Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An interesting story from Elder Gagnon's companion's blogspot...


I found Elder Gagnon's companion, Elder Christie's mission blog this week and wanted to share an interesting story he related to his parents last week about the importance of being in tune with the spirit. Elder Gagnon didn't mention it in his email home but I suppose it was more significant to Elder Christie, so he shared it. Anyway, here's the story from his blog...the companion he's speaking of is Chris, of course. Enjoy!

"So I have a story for you!! This week we were out working and on the way home and it's pitch black out and there are cars coming and no sakyen, which is transportation so we were walking along and all of a sudden my companion says we should cross the road so we did. 30 seconds later I see a Philippines cobra crossing the road right where I would have been. It was about 6-7 feet long and I'm pretty sure I would have stepped on it. So just know that I'm safe and that the Lord really does protect us. Oh and it got ran over about 10 seconds later!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week 40 - Contacting while buying fishballs

Sharing the message of the restoration with a kambing

Peurto district at a service project. Elder Spiva, one of the Teaching assistants was also there.

Hey guys!

Great week last week in STA Monica! Haha. It's only been like 4 days I know, but yea! Elder Christie and I actually had a really good week. It was really good to see pics of you guys at home. I was happy to see those. So actually not a whole lot has happened since I last emailed. But yea! That's kool about Jason being home now. I'm sure he is a lot less busy because the mission is just the busiest thing ever. Haha. I'm glad you guys liked the pictures, even though they weren't from my camera. I brought mine today so I will for sure be able to send some later. Our area is really starting to pick up right now. We are getting more progressing investigators and it's starting to go really well.

Last weekend we didn't have any investigators at church again because it was district conference, which was amazing. All the talks were really great actually and President Stucki actually spoke too. It was great to hear from him. We also had interviews with President Stucki last Friday. District conference was definitely the highlight though. It was also kool because we had it broadcast for Roxas and Coron, which was the first time that has ever happened in the Philippines. All the talks were really great. I really loved President Peterson, who is the senior missionary here on Palawan. He spoke about being comfortable and it was just so amazing. It was seriously one the best talks I think I have ever heard. President Stucki gave a talk on the temple which was also really good and President Yu, the District president here in Puerto also gave an amazing talk. It was really good.

Our investigators are doing really well. We visited with Nelson who really wants to learn. He has been kind of quiet the last few times but at the end of the lesson I felt impressed that he could have a baptismal date so we committed him to be baptized on December 4th. Karen is still doing really well. We just have to get her married. We also have Juliet, who is doing great. And Sister Beng, who is someone I contacted while buying fishballs, which is like this snack thing here. Anyways we contacted her at her house a while ago and now she's doing really well. We tried visiting her yesterday but she wasn't there, but the daughter came outside and she had an open Book of Mormon in her hand that we gave her. So they seem to be doing really good. Also we contacted this less active member, and I just got to know her and she used to live in Roxas. So after finding out a little more it turns out that she actually used to live in the same kind of place as Sister Lee and Tay Guillermo and Alfred and all them. Those are actually her cousins!!! She didn't know that any of them actually got baptized or were being taught. Sister Lee still hasn't gotten baptized though. :( I really miss all those people in Roxas. Oh and Irene is actually a recent convert in STA Monica but her hometown is Roxas. So yea I met her here. Mike Villanueva is also the Mike that works with us here all the time. So yea. Anyone who adds me, just accept them and that will be good. Actually if you could send me the names of everyone who has added me that would be great. Thank you for updating my Facebook! haha.

So yea. Elder Christie and I are doing great and we just love working in STA Monica. To answer some of your questions, I have worked with Elder Comish. He is doing great. He was a little sick but he is doing really good, he is actually training now in Taytay. It was fun working with him because we're both really good now so we didn't have any problems teaching together.

Oh yes, handkerchief is the word for "panyo" in English. I forgot. I just say panyo. I think that will be hard when I get home and I'll have to stop using tagalog words....:)

Anyways that's about it for this week. Don't really worry about what to send. Actually I could use some new socks too. A lot of mine have holes in them and my investigators keep making fun of me for that. Haha. They think it's funny. But yea. Socks are actually expensive here. And also I don't know if there's money in my bank card but I have withdrawn quite a bit so yea. If you could please make sure there is money on it because I will be sending gifts home. So thank you! :D

Thank you so much for everything! I love getting emails and reading about home. Sounds like you guys are doing great! Hope you all have a great week and I love you all! Thank you!


