Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas!

With a scorpion at the Butterfly Garden on Pday

With a python at the Butterfly Garden on Pday

Hey family!

Had a really great week! I loved talking to you guys on the phone. I didn't really get to say good-bye because I ran out of minutes. It was really good and I really enjoyed it! I don't have a whole lot of time to write because we are going to a family home evening tonight in the sister's area. Taytay came down this morning and we had a fun Pday. We went to the Butterfly Garden. It was really fun. Haha.

Well this email is gonna be kinda short. Haha. This week was great, we have a lot of progressing investigators. Yolly is going to be baptized on January 7th and Tatay Carleto should be soon as well as long as everything goes well with his Word of Wisdom.

I love my mission so much. It's the best thing in the world. I love teaching and learning more about our Savior Jesus Christ and I love His gospel and plan for every single one of us. I hope you guys never worry about me. There really isn't any reason to.

I love you guys so much and I hope you have an amazing week! Thank you so much for your support and prayers. I pray for your guys safety and well being every day. Have an amazing week!

Love, Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It rained a ton last Sunday....part of the storm....

Hey Family!

We had a good, but really busy week here in STA Monica. I finally got your package out today. I unfortunately didn't get to send everything. There was a photo frame made of wood that I got for dad but it was too big and it would have cost 2ce as much to send it. It was too bad because it's really nice. I will just have to keep it for the rest of my mission and bring it home then. Last week was super busy, we actually didn't have a whole lot of time to work. But we did teach some good lessons and things went all right.

Our investigators are doing really well. Tatay Carleto and Pass still have word of wisdom problems with coffee and alak. But I heard from Tatay's daughter in law, who we just began teaching last week, that he has stopped a lot since we have been teaching him, apparently he used to get drunk a lot but now it's only for special occasions and he doesn't even get drunk anymore. It's still really sad that he can't stop yet. He has been one of my favorite people to teach my whole mission and I just love the guy so much. His daughter in law is really kool. We met her a few weeks ago and she was actually home when Tatay wasn't so we just taught her. It was a good lesson. Unfortunately they couldn't come to church because of all the rain we got. It rained a ton last Sunday. I think that was part of the storm but that's about all we got.

We had our first district meeting last week and we really just had a good discussion about why people go inactive and what we can to to re-activate because that is the focus of the church. We are going to teach people and help them really endure to the end and get them to the Temple. So we are really focused on that. We also practiced for our LDS night which was last Wednesday. There was a pretty big turn out. We sang at Mendoza park and it went really well. It was a bit stressfull because we got it all together last Tuesday but it went really well. Some of the acts were also really good. The STA Monica youth did a dance and were amazing! All in all it was a really fun night.

I also went on exchanges with Elder Hyde last week and did another baptismal interview in his area. I actually taught this person before, his name is Ben and he is really kool and really excited to be baptized. We might go to his baptism. I really like doing interviews. The candidate is always really excited and it's really great to see that.

Friday we didn't teach one lesson because we had a Christmas party for all the Palawan missionaries with President and Sister Stucki. It was really fun, we had a gift exchange and ate and shared talents. I did a song with Sister Roque that I had never heard before, but I played Elder Cooper's acoustic and she sang. It went pretty well. We sang my Grown Up Christmas List. I have never heard that song. haha.

I am going to try and call Sunday night where I am here. I am still going to do a set up call though just to make sure and see what you guys think. I don't have a whole lot to say right now. I'm really excited to call home and hear how everyone is doing and yea. It's only 30-40 minutes this time because that is what is in the missionary handbook and President Stucki is not President Howard, so President Howard was just more lenient then President Stucki and President Stucki is just more to the book than President Howard. I'm still really excited though, if I could talk to all of you that would obviously be the best. But we will know more I guess once we get closer. Try and have everyone near a phone though. I'm going to only take about 5 minutes with the set up call. I won't call when you aren't home. :)

Well I really love my mission. I'm sad that I only have a year left. I have really developed a love for learning and teaching. Elder Hyde told me I teach really good and it is very easy to understand. I love the people I teach and seeing changes happen in their life. I miss you guys a lot and I pray for you every day. Well that's about it for this week! Haha. Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon

P.S. Chris called us at 6:42 a.m. on Monday morning before we had a chance to read this email and he sounded great! All was well after Tropical Storm Washi went through Puerto Princesa and he said they only had tons of rain, but no damage. What a relief and a great surprise to hear from him...it made our week and we can't wait to talk to him on Christmas Day! (Nancy)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank you to whoever sent all the letters!

