Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 19th, 2013

           Elder Gagnon with Cody Bass, an old LaSalle Ward missionary


Hey family,
Dang!  I keep forgetting to get one of those memory card readers so I can send pictures, but I'll try and get one next week for sure this time.  Yea I probably wouldn't have seen Jay and the Glowas because they were probably in Champion or Vulcan which are quite a ways from here and are not part of the mission at the moment because they shut down about a year ago.  I hope they'll open up soon because right now Alberta is really softening their hearts to the gospel because of the High River and Calgary floods. But if the Glowas are here for a couple of weeks send me their e-mails and I'll tell them to meet me somewhere or something.  Oh did they also see the Schultz family while they were there?   I miss that family and Magrath in general.  But if anyone comes and visits Alberta tell them to ask the mission office which is located at 7044 Ferral RD SE.
Oh, I did end up meeting someone this past week though. Funny story...the Zone Leaders asked me and my companion to go to the Foothills Hospital to give a man a blessing and I had to meet a man there by the name of Cody Bass.  So we went there and I was thinking "that name sounds familliar" and so the doors to the Hospital open and I see Elder Bass walk through and take off his shades and says "Freaking Heck" and so I jump at him and gave him a big hug!  It was funny though!   I think I have had at least one connection from home in all my areas, lol.  Oh and another funny thing is that Sister Jarvis's parents are in our ward.   We're still visiting Chewie and making sure he stays focused because he really has the desire to make  changes in his life.  Oh this week he was also being a good missionary and invited one of his friends to one of our discussions and now he's reading and praying and said he wanted to come to church this week.  We're thinking on setting a baptismal date with him as well.   So the work is picking up like crazy in the area.  So many solid investigators are just coming from being here in the area and finding is just coming really easy.  We also have a bunch of potential investigators that we'll start focusing on soon. Overall, it's been really good this week!
Love you Guys,
Elder Justin Gagnon

August 13th, 2013

Hey family,
Everything is doing well here in the Bow Valley ward.   I think I'll bring that up to Chewie tonight about the Caf Lib stuff you drink.  He came to church this past Sunday though and saw a farewell talk and our gospel principles class was on the atonement which was good because he was participating really well.  He really loves the gospel and knows it can make great differences in his life.   We got a bunch of referrals from people who filled out forms at the Calgary Temple visitors center, so we might have a bunch more investigators soon.  There are so many people going away for the summer so teaching is beginning to be a bit slow right now.  It will probably pick up a bit once school starts again. Yesterday we went to Banff National park and it was huge compared to Waterton.  There's just so much to see in one day.   There's just a branch in the park and a pair of sister missionaries cover that and Cochrane.   Banff used to be it's own area at one time but apparently the missionaries were being disobedient and got kicked out.  But it seems like there can be so much work to do down there and its opened all year round.  That apparently happened to a lot of areas in the mission.  Jay Glowas area is shut down because of disobiedient missionaries and apparently the ward members wanted nothing to do with missionary work.   But the area I'm serving in has quite a good history from past missionaries.  I love the area I serve in and there's so much stuff happening in it which is nice.   I can definitely see the Lords blessings for serving in the areas I served before. 
So, was Universal Studios as good as the MGM Studios.  I loved Disney, it was so much fun.  But we should definitely try out Banff one summer or winter because it is sweet up there!  Banff was apparently the start for Canada's national parks.  I remember going there and hearing a lot of Quebec french speakers there, which was funny because I thought I would never see any Quebecois for two years but they hang around up here all the time.
Well I probably should get going!
Love you Guys
Elder Justin Gagnon