Elder Chris Gagnon

Week 39 - I'm staying here with Elder Christie!

On the road in Santa Monica

With Mike the Ward Mission Leader

Fell in some muddy water

Hey guys!

It's transfer day! AAAAAAAAND, I'm staying here, with Elder Christie! Haha. What a surprise! So it's been a pretty decent week. We're still really trying hard to build up the area but yea. Haha. Last transfer was pretty good. Sorry about last week. I was honestly exhausted when I wrote that letter. Our area is like all walking and all hills and all mud so I was just kinda tired. I'm still really tired and I think I have actually lost the weight that I gained in Roxas...The week before was also really hard because we lost like 2 or 3 out of like 5 investigators, one of which, Gina, had a baptismal date. So I was a little bit down last week. I'm all great now though! That was for like 2 days maybe, now I'm happy, excited and ready to start a new transfer!

Oh, one really cool thing. Only one missionary got transfered out of our whole zone, that was Elder Baltazar. He is going to be a zone leader in Narra, the other zone in Palawan. I'm gonna miss him, we got to be pretty good friends being in the same zone for 3 transfers in a row.

Our investigators are doing alright. We found some new ones last week that I think will have potential. We found 2 families, The Seriosa Family and Nalde Family. The only problem is they both live a little far from the church. So that might be a hard obstacle for them. The Nalde family also has a lot of kids and apparently its P80 for all them to get to the church which is a lot. :( The Serioso family is good though. We only met with them once and they seem like they will progress. We're going back to them tomorrow.

Then there is Nancy, who got confirmed last Sunday. Which was great! She is super nice to both Elder Christie and I. She gave us both a panyo (I do not remember the word for that in english....), which was really nice. She said she got them for us because Mike told her that one of us might be leaving on Wednesday. Mike helped out a lot last week. He worked with us everyday. He is also starting to open up to investigators. Starting this week I'm going to teach him how to teach so he can actually help us with the lessons, which would be really helpful! :D

Karen is also doing really well. She just needs to get married. So we are still working on that for her and her husband. She wasn't able to come to church last week because she was really sick. Actually, we had no investigators show up to church last week, which was tough.

Also last week we found a lot of new people. I went on splits so I worked with Mike and E.Christie worked with Ashley, Our Branch Mission leader. Mike and I both went to a far place where President Maico lives called Irawan. We went to President Maico's house first and we spoke about opening up a group in Irawan. So starting this week, Elder Christie and I are both going to do finding in Irawan and hopefully have investigators that will want to go church in Irawan.

There is also Milynn, one of our investigators who I don't know if I said this in my last letter, but she is doing great! On the way to her house last week though I fell in about ankle high mud. So that was funny. I missed a small little bridge that I didn't see and fell. It was really dirty and my socks were soaked. Luckily she was our last appointment and she lent me some flipflops to use. Anyways we committed her to baptism on the first lesson which was good and we have to follow up on how she is doing tomorrow! So far so great though!

We have a new investigator who is also really kind, her name is Juliet. She lives alone and her husband died. I cried the first time we met her and that was I think the second time I cried in an investigator's house.... It was a rough day, we got punted, so we had to find and I swear it was just so sad because no one would listen or even want to talk. Some we would talk to and they would just yell back from inside the home. They wouldn't even come out to see us. And after like 2 hours of that, without having a lesson I was pretty down. Then we found Juliet, found out about her and her situation, and shared a part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. While sharing about the Atonement I actually started to have tears. Actually that was a good experience. It was a very spiritual lesson and she really wants to continue meeting with us.

