Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas!

With a scorpion at the Butterfly Garden on Pday

With a python at the Butterfly Garden on Pday

Hey family!

Had a really great week! I loved talking to you guys on the phone. I didn't really get to say good-bye because I ran out of minutes. It was really good and I really enjoyed it! I don't have a whole lot of time to write because we are going to a family home evening tonight in the sister's area. Taytay came down this morning and we had a fun Pday. We went to the Butterfly Garden. It was really fun. Haha.

Well this email is gonna be kinda short. Haha. This week was great, we have a lot of progressing investigators. Yolly is going to be baptized on January 7th and Tatay Carleto should be soon as well as long as everything goes well with his Word of Wisdom.

I love my mission so much. It's the best thing in the world. I love teaching and learning more about our Savior Jesus Christ and I love His gospel and plan for every single one of us. I hope you guys never worry about me. There really isn't any reason to.

I love you guys so much and I hope you have an amazing week! Thank you so much for your support and prayers. I pray for your guys safety and well being every day. Have an amazing week!

Love, Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It rained a ton last Sunday....part of the storm....

Hey Family!

We had a good, but really busy week here in STA Monica. I finally got your package out today. I unfortunately didn't get to send everything. There was a photo frame made of wood that I got for dad but it was too big and it would have cost 2ce as much to send it. It was too bad because it's really nice. I will just have to keep it for the rest of my mission and bring it home then. Last week was super busy, we actually didn't have a whole lot of time to work. But we did teach some good lessons and things went all right.

Our investigators are doing really well. Tatay Carleto and Pass still have word of wisdom problems with coffee and alak. But I heard from Tatay's daughter in law, who we just began teaching last week, that he has stopped a lot since we have been teaching him, apparently he used to get drunk a lot but now it's only for special occasions and he doesn't even get drunk anymore. It's still really sad that he can't stop yet. He has been one of my favorite people to teach my whole mission and I just love the guy so much. His daughter in law is really kool. We met her a few weeks ago and she was actually home when Tatay wasn't so we just taught her. It was a good lesson. Unfortunately they couldn't come to church because of all the rain we got. It rained a ton last Sunday. I think that was part of the storm but that's about all we got.

We had our first district meeting last week and we really just had a good discussion about why people go inactive and what we can to to re-activate because that is the focus of the church. We are going to teach people and help them really endure to the end and get them to the Temple. So we are really focused on that. We also practiced for our LDS night which was last Wednesday. There was a pretty big turn out. We sang at Mendoza park and it went really well. It was a bit stressfull because we got it all together last Tuesday but it went really well. Some of the acts were also really good. The STA Monica youth did a dance and were amazing! All in all it was a really fun night.

I also went on exchanges with Elder Hyde last week and did another baptismal interview in his area. I actually taught this person before, his name is Ben and he is really kool and really excited to be baptized. We might go to his baptism. I really like doing interviews. The candidate is always really excited and it's really great to see that.

Friday we didn't teach one lesson because we had a Christmas party for all the Palawan missionaries with President and Sister Stucki. It was really fun, we had a gift exchange and ate and shared talents. I did a song with Sister Roque that I had never heard before, but I played Elder Cooper's acoustic and she sang. It went pretty well. We sang my Grown Up Christmas List. I have never heard that song. haha.

I am going to try and call Sunday night where I am here. I am still going to do a set up call though just to make sure and see what you guys think. I don't have a whole lot to say right now. I'm really excited to call home and hear how everyone is doing and yea. It's only 30-40 minutes this time because that is what is in the missionary handbook and President Stucki is not President Howard, so President Howard was just more lenient then President Stucki and President Stucki is just more to the book than President Howard. I'm still really excited though, if I could talk to all of you that would obviously be the best. But we will know more I guess once we get closer. Try and have everyone near a phone though. I'm going to only take about 5 minutes with the set up call. I won't call when you aren't home. :)

Well I really love my mission. I'm sad that I only have a year left. I have really developed a love for learning and teaching. Elder Hyde told me I teach really good and it is very easy to understand. I love the people I teach and seeing changes happen in their life. I miss you guys a lot and I pray for you every day. Well that's about it for this week! Haha. Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Chris called us at 6:42 a.m. on Monday morning before we had a chance to read this email and he sounded great! All was well after Tropical Storm Washi went through Puerto Princesa and he said they only had tons of rain, but no damage. What a relief and a great surprise to hear from him...it made our week and we can't wait to talk to him on Christmas Day! (Nancy)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank you to whoever sent all the letters!

This is Puerto zone with only Coron district missing. They don't come to meetings because they are to far away. :)

Elder Comish and I bought Batch ties Kulay Mauve!

Hey Guys!
We had an alright week last week. The work was ok. Haha. We had a training meeting last week with President Stucki about what our focus is going to be and we're really focusing on establishing the church. There are soooo many inactive members out here so we are really going to be focusing on them for a while. Also District meetings are now on Tuesday. So tomorrow will be the 2nd district meeting. I'm excited, we actually have to practice because the district is performing for a missionary Christmas party here in Puerto. And also we signed up as a district to sing in front of all of Puerto for something called LDS night. Pretty much it is we are going to Bay walk and there is going to be a bunch of different acts performed by LDS members. And we were asked to do something, so we have to decide on what we're gonna do because there's gonna be like 1000000000 people there! Haha. There's always a lot of people there. I'm really excited for that, this is a first time thing for the church. I'm really excited!

It sounds like you guys are all ready for Christmas which is great! I will get to call home, I think I will do a set up call so I will make a call before the day where I actually make the long phone call. The phone call will be 30-40 minutes this time.

Last week was ok. We had to drop 2 of our baptismal dates unfortunatly. :( Also we had to move Tatay Carleto because he drank last Tuesday for the first time in a while. He is still doing great, we have to move his date to January though which was really to bad. Yolly is also doing great, but wasn't able to go to church last week for some reason so we have to move her baptismal date back too. Everyone else is going really well. We found a new man a few weeks ago named Boy Magalianis and he is really religious and has been looking for the truth for a while. We taught him last week and found out that he got in a big boat accident and he said that was the 3rd time he believes that God has saved his life, so he really thinks it's for a reason. We had a really good conversation about why we are here on earth and why bad things happen to us sometimes. We also gave him a baptismal date at the end of the lesson for January 21. He said he would come to church the next week.

We were not able to get back to Mary Ann which was too bad. But after we got punted by her we went looking for members who live in the area that she lives in and this, in my opinion is one good way to do finding. You have a name and you just kind of ask people if they know who they are and then introduce yourselves as missionaries. Anyways after doing that a few times, we find a guy who was really interested. Well at first he wasn't but we taught him the whole message of the restoration and he is really really interested and is committed to baptism if he finds that this is true.

Oh yea, Last Saturday I did my first baptismal interview. I interviewed a man name Bryce who has been going to STA Monica branch for about 4 weeks now, he is the sisters' investigator though. He is going to be baptized this Saturday and I am really excited for him and he seems really happy as well!

Anyways that's about it for this week. I got your guys' package last week. I only opened one box because I really needed socks, haha. Mine were really ruined and had a lot of holes. Haha. Thank you sooo much for the package! I actually still haven't sent mine. It's hard to get all the stuff to fedex from our house, but I am really gonna try to do it tomorrow. It might not come in time unfortunatly. I'm really sorry. :(

Anyways things are going great here. I'm going to send some pictures today so I need to finish off. I will let you guys know more about the call. I'm pretty excited to speak to you guys. It's going to be great! Anyways I hope you guys have a great week and thank you so much for the package. OH and Thank you to whoever sent all the letters. There weren't any names on any of them. I think it was from the stake. The package just said Bilodeau. So yea.... Thank you! Haha I love guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, December 8, 2011

....new district leader of Puerto!

The HUGE knot on transfer day!

The New Puerto district

Elder Gagnon and Elder Hyde

Holding a binturong (bearcat)

With the TaytayB missionaries at the croc farm: Elders Comish, Corry, Gagnon and Christie

Hey Guys!

Had a great week in STA Monica! This email won't be as long as some of the others because I'm already a bit late. Haha. Sorry!

