Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


HEY GUYS! How's it going? We're at the internet
cafe now sending our emails. Sorry I didn't get a
chance to yesterday, the emails weren't working
so we had to wait till today. We're sending them right
before we go out to work, so i didn't bring my camera
with me.

So i guess i'll start with Friday and what we did that day.


So what we did was go to zone meeting, where we
got to know the zone, and who everyone was and
whatnot. I am in the Las Pinas zone, and Elder Guarino
and I both live with the zone leaders, they are Elder
Jimenez and Elder Gamalo. So I'm the only white guy
in our apartment!
There's only 5 white people in our zone out of I think
about 16-20 of us. So it's pretty kool. It can get hard
sometimes because I don't understand everything that's
going on because it's mostly all in tagalog. It's awesome
though. I love it! Anyways, also on friday,after zone meeting
we had dinner at Maninasa, they have unlimited rice there,
sooooo that's pretty much why we went. I got chicken, and
some other stuff, I can't remember what. haha. It was great
though! Then after we got back, we went out and contacted
old investigators. One of them we found was actually too
young to be taught and we need her parentspermission
so she could be taught further. Everyone else we kind of
just fellowshipped and got to know them and of course
review what they had been taught. And that was about it
for that day. It takes us about 45 minutes to walk to and
from our proselyting area, so it's pretty far.... Everywhere
else we take the trike or jeepnii, which are both super fun.


So on Saturday that was our day where were out the most.
We got up, had exercise, got ready for the day, have personal
study from 8-9, C.S (Companion study) from 9-10, then
language study from 10-11, then we have lunch, then
we're out till 8 when we come back for supper, unless we
eat out or have a DA, which happened that day. So we had
our DA with a family called the Yangs from 7-8, then we
had to walk back to our house. which took about an hour.

Sunday we had gotten up, we have sacrament at 1 so we
studied a lot that morning, then finished church at 5
because we have corellation after everything is done.
San Pedro 2nd is a really kool ward. I had to bear my
testimony and introduce myself and whatnot. The only thing
I'm kinda disappointed in is that all the hymns are all in
english. And so are the sacrament prayers. After singing
in the MTC in tagalog for 9 weeks I never get to do it in
the field which is too bad, some of the hymns are really
awesome in tagalog.

Monday, we had a district meeting in the morning,
which took about an hour to get to. we finished at
about 11, then went to festival mall for lunch and grocery
shopping. We ate at Chow King. Elder Guarino and
I both had this sweet and sour pork which was awesome!
Everything here is actually great. I love it a lot! Then we got
groceries and had to carry them back by bus and trike, which
was fun. Lol. Then we got back, took a nap, studied, had
supper. I accidently ate this really hot pepper and my mouth
was actually on fire. It wasn't fun.

Anyways awesome that you talk to Elder Leishman
and Elder Andrus's mom, they were like my best friends
in the MTC. I miss them a lot. Their area is about 4 hours
from where I'm at, so I probably won't see them, which is too bad.
There's always after the mission though. I'm already used to the
climate change now. I'm used to the sweating all
the time thing now, so that's all good. The driving here is
crazy! I saw a motorcycler driving through cars yesterday
on the wrong side of the road. It was awesome, but probably
one of the most dangerous things I've ever seen done in real life!
We do have to do our laundry ourselves, that's what I did a lot
yesterday, which I forgot to mention it takes a while. We don't have
any investigators with a baptismal date yet. It's cuz we're both new
missionaries to this area, so we're getting to know everyone still
and whatnot. It's going great though. Everything is going great
with Elder Guarino and I, He's really funny and knows a lot. It's too
bad he leaves in 5 weeks though. :( He has taught me a lot about tagalog.

About balut... it is BAWAL in the Manila
mission, meaning FORBIDDEN. There's a few things
that are forbidden because missionaries get sick from them.
Every morning though there is a guy at about 7 in the morning
screaming "BALUT" because he just walks around and sells it.
It's funny. There's no rain at all here. Not
yet. We watch general conferance the week after it airs,
so don't tell me anything about it, cuz i won't have seen it yet. Lol.

Anyways, like I said, everything here's great. I love it, there
hasn't been anything I really didn't like about my mission yet.
It's really nice. Wala Complaints. It's funny how you brought
that up. That was one of the last things Elder Andrus and I
spoke about, and how it's always good to be positive.

