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Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 Happy New Year!

Dear family,
It has been a wonderful week with Christmas!  We had a wonderful Christmas.  I guess I didn't really tell you what I did on Christmas when I called, and if I did I'll tell you again.  They moved p-day to Christmas so it was just a really relaxing day full of food.  We went to one of our ward mission leaders home in the morning.   They fed us breakfast.  Then we went to the Dilles and called and they fed us lunch.  Then we went to another members home for dinner.  After that we went to the church and watched a movie with our zone.  It has been a great Christmas season.  I thought that this past week it would be really hard to catch people at home because everyone would be busy.  It turns out we have been able to talk to more less actives, members, part member families, and investigators than usual.  We were able to talk to some people that we have been trying to contact for a couple weeks.  December is an awesome month to be a missionary!
One of our investigators has been sick for almost two weeks now, but she has been feeling better the past couple days and made it to church yesterday.  She is doing very well and is on date to be baptized on the 11th.  All of our investigators are doing really well and progressing in the gospel.  We also have a couple really great potential investigators.  There are some people that have asked us to come back after the holidays when they are not busy, so we are really excited for this next week when we can talk to them.  

It is amazing to see how we are guided and put in the right place at the right time.  Sometimes we don't always notice the perfect timing.  This week we stopped by our ward mission leader's home just when a recent convert, who we have been trying to contact, also came over.  We passed by a less active member's home just as he was taking his trash in from the street.  We stopped to check our mail and ran into another less active member also checking her mail.  There are so many more experiences I could also tell you.
I have also been thinking about when you asked me what we do all day, and I think I forgot to mention one major thing we always try to do.  If we don't have investigators, less actives, or recent converts to teach, we teach members.  This not only helps us improve our teaching, but we hope to inspire the members to do missionary work.  As they bear their testimonies about the gospel it builds their desire to share it.  The best way we can find people to teach is through the members.  We were talking to one of the counsellors in the stake presidency and I realized something about our area.  I realized that in our one square mile area we have three wards and several hundred active members.  I guess I already knew that, but I didn't realize how many members we have to work with compared to other areas in the world.  Our wards are doing great at fellowshipping our investigators and opening their homes for lessons. 
I have some exciting news that we found out this week.  Elder Holland is coming to speak to the Mesa, Scottsdale, and Gilbert missions on the 11th!  I'm so excited to hear him speak!  It's also getting closer and closer to the open house!  I'm sure I have already said this before, but it is an exciting time here in Gilbert!
Thank you so much for all your love and prayers!  I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Dear family,
So I'm staying for another transfer in the Highland East stake so my address will stay the same.  We will find out on Wednesday if our area is staying the same.  We are thinking we might lose a ward and go down to two wards.  I'll let you know what happens next week.   

We have a really exciting week ahead of us.  We have transfer meeting on Wednesday and a mission temple trip and Christmas conference on Thursday.  I believe we are going to be taking a picture of the whole mission in front of the Gilbert temple after transfer meeting.
We had another great week!  One of our investigators is doing very well and is very prepared for baptism.  She came to the ward Christmas party and the ward is fellowshipping her very well.  She is still on date to be baptized on the 28th.  I'm glad I'm going to be staying for that.  We were also able to have a lesson with our other investigator and his less active girlfriend.  They are planning on getting married in March and they want to be sealed in the temple.  The ward has also fellowshipped them very well.  

We have several potentials that we are working with and hope to start teaching soon.  We also taught our recent converts a new member discussion and taught them about the temple.  Everyone is so excited for the open house.  I can't wait to go see the inside.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and your love.  I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

Dear family,
It's been another great week!  It's actually starting to get a little cold.  When we left our apartment this morning around 10:00 it was around 40 degrees.  It has also been interesting to see people covering their plants with blankets so they don't freeze.  