So last week was transfers. I found out last Monday that Elder Christie and I would be staying together for another transfer. Then we had district meeting last Tuesday and also transfer announcements. I wore a sweater kinda thing and made a really bit knot but a really short tie but you can't tell it's a short tie because I'm wearing a sweater. Haha, the senior couple, President and Sister Peterson both thought it was hilarious! Haha, I will send a pic. So Elder Black is no longer our zone leader, he is going to train in Makati and going to be with Elder Nye for 2 weeks, so he is in a threesome for 2 weeks. Elder Nye goes home really soon. It's too bad I didn't get to see him before he left. He sent me a letter though and said he made a goal to be at my homecoming! Haha. Also Sister Anjum left to Manila and Elder Peterson, our District leader, went to Narra to become a Zone leader. So this is my second transfer where Sister Anjum and Elder Peterson are not in the same zone as I am. Right after the transfer meeting as we were leaving I got a call from President Stucki. He told me that I would be the new district leader of Puerto! So I'm really excited because our zone is suuuuuuuper awesome! It is me and Elder Christie, the zone leaders Elder Hyde and Elder Munk(New zone leader,also my brother in the mission!), Puerto 2B, which is Elder Cooper and Elder Berse, STA Monica B which is Sister Caubalejo and Sister Roque and Puerto 1, which is Sister Gupta and Sister Dyre, who took Sister Anjum's place and actually came from Elder Nye's district in Makati!

I'm really excited I have a few cool ideas for district meetings. Our first one is next Tuesday and we have training tomorrow from President Stucki. :D

Our area is doing really amazing! We have 10 people who have committed to baptism on a specific date. They are just struggling with going to church. I don't know how it is at home but if you want to get baptized here you have to go to church 4 weeks before you are baptized. Which is probably the hardest thing. It really does just come down to faith though. Carleto and his wife were not able to come but have a date now for the 17th of December. They were, however, able to come to a church activity that was at the stake center last Wednesday and they met some new people and seemed to have a really good time!

Yolly was able to come to church last week! She is really excited for her baptism. She will be baptized on the 24th of December and we are super excited for her.

We had a really awesome experience last weekend on Saturday with sister Mary Joy. About a week ago we found Mary Joy and just got to know her, established expectations and shared a small lesson with her about families and about prayer. We left her a lesson 1 pamphlet about The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but she seemed like an ok investigator. We only got back to her a week later, and this time we followed up on her reading and she read the pamplet and she seemed to understand it. I asked if she had any questions about that and she said no. So I'm not sure why but she seemed pretty quiet. So we taught her about Prophets and Dispensations and after that I asked her what her questions were about what we taught and she said that she really understood everything and well to make a long story short: She really understood the whole pamphlet and she did pray to know whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet or not(we hadn't even taught her this yet!) And she said that she had a dream after she prayed and she saw a light in her dream and everything she said was really peaceful and calm. She said she took that as her answer and that she knows Joseph Smith was a Prophet who through him, God and Jesus Christ restored their Church.

I couldn't believe it! We did tell her what she felt was true and that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet and we also invited her to be baptized on January 14th, and she accepted!

I know that God answers prayers and I know that he really does love each and every single one of us and will answer our questions and prayers if we ask with a sincere heart with real intent having faith in Jesus Christ.

It was a really great week. Missionary work really is the best thing in the world. I love what I do soooo much!

So to answer your questions I will not be allowed to skype, I don't think there is any of that here. Haha. I will probably just call a few days in advance to set up the call and then call on Christmas day. Oh and no I did not get my Christmas package yet. Sorry. Anyways I really gotta go. Sorry it was a short email! Everything is going great here! I love you guys so much! Have a great week! Thanks for everything!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Staying in Santa Monica with Elder Christie!

Hey guys!

I have P-day today so yea! I know it came early and I probably won't get an email from you but that's ok! We had a really good week this week and transfers announcements are tomorrow but I already know that Elder Christie and I are both staying because we came to the same internet cafe as the zone leaders and we just looked at the email that said who was transferring and who wasn't. haha! Elder Black is leaving so we will have a new zone leader. And I think that most of the zone is actually staying again. Haha. I love Puerto zone. It is so good to be here! Well last week was really good. STA Monica branch has really turned around a lot.

Last week we did a bit of finding and found a few new really cool investigators. We are still really working with our rogressing investigators. We had 7 people at sacrament and we ended the week with 8 people with baptismal dates! So the work is going great!

Last Tuesday we went to Irawan and we visited Tatay Carleto and he is doing great. It was his birthday and he turned 74! We got to see him dance and it was really funny and cool, he has definitely been one of my favorite investigators and he seems to really like us and always wants to be taught. He came to church last week with his wife and as of right now he is going to be baptized on December 10th. We are going to be following that up a lot this week. We are really excited for him though. We also taught Yolly that day and we taught the Word of Wisdom and she really committed to learn the word of wisdom. We taught Marisa that day and she understood really well the message of the restoration which, of course, is really important! So we are really happy for her and we also committed her to baptism, so we have a plan to give her a date this week. We are really excited for her though.

On Wednesday we taught Mary Ann Hernandez. She is doing ok, but can't come to church because her kids are really sick. Which is too bad. We also taught Jennibee that night about the message of the restoration. It is a bit hard to teach her because she isn't the best in Tagalog. She has a hard time understanding and speaking. She only really knows how to speak Visaya.. But from what we taught she seemed to understand. She is actually the helper of Jennifer so we planned to teach Jennifer but she wasn't there, so we taught Jennibee! Haha

Thursday we did a bit of finding and it went really well. We found a couple who seems interested. We also taught Nelson and told him that he needs to go to church. He still hasn't come but still wants to be baptized. We are thinking of dropping him. He says that it is work that is keeping him from coming but he always promises that he will come. I gave a different commitment that lesson and he said, "yes" and I really thought that he would come, but he didn't. Brother Boy Perez. We committed Boy to baptism on December 24th and he came to church that week! We are really excited! He lives in the Perez home and he was one of the people that wanted to debate but he has really changed now and believes that Book of Mormon is true and is reading from it everyday. He is really changed a lot from the 1st time we met him.

Friday we taught some new people and Angel. Angel is doing ok. She can't come to church though, so it is a bit hard for her to progress. We also met President Maico's daughter's fiance who is from America! He's from Utah. He and President Maico's daughter met on the internet and he came down for the 2nd time to visit her. He is a nice guy.

Saturday was also a great day! We taught a lot of lessons and committed Boy to live the Word of Wisdom.

Sunday was also great! We got to see a lot of our investigators come to church. Sorry I really don't have a lot of time left to write the email. I have about 10 mins left so I figure we can just chat haha. I love you guys so much! And I hope you have an amazing week. Sorry my email is scattered I'm doing really great and I'm looking forward to another transfer in STA Monica!

Love you guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. We were on the computer when Chris was sending his email, so we actually chatted back and forth by email while he was sending this email. Here are some highlights...

Chris: Hey guys! I'm here early! haha! It's our Pday today! yay! Guess what? I'm staying another transfer with Elder Christie. I'm going to be the 2nd oldest on this Island. Haha.

Mom: Are you ok with that? I know you wanted to go back to the mainland, but it's nice you'll be there for everyone's baptisms and for Christmas...

Chris: It has its ups and downs haha. I'm going to be happy either way. :)
How is everyone there? Is everyone still awake?

Mom: Andrew just went to bed, but I can get him up if you want to talk to him...everyone else is still up

Chris: That's awesome! I wouldn't wake him up. I'm going to be sending a package home today so yea! I hope it gets there in time. Our area is going really well. I'm sending my weekly letter home now haha.

Mom: What time is it there? It's 10:00 p.m. here...

Chris: It's 11:00 a.m. here. How are the missionaries in LaSalle? How is the missionary work going there?

Mom: Our missionaries are great! Elder McLean (Australia) and Elder Blank (California) are great fun! Elder McLean reminds me so much of you and we have so much fun together! The missionary work here is good. Right now they're having two baptisms next week...A woman Lisa who's from Chateauguay (another long story I'll tell you about at Christmas) and another woman that Andrew's been visiting with the missionaries from LaSalle....I think they've both had their interviews and the baptism is next Saturday....it's moving along...Anton, Cody and Andrew all go out with them regularly. Also, Cody quit cegep and is working to save money to prepare for his mission now...

Chris: That's amazing that Cody is preparing to serve! I'm really excited for him. It really is the best thing in the world! What about Derek and Justin? Has Justin started to save or started to put in his papers? Couldn't he just apply for this summer? I would really recommend him coming out this summer, maybe he will get assigned in Manila mission and I will train him! :P haha!

Mom: Granny wants to know if you had breakfast yet and what you eat for breakfast?

Chris: We actually went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (one of the only restaurants on Palawan) We're in the citiesh area right now. Elder Christie and I have been pretty American/Canadian and have had bread from a bakery near our house and cereal. But when I was with Elders Glodo and Chiong it would be fried rice, and hotdogs or Adobo or anything really haha. I miss Glodo a lot...Anyways I guess that's about it for now. If you don't have any questions or anything just say goodbye and I guess we will just wait till Christmas when I get to call home haha. Anyways I love you guys!
Bye!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Visiting a crocodile farm on Pday


Hey Family!