It was a good week last week. Even though we didn't have anyone at church I know that things are going to get better here in STA Monica. I'm really hoping and praying that we can find people who want to progress. It's been really hard to find people who want to get taught or progress. Things will get better though. :D

I did not bring my camera with me this week. But My companion remembered his. So I will be sending some pics from his camera home. Sorry I forgot It! :( Don't worry about the whole Journal thing. I still have enough. I still have to get better about updating it though... Also, don't worry about what to send to me. Actually if there is one thing. It would be pictures. I haven't seen any of you in like 9 months. I don't even know if you all look the same. Haha. Actually I could maybe use some new ties. That is about it though, don't worry about anything else. I don't want to ask for anything really. Haha. OH. Tell Jason I said welcome home and that I hope he has an amazing life.

Thanks for everything Guys! I love you all so much and I pray for you all all the time!

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week 38: I played guitar and sang "I Am a Child of God"

Hello Family!

This week was great and well.....just sort of ok. It had it's downs and ups for sure! All and all though, pretty great! Nancy was baptized last weekend and we were all so happy for her. We got her son, Mike, who works with us almost everyday and is a new convert as of last June to baptize her! He was really against it at first because he is really new and didn't know what to do. It was funny because I taught it to him in Tagalog and I was one of the only ones actually at the baptism so I had to witness it was done right. Haha. Usually people here just do it in English but Mike has a really hard time in English so I told him how to do it in Tagalog. So he did. It was really great though! I played a guitar that President Maico brought and all the missionaries that were there and I sang "I Am a Child of God". It was really great. One thing I really love about baptisms is hearing the new convert bearing their testimony. I think it is one of my favorite things on my mission. Nancy cried during hers. And she was really happy that Mike could baptize her! It was a really good day. There was also a few of the investigators of the Sisters that also got baptized. They baptized a family of 3 which was awesome! Anyways, that was the baptism. I don't really remember everything that happened last week but yea. I will do my best!

We did a ton of finding last week. We found some new people who might progress. I had a weird spiritual prompting this week to actually not start a lesson with an opening prayer. And I have a been thinking about it a lot lately and it can actually be a good thing sometimes. I always end the lesson in a prayer though. But I find that sometimes while contacting someone, if the spirit is already there while having a conversation it is sometimes just a lot better to immediately teach and testify. Just depends. We taught one lady this week whose name is Yolly. We tracted her a few days ago and she said that missionaries actually shared with her a long time ago. She is pretty nice and wants to listen to us. I'm excited to get back to her tomorrow. She seems like she will progress really well.

We have been teaching Karen a lot lately just kind of reviewing everything with her and reminding her of her baptismal committment. She is amazing. She came to general conference last weekend and she really loves the Book of Mormon. She has told us a million times that Nephi is actually her hero because of his obedience. She is really great. She just needs to continue coming to church and get married which we are really trying to work out with her and her husband. We also really want to teach Brother. It would be great! Trying to organize a FHE there. Would be nice!

So last Thursday was one of the worst days ever. We have been struggling to have progressing investigators. On Thursday we only had 4 that were really progressing. We have some lukewarm to cold investigators and it's been hard. We're trying to work with members and less actives... BUT we only had 4 progressing investigators and we went to go visit one of them, Sister Miraflores. And right when we got there she said that she wouldn't have time. So I just kind of shared my testimony and told her to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon because everything really relies on that. I promised blessings and everything but yea...I don't know what will happen. THEN after that visit Gina texted us and said that she couldn't be taught anymore because she is actually a maid at a house and the owner of the house said she couldn't get taught anymore or she would lose her job. Gina lives in the house so that's a pretty big problem because she would pretty much lose her home. So yea. That was pretty discouraging because we committed her to baptism.

General conference was Amazing! I loved Elder Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon and the little sort of object lesson that I will soon begin to use in my lessons! Haha. I LOVE object lessons so much. They really invite the Spirit and they really help the investigator's understand. I try and use one per lesson :) I also really liked Jeffrey R. Holland's talk during priesthood. It was really great! We didn't get to see everything though because there was a black out and then we had the baptism. So yea. We missed some of General conference :(

Everything is really going good. I love Elder Christie! I'm sad that this week could be one of our last in STA Monica because next week is transfer week! So we will find out who will be staying or leaving or if we will both be staying. The mission is going soooooo fast. It is really unbelievable. Next transfer will be the second to last for my follow up trainer Elder Nye. I kinda hope he gets transferred to Palawan or I get transferred back to Manila before he leaves. It would be nice to say goodbye. I miss him a lot. Anyways I'm going to stop talking about companions. Haha. There will be time when I get back to talk about them. Haha.

