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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