Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The first time I will get to see and shake hands with an apostle!

Hello Family! This week was amazing! Transfers were not stressful at all and my new companion, Elder Berse is awesome! I don't know if I said this last week, but I'm his last companion. We're having a great time. Makati will be the first area in my whole mission where I had more than 2 companions in an area. Elder Berse is really cool. He is the only member of his family and his mom just recently started getting taught by the missionaries. He wants to teach his family when he gets home. Also before his mission he worked at Jollybee which is a fast food restaurant, just like I did. So we have quite a bit in common which is really cool. Last week, Elder Duero and I went to say good-bye to a few investigators and members here in Makati. He was an awesome companion. We also got a long really well and had a ton of fun and success together! Last Saturday was a really great day. We had April's baptism. It was a great experience because Mark, Her husband, was able to baptize her. It was a really amazing thing to see and I'm sure they also had a great experience. They have plans to go to the temple in one year which will be another great and amazing experience for both of them. April is really strong and has a great understanding of the Gospel. I will send pictures of her baptism after this email. Our other investigators are doing really good. We have Kennedy, whose baptism had to be moved because he couldn't come to church. Albert is doing really good too, but couldn't come to church and Mark is getting baptized this week. We have a ton of referrals to contact this week. Last week we received 30 and didn't have time to contact them last week. We will do that this week though. Also this week, we get to go to the temple on Wednesday and tomorrow, I don't know if i mentioned this, but we have a zone conference. But not just any zone conference, Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 is going to be there! I'm really excited, this will be the first time I get to see and shake hands with an apostle! The whole mission is going to be there, except the missionaries on Palawan. Oh yea, last week we had the missionaries going to Palawan sleep at our house. Elder Morris finally got to go there (he wanted to go there for a while). He is going to be re-opening an area out there with my old anak, Elder Villa! So that was really kool, I'm sure they will get along. I don't have much else to say... Brother Zaldy is now out of the hospital. Elder Duero and I visited him last week and he wasn't doing too great when we saw him. But he is doing a lot better now so that was good to see. Me on the other hand, I'm sick with a cold again. So that's too bad but I'm getting better I think! :) Thank you so much for everything. I love my mission so much. It's going by really fast. I only have 6 transfers left. It's really weird. I love this work so much! It's all true! I hope you guys have a great week! I love you all! Love you! Elder Chris Gagnon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Weekend - Called home!

FHE at the Nativadad's house
This is at Neneng's house. She is the Relief Society President!
Ward Cleaning Activity
Abigail was baptized in Mandaluyong!
This is at the Stake Presidents house. He fed us Macdo after we finished teaching April.
And last but not least, Sheryl's Baptism. The assistants were also there!
Hello! It was great to talk to you all just earlier! We're having a good P-day. Elder Duero is just getting ready to leave and go to his new area. We had a good two transfers together. I'm excited to be companions with Elder Berse. I've worked with him a few times and he is a great missionary. Last week we had a few good lessons. April was interviewed for baptism last week which was awesome. We were able to to teach again and we already knew she was ready we just had to review what she had already been taught. Kennedy wasn't able to go to church last week... So we have to move his baptism for June. He is doing great. We have been teaching him the commandments and there hasn't been any problems. He is just not going to church enough. Mark Tort is doing great and he is ready for his baptism on May 24th. Actually last Sunday we were able to teach Albert who lives in the same compound as Mark who we had spoken to before and invited him to church and he has come 2ce so far. He is also doing really good and we were able to commit him to be baptized in the first lesson. There is no goal date yet though, but he will have one the next lesson. It was weird because Elder Duero wasn't my companion it was me and a few youth, one preparing to leave soon to go on his mission. It was a good experience for all of us though. Oh something that isn't good...Brother Zaldy, the one who was baptized last March is in the hospital and he cannot walk and he wasn't doing too well when we went to see him. We have been teaching a few less actives but we need to find more. We're running out of people to teach... So Elder Berse and I are going to be doing a little bit more finding this transfer. We're still going to have baptisms though. We just need to have a bigger teaching pool... Oh, last week we had a few baptismal interviews. That was good. I like interviewing people for baptism. They are usually really ready and have great testimonies of the Gospel. :D Well. I thought I would have more to write. I guess I don't....I'm really tired. Haha. I actually didn't sleep well last night. I think I might have sounded a little bit tired on the phone. I'm going to send some pictures today! :D I hope you guys have a great day and an amazing week. I love you! :D Elder Chris Gagnon

