Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christopher Made it to Laoag!

Christopher left for Laoag, Philippines on Monday September 23rd.  We got to talk to him from the Portland airport where he had a 5 hour layover.  From there he went to Tokyo.  From Tokyo, he went to Manila where he stayed the night and then went on to Laoag. His mission president gave him permission to call from the mission home this morning to let us know he made it safe and sound. And wouldn't you know, my phone's ringer is choosing when to ring and when not to actually ring so we didn't get to talk, just a voicemail. We were happy however, to hear he made it safe and sound!
Here is are some excerpts of previous letters that didn't get posted.  I had asked him why his name tag was not in Tagalog and if he had sang in the choirs with his cousin Chase:

Sept. 14th

I'm not sure if I'll need the pajama pants since I'll most likely be hot enough without anything on so I might send those back.  I did do choir for the first couple weeks, but I didn't go after that (partially because everyone was sick in our district so we couldn't really sing even if we wanted too), but I think I'll try to go to it for my last week.  No the name tag isn't in Tagalog for a couple reasons.
1) The national language and the mission language of the Philippines was English when it was first opened for missionary work so all of the name tags and even church buildings had English names and they've been kept like that ever since
2) There's a church that has similar name tags for missionaries there and those name tags are in Tagalog so you can differentiate the missionaries by ours being in English
I don't think there's really anything I need besides a phone to use in the airport.  I have my travel plans now and we're heading out on the 24th, Monday morning, and we stop in Portland for a while and then in Tokyo before arriving in the Philippines.
Thanks for all you do!
Mahal ko kayo
-Elder Egan

Sept. 21st

 I can't believe Stef is getting married!! That's exciting! 
I did get the package and everyone loved them!  My district says thank you very much and you're a saint.  I didn't get the donuts, they could come today though. So I'll probably send back the sheets and probably one of the PJ bottoms and a shirt and most of my silk ties because silk ties bleed and get ruined in humidity.  But I have to do that today so you'll probably get that next week sometime.  I think the gold bond was a smart thing to send too.  
Ok so Monday, not Tuesday.  That's when I'll call.  Sometime between 10:00 and 3:00 most likely

BTW, he did get the donuts mom -after he wrote on Saturday!
Christopher with friend Braxton Todd
Christopher with some friends from High School


Christopher's MTC district with their flight plans

Picture of his room at the MTC--Yikes!

"pretty much the best district ever!"


Week 4-Summary of his first 3 full weeks in the MTC

Set. 7th
Well I don't know what to say really without all the questions to answer.  There's a lot that goes on here so I don't know where to start.  I guess I'll talk about what we do in class and stuff like that.  We teach two "progressing investigators" in Tagalog right now.  One of them is named Ranie and we had him commit to baptism which is great except for the fact that he's really a member already.  We're teaching a woman named Jenny and she has a lot more questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but I think next time we teach her we'll talk about baptism.  Learning things in Tagalaog seems really hard, but it's incredible to see how far we've all come from just 3 and a half weeks ago.  One of the best things I've done with studying the language is memorizing the First Vision in Tagalog.  That took a while to get down, and I really couldn't even follow what I was saying, but it's been nice to know that.  Time flies so fast at the MTC.  My companion and I get along really well and there isn't a better person I could have been matched with.  He has less confidence about the language, but when he just relaxes and has fun he does some amazing things.  Our district gets distracted a lot in class because we always want to have fun, but there's a time and place for all of that.  We really have a lot of fun within our district especially because of our teachers.  Bro. Mansfield is our morning teacher and everyone's shocked that he isn't married yet because of how amazing he is.  Our night class teacher is Sister Briggs.  She was our first "progressing investigator" so all of us were pretty astonished when she showed up to be our teacher one day.  It was kind of frustrating not to have Bro. Mansfield as our teacher for night class, but Sister Briggs is really a good teacher too.  It's kind of like how I will always love my first seminary teacher the best because he made seminary so great, but the rest of the teachers were all pretty awesome too.  Tuesday is our devotional day when we hear from a member of the seventy usually.  We heard from Elder Neil L. Andersen last week (you should let Cameron know that) and this week from Elder Evans.  Devotionals are always really good and help everyone feel the Spirit strongly.  We still haven't played soccer in gym which is a bummer, but playing volleyball and basketball is a lot of fun.  P-day is always great since we get to do laundry and email and all that fun stuff.  But my favorite part is being able to go to the temple every Saturday.  I'm getting in all that I can from the temple since I'll probably be going without that experience when I'm in the Philippines.  Sunday is like going to church all day with a fireside at night and then a church film after that.  Sunday's are nice for winding down and just being able to ponder and feel the Spirit.  Well that's kind of a summary of what the first three weeks have been like all packed into one.

