Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Staying in Santa Monica with Elder Christie!

Hey guys!

I have P-day today so yea! I know it came early and I probably won't get an email from you but that's ok! We had a really good week this week and transfers announcements are tomorrow but I already know that Elder Christie and I are both staying because we came to the same internet cafe as the zone leaders and we just looked at the email that said who was transferring and who wasn't. haha! Elder Black is leaving so we will have a new zone leader. And I think that most of the zone is actually staying again. Haha. I love Puerto zone. It is so good to be here! Well last week was really good. STA Monica branch has really turned around a lot.

Last week we did a bit of finding and found a few new really cool investigators. We are still really working with our rogressing investigators. We had 7 people at sacrament and we ended the week with 8 people with baptismal dates! So the work is going great!

Last Tuesday we went to Irawan and we visited Tatay Carleto and he is doing great. It was his birthday and he turned 74! We got to see him dance and it was really funny and cool, he has definitely been one of my favorite investigators and he seems to really like us and always wants to be taught. He came to church last week with his wife and as of right now he is going to be baptized on December 10th. We are going to be following that up a lot this week. We are really excited for him though. We also taught Yolly that day and we taught the Word of Wisdom and she really committed to learn the word of wisdom. We taught Marisa that day and she understood really well the message of the restoration which, of course, is really important! So we are really happy for her and we also committed her to baptism, so we have a plan to give her a date this week. We are really excited for her though.

On Wednesday we taught Mary Ann Hernandez. She is doing ok, but can't come to church because her kids are really sick. Which is too bad. We also taught Jennibee that night about the message of the restoration. It is a bit hard to teach her because she isn't the best in Tagalog. She has a hard time understanding and speaking. She only really knows how to speak Visaya.. But from what we taught she seemed to understand. She is actually the helper of Jennifer so we planned to teach Jennifer but she wasn't there, so we taught Jennibee! Haha

Thursday we did a bit of finding and it went really well. We found a couple who seems interested. We also taught Nelson and told him that he needs to go to church. He still hasn't come but still wants to be baptized. We are thinking of dropping him. He says that it is work that is keeping him from coming but he always promises that he will come. I gave a different commitment that lesson and he said, "yes" and I really thought that he would come, but he didn't. Brother Boy Perez. We committed Boy to baptism on December 24th and he came to church that week! We are really excited! He lives in the Perez home and he was one of the people that wanted to debate but he has really changed now and believes that Book of Mormon is true and is reading from it everyday. He is really changed a lot from the 1st time we met him.

Friday we taught some new people and Angel. Angel is doing ok. She can't come to church though, so it is a bit hard for her to progress. We also met President Maico's daughter's fiance who is from America! He's from Utah. He and President Maico's daughter met on the internet and he came down for the 2nd time to visit her. He is a nice guy.

Saturday was also a great day! We taught a lot of lessons and committed Boy to live the Word of Wisdom.

Sunday was also great! We got to see a lot of our investigators come to church. Sorry I really don't have a lot of time left to write the email. I have about 10 mins left so I figure we can just chat haha. I love you guys so much! And I hope you have an amazing week. Sorry my email is scattered I'm doing really great and I'm looking forward to another transfer in STA Monica!

Love you guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. We were on the computer when Chris was sending his email, so we actually chatted back and forth by email while he was sending this email. Here are some highlights...

Chris: Hey guys! I'm here early! haha! It's our Pday today! yay! Guess what? I'm staying another transfer with Elder Christie. I'm going to be the 2nd oldest on this Island. Haha.

Mom: Are you ok with that? I know you wanted to go back to the mainland, but it's nice you'll be there for everyone's baptisms and for Christmas...

Chris: It has its ups and downs haha. I'm going to be happy either way. :)
How is everyone there? Is everyone still awake?

Mom: Andrew just went to bed, but I can get him up if you want to talk to him...everyone else is still up

Chris: That's awesome! I wouldn't wake him up. I'm going to be sending a package home today so yea! I hope it gets there in time. Our area is going really well. I'm sending my weekly letter home now haha.

Mom: What time is it there? It's 10:00 p.m. here...