May 7th, 2012

Hello Family! Things are going great in good old Makati! We're having success and looks like May is also going to be another great month! :D We had ZLC last week which went really well. Makati had the most baptisms in a really long and we had the second highest amount of baptisms out of all 12 zones! We also discussed a few of the problems we are having in the mission and I think the biggest one we spoke about was the morning schedule. There are a lot of missionaries who don't follow the morning schedule and either don't wake up on time, don't do studies or don't leave on time. I'm not perfect with all of those. But I try really hard and now I have made it a goal that before the end of the month I will be perfect with everything about the morning schedule. :D Last week we were able to teach Mark Tort. He is a part member and doing really well. He is actually really smart for an 11 year old. Yesterday he came to church and told us what faith meant. We left him Alma 32 and he was able to tell us what faith was and how to show faith. He is getting ready for his baptism this coming May 19th. We also have Kennedy who we taught 3 times last week. He wasn't able to come to church last week, but he is doing really great! We taught the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Word of Wisdom and he doesn't have any problems with anything and that is great! Brother Avila also came to church for the first time in a long time. He came with his wife and kid. So we are finally seeing progress which is great! Elder Duero and I have been seriously teaching him since we got here and that was the second time he came to church. Elder Duero and I were surprised but really happy and hope that he and his family will continue to come. We had 12 investigators come to church today which was the most we had since we have been here in Makati. These were all people who we had taught a least once before. April came to church today too which was really great. We are finally hoping to teach her. Her baby was blessed last Sunday by her father in law, the Stake President. I really like President Arzaga. He is a good teacher and leader. He does things that are so different. He also really cares about missionary work. He always welcomes investigators, and always asks us how the work is doing, I always tell him the work is going great! Last week I also got to work with Elder Baltazar. President Stucki told him a few weeks ago that he and Elder Hernando need to go on more exchanges with Zone leaders, so Elder Hernando worked with Elder Duero in our area and I worked with Baltazar in his area. It was nice to work with Baltazar again. We have grown a lot since the last time we worked together when I was in Roxas and he was in Taytay. We taught a few good lessons. They actually do not get a whole lot of time to work in their area so when I worked there it was the first time in 3 weeks that missionaries had been in that area. So yea. It was a lot of finding... Hehe. We had fun though. He is a really great teacher. And I actually learned a few different things from him. We had a really good day. There was one point where he didn't know where he was going because most of the times they have a car and just drive everywhere. So there was one part of the day where we had to walk into a gated community because that is where one of their investigators live and we couldn't find the entrance. At first we tried going in through some village, which was wrong, then we walked around the whole gated community and tried the entrance that cars use, then we found out we couldn't walk in through that way, then we had to walk back and through the gate. It's kinda hard to explain here. In other words, we walked for about 2 hours trying to get into a gated community. It was ok though. We still had a great day. Well, today I have to buy the calling card. I will be calling sometime this week. Possibly on Saturday so expect a call on Friday night or Saturday morning.... I'm not sure when I'm going to call for Mothers Day. Elder Duero and I are still going to talk about it. I will do the set up call though on Saturday. That's about it for this email. Sorry if it's short. I hope you guys have an amazing day though! And an even better week! I'm excited to call home this week, this will be my second to the last phone call home before I come home. It's really weird. I don't like how fast time goes sometimes because I still have a million things I want to get better at in the mission. One of my focuses right now is how to more effectively use the Book Of Mormon. I can do it really well but I have a plan to know it inside and out before I leave. I'm also working on how to plan effectively. Things are going good though. I'm learning a lot. :D Next week is transfer week so hopefully it won't be as stressful as the last one. Hehe. It will be fine. I know how to handle transfer week better now so everything will go more smoothly this time. Anyways. I gotta go! I hope you guys have a great week! Love you! Elder Chris Gagnon ! P.S. Oh yea! Please also tell sister I miss and love her too! Thank you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One of the most memorable experiences of my whole mission...

