Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More pics from Santa Monica before he left...

More pics...

Went to church with President Monson's daughter!

Hey guys!

What a week it has been! I'm sorry to hear that your all sick! I have some news! Things changed a bit.....I'm still a zone leader in Makati but the day before transfer day, President Stucki changed the zone leaders area in Makati to an area where there were sisters. Their work was pretty low so they put Elder Duero and I in there. Soooooo......I'm shotgunning again! Haha. This is the 3rd time. And this time it's weird because as zone leaders we are supposed to be the leading area in the zone but it's almost impossible because we're both new to the area. haha.... Being a zone leader is fun though, we get texts non stop from everyone in the zone asking about stuff. Haha. It's like being a normal missionary, just with lots of texts from people in your zone asking questions. Sister Gupta, who was in Puerto district also got transferred to Makati zone and she is shotgunning and training a new missionary. It's super fun being in the city. It was a bit weird at first because people are so different but it's interesting. I actually had a hard time teaching my first day here. Everything is good now though.

Our area is really kool. It's way different. There's no trees, but a ton of buildings. It's like downtown Montreal so it's pretty cool. The work is doing really good. Elder Duero and I teach super good together. When we got here we only had 2 people with baptismal dates and they weren't even sure according to the area book. Now as of yesterday we have 7 and plan to give out at least 2 more this week. 3 of those are actually going to be on March 10th, so we're really excited for that because this place hasn't had a baptism since November. I'm pretty excited. Right now were teaching Rose-Mare a housemaid of a member, so she is going to be baptized on the 10th. Then we are teaching Zaldy Lazaro, a Tatay whose children are members and are active. He will also be getting baptized on the 10th. He is really cool. Then we are teaching the stake president's daughter in law, April, who will also be getting baptized on the 10th. The Stake president is really cool. We went to go visit April one time and she wasn't there but he was and we had a really good talk about the goals for the stake, we set a day for stake coordination where the bishoprics, Auxiliary leaders, and the zone leaders attend. The stake president is great though, he lives in our area and he has a few great ideas for missionary work. He actually helped us set up an appointment where we are going to teach a high school the word of wisdom. So that should be interesting! After talking for a long time about a bunch of stuff he asked if we had eaten supper and we told him no and he took us to Macdo and fed us there. It was random but cool.

We spent a lot of our time last week meeting different members. They seem really awesome. I like them a lot. Last Sunday we went to church, and guess who was there? Thomas S. Monson's Daughter! Haha and so was Elder Augustin of the 70. It was kind of weird going to church with them. Sister Monson also gave a fireside that night for our stake and that was really cool. She is actually the 2nd councillor in the general YM's presidency. She spoke a lot about her father and prophets and just some things that we didn't know about President Monson. Did you know his favorite hymn is Have I done any good in the world today and There is a green hill far away? Also his fav color is yellow!

Also during church I had the pleasure of teaching the investigator's class because no one prepared a lesson.... so I taught. Haha.

Well I don't have a whole lot of time here. Things are going great here I love the area, my companion, everything. I have no complaints what so ever. :D

Oh, also, my nephew in the mission is following up my anak, Elder Halterman, who is Elder Munk's (who is my brother) anak, is follow up training Elder Villa. So that's pretty cool he's really cool and tall! :D

Thank you so much for all the updates at home, Lei did text last week. I'm so happy for Derek! He's gonna be an amazing missionary! I got a letter last week from Ben, so if you could email him just saying I love him and I also wrote him a letter that would be great! Well thank you so much for everything I'm going to send some pics hopefully. I love you all so much and I hope you have an amazing week!

Gihigugma ko Kamo!

Elder Chris Gagnon :D

Monday, February 20, 2012

Going back to the mainland....new zone leader in Makati!

At Nanay Montilla's house

Puerto district at the crocodile farm

Elder Gagnon and Elder Villa in Irawan

On a carabao clearing land on Tatay Carleto's mountain

Hey Guys!

Last week was a pretty good week. I don't have a lot of time to email today though because we both need to use the same computer today. Anyways...Last week was really good. We have been working with someone who has been inactive for almost 10 years. Last week, we had a lesson about the baptismal covenant and we committed him to go to church, but something that I have been doing for a while and it has really been working is having the person we're teaching write down their committment. So I have a little book of sticky notes and stuff and I had him write it and he came. It's worked for a few other people too with other committments. Anyways it was great to see him at church because last Saturday I found out I would be leaving the island. So I'm going back to the Mainland!

