. I loved Hollands talk it was a lot like a talk that he gave at the MTC that we watched for a zone conference once here in the mission. Really great talk, I think that was my favorite one. I also loved Elder Nelsons talk and President Uchtdorfs talk. I really loved his last line where he said, "I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live". It was a great talk. That was about it for last week though. I'm out of time now. I hope you all have another great week! Have a great time in Salt Lake! Also I hope Justin has an amazing time on his mission. I know he will do great and have a fantastic time! I love you guys and have a great week! :D Love Elder Gagnon

October 9th, 2012

Hello Family! It was another great week here in Naic! I will start by answering your question... My companion is from Utah. Acually he lives in the boundaries of the Ogden mission and says that he knows Elder Kaufman. So that's pretty cool. I'm only emailing today because today is our temple day and starting now temple day is going to be Pday. Our time at the temple is 3pm so were going to do our email first then go to the temple. Last week was another really good week. We have been having pretty good success in finding. We have found quite a few families that are really good, but everyone we're teaching seems to have a hard time coming to church. None of our investigators came last week which was really unfortunate. It doesn't look like we will have a baptism for this month, but there are quite a few for November. The Linas family that we found just over a week ago is doing really good, they really have a desire to grow closer to God, which is just great! Then we also have Brother Joseph who is doing really good except that we had to move his baptismal date to November because he wasn't able to attend church. Then we also have the Solero family who have baptismal dates but have a hard time with work. A cool experience though was we went to their house last week and we weren't able to teach them because Brother Solero wasn't there so we asked Sister for a referral and she said, "teach them" and pointed to her neighbors. So we went there and taught them as a family and they accepted the message and even committed to being baptized on a specific date! So we have a lot of people with goal baptismal dates we just really need to help them progress so they can be baptized on their date. Then we also had ZLC last week, which was great. We had a great discussion on the desires of our heart and why it's so important in everything. It's really a simple subject but I learned so much about it last ZLC. It was really great. We also talked about finding all the time because it's so important to always be finding even if your teaching a lot of people. It was a really great ZLC. Also, I got to go there early and sleep at the mission home because it takes about 3 hours to get from Naic to the mission home so we went there the night before and slept there in an air conditioned room with hot showers the next day! It was great! The zone leaders from Palawan were also there that night. It turns our my old area Roxas isn't doing too well.... apparently they are having problems in the leadership, and then things in Taytay are going even worse and they might even close the Taytay area. It was really sad. :( On another good note though, I got to see my batch, Elder Comish and Elder Morris! :D We also had interviews last week which was great. President reminded me that my time here in the mission isn't much longer and he wants me to go out strong. It's really my goal to do that. I still have a lot of things that I could improve on but I've made it a goal to not be trunky and to love the Lord and serve him the best I can till the end. We also had our zone meeting yesterday which was great. We have good goals in Naic. We really want to develop a culture of finding because it's something we should be doing all the time. So we had a lesson on that and practiced different finding situations. It went really really well. And that's about it for this week. I hope you guys have a great week! I love you all! Take care! :D Love Elder Gagnon