I gotta get going now, so I'll send an email next week,
which should be a bit longer and actually have pictures.
Speaking of which how should I send my card home?
Let me know what you think! Thanks For everything guys!
And please wish Theresa a Happy Birthday from me. I
didn't forget, i just didn't get a chance to email yesterday.
So yea...Please tell her all the best! Thanks for everything guys!


Elder Gagnon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm in my shorts right now sitting in an internet cafe with a fan.....1st email from the Philippines!

Kamusta Nanay at Tatay!

Guess what? I get to email today! I have about
an hour. SO I'll just start off by telling you guys
the reason I am emailing today. The reason is
because they went to the temple last Monday
because they go every 6 weeks. So because they
had temple on Monday, their P-day is today! So
I get to email you and President Howard. So I have
one hour and 20 mins to email you and President Howard!

Oh I'm sorry I didn't have time to call you guys in
Hong Kong! It was really close to when we had to leave!
I really wanted to, but there really wasn't any time.

So going from Cali to Hong Kong was reeeeeeeeeeally
long, the food was awful, we had this weird looking
chicken and for breakfast I had this ham and egg thing.
Then on the plane from H.K. to Manila, it was really short.
I spoke to a few people beside me on the plane which was
kool. They said my Tagalog was really good for 9 weeks,
which was kool. Elder Diaz gave out a ton of pass-along cards,
which was awesome. He was from the other district in
my zone, he is from Utah. Anyways enough of the plane
ride I'm going to talk about the Philippines now.

So getting out of the airport was harder than I expected,
saying goodbye to the district could be compared to when
I left you guys to go the MTC, only not as bad. But it was
emotional. We Tatlo D'd in the airport, which was kool,
then we all said goodbye. Then Elder Comish, Elder Morris
and I met up with the Assistants and President Howard. So
the first thing I noticed when i got the Philippines, is that
people are really impressed that us white people speak Tagalog.
Elder Andrus and I were speaking it at the airport and a girl
working at the gate said she was impressed, which is kool.
A few other people were watching us too, which was funny.
When I walked outside, it was like walking in to a wall of
humidity, by the time I got to the car, I was sweating.
Getting out of the parking lot was crazy, there was a lot
of people. Driving to the mission home was also insane.
The rule here is nose first, and that's the only rule when
driving, there are no lanes....if you can go, then go.

So yesterday when we got to the mission
home, we met Sister Howard, shaved, got changed, got
interviewed and then had lunch. We had rice with meatballs
and fruit. The banana I had was amazing. It's weird,
I didn't think a banana could taste any better,
then I had one yesterday, and it was actually amazing.

We also met the zone leaders (there are 2 pairs of Z.Ls)
and we got to go out with them. I went out with
Elder Curwin (Utah) and Elder Palangko (Philippines).
Elder Palangko was funny. He said that people
here used to call him "Joe" which sort of means
foreigner, because he didn't speak Tagalog,
he spoke another Filipino dialect, but he
isn't a foreigner so he said that used to be really
funny. So we went out, taught 3 lessons to 3
investigators with baptismal dates. We
taught 2 lessons outside of someones home
whose house was smaller than the size of our kitchen.
It was an empty room, with nothing in it,
when it got dark, we had to pour wax on the floor and
then put the candle there so the room would stay lit.
We taught him about the word of wisdom and he said
that he would live it, which is really great! His name was Eric.

So after that the Z.Ls took me to have a halo halo,
which is this drink thing that has a ton of stuff in it.
I still dont know what was in it, but it was great.
Anyways, there a ton of people everywhere
where we went. There's kids in the streets and
they're all really friendly and stuff. It's great.
Everyone is really friendly, the heat is really the only
thing killing me :P but apparently you get used to
it. OH YEA! Yesterday for transportation, we took a
jeepnee which is fun. I'll take a picture and send it to
you sometime...

Later we went back to the mission home, slept there
and that was it for that day.

Then today we woke up had pancakes, with an orange,
and it was the best orange, all fruit really does taste
better here. Then we went to this American memoria
place which was really kool. Then we went back
to the mission home, had a small orientation.
More missionaries came in, these were the trainers
we were going to be assisnged to after
lunch, there were 5 of them for the 5 missionaries
in our batch (Elder Morris, E. Comish, myself and 2 other
missionaries from the Manila MTC.)
So before we found out who our fathers (trainers) were,
we had lunch. We had rice (we had rice for every meal
so I'm going to stop saying we had rice, because we always do)
and some beef thing with veggies. It was great. Then we met
our fathers (a father is the 1st companion missionary that
trains a new missionary), there were 3 Filippinos, and
2 Americans and guess what????..... I got the Filippino! yay!
Before I talk about him though I'm going to talk about
President Howard. He was in the army before and helped
open up the church in the Philippines. He
is leaving in June though, which is too bad. My interview
with him went really well. He said the theme here is
Magtrabagho (work) Magdasal (pray) and pagsunod (obedience).
The orientation went really well too, it was just explaining
all the rules.

