On the fort (Fuerte de Santa Isabela) in Taytay
Dinner in Taytay(left to right)Elder Gagnon, Elder Baltazar, Elder Glodo, Elder Bagahansol
Another great week here in Roxas! I'm going to start this email by answering all your questions so I don't forget to do it later. One, I am in the Roxas branch. Two, I would actually prefer it if you didn't send me anything. There really isn't anything that I want or have to share with my investigators. Toothpaste and deodorant are fine here. Thanks though! Three, there is no area in my mission with a bike, there are only 3 missionary companionships with cars; the Assistants to the President, the teaching assistants, and the office Elders. They are all in Manila though. It is all walking or taking a trike. And to get to District meetings we take a shuttle ride, which is like a big van. It takes us 2 hours to get to district meetings every Monday. Yes I will get to perform some of those baptisms. The only hand sign I can think of is the one with my thumb and index finger. It means Gwapo, which is handsome in English. And finally no, there really isn't service. Of course we try and offer our service as much as we can, but most of the time there isn't anything. It's rare. And the reason nobody is around during the weekdays is because they are all working now, school started about a month ago, so kids aren't home and parents are all working. I don't know how to describe what town/city it is like.... It's like Chateauguay, but Filippino style. Haha. I can't really describe it. My area is also huge. It takes about 3 hours if we were to go right through it. I love it though! So I hope I answered your questions well enough! :)
Last Tuesday I actually worked with Elder Bagahansol for exchanges. He was the first missionary in his area, Taytay. It's amazing there. I got to go there yesterday(Monday). We worked pretty hard. We found a pastor and taught him. There were also other people there that we shared with. Their family name is Estoce. They are very nice. We also taught Sister Lee, April, Caren, Stephanie, Rocel, and Erlinda about the importance of reading scriptures. They are doing amazing. Stephanie is only 11 and she goes to seminary and does all the work. We also taught Mhel that night also about studying the scriptures, he also goes to seminary. He is also excited for baptism!
Wednesday, I was still working with Elder Bagahansol. We taught Tatay Guillermo, and Sister Marlinda about the law of chastity, which went well. We followed up on their word of wisdom and Nay and Tay both stopped drinking coffee! Sister is really excited for her baptism. Later on we taught Amor about part of the plan of salvation. We don't get to see her as often because she moves back and forth from here and Puerto, which is 2 hours away. We also taught Larry that day about the Book of Mormon. It was a really long lesson. He doesn't know how to read, so things are a little bit more difficult for him. He is still good for the 30th of July though. That night we had a dinner appointment at President Bayaras, which was great...we had Pork Adobo.
Thursday, Elder Glodo came back. We did groceries that day, then taught Lee and everyone about the law of chastity. Later on that night we visited a less active, then after that we got invited over to President Bayaras' for dinner again. So we went and I cannot remember what I ate..... Haha.
Friday. We taught Guillermo and Marlinda about tithing and they said they would pay it. Then we taught Marilou, and Larry. We taught Larry about the Word of Wisdom and with Marilou we just followed up on how she was doing and stuff and we shared a message with her, which went well. Later on we went to a ward activity, played basketball and met a few more people who want to be taught. So that was it for that day.
Saturday, we went to Dumaraw because we had to speak with Rocel's parents to make sure they were ok with her being baptized. They said it was all good, which is great. Things are also good for Stephanie and Caren. It took us 2 and a half hours to get to Rocel's house. It was forever! Haha. We also shared with them about the restoration. While there we also found an old investigator who is Sister Lee's sister! Her name is Veronica. She can't get to church because it is so far for her:( Starting next transfer I want to start going out to Dumaraw more often. I want to see if maybe we could get a small meeting house out there or something starting next transfer. I will get to ask President Stucki this Friday because this Friday is interviews with the mission president. Which I am excited for. Apparently he is a lot different than President Howard. There is going to be a new training program for trainers in the mission and it's like a day to day schedule. The idea is that the trainee will be as good as the trainer after 12 weeks in the mission. That night we also taught John Paul, who is ready for his baptism on the 23rd.
Sunday was another great day! We went to church and had 14 investigators there! We had Guillermo, Marlinda, Rocel, Stephanie, Caren, April, Mhel, Larry, Veronica(Lee's sister!) with her daughters, Anamie and Evalyn, Erlinda, and John Paul. Lee couldn't come because she was sick, and Marilou could not some either because her kids were sick. Great day though, we went on splits, I was with Chris and Sam, the 2 ward missionaries. We dropped by a few less actives, we dropped by Mhel and taught him the Word of Wisdom, we also taught John Paul the Word of wisdom, we went to Jeffrey, Cricel, Marise, and Caren, and taught them the word of wisdom, and then we taught Larry the Plan of salvation. All lessons went very well. Our investigators are really great! They understand everything very fine. We will be giving a baptismal date to Jeffry, Caren, Marise, and Cricel next week for August 14th. That night we had another DA at President Bayaras'.
Monday we had to go to Taytay for a baptismal interview that Elder Glodo had to do. It is nice over there in Taytay. We played basketball that night and just relaxed. There isn't a computer shop out there though, so that is why I am emailing on Tuesday. We left to come back home this morning at 7.
I'm really happy here. Everything is going great. The zone leaders also called us yesterday and wanted to know if we could have the baptisms on the 16th because President Stucki will be here and he wants to see the baptisms. So this week, Marilou, April, Caren, Stephanie, Rocel, Guillermo, Marlinda, Erlinda, and Mhel will be getting baptized on the 16th, then the next week, on the 23rd, John Paul, his younger brother Jericho, and Sister Lee will be baptized, then on the 30th Larry will be baptized. So we're really happy for all of them because they are really ready and are excited and they all really want to go to the temple. It's great to see them all enthusiastic!
Sorry if this letter was a bit scattered and short, I'm actually feeling a bit sick right now and we have like a million and a half things to do to prepare for the baptisms this Saturday. I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything!
Mahal ko kayo!
Elder Chris Gagnon