Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Underground river!

Hey Guys!

Had an amazing P-day today! I'll talk about it later. Unfortunately I don't know have my camera thing, so I will not be able to send pictures home today. I also don't have my planner. But I remember pretty well what happened last week. Haha. I'm pretty worried about getting transferred next week. I really love Roxas. I love the members, the people, the recent converts, the investigators. Things are going amazing. I really hope they keep me there one more transfer. But at the same time I really hope I go where the Lord wants me to go. :)

Unfortunately I am not going to be able to do the whole day by day thing because I don't remember everything we did everyday. So I guess I will just go through some lessons and investigators that we taught last week! :) Last Thursday was President Bayaras' birthday and we were supposed to eat over there, but there ended up being a black out and we had no electricty that night. Actually almost all week we had no electricity. It's pretty hard out there sometimes and it's a pretty big problem with Roxas.... Haha. I'm used to it now though. Anyways we ate at Presidents house last Friday and we had chicken, fish and a ton of food.

Our investigators are doing great! We have been teaching this one lady, Lobick and she has been doing amazing. Every time we teach her she goes and gets everyone who is around to listen, which is great! She is also doing great! She came to church for the second week in a row. We taught her the full message of the restoration last week and she prayed about it and really believes it is true. We have a goal for her to be baptized on September 24th. :)

Sister Lee and Alfred haven't been around to much. They are both really busy trying to support their 2 kids and Sister Lee's mom. They didn't come to church again for the 5th week in a row which is really too bad because they know the church is true and they really want to be baptized and go to the temple. Sister Lee said that when she can start being active in church and her and Alfred can qualify for baptism, she wants me to baptize them both. It's too bad though because they haven't been to church in a really long time.

We visited a less active family last week. And we actually taught this Nanay who was there. Her name is Nanay Bajos. She is almost golden. She is doing great! We spoke to her last Saturday and she came to church the next day. Her whole family except the father came to church!

The Honorio family is doing great. The four kids, Jaypee, Rosbelle, Marc Joseph and Michael John and doing amazing. Jaypee reads the Book of Mormon everyday. Michael John and Rosbelle came to church last week. Jaypee said he would come next week for sure. They are all committed to baptism. We don't have a date yet, probably be in October on the 6th. Tatay needs to give up smoking and they all need to give up coffee. They are all really interested and every lesson just goes really great with all of them.

Alejandro is still doing really good. He was in Taytay visiting his parents, who were the first people baptized in Taytay. We only taught him on Saturday and it went really well. He had a lot of questions and I gave a lot of answers. Haha. It had a lot to do with baptism and I used every single verse in the Bible and the Book of Mormon I knew to support those answers. Oh and great news! He believes that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God who by the power of God translated the Book of Mormon. He knows the Book of Mormon is true too. He is almost ready for baptism. He still needs to give up smoking and drinking and he needs to get married because he and his wife, Cheryl are having a baby and they live together. He is having a hard time working that out though. I have been praying so much for Alejandro. I really hope things work out for him.

Great News! Jessa and Larry, after being taught a few times last week, were interviewed last Saturday for baptism! And of course, they both passed. We were really happy for Larry, he really struggles because he can't read, we have been reading the Book of Mormon with him and he says he tries to read and he asks for help. He gave up smoking which is great! I am really happy for him. He asked me to baptize him this coming Saturday. And of course, Jessa' father is going to baptize her. He is a bit nervous though because he hasn't done it before. We are going to show him how though, so he will be fine.

Yesterday was a great day! We had church. And how it is here is it is: Elders Quorum first, then our investigators class, then sacrament. So pretty much how we have it in Montreal, but backwards. Anyways so I get to church and there is no President Bayaras or President Larrossa. They are both in Taytay. Haha. So because Pres.Larrossa plays the piano and he wasn't there guess who had to play the piano for church? Me. Then we go to Elders Quorum and guess what? There's no Elders Quorum President, again so guess who had to teach Elders Quorum? Elder Chiong and I! haha. Then we had to teach our investigators class. We had 9 people at church that day! Which was nice! Sister Lobick brought her friend! Haha. We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" and taught and bore testimony of the atonement. We also had recent converts bear their testimony about it. It was a really good class. Then sacrament started and guess what? The concluding speaker didn't show up. So President Reyes(2nd councillor in branch presidency) asked if Elder Chiong would speak and I could tell he really didn't want too.....Soooooo guess who ended up volunteering to give a 10 minute talk on Pagsunod? Me. I just kind of said what came into my mind as the other speakers spoke and just things like that. It's a great topic. Haha. I think that talk, even though I wasn't prepared was probably one of my better talks. I was really happy with it even though I was just expressing how I felt. Oh and the best part of all sacrament was this. Guess who gave the opening talk in sacrament? April, our new convert! She also gave a talk about pagsunod. It was a great talk! I was really proud of her. :). So That Sunday was really good. We also had to leave that night because we had to go to Puerto.