Anyways, my kasama's name is Elder Gangiano and
he is done in 6 weeks, so i will be killing him (killing
a missionary means the other missionary is sending him home).
The mission president told me he is a great
missionary, this is his 4th time training someone, which
is like unheard of here. He's a really nice guy, can speak
English really well, but we speak more Tagalog than anything.
I will send pictures of us next Monday. The area I am assigned
to is San Pedro, I haven't seen much of it yet, we took a bus here.
I don't know where Elder Comish and Elder Morris are,
they both got Americans who have been assistants here
together, they seem like cool guys.

So, I don't know what else to say. I'm in shorts right
now in an internet cafe with a fan and I'm sweatin' like
a dog! It is soooooo hot here, but I really love it!
It's really a nice place. Anyways I made it here safely!
I gotta go now, i don't know when you will get this, but
you will! Hope you have a great day! I love both of you!

Elder Gagnon

Here are a few pictures I was sent by Brother Molina, Chris' Tagalog teacher at the MTC...they were taken the Saturday before they left for the MTC.....Thanks Bro. Molina!

Tatlo D!

Elder Johnson, Bro. Molina and Elder Gagnon

Email from mission President Howard!

I received the following email from Chris' mission president Howard yesterday:

"Elder Gagnon arrived safely and has been out working with the elders. This morning we will have orientation and at noon he will meet his companion. We are thrilled to have him in our mission."

President Howard

Here's another picture of Chris with his friends at the MTC, Elder Leishman and Elder Andrus

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chris is in the Philippines!

Chris' plane landed in Manila, Philippines last night at 11:25p.m. our time (11:25 a.m. their time), so we're assuming he was on it and arrived safely! His P days are on Monday, same as at the MTC so we'll be receiving news by this Sunday from him. Many thanks to Laurie Leishman for sharing her photos of Chris and her son Joe at the MTC. All the best to you Elder Leishman on your mission!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 8 and the last day at the MTC!

Elder Tomasi, Elder Gagnon and Elder Johnson

Left to right: Elder Comish, Elder Gagnon, Elder Leishman, Elder Andrus, Elder Morris, Elder Tomasi and Elder Tuitama

Hey Everyone! Well, today's my last day sa MTC! It was a great last week. I'll tell you what I did....BUT first before I forget, can I change my plaque scripture to 2Tim 4:2 or Galatians 5:13. Thanks!

So last Mondays ZTA, was our last one and it went pretty well. We had health meeting, It was the most boring meeting I ever went to in my life! Brother Molina told us to bring notes, so I did, and I studied them the whole time. We also had to clean our class again and we got a perfect score. (we got a perfect score all nine weeks!) I was able to send letters with Elder Bell that night. I think he's in the singles ward right now. Courtney said she met him last Sunday. If you guys see him, tell him he's the best and a super great guy and stuff.

Last Tuesday we had our last fireside and it was a member of the seventy....I didn't take any notes or I did and I forgot to bring them and I really don't remember....It was an alright talk.

Wednesday Brother Molina said that if we use "po" the right way, in almost every sentance we will be impressive to the Filipinos. So that's kool because i use "po" in almost every sentance. What "po" is, is it pretty much just adds respect to the sentence your saying. He also said we will be fluent once we can start using na and pa in the right way because they add color to the language.

Thursday I had to get shots, i will be sending a paper home so you can pay it, cuz i don't have the cash here.....Thanks guys. You can take it out of my account (obviously). Thanks guys. Pretty much all we did that day was teach. We had the TRC...it went alright. We had to teach with 4 people though for the first part because there were not enough tagalog speaking volunteers. The second part went really well, they got 2 more volunteers at the last minute Elder Johnson and I taught and it went well.

Friday I had to teach the class about magpa and ipa verbs in class with Brother Molina. I also had an interview with Brother May, he had a lot of cool things to say and we spoke a lot about how the Philippines will be. Friday was our last gym. Played four square, of course. It was fun.