Chris: It's 11:00 a.m. here. How are the missionaries in LaSalle? How is the missionary work going there?

Mom: Our missionaries are great! Elder McLean (Australia) and Elder Blank (California) are great fun! Elder McLean reminds me so much of you and we have so much fun together! The missionary work here is good. Right now they're having two baptisms next week...A woman Lisa who's from Chateauguay (another long story I'll tell you about at Christmas) and another woman that Andrew's been visiting with the missionaries from LaSalle....I think they've both had their interviews and the baptism is next Saturday....it's moving along...Anton, Cody and Andrew all go out with them regularly. Also, Cody quit cegep and is working to save money to prepare for his mission now...

Chris: That's amazing that Cody is preparing to serve! I'm really excited for him. It really is the best thing in the world! What about Derek and Justin? Has Justin started to save or started to put in his papers? Couldn't he just apply for this summer? I would really recommend him coming out this summer, maybe he will get assigned in Manila mission and I will train him! :P haha!

Mom: Granny wants to know if you had breakfast yet and what you eat for breakfast?

Chris: We actually went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (one of the only restaurants on Palawan) We're in the citiesh area right now. Elder Christie and I have been pretty American/Canadian and have had bread from a bakery near our house and cereal. But when I was with Elders Glodo and Chiong it would be fried rice, and hotdogs or Adobo or anything really haha. I miss Glodo a lot...Anyways I guess that's about it for now. If you don't have any questions or anything just say goodbye and I guess we will just wait till Christmas when I get to call home haha. Anyways I love you guys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Visiting a crocodile farm on Pday

Hey Family!

I had a really great week this week. We didn't do a lot of finding. We only found seven new investigators last week which is like nothing. We spent mostly the whole week teaching people we had already contacted and progressing investigators. It was a super great week! December is looking really good for STA Monica. :) Also, I don't remember if i said this in my last email but I will say it again anyway. Happy Birthday Andrew! I Love you!

Last Monday after we emailed we went to the Crocodile farm and it was really kool. We went with Mike and Nancy and we got to hold crocs and see one that was 17 feet long! It was HUGE!!!! It was like something that came out of a movie and it was there in real life, kinda. Haha. It was super awesome! That was about it for Monday.

Last Tuesday, Elder Black (ZL) called and said we were going to lunch at a place near Baker's Hill which I went to before. So we did and the senior couple also came. It was funny because I wasn't wearing my white shirt when they got here because I thought it was going to be a while longer so I picked that up and then I used this zipper tie that I bought here for times when I have to rush like that. Haha. That day we went on splits and I worked in Elder Black's area and we found all day. We taught one inactive family. It was a pretty good day.
Oh and Elder Hyde worked in my area with Elder Christie and they taught Jennifer the lesson we had planned to teach her out of 2 Nep 31 and they committed her to baptism on the 24th! So we are really excited for her!

Last Wednesday I went back to my area and I actually wasn't feeling too good so we only got to teach one lesson that day. We found a lady named Erlinda who was carrying bags and I just kind of told her I was gonna help her so I took her bags to her house, and we shared a bit and just got to know her. She is 72 years old and lives alone. Everyone else that day dropped us....

Last Thursday we found 2 new people who seemed to not even care. It was painful. They let us in and I was just being happy and friendly and asking questions and they were just suuuuppppppppper quiet. It was annoying. Haha. We also taught Mary Ann that day and we just spoke for a while and I shared from Mosiah 5 about baptism and we committed her to baptism on the 24th of December! We also taught Yolly that day and I had left her 3 Nep 11 which is about baptism and we taught her and spoke about baptism and we also committed her for Dec 17th! So we are sooo excited for Yolly! We taught Nelson that night about the Plan of Salvation and it was a good lesson and he seemed more sure then ever that he would come to church. Unfortunately none of those people came to church last Sunday. We also taught the Perez family again and we taught about the Book of Mormon and we are going to be going back to them and hopefully commit them to baptism on a specific date. I really like the 22 year old named Alfred, he really reads and listens and tells us everything he reads from the Book of Mormon. I think that we will be giving him a baptismal date this week.