We also had a zone conference this week.  It's always great to be taught by President Nattress and the assistants.  I learned a lot from this zone conference and I'm excited to apply everything that I've learned.
The missionary work is still going great in our area.  We got a new investigator in one of our wards that we have another lesson with this week.  She just moved into the area and is friends with one of the members.  She also has a son who is around 10 so hopefully we will get to teach both of them.  The investigator I told you about last week is doing great and she is getting so close to being ready for baptism.  Another one of our investigators is also doing well and they love coming to church.  We were able to have seven lessons this week and five of them were with members.  We were also able to show the temple presentation to a non member for the first time.  It also looks like we are going to be able to show another one tonight.  I'm really excited to go to the open house!
We found out this week that Dawn, who was baptized in November, is already doing missionary work.  She has been out of town visiting family right now and has been receiving the new member discussions with the missionaries there.  Her family has been sitting in on the lessons and have been asking questions.  Her mother and brother also came to church with her yesterday.
Just to let you know that this Sunday is transfer calls, so I'll let you know next week what is happening. 
Thanks for all your prayers!  Love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Dear Family,
It's been another really exciting week!  Thanksgiving was a normal day for the most part except we had dinner around 2 pm.  We mostly stopped by to see members on thanksgiving and just shared a short message about being thankful and about the temple.  We also had our temple trip this week.  It was nice to go to the temple and feel the spirit there after talking and teaching about it for the past couple weeks.  I'm so grateful that we get to go to the temple once a transfer.  I'm really excited to see the inside of the Gilbert temple.
The missionary work in our wards has really picked up this week.  We had four lessons with a member present.  We have been meeting with one of our investigators since the beginning of October.  We have been trying find her a fellowship in the ward, but she always said she was too shy to meet other people.  This week she finally took our offer of having a lesson at a member's home.  So we had three lessons with her this week at a members homes.  She also came to church this week and committed to prepare to be baptized on December 28th.  She has come a long way since we met her at the beginning of September.  She was telling us about how before we met she was praying to meet good christians to talk to since she was going through a hard time.  It was great to hear that we were able to be an answer to her prayers.  I remember we met her while we were looking for a referral and I accidentally wrote down the wrong address.  

We met with another investigator who we haven't been able to meet with since the beginning of October.  The lesson went very well and it's amazing to hear how our Heavenly Father has led them to this point in their life.  We also have a few potential investigators that we should be meeting with this next week.
We have another exciting week coming up.  We have zone conference and many lessons set up.  It's getting close to the end of the year so I'm hoping that we will see ipads coming soon.  I try not to get too excited for that. 
Thank you for all your prayers and support!  I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Dear family,
It's has been quite the eventful week here in the mission field.  We had a mission tour with Elder Bruce D. Porter.  It was a great meeting.  He talked to us for about two hours about the doctrine of Jesus Christ.  He talked about each part of the gospel and what it really means to us.  

We also had stake conference and Elder S. Gifford Nielson spoke.  He was so fun to listen to, and he really likes his exclamation points!  The adult session on Saturday night was all about missionary work and President and Sister Nattress also spoke at that session.  Elder Nielson talked about how this is a historic time in the church and about how it's our time.  They talked about so many different things and I hope that it helped excite everyone in our area about missionary work.  In the general session of stake conference they talked about the temple and they president of the Mesa temple spoke.  

It also rained for the first time in the past two months or so.  Now that's it cooler I'm glad it only happens every couple months.
We have a couple of great potentials that we have appointments set up with.  There is a young women who has come to youth conferences, girls camp and trek for a couple years and her dad just gave her permission to get baptized.  Her mother also wants to get baptized.  We also have another member who invited a friend to take the missionary lessons and they accepted.  Right now we are just showing as many members as we can this video presentation about the temple.  We hope that they will invite their friends over to see the presentation before they take them to the open house.
I was talking to a member the other day who had a son just leave on a mission to Washington D.C.  Before their son left I told him that if he ever met an Elder Hansen to see if he knows an Elder Gandy.  It turns out that his new companion Elder Tanner Hansen.  That was a fun connection to make!  I was also talking to another member in one of our wards who was friends with aunt Cayla in jr high school.  There are just a few random connections I've made with some of the members.
Thank you for all of your prayers!  Love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,
It's been a great and busy week!  We had a baptism on Saturday.  The person being baptized was Dawn.  She became friends with this family in one of our wards and she just fit right into their family.  She started coming to church and she loved it.  She was excited every week to come to church.  We started teaching her when we stopped by one Sunday to talk to Sis. Johnson about one of her other friends that she invited to learn about the gospel, and Dawn just ended up being there when we stopped by.  Sis. Johnson told us later that that day when we stopped by she was wondering how she was going to invite Dawn to meet with missionaries and then when we came it was the perfect opportunity.  She has been very prepared to accept the gospel into her life.  The baptism went very well and some of her family was able to come.  I ended up singing I Feel My Savior's Love.  We were also able to get one of our investigators to come to the baptism.  This is a huge step for this investigator. 
This Sunday we sang the second verse of If the Savior Stood Beside Me in one of our wards primary program.  It went really well.  I never thought I would be part of a primary program again.  Another one of our investigators came to church and stayed for all three hours.  They have come before but left right after sacrament meeting.  They also came to a new member fireside which is for investigators, recent converts, and less actives.  There were a lot of exciting things that happened this week.
This next week is also going to be very exciting.  Elder Porter in the seventy is coming to do a mission tour on Thursday and Friday.  So we get to hear him speak for an hour or two.  The stake that I serve in, the Highland East stake, is having stake conference this weekend.  The presiding authority at the stake conference is going to be Elder S. Gifford Nielson.  He spoke in general conference last month.
It's amazing how our Heavenly Father knows us and wants to help us in all that we do.  With Holy Ghost we can be directed in this great work!  Thanks so much for all your prayers.  I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Dear Family,