October 1st, 2012

Naic branch activity last Saturday
Nicole's baptism last Friday
This is me in my new area...NAIC! :D
This is me and my brothers in the mission, Elder Olongayo and Elder Munk. They both go home this transfer...
This is us at the Stake President's house for the last time in Makati...the Arzaga family.
Hello family! Another great week here in Naic. We were really busy last week, I even got to go on 2 exchanges! Nicoles baptism also went through last week and it went really great. I also got to do an interview for the elders in the Punta branch. Oh yea, I guess I didn't say this in the last few emails... I'm still a zone leader here in Naic. My companion, Elder Griffin is batch with Elder Kunzler, so he has been out for about 14 months now. Actually my other batch, Elder Antonio, was his last companion so I hear quite a lot about Elder Antonio in this area. Something else that is pretty cool in this area is that it has been an elders area for a really long time, unlike STA Monica and Makati where all I heard about was sisters. Haha. I really love this branch so far. The members are really cool. The only thing we are really working on is finding people to teach. We have a pretty big teaching pool of less-actives, but we don't really have a lot of investigators... So we have been finding a lot. Last week we found a family, the Manuel family and they are really interested, their boss at work is a member, we have only taught them one lesson but they are really interested. We also found another tatay, his name is Tatay Linas. He is 77 years old, is on his 7th wife and has 17 kids. His youngest 2 kids are 9 and they are twins. Tatay really has a desire to change. We taught him a first lesson and he accepted to be baptized on a specific date. We are going to be going back to him sometime this week. Then we have Sister Emma, I think I mentioned her last week. She is blind and we have members go to her house and read the Book Of Mormon out loud for her. She was doing really good, but now she had some trials and is worried she won't be able to be taught... We are still trying with her though and her son Eric. Then we have the Solero family. They are a family of 4 who were old investigators, we visited them and they told us they really want to come to church. They were not able to last week but they will this week. We also gave them baptismal dates for the beginning of November. Then we also have Brother Joseph. He didn't come to church last week but he has stopped smoking and really wants to get baptized. His date is on the 27th of October. That's about all the investigators we are working with. We have like 100000 less actives that we are also working with. It's really hard for a lot of them to come to church because they all live so far away, but we are still going to be working with a lot of them! :D Time really does fly. I can't believe about Chris Morales! I am soooo excited for him. He is gonna do amazing in the Philippines. It's too bad that I won't get to see him though. It's actually funny, I was talking to someone the other day who said they were assigned in the Laoag mission and I was just telling him that I never met anyone who served there. Well I guess this week I know 2 people who were assigned there. That's also really exciting for Patrick and Jonathan and Ben. Nothing is gonna look the same when I go home. Haha. I'm really excited! :D Anyways, that is about it for this week. I hope you all have another amazing week! Take Care! :D Love ya! Elder Gagnon

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hey Guys! Last week has been another great week. It was transfer week so I transferred to my new area in Naic in the Naic branch. It's really nice here too. It's kinda like Palawan but without mountains. My new companions name is Elder Griffin. He's cool. :D Last week we just spent time getting to know the people we are teaching in aic and stuff. Its a really really huge area and there is tons of less actives. We also have a baptism next week in the area. Her name is Nicole. She is the daughter of a recent convert and her baptismal interview is tomorrow. We are excited for her and it be great! :D Its really weird that I am coming home in four months. I really want to make this last area the best. After Nicole we only really have one more person preparing for baptism. Her name is Emma. She is really cool. She lives with her son. She is about 50 years old and is kind of blind. She Lives next to a member of the church though so almost everyday that member goes to sister Emmas house and reads to her the Book Of Mormon. Its really really great and she is doing good! :D This coming week should be a good week. We need to find more investigators. So we will be doing a lot of that this week. Oh yea. To answer your guys' questions... There are stores in Naic. We have a few malls, not in our area but pretty close to our area. So its not to bad. We have a big place called puregold thats kind of close to our area which is great! I'm going to try and send a lot of pictures today so this will be another short area. Sorry again! I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Gagnon

September 17th, 2012 - Transferred to Naic!