So you're probably wondering where? So I have a story first. We were taking a multicab to the crocodile farm and I was hanging on the back with Elder Villa. When we got to the crocodile farm, I looked at the phone and saw a missed call from......President Stucki. A few seconds later Elder Berse got a call telling him that he would be the new district leader here in Puerto. Then I get a text from President saying Elder Gagnon, when you have the time please text me when I can call you. So I texted him right away and he called. Then he told me that I was going to be...... A zone leader in Makati stake and my companion would be Elder Duerro. I'm super excited! I didn't think I was going to be a Zone leader this transfer... I'm pretty excited! I leave Palawan on Wednesday morning. Elder Halterman, who is Elder Munks Anak is going to be following up my Anak in Santa Monica. It's pretty exciting! I'm going from a really province area to a really city area. Also, Elder Comish also got a call from President saying that he will be becoming a zone leader in Cavite.
I'm pretty excited and nervous. I think it will be a ton of fun though!
Anyways....I really love Sta Monica. And I'm really grateful I got to serve there. The people are so nice and I love them so much. I'm also really going to miss Puerto district. We had a pretty good transfer as a district. I'm really sad I won't get to see Carlito get baptized though. I'm still excited for him though. He is really strong and won't stop coming to church. We got to do service for him last week and we plowed the ground at his mountain. It was fun. I got to ride a carabao! haha I will send pics!

Anyways I'm sorry about the job mom, but everything will be ok. I know that for a fact. That's good about the weather though. :D I'm sorry this email is really short! I love everyone so much at home! Tell Stephen that I miss him and love his face.

Also thank you so much for everything! I love you guys so much and pray for all of you every day.

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Friday, February 17, 2012

So proud of Derek and thank the Kaufmans!

Service day at the coconut farmer's coop in Puerto Princesa

Hello Family!

We had a good week in STA Monica! I don't have a
whole lot of time to write this week. It's been
getting hard because leaders now have to fill out
companionship exchange forms every week and that
takes a bit of our time on the computer. So I don't
have a whole lot of time to write!

I hope everyone is doing well at home. I got an email
from Derek about him sending out his papers. Please
tell him I am so proud of him going out! Please tell
him to keep me updated and to email me when he gets
his call to serve! Also, please thank the Kaufmans for
emailing me and telling me how everything is back at
home and congratulate Rebecca on her baby, Sadie!
I'm very happy for all of them!

Well last week was pretty busy, we found a few less
active families that we taught, one of them was really
offended by a member, they are the Hitosis family.
We shared a lesson about scripture study and why
it's so important. It was a really good lesson.
They even said that it was a really good lesson.
I didn't want to share about the sabbath day
and why it's so important because they know why it is.
I think if they can just build their faith by reading
and prayer then they will actually have a desire to go
to church, and right now, they don't have that
desire yet. They're a pretty tough family...But I know
that as they do things that our heavenly father expects
of them, they will regain that desire to go to church! :D

For the first time since we met him, I didn't have an
opportunity to teach Carlito for all of last week. I only
saw him once at a going away party for the branch president's
daughter, who is moving to Utah! She is getting married over
there in Salt Lake. I'm excited for her.
But yea. Carlito wasn't able to come to church last week.
He had something he had to do for the community he lives in.
Sister Paz came though and so did Cheryl and her sister, Caren!
Church was awesome yesterday! We had so many inactive members
come back into activity. Last week we just officially had the
Cullamar kids come back into activity. Which was awesome to see!

We are also teaching a new guy name Lowell Gabuat, his
father has been inactive for a while and Lowell really
wants to come to church and apparently he came but there
was no one at the door so I think he might have left.
He is also doing great though. We plan to give him a
baptismal date this week. We also have a plan to give
out a few more so if everything goes perfect, we will
have 12 baptismal dates and all of them will come to church! :D

Last Friday we had zone conference, the day before I
went on exchanges with Elder Munk and that went really well.
We teach really well together. Then zone conference was great!
We got to practice and learn about teaching skills. In one of
the practices it was me and Elder Villa teaching my last 2
district leaders, who are now the zone leaders in the Narra
zone, Elder Chiong and Elder Peterson and Sister
Stucki were watching. Haha. It's kinda nerve-racking having
all these leaders watch you teach. We did alright though.
I learned quite a bit from the zone conference. Oh yea,
and I don't know if I told you guys, but Elder Baltazar is
now one of the Assistants to President. It's him
and Elder Hernando who was here when I first got to Palawan.
They both thought it was funny that I am still here on Palawan.
Haha. Anyways it was nice to see Baltazar again. I miss being
in the same zone as that Elder.

Anyways. It was a good week! I love you guys so much! I hope
you guys are doing great at home. I didn't receive your email
so I don't know. But I hope all is well and have an amazing week!

Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Happy Birthday Mom!

Hello PO!

We had a great week this week here in STA Monica. Before I start everything though....Happy Birthday Mom!