So we got to Puerto and we had a full P-day. We had a really short District meeting then we had our zone activity. Which was the underground River! It was soooooooooooooooooo amazing! I loved it! While we were there I tried contacting this guy. He was a foreiner from France so I spoke french to him and I just told him a bit about the church. Haha. My French is a little rusty though. After that we took some pictures and walked around the beach. We saw a ton of unggoy along the trail coming back from the underground river, so I got pictures of those :). It was sooo beautiful though. Just getting to actually see Palawan was great. The beach is sooo beautiful. It was a really great day. We're going back to Roxas tomorrow morning.

So last week was really great! I really love my mission soooooo much. I love my area so much. I have changed a lot in the past 2 transfers here in Roxas. It is all for the good though. I love the Roxas area so much, even though I have only been here for 11 weeks people have really become great friends. I'm going to miss it a lot if I leave next week. Next week I will be emailing on Wednesday or Thursday. Just to let you know. It's transfer week so yea! I might be in a different area with a different companion. But we will have to wait and see. I love you guys so much! Thank you for emailing me every week! Dad I hope you get better! and I hope you're all doing fine dealing with the hurricane! I Pray for you all the time!

Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elder Munk and Elder Olongayo (Chris' "brothers" in the mission) with Elder Gagnon

Hey guys!
I have good news and bad news.....I'll start with the bad news.... Haha. I forgot to bring my planner and my journal, so writing home today is going to be a little bit harder for me today...The good news is I had a good week. We taught a ton of lessons and had a few new people at sacrament.

So I know I usually do this day by day. But because I didn't bring anything to remind what I did during last week it's going to be a little bit scattered. It will still be good though I promise! Haha.

So last week, no we did not have any baptisms. We are going to have 2 that are pretty much for sure on September 3rd. Marilou did not come to sacrament last week so we have to delay her....Again... :( Larry and Jessa, are both ready though. Jessa is actually doing really well. Her family is doing a lot better. Her family has been sort of less active for a while but for the past few weeks they have been coming to church and even invited us over for dinner this week. So they are doing great. Jessa is actually really smart for a nine year old girl. Her prayers are awesome! Haha. Larry is coming along. He still has a hard time reading though. But he has stopped smoking completely which is great! We're really happy for him. And he has been coming to church almost every week since we first met him. I think he missed it once because he was sick. But yea. Larry is doing great!

Last week we contacted Guillermo's sons wife. Guillermos son is usually away. So he wasn't there but we all taught his wife, Mercy. It was actually a great lesson. Tatay Guillermo actually taught with us that lesson. We had a ton of members present at our lessons this week we only have 5 out of 29 that were not with members. Guillermo worked with us quite a bit. That lesson was really good though. Guillermo bore his testimony about going to church and how important it is to him. He said that a while ago he used to get sick. But now that he has been going to church the bread and water, that is his medicine. I love him. I'm really worried about getting transfered next September. I've gotten really close with the investigators, members, and our recent converts here. Transfer day is September 7th. :( Anyways that lesson with Mercy was really good. We never have gotten to get back yet. But we are going to this week.

Another family that we have really been working with is the Honorio family. Last week we had Sister Rose work with us when we taught them. She is really good at teaching. We taught them about Joseph Smith. This time the whole family was there and it went really really well. Jaypee, the 2nd oldest actually came to church but didn't come inside because he was shy. The rest of the family had stuff to do but want to come to church next week. I'm excited for them. I went to their house last Sunday with Elder Lipasan, a greeny in Taytay, Elder Bagahansols replacement and Chris our ward mission leader. I asked what they thought about Joseph Smith and they said because of the things which they felt they believe that it is true. That really surprised me. Haha. Hopefully next week they will all be able to come to church.

Mary Grace is doing ok. We only taught her once last week. Interested, but says she cannot come to church because her kids are too loud....