It's been another great week!  Yesterday was transfer calls, but I'm staying in the same area with Elder Gardner.  I'm excited to see what will happen this next transfer.  One of our investigators had her baptismal interview yesterday and she is already to be baptized this next Saturday.  She has been very prepared to accept the gospel.  I also found out that I'm going to be singing at her baptism.  So yes I am getting many chances to sing on my mission.  

We went on exchanges this week with Elder Whitecar since he is my district leader.  It was fun to be with my old companion for a day.  We also got the Ensign with all the conference talks and I'm excited to go back and read some of them.

It's amazing how our Heavenly Father helps us with everything.  One day this week we did not have a scheduled dinner appointment so we were just planning on eating at our apartment.  While we were riding around we ran into one of the members in one of our wards.  He asked if we were still planning on coming to dinner.  Somehow we had a dinner appointment that we didn't know about and we were in the right place at just the right time.  We also saw that when we stopped by to see an investigator and we got there just as he was coming out to wait for his ride.  So we got to talk to him for a couple minutes.  We were also having some scheduling conflicts for the baptism this Saturday, but everything worked out perfectly.  

It does not feel like November here.  It's strange to have the highs in the 70's and the 80's still and it's snowing in Utah.  

Thanks for all your prayers and support! Love you all so much!


Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

Dear Family,
It has been a busy week!  Last Tuesday was that extended zone conference that I was telling you about.  There were three zones there and they invited all the ward councils to attend.  It was really crowded because there were seven or eight stakes there.  I sang a solo at the beginning of the conference, and now everyone knows I sing.  The conference was all about the temple open house and the 15 minute video presentation that the missionaries want to show non members before they actually go to the open house.  The idea is to have the members invite their friends to their house for ice cream, a barbaque or some kind of get together and ask if they would be willing to watch a short video presentation by the missionaries while they are there.  This way they will feel the spirit of the temple before actually going to the temple.  Right now we are trying to get all the members excited and to invite their friends to watch the video presentation.
This week was also Halloween.  We had a mission conference from 11 to 4.  Most of the conference we were practicing the video presentation.  After the conference we had to be back to our apartment at 5.  Our zone got permission to go to a member's house and watch Ephriam's Rescue.  We had dinner there and they had a table full of candy and treats, so I got plenty of sweets this halloween.  It was a lot of fun to just spend time with our zone!
Yesterday we taught the last lesson to our investigator who is being baptized on November 16th!  She has been prepared to accept the gospel, and she is already seeing the blessings.  She wants to read the entire Book of Mormon before her baptism.  She is in Helaman right now so I think she is going to be able to do it.  

We also met with one of our investigators 6 times this week!  She is a single lady who currently doesn't have a job and wants us to come as often as we can.  Every time we read from the Book of Mormon she says that it is beautiful and she loves it.  She met with missionaries 10 or 15 years ago, but never read out of the Book of Mormon.  She is still a little hesitant to come to church, but she said she would come this week.
Thanks for all your prayers! I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Dear family,
It's been an amazing week!  On Saturday I got to go to the baptism of two people I taught in the Brighton ward.  Since I'm still in the stake and Elder Whitecar is just in the next stake over we both got to be the witnesses at the baptism.  The mother was a less active and the two daughter (ages 11 and 14) were not members.  It was amazing to see them welcomed into the ward.  It was also fun to see members in the Brighton ward again.  