Well we taught Carlito and Pass, of course, and they are doing great, Sister Pass was baptized last Saturday, Elder Villa performed that baptism and it was a very great day. Sister Karen, who we have started teaching again came to the baptism and it was really nice to see her. She is also doing really well, but didn't come to church... :( Both Cheryl and her sister are coming though. So that's good. We also had 3 less active members come back to activity last week, which means they came back to church and attended 4 times in a row! It was really great! We were really happy to see that. Things are going really well in STA Monica. We need to start planning for March though because right now we only have a few potentials for baptism and they aren't attending church...yet...

The Torenueva family is doing pretty good, they didn't come to church last week though, that is the less active family that has a child that isn't baptized yet. We had a plan to baptize her next week but do not want to and can't because her mom is still less active...

Last week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges in Elder Cooper's area. It was a good day. We got a lot of work done and I got to meet some of their investigators and people they were working with. Their area is stuggling though.... I'm a bit worried. Actually this week the work was the lowest it has been this whole transfer, especially for baptismal dates. We had a really good week the week before but we really dropped this week, so I'm kinda worried. The last district meeting was about baptismal dates too and how we can't just have them for a stat but an actual goal date for an investigator we are teaching. We practiced teaching what we were going to teach and extending a baptismal date. The Zone leaders were also concerned about how the baptismal dates were going down and they gave a commitment to the zone to give out 5 in a week and a half. Then this week it went down.... I'm not yet sure what we're going to do for district meeting tomorrow.

Things are going really well though in STA Monica. We're teaching quite a few good families that haven't come to church yet but we have plans to help them come. Also we had someone who was trying to debate with us but at the same time he was saying that he didn't want to debate, so that was kind of annoying...

Oh, and also something pretty cool, we have a dinner appointment everyday this week, so that's going to be exciting. We're going to ask the appointments if they could bring a nonmember friend though so we could teach them. I hope it works and we are able to find new people to teach! :D

Anyways I know this email was kinda short, but I really have to go. I still have to do an evaluation form for Elder Cooper...

So I love you guys so much! Thank you for all that you do and thank you for all your prayers! I hope Mom had a great Birthday and I hope you guys have a great week!

Love you!

Elder Chris Gagnon

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super hard, tiring week!

Finally, a picture of the Christmas tree we sent him with messages from family and friends!

Elder Villa and Elder Gagnon on Tatay Carleto's mountain

Elder Gagnon on Tatay Carleto's mountain going to help harvest Mani

Tatay Carleto getting a Buko out of a tree

Drinking the Buko from out of that tree! YUM!

Hey Guys!
Last week was a super hard, tiring week. I don't think I have ever worked this hard on my mission and things just dont seem to be working out haha. It was a really great week though.

One of the highlights was definitely the interviews with President Stucki. Everything went very well. I got to share my goals with him and we just had a really good and uplifting talk. Then we had Carleto's interview. He came to the church a little bit early so he had to wait, but he came in and I got to translate for them both. It was weird. I'm not going to go into details or anything. But it was really good. It went very well.

Last Thursday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Munk in my area while he interviewed Pass and Cheryl. Cheryl is super awesome! She is reading the Book Of Mormon everyday, and even came out with us to one appointment in Irawan, where she bore testimony of what we taught. It was super amazing, she even wants to serve a mission! So Elder Munk interviewed them both last Thursday and said they were both ready, but he had to ask President Stucki if Cheryl could get baptized because she is only 15 and her parents aren't members or going to church. Everything was great for Pass though.

On Saturday we found out what President Stucki said about Cheryl and he said that.......She could not get baptized until Carleto was ready for baptism. So I was a little disappointed because it meant that I probably won't be here for both of their baptisms. But it's all good. I know both of their testimonies are really strong. While teaching Cheryl one time last week, one of her friends and her younger sister who is 13 were present and Cheryl brought both of them to church! Haha.

We also taught a ton of less actives and a few new investigators. We started teaching Karen again. She is doing alright. She really, really wants to get baptized and everything is going well with her husband now and they both want to get married. She asked us if she could get baptized and we gave her a date in March, but for some reason, she did not come to church....

We have quite a few baptismal dates now, were at 7, but only 4 came to church and only one is getting baptized soon. Haha! Our goal this week is to have all of our baptismal dates come to church. We also had a lot of the less actives we visited come back last week. We were really excited about that. We had 9 less actives and 7 investigators there last week. So we were pretty busy at church. Haha.

Also I sent pictures last week, I don't know why you wouldn't have gotten them, because it says that I sent them, I will try re-sending it though. That's about all for this week. I don't feel like I wrote a lot. It's probably because I'm so tired. Haha. I Love my mission so much. I have felt more worn out than I ever have in my life and I couldn't be more happy. I know this work is true and I'm so proud of everyone back at home, Justin, Derek, Andrew Shurman, Nathanial, and Cody for preparing to serve, I promise each and every single one of them that it will be the best, most enriching experience ever!

I love you guys so much. Thank you so much for writing me every week and for you prayers, support and Love. I hope you all have an amazing week!

Halam tika!

Elder Chris Gagnon