I had a really great week this week. We didn't do a lot of finding. We only found seven new investigators last week which is like nothing. We spent mostly the whole week teaching people we had already contacted and progressing investigators. It was a super great week! December is looking really good for STA Monica. :) Also, I don't remember if i said this in my last email but I will say it again anyway. Happy Birthday Andrew! I Love you!

Last Monday after we emailed we went to the Crocodile farm and it was really kool. We went with Mike and Nancy and we got to hold crocs and see one that was 17 feet long! It was HUGE!!!! It was like something that came out of a movie and it was there in real life, kinda. Haha. It was super awesome! That was about it for Monday.

Last Tuesday, Elder Black (ZL) called and said we were going to lunch at a place near Baker's Hill which I went to before. So we did and the senior couple also came. It was funny because I wasn't wearing my white shirt when they got here because I thought it was going to be a while longer so I picked that up and then I used this zipper tie that I bought here for times when I have to rush like that. Haha. That day we went on splits and I worked in Elder Black's area and we found all day. We taught one inactive family. It was a pretty good day.
Oh and Elder Hyde worked in my area with Elder Christie and they taught Jennifer the lesson we had planned to teach her out of 2 Nep 31 and they committed her to baptism on the 24th! So we are really excited for her!

Last Wednesday I went back to my area and I actually wasn't feeling too good so we only got to teach one lesson that day. We found a lady named Erlinda who was carrying bags and I just kind of told her I was gonna help her so I took her bags to her house, and we shared a bit and just got to know her. She is 72 years old and lives alone. Everyone else that day dropped us....

Last Thursday we found 2 new people who seemed to not even care. It was painful. They let us in and I was just being happy and friendly and asking questions and they were just suuuuppppppppper quiet. It was annoying. Haha. We also taught Mary Ann that day and we just spoke for a while and I shared from Mosiah 5 about baptism and we committed her to baptism on the 24th of December! We also taught Yolly that day and I had left her 3 Nep 11 which is about baptism and we taught her and spoke about baptism and we also committed her for Dec 17th! So we are sooo excited for Yolly! We taught Nelson that night about the Plan of Salvation and it was a good lesson and he seemed more sure then ever that he would come to church. Unfortunately none of those people came to church last Sunday. We also taught the Perez family again and we taught about the Book of Mormon and we are going to be going back to them and hopefully commit them to baptism on a specific date. I really like the 22 year old named Alfred, he really reads and listens and tells us everything he reads from the Book of Mormon. I think that we will be giving him a baptismal date this week.

On Friday we went to Karen and she hasn't come to church in a while, so we invited her to keep coming even though she isn't able to be baptized. I feel really bad for her.... We also taught Nanay Erlinda that day and her neighbor, Brother Ray. We also taught Tatay Carleto and his wife, Sister Pass. We spent the whole lesson answering his questions and he really believes that the Book of Mormon is true. They both read it everyday and have questions about what they read. He is really good. They both came to church last week and we invited them to be baptized again on December 10th. They both said yes. So I am really excited for both of them because they both seem really sure. It's too bad because I might not even be here to see him get baptized. Oh, that day I learned the word to brush teeth which was something new to me. It is Manipilyo or Magsipilyo. So yea. I haven't learned any new words in a long time so that was kinda kool. I heard Karen use it and I had no idea what it was. Haha.

Saturday we went to a baptism for the Sisters, I showed up and found out that I had to give a talk on faith, so I just shared a little bit about that. We taught Dina that day and just followed up with her baptism on the 24th. And Yea. She seems to be doing good and really wants to change. She wants to quit smoking and get baptized. She hasn't come to church yet though so that is her biggest thing right now. That's actually the biggest thing for all of our investigators.

Sunday we had church and Tatay Carleto and his wife, Sister Pass both came. They live the farthest from the chapel by a lot and they were the only ones that came. It was sad. I was really praying that everyone who had accepted to be baptized on a specific date would come but no one did. Church attendence has been one of the hardest things here in the mission. We set a goal to have ten next week so that will be all seven of our investigators with baptismal dates and 3 other people. I really want to make that goal and I am going to be praying and working harder then EVER this week! :D

Oh, as for the guy who was in jail we went to him a bunch of times last week but he is never at the house. I still don't know what he did, someone said something but they aren't sure so I don't really remember what they said. Haha....Hopefully we will be able to get back to him this week.

Today we had training with President Peterson(Senior couple missionary) and he taught us about the Book Of Mormon and how we need to always use it hand in hand with the Bible.

And later I am going to be sending stuff home for Christmas!

Thank you for the object lesson, I have used something like that a few times when teaching Christ's church, except mine is only 10 cups. The bottom four is Prophets, and Apostles, then the next layer is Priesthood or authority the next is Revelation and the top is Jesus Christ. I also tried the Bottom four, Jesus Christ, Apostles, Prophets and Authority, then the next 2 layers would have the first principles of the Gospel (Faith, Repentence, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end.) Then the top is Salvation! It's pretty cool. I used to have a puzzle that I thought of and LOVED to do for apostasy because it was sooooo good and it is really good for teaching for understanding (PMG 182 I think). I thought of a new one a while ago for baptism that I want to try but I'm too nervous about messing it up. Haha.

Thank you all so much for everything. I have to go now and buy Christmas gifts for you all and also some souveniers because I might be transferring next week. I really like STA and the work has really picked up a lot since I first got in. I worked super hard the last 2 transfers and I am suuuuppppper tired! This week is going to be awesome though! I am really excited! I love you all I and I hope you have an amazing week!

Love
Elder Gagnon

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our message is Napakahalaga!

Hey Family!

Last week was really good here in STA Monica. We taught a few new people and had some really cool experiences. It was all really good though. Today Elder Christie and I are going to buy some Christmas gifts for people and send it home today. I hope you guys are excited. Anyways my week was really busy, as usual. :)

Last Tuesday we found a big family, the Perez family and they are all Inglesia Ni Cristo. It was funny we actually taught brother a few weeks ago at a member's house and we got his name and address and have been visiting for a while but he hasn't been there. So last Tuesday we visited him but only his older sister and her daughter and grandaughter were there. This grandmother kept telling me to just join their church but she was saying it in a sort of degrading way that I didn't like, so I continued to just kind of be friendly and then out of no where she told me to get my bible. So I took out my little Tagalog bible and I was a little bit frustrated at this time so she told me to go to a verse that proves their church is right. (When she told me to go to that verse I was ready to go to war, and no that isn't good but yea.....) Anyways, the verse she told me to go to had nothing to do with what she was talking about so I kinda felt bad and just told her we weren't here to debate or bible bash, I just told her we wanted to share a small message that could really help her in life and become closer to God. So she decided to listen and we just taught the first 3 principles in lesson three and left her a Lesson 1 Pamphlet. We also visited an old investigator who had been taught for almost 2 years and has now forgotten everything. Then we found this American guy! He is from the States but has lived everywhere. After talking to him for a while we found out that he had actually been baptized in Puerto Rico and hasn't been to church in 6 years! He is living here with his new wife and kid. We plan to go back to him this week and teach him and his wife. It will be great! Haha.

Last Wednesday we taught Tatay Carleto and his wife the Word of Wisdom and that went really well. They both committed to live the Word of wisdom. We did some finding in Irawan that day. OH! We also taught Karen who was the one who had to get married in order to get baptized. Well she doesn't want to get married anymore. She really has a big testimony but we found out that lesson that her husband tried to kill her last week. So she does not want to marry him, but at the same time she does not want to get separated because she needs money to support her kids. It's really sad but I just know that even though she can't get baptized I know that God knows her real intents and how strong a testimony she has. She is amazing and I really felt bad for her. It was really really sad :( We also taught Jennifer the message of the restoration that night and she seems to be doing really well. She is reading from the Book of Mormon but still hasn't prayed about it to know if it is true. So we will be following up on that tomorrow.

Then on Thursday we taught 2 referrals, Nelson, who seems to be doing all right, still committed to baptism but hasn't come to church yet. We also went back to the Perez family that night and taught the whole message of the restoration and there were quite a few people there. The best part was definitely at the end when we finished praying and the nanay that tried arguing with me before said, "I feel really good" She said she had really good feelings. We will be going back to her tomorrow and hopefully it all goes well. :)

Friday we went to Irawan again and taught Levi who is new. We taught him the Restoration and it went well. We also taught Tatay Carleto and his wife the plan of salvation and actually had some new investigators there. So it was a good lesson. That night we ate at Pres Maico's house and had a ton of food!