Hello Everyone! My last week in Makati was really great! We just looked at the transfer announcement! And I am transferring toooooooo............NAIC!!! Haha! You guys guessed right! I'm really really excited! The mission is divided into 3 parts, Cavite, Metro Manila and Palawan and Cavite is the only place i haven't been to. So Now i get to go there! My companion is Elder Griffin. He is really kool. He is batch with Elder Kunzler and I'm going to be his first white companion! I'm really excited about Naic, I hear it's just as beautiful as Palawan. So I'm really happy about where I'm going! Last week was really great though here in Makati. We got quite a bit of rain. But we have been seeing great success with a lot of our investigators. I'm really sad I won't be here for another transfer. I think we might have 8 baptisms here in this area for October. Things have just been going really great. We have been teaching Tatay Rolly and his wife and they have been doing great. Then last week we taught our investigator Brother Arthur and he accepted to be baptized this coming October 16th. Things have just really picked up! Something really kool though happening is Elder Hernando is leaving the zone and his trainee will need someone to follow him up and that will be Elder Antonio, who is my batch who is also the one who referred Sister Elaine to us. They are both friends from Davao. Sister Elaine is doing amazing. I think Elder Antonio will actually get to baptize her because he is going to be in the zone next transfer. It will be a great experience for both of them. Anyways, today I really don't have a lot of time to email. I have to send a huge report to the assistants of all the returned less actives in the zone since last January. It's going to take a while because there's a little bit over 100 of them! In our area, we have had over 20 return since I have been here, meaning the people who were less active came to church 4 consecutive weeks. We have really been focusing on less active work for a while now and it's been going really great. Last week we had another Tatay, Brother Soponasky come back after being inactive for about 3 years. He is doing great too. He even came to church last week early so he could help set chairs up! He is doing awesome! :D Oh yea, I bought a new camera. I bought an Olympus VG-170. It's an awesome camera. I will send pics as soon as I get the chance. It will probably be in Naic though. Also, my shoes that I bought at the begining of this transfer tore really really bad. So I had to buy some rubber shoes. Haha. I like the shoes I have now. They are just rubber and won't tear easily. It was funny though I was walking and then realized they had torn really really badly. I will send a pic of how bad it had torn. Anyways. I really have to go. I don't have anymore time. Everything I got at the missionary mall is pretty good for the most part. No complaints. I have only bought 2 other white shirts since I have been here. That's about it though. I might buy a few things before I leave because everything is really cheap here. Thank you so much for everything I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! Elder Gagnon! :D

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 10th, 2012

FHE with the Moquerio family
Hard at work....
Mandaluyong district and us, bowling! :D
FHE with The Pardoncillo family
Hello Family! We had another amazing week in Makati! I was a little bit sick with a cough, which I had during ZLC. It has gotten quite better now though. Things are going so great in Makati. I don't really want to leave. We have a lot of great things happening in our area and in the zone and it's too bad because I probably won't be here to see it all happen. Next week is transfer and Elder Munk told me last night that my time is for sure up in Makati. I'm pretty sure my next area will be my last one. I'm really anxious to see where it will be. At the same time though I'm kinda disappointed I won't be here for another transfer. I could definitely stay one more. I actually want to see if you guys could maybe guess where I'm going. It could be one out of 11 zones Cavite, Dasmarinas, Las Pinas, Makati East, Manila, Naic, Narra(Palawan) Pasay, Paranaque, Puerto Princesa (Palawan) and San Gabriel. It could be any of those 11 zones. President also mentioned that there will be a few zone leaders training new missionaries next transfer because we have a lot of new missionaries coming in. I'm excited to see where I will go. Well, last week we had our zone activity. We had a zone dinner at Sister Neneng Menesses (R.S President) house in our area, then we sang. It was really kool. People from outside were looking through the window and were wondering why there were a bunch of people singing in her house. It was a fun night. Also, that day we went bowling with the Mandaluyong district. It was fun. Bowling is a bit different here. There are no computers that keep track of the score, we had to write it down and the balls are really really small. It was really fun though. Elder Declaro won. It was a really fun day. I still have to get the pictures from Sister Menesses camera so I can send those pics from the dinner home. The people we are teaching in Makati 2nd are doing amazing. We even found more people to teach. We have a never ending list of people who want to be taught in our area. We are always busy with going to appointments and teaching a lot of lessons. It's really really great. Last week, we found someone who was really really prepared. His name is Tatay Rolando and his wife Sister Juliet. We found them at a community service project where the community used the chapel for doing free health checks. We gave out pamphlets and copies of the Liahona and The Book Of Mormon. We spoke to Tatay Rolando at the place, and invited him and his wife to attend church. Tatay came and loved it. We had an appointment with him that night where we found out that he has been really happy but at the same time thinks that something is missing in his life. He also mentioned that he felt at home while in the church. We taught him a lesson about the gospel and committed him and his wife to baptism on the 13th of October. They are going to do great. Every week we have found new people to give baptismal dates to. So far we are now at 15. Elaine is also really close to baptism. She should be on the 22nd of September if everything goes great. It's too bad I probably won't be here though.... Then we also have Sister Janet, who is doing great. Brother Albert, Brother Joel, who are also doing really great. Albert still has trouble with the word of wisdom but it is going down. Joel needs to get married, which we are still working on. Then we have Sister Anna, who is also doing amazing. She also needs to be married. Next week, her husband, brother Marlon will be fully active again in church. We are really really excited for them, they are even finally talking about marriage, which is just amazing. It's been great seeing them grow as a family. We actually had a family home evening with them last night which went great! :D Well I don't have a whole lot of time left. I have a few things I have to fill out and stuff. Things are going great though. Oh, Tell Sherece, congrats on her call! And good luck! Also, that's too bad about the whole thing with Quebec. I guess I might not be going home in 5 months after all, if you guys move to Ottawa! Haha. That's fine. Thank you so much for everything and for all the updates and good luck mom with being a teaching assistant. I'm sure you will do great! Anyways have a great week! :D Love, Elder Gagnon

