Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hey Guys! Last week has been another great week. It was transfer week so I transferred to my new area in Naic in the Naic branch. It's really nice here too. It's kinda like Palawan but without mountains. My new companions name is Elder Griffin. He's cool. :D Last week we just spent time getting to know the people we are teaching in aic and stuff. Its a really really huge area and there is tons of less actives. We also have a baptism next week in the area. Her name is Nicole. She is the daughter of a recent convert and her baptismal interview is tomorrow. We are excited for her and it be great! :D Its really weird that I am coming home in four months. I really want to make this last area the best. After Nicole we only really have one more person preparing for baptism. Her name is Emma. She is really cool. She lives with her son. She is about 50 years old and is kind of blind. She Lives next to a member of the church though so almost everyday that member goes to sister Emmas house and reads to her the Book Of Mormon. Its really really great and she is doing good! :D This coming week should be a good week. We need to find more investigators. So we will be doing a lot of that this week. Oh yea. To answer your guys' questions... There are stores in Naic. We have a few malls, not in our area but pretty close to our area. So its not to bad. We have a big place called puregold thats kind of close to our area which is great! I'm going to try and send a lot of pictures today so this will be another short area. Sorry again! I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Gagnon

September 17th, 2012 - Transferred to Naic!

Hello Everyone! My last week in Makati was really great! We just looked at the transfer announcement! And I am transferring toooooooo............NAIC!!! Haha! You guys guessed right! I'm really really excited! The mission is divided into 3 parts, Cavite, Metro Manila and Palawan and Cavite is the only place i haven't been to. So Now i get to go there! My companion is Elder Griffin. He is really kool. He is batch with Elder Kunzler and I'm going to be his first white companion! I'm really excited about Naic, I hear it's just as beautiful as Palawan. So I'm really happy about where I'm going! Last week was really great though here in Makati. We got quite a bit of rain. But we have been seeing great success with a lot of our investigators. I'm really sad I won't be here for another transfer. I think we might have 8 baptisms here in this area for October. Things have just been going really great. We have been teaching Tatay Rolly and his wife and they have been doing great. Then last week we taught our investigator Brother Arthur and he accepted to be baptized this coming October 16th. Things have just really picked up! Something really kool though happening is Elder Hernando is leaving the zone and his trainee will need someone to follow him up and that will be Elder Antonio, who is my batch who is also the one who referred Sister Elaine to us. They are both friends from Davao. Sister Elaine is doing amazing. I think Elder Antonio will actually get to baptize her because he is going to be in the zone next transfer. It will be a great experience for both of them. Anyways, today I really don't have a lot of time to email. I have to send a huge report to the assistants of all the returned less actives in the zone since last January. It's going to take a while because there's a little bit over 100 of them! In our area, we have had over 20 return since I have been here, meaning the people who were less active came to church 4 consecutive weeks. We have really been focusing on less active work for a while now and it's been going really great. Last week we had another Tatay, Brother Soponasky come back after being inactive for about 3 years. He is doing great too. He even came to church last week early so he could help set chairs up! He is doing awesome! :D Oh yea, I bought a new camera. I bought an Olympus VG-170. It's an awesome camera. I will send pics as soon as I get the chance. It will probably be in Naic though. Also, my shoes that I bought at the begining of this transfer tore really really bad. So I had to buy some rubber shoes. Haha. I like the shoes I have now. They are just rubber and won't tear easily. It was funny though I was walking and then realized they had torn really really badly. I will send a pic of how bad it had torn. Anyways. I really have to go. I don't have anymore time. Everything I got at the missionary mall is pretty good for the most part. No complaints. I have only bought 2 other white shirts since I have been here. That's about it though. I might buy a few things before I leave because everything is really cheap here. Thank you so much for everything I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys! Elder Gagnon! :D

