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