On Friday we went to Karen and she hasn't come to church in a while, so we invited her to keep coming even though she isn't able to be baptized. I feel really bad for her.... We also taught Nanay Erlinda that day and her neighbor, Brother Ray. We also taught Tatay Carleto and his wife, Sister Pass. We spent the whole lesson answering his questions and he really believes that the Book of Mormon is true. They both read it everyday and have questions about what they read. He is really good. They both came to church last week and we invited them to be baptized again on December 10th. They both said yes. So I am really excited for both of them because they both seem really sure. It's too bad because I might not even be here to see him get baptized. Oh, that day I learned the word to brush teeth which was something new to me. It is Manipilyo or Magsipilyo. So yea. I haven't learned any new words in a long time so that was kinda kool. I heard Karen use it and I had no idea what it was. Haha.

Saturday we went to a baptism for the Sisters, I showed up and found out that I had to give a talk on faith, so I just shared a little bit about that. We taught Dina that day and just followed up with her baptism on the 24th. And Yea. She seems to be doing good and really wants to change. She wants to quit smoking and get baptized. She hasn't come to church yet though so that is her biggest thing right now. That's actually the biggest thing for all of our investigators.

Sunday we had church and Tatay Carleto and his wife, Sister Pass both came. They live the farthest from the chapel by a lot and they were the only ones that came. It was sad. I was really praying that everyone who had accepted to be baptized on a specific date would come but no one did. Church attendence has been one of the hardest things here in the mission. We set a goal to have ten next week so that will be all seven of our investigators with baptismal dates and 3 other people. I really want to make that goal and I am going to be praying and working harder then EVER this week! :D

Oh, as for the guy who was in jail we went to him a bunch of times last week but he is never at the house. I still don't know what he did, someone said something but they aren't sure so I don't really remember what they said. Haha....Hopefully we will be able to get back to him this week.

Today we had training with President Peterson(Senior couple missionary) and he taught us about the Book Of Mormon and how we need to always use it hand in hand with the Bible.

And later I am going to be sending stuff home for Christmas!

Thank you for the object lesson, I have used something like that a few times when teaching Christ's church, except mine is only 10 cups. The bottom four is Prophets, and Apostles, then the next layer is Priesthood or authority the next is Revelation and the top is Jesus Christ. I also tried the Bottom four, Jesus Christ, Apostles, Prophets and Authority, then the next 2 layers would have the first principles of the Gospel (Faith, Repentence, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end.) Then the top is Salvation! It's pretty cool. I used to have a puzzle that I thought of and LOVED to do for apostasy because it was sooooo good and it is really good for teaching for understanding (PMG 182 I think). I thought of a new one a while ago for baptism that I want to try but I'm too nervous about messing it up. Haha.

Thank you all so much for everything. I have to go now and buy Christmas gifts for you all and also some souveniers because I might be transferring next week. I really like STA and the work has really picked up a lot since I first got in. I worked super hard the last 2 transfers and I am suuuuppppper tired! This week is going to be awesome though! I am really excited! I love you all I and I hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Gagnon

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our message is Napakahalaga!

Hey Family!

Last week was really good here in STA Monica. We taught a few new people and had some really cool experiences. It was all really good though. Today Elder Christie and I are going to buy some Christmas gifts for people and send it home today. I hope you guys are excited. Anyways my week was really busy, as usual. :)

Last Tuesday we found a big family, the Perez family and they are all Inglesia Ni Cristo. It was funny we actually taught brother a few weeks ago at a member's house and we got his name and address and have been visiting for a while but he hasn't been there. So last Tuesday we visited him but only his older sister and her daughter and grandaughter were there. This grandmother kept telling me to just join their church but she was saying it in a sort of degrading way that I didn't like, so I continued to just kind of be friendly and then out of no where she told me to get my bible. So I took out my little Tagalog bible and I was a little bit frustrated at this time so she told me to go to a verse that proves their church is right. (When she told me to go to that verse I was ready to go to war, and no that isn't good but yea.....) Anyways, the verse she told me to go to had nothing to do with what she was talking about so I kinda felt bad and just told her we weren't here to debate or bible bash, I just told her we wanted to share a small message that could really help her in life and become closer to God. So she decided to listen and we just taught the first 3 principles in lesson three and left her a Lesson 1 Pamphlet. We also visited an old investigator who had been taught for almost 2 years and has now forgotten everything. Then we found this American guy! He is from the States but has lived everywhere. After talking to him for a while we found out that he had actually been baptized in Puerto Rico and hasn't been to church in 6 years! He is living here with his new wife and kid. We plan to go back to him this week and teach him and his wife. It will be great! Haha.