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 10th, 2012

FHE with the Moquerio family
Hard at work....
Mandaluyong district and us, bowling! :D
FHE with The Pardoncillo family
Hello Family! We had another amazing week in Makati! I was a little bit sick with a cough, which I had during ZLC. It has gotten quite better now though. Things are going so great in Makati. I don't really want to leave. We have a lot of great things happening in our area and in the zone and it's too bad because I probably won't be here to see it all happen. Next week is transfer and Elder Munk told me last night that my time is for sure up in Makati. I'm pretty sure my next area will be my last one. I'm really anxious to see where it will be. At the same time though I'm kinda disappointed I won't be here for another transfer. I could definitely stay one more. I actually want to see if you guys could maybe guess where I'm going. It could be one out of 11 zones Cavite, Dasmarinas, Las Pinas, Makati East, Manila, Naic, Narra(Palawan) Pasay, Paranaque, Puerto Princesa (Palawan) and San Gabriel. It could be any of those 11 zones. President also mentioned that there will be a few zone leaders training new missionaries next transfer because we have a lot of new missionaries coming in. I'm excited to see where I will go. Well, last week we had our zone activity. We had a zone dinner at Sister Neneng Menesses (R.S President) house in our area, then we sang. It was really kool. People from outside were looking through the window and were wondering why there were a bunch of people singing in her house. It was a fun night. Also, that day we went bowling with the Mandaluyong district. It was fun. Bowling is a bit different here. There are no computers that keep track of the score, we had to write it down and the balls are really really small. It was really fun though. Elder Declaro won. It was a really fun day. I still have to get the pictures from Sister Menesses camera so I can send those pics from the dinner home. The people we are teaching in Makati 2nd are doing amazing. We even found more people to teach. We have a never ending list of people who want to be taught in our area. We are always busy with going to appointments and teaching a lot of lessons. It's really really great. Last week, we found someone who was really really prepared. His name is Tatay Rolando and his wife Sister Juliet. We found them at a community service project where the community used the chapel for doing free health checks. We gave out pamphlets and copies of the Liahona and The Book Of Mormon. We spoke to Tatay Rolando at the place, and invited him and his wife to attend church. Tatay came and loved it. We had an appointment with him that night where we found out that he has been really happy but at the same time thinks that something is missing in his life. He also mentioned that he felt at home while in the church. We taught him a lesson about the gospel and committed him and his wife to baptism on the 13th of October. They are going to do great. Every week we have found new people to give baptismal dates to. So far we are now at 15. Elaine is also really close to baptism. She should be on the 22nd of September if everything goes great. It's too bad I probably won't be here though.... Then we also have Sister Janet, who is doing great. Brother Albert, Brother Joel, who are also doing really great. Albert still has trouble with the word of wisdom but it is going down. Joel needs to get married, which we are still working on. Then we have Sister Anna, who is also doing amazing. She also needs to be married. Next week, her husband, brother Marlon will be fully active again in church. We are really really excited for them, they are even finally talking about marriage, which is just amazing. It's been great seeing them grow as a family. We actually had a family home evening with them last night which went great! :D Well I don't have a whole lot of time left. I have a few things I have to fill out and stuff. Things are going great though. Oh, Tell Sherece, congrats on her call! And good luck! Also, that's too bad about the whole thing with Quebec. I guess I might not be going home in 5 months after all, if you guys move to Ottawa! Haha. That's fine. Thank you so much for everything and for all the updates and good luck mom with being a teaching assistant. I'm sure you will do great! Anyways have a great week! :D Love, Elder Gagnon

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 3rd, 2012

Hello Family! Things have been going great here in Makati. Elder Kunzler and I have both been working sooo hard! We are starting to have too many people to teach. We are always busy everyday teaching a lot of people. Last week for the first time in my whole mission we taught over 50 lessons in a week. It's just been insane! We are still making sure to always find new people to teach though. We have a goal to always find 10 good new investigators every week. Last week we got 12. We found this one new guy named Edward, we found him while teaching a less-active family. He is really receptive. We set a return appointment with him yesterday, we taught and set a baptismal date for this coming October. He seems pretty sure too. We're really excited for him. Sister Elaine is also doing really great. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Articles of Faith last week and she has just been doing amazing with everything. We really think she is going to get baptized this coming September 22nd. We also have Sister Janet who will be getting baptized on the coming September 15th. That will probably be my last baptism here in Makati. She has been doing great and she is really excited for her upcoming baptism. We are also teaching Brother Arthur. He is really really smart and is doing really great as well. We do not have a goal date with Brother Arthur yet, but he is doing really great. We are also teaching that family of 7, the Sanchez family. They are also doing really great. Just like everyone else. Oh, President Stucki worked with Elder Kunzler and I last week. He wants to work with all the zone leaders before the transfer ends. We brought him to 3 appointments and they were all really amazing and great lessons. We brought him to people who could understand english so Elder Kunzler and I wouldn't have to translate. One of them even came back to church. It was really great to see. President Stucki is just amazing and I was really happy to work with him last week. Anyways, that's really too bad about the whole Quebec wanting to separate thing.... Do you really think it will happen? I was also really dissappointed to hear about Dan Rosenberg... I hope he's doing alright. I won't worry about moving to Ottawa yet, but that's pretty crazy with everything that is going on. We have a zone activity later today at a member's house, but we're also going bowling today with the Mandaluyong district. Something that is funny here in this computer shop is there is a Nanay right beside Elder Kunzler and she is on skype but she is really really loud. haha. It's kinda funny. Oh yea, I think I'm just going to buy a new camera.. I still didn't get mine fixed yet... Also, there was no earthquake here. It didn't even rain that much here. Mindanao (which is where the earthquake was) is pretty far... That's where Elder Chiong and Elder Berse are from. I hope they're ok... Anyways I'm really sorry but my time is up. I had to do a bunch of other things today so it took up quite a bit of our time here at the shop... I will write a lot more next week. Please tell Granny and Auntie Lynn I said Happy Birthday, and Richard and Kathryn that I said "hello" and hope they are doing great! I love all of you so much and hope you have a great week! Take care! :D Love, Elder Gagnon