August 6th, 2013

Hey family,
Well I just found out that these computers in the library are not too good so it might be a while till we see some pictures come in.   I know it stinks.  But overall the area is doing great.  One of our investigators, Chewie is super excited about the church and we set a baptismal date with him.  Now he just needs to give up coffee and read the Book of Mormon and he'll be ready pretty soon I think. He's a super solid street contact that me and my comp ran into a couple of weeks ago.  We also got a couple of media referrals this week which are really solid.  We are pretty close to the temple and the whole High River and Calgary clean up is getting a lot of people interested in the church. So we're probably going to contact them ASAP.  The ward is also super great, we helped a young man move the other day and he was kind enough to give us some nice church music he used to listen on his mission.  We also had dinner the other night with a Collete family,  but they had no connection with Elder Collete, they are a super fun family and they told us their house is open to any of the missionaries that want to go over and abuse there board game collection!   I was happy to hear that, there's also been some changes to the Missionary dress.  The Elders are now able to wear just a sweater in the winter and we don't need to wear our suit coat all the time any more.  They're also getting rid of all back packs and just going to use shoulder bags which ticked off a lot of missionaries, but I had a feeling that they would get rid of those some time soon.  We can also wear light colored suits and pants that are grey, black or brown.  So I've been looking a lot in the cheap clothes places in stores and found a really nice pair of pants for 2 $ at a Bargain Barn.!  It was crazy when I found them; they were like new and they fit perfectly and needed no alteration!  They also match great with those grey socks you gave me when I left so I started wearing those now.  But it's crazy how this summer is already coming to an end.  We really didn't have much of a summer this year.  We did have a total of like three really hot days this year and the rest has been pretty normal. But the weather here is super great, I love it.  The winter is not too cold and the summers are not too hot.  I'm also really happy to be serving at this time because there are so many different changes happening in the mission.  Like this past week I was really suprized to hear that the indian resurve was opened up to a missionary couple as a new area in the mission.  But over all all is going well and we're seeing lots of success in the area.
Love you guys
Elder Justin Gagnon


July 30th, 2013

Hey Family,
Everything is going really well here in the area.  We picked up 2 investigators this past week. One of them being Aireen who is about 90 years old but still pretty healthy for her age.  But we challanged her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and she accepted and we also told her if she finds out if it is true will she get baptised and she accepted!  So we're going to be working with her for the next little while.  We also have another investigator, his name is Chewie and he says he's the only Chewie in Canada.  But he said he will also read the Book of Mormon. We're also meeting with him tonight so we might just extend a date for him and also get him coming to church.  He's a really funny guy and reminds me a lot of Cedric Phan.  He's just a lot of fun and we actually street contacted into him and just told him about the church and he said he had been looking for a job so we're going to get him in contact with the employment specialist in our ward.  Oh and that's one thing I like about serving in a ward is that you get to know the members a lot better and you work more closely with your auxillaries in the ward.  I still miss Cardston and Magrath though, but at the same time I know that the Lord sent me here for a reason and that those areas really helped prepare me for these types of areas because finding is a lot easier in these areas since I'm not trying to figure out who is a non-member and who is a member because non-members are everywhere!  
Love you guys a lot!!!
Elder Justin Gagnon

July 22nd, 2013

Hey Family,
 
Everything here is going great!  My new area is...Bow Valley in north west Calgary.  This area is huge compared to my other areas.  The roads are also really weird as well because almost nothing is on a grid like in my old areas.  But now I'm actually serving in one ward instead of 7 wards which is a relief and the members here are super supportive over missionary work.  The apartment that we're living in was trashed though.  The past missionaries were actually killing themselves (meaning they were both going home) and the area book was a wreck, so we're trying to pick up as much as we can from when they left off, but overall we're pretty much starting from scratch.  The area is nice though but when I got here it was really weird because I'm in a city again and I haven't been in one for 9 months.  But in the end the Lord did bless me because finding investigators is a piece of cake.  We've been working closely with the one ward mission leader and one bishop and they've just been pumping out names of people for us to teach, so we expect to get some new investigators this week.   We also went to PEC this week before church and developed a ward mission plan to help the growth of the ward.  I definitely see a good future for the area.  My new companion is Elder Bennion from Arizona and he's fresh from the MTC, so I am training again.  I'm also still district leader and in my district we have a couple of Spanish speaking elders which is cool.  They cover the Spanish ward and they're a fun bunch to work with.  The Calgary temple is also really close to our area and it is a pretty nice looking temple.  I also noticed that Calgary looks like something out of a doctor Seuss story because a lot of the homes here look identical to one another.  I'll see if I can get some pictures of that for next week.  But overall I love the area.  Oh we also helped out at High River this past week and it was crazy how high the water rose.  Some water damage went almost to the roof in some houses!   But I know that this will soften the hearts of a lot of people in that area in the end.  Our area didn't get hit at all though because we're pretty high up.  Well that's about all for this week.  Hope all goes well for everything back home and can't wait to hear from you guys next week.
Love Elder Justin Gagnon


July 16th, 2013 - Transferred to the North!