Saturday we went finding and found some new people and we taught Dina who was a referral. We taught her the message of the Restoration and I was impressed to give her a baptismal date right then and there. So she will be getting baptized on the
17th of December! That is our goal for her and her family. We also taught Jennifer and watch the video of the Restoration with her. She said she still hasn't received an answer from her prayers. But I know she will as she continues to pray and read from the Book of Mormon. :)

Sunday we only had one investigator at church. Everyone else, Nelson, Carleto were watching Manny Paquio fight. Yea....Later that day we did some finding and we taught a guy named Brother Acomb. He actually didn't really want to listen but I just kind felt like going bold and told him that he NEEDED to listen to us because our message is Napakahalaga. So we finally got in and we actually got into a really good discussion. He opened up to us during the lesson and told us that he had actually just gotten out of jail. So yea. :) It was a good lesson though. We will go back to him hopefully tomorrow and teach him the message of the restoration.

And that was about it for this week. Elder Christie and I have a ton to do today. I guess I will answer a few questions. One that "cobra" was not that big. I would just call it a snake. Yea it wasn't that big. And I don't think I'm going to be here after this transfer. I have a feeling this transfer will be my last on Palawan. I love it here and I love STA but I have been on Palawan for a while now. I'm actually the 4th longest here on the Island. People usually stay for 2-3 transfers and only have one area here and then go back. I'm in my 4th right now and I'm in my second area. So yea. I think I'm probably going back. If not maybe I'll stay here for Christmas. But so far the longest I have ever stayed in an area is 2 transfers so yea. We will just have to wait and see :).

Also, I have a request. If you could, could you please send some ideas for object lessons for any of the first 4 lessons in Preach My Gospel. I love using object lessons and I have thought of a few and use them while teaching investigators. But I get bored of using the same ones, so I'm trying to think of new ideas. So if you guys have any ideas that could help please send them! :D Thank you!

I love everything about the mission. I really have grown so much and I just love everything I do everyday. I really love all you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Chris Gagnon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I miss Macdo....

Hey Guys!

Had a great week last week here in Sta Monica! We did a lot of finding and found some new really good investigators! Haha. Thank you for the package last week! We haven't actually had a whole lot of time to cook everything yet though, But thank you!

Last week was really good we found a lot of new people. And actually we taught 2 teachers. One of them is really good and I think will be a good investigator and the other one we haven't gotten back to. Their names are Salvation and Jennifer.

We also went to Irawan and found new people over there. We actually didn't have church there last weekend because our biggest progressing investigator, Tatay Carleto and his wife Sister Pass told us they would come all the way to the chapel in St. Jose. And they did! We actually had 6 investigators at sacrament last weekend which was the most I have had in this area. :) Tatay and Nanay are doing great though, they have a baptismal date for the 10th of December.

All of our other investigators are doing great to. Sister Nancy, the one who just got baptized last month is coming to work with us this week, so we are really excited for that. We going to Sister Yolly's to teach her. She also came to church last week and Sister Nancy was kind of showing her around and just being really friendly. It was really nice to see.

Brother Nelson is still doing good. He wasn't able to come to church again, but he will come next week and his baptism is still on for the 10th of December. So our area has really picked up, I guess it kind of took a while but things are really going well. We're going to do the Irawan group next week and we are really excited for that.

Last Friday we had a mission tour and Elder Ardern of the 70 came to Palawan. Also, I forgot to mention this in my mission letter last week but President Stucki actually called me about a week and a half ago asking if I could just bear my testimony at this mission tour. So I did and it went really well. Elder Ardern gave us some facts about the Philippines and how it has been doing over the years and stuff and I learned a lot of new things. He also emphasized the importance of learning the doctrine of every lesson perfectly.

Last Saturday we also had an activity at the church called an open house. It went really well a lot of people showed up, both members and non members and we got a ton of new investigators. Our branch leader, Ashley organized it and the whole theme was the Plan of Salvation. It went really well and people really seemed to enjoy it. I really liked it.

That's about all I have to say about last week. It was really great, I'm just really tired and yea. Haha

So now I will answer some questions in your guy's last email. :)

I do not know if we will have a Christmas tree this year. If I stay in STA Monica, then no. But I have seen other apartments with Christmas trees. My first apartment in San Pedro actually had one.

I actually don't know what the cobra story is. Haha, there was a snake in the street and it got killed by a car but that was about it....

The lobster we had was GOOD :)

My music is all on the mainland in Manila. Actually, funny story I guess. When I first got here to Palawan with Elder Glodo, that was one of the first things he asked me, was if I brought music. And I told him no and asked why. He said he hasn't heard music for a while and really misses it. Haha. He also said once I had been on Palawan for as long as he had, I would start to miss seeing everyone in the mission, music, going to the temple, and fast food. And I do miss all those things now because I have been out here forever! Haha. I miss Macdo....

Also I guess if you could just put maybe 200 dollars, that should be more than enough for me until the end of my mission. I have bought a few ties and shirts here and when we went to the Underground River. There were times before where I did just withdraw though because I didn't use money wisely. That was when I was with Elder Nye though and we ate at Macdo all the time. I guess that is why the Lord wanted me on Palawan. I could honestly say though that I have learned my lesson and I am ready for STA Monica to be my last area on Palawan. Haha. I really do love it here though. :)

Anyways I guess that's about it for this week. I love you guys and I hope you're all doing amazing. I hope you guys have a great week!

I love you all!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Hey I'm just gonna send pictures next week, the computer is going really slow and I have to go.. Sorry! :(

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ANO? ANO IYAN!? ELVIS PRESLEY?!

Enjoying Soul's Day?

Halloween fun with Elder Christie

"Finding" in the forest

A road through Santa Monica

Hey guys!

I hope everything is well at home because I didn't get an email from you guys.... Last week was really good actually. We went on 2 splits and had a lot of success. I guess I will write about my week!

Last Tuesday Elder Christie and I did a bit of finding in another area. We found 2 families. One of them wasn't from the area but they seemed pretty interested. It is too bad that they moved back to Manila later that night. Then we found the Pashion family and they are actually really nice. Sister is really nice and so is brother. Actually we went back to them on Saturday and they invited us in and we had lunch with them. And after we had lunch, we taught them the restoration. Brother is also really nice. They have 2 daughters. They seem like they might progress but there area is a bit far from the church and they didn't come last week. So that was a little bit to bad. :(. We did a bit more of finding, but that family was definitely the highlight because they are a family and nothing is better then teaching a family! :)

Last Wednesday Elder Hyde, one of our zone leaders worked in our area and Elder Christie went to Puerto and worked with Elder Black. That day we actually planned to do all finding in an area called Irawan. So we went there and found a few people that were really interested. One family actually owns a Seventh Day Adventist Church and they invited me to go to their church on Saturday after they have service and teach.....I said I would go but when Saturday came along I actually prayed the night before and that morning on whether we should go to their church or not and I had a really strong feeling not to. I'm not sure why because there might have been a lot of people there and some might have even wanted to listen to our message. But I had a really strong feeling there might have been some who just want to debate. So I listened to that prompting and just didn't go. We went back to them on Sunday but they weren't there. Anyways we also found this man named Carleto. This guy is soooooo funny. I actually love this man. We went to this little place in the forest and found this hut and this man came out and said it was fine that we could share with him. After learning a bit about him we found out that we had actually found and taught his son, Nylo, earlier that day. We taught Tatay the message of the restoration and I used my puzzle for an object lesson for describing the apostasy. The only problem was I actually lost my old really small puzzle so I bought a new one that was small but had a little more pieces. I opened it at this Tatay's place and it had soooooo many more pieces. And this was his first time ever doing a puzzle so it took us 40 minutes to do this stupid puzzle! Haha. It was funny but he understood the message which was great:) We committed him to baptism that lesson and we taught his wife and committed her the following Sunday. I think they are going to do great! We also found other people out there in that area, Irawan.

Thursday I worked in Puerto with our district leader, Elder Peterson and his companion, Elder Cooper worked with Elder Christie in STA Monica. It was cool because Elder Cooper is a very new missionary and Elder Christie is also kinda new, so yea. Anyways for the 2nd day in a row we did a full day of FINDING! Haha. It went ok. We found a few new people and taught this one crazy guy who just went off on all these conspiracy theories. It took us a while to get out of that house....That was about it though.

Friday I returned to my area and worked with my beloved companion, Elder Christie. We did some finding in Irawan, again. We didn't have as much success though. Then we ate at President Maico's and discussed opening up a group in Irawan that night. :)

Saturday we found a few new people and taught Yolly. She is super nice and really receptive. We taught her a bit about the message about the restoration and committed her to baptism. We also taught the Pashion family and that went well and it was a good day. We also found a new investigator and plan to have FHE at her house. We also taught Nelson, He has been committed to the 3rd of December for baptism but he did not go to church so we have to follow up on that.