Saturday was a great day! It was our last class with Brother May and Brother Molina. For Brother May we played jeopardy. There were 5 subjects: Mang verbs, Mga kuwento ni brother may (Brother May's stories, about his mission.) Ano po sa inggles ang ________(what is this in english?) Anong Kabanata?(which chapter is this from in preach my gospel) and Sinong nagsabi (who said this? from the scriptures.) We did it by companionships, I got all of the questions from which chapter, 2 from brother mays stories, and 1 from all the other subjects. Elder Johnson Got one from mang verbs....Before final jeopardy, we were in second by a long shot. It was close between us and Elder Andrus and Tuitama...We bet everything..... and lost! Elder Morris and Elder Comish ended up winning because they were the only ones who got the question right......

We also got a ton of pictures with Brother May after, and he gave us advice for when we get to the Philippines. In Brother Molina's class, he taught us Tagalog slang. Which is good to know so we can understand it and we can express ourselves better. Then we asked questions about him. He told us the reason he teaches us is because he is soooooo jealous that we get to be on missions. He was crying while saying this. It was hard to fight back the tears.. Then we took pics, asked questions about his mission, about his life, it was kool. He is married and has a one year old kid. It was a good class. Then that night I wrote my talk, lost it, then had to write it again!

Sunday we had a district meeting with Pres.Taylor, which was great. Then we had sacrament meeting. So I get there and on the stand is President Mciff, the second councillor with the "s" whistle, who I love. His talks are amazing and we never really get to see him when he isn't on a stand in a huge room with 2000 missionaries. This time there was only like 40 of us and he was there with his wife. So we had sacrament. Then President Taylor called on Elder Malimali and.............I to give a talk! Everyone thought it would be me because Pres.Mciff was there. So I got up on the podium, thanked Malimali, said "kamusta", said "Mabuhay" (welcome) to President Mciff and his wife, then I looked at the paper, and saw that it was the talk that I had written last week, so i freaked out.....! Instead of talking about binyag (baptism) I spoke about pagsisisi (repentance). Which was alright but i forgot which scriptures i wanted to use, so i had to think of them while i was on the stand.... Then all the Missionaries leaving the MTC sang "Behold a Royal Army", with 2 verses in english, the last verse in Tagalog, which was great.

President Mciff said he really liked my talk and that I had a good spirit. I got a picture with him, his wife and Elder Johnson after. After that we took pictures with the District presidency, then we had a temple walk and I got a ton of pics with everyone. Then that night guess who spoke? President Mciff! It was a great fireside! It was about not doing stupid things on our mission. That night we also sang hymns in the residence, sa Tagalog. I got it recorded on tape, so yea... It was really spiritual like last time, and just great.... We sang a lot of songs.

So today is the day I should be calling home around 8, your time. I'm not sure though. I would like to talk to Justin and Andrew first, then you guys, then Theresa. I'm not sure how long I will have but I'm thinking about 10 minutes each about? Dunno really...... I don't know how many minutes the card you gave me has soooooo yea.....
Anyways email me back. I have a lot of packing to do so I have to go now. Thank Courtney, and the Kaufmans for their dear elders. And thanks for the package.... I still have a ton of food...But yea thanks! For all the letters and everything. Talk to you later!
Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Hey nevermind sending me an email back, were leaving at 4:30, this will probably be the last time I am on the computer. I don't know how much the calling card is, but I would still like to speak to everyone in the same order. I am soooooo excited right now! My bags are perfectly under the weight limit. I also took out cash, I sent a box home with ties, sweaters, and my jacket, and a tape of us singing the night the old district left 6 weeks ago, and us singing last night (in tagalog.) I hope you guys like it! Anyways I really gotta go now! Talk to you soon!



Friday, March 18, 2011

Some pictures I swiped from Elder Leishman's blog:)

Chris sent a memory card with photos from the MTC which has been lost in the mail....So here's some pics I borrowed from the blog of one of the other Elders in his district....Thanks Elder Leishman!

left to right: Elder Comish, Elder Gagnon, Elder Leishman, Elder Andrus, Elder Morris, Elder Tomasi, Elder Tuitama

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leaving for the Philippines March 21st....Last chance to send a Dear Elder to the MTC

If anyone would like to send Chris one last "Dear Elder" at the MTC, you have until tomorrow, Friday, March 18th by 2:00 p.m. to send him one and he will receive it tomorrow night. They don't send Dear Elders out on the weekends and he'll be leaving for the Philippines on Monday, March 21st...So tomorrow is yourlast day to send one to the MTC! If you want to send him a Dear Elder after Monday, use the same procedure as before, but you'll have to send it to the Philippines Manila Mission instead of the Provo, MTC...The service is still free for those serving in that mission but I don't think he gets the letters as quickly....Thanks to all of you who've been sending him your messages of love and support!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 7 at the MTC

Kumusta pamilya at mga kaibigan! Isang linggo at pupunta po ako sa pilipinas!!! (Hello Family and Friends! One week to go and I will be in the Philippines!!!)