I had another great experience this week.  We went to a members house for dinner and they invited their aunt, who has been an inactive member for years, to dinner.  At the end of dinner we shared a short lesson with them and shared the scripture Alma 38:5.  At the end of the lesson I noticed that the aunt was almost in tears.  We found out later that the aunt said she wanted to come back to church.  It's neat to see the miracles that can happen when you are doing the Lord's work.
I'm excited for this week!  Tomorrow we have one of those expanded zone conference.  I found out that an expanded zone conference means that they are inviting stake and ward leaders to the conference.  On Halloween we are having a mission conference from 10-4 then we have to be back to our apartment by 5 and stay in for the rest of the night.  It's really nice to have a small mission because then it's really easy to have mission conferences.
Sorry I don't have as much time to write today.  Thanks for all your prayers! I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy 

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013 - Temple Announcement

Dear Family,
If you have not already heard the Gilbert Temple will be dedicated on March 2!  The open house will be from January 18 - February 15, and the cultural celebration will be on March 1.  They just announced it last Saturday so we are still waiting for more announcement on what this will mean for the missionary work.  In our letter from President Nattress this week he said they will be training us on how to prepare everyone for the temple.  The letter also said that we will have three expanded zone conferences in the next month.  We have interviews this week so I'm sure he will tell us more about it then. It's exciting times here in the Arizona Gilbert Mission! 
Our past week has been great! Last P-day we had a zone activity and we went to Elder and Sister Thompson's (the senior couple in my district) apartment and had lunch and played games.  Three missionaries in our zone had a birthday this month so this activity was kind of like a big birthday party.  We were also able to teach one of our investigators three times this week.  We don't think she has a job so it's really easy to find a time to meet with her.  We were also able to have a lesson with another investigator last night.  The lesson went great and it's amazing to see how she has been prepared to hear the gospel and to accept it.  She is going to be baptized on November 16. 
One thing I've learned this week is that the Lord's hand is in everything that we do, especially as missionaries.  It's amazing to see how the Lord times things perfectly so that we are able to talk to people.  While we were riding our bikes we stopped to talk to this lady getting her mail.  We came to find out that she was a former investigator.  We don't know why the last missionaries stopped meeting with her, but she told us that we could come by next weekend.  I know our Heavenly Father helps us through everything that we do no matter what we going through.  Something that I've noticed a lot in my scripture reading is how many times it says to trust God and we can get through anything that is put before us.
Thanks for all your prayers and your support! I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14, 2013

Dear Family,
The work is going great!  The weather is also starting to feel really nice, and I hear it will just get better from here.  The beginning of the week started off a little slow.  We weren't able to teach a lesson until Friday, but we were able to teach three lessons this last weekend.  We have one investigator who we haven't been able to contact for the past couple weeks, but we were able to talk to them and invited them to come to church.  Yesterday he came to church!  Coming to church can be a big step for people, but it's a very important step to take.  We were really excited to see him there.  

We are working with several investigators right now, so were are really excited to continue teaching them.  We also found a couple of potentials investigators this past week that we hope to start teaching soon.  This week we are going to focus on teaching a lesson every day.  That is something that President Nattress has asked us to start doing.  We should teach a lesson every day, and if you can't teach an investigator or a less active member than we should teach active families. 
This last week I got to do family history training again since Elder Gardner needed to do it.  After the training we got to work on the computers for a little bit.  One of the things I tried to do was sourcing and finding records.  I did not realize that there is still a lot of things to do on familysearch even for the ancestors that you already now about.
My companion, Elder Gardner, is great!  I think I already told you that he also graduated high school this year.  He did theater in high school and was in his schools glee club, so we did a lot of similar things in high school.  We are getting along great! 
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support!  I love you all!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for the birthday present!  I had a pretty good birthday with general conference and a member made me some cupcakes.  I'm so excited to get the Ensign so I can read all of the talks again.  

So if you haven't found out yet, I am training a brand new missionary straight from the MTC.  His name is Elder Gardner and he is from Sunnyside Washington.  He just graduated from high school just like me, so for a couple of days we were both 18 year olds that just graduated.  I'm staying in the same area and my area did not change. 
We invited someone to be baptized yesterday and they accepted! So if everything goes well then we should have a baptism at the beginning of November.  We also got two new investigators this past week.  It's a mother and her daughter, and the mother wants her daughter involved in young womens.  We found them just by talking to them on the street.  The mother told us that she usually doesn't come outside, but she knew that she was suppose to meet us.  We've taught her once already and we have another lesson set up this week.  We hope to get a member to the lesson and to get the daughter involved in young womens. 
Thanks for all your prayers. I love you all so much!
Elder Gandy
P.S. The weather is starting to cool down!
Here is a picture of my zone last transfer:

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Dear Family,
So we usually find out if we are going to be transfered the Sunday night before, but we never got a call last night.  So we don't know if we are staying or leaving.  I'm sure we will find out later today.  Just to be safe I would send mail to the mission office this week and I'll let you know next Monday.  It will be interesting to see what happens this next transfer.  If I stay in the same area we will probably lose one of our wards.  Since there are so many new missionaries coming in they have to create a lot of new areas, making the areas that are already small even smaller.  Soon every missionary will have one to two wards.  I'm guessing we will start doing things online by the end of this next transfer also.
This week we got trained in family history.  The senior couple that is in our district is going around and teaching the missionaries about family history and how to use familysearch.  I did not know that you can now put stories and pictures on familysearch.  We had about an hour to go on to familysearch and it was cool to see some of the pictures and stories that were already on there.  We had a few teaching appointments this week, but not as many as usual.  We have a few people we are working with, but sometimes it's hard to set up appointments because people are so busy.
I'm glad everything is going well at home.  I'm so excited to hear about Alysa's mission call.  I can't believe I'm almost 19.  It's almost been a year since the age change.  I'm so excited for general conference again.  One of the focuses President Nattress is making is on apostolic promises.  Just like that promise that I sent a few weeks ago.  During this next conference I'm going to specifically look for the apostolic promises.
Thanks for all your prayers.  Love you all!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Dear Family,

The baptism this last Saturday was amazing!  This family moved into the ward in August, but started attending church in July in their old ward.  So we were not the ones to actually find them, but we were the ones that taught them all the lessons.  The dad is the one who baptized his two daughters.  He has been inactive since he was a teenager, but came back into activity.  The oldest daughter is 13 and the younger one is 8.  He also has a son that is 5.  That's a little about them. To make this week even better, we got a new investigator yesterday.  A member in one of our wards has invited her to church and she has come for the past couple weeks.  Yesterday we stopped by and were able to teach her and set up another appointment next Sunday.  She loves coming to church and the feeling she has when she is there. 

We found out this week that we should have ipads by the end of the year and we will be doing missionary work online soon.  There is a lot of exciting things coming soon.  We also found out that they want us to be more creative with our finding ideas.  We tried to come up with ideas as a district, but it is kind of hard to think of new ideas when your area is so small. 

The past two days have been really nice in Arizona.  I think it might be cooling down soon.  It is so strange when 90 degrees is cool.  When I walked out on our balcony this morning I was surprised and had to stop.  When I walked outside I didn't walk into a wall of heat. It felt so nice. 

For my birthday I can't think of anything I need, but I could always use another tie.  I can't think of anything specific right now.  This is the last week of the transfer, so next week I'll let you know if anything is changing.

Thanks for all your prayers!  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Dear family,
It has been another exciting week here in Gilbert!  This last Tuesday we went from four wards to three wards.  Elder and Sister Thompson, a new senior couple, has taken the Brighton ward.  It will be a fun and exciting experience having a senior couple in our district.  They are from Oregon and this is their second mission.  They served their first mission in Croatia.  I guess they also knew President Nattress before, and he requested that they serve a mission here.  I was kind of sad to lose the Brighton ward because after spending six weeks in that one ward, we knew everyone and everyone knew us.  I'm excited when more missionaries come in and we can have one or two wards, because it's so nice when you can get to know everyone in your ward. 
Some exciting news!  We have a baptism this Saturday!  So I should definitely have pictures to send next week.  We have several other people we are working with right now, but it's been kind of hard to set up appointments with some of them.  I'm sure we will have appointments set with them soon though.  

I also sang a solo at a new member fireside (previously known as the mission president devotional.  I'm not sure why they changed the name).  I sang Come Thou Fount and I only sang through it twice about 15 minutes before it started.  It was a good opportunity, but next time I hope I get a little more practice.
Members ask us what our favorite meal is all the time, and I don't think I have one.  I don't think I could choose a favorite.  If anyone asks just tell them I like almost everything.  I don't know if Bishop Ralph told you in the email he sent you, but he and his wife both grew up in West Valley really close to the Hunter Library.  It's a small world, or I'm just not very far from home.  Probably the second one.  
I love you all so much!  Thank you for all of your prayers!
Elder Joshua Gandy
P.S. The Gilbert mission is one of 50 pilot missions that will test out new resources, including ipads.  There are rumors that they are coming soon.  The Lord is truly hastening his work in these latter days!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Dear Family,
It's been a very eventful and exciting week!  To start off we got a new investigator and have been able to teach him twice this past week.  We taught six lessons this last week with non- members.  That is my record so far, but hopefully we will get more this week.  

