Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, January 31, 2011

2nd Week at the MTC

Kamusta Tatay at Nanay!

Sorry about last week, I was really rushed off the comp because I didn't know that I only had thirty minutes.

This week went great! On Tuesday we had Sister Evans and David F. Evans from the Quorum of the Seventy speak to us! Both were great talks! Sister Evans spoke about how it is very important to write home as much as you can. And how it is also important to pray for family and friends. David Evans spoke more about how important missionaries are to the world and how it is easier to keep commandments 100% of the time rather than 98% of the time. He also explained how charity never fails and we should always accept people for who they are!

So MTC life is pretty awesome! I have been getting up earlier than 6:30 a.m. so I can get a half hour extra to study the language. It's coming along good now, I am starting to form sentences, but it's not always easy. I can pray in Tagalog now! Which is awesome! :)

So yesterday Elder Morris (Elder in my companionship), and the other three guys in our district went to choir practice and me, Elder Comish (the other guy in my companionship) and Elder Tomasi (Elder in my district from TONGA) stayed in our classroom to study. But I was talking to Elder Tomasi and he was talking about how he used to box professionally for Tonga! He went to the Olympics in both Australia and Beijing! He didn't get a medal though :P Also, another cool thing about him is that he has only been baptized for a year and he is the only one in his family! He is really a nice guy!

So pretty much how the MTC works is we get up at 6:30 (or earlier) and get ready, then we go eat breakfast at 7:00 a.m., then we have service, class, gym, companion study, personal study, and language study. Then at 11:30 it is lunch and at 4:30 it's supper. We have 30 minutes for breakfast, and 45 minutes for both supper and lunch. And everything else is scheduled in between 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Except for Tuesday, where we have a devotional. Oh and 9:00 - 9:30 is planning and a small district meeting. At district meeting we just discuss how everyone is doing and we discuss our goals which me made as a district, oh and it's also where we get mail! It's cool because we have this cheer thing for our District, our District number is 3D and in Tagalog 3 = tatlo. So what we do after the prayer in district meeting is get in a circle, put three fingers in the middle and say "Isa, dalawa, tatlo!" Then we also say "TATLO D!" It's pretty cheesy, but it's awesome! I love our district.....

Sunday is church and how that works is we get up, Elder Comish has a leader's meeting, so we have to get up early with him, have breakfast, then he has his meeting, then we study and plan what we have to do. Yesterday, we had to teach our district about "Preach my Gospel" Chapter 5, which is the Book of Mormon. I loved it because it was more of a discussion instead of us talking about how we can use the Book of Mormon to teach.

We also do priesthood meeting. I had to conduct the music for priesthood meeting, and in two weeks I'm going to have to play the piano :P because the older males in our zone are leaving, so we won't have a piano for priesthood or sacrament. So I volunteered myself to do it! I'm going to buy a book though that has simplified hymns so I can actually play them.

Then there is P-day (this is their personal day). We pretty much just study, write home, and do laundry. It's an awesome day to just relax!

Anyway, my time is up! I hope everyone back home is doing great! I feel bad because Theresa writes me every day and I can only write her once on Monday! She is going to be getting a long letter though. And so will you guys!

Mahal kita Kayo!

Love Chris

Monday, January 24, 2011

First 5 Days at the MTC!!!

Hey Mom and Dad,

I've been here 5 days and with the amount of stuff I've learned it feels like it's been 6 months! :)

So right after I left you guys on Wednesday Elder Anderson, the missionary who was there, took me to the place where we get our nametag and a bunch of other stuff. He was telling me stuff like everyone cries their first day, but it was weird because right after I left you guys I had stopped crying which was good. So I was talking to a few people who were in line with me and one of the elders is going to Montreal Chinese speaking. I told him he would love it and stuff. Then I got to my room, where I was greeted with a ton of little toy army men all facing me. And the closets were both shut with an undone clothes hanger! So I dropped off my stuff right away, then Elder Anderson took me to my class room and dropped me off there. I went to sit down, then this little Asian guy comes up to me and starts speaking Tagalog, but really fast! Then he started speed walking away, so I followed him and then he took me to a computer where I had to watch a video about gym and rules about gym and whatnot. Then I finished the gym orientation, wasn't sure what to do, but neither did the other elder sitting behind me who also came from the same class, we both assumed to go back to class. So we did, we both sat down with a bunch of other Elders, then another taller guy was speaking in Tagalog, but used his hands to tell us what to do without speaking a word of English. He told us to write notes, so I did. I took down a bunch of stuff written in Tagalog. I found out that class how to say "how are you", and just a bunch of casual things to start a conversation. At the end of class we found out that the tall guy and the short asian guys names are Brother May (tall guy) and Brother Molina (short asian guy). They are both our teachers. Then they introduced us to our companions. Mine are Elder Comish, and Elder Morris. Elder Comish was born in Germany but lived in South Carolina most of his life and Elder Morris is from Denver, Colorado. We are the only 3 out of the 7 guys in our district/batch/class going to Manila, so the 3 of us are companions and all have the same room, while the other 4 are split in companionships of 2 and all have to share one room. After class, we had supper then went back to our residence, then we had an interview with our branch president, then we went to bed. The other guys in my batch are all really cool too. I only have 2 minutes left, so I'm going to write as much as I can really fast.....I was kind of taking my time while writing this, then I found out I only have 30 mins. to write....next week I will have more.

Anyways, the language is going really great. I know a lot so far, including how to pray and bear my testimony. I really feel the gift of tongues kicking in really fast.

Last night, we had a talk by Stephen B. Allen which was great, he is the managing director for the missionary department. I felt the spirit alot!

Anyways, I really love both of you so much, thanks for sending me stuff!

Love Chris

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week 1: Entering the MTC!

Chris is now officially Elder Gagnon! He entered the Provo MTC at 1:00 p.m. today with a huge smile on his face and excited anticipation in his heart! Many thanks to everyone who came out to support and bid him farewell in the last week. You can write to Elder Gagnon in two ways. The easiest way is to go to www.dearelder.com Click on "Select Mission" and go to "Provo MTC". His mailbox number is #148, his mission code is PHI-MAN but we don't know his departure date yet but you don't have to enter it to send him something. I'll let you know as soon as we find out....Writing to him through "dear elder" is free and if you write before noon he'll receive a letter the same day. If you wish to send him a package or your own letter you can write to him at: Elder Christopher Anthony Gagnon, MTC Mailbox #148, PHI-MAN 0323, 2005 N 900 E, Provo, Utah, 84604-1793 I'll update his blog as soon as I get more info...