This is Puerto zone with only Coron district missing. They don't come to meetings because they are to far away. :)

Elder Comish and I bought Batch ties Kulay Mauve!

Hey Guys!
We had an alright week last week. The work was ok. Haha. We had a training meeting last week with President Stucki about what our focus is going to be and we're really focusing on establishing the church. There are soooo many inactive members out here so we are really going to be focusing on them for a while. Also District meetings are now on Tuesday. So tomorrow will be the 2nd district meeting. I'm excited, we actually have to practice because the district is performing for a missionary Christmas party here in Puerto. And also we signed up as a district to sing in front of all of Puerto for something called LDS night. Pretty much it is we are going to Bay walk and there is going to be a bunch of different acts performed by LDS members. And we were asked to do something, so we have to decide on what we're gonna do because there's gonna be like 1000000000 people there! Haha. There's always a lot of people there. I'm really excited for that, this is a first time thing for the church. I'm really excited!

It sounds like you guys are all ready for Christmas which is great! I will get to call home, I think I will do a set up call so I will make a call before the day where I actually make the long phone call. The phone call will be 30-40 minutes this time.

Last week was ok. We had to drop 2 of our baptismal dates unfortunatly. :( Also we had to move Tatay Carleto because he drank last Tuesday for the first time in a while. He is still doing great, we have to move his date to January though which was really to bad. Yolly is also doing great, but wasn't able to go to church last week for some reason so we have to move her baptismal date back too. Everyone else is going really well. We found a new man a few weeks ago named Boy Magalianis and he is really religious and has been looking for the truth for a while. We taught him last week and found out that he got in a big boat accident and he said that was the 3rd time he believes that God has saved his life, so he really thinks it's for a reason. We had a really good conversation about why we are here on earth and why bad things happen to us sometimes. We also gave him a baptismal date at the end of the lesson for January 21. He said he would come to church the next week.

We were not able to get back to Mary Ann which was too bad. But after we got punted by her we went looking for members who live in the area that she lives in and this, in my opinion is one good way to do finding. You have a name and you just kind of ask people if they know who they are and then introduce yourselves as missionaries. Anyways after doing that a few times, we find a guy who was really interested. Well at first he wasn't but we taught him the whole message of the restoration and he is really really interested and is committed to baptism if he finds that this is true.

Oh yea, Last Saturday I did my first baptismal interview. I interviewed a man name Bryce who has been going to STA Monica branch for about 4 weeks now, he is the sisters' investigator though. He is going to be baptized this Saturday and I am really excited for him and he seems really happy as well!

Anyways that's about it for this week. I got your guys' package last week. I only opened one box because I really needed socks, haha. Mine were really ruined and had a lot of holes. Haha. Thank you sooo much for the package! I actually still haven't sent mine. It's hard to get all the stuff to fedex from our house, but I am really gonna try to do it tomorrow. It might not come in time unfortunatly. I'm really sorry. :(

Anyways things are going great here. I'm going to send some pictures today so I need to finish off. I will let you guys know more about the call. I'm pretty excited to speak to you guys. It's going to be great! Anyways I hope you guys have a great week and thank you so much for the package. OH and Thank you to whoever sent all the letters. There weren't any names on any of them. I think it was from the stake. The package just said Bilodeau. So yea.... Thank you! Haha I love guys!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, December 8, 2011

....new district leader of Puerto!

The HUGE knot on transfer day!