Having four wards definitely keeps us more busy.  Along with those teaching opportunities we got to go to the temple again this last Wednesday.  The temple is amazing and I'm so grateful I get to go once a transfer.  I'm so excited for the Gilbert temple to open.  

We also had zone conference this past week.  The highlight for the week was having Elder Anderson come.  He talked to us for about two hours.  Everyone got to shake his had and we got a big group picture with the whole mission.  It was a great meeting and I wish I could tell you everything that he said.  He talked a lot about how unique the Gilbert mission is because it is so small and about 20% of the population are members.  The percentage is even higher in some places.  The other unique part is that every missionary will be assigned to one or two wards.  He also talked about how we need to build relationships with all the members and get to know all their names.  He said that we will most likely stay in areas longer so we can build those relationships.  He didn't want to give a specific length of time, but he said generally 6 months would be a good length of time to spend in one area.  

He told us that we are doing missionary work in the way of the future.  It's really all about working with the members especially when you work in neighborhoods where the people are well-off and are not as willing to open their doors to strangers.  The most powerful part of the meeting was when he gave our mission a blessing and bore testimony of Jesus Christ.  I know after hearing his testimony that he is a special witness of Jesus Christ.  I know we have a propeht on the earth today, and I'm so excited for general conference in a month.  It was an amazing experience to shake his hand and sit ten feet away from him while he taught us.  
I'm so excited to hear that Cassi is going to Italy.  She is going to love being a missionary.  I'm also excited to hear who got the leads in West Side Story.  You'll have to tell me all about it.  

I'll have to find out the mission blog for my next email.  Everything is going great here!  Yesterday was my two month mark for being in Arizona and we have about another month until it starts to cool down to a nice temperature.  I will probably be really cold here in winter since I'm use to it being over 100 every day.  It is raining right now so hopefully this next week will be a little cooler.
Thank you so much for all your prayers.  I love you all!
Elder Joshua Gandy 
P.S. Mom, you asked how many Elders and Sister are in my district and zone.  There are only two companionships in my district and the other companionship are sisters. There are two districts in my zone and there are 4 sisters and 8 elders. 
P.P.S. Another interesting fact about my mission, by next transfer about 93% of the missionaries will have been out less than a year.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

Dear Family,

Things are going well down here.  I’m still adjusting to having four wards, but I think I’m slowly getting use to it.  We have a baptism scheduled for the 21st!  We are finding a lot more opportunities to teach now that we have more area to cover.  This next week is going to be busy because we have something happening almost every day.  We have district meeting, zone conference, and Elder Anderson is coming on Saturday.  I’m going to be in a double quartet that they are putting together for that meeting.

Mom, you will have to let me know who gets the lead parts in West Side Story.  I’m guessing you’ll find out somehow.  I’m also excited to hear where Cassi is going on her mission.  I’m glad everything is going well at home and thank you for sharing some of your notes from the education week.
Sorry I don’t have a lot of time to e-mail this week.  Because it’s Labor Day we had to e-mail at a member's house so we don’t have a lot of time.  

I’m wanting to send you pictures, but I’m not sure what I could take pictures of.  At some point I’ll get you a pictures of me and Elder Whitecar.

Thanks for all your prayers.  I love you all very much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Dear Family,
So this last Tuesday I kind of got transfered.  I'm still with Elder Whitecar and I'm still living in the same place, but we got three more wards to work with.  So right now we have four wards, but in the next week or so we might lose the Brighton ward which is the ward we had before.  I'm going to missing only having one ward because we got to know everyone.  We went to a ward party the Brighton ward had this past Saturday, and it was a lot of fun because everyone knew us.  It might take a little while to get use to having four wards.  
We had a couple of lessons this week and we have someone on date to be baptized in September.  Now that we have more wards we have some more people to teach.  

We also found out this past week that Elder Anderson is coming to speak to our mission in September.  They are also trying to come up with a musical number for that meeting and it looks like I will get to participate in that.  It will probably be some kind of small group number.  I'm glad I am getting the chance to sing every once in a while. 
So this week we had a meeting for the new missionaries, and President Nattress taught us about a promise that was made in this last general conference by Elder Anderson. If you want to look up the talk it is called "It's a Miracle", but here is the promise that was given by an apostle of the Lord.
 "I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak,
1. Names and faces will come into your mind.
2. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them.
3. Opportunities will be opened to you.
4. Faith will overcome doubt.
5. The Lord will bless you with your very own miracles."