Lee and Alfred are also doing great. Tatay Guillermo was at their house last Sunday. I was teaching with Chris and Nanay Aurino. It wasn't even a lesson. We were just talking about temples. It was really good though. Lee is really sick though and she is having a hard time. Her and Alfred both want to get married and be baptized and go to the temple but they are having a hard time getting to church. Sister Lee's mom, Nanay Erlinda has been really encouraging though. Tatay Guillermo said that he really wants to go to the temple in next October in 2012, that's when the temple trip is. He also said it would be great if I could witness their sealing. That would be really great! I'm already excited for them!

Last Thursday we had zone conference. It was really good. President Stucki decided that the mission goal for 2011 is to have 300 baptisms in one month. I think it's a great goal that is going to make the whole mission stretch. Every companionship is going to have to have 3 in one month to do that. After he spoke about a few different things we were taught about how to find and role played for a bit. It was cool though because before we role played, Pres Stucki, and Elder Belarmino (New A.P, who is a legend in my area) actually taught Sister Stucki and Elder Afaga to show us a demonstration. It was cool to see him teach. He is obviously really good. So we went and practiced. Then he spoke about another new goal that the zone has which is contacting 10 referrals in one week. Getting referrals is pretty hard a lot of times people just don't give them. Most of the ones we do get though end up progressing though. Anyways it was a really good zone conference. :)

We found another few new investigators that came to church this week. One is Lobick who was a referral and sister from a member. She is doing great. She really wants to change her life. Every time we go teach her she invites everyone around to listen. It is really kool. One of the people she invited is 76 year old Alejandro. I really like Alejandro. He came to church 3 days after we met him. Haha. He is also looking for religion though which is really kool. They live in the same house but it's like a boarding house so a few different people live there. It's good. :)

Speaking of Alejandro, the younger one, he is still really doing great. He came to church last week. We had 6 at sacrament last week. He is still having a hard time accepting that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Doing good though.

I had a cool experience today actually that Elder Staples shared. So I don't know if I told you about this but me and Elder Glodo received a referral from Tatay Palatino. It was his grandson. Me and Glodo actually met him in Roxas and when we met him the first thing he told us was that he wanted to be baptized because it was one of his requirements for school to have a baptismal certificate. So obviously me and Glodo thought that he was doing it all for the wrong reasons. Anyways it turned out that he actually lives in Puerto, which is the zone leaders area. So we gave his name to them. Anyways today Elders Staples was saying how great he is doing. He reads everything they give to him and explains every detail in that chapter and in every other chapter around it. He also quit smoking! And he is working with the missionaries. He went to one lesson with them and just ended up working with them the whole day bearing his testimony about how true the gospel is. He is getting baptized next week, which is AMAZING! I'm excited for him because like the change is really amazing. He really only wanted to get baptized because it was a requirement for him and now he is like working with the missionaries. So I think that is just great!

I love my mission so much.

Please tell Theresa I said Congratulations and I'm really happy for her. Also Please tell Antonia that I said Hi!

I love you guys so much. I love my mission so much. It really is amazing. Thank you so much for all your support!

Mahal Kita!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Pics: This is Me and my brothers in the mission, we are all sons of Elder Guarino. We're also all on Palawan. In the middle is Elder Olongayo, then on the left is Elder Munk. Elder Olongayo and Munk both go home together. Guarino trained Olongayo and then right after trained Munk, then 2 transfers later, he trained me. Then he went home :)

So that is it. I don't know why but the comp will not let me send any more pictures... Sorry! I Guess that's about it for this week. :(

I love you guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

April's Baptism!

April's Baptism August 13th, 2011

The Group Leader's house in Taytay

Crossing a river in the jungle in Taytay to get to a baptismal interview

On their way back from the interview in Taytay

Hello po!

Last week was really good! Starting from last Wednesday we had a good few days here in Roxas. April got baptized and she was really happy! She bore a really great testimony after she was baptized, except she said she was really thankful that Elder Glodo and I taught her and she didn't mention Elder Chiong, who was the one who baptized her. Haha... Sounds like you guys had a really good week with the diet and all that stuff and Sam's cottage. That sounds awesome! It has been really hot here in Roxas and I actually had a bit of a sipon last week, which is too bad. I have a harder time speaking Tagalog when I have a sipon. Speaking of Tagalog, I am actually studying a new language now. I want to learn Cuyonon which is like the language here in Palawan. Everyone understands and speaks Tagalog but a lot of peoples' main language is Cuyonon, so I'm going to try and learn it. It's a bit different, kind of like a bird. Haha. I have a small notebook that I carry around with me where I used to write Tagalog words but I haven't written any in there in a while now. So now I'm learning some Cuyonon words. It's kool. :) For "magandang umaga", which is "good morning" in Tagalog, in Cuyonon it's Mayadgna Temprano. Haha. Anyways, this is a little bit about how my week went last week.