Last Wednesday we taught Tatay Carleto and his wife the Word of Wisdom and that went really well. They both committed to live the Word of wisdom. We did some finding in Irawan that day. OH! We also taught Karen who was the one who had to get married in order to get baptized. Well she doesn't want to get married anymore. She really has a big testimony but we found out that lesson that her husband tried to kill her last week. So she does not want to marry him, but at the same time she does not want to get separated because she needs money to support her kids. It's really sad but I just know that even though she can't get baptized I know that God knows her real intents and how strong a testimony she has. She is amazing and I really felt bad for her. It was really really sad :( We also taught Jennifer the message of the restoration that night and she seems to be doing really well. She is reading from the Book of Mormon but still hasn't prayed about it to know if it is true. So we will be following up on that tomorrow.

Then on Thursday we taught 2 referrals, Nelson, who seems to be doing all right, still committed to baptism but hasn't come to church yet. We also went back to the Perez family that night and taught the whole message of the restoration and there were quite a few people there. The best part was definitely at the end when we finished praying and the nanay that tried arguing with me before said, "I feel really good" She said she had really good feelings. We will be going back to her tomorrow and hopefully it all goes well. :)

Friday we went to Irawan again and taught Levi who is new. We taught him the Restoration and it went well. We also taught Tatay Carleto and his wife the plan of salvation and actually had some new investigators there. So it was a good lesson. That night we ate at Pres Maico's house and had a ton of food!

Saturday we went finding and found some new people and we taught Dina who was a referral. We taught her the message of the Restoration and I was impressed to give her a baptismal date right then and there. So she will be getting baptized on the
17th of December! That is our goal for her and her family. We also taught Jennifer and watch the video of the Restoration with her. She said she still hasn't received an answer from her prayers. But I know she will as she continues to pray and read from the Book of Mormon. :)

Sunday we only had one investigator at church. Everyone else, Nelson, Carleto were watching Manny Paquio fight. Yea....Later that day we did some finding and we taught a guy named Brother Acomb. He actually didn't really want to listen but I just kind felt like going bold and told him that he NEEDED to listen to us because our message is Napakahalaga. So we finally got in and we actually got into a really good discussion. He opened up to us during the lesson and told us that he had actually just gotten out of jail. So yea. :) It was a good lesson though. We will go back to him hopefully tomorrow and teach him the message of the restoration.

And that was about it for this week. Elder Christie and I have a ton to do today. I guess I will answer a few questions. One that "cobra" was not that big. I would just call it a snake. Yea it wasn't that big. And I don't think I'm going to be here after this transfer. I have a feeling this transfer will be my last on Palawan. I love it here and I love STA but I have been on Palawan for a while now. I'm actually the 4th longest here on the Island. People usually stay for 2-3 transfers and only have one area here and then go back. I'm in my 4th right now and I'm in my second area. So yea. I think I'm probably going back. If not maybe I'll stay here for Christmas. But so far the longest I have ever stayed in an area is 2 transfers so yea. We will just have to wait and see :).

Also, I have a request. If you could, could you please send some ideas for object lessons for any of the first 4 lessons in Preach My Gospel. I love using object lessons and I have thought of a few and use them while teaching investigators. But I get bored of using the same ones, so I'm trying to think of new ideas. So if you guys have any ideas that could help please send them! :D Thank you!

I love everything about the mission. I really have grown so much and I just love everything I do everyday. I really love all you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Chris Gagnon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I miss Macdo....

Hey Guys!

Had a great week last week here in Sta Monica! We did a lot of finding and found some new really good investigators! Haha. Thank you for the package last week! We haven't actually had a whole lot of time to cook everything yet though, But thank you!