The New Puerto district

Elder Gagnon and Elder Hyde

Holding a binturong (bearcat)

With the TaytayB missionaries at the croc farm: Elders Comish, Corry, Gagnon and Christie

Hey Guys!

Had a great week in STA Monica! This email won't be as long as some of the others because I'm already a bit late. Haha. Sorry!

So last week was transfers. I found out last Monday that Elder Christie and I would be staying together for another transfer. Then we had district meeting last Tuesday and also transfer announcements. I wore a sweater kinda thing and made a really bit knot but a really short tie but you can't tell it's a short tie because I'm wearing a sweater. Haha, the senior couple, President and Sister Peterson both thought it was hilarious! Haha, I will send a pic. So Elder Black is no longer our zone leader, he is going to train in Makati and going to be with Elder Nye for 2 weeks, so he is in a threesome for 2 weeks. Elder Nye goes home really soon. It's too bad I didn't get to see him before he left. He sent me a letter though and said he made a goal to be at my homecoming! Haha. Also Sister Anjum left to Manila and Elder Peterson, our District leader, went to Narra to become a Zone leader. So this is my second transfer where Sister Anjum and Elder Peterson are not in the same zone as I am. Right after the transfer meeting as we were leaving I got a call from President Stucki. He told me that I would be the new district leader of Puerto! So I'm really excited because our zone is suuuuuuuper awesome! It is me and Elder Christie, the zone leaders Elder Hyde and Elder Munk(New zone leader,also my brother in the mission!), Puerto 2B, which is Elder Cooper and Elder Berse, STA Monica B which is Sister Caubalejo and Sister Roque and Puerto 1, which is Sister Gupta and Sister Dyre, who took Sister Anjum's place and actually came from Elder Nye's district in Makati!

I'm really excited I have a few cool ideas for district meetings. Our first one is next Tuesday and we have training tomorrow from President Stucki. :D

Our area is doing really amazing! We have 10 people who have committed to baptism on a specific date. They are just struggling with going to church. I don't know how it is at home but if you want to get baptized here you have to go to church 4 weeks before you are baptized. Which is probably the hardest thing. It really does just come down to faith though. Carleto and his wife were not able to come but have a date now for the 17th of December. They were, however, able to come to a church activity that was at the stake center last Wednesday and they met some new people and seemed to have a really good time!

Yolly was able to come to church last week! She is really excited for her baptism. She will be baptized on the 24th of December and we are super excited for her.

We had a really awesome experience last weekend on Saturday with sister Mary Joy. About a week ago we found Mary Joy and just got to know her, established expectations and shared a small lesson with her about families and about prayer. We left her a lesson 1 pamphlet about The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but she seemed like an ok investigator. We only got back to her a week later, and this time we followed up on her reading and she read the pamplet and she seemed to understand it. I asked if she had any questions about that and she said no. So I'm not sure why but she seemed pretty quiet. So we taught her about Prophets and Dispensations and after that I asked her what her questions were about what we taught and she said that she really understood everything and well to make a long story short: She really understood the whole pamphlet and she did pray to know whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet or not(we hadn't even taught her this yet!) And she said that she had a dream after she prayed and she saw a light in her dream and everything she said was really peaceful and calm. She said she took that as her answer and that she knows Joseph Smith was a Prophet who through him, God and Jesus Christ restored their Church.

I couldn't believe it! We did tell her what she felt was true and that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet and we also invited her to be baptized on January 14th, and she accepted!

I know that God answers prayers and I know that he really does love each and every single one of us and will answer our questions and prayers if we ask with a sincere heart with real intent having faith in Jesus Christ.

It was a really great week. Missionary work really is the best thing in the world. I love what I do soooo much!

So to answer your questions I will not be allowed to skype, I don't think there is any of that here. Haha. I will probably just call a few days in advance to set up the call and then call on Christmas day. Oh and no I did not get my Christmas package yet. Sorry. Anyways I really gotta go. Sorry it was a short email! Everything is going great here! I love you guys so much! Have a great week! Thanks for everything!

Elder Chris Gagnon