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
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