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 3rd, 2012

Hello Family! Things have been going great here in Makati. Elder Kunzler and I have both been working sooo hard! We are starting to have too many people to teach. We are always busy everyday teaching a lot of people. Last week for the first time in my whole mission we taught over 50 lessons in a week. It's just been insane! We are still making sure to always find new people to teach though. We have a goal to always find 10 good new investigators every week. Last week we got 12. We found this one new guy named Edward, we found him while teaching a less-active family. He is really receptive. We set a return appointment with him yesterday, we taught and set a baptismal date for this coming October. He seems pretty sure too. We're really excited for him. Sister Elaine is also doing really great. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Articles of Faith last week and she has just been doing amazing with everything. We really think she is going to get baptized this coming September 22nd. We also have Sister Janet who will be getting baptized on the coming September 15th. That will probably be my last baptism here in Makati. She has been doing great and she is really excited for her upcoming baptism. We are also teaching Brother Arthur. He is really really smart and is doing really great as well. We do not have a goal date with Brother Arthur yet, but he is doing really great. We are also teaching that family of 7, the Sanchez family. They are also doing really great. Just like everyone else. Oh, President Stucki worked with Elder Kunzler and I last week. He wants to work with all the zone leaders before the transfer ends. We brought him to 3 appointments and they were all really amazing and great lessons. We brought him to people who could understand english so Elder Kunzler and I wouldn't have to translate. One of them even came back to church. It was really great to see. President Stucki is just amazing and I was really happy to work with him last week. Anyways, that's really too bad about the whole Quebec wanting to separate thing.... Do you really think it will happen? I was also really dissappointed to hear about Dan Rosenberg... I hope he's doing alright. I won't worry about moving to Ottawa yet, but that's pretty crazy with everything that is going on. We have a zone activity later today at a member's house, but we're also going bowling today with the Mandaluyong district. Something that is funny here in this computer shop is there is a Nanay right beside Elder Kunzler and she is on skype but she is really really loud. haha. It's kinda funny. Oh yea, I think I'm just going to buy a new camera.. I still didn't get mine fixed yet... Also, there was no earthquake here. It didn't even rain that much here. Mindanao (which is where the earthquake was) is pretty far... That's where Elder Chiong and Elder Berse are from. I hope they're ok... Anyways I'm really sorry but my time is up. I had to do a bunch of other things today so it took up quite a bit of our time here at the shop... I will write a lot more next week. Please tell Granny and Auntie Lynn I said Happy Birthday, and Richard and Kathryn that I said "hello" and hope they are doing great! I love all of you so much and hope you have a great week! Take care! :D Love, Elder Gagnon