                                           Saying good-bye to the Gibbings family....


Well I got the transfer call today and I'm getting transferred to the north.  So I'll probably be in Calgary, and yea I've been in Cardston for 4 1/2 months.  It took a while getting this area back on its feet again and gaining member trust, but I'm happy where the area is going. We've also been saying bye to a lot af members the past little while cause I'm gonna miss Cardston and all these little Mormon towns cause all the history that surrounds me is just so cool. Oh, I also left Heather with a bunch of books that I've acquired over the past little while. I also decided to get myself some new scriptures because a member came up to me and my companion and gave us $50.00 each which was a crazy amount coming from a member.  I've never got that from someone. That was just insane.  But I got nice new scriptures out of it with a nice scripture case and I'm planning on getting my name on them as well while it's our P-day.  Sorry if there are a lot of typos in this e-mail because just the other day my middle figure got badly hurt  from helping someone move.  Cardston also is getting a second set of sisters so there will be 4 sets of missionaries in Cardston, and there's only like 4000 people who live here so I'm not sure why they're opening up another area here.  I mean Chateauguay has like 200,000 people and there's only one set of missionaries there.  But I believe that stuff will still get done around here because there's lots of work to do. Oh and with the person's heart we softened, she's still super nice to us and lets us in often but she will not accept messages from us. The husband is pretty open to talk about the gospel, so if we bring him back I think she'll listen too.  Well I better get going. We have lots to do today!
 
Love you guys!
Elder Justin Gagnon


July 8th, 2013

 
Hey family,
The work here is going really well.   I'm not sure if I told you about one of the great service experiences we had the last couple of weeks ago but what happened is that there was this family we saw outside our apartment who was shoveling some rocks out and just placing them out on their lawn.  So I told my companion to get in his service clothes and we went out and got some shovels and a wheelbarrow and just walked over and helped them out.  The mother then told us that she has been inactive for many years and she told us that she usually doesn't let missionaries over ever, but she said that we were an exception and that we can visit them or come over for dinner whenever we felt like it.  It just showed me how the Lord can really soften people's hearts just by doing service.   We also might check with president if we can go to High River this week and help out in the clean up cause our stake is doing a stake trip up there this week.  So if there's any more news on it don't forget to watch for me! LOL!  One of the sister missionaries was also sick this week and asked me if I could give her a blessing, so I did and now she's feeling a lot better which is good cause I still got a little bit of the sniffles myself cause the weather has been changing back and forth pretty quickly. I just showed me how much the Lord cares about his missionaries.
We also had a hail storm not too long ago.  It wasn't as bad as the famous Cardston hail storm but it was hailing about the size of small marbles.  The power also went out for a little bit and the ceiling was leaking like crazy in our apartment so the mission is going to be moving us out pretty soon.  I also got an e-mail from Brother Bernier and did you know that his parents got sealed in the Cardston temple, I found that pretty cool to hear that. I also heard that Chris met Elder Jackson which was pretty cool.  We used to take him out on splits when I was serving in Magrath.  Overall the week was really good.  Transfers are also coming up and it looks like I'm moving on to somewhere else cause I've been in this district my whole mission and I'm pretty sure the mission president will want me to have some experience covering a ward.  Oh and I forgot to tell you that one of our Zone leaders got called to be Assistant to the president so Elder Jones is now the Zone Leader over the Fort Macleod zone. It's pretty cool to see my daddy again!  Well that's about it for this week.
Love you guys
Elder Justin Gagnon

July 2nd, 2013 Happy Canada Day!