Last Wednesday we went to Larry and Marilou. No they do not need to be married. Alejandro needs to be married and so does Alfred and Lee. Larry and Marilou are just friends. Marilou is 39 and has kids and her husband is in jail. Larry is the 18 year old who can't read. They are both doing alright though. Unfortunately we had to move their baptism to the 27th along with Jessa because we couldn't do their interview last week. After we taught them we taught Alejandro. He is doing great. Yes I have read Our Search for Happiness. I finished it in the MTC and I read it 2 more times here in the field. Great book! I also read Our Heritage and Jesus The Christ :) So after we visited Alejandro we went to an inactive family, the Cortez and we shared a message with them. They are really struggling with money right now.. But Sister came to church last week. So that was good to see. Hopefully Brother is about to come along sooner or later. He really wants to come back. After that we taught the Honorio family a small lesson. They're a good family that is starting to progress. Really nice. After them we had an FHE at Lee's house. It was really fun. April actually gave the spiritual thought, which was great! It was a good night. Hopefully we can have one more before I get transfered, which might be in three weeks. I want to stay though. I love it here. There's a lot of people leaving and coming in next transfer though so there's going to be a lot of changes....

Thursday we had a really good lesson with Guillermo's daughter Mary Grace. She is doing great. Really interested. We taught her about Joseph Smith and that went really well. After that we went finding for new investigators and had a bit of success. Later on we taught the Honorio family again. There was a drunk guy there so it was a little bit harder to teach..... After that we had a dinner appointment at the Cordero Family and we ended our day there.

Friday We taught a referral from Sister Arlene in the morning then we went back to our bahay and did weekly planning. After that we taught Alejandro and he said he is having a hard time accepting that Joseph Smith is a true prophet because so many people are claiming to be prophets these days. That is his only big concern. And he needs to get married and stop smoking. He is a great investigator though. Really wants to know what the truth is. After we taught Alejandro we taught Dorothy a small lesson about families. She hasn't really shown a whole lot of interest though. We're going to keep working with her though. After that we taught Honorio again. We taught them about Christ' church, Apostasy and Joseph Smith. We had Nanay Erlinda and Tatay Guillermo working with us that day. They both bore testimony of the church which was really great to see seeing as they had gotten baptized one month ago. It was a really great thing for me to see. :)

Saturday we taught Larry. Marilou wasn't around but we saw her afterwards and she said that she hasn't been sick and that she would come to church the next day. She didn't though... We might have to push her baptismal date back because it's been a few weeks that she hasn't come.... We had a good lesson with Larry though. He is still getting ready for his interview. Doing great though. He has a strong desire to get baptized. After that we taught a new investigator Evlynn. The lesson went really well. Nice family. After we taught them we went to the chapel to clean and fill the baptismal font. Then we had the baptism for April. Elder Chiong baptized her and Michelle, Pres.Bayaras' daughter, gave a talk and then Sister Larossa also gave a talk. Michelle spoke about repentance and Sis.Larossa spoke about Baptism. Great talks! After the Baptism we went to see the Estoce family and set a return appointment for the next day.

Sunday we went to church. We only had four investigators there. One was a friend of Sister Ada, Sister Yang Yang. Then there was also Rommel, who we are going to start teaching this week. It's a bit hard because he works a lot. Then we also had Jessa and Larry at church. After church we went on splits. I worked with Sam who doesn't really talk too much. Or does. Just not much in lessons. Or at all..... We taught Evlynn again. Her husband was there that time and he seems like a really nice guy. We're going back to them on Wednesday. We also visited Tatay Palatino to see how he was doing because he wasn't at church that day. He got really sick and actually asked for a blessing. So Sam and I both gave him a blessing. After that. We went to Mel's house. We shared a small message with him then he asked if he could work with us, so he did. We went to Estoce's house. We taught them about Joseph Smith. Mel did great. He answered a few of their questions. It was a long lesson. They had a lot of questions... Haha. They are from Zion's church and Sister is a Sunday school teacher. It was a good lesson. After that we went to President Bayaras' house and had dinner there. Good day.