August 27th, 2012

Me with Elder Walch and Elder Kunzler on top of our roof for transfer day before Elder Walch got sent to Palawan.
This is before Rosemar left to go back home to Bacolod. It's us, Rosemar, Jacob and Jarad
This is the morning before the baptism at the temple tour with Janet, Sister Bunny and her son, Flynt.
Elona's baptism!:D That is the Nanay she works for.
Hello! First of all, that's really great about Justin getting his mission call! I'm really excited for him! I still haven't received any pictures though... That's ok though. I can't believe he leaves so soon. He is going to be a great missionary. I'm going to make a video once I get my camera totally fixed. I haven't been able to really find a good place where I could get it fixed though... I'm going to look around a little more today. Don't worry! :D It has been a really really amazing week though. Elder Kunzler and I have been working so hard in our area. We also went on exchanges with our district leader, Elder Grob. Elder Grob is a great missionary, he worked in our area because he had a baptismal interview to do and I worked in his with Elder Pugmire in his area. Something that's different about their area is that while running an area, they are also the finance and supplies office elders, so they don't get to work in their area a whole lot like everyone else. Elder Pugmire and I had a really good day though, we taught a few less actives and found a few really good new investigators. We were even able to commit one to baptism! :D Sister Alona was baptized last week! :D Which is really great! She was so happy and she was really emotional when she bore her testimony. That has always been one of my favorite things being here is hearing new converts bear their testimony of the restored Gospel. Something that was also amazing about the baptism was that Sister Reyna Spoke! :D She had her talk on baptism and did such an amazing job! She has been doing really great. Elder Kunzler and I both think she is going to go on a mission in a year. We even jokingly (but seriously) brought it up once, we said that she will be a missionary and all she said was "Sana.." which means hopefully. It would really be the best if she went. Something else that is really awesome about our area is that we have a ton of people to teach. I actually don't have enough time to write everyone in here.... Elaine is doing great, so is Albert, and Janet, they all came to church last week. I think they will all be baptized too in September. We also have the Saberola family again, they now have baptismal dates, we have 2 other investigators, Sheryl and Margie, who both have baptismal dates, Brother Ramon has a baptismal date, so does sister Anna, who has been taught for 2 and a half years. Actually she has been really amazing. In our area book she has 5 teaching records she has been taught by countless missionaries, including myself and Elder Duero(we stopped teaching her because she was not progressing and went on vacation for a while)...... Well about a week ago, we decided to try and visit her. So we did. Her problem by the way is her boyfriend, who has been inactive for a really long time(years...) and they aren't married, but living together but do not have plans to be married. The first lesson we just reviewed a few things with her about the restoration and about baptism and gave her a goal date. Then the next lesson we felt really impressed to talk about family prayer. I also did a little drawing on the back of my planner that showed her when 2 people focus what they do on teachings of Jesus Christ, they become closer together. We committed her to have family prayer every night and promised her if she would there would be peace at home and her husband would actually have a desire to come back to church. We visited Sister Anna a few days later and right away she told us that she had tried doing family prayer for the last 5 nights and she told us that Brother would come to church that Sunday... and he did! It was a really great spiritual experience. We never even taught Brother Marlon(Anna's husband) once but yet he found that desire to come to church. It was really amazing! It's really just the power that the teachings of Christ has on people. I will send you a pic of the drawing I did. Oh and sister Anna came to the temple tour last Saturday. I really think she could also be baptized this September, but it really depends on Brother Marlon... Another new investigator we have, who has been to church 3 times now, is Brother Joel. I guess he isn't that new...Anyways his girlfriend was less active but has been to church 3 times now and Brother Joel has a baptismal date for September as well. We just need to make sure they get married first, which is what they want. Another great thing, was yesterday, we only had found 5 new investigators for the whole week but our goal was 5. So we did some finding after church and found a new family of 7 who want to be taught and agreed to be baptized on the first lesson! We do not have a date yet, but we are really excited about this family, they are the Sanchez family. We are hoping they will progress, they were really receptive in the first lesson. And also we have Brother Arthur who is another great investigator. Really receptive and has a lot of questions. The ones I mentioned are the ones that are really progressing and doing great! :D Church was really great too. We had so many less actives and investigators come that some of the active people had to sit outside. The whole church was filled. It was soooo crazy. We had a less active family come, another Tatay came for the first time, then we had 7 investigators there. The chapel was sooo full. We also hit all of our goals last week and hit 91% of the standard of excellence. We would have hit 100% though if we had one more investigator come to church... Anyways so that is about all the really exciting things that happened last week. Oh yea, another great thing is I'm not very tired today, because we really just rested this morning after studies and stuff so this email actually looks like an email! We are working so hard though. A cool thing is we have 12 people committed to baptism on a specific date and I think we might be able to get 8 more(The Sanchez family and Brother Arthur). So we are getting really busy. But it is great! :D That's about all the excitement for me this week. Thank you all so much for your support! Congrats on your call Justin! I will send you an email if I have time today... Also please tell Kameron I love him too and hope he is doing great. Oh and I still don't know if I am going to stay in Montreal... I might just live and go to college on Palawan after the mission. Haha. Just kiddin! I love you all! Have a great week! :D Elder Gagnon