August 27th, 2012

Me with Elder Walch and Elder Kunzler on top of our roof for transfer day before Elder Walch got sent to Palawan.
This is before Rosemar left to go back home to Bacolod. It's us, Rosemar, Jacob and Jarad
This is the morning before the baptism at the temple tour with Janet, Sister Bunny and her son, Flynt.
Elona's baptism!:D That is the Nanay she works for.
Hello! First of all, that's really great about Justin getting his mission call! I'm really excited for him! I still haven't received any pictures though... That's ok though. I can't believe he leaves so soon. He is going to be a great missionary. I'm going to make a video once I get my camera totally fixed. I haven't been able to really find a good place where I could get it fixed though... I'm going to look around a little more today. Don't worry! :D It has been a really really amazing week though. Elder Kunzler and I have been working so hard in our area. We also went on exchanges with our district leader, Elder Grob. Elder Grob is a great missionary, he worked in our area because he had a baptismal interview to do and I worked in his with Elder Pugmire in his area. Something that's different about their area is that while running an area, they are also the finance and supplies office elders, so they don't get to work in their area a whole lot like everyone else. Elder Pugmire and I had a really good day though, we taught a few less actives and found a few really good new investigators. We were even able to commit one to baptism! :D Sister Alona was baptized last week! :D Which is really great! She was so happy and she was really emotional when she bore her testimony. That has always been one of my favorite things being here is hearing new converts bear their testimony of the restored Gospel. Something that was also amazing about the baptism was that Sister Reyna Spoke! :D She had her talk on baptism and did such an amazing job! She has been doing really great. Elder Kunzler and I both think she is going to go on a mission in a year. We even jokingly (but seriously) brought it up once, we said that she will be a missionary and all she said was "Sana.." which means hopefully. It would really be the best if she went. Something else that is really awesome about our area is that we have a ton of people to teach. I actually don't have enough time to write everyone in here.... Elaine is doing great, so is Albert, and Janet, they all came to church last week. I think they will all be baptized too in September. We also have the Saberola family again, they now have baptismal dates, we have 2 other investigators, Sheryl and Margie, who both have baptismal dates, Brother Ramon has a baptismal date, so does sister Anna, who has been taught for 2 and a half years. Actually she has been really amazing. In our area book she has 5 teaching records she has been taught by countless missionaries, including myself and Elder Duero(we stopped teaching her because she was not progressing and went on vacation for a while)...... Well about a week ago, we decided to try and visit her. So we did. Her problem by the way is her boyfriend, who has been inactive for a really long time(years...) and they aren't married, but living together but do not have plans to be married. The first lesson we just reviewed a few things with her about the restoration and about baptism and gave her a goal date. Then the next lesson we felt really impressed to talk about family prayer. I also did a little drawing on the back of my planner that showed her when 2 people focus what they do on teachings of Jesus Christ, they become closer together. We committed her to have family prayer every night and promised her if she would there would be peace at home and her husband would actually have a desire to come back to church. We visited Sister Anna a few days later and right away she told us that she had tried doing family prayer for the last 5 nights and she told us that Brother would come to church that Sunday... and he did! It was a really great spiritual experience. We never even taught Brother Marlon(Anna's husband) once but yet he found that desire to come to church. It was really amazing! It's really just the power that the teachings of Christ has on people. I will send you a pic of the drawing I did. Oh and sister Anna came to the temple tour last Saturday. I really think she could also be baptized this September, but it really depends on Brother Marlon... Another new investigator we have, who has been to church 3 times now, is Brother Joel. I guess he isn't that new...Anyways his girlfriend was less active but has been to church 3 times now and Brother Joel has a baptismal date for September as well. We just need to make sure they get married first, which is what they want. Another great thing, was yesterday, we only had found 5 new investigators for the whole week but our goal was 5. So we did some finding after church and found a new family of 7 who want to be taught and agreed to be baptized on the first lesson! We do not have a date yet, but we are really excited about this family, they are the Sanchez family. We are hoping they will progress, they were really receptive in the first lesson. And also we have Brother Arthur who is another great investigator. Really receptive and has a lot of questions. The ones I mentioned are the ones that are really progressing and doing great! :D Church was really great too. We had so many less actives and investigators come that some of the active people had to sit outside. The whole church was filled. It was soooo crazy. We had a less active family come, another Tatay came for the first time, then we had 7 investigators there. The chapel was sooo full. We also hit all of our goals last week and hit 91% of the standard of excellence. We would have hit 100% though if we had one more investigator come to church... Anyways so that is about all the really exciting things that happened last week. Oh yea, another great thing is I'm not very tired today, because we really just rested this morning after studies and stuff so this email actually looks like an email! We are working so hard though. A cool thing is we have 12 people committed to baptism on a specific date and I think we might be able to get 8 more(The Sanchez family and Brother Arthur). So we are getting really busy. But it is great! :D That's about all the excitement for me this week. Thank you all so much for your support! Congrats on your call Justin! I will send you an email if I have time today... Also please tell Kameron I love him too and hope he is doing great. Oh and I still don't know if I am going to stay in Montreal... I might just live and go to college on Palawan after the mission. Haha. Just kiddin! I love you all! Have a great week! :D Elder Gagnon