Mahal ko po kayo!
-Elder Egan

Week 3 -Aug 31st

(Christopher's letters consist of answering his mom's questions.  The [red] is added to help with understanding.)

 It's weird that I've been here that long already, especially since our district isn't the newest one anymore.  We have two new districts going to the Philippines in our zone and compared to them I guess you could say I feel like a veteran. [Mom said, after 2 full weeks in the MTC, I bet you feel like a veteran] I bet the MTC is way too easy compared to the Philippines too.  Well I don't miss the weed whacker too much. :) [Mom said, we miss you and so does the weed whacker] Ok so I think there's a little confusion as to when we play sports and do other physical activities.  We have gym time for about an hour everyday except Tuesday, P-day, and Sunday.  There's some time to do whatever you want on P-day, but we usually have other things to do so nobody really does exercise on P-day.  During gym time we could play soccer, but that would have to be on a Monday or Wednesday since our gym time is in the evening and it's cooler outside.  Nobody wants to play soccer though so I haven't done anything besides a little bit of juggling in the gym.  I weighed myself this week and came in at 136, so if you count that extra pound as gaining weight, then the answer is yes.   If you're getting my letters on Tuesday, then that's a really fast snail.  I sent the last one on Monday so it sounds like it gets picked up and then delivered the next day.  It's good to know that they're getting through to you. 
In our district almost everyone is going to Laoag.  One of the Elders is going to Cavite and two of the sisters are in the Qeuzon City mission.
Elder Johnson [his companion] is from Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California.
Sounds like life is getting a little busy for everyone, but that's good.  I hope Emma enjoys high school.  She needs to befriend Zach and Kaden's sisters. 
I don't have a lot of time to email so I'll just say a very Masaya Kaarawan [happy birthday] to Mia!  (maybe I can send a letter soon).
I love you all!
Mahal ko kayo!
Elder Egan

Week 2 in the MTC- Aug. 24th

 My companion will be 20 in December so it's weird that I'm the senior companion.  He is pretty much the definition of awesome.  We have a little too much fun sometimes when we're working on studying and planning lessons.  I really couldn't have asked for a better companion.  He can be pretty stinking funny sometimes, but what has impressed me the most is how much he is willing to serve.  He always holds the door for people (especially the Sisters) and he's always first to take their trays when they're finished eating.  He doesn't have as much confidence with the language as I think he should, but I know he'll be fine.  There's a lot of good things I can say about him. I need more specifics of what you really want me to tell you.  There are two other companionships in my room/district.  Our District Leader is Elder Hunsaker and his companion is Elder Sagario.  The other companionship is Elders Lasley and Shelley.  We have pretty much the awesomest district ever. I can only email on P-day, but I can send letters through mail any day.  I'm not sure when you got my last one so I'm not sure if it's faster or not.  One thing for sure though is that the Dear Elder letters I can get any time and they come pretty fast.  So if anyone wants to send something and needs me to read it before checking my email that is always growing bigger, I would strongly suggest the Dear Elder so I have time to reply to it. 
Mahal Kita!
Elder, Egan
Christopher and his Companion, Elder Johnson
 Christopher and his cousin Chase in the MTC

Christopher's District

Week 1-So It Begins -Aug. 17th

Christopher entered the MTC on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013. We got to hear from him on Saturday, the 17th.  I included my letter to him so that his letter would make more sense. 