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20th, 2012

We had a small service project where we just talked about being prepared and 72 hour kits to Barangay officials. We were given t-shirts! :D
Elder Kunzler and I with Sister Angel, one of the head people in Barangay Poblation. :D
Hello Family! This week was a really great week. It started off a little hard but we really ended up with a great week! Last Tuesday we had our zone meeting, we set goals as a zone for the next month of September. Unfortunatly, Makati zone does not look like it will hit it's goal of 20 baptisms for the month of August... We set a lower goal of 15 though for the month of September. I'm pretty sure we can can get that. 15 is still really really high, but not impossible. :D We also taught about the Book Of Mormon and we sang Book Of Mormon stories. Then we practiced introducing the Book of Mormon. It went really well. :D Well last week was really great, we found a lot of new investigators and we were also able to give out more baptismal dates to people, we now have 8 people with baptismal dates. Sister Elaine, who we have been teaching for a while now, finally accepted to be baptized on a date! She should be on the 22nd of September. We also have sister Janet and Albert who are doing really good and should be in September. We also have brother Ramon who is new but really wants to change and make things right with God. Then we have Sheryl and Margorie, who we have only taught once, but accepted to be baptized on October 6. So that is the goal date for them. Things are going really good in our area as of right now. I am really excited and happy for Elaine though. We also have Sister Alona getting baptized this coming Saturday and we are very excited for her. She has really come a long way. :D Last Sunday I gave a talk on missionary work and I just went through some small things (mainly living the gospel, praying and having charity) that any of us can do to make a big difference in missionary work. We also went to a baptism in Mandaluyong last Saturday. They had 2 baptisms which was really great! We are going to have a zone activity this transfer. It's been harder to do one in the city because there's not as much to do, but we are finally going to have one this transfer! :D It was really crazy to see all of those pics. Everyone looks different. Haha. Especially Andrew! Kelsey too also looks like she has grown a lot. I didn't even recognize her. I actually think the only one who hasn't changed at all since the last time I saw him was Jason. He still looks the same! :D haha! I'm really excited to hear about Justin's call! I hope it comes this week. I'm still wondering about where he is going to go. Oh yea, I received a Dear Elder from Marie. Please tell her thank you so much for the letter and for everything! That's about it for this week! Please tell Kameron I said congrats for finishing his mission and please thank him for his service! :D That's about it for this week. I don't think I'm going to buy a new camera, I'm going to get mine fixed soon. Anyways thank you so much for everything! Have a great week! I love you! Elder Gagnon

