Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, April 25, 2011

Every morning a rooster yells at 5:00 a.m.!

Hey guys!

Whats up! So I'm going to dive into this week right away since it's so short!

So last Thursday was our investigator Sister Paranadas baptismal interview, so I went to Muntinlupa and worked with Elder Samson again while Elder Guarino and Elder Lanticese(D.L) went to teach and interview her for baptism. Working in Muntinlupa was great! We went to this dangerous area and tracted there, contacted 2 less actives, we had to be out of there by six because it gets dangerous at night. After that we went to an investigators who was sick, so me and Elder Samson taught her about priesthood blessings and then gave her a blessing. Then we taught a small lesson to her about the tree of life in Nephi chapter 8. This woman has been taught everything and knows the church is true but cannot make it to church because she doesn't have the money to get there. Also during that day we went to this very awesome place with a very thin bridge, with almost no rails, that we had to cross to get to this place. I'll admit I was really nervous about falling.....We taught an investigator who just started learning about the church about the plan of salvation! It was a great day. Elder Samson is a great teacher I learn a lot working with him.

Friday I went back to our house. We got a text once we got there saying that the other four elders went to go help a member move. So Elder Samson and I just did personal and companionship study for a while, then went out finding in my area. We taught one of our investigators who we haven't seen in a while because they are always out. One actually used to be a member and served his mission in Bacolad he works Sundays though, we teach both him and his wife, his wife is new to the gospel and seems pretty interested. They are both very nice. We invited them to church, they said they would come, they didn't though..... Anyways so we went back to my house at around 4 and found out that Sister Paranada (Sister Cell) was actually being baptized in one hour! So we took a breath, then left to go to her baptism. The zone leaders and the sister missionaries also had baptisms so there were 4 baptisms that took place that day. It was great! Sister Cell was baptized by a ward missionary, Algie, who is leaving May 28th for his mission in the Philippines. He comes out with us every so often. He is really awesome. Sister Cell bore her testimony after. She seemed so happy! I loved it a lot. Not much happened after that. It ended at about 7:30, so we went out got food and went back home and ate.

Saturday we went finding, we had appointments but none of them went through. We visited 2 less actives who came to church the next day which was great! One of them also gave us a fan, because ours broke. It was great!

Sunday we went to church and got 2 DAs this week. We had one that night at the Canadas, we had chicken adobo, and rice...it was great. Before we went there we went finding and dropped by another less actives family.

Then there's today! We went to district meeting, then ate lunch at McDo, went back to our house and did laundry! Now I'm here....ha!

This week is Elder Guarino's last week, I'm gonna miss him. He taught me a lot. I liked working with him a lot. Great guy talaga.

So yea we didn't do anything really special for Easter....just had a normal DA. I know Easter is really big here. A lot of stores were closed on Friday, and the whole week is called "holy week." It's awesome that Bill Kaufman wrote a song for me... I'm actually coming home in 21 months though. Last week has been three months since I have been on my whole mission. These past 6 weeks went by crazy fast. That's really awesome about April! Tell her I said congrats on her baptism!

Thats sooooooo awesome that you saw Elder Bell. He really is nice. Really great guy! That's sooooo kool that you saw him. When you see him tell him I said "Bonjour"! I miss the MTC. Speaking of which I looked for the MTC video that you were talking about and I found it. You can actually see me for a small second when they're talking about the gym. I'm playing 4 square. I'm in a black shirt. You can see my back in it for a very small time. You can also see Elder Comish in the background in a sweater. So Yea!

Sorry, I thought I explained what a shotgun area was. It's when 2 missionaries both get transfered and then 2 "new to the area" missionaries come in and take both their places. It is hard because you both have to get to know all the members, and their names, and all the investigators. When we got here there were no investigators so we had to find a lot for the first week. We still do a lot of finding. I find out who my new comp is on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it I guess. This will be my 5th comp!

Haha....Elder Dela cruz is awesome! I don't know how he did it (gained weight), he said eat a lot of pork and ginger...and snacked all the time, which I do. There's a lot of small ??? I don't even know the english word.....In tagalog it's tindihan... It's like a small little sort of store with water, rice and stuff. Mga Tindihan (stores) are everywhere.

Oh ya..... I guess I'll explain this.....So most (if not all) bathrooms in the Philippines don't have a flusher (our house does) or toilet paper. I use my left hand. That's all I have. Wipe with your left, shake with your right was Brother Molinas motto! haha! Anyways I won't go too much into that.....I will put the pics on a CD next week. I promise!! You will be able to see our whole apartment. Oh and our shower is just a bucket with a ladle! Our bathroom is a bucket, a toilet and a small faucet to fill the bucket. It's small.
I will find out about the Mother's day phone home next week! I believe it's 30-45 minutes, I will check when I drop Elder Guarino off at the mission home! I gotta go now. Supper time! Bye guys! Have a good week!