Last week was really good we found a lot of new people. And actually we taught 2 teachers. One of them is really good and I think will be a good investigator and the other one we haven't gotten back to. Their names are Salvation and Jennifer.

We also went to Irawan and found new people over there. We actually didn't have church there last weekend because our biggest progressing investigator, Tatay Carleto and his wife Sister Pass told us they would come all the way to the chapel in St. Jose. And they did! We actually had 6 investigators at sacrament last weekend which was the most I have had in this area. :) Tatay and Nanay are doing great though, they have a baptismal date for the 10th of December.

All of our other investigators are doing great to. Sister Nancy, the one who just got baptized last month is coming to work with us this week, so we are really excited for that. We going to Sister Yolly's to teach her. She also came to church last week and Sister Nancy was kind of showing her around and just being really friendly. It was really nice to see.

Brother Nelson is still doing good. He wasn't able to come to church again, but he will come next week and his baptism is still on for the 10th of December. So our area has really picked up, I guess it kind of took a while but things are really going well. We're going to do the Irawan group next week and we are really excited for that.

Last Friday we had a mission tour and Elder Ardern of the 70 came to Palawan. Also, I forgot to mention this in my mission letter last week but President Stucki actually called me about a week and a half ago asking if I could just bear my testimony at this mission tour. So I did and it went really well. Elder Ardern gave us some facts about the Philippines and how it has been doing over the years and stuff and I learned a lot of new things. He also emphasized the importance of learning the doctrine of every lesson perfectly.

Last Saturday we also had an activity at the church called an open house. It went really well a lot of people showed up, both members and non members and we got a ton of new investigators. Our branch leader, Ashley organized it and the whole theme was the Plan of Salvation. It went really well and people really seemed to enjoy it. I really liked it.

That's about all I have to say about last week. It was really great, I'm just really tired and yea. Haha

So now I will answer some questions in your guy's last email. :)

I do not know if we will have a Christmas tree this year. If I stay in STA Monica, then no. But I have seen other apartments with Christmas trees. My first apartment in San Pedro actually had one.

I actually don't know what the cobra story is. Haha, there was a snake in the street and it got killed by a car but that was about it....

The lobster we had was GOOD :)

My music is all on the mainland in Manila. Actually, funny story I guess. When I first got here to Palawan with Elder Glodo, that was one of the first things he asked me, was if I brought music. And I told him no and asked why. He said he hasn't heard music for a while and really misses it. Haha. He also said once I had been on Palawan for as long as he had, I would start to miss seeing everyone in the mission, music, going to the temple, and fast food. And I do miss all those things now because I have been out here forever! Haha. I miss Macdo....

Also I guess if you could just put maybe 200 dollars, that should be more than enough for me until the end of my mission. I have bought a few ties and shirts here and when we went to the Underground River. There were times before where I did just withdraw though because I didn't use money wisely. That was when I was with Elder Nye though and we ate at Macdo all the time. I guess that is why the Lord wanted me on Palawan. I could honestly say though that I have learned my lesson and I am ready for STA Monica to be my last area on Palawan. Haha. I really do love it here though. :)

Anyways I guess that's about it for this week. I love you guys and I hope you're all doing amazing. I hope you guys have a great week!

I love you all!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Hey I'm just gonna send pictures next week, the computer is going really slow and I have to go.. Sorry! :(

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Enjoying Soul's Day?

Halloween fun with Elder Christie

"Finding" in the forest

A road through Santa Monica

Hey guys!

I hope everything is well at home because I didn't get an email from you guys.... Last week was really good actually. We went on 2 splits and had a lot of success. I guess I will write about my week!