So to start this out I'm going to talk a bit about my week, then I will answer your questions.

Last Monday, we taught the second lesson in Tagalog with our progressing fake investigators, and we did alright. They ended up having more questions later that week, so we answered them later.

Tuesday we had an english "fast"(meaning they wouldn't speak any english) which went great. I spoke about 80-90% Tagalog until we had the devotional that night. We had a talk by Elder Richards of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 which was great. It was on the Holy Ghost and how we always have to be receptive to it. I got a ton of good notes from it and I learned quite a bit... Probably my second favorite talk next to Patrick Kearan a few weeks ago.

Wednesday we had service in the morning, cleaned, had a teaching appointment, and the fake investigator ACTUALLY quit his job at the MTC!......So it didn't go through... In class that day with Brother Molina, we had to ask the newest district 30 questions to get to know them better, and translate them. So we did and I accidently did 36! Another thing he did was give us directions to find stuff and the first group to find him with everything won. He made us count the flags around the MTC, find out where 5 people were from and then find a vending machine and buy him a granola bar, then find him in the computer lab. Everything had to be in Tagalog, of course. So our team was me, Elder Leishman, Elder Comish and Elder Tuitama. The other team was Elder Andrus, Elder Tomasi, Elder Johnson and Elder Morris. We won of course! The only thing the other team had to do differently was buy him vitamin water. He said the purpose of that was because he was hungry and wanted something to eat and drink. It was really fun!

Thursday we had the TRC, which went great, but right before it, all of us got sick because i don't think the chicken we had for supper was good.... Anyways what we had to do was give the 2 investigators directions to the church, follow up on commitments, and then teach them lesson 2 all in Tagalog, of course. One of the (fake) investigators had a sister who died this week, so obviously we had to teach him about how he will see her again. We committed them to baptism, so it went really well, even though it was fake.

Friday was a great day. Me and all the internationals in our zone got to go to temple square, which was amazing! The Salt Lake temple is HUGE! It was really fun, Elder Tomasi was my companion for that time. I was also the only white guy from the zone who went. The internationals in our zone are myself, Elder Leausa (He's a great singer, he said you can check him out on youtube, just search Nelson Leausa, from Australia), Elder Nalesoni (Another Australian), Elder Malimali (Tonga), and Elder Tomasi (Tonga). It was a fun day, but weird to see people not in suits, and kids and restaurants and stuff. I feel like I have been living in a bubble for 8 weeks! Can't wait to leave the MTC.

Saturday we had zone meeting, which was ok. Elder Comish was asked to speak about companions and always staying with your companion. The first thing he said was "Kumusta mga brother at mga sister at mga elder", and brother molina, who was way in the back yelled, "MABUTI!"(good). He said the reason he did that was because when you say that during a talk in the Philippines, a lot will actually answer back! So the whole zone conference went alright. That night I worked on my talk for Sunday.

Sunday i didn't play piano, the new districts that came in about a week and a half ago have piano players, so they play now. I also didn't get chosen to give a talk, so that's too bad. The temple walk was really good, I got a lot of pictures that I want to get developed this week.
And today so far all we did was go to the temple and do our laundry. Later we have the ZTA with our progressing investigators.