Hey Family,
Sorry to hear that you've got all scraped up this past week.  I miss going on bike rides down that way though and seeing all the nature and riding through swarms of mosquitoes!   I also wrote Elder Bernier and he told me that his parents were sealed in the Cardston temple.  Cool huh?  Did he tell you guys about that at all because he just told me about that today.  We've also been having some success these past few weeks.  One of them being that there was this less active boy who hadn't been coming to church for weeks on end and his parents were really concerned for him.  So we would go over there and teach him pretty often and eventually, he told us that he wants to serve a mission.  So we got the bishop involved and got him back to church which was so great to hear.  On our last P-day we decided to hang out with him for a bit and play some Monopoly for the day which was really fun. He ended up winning in the end but it was still super fun to play again.
We've also been trying different ways to fellowship our investigators. Like we might be picking up an investigator through our ward mission leader who's going to invite us to play golf with one of his non-member friends.  We've also started a weekly service activity at a senior's center here in Cardston.  We just help with their bowling activity and the bingo they have once a week.  We've also been helping out at the handicap center twice a week as well and help raise money for them.  We've also been helping out with a member's roof which got destroyed from the hail damage a year ago.  The Members have also been keeping us busy the last while as well with their non member friends and picking up new investigators that way.  We just have to focus on which investigators we want to focus on who seem the most solid.
But overall the area is doing really well.  Still no sign of Robby from Magrath going to the temple though.  I'm probably going to call Magrath and see what's up with that cause now I'm worrying a little bit cause when I was there I grew to love the man and his wacky sense of humor and how he was going to the temple soon.
I hope everything is going well at home though and congratz on the diploma!  Now you done did gradgeeate from Concordia Eh! LOL!
Love you guys!
Elder Justin Gagnon


June 24th, 2013

Elder Gagnon with the goat at the Leavitt rodeo

Hey family,
Everything is going great in Cardston.  The flooding never hit here but we did get a lot of rain the past few days.  Right now it seems to be a really nice day.   But Calgary got hit hard.  It was so crazy! Cochrane and High River got shut down and had to evacuate everyone because of all this.  But I'm not too worried because our area is where the temple is which is on a hill, lol.  But I am worried about the other missionaries in the north.  It was crazy some of the footage that the members showed me of what happend.  I'm not sure how much you saw but the stampede might not happen this year because of this.  Oh and this week we went to help out at a rodeo in Leavitt which was fun.  We got to chase sheep into their cages so kids can ride them and we had to time them to see how long they stayed on.  It was super fun!  We also picked up a lot of potential investigators.  We're also going to be working a lot more with the members since that confrence last night. Did you end up watching it? I found it super cool and gained a lot from it.  There was also a big announcement saying that there will be more missions using facebook to proselitize.  This was a pretty exciting announcement.   Not much else has happened this week.  The flood was probably the biggest thing that happened this week.   Oh, before I close can I get Cody's e-mail I would just like to send him a little something and tell him how important this work is to the Lord.   I just love him so much and I don't want anything to happen.   But other than that I hope all is well.
Love you guys
Elder Justin Gagnon


June 17th, 2013

video

Hey family,
 
Everything is going well, I thought dad might have liked that. Tell him I said Happy Fathers Day and that I love him so much. Oh, and that wasn't alcoholic it was just that sparkling stuff.  But me and my boy are doing good he's doing really good.  Extending the invitation to the Olsen family kids was not too hard we just set a goal for the 29th for them to be baptised and they said that's a very reasonable goal that they think they can achieve. They already knew that the church was true so they were just really dry Mormons. They're a great family though...I think this might be my last transfer here in Cardston and I'm really going to miss it.  I loved serving in these little mormon towns and I'm just scared that when I'm done here that I'm going to serve in just a ward which is going to be really weird.  I've been in a stake my whole mission and always covered 8-9 units, so covering one is going to be super weird.  I guess in some ways it's going to be easier because getting to know all the members in the ward will be cake compaired to knowing a whole stake.  But this week we ended up picking up a new investigator in the Leavitt ward.  Her name is Trina Eagletailfeathers and she's native of course. She lives way out in the sticks though in the middle of nowhere.  She's a really nice lady though and is really open to be taught the gospel.  We're also still teaching Joseph and he just got a job working at the temple so I'm pretty sure he'll receive his answer more quickly because he says he feels something whenever he goes to work. Oh and he works on the exterior of the temple if your wondering.   The temple actually might be closing down for a little while.  I'm not sure why but I just hope it doesn't stay closed before I leave Cardston because I would like to go through it again.   Well that's about it for this week.   I hope everything is going good back home and I can't wait to hear from you next week.  Love you guys!
Elder Justin Gagnon