Dear Elder Egan,

I so wish I could be a fly on the wall and know how your first full day at the MTC went! I have so many questions I hope you can find time to answer some of them. So, let’s begin;

1. Who is your companion and where is he from?
2. How many missionaries are in your district?
3. Have you seen lots of friends and Chase? I read one of his letters and he said he couldn't wait until you got there!
4. How are your classes? I assume it is Tagalog immersion. How is it?
5. How is the MTC food?
6. What would you like me to send you? (Something forgotten or a candy craving)
7. Best and worst part of the first day at the MTC?
8. I know this one is weird, are you using the sheets you brought or are they just for Laoag?
9. Have we been pronouncing Laoag correctly?
10. We found your sunglasses in the car. Did you forget them or leave them on purpose?
OK. I think those are enough questions for now.

I meant to send you with a blanket just for the MTC but of course forgot. Dad says not to worry and that like you've been saying, you won't be cold for two years, so...but, let me know if you would like one. No problem to send and you can give it to someone else when you leave or send it back home.

Oh, I also meant to send you with another SD card for your camera. I will send that with all the pics we took on Wed. before dropping you off. I'm sorry for how long that all dragged on...but what can I say, first time parents here. Poor Kolsen had to endure the rest of the day touring around BYU campus, then outlet mall shopping. We didn't get home 'til 10:00 pm and all Kolsen wanted to do was get back home to his new phone! :) He was a good sport -sort of- for someone that would rather poke their eyes out then be outlet shopping. Kind of reminds me of someone else I know...

I hope you found all of our letters and pics. I was going to tape our testimonies on the inside front and back covers of your journal but you can decide what to do with them.

I will close now. Good luck with the language and your classes. Eat a lot and don’t forget to wear you flip flops in the shower! :)

We love you!! Carry on.
Love, Mom
Kumusta pamiliya!
Let's start by answering some questions:
1. My companion is Elder Johnson from southern California
2. There are six elders (including me) and 6 sisters in my District
3. I have seen a lot of people and I swear I find at least 3 more everyday!  I found Chase on Thursday and ran into him again later that day.
4. The classes are in complete Tagalog.  It's pretty fun some days because our teacher, Bro. Mansfield, is awesome!  It's very challenging though, yet I know that it will help me in learning. 
5. The food's not bad, but it depends on the day of whether or not I really like it.  There's more than enough food for all the missionaries to eat though.  I'm praying for the Spirit to help me learn and teach in Tagalog and I'm very grateful for the Lord's hand in the work.
6. I need to get the most current immunization record I have because they need a hard copy on file (didn't know that).  I'm pretty good on everything else though, maybe some more nike socks for gym.
7. Worst part is how overwhelmed you feel, but the best part is the incredible feeling that exists at the MTC
8. I am using the sheets I was given because the ones here were pretty gross and way too hot
9. Laoag is pronounced like Robert Erickson was saying it.  Low-ahg.
10. I sort of left those on purpose because I was rushing to get out and I really don't think we'll need them.  I've never seen anyone with them except one of the elders in my district
No blanket please!  I will never use it and neither will anyone else until winter time.  The SD card is 16 GB and I didn't even use 2 GB for my entire photo class.  I really think another SD card isn't necessary, but the pictures will be nice to have.  Koooolseeen!!  Tell him that for me will you?  Shopping just isn't a hobby for the Egan boys.  I found all the letters and pictures and I have a place to keep all of those precious things.  I'm wearing flip flops in the shower, don't worry. 
Mahal kita!
(I love you)
Elder Egan