So now I will answer your questions......
1. Yes I will have a chance to send an email next week, this will be my second to last one before leaving the MTC.
2. I leave the MTC at 4:30pm on March 21st and our flight is at 8:10pm, so i should be calling in between 7pm to 10pm YOUR TIME! Please make sure you, Dad, Theresa, Justin, Andrew, and Granny are all there please. I want to be able to talk to all those people. Thanks!
3. I will be sending all my extra stuff next week. The MTC has boxes that I will buy, so please make sure there is money in the account. so I can buy them. I should be sending 2 boxes. OH and there's a guy from my residence going to Montreal Manderine speaking, his name is Elder Bell from France, he's a really kool guy. I'm giving him quite a few letters to mail out from Montreal, so they will get there faster. There is also another elder going to Montreal, french speaking! I can't remember his name, but he is from France.
4. Same thing pretty much. I'm not going to be sending anything from the Philippines except for birthdays and random souvenires and stuff, that won't be often though.
5. I need to find out this Thursday about the shots. It will be done then.
6. I have 3 memory cards on me now... one I bought here, one you guys sent me, and the one that doesn't work that will be sending back next week in one of the boxes. I know you guys would like to see pics, but i mean i have already sent 2 memory cards back with lots of pictures and none worked, or made it there. I have a lot of pics on the memory card I bought here. I'll send a bunch of developed pictures in the box next week. So don't worry!
7. So far I know I am flying to L.A with Elder Comish, Elder Morris, and I think Elder Nalesoni (other district, our zone) and Elder Diaz (other district, our zone) in our travel group there are only three of us though (Comish, Morris and I). Then all 5 of us are flying to Hong Kong where we meet our whole zone. Then from Hong Kong, we're flying to Manila, and we will arrive there at 8:20 am on March 23rd.
8. I do not know which ward i will be in. I find out when I get there.
9. Yes I got the flag pin from Fatima! I didn't know it was from her! Please tell her I said thanks so much and I wear it everyday!
10. Elder Tomasi is doing amazing! he spoke yesterday in sacrament and his talk was really good, I could understand everything he said. Our district as a whole is doing amazing in Tagalog. Elder Johnson is not sure if he is ready...It's mostly his Tagalog he is worried about. Yesterday he was asked to say the closing prayer in Tagalog, and he just used a bunch of phrases from this book that shows us how to do a bunch of things, all in Tagalog, prayer being one of them, so he wrote a few things down and just read the paper.......
Anyways thats about it for this week i guess! I'm really excited to leave in a week. Please tell Fatima i said Happy Birthday! Please thank Ryan Boudreau, Emily Rossi, and Stephen Young (from A&W) for their Dear Elders if you see them and please thank Theresa for her Dear Elders. Thanks for everything guys... for the dear elders, telling people I said thanks, packages etc.... If you want to respond to this email, you can... I have till 6:00 and I still have time on the computer. Anyways...

I love you!
Elder Chris Gagnon

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 6 at the MTC

Kamusta po kayo tatay at nanay at nobia at mga kapatid at lahat kaibigan ko?!

This week was a great week! I learned a lot. I'm almost at 100% speaking Tagalog. For the most part this week we're working on lesson 2 sa tagalog. And I actually find it a lot easier then lesson one, which is great.

So the last week went pretty well. The bago district came in on Wednesday and they're pretty cool. One of the guys came in on Tuesday because he is from somewhere I can't remember....But he can't speak english like at all which is going to be tough. He's going to Manila so that's really kool. Him and I could be mga kasama someday. Things with Elder Johnson and I are going well. He still has to be interviewed for some reason by the district president and he has to make regular phone calls to his bishop back home, for reasons i just don't know.....

Last Lunes, we had a ZTA and we taught Lesson 1 to the sister missionaries in the other district. It went ok. Elder Johnson really needs to start speaking more. I also had a hard time knowing what to say.

Sa Martes we had a Devotional by the first councillor in the bishopric. It was alright, he spoke mostly about the importance of using members while doing missionary work. It was a good talk, and I got quite a bit of notes about it, but I don't have them on me. Elder Johnson and I also sang in the choir, we sang a song called "Blessings"

Sa Miyercules, we had service first thing in the morning. By the way what we do for service is mostly clean bathrooms. Oh and before I forget...what i do for Gym is play 4-square with Elder Andrus, Elder Leishman and Elder Comish. It's really fun. Elder Leishmans father was at the MTC today because he has a church job as head doctor or something.....I don't actually remember what it is, but he is in the Church video on LDS.Org titled "Update on Haiti and Chile." he has like a small interview towards the end of the video. Anyways Elder Leishman didn't want to find him because he thought it would be weird, but during lunch his father found him, so I took a picture of them together, because I was the only one with a camera on me. It was really funny and cool that his dad found him.

Sa huwebes We had the TRC that night, and it went alright, I was able to say why I was serving a mission sa tagalog and we were able to teach allright that night, but Elder Johnson still didn't say much.