So that was about it for last week. If you could please tell Theresa no I did not get her Dear Elder...I actually wrote her a letter about last April or May I think. Things do take a while to get to me. I guess email is probably just the better was to send things from your end but I can only write letters to friends back home. I also sent one to Justin and Danny. Did they get anything? If you could ask them that would be great! Oh and A&W! I sent them a letter too. Haha. I am going to write some letters today. I'm going to write one to our ward today. :) We didn't have district meeting today because we have zone conference on Thursday so today is a PDAY almost all day. We have 2 dinner appointments mamaya that I am looking forward to:). To answer your question: Yes, we have district meeting every Monday. So we have Pday all day. Not until 6 like most missions. But here in Palawan it's different. We have to wake up every morning at 3:00 a.m. to take a shuttle at 4:30 that goes to Peurto and arrives there around 7. Then we have to take a 2 and a half hour trip back. So we don't have too much of a Pday. It;s even worse for Taytay because they are 4 hours away from Puerto. Elder Baltazar has been there for almost 4 months now. I think he is going crazy. The shuttle is not fun... Haha.

I love this area. It is really beautiful. I'm going to send some pictures now from last week at the baptism and in Taytay. Taytay is beautiful. Especially in the jungle which is where Taytay's interview was last week! I love my mission and all the people here in Roxas. I'm really worried about getting transfered. Our zone leader Elder Black said it is possible I might leave.... I hope not though. Anyways! I hope everything is great at home! I love you guys so much! Thanks for all your support!

Mahal ko po kayo!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Tatay!

Hey guys!

I am going to start this email by saying, Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!

I'm actually in Taytay right now. They had an interview for baptism today. The internet cafe isn't really great here. I'm not going to be able to send pictures.... sorry again. Last week went alright! We found some new investigators and guess what? April is getting baptized this week on Saturday! We're really excited for her. She has been ready for a long time and yea! We're happy that her parents allowed her to be baptized. We're really excited for her.

So last Tuesday was a good day. We taught Larry about the law of tithing which went good and then later on we went to the castle that Elder Glodo and I went to last transfer. This time the members were there. I got to meet the owner of the castle. He speaks every language. Like he knows a lot of the Filippino dialects, speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and a lot more. Haha. He is a nice guy, he builds castles for a living..... They are inactive though. We shared with them a message from the Book of Mormon and it went really well. We told them to come to church, and unfortunately they didn't. Brother actually left last weekend because he is building another castle somewhere else in the Philippines. He is half Italian, and half Filippino.

Last Wednesday we dropped by Tatay Guillermo! He is doing great! Just really excited about everything, about church and about going to the temple in one year! He is amazing! We actually taught his daughter that day too, Mary Grace....I cannot remember what we taught them though. I don't have my journal with me right now... I think we might have taught about prophets. Anyways I remember at the end of the lesson I felt impressed to give her a Book of Mormon. She said there was nothing really changing in her life at the moment so I said I would like to give this book to you and I know it will change your life. We set a return appointment with her on Friday! Her husband is in IloIlo and she lives with Guillermo and she has 2 kids. Then we went to Alejandro. I cannot remember what we taught him either. I think it might have been the work of wisdom. He is doing sooo good. He is actually one of my favorite investigators. He really wants to stop smoking and drinking and has been making progress. We set a return appointment with him on Friday too. After we taught him we taught Dorothy, a referral from an inactive member. She is doing good. I actually committed her to baptism that day. We're hoping she progresses. She has really loud kids though.....That night we taught a child, Jessa Rosal and taught her a lesson on prayer. She is a part member. She is nine years old so we have to teach her before she can be baptized. She is going to be baptized on the 20th of August. And that is about it for Wednesday!

Last thursday we did a little bit of finding in the morning. We taught Marilou and Larry. We taught them that they have to keep commitments if they want to be baptized on the 20th of August. Neither of them went to church. Larry is doing really great. He wants to be baptized. He just has a hard time remembering what we taught sometimes. Last week was the first time he didn't come to church in a while. Other than that we're really hoping and working hard with him so he will be ready for his interview this Saturday to be baptized on the 20th of August. Later on we visited the Honorio family. They are old investigators that Elder Glodo and I found. It was when I helped that guy carry water. Only Nanay and Jaypee, the 2nd to the eldest was there. We taught them though and Jaypee actually seemed really interested. Which is good except we never got to go back to him last week. We plan to get back to him this week though. After that we taught Jeffery, Cricel, Caren, and Marise. We taught them about seminary and how they should attend. We also committed them to baptism. They have been to church quite a few times already.