Sunday we had church then went to Irawan again, did finding found a new person who moved there from SAN PEDRO! She actually used to live in my old area! Haha. She moved here about 10 years ago, her name is Melody and she has three kids and is very nice. We also taught Nylo and his son, and his son actually came from ROXAS! Haha. He used to live out there and now he is here living in Puerto. We taught Nylo and it was a great lesson! After that we taught his father, Carleto, met his wife, taught her too. We just went over the restoration again. I love tatay so much, he is super funny, Elder Christie introduced himself and well I will just write out what happened.

E.C: Ako po si Elder Christie.

Tay: ANO? ANO IYAN!? ELVIS PRESLEY?!

It was soooo funny! He isn't crazy or anything he is just really funny like that. He is actually really good friends with President Maico. We committed him and his wife to baptism on Sunday and they will come to church next week! I'm excited for both of them! :D

And that is about it for this week. I got your guys package today! And I haven't opened it yet. But I will later. Thank you so much for that! Things seem to be really picking up in STA Monica. We had a meeting with President Maico last Sunday and we are going to have church in Irawan next week. So how it will work is we will go church in STA Monica, then go to Irawan and have sacrament meeting out there at President Maicos house. I'm really excited and hope it goes really great! We are spending 3 days a week out there, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and we have some really good people out there that want to hear the Gospel!

Anyways thank you for all your guys' support. OH and Happy Halloween! Haha. Here it is called soul's day and people don't do a whole lot. But yea! Anyways I love you guys! Hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Chris Gagnon!

P.S...I forgot my camera at the house NEXT TIME! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An interesting story from Elder Gagnon's companion's blogspot...

Hi,

I found Elder Gagnon's companion, Elder Christie's mission blog this week and wanted to share an interesting story he related to his parents last week about the importance of being in tune with the spirit. Elder Gagnon didn't mention it in his email home but I suppose it was more significant to Elder Christie, so he shared it. Anyway, here's the story from his blog...the companion he's speaking of is Chris, of course. Enjoy!

"So I have a story for you!! This week we were out working and on the way home and it's pitch black out and there are cars coming and no sakyen, which is transportation so we were walking along and all of a sudden my companion says we should cross the road so we did. 30 seconds later I see a Philippines cobra crossing the road right where I would have been. It was about 6-7 feet long and I'm pretty sure I would have stepped on it. So just know that I'm safe and that the Lord really does protect us. Oh and it got ran over about 10 seconds later!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week 40 - Contacting while buying fishballs

Sharing the message of the restoration with a kambing


Peurto district at a service project. Elder Spiva, one of the Teaching assistants was also there.

Hey guys!

Great week last week in STA Monica! Haha. It's only been like 4 days I know, but yea! Elder Christie and I actually had a really good week. It was really good to see pics of you guys at home. I was happy to see those. So actually not a whole lot has happened since I last emailed. But yea! That's kool about Jason being home now. I'm sure he is a lot less busy because the mission is just the busiest thing ever. Haha. I'm glad you guys liked the pictures, even though they weren't from my camera. I brought mine today so I will for sure be able to send some later. Our area is really starting to pick up right now. We are getting more progressing investigators and it's starting to go really well.

Last weekend we didn't have any investigators at church again because it was district conference, which was amazing. All the talks were really great actually and President Stucki actually spoke too. It was great to hear from him. We also had interviews with President Stucki last Friday. District conference was definitely the highlight though. It was also kool because we had it broadcast for Roxas and Coron, which was the first time that has ever happened in the Philippines. All the talks were really great. I really loved President Peterson, who is the senior missionary here on Palawan. He spoke about being comfortable and it was just so amazing. It was seriously one the best talks I think I have ever heard. President Stucki gave a talk on the temple which was also really good and President Yu, the District president here in Puerto also gave an amazing talk. It was really good.

Our investigators are doing really well. We visited with Nelson who really wants to learn. He has been kind of quiet the last few times but at the end of the lesson I felt impressed that he could have a baptismal date so we committed him to be baptized on December 4th. Karen is still doing really well. We just have to get her married. We also have Juliet, who is doing great. And Sister Beng, who is someone I contacted while buying fishballs, which is like this snack thing here. Anyways we contacted her at her house a while ago and now she's doing really well. We tried visiting her yesterday but she wasn't there, but the daughter came outside and she had an open Book of Mormon in her hand that we gave her. So they seem to be doing really good. Also we contacted this less active member, and I just got to know her and she used to live in Roxas. So after finding out a little more it turns out that she actually used to live in the same kind of place as Sister Lee and Tay Guillermo and Alfred and all them. Those are actually her cousins!!! She didn't know that any of them actually got baptized or were being taught. Sister Lee still hasn't gotten baptized though. :( I really miss all those people in Roxas. Oh and Irene is actually a recent convert in STA Monica but her hometown is Roxas. So yea I met her here. Mike Villanueva is also the Mike that works with us here all the time. So yea. Anyone who adds me, just accept them and that will be good. Actually if you could send me the names of everyone who has added me that would be great. Thank you for updating my Facebook! haha.

So yea. Elder Christie and I are doing great and we just love working in STA Monica. To answer some of your questions, I have worked with Elder Comish. He is doing great. He was a little sick but he is doing really good, he is actually training now in Taytay. It was fun working with him because we're both really good now so we didn't have any problems teaching together.

Oh yes, handkerchief is the word for "panyo" in English. I forgot. I just say panyo. I think that will be hard when I get home and I'll have to stop using tagalog words....:)

Anyways that's about it for this week. Don't really worry about what to send. Actually I could use some new socks too. A lot of mine have holes in them and my investigators keep making fun of me for that. Haha. They think it's funny. But yea. Socks are actually expensive here. And also I don't know if there's money in my bank card but I have withdrawn quite a bit so yea. If you could please make sure there is money on it because I will be sending gifts home. So thank you! :D

Thank you so much for everything! I love getting emails and reading about home. Sounds like you guys are doing great! Hope you all have a great week and I love you all! Thank you!

Love,

Elder Chris Gagnon

Week 39 - I'm staying here with Elder Christie!

On the road in Santa Monica

With Mike the Ward Mission Leader

Fell in some muddy water

Hey guys!

It's transfer day! AAAAAAAAND, I'm staying here, with Elder Christie! Haha. What a surprise! So it's been a pretty decent week. We're still really trying hard to build up the area but yea. Haha. Last transfer was pretty good. Sorry about last week. I was honestly exhausted when I wrote that letter. Our area is like all walking and all hills and all mud so I was just kinda tired. I'm still really tired and I think I have actually lost the weight that I gained in Roxas...The week before was also really hard because we lost like 2 or 3 out of like 5 investigators, one of which, Gina, had a baptismal date. So I was a little bit down last week. I'm all great now though! That was for like 2 days maybe, now I'm happy, excited and ready to start a new transfer!

Oh, one really cool thing. Only one missionary got transfered out of our whole zone, that was Elder Baltazar. He is going to be a zone leader in Narra, the other zone in Palawan. I'm gonna miss him, we got to be pretty good friends being in the same zone for 3 transfers in a row.

Our investigators are doing alright. We found some new ones last week that I think will have potential. We found 2 families, The Seriosa Family and Nalde Family. The only problem is they both live a little far from the church. So that might be a hard obstacle for them. The Nalde family also has a lot of kids and apparently its P80 for all them to get to the church which is a lot. :( The Serioso family is good though. We only met with them once and they seem like they will progress. We're going back to them tomorrow.

Then there is Nancy, who got confirmed last Sunday. Which was great! She is super nice to both Elder Christie and I. She gave us both a panyo (I do not remember the word for that in english....), which was really nice. She said she got them for us because Mike told her that one of us might be leaving on Wednesday. Mike helped out a lot last week. He worked with us everyday. He is also starting to open up to investigators. Starting this week I'm going to teach him how to teach so he can actually help us with the lessons, which would be really helpful! :D

Karen is also doing really well. She just needs to get married. So we are still working on that for her and her husband. She wasn't able to come to church last week because she was really sick. Actually, we had no investigators show up to church last week, which was tough.

Also last week we found a lot of new people. I went on splits so I worked with Mike and E.Christie worked with Ashley, Our Branch Mission leader. Mike and I both went to a far place where President Maico lives called Irawan. We went to President Maico's house first and we spoke about opening up a group in Irawan. So starting this week, Elder Christie and I are both going to do finding in Irawan and hopefully have investigators that will want to go church in Irawan.

There is also Milynn, one of our investigators who I don't know if I said this in my last letter, but she is doing great! On the way to her house last week though I fell in about ankle high mud. So that was funny. I missed a small little bridge that I didn't see and fell. It was really dirty and my socks were soaked. Luckily she was our last appointment and she lent me some flipflops to use. Anyways we committed her to baptism on the first lesson which was good and we have to follow up on how she is doing tomorrow! So far so great though!