Sa Biyernes, we had another LGM with Elder Collette about the power of Holy Ghost. It was an awesome LGM. He always starts them with: "I'm Elder Collette I served my mission in Montreal, and my first area was in the ward where Elder Gagnon lives." It's pretty funny. The rest of the day I went to class, we started learning Lesson 2 in Tagalog, and we taught the newest district that came in on Wednesday, part of lesson 2 in Tagalog. So I would talk and Elder Johnson would translate, or when he would talk I would translate. It went pretty well I really like lesson 2.

Sabado. Pretty much did the same thing as Biyernes, Studied a lot more and learned how to give directions sa Tagalog. Also taught the younger district again, they were asking for advice on how to teach so I gave them some, which is weird because 4 weeks ago I was getting advice from the older district in our zone. Now we're the old ones, which is really weird.

Linggo. Had mission conference, President Williams(District president), President Mciff (1st councillor in the MTC presidency ((the guy with the "S" whistle!)), and President Brown (MTC President) and their wives all spoke to us, mostly about the atonement. President Brown's talk was really great, it was about our purpose as missionaries which is on page 1 of Preach my Gospel, and he spoke about every different part of our purpose. Then that night we had the Provo temple president come and speak to us about temples, it was a great talk.

So far today, we went to the temple, my laundry is in the dryer, and that's about it. We have a ZTA tonight so I hope that goes well.

Oh, one thing that Elder Leishman, Elder Andrus and I started is using a whiteboard and writing jokes or quotes and stuff, which is pretty fun. We write it the day before for the person, then put it facedown on the persons desk then they wake up that morning and find a quote or joke. It's pretty fun. One of ones I did, for Elder Comish, is found in 2 Kings I think verses 23-24, I don't have my bible on me, but I'm pretty sure that's it.... Anyways it's kinda funny, but cruel.

Thank you so much for the Dear Elders and the Package. The Tongans and Samoans in our residence love the Ringolos! They actually go nuts for them! Thanks for all the other Canadian foods too. Everyone really likes them. You said you sent a calling card, but there is no calling card in the box.... and I looked everywhere for it....so yea....
It's really kool that you got to see Rebecca's and Brunos wedding. Tell them I said congrats and all the best! Tell Jon I think he's a huge baby!:) Also please thank Courtney and Bill Kaufman for their Dear Elders. And Tell Courtney my favourite verse in the scriptures is found in Psalms. It's Psalms 97:10.
And again please tell Theresa I love her and thank her for sending me Dear Elders araw araw! It makes my day at the end of the night to read them and know that she still loves me. I really love her too, and please tell her that for me.
Thanks for all the updates back home, everyone seems to be doing great, which is awesome! I will still have time to send another email later today, just send something and if it's before 6:00 your time, I should be able to respond!

Mahal Kita!

Elder Gagnon

P.S. I don't really want anything for my birthday, the ties will be enough really. Um there's not a whole lot I really want in the next package, just Ringalos, and if you could send a bit of popcorn too that would be good too! Thanks so much for everything! Elder Tomasi is writing you guys a letter, so you should be able to see that next week or so. Also he says thanks for the letter and the chocolates! Oh and my departure date is going to be March 21st. I will be getting travel plans next week, so its pretty exciting! I can't wait to get to the field! Thanks so much for everything mom! I love you guys!

Elder Gagnon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Week 5 at the MTC

Kamusta po Nanay at Tatay!

I brought my planner with me to the computers today so I can write you what my schedule is like for the week. By the way, weeks start on Friday and end on Thursday, so that's why I am starting on Friday....We wake up at 6:30 a.m, have breakfast at 7:00 a.m., plan for the next day as a companionship at 9:00 p.m., have small district meeting at 9:20 where we discuss how goals went/hand out letters/pray/then we have this thing where we put three fingers in the middle of a circle and say "Tatlo D!" which means 3D, which is our district number. Elder Andrus made that up the 1st or 2nd week we got here. Then get back to our residence for 9:30, be quiet at 10:15, then lights out at 10:30....

In between we have the following at different times each day: personal study (P.S.), companion study (C.P.), Missionary directed time - MDT (which is pick up mail, shop, study....usually study), Large group meeting (last LGM was when Brother Collette taught us about how to use the Book of Mormon and the questions it answers). We also have Missionary Directed language study, Gym, class (klase) with Brother Molina or Brother May and service.