Friday was a good day. I woke up and decided to fast for Alejandro and I just prayed that our lesson would go well with him. He was our first appointment after we weekly planned. So we went there and the lesson went really well. It turns our he read our reading assignment that we left him and he also read "Our Search for Happiness"! WOW!!! We taught him about Christ's church and he believes that there was an apostasy, the only thing he has a hard time with is if Joseph Smith is a true prophet or not. After talking a lot, we ended up committing him to baptism. We are going back to him tomorrow. I'm excited to go back and see if he prayed or not. After that, we taught Sister Lee. She has been doing great. Hasn't been able to come to church lately though.... :( Alfred hasn't been around the house for awhile. We spoke to a new girl who is now living with her. I forgot her name though.... She came to church though!!! :D Haha. We shared a message with them about the importance of church that day. After that we taught Mary Grace again! She is suuuuper interested. Like her father when we first found him. Haha. She read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. And we just went over what she had read. She didn't end up going to church. But she is doing great though. She really likes reading! Later on we taught Jessa about Christ's church and the apostasy. We gave her a baptismal date on the 20th of August. We are excited for her. Her father will baptize her of course. He is also excited. He was sick that day though and we gave him a blessing. :)

Saturday April was interviewed and we also taught her a small lesson. She passed the interview and she is going to be baptized on this Saturday. After that we shared with Larry and Marilou. We went over prayers again because Larry is having a hard time praying and remembering how to. He has completly stopped smoking and drinking though, which is great! We need to find out what kept them from church though! Later on we taught Jeffrey, Caren, Cricel and Marise and we shared about reading the scriptures. The lesson went good. They were really quiet though. Still doing good though. They are really quiet though... Haha.

Sunday We went to church and it went alright. We only had Marrou, Jessa, Rommel, April and the girl whose name I cannot remember at church. It was good to see them. Rommel actually kind of came out of nowhere. He is a nice guy. We are going to start teaching him soon. He is friends with Presidnet Bayaras. Marrou still does not want to meet with us. We visited their house that day. He is the husband of the president of the relief society. Nice guy but doesn't want to get baptized because he is always away. Which is too bad. That day we actually got punted from all our appointments. So yea! We ended the day with a dinner appointment at President Bayaras'. I cannot remember what we had. It was good though. Haha.

Yesterday was "PDAY" and we spent all day at district meeting, then made the 4 hour shuttle ride to Taytay and slept here. We got back at around 7 last night and we had a dinner appointment at their group leaders house. He has a guitar so I played a little. Then he started playing and he is actually amazing. He sings too. He has such a great voice. We sang a bunch of songs like Hotel California, The Boxer, a few Beatles, the Leader of the Band. He is really really talented. Like really talented. Like he should be famous. We had dinner there that night.

Then today I worked in Taytay. We taught a few really good lessons! And had an effective work day here. I worked with Elder Baltazar and we had a good day.

Anyways I really have to go! It is late and past our curfew. I need to get back to the bahay. I promise I will send tons of pics next week and a video! Haha. Please thank the Carpenters for their letter! I really enjoyed reading it. I don't get mail too often. Haha. I would also like to thank Elder Nye for writing me. He will probably read that in about 5 months when he goes home. Haha.

I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything!!!


Elder Chris Gagnon

Happy Birthday Tatay!

August 1st, 2011

The New Puerto Zone after the latest transfer

Elder Gagnon with his new companion, Elder Chiang

Hey guys!

This email probably won't be as long either because it is from Wednesday until now! It was a good few days though. Elder Chiong and I are doing great! We have a lot of plans for this transfer! We're both really excited!

So last Wednesday we had transfers. After I emailed you, we went to Pres.Bayaras to talk and have dinner. Then we went home. Haha!