Last Tuesday Elder Christie and I did a bit of finding in another area. We found 2 families. One of them wasn't from the area but they seemed pretty interested. It is too bad that they moved back to Manila later that night. Then we found the Pashion family and they are actually really nice. Sister is really nice and so is brother. Actually we went back to them on Saturday and they invited us in and we had lunch with them. And after we had lunch, we taught them the restoration. Brother is also really nice. They have 2 daughters. They seem like they might progress but there area is a bit far from the church and they didn't come last week. So that was a little bit to bad. :(. We did a bit more of finding, but that family was definitely the highlight because they are a family and nothing is better then teaching a family! :)

Last Wednesday Elder Hyde, one of our zone leaders worked in our area and Elder Christie went to Puerto and worked with Elder Black. That day we actually planned to do all finding in an area called Irawan. So we went there and found a few people that were really interested. One family actually owns a Seventh Day Adventist Church and they invited me to go to their church on Saturday after they have service and teach.....I said I would go but when Saturday came along I actually prayed the night before and that morning on whether we should go to their church or not and I had a really strong feeling not to. I'm not sure why because there might have been a lot of people there and some might have even wanted to listen to our message. But I had a really strong feeling there might have been some who just want to debate. So I listened to that prompting and just didn't go. We went back to them on Sunday but they weren't there. Anyways we also found this man named Carleto. This guy is soooooo funny. I actually love this man. We went to this little place in the forest and found this hut and this man came out and said it was fine that we could share with him. After learning a bit about him we found out that we had actually found and taught his son, Nylo, earlier that day. We taught Tatay the message of the restoration and I used my puzzle for an object lesson for describing the apostasy. The only problem was I actually lost my old really small puzzle so I bought a new one that was small but had a little more pieces. I opened it at this Tatay's place and it had soooooo many more pieces. And this was his first time ever doing a puzzle so it took us 40 minutes to do this stupid puzzle! Haha. It was funny but he understood the message which was great:) We committed him to baptism that lesson and we taught his wife and committed her the following Sunday. I think they are going to do great! We also found other people out there in that area, Irawan.

Thursday I worked in Puerto with our district leader, Elder Peterson and his companion, Elder Cooper worked with Elder Christie in STA Monica. It was cool because Elder Cooper is a very new missionary and Elder Christie is also kinda new, so yea. Anyways for the 2nd day in a row we did a full day of FINDING! Haha. It went ok. We found a few new people and taught this one crazy guy who just went off on all these conspiracy theories. It took us a while to get out of that house....That was about it though.

Friday I returned to my area and worked with my beloved companion, Elder Christie. We did some finding in Irawan, again. We didn't have as much success though. Then we ate at President Maico's and discussed opening up a group in Irawan that night. :)

Saturday we found a few new people and taught Yolly. She is super nice and really receptive. We taught her a bit about the message about the restoration and committed her to baptism. We also taught the Pashion family and that went well and it was a good day. We also found a new investigator and plan to have FHE at her house. We also taught Nelson, He has been committed to the 3rd of December for baptism but he did not go to church so we have to follow up on that.

Sunday we had church then went to Irawan again, did finding found a new person who moved there from SAN PEDRO! She actually used to live in my old area! Haha. She moved here about 10 years ago, her name is Melody and she has three kids and is very nice. We also taught Nylo and his son, and his son actually came from ROXAS! Haha. He used to live out there and now he is here living in Puerto. We taught Nylo and it was a great lesson! After that we taught his father, Carleto, met his wife, taught her too. We just went over the restoration again. I love tatay so much, he is super funny, Elder Christie introduced himself and well I will just write out what happened.

E.C: Ako po si Elder Christie.


It was soooo funny! He isn't crazy or anything he is just really funny like that. He is actually really good friends with President Maico. We committed him and his wife to baptism on Sunday and they will come to church next week! I'm excited for both of them! :D

And that is about it for this week. I got your guys package today! And I haven't opened it yet. But I will later. Thank you so much for that! Things seem to be really picking up in STA Monica. We had a meeting with President Maico last Sunday and we are going to have church in Irawan next week. So how it will work is we will go church in STA Monica, then go to Irawan and have sacrament meeting out there at President Maicos house. I'm really excited and hope it goes really great! We are spending 3 days a week out there, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and we have some really good people out there that want to hear the Gospel!

Anyways thank you for all your guys' support. OH and Happy Halloween! Haha. Here it is called soul's day and people don't do a whole lot. But yea! Anyways I love you guys! Hope you have a great week!


Elder Chris Gagnon!

P.S...I forgot my camera at the house NEXT TIME! :)