So this is what a typical Sunday(Linggo) looks like...last Sunday my day went like this....
7:00 a.m. MDT/with interviews
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 MDT/Interviews
10:10 Priesthood meeting
11:30 MDT/Interviews
12:00 District meeting where one of the companionships in the district teaches a lesson. Elder Johnson and I taught this week about the plan of salvation.
12:50 Tanghalian (Lunch)
1:45 Sacrament meeting
3:00 Temple Walk
4:00 MDT
5:45 Hapunan (Dinner)
6:30 MDT
7:00 Fireside where someone speaks to us...Last night we had Stephen B. Allen again. He is the manager of the missionary training department. He is a great speaker though. He spoke to us about how trials are a blessing in disguise.
8:00 p.m. it was movie night and we watched a movie about the Salt Lake temple. It was good, but the Joseph Smith movie was on too and that's like the main movie. I have already seen it twice, it's amazing! At the end, everyone always walks out crying....Elder Andrus just told me he shed a tear last night when he watched it....

Monday (Lunes) we do pretty much anything till 4:30. I like to go to the temple first thing in the morning, then get everything else done, then study. So far today, we went to the temple and did initiatories. Later today we will have class with Bro. Molina and a Zone teaching appointment (ZTA)where we teach the other district in our zone. We have to teach in Tagalog now. Last week for the ZTA it went ok, but Elder Johnson didn't say anything at all....he doesn't say anything when we teach in Tagalog or English....we're working on that this week.

Last Tuesday(Martes)we had a devotional with a talk by Elder Kearan of the 70. It was a great talk...he said we should listen twice as much as we speak because we have two ears and only one mouth. It was my favourite talk so far....

Last Thursday (Huwebes) we had class with Brother Molina. During this class though is when we have our teaching appointment with a fake or real investigator. First during this we have our Wika (language) task where we have to talk about something random, then share a spiritual thought. Last week we had to go to an investigators restaurant, order food, then share a spiritual thought about prophets and schedule an appointment with them all in Tagalog. Then we have to teach them 5 mins. later, answer any questions they might have just had, and teach them a lesson in Tagalog. Last week was lesson 1, but we mostly spoke about prophets and the restoration. After that we did weekly planning in Bro. Molina's class, which is where we pick what we want to learn for the classes and goals we want for the next week. Then we had companionship inventory where we pretty much vent about things we hate about our companion....Just kidding! It's pretty much just discussing how the companionship is going and stuff.

So those are the things that go on in my day to day schedule. This week was great! I studied a ton of Tagalog. I'm speaking about 50% now, the goal is 100%, but it's hard remembering all the words and such. It is going great though. I'm hoping Elder Johnson will teach tonight. We're going to practice sometime during the day.

I worked on my talk last Saturday (Sabado) and it was actually really good! I was happy with it. It was on pananampalataya (faith) and I was happy with it, BUT I didn't speak. Sister Scott, Elder Andrus (who did a great job) then President Taylor called on one more. He called Elder Nalesoni (from our zone, from Australia) and he did alright. I also didn't play piano this week. Elder Taylor played this week and I think I might have to next week.

My camera still won't work...I'm going to buy another memory card and send the other one back today. You guys should have gotten the second one I sent (the one that works) by now. Theresa should have it and you guys have the paper saying what the pictures are of. Oh please tell Justin that me and Elder Tuitama both have the "S" whistle now! I say it while giving a prayer or teaching a lesson it Tagalog. The reason is because one of the counsellors in the MTC presidency, Brother McIff has it and it's VERY loud, so Elder Tuitama and I both did it, jokingly at the time....and now it's kind of permanent for both of us, which is kind of embarrassing....

Anyways, I guess that's about it for now. Please thank the Blakemores for their Dear Elder! And please tell Theresa thanks for all her many (and long) Dear Elders. I love reading everyones letters.

Thank you guys for the Dear Elders, Krispie Kremes and the package...I can't remember if that was last week or this week, but thanks! I really love being on a mission, it's really hard but also so rewarding because you feel the spirit all the time! It's amazing! I love it!

Thanks guys! Mahal kita Nanay at Tatay! (which means I love you Mom and Dad)

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Also please tell Sid (Theresa's grandfather) Happy Birthday! I saw it in one of her DE that it was his birthday....Also I forgot to tell you that I'm going to need about 5 - 6 new polyester ties! Thanks Guys! I still have time...BTW, Love you!

P.P.S. The scripture I chose for my plaque is going to be Matthew 28:19-20, unless someone has already done it. If not, then great! Anyways, gotta get to class, teaching sa Tagalog tonight!

Mahal kita!

Elder Gagnon