Thank you so much for everything. I don't really have time to write anymore. I have to leave now. Sorry I didn't write so much! I love you guys so much and I hope you have a great week! Please tell everyone you see that I know that I love them so much and I hope everything is going really well with them! Haha. I love you guys! Have an amazing week!


Elder Chris Gagnon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Typhoons: We got some rain....that's about it though...

Hey guys!

Last week was really great! We found a few new great people! Things are starting to pick up in STA Monica! I'm really excited! We're getting a lot of rain here, but it's not too bad.... It's raining really hard right now. We just finished District meeting and now I'm emailing. I'll tell you guys a bit about how our week went.

Last Tuesday was suuupppper great! Haha. We taught Nancy and actually, I used Mosiah 2:17. It was a good small message. Then after we went to a return appointment to Sister Miraflores. And I was kinda worried because I actually taught Lesson 1 to her in the first visit and I don't always do that. I usually talk with them and get to know them, then share a small spiritual message that can really help them. Anyways in the first lesson with her I went straight to Christ's Earthly Ministry and how he set up his church. I never taught that in the first meeting. So it was a bit weird. The return appointment was soooo amazing though! The spirit was soooo strong and it was really amazing. I had this object lesson that I thought of a few weeks ago with a puzzle to do the apostasy and restoration. It went soooo well. There were kids too. And at the end of the lesson she said she understood perfectly and it was just so spiritual. I wish I could write how I incorporated the puzzle in this email but it would take a while. I'll tell you about it another time. :) Anyways that lesson was AWESOME!

Last Wednesday we taught Caren, an old investigator and gave her a baptismal date for the 30th. She wasn't able to come to church though so we have to push her baptismal date back, we're thinking November 13th. She just needs to go to church 4 times in a row and get married...we have already started working on the marriage. She has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. Her hero is actually Nephi! Which is AWESOME! We also taught Gina that day about the Book of Mormon. It went well. She didn't come to church though so we have to push her baptismal date back till November too which is too bad.

Thursday we did some finding which went alright. We actually taught Nancy that day too. We watched Finding Faith in Christ! And just sort of shared testimonies. It went really well. Later on that day we had the FHE! So we just watched Finding Faith In Christ there and we all shared our testimonies. There was one lady with her 2 kids there and she seemed to really enjoy herself. It was really good, we plan on going back to her this week. We tried last week but she was never there. The FHE went really well. We just played some games that I know and had a great time!

The next day we went finding and we found an old investigator. I shared a verse in the Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. I really want to teach his family though....It would be a lot better of course. We also found a few other people that were just ok......
Later on that night we had dinner at President Maico and that was when we found out about the typhoons going on in Manila. Things are pretty ok though here in Palawan. We got some rain....that's about it though.

Saturday we had Nancys interview then we had coordination and that was pretty much it. We visited a few members to see if there was anything we could to do help them but nothing really happened. We are trying a thousand things to try and find new investigators. It's not easy though. Haha.

Sunday we had church and the teaching assistants showed up and said they would work with us. I was excited. Haha. I worked with Elder Spiva. He is almost going home. Great missionary though. He is very great at asking questions. I learned a lot more about it. It's funny because I thought I was pretty decent at it but then I worked with him and he put me to shame. He really knows how to ask really great inspired questions. We only had 1 investigator at church that day. Her name was Charmaine. She is actually an old investigator that we never even met. We didn't even see her at church. Haha. The sisters told us after that they saw her there but we didn't because we never met her. Haha. Oh well. We're going to contact her this week though! Anyways that's about it for Sunday! Spiva and I had a really good day!

I really love the mission. This area is finally coming along. Things with Elder Christie and I are going great. We have no problems in this companionship! It's all going really well. We actually had hamburgers and fries that we made. They were great! I love everything about this place. I'm scared because it's going sooooo fast. But I'm just trying to make every moment count and just love everything! It's great! Haha. I love you guys so much!!! That's about it for this week! Thank you!

Elder Chris Gagnon!