Mahal kita!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Oh yea and no I did not see monkeys yet. There aren't any in my area. A lot of dogs, cats, and chickens. That's about it. Every morning a rooster yells at like 5 o'clock! It wakes me up sometimes.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Baptism this Saturday!

Hey guys!

Had an alright week last week. I was sick the whole time so work has been a lot harder. I had a bad cough and a stuffy nose. After pizza on my birthday I felt terrible, oh and we ordered. It's 2 for one because I got this card that works for a year. It's a buy one get one free...its great! Oh also the reason I'm only emailing on Wednesday is because we had the temple trip today, so we have that and our p-day today. The temple was awesome!!! I loved it, I saw Elder Morris there for a bit. He doesn't seem too happy..... I don't know why, I didn't get to talk to him too long. He is also in a shotgun area and said he's finding it hard.... Poor guy... Anyways this is how my week went last week!

Last Tuesday we woke up got ready and stuff, I drank my water bottle (2 liters) and went to fill it up and there was no water.....Like nothing was coming out of the filter.....so yea, it wasn't a good thing for sure. We went out to go and teach Peter and Pili and they said no because they were sleeping, so we went finding. Then we went to see how Sister Abigail (member) was doing. She and her family are doing good. We're teaching a friend of hers named Behbe (not sure if that's the right spelling). We went finding after that, visited a guy who we gave a pamphlet to, and he read the whole thing and wanted to know more, but had to go to work at that time....It's great that he read all of it, but when we keep trying to visit him he always just has to go to work..... So yea.....

Wednesday was awesome, we went on splits. I was with Elder Samson who has been out six months. I went to his area, and the district leader, Elder Lanticese came to our area. We had a good day. Went to Chow king for lunch, had a halo halo, then went to the tracting area. We taught like 7 lessons, which is good when finding and taught one lady who wants to be baptized but can't make it to church because she doesn't have money to get there...which is sad. I slept there that night and left the next morning. I was happy to work with Elder Samson. He's awesome.

Thursday was alright, there's one family that hasn't been to church for 4 weeks now and we're trying to get them to come back, we visited them and I shared a spiritual message about obedience. They fed us after too, just a snack though. Then we went finding....found no one...:( I found out this week that our area is really tough, which is too bad. It's alright though.

Friday was the best day for sure! We taught a referral from the bishop and she is getting baptized this week on Saturday. She's been to church 3 times and she wants to get baptized, so we have been teaching her. The reason she is getting baptized this week is because next week is the Jubilee, and the bishop said it would be better if she could get baptized this week. She seems ready, she knows everything....That night we had eaten at this member's house who lives about 40 mins away from our bahay. They fed the whole Las Pinas zone missionaries, which is like about 16 of us. We had chicken, fish, rice, amazing mangoes, pork, pizza (they had a pizza restaurant style oven) and ice cream (they had a machine for ice cream). Their house was huge! Biggest I have seen in the Philippines by far (it even had a bathroom with toilet paper!).

Saturday we had Elder Dela Cruz with us, and Elder Cahilig (missionaries in our zone) with the zone leaders. We taught a new investigator who said she would come to church but didn't....And we visited a few recent converts. Elder Dela Cruz weighed 110 before his mission and now he's 150. And at one point on his mission he was 165lbs. He's an inspiration to me! Haha! I don't know if I have gained or lost anything yet... I'm going to check when I go to the mission home in 10 days for transfers. I can't believe I'm almost done my first transfer and am going to have a new comp soon!

Sunday we went to church, went finding the rest of the day, ate at Sister Canadas house. It was alright. Actually I ate something like a fish and almost threw up right there, I tried not to show it though. haha. Thats about it for Sunday though.

Monday I went on splits with Elder Gamolo(Z.L) to his area. It was great we taught like a ton of lessons and had a ton of oyms. This is his last transfer. He taught me quite a bit that day about Tagalog. Even though he doesn't really speak English we got a lot of work done that day. It was a good day for sure.

Tuesday we had Zone conference. So yea, went there, role played how to resolve investigators concerns, like going to church. It was alright. Then we went to Shakeys (Pizza) for lunch, I had my card so we got 4 family size pizzas for the price of 2. Then we went back to our bahay, then went out and taught new people, oym'd and yea!

Then today was the temple/P-day, and now we're about to go out to get groceries, then call it a day from there!

I'm excited for our baptism this Saturday for sure. She's soooo excited to! She's having the interview tomorrow, so E.Guarino is going to be with Elder LAnticese(D.L) and I will go to Elder Samsons area again. It will be great!