We have a new investigator who is also really kind, her name is Juliet. She lives alone and her husband died. I cried the first time we met her and that was I think the second time I cried in an investigator's house.... It was a rough day, we got punted, so we had to find and I swear it was just so sad because no one would listen or even want to talk. Some we would talk to and they would just yell back from inside the home. They wouldn't even come out to see us. And after like 2 hours of that, without having a lesson I was pretty down. Then we found Juliet, found out about her and her situation, and shared a part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. While sharing about the Atonement I actually started to have tears. Actually that was a good experience. It was a very spiritual lesson and she really wants to continue meeting with us.

It was a good week last week. Even though we didn't have anyone at church I know that things are going to get better here in STA Monica. I'm really hoping and praying that we can find people who want to progress. It's been really hard to find people who want to get taught or progress. Things will get better though. :D

I did not bring my camera with me this week. But My companion remembered his. So I will be sending some pics from his camera home. Sorry I forgot It! :( Don't worry about the whole Journal thing. I still have enough. I still have to get better about updating it though... Also, don't worry about what to send to me. Actually if there is one thing. It would be pictures. I haven't seen any of you in like 9 months. I don't even know if you all look the same. Haha. Actually I could maybe use some new ties. That is about it though, don't worry about anything else. I don't want to ask for anything really. Haha. OH. Tell Jason I said welcome home and that I hope he has an amazing life.

Thanks for everything Guys! I love you all so much and I pray for you all all the time!

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week 38: I played guitar and sang "I Am a Child of God"

Hello Family!

This week was great and well.....just sort of ok. It had it's downs and ups for sure! All and all though, pretty great! Nancy was baptized last weekend and we were all so happy for her. We got her son, Mike, who works with us almost everyday and is a new convert as of last June to baptize her! He was really against it at first because he is really new and didn't know what to do. It was funny because I taught it to him in Tagalog and I was one of the only ones actually at the baptism so I had to witness it was done right. Haha. Usually people here just do it in English but Mike has a really hard time in English so I told him how to do it in Tagalog. So he did. It was really great though! I played a guitar that President Maico brought and all the missionaries that were there and I sang "I Am a Child of God". It was really great. One thing I really love about baptisms is hearing the new convert bearing their testimony. I think it is one of my favorite things on my mission. Nancy cried during hers. And she was really happy that Mike could baptize her! It was a really good day. There was also a few of the investigators of the Sisters that also got baptized. They baptized a family of 3 which was awesome! Anyways, that was the baptism. I don't really remember everything that happened last week but yea. I will do my best!

We did a ton of finding last week. We found some new people who might progress. I had a weird spiritual prompting this week to actually not start a lesson with an opening prayer. And I have a been thinking about it a lot lately and it can actually be a good thing sometimes. I always end the lesson in a prayer though. But I find that sometimes while contacting someone, if the spirit is already there while having a conversation it is sometimes just a lot better to immediately teach and testify. Just depends. We taught one lady this week whose name is Yolly. We tracted her a few days ago and she said that missionaries actually shared with her a long time ago. She is pretty nice and wants to listen to us. I'm excited to get back to her tomorrow. She seems like she will progress really well.

We have been teaching Karen a lot lately just kind of reviewing everything with her and reminding her of her baptismal committment. She is amazing. She came to general conference last weekend and she really loves the Book of Mormon. She has told us a million times that Nephi is actually her hero because of his obedience. She is really great. She just needs to continue coming to church and get married which we are really trying to work out with her and her husband. We also really want to teach Brother. It would be great! Trying to organize a FHE there. Would be nice!

So last Thursday was one of the worst days ever. We have been struggling to have progressing investigators. On Thursday we only had 4 that were really progressing. We have some lukewarm to cold investigators and it's been hard. We're trying to work with members and less actives... BUT we only had 4 progressing investigators and we went to go visit one of them, Sister Miraflores. And right when we got there she said that she wouldn't have time. So I just kind of shared my testimony and told her to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon because everything really relies on that. I promised blessings and everything but yea...I don't know what will happen. THEN after that visit Gina texted us and said that she couldn't be taught anymore because she is actually a maid at a house and the owner of the house said she couldn't get taught anymore or she would lose her job. Gina lives in the house so that's a pretty big problem because she would pretty much lose her home. So yea. That was pretty discouraging because we committed her to baptism.

General conference was Amazing! I loved Elder Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon and the little sort of object lesson that I will soon begin to use in my lessons! Haha. I LOVE object lessons so much. They really invite the Spirit and they really help the investigator's understand. I try and use one per lesson :) I also really liked Jeffrey R. Holland's talk during priesthood. It was really great! We didn't get to see everything though because there was a black out and then we had the baptism. So yea. We missed some of General conference :(

Everything is really going good. I love Elder Christie! I'm sad that this week could be one of our last in STA Monica because next week is transfer week! So we will find out who will be staying or leaving or if we will both be staying. The mission is going soooooo fast. It is really unbelievable. Next transfer will be the second to last for my follow up trainer Elder Nye. I kinda hope he gets transferred to Palawan or I get transferred back to Manila before he leaves. It would be nice to say goodbye. I miss him a lot. Anyways I'm going to stop talking about companions. Haha. There will be time when I get back to talk about them. Haha.

Thank you so much for everything. I don't really have time to write anymore. I have to leave now. Sorry I didn't write so much! I love you guys so much and I hope you have a great week! Please tell everyone you see that I know that I love them so much and I hope everything is going really well with them! Haha. I love you guys! Have an amazing week!

Love

Elder Chris Gagnon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Typhoons: We got some rain....that's about it though...

Hey guys!

Last week was really great! We found a few new great people! Things are starting to pick up in STA Monica! I'm really excited! We're getting a lot of rain here, but it's not too bad.... It's raining really hard right now. We just finished District meeting and now I'm emailing. I'll tell you guys a bit about how our week went.

Last Tuesday was suuupppper great! Haha. We taught Nancy and actually, I used Mosiah 2:17. It was a good small message. Then after we went to a return appointment to Sister Miraflores. And I was kinda worried because I actually taught Lesson 1 to her in the first visit and I don't always do that. I usually talk with them and get to know them, then share a small spiritual message that can really help them. Anyways in the first lesson with her I went straight to Christ's Earthly Ministry and how he set up his church. I never taught that in the first meeting. So it was a bit weird. The return appointment was soooo amazing though! The spirit was soooo strong and it was really amazing. I had this object lesson that I thought of a few weeks ago with a puzzle to do the apostasy and restoration. It went soooo well. There were kids too. And at the end of the lesson she said she understood perfectly and it was just so spiritual. I wish I could write how I incorporated the puzzle in this email but it would take a while. I'll tell you about it another time. :) Anyways that lesson was AWESOME!

Last Wednesday we taught Caren, an old investigator and gave her a baptismal date for the 30th. She wasn't able to come to church though so we have to push her baptismal date back, we're thinking November 13th. She just needs to go to church 4 times in a row and get married...we have already started working on the marriage. She has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. Her hero is actually Nephi! Which is AWESOME! We also taught Gina that day about the Book of Mormon. It went well. She didn't come to church though so we have to push her baptismal date back till November too which is too bad.

Thursday we did some finding which went alright. We actually taught Nancy that day too. We watched Finding Faith in Christ! And just sort of shared testimonies. It went really well. Later on that day we had the FHE! So we just watched Finding Faith In Christ there and we all shared our testimonies. There was one lady with her 2 kids there and she seemed to really enjoy herself. It was really good, we plan on going back to her this week. We tried last week but she was never there. The FHE went really well. We just played some games that I know and had a great time!

The next day we went finding and we found an old investigator. I shared a verse in the Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. I really want to teach his family though....It would be a lot better of course. We also found a few other people that were just ok......
Later on that night we had dinner at President Maico and that was when we found out about the typhoons going on in Manila. Things are pretty ok though here in Palawan. We got some rain....that's about it though.

Saturday we had Nancys interview then we had coordination and that was pretty much it. We visited a few members to see if there was anything we could to do help them but nothing really happened. We are trying a thousand things to try and find new investigators. It's not easy though. Haha.

Sunday we had church and the teaching assistants showed up and said they would work with us. I was excited. Haha. I worked with Elder Spiva. He is almost going home. Great missionary though. He is very great at asking questions. I learned a lot more about it. It's funny because I thought I was pretty decent at it but then I worked with him and he put me to shame. He really knows how to ask really great inspired questions. We only had 1 investigator at church that day. Her name was Charmaine. She is actually an old investigator that we never even met. We didn't even see her at church. Haha. The sisters told us after that they saw her there but we didn't because we never met her. Haha. Oh well. We're going to contact her this week though! Anyways that's about it for Sunday! Spiva and I had a really good day!