Thanks for all your prayers and I love you all!
Love you all,
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Dear Family,

I just finished my first transfer! I am staying in the same area with Elder Whitecar.  They might be changing the area and giving us another ward.  Transfer meeting is tomorrow so we should find out by then.
I'm so excited to hear that Jocelyn is going to Mexico.  I would have never guessed Mexico.  It probably would have been the last place I would have guessed.  I'm so excited for her!
On a normal day we usually study from 8-10 then go out until 12.  We then have lunch for an hour and then we do training hour.  Then we are out from 2-9 with dinner at 5 which is usually at a members home.  But on Tuesdays we have district meeting every week and Friday we do planning from 1-4 in the afternoon.  Other than that it is usually the same schedule.  Since we don't do a lot of tracting, we usually do a lot of member visits.  We set up appointments to teach the members and leave them commitments.  So we work a lot with the members.

We are working with two families right now so we are doing pretty well for having such a small area.  One of the families came to church on Sunday and it sounds like they will start coming every week.
Thank you for the letter and I'm glad my friends are letting you know where they are going.  Thanks for all the prayers and I love you all very much!  I love this gospel and I am so glad I have this chance to share it with the people in Gilbert Arizona.

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S.  This last Saturday was probably the hottest day since I've been here.  I heard it was around 110-115 degrees.  It was pretty hot.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for your letter.  I'm so happy I got a 5 on the AP Calculus test because because I thought I didn't do very well on the test.  It's exciting to hear where people are going on their missions.
So this is the last week of the transfer so I will know by next Monday if anything is changing.  This last week has been pretty eventful.  On Wednesday morning we got to go to the Mesa Temple.  I guess we get to go once a transfer.  It was a really neat experience and I'm really glad we get to go often in this mission.  No one knows when the Gilbert Temple is going to open.  They said they would announce the open house 6 months before, but there has not been any announcement yet.  They also won't do the open house in the summer because it's so hot.  So it will probably open in the spring or fall of 2014.  

This Monday we also got a new investigator to work with.  We got to do some service projects this last Saturday.  We helped someone with some yard work and another person put in baseboards.  We haven't had a lot of opportunities to do service projects so it was fun to do something a little different.
Everything here is going great.  Everyone is back in school here so now people are back to their normal schedules. 
Thank you for all your prayers. I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Family,
It's been another great week!  I remember when I first got to Arizona I was dying in the heat and I did not want to be outside.  Now the heat really isn't that bad.  I'm getting use to it now and 106 degrees really isn't too bad.  This morning was really nice because it was cloudy and about 90 degrees.

It's been interesting working in a small ward.  We have met most of the members and have taught a good portion of them the restoration lesson.  Right now we are trying to figure out more ideas to find people to teach.  Most of the people we talk to on the street have already talked to missionaries before and have friends that are members.  It's really important that we have the ward members help us find people to teach because they are more likely to be successful at it.  We are planning on working a lot with the youth and get them excited about missionary work.  Most of them are going back to school this week so now they will have more opportunities to talk to their friends about the gospel.

I'm not sure what the missionary work is going to be like here when all the kids are in school and all the fathers are at work.  I believe we will be getting iPads and using facebook and other online tools sometime soon.  I'm guessing sometime by the end of the year, but no one has told us anything official yet so I'm not sure.

I can't believe Ziggy is almost 16.  He is almost old enough to drive!  I hope he is still there to see Joseph again.  Sister Miller's niece, Sister Bennett, was in my zone in the MTC.  My zone only had two or three districts, so it wasn't very big.

Thank you for all the prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Gandy

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013

Here are some excerpts from Joshua's most recent e-mail:

Weeks go by really fast when you're in the mission field.  I can't believe it's already Monday again and that I've been out a month.  Everything is going great here.  We have been visiting a lot of member families this week.  In the past three weeks we have visited or at least introduced ourselves with 52 member families and have taught 24 of those families the restoration.  During the day we either tract, visit members, talk to people on the streets, or look for opportunities to serve people, but right now not a lot of people go outside.  Since it is so hot in Arizona many people are on vacation to places that are cooler, but school starts early here so people should be on their normal schedules soon.  I don't know why, but all the school start on August 7th.  The Brighton ward is amazing and all the members are so great! I'm so excited to work with all of them.