Anyways to answer some of your questions, We missed the G.C last week because of the service project. It ended around 4:00. Sister Canada (pronounced Sister Canyada by the way) has 4 kids, 2 boys, 2 girls, she was baptized last November. She is married but her husband has been away for work for a while now. According to her investigator profile she was golden, they gave her a Book of Mormon right away and she read up to second Nephi 15. WOW! She knows a lot about the gospel, she's smart. We actually stopped seeing Jomar now because he doesn't really listen anymore. So we haven't visited him for a week now......He's also never there, always at work... And it was a church organization we did the service project with. It was with one of the branches in our zone. It was kool for sure!

That's awesome about all the switch up at the ward! I'm going to write to them soon. Tell them all I said Kumusta! haha! Also tell Justin the game he is thinking of is Bomberman 64. Thanks for everything guys! I know I said I would send pics and haven't yet and I'm sorry. They won't save on the Internet Cafe, so we're trying to find one that will send pics! I gotta go now guys! Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sick this week...

Hey Guys!

Hows it going! We're about to go out to get pizza for my birthday! Our p-day ends at 9:00 p.m. tonight because we had district meeting this morning. So yea! I have my journal and stuff! Thanks for the birthday gift! Things over here are going really good. Last week we did quite a bit of finding because a lot of our investigators bailed on us. Like half were either not there or sleeping, and we're not allowed waking them up. Peter was there once though (we found him almost 2 weeks ago). He committed to being baptized with his wife on May 14th, which is awesome! We still have quite a bit to teach him though. He's cool though. We finally taught Jomar last night with his wife, they were both there. Together. Which was awesome! They said they would read and pray as a family. They're a great family!

So last Monday our DA went well. The Zone leaders and us went to the Yangs house. We had fried pork, and Pork adobo. I tried both and they were both awesome. They tasted great, I loved it! Then they played scrabble which was fun. Elder Jimenez (zone leader) won. It was in english too and he was really good.

Then Tuesday we went out and taught, no one was there so we went finding but we didn't really have that much luck that day. I also started to get sick with a cold. That night we had a DA at sister Canada's house. She fed us fish, and more fish. We had this weird dry fish that was.... well....dry, and like suuuuuuper salty, it was alright. Haha.

Then Wednesday we had a zone meeting at the president's house. It was kool. It was about how well the mission was doing and we had a few activities and such, and of course food. There were 3 zones there, so I saw Elder Comish from the MTC. He is doing great. He got sick, and his shoes got stolen... But he really does seem to be doing good. He's in the Manila city so it's dirty and really crowded.

Thursday I was still sick. We did a lot of walking, again almost our investigators bailed. We visited a few recent converts though, just to see how they're doing. Not much else to say about that day. Sorry!

Friday, still sick. We visited a recent convert who lived in a secluded area, it took a while to get to where she lives. She seems to be doing great, her son wouldn't pay attention though.. She gave us a snack, and we shared a message with her and then she gave us a referral, who we contacted and taught later that day.

Saturday we had service. We helped feed a bunch of hungry kids who didn't have much. Then we played a bit of basketball, then went to our house, studied for a bit, then went to general conference, which was awesome! There was a talk by the 1st Counsellor in the Young Men's presidency that made me think of Andrew. Great talk! President Eyrings talk was also really great....

Sunday we went to conference first thing in the morning, because of all the travel, it took us about an hour and a half to get to. We got back around 5, where we taught a few lessons, and had dinner at Sister Canada's again. She's really nice. She also gave us a ride back to our house that night.

Then today we had district meeting, did groceries, laundry and now I'm here!

So I will answer your guys email now. Everyone knows it's my birthday. They announced today in district meeting. That's awesome you saw President Mciff. He's actually great. I'm surprised you didn't see me though, I would have been right next to Elder Andrus there on the stairs, if it's where I think it is. Haha. Try looking again! It's good that things are getting warmer there. Things are always hot here. I can't send an email to anyone else but you guys and my mission president (we have a strict area president.) So please tell Justin great job on getting into Vanier for me!

General conference was great for me. I really liked it. While studying, it's mostly Tagalog, so i don't think you will want to hear about that. haha. We also have reading assignments from Pres.Howard. We're in Acts right now. Anyways from general conference, one quote that stuck out to me was by Thomas S. Monson, he said when you get married it's important to choose your love and love your choice, so that stuck out to me a lot for some reason. haha. Unfortunately we missed the Saturday afternoon session, so I missed Elder Ballard, Packer and Oaks.....which is really too bad. I took a lot of notes at conference. Pres. Uchdorf's talk was great. Sorry I can't think of more to write.. haha.

Anyways I'm going to try sending pictures now and we gotta go. So Have a Good week! Mahal Kita!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. I just tried uploading some pictures, but it wouldn't work. I'll have to think of something else. Sorry! Gotta go!

Love Chris

Friday, April 8, 2011

1st picture from the Philippines!