August 13th, 2012

Hello Family! Everything is really good here in Makati. Things are going good, there was a lot of rain, but despite the rain, Elder Kunzler and I got quite a bit of work done... There was a bit of flooding here in Makati though. It wasn't too bad. I felt bad though, because on the day there was flooding we had to take the new missionaries from Provo out to work and on their first day they were in water up passed their knees! I wanted to get pics, but my camera is kinda broken.... I'm going to get it fixed today though so I can take pics. Things are going really great here. I can't wait to hear about Justin's mission call. I'm still hoping he gets sent here to the Manila mission, then maybe I could train him or be in the same zone as him. It would be really cool! :D We did a lot of finding last week, we had some success, we found a new investigator whose name is Joel and he came to church last week. His girlfriend is also a member, but is less active so we are going to be working with both of them this week. Brother Albert is doing really good, so is sister Janet. They won't be getting baptized though, because they both were not able to attend church last week. Elaine was able to go to church though, she is doing great we are going to be finishing the plan of Salvation with her this week. She is progressing really well. So is Sister Alona, She should be getting baptized August 25th. She is doing really amazing. Well, today we have to prepare for our zone meeting. It will be on the Book Of Mormon which will be the focus of the training going on for the month of August. I love the Book of Mormon. I have been reading it through for a while and I just finished Alma3. It's such an amazing book! I'm really sorry I don't have more to write. I know I have gotten bad about writing emails, it's just mostly because I am so tired while at the computer shop and can't remember everything that happened in the last week. If you guys have anything that you want to know about or any questions or anything, that would be great. I'm going to try and be better at keeping a journal this week also and then bring it to the email shop so I can remember things better. Anyways, I'm doing really great and I hope everyone there is doing awesome! I'm excited about Justin's call. I know he will get sent to the right place. I love you guys so much and have a great week! Mahal ko po kayo! :D Elder Gagnon P.S. This is Nancy (Chris' mom)....At the same time Chris was sending this email, I was online on my email sending emails back and forth with him (sort of like an email chat)...Here's a few of the things he had to say... I'm doing really great...really tired. I'm sorry but this won't be a long email... Haha. I know it might sound sad but I feel like I have finally gotten bad at writing good emails. I got to see my anak last week, Elder Villa, so that's really kool. My camera is broken though, so there won't be any pics. I'm going to get it fixed later today. I just saw the pics... Andrew is HUGE!!! How tall is he, and what is his weight? How is he doing? Oh yea, Poor Elder Villa, my anak got sent from Palawan to Manila, which is like the most populated zone in the mission, so I feel kinda bad for him :( I'm sorry about the emails. Being a missionary is just soooo tiring, I can't even think when I'm at the computer shop.... There was flooding here. it got pretty high to, way up my leg. It was kool because we had new missionaries work with us from Provo and that was their first taste of the Philippines. I'm going to write a better email next week I promise. We have a zone meeting to prepare for tomorrow, also, Elder Kunzler and I were both sick so we weren't even able to work in our area till Wednesday and that was the day we took the new missionaries out to work. My camera is a beast it just has a little something wrong with it and it can't take good pics.... I'm going to get it fixed later today... :D We were both just sick with a fever. We both feel great now. We just think that everytime one of us would get sick, we would only rest for a bit, then go out and work and then we would get sick worse, so we didn't work Monday night or all day Tuesday and on Wednesday we only got out at 3pm. So yea. We both feel a lot better now... I'm just about to finish the email. It's a little short, but it's only because we stayed inside for a while. How is Ben doing? What about Kameron? Or Derek? Is Derek doing the whole blog thing? Also, when does Ben come home? Next month? Yes I'm still here, I just finished emailing President Stucki. Haha. It's raining outside pretty hard. We're going to wait a bit before we go outside... that's good about everyone... Do you guys have any questions for me? I'm still really happy to be here in Makati. What about Andrew, does he have a calling in church? Does Justin still have his calling? Also, how is your calling and the missionary work in Montreal doing? I'm glad to hear about your calling. I'm actually really excited to go back home, not just to go home but to do missionary work when I come back! I'm hoping that I will be able to work with the missionaries a lot when I get back. Anyways, I really gotta go. I have a ton of things to do and prepare. I love you guys so much and it was great talking to you for a bit. Have a great week! Love you! :D Elder Gagnon