Then on Thursday we visited some of the members in our area. We also taught Sister Lee. We just kind of shared a message since she pretty much knows everything. Alfred is away now. Our plan for them is the 20th of August. Hopefully it works out and we're able to get everything we can to get them married and teach them all they need to know before baptism. Sister Lee said Alfred is doing great. When he was home about a week ago, she was telling him that coffee and smoking are bawal sa simbahan ni JesuCristo and apparently he is stopping and wants to stop. He is a great investigator, I wish he was around more often. They both really want to get baptized. After we visited them we went to Tatay Guillermo's. He wasn't there but Nanay was. So we spoke to her to see how she was doing and she is doing great! Her daughter was also there, so we started teaching her and she is really interested. She goes back and forth though from here and Dumaran though. Then we got a text from Sister Rose to go to her parlour, so we did and she randomly told us that Alejandro was expecting us, even though we didn't set an appointment. So we went there and taught him a lesson. He had a few good questions like about where the Jaredites came from. Then after a long discussion, he asked who Joseph Smith was. So we set a return appointment for tomorrow on Tuesday and that is what we will teach him tomorrow. :) That night we had a dinner appointment at Sister Arcenas and that also went great! I can't remember what we had though.......

Friday was a good day. We did weekly planning and it took a little while longer. We plan to go to another area this week. So that is what we are going to do on Saturday. We will either go to San Vincente or Magara, and our goal is to have a small meeting house out there and find new investigators to teach out there in one of those two areas. Apparently members in San Vincente have referrals, but there isn't anyone out there to teach them. And actually we went to Magara on Saturday but I will talk more about that later. Anyways after weekly planning we went to Marilou and Larry and taught them. Larry is going to be interviewed on Saturday for his baptism on August 13th. So we are excited for him. He is really coming along good. Still has a hard time reading. But last time he prayed and it was just a really great heartfelt prayer. It was sooooo good. After that we did a bit of finding. Then we got a text from Pres. Bayaras that there is a girl who is nine, who wants to be baptized but of corse needs the missionary discussions. So we went to their house and taught them about prayer. She has already been active in church for a while. Our plan for her is on the 13th. Later that night we visited Sister Arlene(member) and her husband. We shared a message with them. Brother still doesn't want to hear about or stop smoking. He just isn't interested yet. He will come around eventually though.

Saturday we went to Magara, by trike. It was long...... two hours.. We had to go to talk to April's parents because she is getting baptized on the 13th and we need their permission. So we went with Nanay Aurino, Sister Erlinda (April's grandmother, who got baptized a few weeks ago) and Chris. It took a long time to get there. But we spoke with the father and he said he has no problem at all. He was actually really nice. So everything seems fine for her. After that we visited some of the members that live out there, like not where he is but about an hour closer to our house, still in Magara. So we actually had lunch there. And later on we left and made our way home. So we got home and found out that we did not have our cellphone. Turns out Elder Chiong had it in his pocket and it fell out when we were on the trike......... So yea. We lost our cell. Later on we visited Sister Estoce, which went well. We just want to teach her whole family. She is nice though.

Sunday we had Church. Went alright. We had Larry, April, Jesse(the 9 year old) Alejandro, and Marrow, who kinda came out of nowhere. He is the husband of a member. Nice guy. He had a lot of questions in our investigator class that I wrote in my journal about. The really special thing though was our recent converts, Marlinda, and Guillermo, actually answered his questions. Which was just amazing to see. We're going to teach him this week either tomorrow or Wednesday. After church it rained...alot. So we stayed inside for a while, studied and then went out later. We went to Lee because she couldn't go to church because her baby was sick throwing up. :( Anyways we also went to Guillermo and shared a message with him. Then we helped Lee with some stuff around the house then went to Pres Bayaras' for dinner! The Taytay Elders, Slept over last night because they are 4 hours away from Puerto and we're only 2.

So this morning we woke up at about 3:30 and went to district meeting which was good! Elder Chiong is a new district leader and he did good for his first time today. We worked out a few good district goals. Then after that we bought a new cell, with the permission of President Stucki. And went home and now we're here!

If all goes well this Saturday at either Dumaran or San Vincente we will have a sacrament over there next Sunday which I am really excited for. What we might even do is split both of us...I will go one way with a ward missionary and Elder Chiong will go the other. It would be cool if it worked. We're still talking things over with President Bayaras. He is really excited to do work with us over in one of those 2 places. I know Magara has some former investigators that Elder Belarmino (The new A.P) and his companion found. So I would like to find some of those. We will see how things go! Everyone here is excited to go down there.

Anyways thats about it for this week. Hope you enjoy your vacation and tell Andrew he had better pass summer school. And Justin, good luck with your calling! I know you will do great! Anyways thanks for everything guys! I love you!

Elder Gagnon