I really love the mission. This area is finally coming along. Things with Elder Christie and I are going great. We have no problems in this companionship! It's all going really well. We actually had hamburgers and fries that we made. They were great! I love everything about this place. I'm scared because it's going sooooo fast. But I'm just trying to make every moment count and just love everything! It's great! Haha. I love you guys so much!!! That's about it for this week! Thank you!

Elder Chris Gagnon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I needed to be little bit bolder...

Scraping coconuts at the Palengke in Roxas with President Bayaras

Elder Chiong, Sister Castillo, Alejandro and Elder Gagnon

Last night in Roxas at Sister Lee's home




Hey Guys!

Had an alright week last week in STA Monica! Things are going ok! Did a ton of finding and got punted like 5 times almost everyday. Things are a little hard, but the area is progressing. It all seems to be doing really well! :D


Last Tuesday we visited a ton of less actives with a member in the branch. We found one of them who hadn't been to church in almost 2 years! He spoke about how he was always working on Sunday and had a hard time asking to get it off. I shared with him a verse from the Book Of Mormon that said his family needs to come back to church and he said he would come back. It was weird but I had a really strong feeling that I needed to be a little bit bolder and I'm usually only a little bit bold when I speak to people, but this time was really different. Anyways I don't remember exactly what I said but whatever it was it must of worked because he came to church and brought his whole family! I was so happy because we only had 1 investigator show up to church last week and that was Nancy. I was really happy that family came back to church. We are going to visit with them this week again and maybe have an FHE at their place.


Last Wednesday we went finding and taught a few less actives. We taught a few good lessons. We also taught Nancy and she invited her friend to listen to us. Her friends name is Devine. She came in like half way as I was teaching the law of tithing. I tried a new object lesson that I thought of last week, which was kind of fun for doing the blessings of tithing. Anyways we got to know Devine a little bit and I gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read the Introduction. She is a really nice lady. After we taught them we taught Gina who is still doing good even though she was not able to go to church last week.


Last Thursday we tried visiting a few of the new investigators which we had. None of them were around. We got punted all day. It was tough...We had a dinner appointment that night with the sisters and the zone leaders at President Mosqueras house. It was a bit weird because when we got there he wasn't there. So yea. We had dinner without him. And that was about it for Thursday.


Last Friday we taught Nancy a small lesson about Baptism which went well. After we taught her we taught Devine. We followed up on her reading and she read everything and the witnessess of the Book of Mormon! She read more than what we gave her and she said she believes that the Book of Mormon is from God. So I was pretty speechless. The lesson was pretty much her just talking about what she read. At the end of the lesson we gave her a lesson 1 pamphlet about the Restoration and asked when we could come back to visit her. She said........that we couldn't.........because she was leaving to another place and wouldn't be coming back here till January. Which is really too bad because I really thought we had a golden investigator. But it's ok. Haha. It would have been nice though to have a good new investigator though. That night we had a dinner appointment with the sisters at President Maico's (Branch president) house. We had fried chicken! It was good! He lives pretty far away and he wants to start a group in Sicsikan which all the members in our area could go to. That would be cool if we could do that. We have to discuss it a little more. All of our investigators are a little bit far from the church. So it would be good if we could do it.


Saturday we taught Gina the Restoration and we found another new investigator. Then that night we had Correlation. It went really well! The Branch mission leader and the Branch missionaries are all really excited to work and it is all going really great!


Sunday we went out and visited a few less actives with the branch mission leader. We organized a few family home evenenings with some of the people and I think we're gonna gave a great time this week! FHEs at members houses are actually really ideal for finding and it is something kind of new which we are trying. Hopefully it works! That night we visited an old investigator. She wants to be baptized and all she has to do is be married. So we are getting that started this week which should be interesting! I'm excited for her and I think it is going to go great! Elder Comish and his companion Elder Kummer came from Taytay yesterday. We went on splits because we had a lesson at 7:30 at night and they came in at about 7. So I worked with Elder Comish! And things went great. We taught Nancy about the importance of scripture study. It was weird because I have never taught a lesson with Elder Comish and we did really well together. We committed Nancy to read the whole Book of Mormon from start to finish. And she said she would do it!


Today we had district meeting and now we're here! That's about it for this week! Hopefully this week we won't get punted so much from appointments and be able to find more progressing investigators.


For Christmas, I don't really have anything that I really want. I guess the best would be just to surprize me. I really don't know. I know I said I would think about it, but I didn't. Haha.... There's just no time or enough hours in the day.


I really love everything though. I am sooooo happy all the time and just love to work. It really is the greatest thing in the world. Thank you all for everything! I hope you all have a great week!


Love you!!


Elder Chris Gagnon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nakakapagpabagabag!

Hey Guys!

I did have a great week! Really busy, but really great! Me and Elder Christie are doing a lot of work and doing pretty well! Here's how my week went! (I actually brought my planner! haha.)

So last Tuesday we went and worked with the Branch President, President Maico. I really like President Maico, he is really humble and just a really nice man. We visited a few of the members that day and we also taught Nancy. It was a good day, we just met a lot of the members. A lot of them are saying that it is a great thing that they finally have Elders again in STA Monica. Everyone has been really friendly and supportive of us so far. It's great!

Last Wednesday, Elder Christie and I both went to Irawan because we thought it would be a good idea to find out there because missionaries have never really gone finding there. We didn't really have a lot of success finding out there. We didn't really find anyone who was interested. And that is about all we did for that day.

Last Thursday we had exchanges, Elder Black(Zone leader) came and worked with me in my area. We actually had a pretty good day. We taught a good amount of lessons and found a few new potential investigators. I was kind of nervous though because Elder Black at the begining of the day showed me this paper and it was like a grading sheet on a bunch of different things. We taught a referral that day. It was given to us by Mike, a branch missionary in our branch. He is a recent convert and wants to go on a mission next year! So we taught this referral, her name is Gina and she said that it is great what we were doing as missionaries and she actually wants to become one sometime in the near future! Soooooo we taught her about baptism and we gave her a date on October 15th! So that is our goal for her and I think she will do great! She already came to church last Sunday! I'm excited for her. The rest of the day we went finding!

Last Friday, we studied that morning, then went to Puerto and did another exchange. I worked with Elder Cooper, Elder Petersons (District Leader) trainee. And Elder Peterson worked with Elder Christie in our area. Nancy had to be interviewed that day so that is why Elder Peterson went there. She ended up not getting interviewed because she is shy about getting baptized alone. So they told her to pray about it. We followed that up on Sunday and she said she would like someone to be baptized with. So there is one baptismal service that the sisters have on October 1st and if not that, then she might have to wait and get baptized with Gina on the 15th of October. It is good though because now Nancy is really encouraging Gina. It is great! Anyways. Elder Cooper and I did some finding. He is really new so we got lost a few times in his area, but that is ok he hasn't even been in the Philippines for 2 weeks yet! He is really new. We found one good person in his area though who might progress :)

Last Saturday I got back to STA Monica. It rained a ton. And it rained hard. So we couldn't really work.... We got out around 3:30 to visit Nancy and Gina and neither of them were home so we went to the church because we had a coordination meeting. It went well. I was actually asked to give a lesson on a teaching skill from Preach my Gospel so the members can also know how to teach. I chose Teaching for Understanding. I gave about a 10-15 minute thing on that, then we just kind of reported our work. And that was about it! We also bought Mangoes that day with cream, graham crackers and condensed milk and I made a Mango Float. It was soooooo good. We're going to make another one later tonight.

Then on Sunday we had 2 investigators at church, Nancy and Gina! We were happy they both came! After that we worked with Mike and a few other members and visited less actives and Nancy. Gina left so we couldn't teach her but we will tomorrow on Tuesday! I actually had Elder Christie teach all the lessons that day and he did great! His Tagalog is starting to come along!

Then today we had district meeting, we went shopping, went to a "beach" that wasn't really a beach because it was quiet, not sunny and boring. Haha. It was ok though we just hung out there as a half zone. Haha. Now I am here!

So I actually do not know what I want in packages yet. I will think of something though and tell you next week! Thank you so much! And yes I have been taking pictures. I don't know if it's a lot of pictures but it's definitely some pictures. Haha. I'm going to be able to send some tonight. Oh and there's a word that I learned a few weeks ago that I can say better then some Filipinos. Haha. We were at a less actives and they were trying to make me say a word and they couldn't say it but I could. Haha. It was kinda funny. You guys try. It's Nakakapagpabagabag. But it's not said like that, It's kind of like Nakakapagpa Bagabag so its kind of like there's a space after the nakakapagpa then you have an accent sort of thing on the A after the B in bagabag. Haha. I can't explain. I'll just video my self and then send that. Haha.