All the Canadian missionaries in the mission. Elder Koochin, Elder Gagnon, Elder Leavitt and Elder Orth
Shakey's pizza for Elder Gagnon's 21st Birthday with Sheryl,Joy and Elder Duero
More birthday pizza at the Nativadad's house....
...and some birthday cake!
Another night at the Nativadad's house
Hello! Had another great week! It was really good. Sheryl got baptized! Which is great! It was such an amazing baptismal service too. Attendence was ok, the APs were there and we did our special number. I played guitar and we sang "When I Am Baptized". It went pretty good even though we didn't have any practice. Sheryl's testimony was definitely the highlight of the whole service though. It was really great and one of the most memorable experiences of my whole mission. She talked about how she was converted and her whole experience. It was almost like a talk. She is really strong and I know she will be a great member of the church. :D Last Sunday I was sick. :( I didn't feel well at all, my head was aching and I had a stomach ache. I think it might have to do with the heat. It's really hot! Haha. Unfortunately we didn't teach one lesson that whole day.... Which was a first for me. I don't think there have been any days where I taught no lessons at all.... Anyways it was too bad.. Church went good though. Elder Duero and I taught (Oh I guess we did teach a lesson!) the investigator's class. We weren't really prepared because we found out we were going to be teaching 2 minutes before we taught. This is the second week in a row it's happened.... I don't mind teaching but it's a lot better when someone actually has a prepared lesson to bring to the class. Steve Martin came to church again which was good and so did Kennedy who should be getting baptized soon. We just have to hope that he doesn't have any problems with the commandments. Steve Martin by the way is too amazing! We actually haven't been able to teach him at his house yet because of his work hours. But we drop by his store every now and then to see how he is doing reading. And he is doing great. Last week we gave him a Gospel Principles book on Sunday and he finished reading it on Wednesday. Then on Thursday we gave him True to the Faith and Our Search for Happiness (we are running out of things to give him to read) and he read that by Sunday. He says he loves reading what we give him and that's all he really does when business is quiet(which is like all the time). He just has a few questions, which we want to answer but can't because he is always working and his store is outside so there's not much we can do. He's trying to take time off though or change his schedule so he can listen to us. We're hoping to have 3 baptisms in May, but I think we can get 5 right now. We're teaching 2 part members, Kennedy, and April who is still moving from Cavite. Unfortunatly we had 2 investigators who were progressing move from here to Tatay Rizal which is in another mission. So this week we're hoping to find more people to teach both among the less active and non members. We're running out of less actives to teach. We need to find more this week. Things overall though are going pretty good. For the month of April we had 5 less actives come back into activity and for the whole Makati zone we had 29 which is the highest amount ever by a long shot. Makati also had the most baptisms for the month of April out of all the city zones. We had 15 which is the highest in a long time. So things are going really good! You guys are right, I messed up, I meant to say in 2 weeks. It's coming up... I don't know how I'm going to call this time actually because we actually have reporting Sunday night which takes about 20 minutes. And we usually do ours at 8:00pm... So yea. I might actually call Monday morning here... I will do a set up call though some time during the next week to be for sure... Also, what I meant to say last week was that I haven't received any of the letters that Danny has sent yet. I'm sending him one though soon. So yea. I don't have a whole lot to write this week. I'm still feeling kinda sick so yea. I will send pictures this week though. Sorry If this email is really short. Thank you so much for everything and have a great week! :D I love you!!! Elder Chris Gagnon