No one did anything to celebrate pioneer day here.  I didn't even realize that it was pioneer day until I was writing in my journal that night.  Since it is so dry and hot many places don't let you do fireworks so that's why I'm guessing they don't do anything big.  Also, I'm guessing a 1/3 of the city is on vacation so there are not a lot of people plan a big celebration.

We have been doing a lot of the same things over the last couple weeks so I don't have anything out of the ordinary to tell you about the missionary work in my area.  It's hard only having one ward so we are trying to come up with more ideas to move the missionary work forward.  

I did have a cool experience though this week.  One night while we were riding home through the neighborhood we were coming to a turn in the road.  The turn was kind of dark and as we were getting closer it made me a little nervous.  It wasn't a very long stretch of darkness, so I thought it would be fine as long as we went fast around this corner.  As we are coming around the corner in the darkness my companion decides to stop to write something down in his planner. As soon as he decides to stop a street light that was out turned on.  So we stopped under this street light.  As soon as we started to pedal away the street light turned off again.  The whole time we could see that dark corner that streetlight did not even flicker.  I know Heavenly Father looks out for his missionaries.  I don't know if there was any reason for me to be nervous, but it at least made me feel better.

Thank you so much for all your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S. While we were riding to our area yesterday, we saw a huge behive in a tree.  It was probably about the size of a basketball.  I wish I could of took a picture of it but I didn't have my camera.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Elder Gandy has now been in Arizona for two weeks.  Last Monday they moved to a new apartment.  I have updated his address above although he is still in the same apartment complex so the only thing that changed was the apartment number.

He found out this last week that he and his companion are the only companionship in the Gilbert Mission that are assigned to an area that consists of only one ward.  His assessment:  "I think we are the test to see how it will work."

They spend most of their time working with members and have been asked by the bishop to teach a 15 minute lesson on the restoration to as many people as they can, including members of the church.  Here is what Joshua had to say about that:

"It's really been good practice teaching members, and I'm getting better at it every time I teach.  Teaching that lesson invites the spirit into the member's homes and I can tell it increases their desire to be better member missionaries.  We really rely heavily on the members because tracting doesn't really work anymore.  We could also tract my whole area in one or two days if we really wanted to.  I counted the number of houses we have in our area on a map we have, and there are only around 250."

Here is a little more from this latest e-mail:

"Sometimes I feel like my mission is really close to what it is like to serve in Utah.  We have dinner with members every night and people are always honking and waving at us while we ride our bikes.  Also a lot of people have friends that are members and think they know all about the church."

"I got the chance to perform yesterday at a Mission President's Devotional.  Saturday night they asked me if I wanted to be in a quartet.  We sang Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy, and I sang the baritone part.  It went pretty well for only having a half an hour to practice before it started."

For anyone who thinks that 9:00 a.m. Sunday meetings are early, Joshua was surprised to find out that Sunday meetings in the ward there start at 8:00 a.m.

Joshua's Mission June 26 to July 15, 2013

Since I'm a little late starting this blog, I'll give you a rundown of the things we've heard from Joshua since we dropped him off at the MTC on June 26.


Joshua wrote that "the MTC is amazing!" They keep the missionaries very busy and he actually only had one p-day in the MTC before leaving for Arizona. There were 900 new missionaries that entered the MTC on the day that Joshua did. He was also able to see many friends from school during the time he was there.

Twelve days in the MTC is quite a whirlwind of activity. They spent their time learning how to teach and role playing with volunteers many of whom were converts and used their own experiences while acting as investigators for the missionaries to practice teaching.

 Joshua was in the MTC for the 4th of July. He wrote: "On the 4th of July we had a special program and we got to watch 17 Miracles. That ended around 10:00 and then we got to go outside and watch the fireworks until around 10:45 and they gave out ice cream."

 He was only in the MTC long enough to go to one devotional at the Marriott Center and made this comment, "It was so cool to see and be part of the parade of missionaries walking to the Marriott Center. There were so many missionaries and it was an awesome sight."


Joshua arrived in Gilbert, Arizona on July 8. He has been assigned to an area that consists of only one ward, is about a half mile square and where one third of the people in the area are members of the church. He says that the ward is fairly affluent economically with many young families with parents in successful careers.

 He and his companion live about a mile from their area and ride there on their bikes every day. Joshua says, "It is most definitely burning hot!...Our area is really small so we live a good distance outside of it. I think I am just getting used to sweating all day."