Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Really, really great week!
Elder Gagnon eating a chicken head:) The Puerto Zone, from left to right starting at the top(Elder Hart, Sister Duncan, Sister Martinez, Sister Barra, Sister Terrano, Elder Staples) then on bottom (Elder Glodo, Elder Baltazar, Elder Quintana, Elder Hernando, Elder Bagahansol and Elder Gagnon) Elder Glodo and Elder Gagnon with the new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Stucki This is at the Baptism, from left to right: Elder Glodo, Tatay Guillermo, Mel, John Paul, Marlinda, Erlinda, Rocel, Caren, Stephanie, and Elder Gagnon Hey Family! Had a great/busy week last week! It was great! Really,really great! Haha. I know I looked a little scruffy. I didn't shave that day because we left Roxas and it was our P-day. And yes, I did need a haircut and I got one last week! Don't worry, everything is great! So on Tuesday we started our day getting back to Roxas. We went to our investigators and asked them if they would be ready on Saturday for the baptism. A lot of them said yes, there are a few that did have to wait though. We went over the baptismal interview questions with them that day. It went really well. It's cool reading something in English and saying it out loud in Tagalog. I've been doing it a lot lately. But there were not any problems. Oh and it turns out we only have 12 baptisms comming. Jericho Bonbon is actually 8 so he counts as a branch baptism, but his older brother, John Paul is 12 so we had to teach him. That day went really well. None of our investigators had any problems. Except Nanay Erlinda forgot who Thomas S. Monson was! We just taught her really fast and everything went well:) Wednesday we had the interviews. So the Zone leaders, Elder Hart and Elder Staples came down to Roxas and interviewed Guillermo, Marlinda, Erlinda, Stephanie, Caren, April, Rocel, Mel, and John Paul. Sister Lee still has to wait for her husband Alfred to come back so she did not get interviewed. We're going to wait for August for her to get baptized hopefully with Alfred. Alfred is great though. Everyone interviewed that day passed. They all did great! That night we dropped by an inactive members who had his daughters birthday that day, so we had a bit to eat there, then we went to Sister Lee's house and ate again. We had wild boar, which was great! Thursday we dropped by to see Marilou, who hasn't come to church in a while. She still really wants to get baptized but it looks like she might have to wait till August too. She didn't come to church this week either because she was really sick. Other than the fact that she is sick, she is doing great and still really wants to be baptized. She has been taking the discussions for a long time now. She is doing very good though. Please pray that she will feel better. We also received a referral from the Assistants in ILoILo. So we contacted her and we taught her with 2 nanays in our ward. We taught a small lesson, and the nanays both bore their testimonies and it was really powerful! Working with members can be really effective, especially when they tell how they were converted to the church. That night we dropped by all our investigators who were going to be baptized on Saturday. Unfortunately April could not be baptized because we still haven't spoken to her parents (they live in Dumaran, which is about an hour and a half away). We are going to do that this week though. But the investigators we schedualed for Saturday were Tatay Guillermo, Erlinda, Marlinda, Rocel, Stephanie, Caren, John Paul and Mel. We got all their information last night for the Baptism/Confirmation record. Friday we had interviews with President Stucki. So we left the house at about 8 and got to the chapel in Puerto at 10. We got there, had pizza a little while later, we got interviewed by Sister Stucki first, then we had to wait a little while for President because he was still interviewing Elders from the Narra zone. We had our shuttle at about 3, so we had to leave at 2:30. I finally got interviewed at like 2:20ish. My interview was like 5 minutes and I had to leave. Haha. It was really short. Our new Mission President seems really nice. Sister Stucki is also really nice. That night we went to the chapel and made a program for the baptism the next day. Elder Glodo and I were both really excited. That night we cleaned our apartment because Pres and Sis Stucki, The APs, President and Sister Thomas (2nd councillor in the mission presidency) and the zone leaders were going to be at our apartment the next day, so we had to make sure it was really clean! Saturday was the big day. We went to our investigators house early in the morning just to let them know to bring extra undergarments. Then we went to the chapel to fill the baptismal font. The water was green..... Haha. It also took forever to fill up. Anyways we pretty much just cleaned the chapel until the baptism started. It went really well. First we all took pictures, then we started. Sister Ada gave a really good talk on faith and repentance and President Reyes(2nd councilor in the branch presidency) also gave a good talk on baptism. After that we proceeded with the baptismal service. First Elder Glodo and I showed a demonstration, then we went to the font. I baptized Mel, then John Paul, then Stephanie, then Marlinda, then Erlinda. It was really amazing! They were all really happy when they came out of the water. It was a really spiritual experience for me. It was my first time baptizing someone. After that, Elder Glodo baptized Tatay Guillermo, Caren and Rocel. They were all super happy! After we all got changed we invited all the new converts to bear their testimonies. They all did great! I was amazed to see all of them talk in front of everyone. It was amazing. After that President Stucki spoke for a little bit. He welcomed everyone and then said that they need to focus on the temple and that the 2 new young men can start focusing on becoming missionaries. After we closed, President Stucki spoke to Tatay Guillermo (I translated) and he gave him a picture of the temple in Manila. It was really nice. After that we got our apartment checked. Then we all went out for dinner. Sunday we only had 2 investigators at church. But they were both new! Alfred(Lee's husband) came back from work and he went to church. Lee couldn't come because she was sick and the same with Marilou (her baptism now has to be pushed back till August.) She also could not come because she was sick. We also had Gerald come, he is a kid that we have been teaching and he also goes to seminary. Sacrament took a while to get to because we had to confirm 8 new people. The speakers only really spoke for about 4-5 mins each. Haha. It was a great day though. After that we went to work. I worked with Chris that day and also, Mel, who was baptized the day before, worked with us too. So it was good to see them both come and work with us. We didn't get a whole lot of lessons but we spoke to a lot of people and have some return appointments. That night we ate at President Bayaras. Monday was yesterday. I didn't get to email because the computer shop here was full. So yesterday we had our last district meeting this transfer. Elder Hart (one of our zone leaders) goes home this transfer so next transfer we will have a new zone leader. Odds are I am probably going to stay here in Roxas. Elder Glodo thinks he is going to transfer next week. There is a lot going to happen next transfer, they are announcing new APs because the current APs go home in September, there's a ton of new areas opening up because there's a lot of new missionaries coming in. It will be interesting to see what happens! They are opening up Quron next transfer which is an island off of Palawan. They are sending 4 missionaries there. It will be cool to see who gets exiled there :P. They have to take a boat from Palawan to get there. There's going to be a lot of changes next transfer. I just hope I stay. haha. We had dinner at President Bayaras' last night. Again. It was good, he enjoys feeding the missionaries. So that's about it for last week. It went really great! I'm going to send some pictures now! Hope you enjoy! Please tell Elder Bell I said Hi again! I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything! Love Elder Chris Gagnon