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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."