We received a letter today from Chris' mission president basically telling us that he arrived safely, telling us about his first day there and giving us some guidelines for sending him letters etc...Enclosed was a letter from Chris and this first picture of him in the Philippines with his companion Elder Guarino, and President and Sister Howard. What a special treat to receive this on the weekend of Chris' first birthday away from home!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More pictures from the MTC - Thanks Joanne!

E. Andrus, E. Johnson, E. Morris, E. Leishman, E. Gagnon, E. Tomasi, E. Tuitama, E. Comish

Elder Andrus and Elder Gagnon

Tatlo D with Brother May

Monday, April 4, 2011

30 investigators being taught the gospel!

Hey Mom,

Sorry if this letter is short I will write more next week, I promise! Again i don't have my camera on me. We're not allowed to take it with us when we go tracting. We're only supposed to use it on Mondays, and I don't have it on me now. Sorry!

Also, more bad news, I don't have my journal with me.... so I can't write down what I did day by day! Really sorry! Next weeks email will be huge! Anyways, we're about to go out and work and we have a DA at the Yangs. Brother Yang is the 1st councillor in the bishopric in the San Pedro 2nd ward. He and his family cooked for us last week. We had fish and rice and some meat....I can't remember...lol!

So this week went by fast! I have a hard time remembering everything I actually did.

Last Tuesday we went out finding people to teach. We have about 30 investigators (people who are being taught the gospel) who have accepted a return and about 9 who are progressing. Our days are usually filled teaching people who have already accepted us into their home once. We usually go back either the next day or 2 days from then. So Tuesday we had about 55-60 OYM's (open your mouth) so we spoke to that many people and quite a few let us in, and we have been teaching them and it's been going really well. Everyone is really nice! The members are cool. We usually have 2 members of the Elders Quorum come out with us, one just got his mission call, he's going to somewhere in the Philippines, speaking Tagalog which is awesome. He leaves in May.

Anyways the people in the ward are really kool. There's not a whole lot to say about them yet really. So throughout the week we had a few DAs. We had one day with a lunch appointment at an investigators, then dinner that night at a members. There's a family, the Canada family, and she feeds us quite a bit. The father is away now. They have been members for 6 months now. They're a great family! Our investigators are really kool too. They usually give us snacks, so we're eating throughout the whole day. Everyone is poor too by the way. It's really insane here. One of our families, the sisters name is Fente, we taught at her house, and there were 16 kids there, 8 were hers and 2 were her friends, and the other 6 were just random kids. Haha! It was huuuuuuge! The room we taught her in was about the size of our kitchen, only square. Then there was one other room where everyone sleeps covered by a sheet. Then there's Jomar and his wife who are both awesome, but are never both there when we go to their house......it's either one or the other. His wife was there when we taught Fente. 2 of our investigators came to church yesterday. One we had started teaching on Wednesday, and the other was being taught before I got there. She was the only investigator we didn't find ourselves. She wants to be baptized too, which is great! Her name is Abigail.

Anyways I'll start answering your questions now. I do my own laundry by hand....it takes forever, lol. Also, I'm glad you got my box! That's great! I hope you save that tape! I want to hear it when I get back. We don't even sing in Tagalog here. It's all English. That's another thing, no one speaks English really. But almost everything is in English. On the Tagalog ATM, the language options are English and Taglish. Anyways I'm pretty disappointed all the hyms are in English cuz I like them better in Tagalog actually :P

About Jason! Tell him he's awesome and I love him and that last week an Elder I knew from the MTC went to his area, Spanish speaking, his name is Elder Holt. He played 4 square, which I miss a lot. lol.

Also about sending letters, please send all letters to the mission office. I haven't gotten anything yet. It takes a while, the Zone leaders actually go there once a week or once every 2 weeks to get letters, then they give them to us on our P-day. So yea! All letters are sent to the office in Makati! Thanks!

There's no jeep that goes to our area, but sometimes when we finish our day at Sister Canada's she give us a ride home because she has a trike with her license! There's no jeep or anything that goes to our area though because it's literally a dirt road with houses around it, there's no cars or anything that go there really.

That's too bad no one is really playing music at our house anymore. I miss it a lot. Music here is funny, there's karaoke like everywhere! It's funny.

That's also too bad about the Habs. They will still make the playoffs though. :) It's the top 8 teams that make it. Here, basketball is really popular....

Anyways we gotta go now! I'll write more detailed next week and send pictures too! Things with me and my companion Elder Guarino are going well! We're working hard and everything's been going great! Oh except I ate Mcdonalds today and got sick. And yesterday when we broke our fast I felt sick. I drank water too fast...... and yea, felt terrible. Anyways, I gotta go! Take care guys! Say hi to Danny, Justin.L, Theresa, Justin and Andrew for me and tell them I love them! Also say hi to the ward for me! Thanks!

Mahal kita!

Elder Chris Gagnon