Anyways I'm doing great in STA Monica, The members are great! Companionship is great! Just need more investigators haha. It's all going really great though! I love you guys sooo much and thank you so much for everything! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Gagnon.

P.S. So honestly I didn't bring the wire for my camera so yea. I tried a few different things, using Elder Christies camera but it won't work. I am sooooo sorry. Just one more week and there will be pictures I promise!! haha! Sorry!

I love you guys!

Elder Gagnon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We are both going to work hard and have a lot of fun!

Hey Family! It hasn't been too long since I last emailed home so I don't have a whole lot to write. We finally moved into our new apartment last Saturday so now it is just me and Elder Christie living in an apartment! It's really small but it's good enough. Our neighbor is French haha. I haven't had a chance to actually speak with him yet, but I want to. I really like our new area. It's really nice. The members are great! It's a very organized ward. We are about 30 minutes from Puerto, we're not that far. Man I really don't have a whole lot to say in this email..... We went finding last Friday and we had a dinner appointment at the church. We met President Maico there. He seems like a really nice and humble guy. He asked me to speak in sacrament last week. So I introduced myself to the ward then gave a 10 minute talk. Their speaker ended up not showing up. So yea! Haha. Oh! Last Thursday we also had a dinner appointment at the Cabaliza family. It was really fun. Brother is a really nice guy. He also knows english really well. We worked in our area a bit that day last Thursday. We worked with a branch missionary and new convert, Mike. Mike is awesome! He was baptized last June and really likes working with the missionaries. He wants to serve next year. We taught his mom, Nancy, who is the only progressing investigator we have as of now. She has a baptismal date for September
24th and her interview is going to be this Saturday. I'm excited for her, she is really nice. We just kind of reviewed everything that she had been taught and it went really well. It's a little bit hard in the area because we're not familiar with anything yet. Also we have a thing called the "area book" which is a record of the investigators and where they live and whatnot. Anyways we were looking in it and we found out that it has not been updated for a really long time. Haha...luckily the members know where some of the investigators which were taught by the sisters before us live. The members are really nice here. Our ward mission leader is super cool. He is a returned missionary who served in Davau. He was the AP in his mission. He really knows what he is doing and has all the ward missionaries really working hard. It's going to be a great area. The work is really going to pick up this week, I know it! Haha. We haven't had a whole lot of success finding so far though. We're focusing on the members a lot. It's going to be a good transfer. I'm still really excited!

Anyways unfortunately this email is probably the shortest ever. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures with Pres Bayaras, but I did get a lot with all the members. I will get to see them soon again. There is a District conference coming up soon. So I will get to see them then. My new area is not really like Roxas. There are some nicer houses here. It's just really different. I can't even explain it. It is a little less crowded, even though Roxas wasn't even that crowded. I don't really know how to explain it. I love it though! I love my whole mission! Things are going great with Elder Christie and I. We are both going to work hard and have a lot of fun! I'm excited for everything!

Well I really love you guys and sorry that this email wasn't long or that I am not even sending any pictures. I left my camera at the house...I will send some next week! Thanks so much for everything! And please tell Thiago I said "Welcome Home!" Haha.

I love you guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Transferred to Santa Monica still on Palawan!

On the beach outside the underground river in Puerto Princesa

On the mountaintop in Taytay wearing another (smaller) Elders shirt and tie which he had to borrow because he didn't expect to stay overnight. It was a little small!

Jessa and Larry's Baptism

Elder Gagnon with his new companion Elder Christie

Hey Family!

I'm in Puerto right now and we just had transfer meeting! SOOOOOOOO I am staying!!!...............On Palawan..........................I did get transfered out of Roxas though. Which is really too bad. I was a little sad because I really loved the members, and everyone over there. I'm going to miss it a ton. So you're probably wondering where I got transfered. I got transfered to Santa Monica A which is near Puerto, still in Puerto zone. I'm excited to be there. I don't have to travel 2 hours to district meeting anymore:) My area is actually.....Being shotgunned.... Yes, I am shotgunning, again. Haha. The last missionaries were Sister Martinez and Sister Roque, they both transfered out. I'm in a new district. My district leader is Elder Peterson and we have a new zone leader, Elder Hyde. And now my companion! His name is Elder Christie. He is new in the mission. I am his 1st senior. So he is in his 3rd transfer. He is from Kansas!!! Which is awesome! I'm really excited to start work tomorrow in our new area! Haha. From what I hear though, they are struggling. So it will be FUN! :D. Oh and also, Elder Comish got transfered here to Palawan. He and his companion are in Taytay. There are now 4 missionaries over there in Taytay. I'm happy Elder Comish is in my Zone! I was so happy when I saw him get here and found out we were going to be in the same zone. It's going to be an amazing transfer I think!

So I guess I will write a little bit about how my week went last week! I didn't bring anything, again. Sorry!

We had a decent week, I actually worked in Taytay on Tuesday and Wednesday and went back to Roxas on Thursday. We were on exchanges. I worked with Elder Baltazar. We taught some progressing investigators, went to the jungle where one of his recent converts lives, climbed a mountain, went back to the city sort of place, then saw this one house high on this mountain so we decided to go there, so we did. We found this really nice Tatay and he fed us and is now progressing! Haha. It was really high and beautiful. I will send pictures.

So Taytay was really fun. When I got back to Roxas we taught Larry and Jessa 2ce to make sure they were ready for their baptism. It was too bad....Jessa' father actually left on Thursday to go to the dagat because he is a fisherman and he was going to be gone for a while so he couldn't go to the baptism. So Jessa asked if I could baptize her and I did. The baptism went amazing! Elder Chiong forgot to ask people to give a talk on Tuesday so we had to do it on Thursday. Luckily President Reyes and Jessa' sister, Joy, gave a talk. :). So I got to do both baptisms. I baptized Jessa first, then Larry. Larry was super happy before he got into the water. He was really excited! After that they both bore their tesitmonies which was also really great. They also bore their testimonies the next day in sacrament on fast Sunday! It was amazing to see. Larry has really come a long way. I'm really proud of him and every decision he has made.

That night I got called and was told I was being transfered. I was actually feeling really sick and was throwing up that night. Haha. It was really random. I don't know what happened. It was not good though. I wouldn't stop. It was like 5pm till 11:30. So we didn't get a whole lot of work done.

We got to visit some of the investigators last week. We visited the Honorio family. And now Michael John said he knows that the church is true. We had a very good lesson. We committed him to baptism that day. The rest of their family is also looking really good too. I'm excited for all of them. They actually texted me today saying how much they would miss me and to take care in Santa Monica.

Nay Bajos is also really doing well. She came to the baptism and watched. Also her whole family which were inactive, came to church! It was cool to see because we contacted the inactive family, found someone who wasn't a member and now everyone is going to church. It's great!

Sister Lobick is also doing great. Really wants to be baptized. We helped her clean her house last Monday which also went great! We didn't get to teach her that much last week though.

Last Monday was the best. We had one more F.H.E at Sister Lee's. We had a great time. I taught a lesson from 2 Nephi 5. Everyone had a great time. Then right before we were about to close. Sister Lee said that they would like to share a message. Which was really nice. They all were just saying how thankful they were that I was assigned in Roxas and I got to meet them and become friends. Everyone took their turn talking. I'm am going to miss them soooooo much. She was sad because I couldn't stay for her baptism.

I am going to miss Roxas soooo much. I love every single one of the members, investigators and recent converts. It was hard to leave.

So I have been here in Puerto since Tuesday and I am going to be here tonight as well. Elder Christie and I still do not have an apartment. I'm excited though. Haha. It's too bad, I didn't get to take pictures in the Roxas apartment. Haha. Sorry!

So I guess I will answer a few of your questions, I didn't write my talk that I gave last week. Elder Chiong was actually asked to speak because I found out that I had to play piano 5 minutes before sacrament. He was really nervous and I could tell that he really didn't want to so I just spoke instead. It was on obedience so it's a really easy topic. :)

The trend with missionaries is usually they stay at least 2 transfers on Palawan. That's like the minimum, unless they get really sick. I love it here but at the same time I miss the city. Haha. :D

Anyways I guess that's about it for this week! Wish me luck in my new area! I'm going to need it! I was really nervous yesterday but I prayed really hard that I would be ready to shotgun and be a senior. I felt really good about it today. Please tell Dad to get better and I am praying for him and everyone back at home. Also please tell Granny and Auntie Lynn that I said Happy birthday and I hope they had a great one! Thank you for everything guys! Thank you for your prayers and for your love! I am doing great out here and I am just loving the work! I love you guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon