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Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Dear family,
 
Wow! What a week!  There have been a lot of exciting things happening this week and there are many more this next week!  We had zone conference this week and I always look forward to zone conference.  I always enjoy being taught by Pres. Nattress and the other mission leaders.  I wish I could copy all of my notes into this email.  I love the spirit that is always in those meetings.  

We also got to help at the Gilbert temple this week.  They needed help moving all of the furniture out of the temple so they can put up chairs for the dedication.  They moved the furniture to the stake center that is right next to the temple.  So we got to help move furniture out of most of the rooms including the sealing rooms and the celestial room.  We had to make sure everything was taken out very carefully.  We had to make sure we didn't hit any corners or drop anything.  We successfully moved everything without breaking anything.  We ended up seeing most of the temple again and parts of the temple that we didn't see at the open house.  It was interesting to see the celestial room with no furniture.  The Gilbert temple is really so beautiful.
 
This next Sunday is the temple dedication and Saturday is the cultural celebration.  The cultural celebration is the largest the church has ever done for a temple dedication.  There are about 12,000 youth participating.  Pres Monson and Pres. Eyring are both coming for the dedication.  All the youth are really excited to perform for the prophet.  The dedication and the celebration will be broadcast to all the stake centers in Arizona.  The celebration will also be on TV and online I believe.
 
We have been helping our investigators more with their yard.  We finished planting all the trees but they needed more help.  We didn't have to dig too big of holes because trees were really small still. We've been trying to introduce them to more of the people in the ward.  We also got to teach a part member family more about the temple.  

We had two of our other investigators come to church.  These investigators have been investigating the church for a long time, but have only come to church once.  One of them is actually 93 and the other is in her 60's.  It's a mother and daughter that live together.  They really loved church and said they would come back.  I'm really excited to work will all of our investigators!
 
I love being out on a mission!  Every day is exciting and something new.  I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  I know He lives and loves all of us!  I'm so grateful for the chance to be here in Gilbert at this amazing time.  I love you all!  Thanks for all your prayers.
 
Love,
 
Elder Joshua Gandy
 
P.S. We found out at zone conference that we might be starting to use facebook in the next few weeks and I just wanted to make sure that no one changed my password.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Dear family,
 
It has been another really exciting week!  I got to go to the temple open house twice.  The Gilbert temple is so beautiful!  We got to go with the two people we helped move last week.  We didn't have tickets so we waited in the non ticket line for about two hours, but it gave us a lot of time to answer their questions.  It was a really neat experience to take them through.  It was fun to see their faces as they saw the different rooms.  You could tell they could feel the spirit.  We should start to teach them here pretty soon.  

We also went with some members and their non member friends.  That time we had tickets so we got through the line a lot faster.  It is amazing how many people have gone through the open house.  I'm really sad that the open house is now over.  Ever since Christmas all we have been doing is inviting people to the open house.  We hope to see a lot of things come from the open house still.  Hopefully we get to start inviting people to the Easter pagaent soon.
 
This week we have been doing some service for a couple that we're teaching.  They wanted to plant around 19 trees and they needed help digging the holes.  We went over probably 3 or 4 times this week.  After we helped them for about an hour we would teach them. 
 
I think I'm getting use to my new area.  It's not very big so it doesn't take too long to figure out where everything is.  This next week we have zone conference which I'm always excited for.  Sorry I'm trying to remember everything we've done this week.  It seems like I forget everything when I sit down to write. 
 
Thanks so much for all your prayers.  I love you all so much!
 
Love,
 
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Dear family,
 
I am now in my new area!  I was moved the long distance of about 2 1/2 miles.  I am now in the Val Vista stake and my new companion is Elder Merrell from Mapleton Utah.  My area is only two wards: the Emerald Bay ward and the Crystal Shores ward.     The area is kind of large because it just happens to take in a lot of shopping centers and 3 apartment complexes.  I'm excited to serve in this area and with Elder Merrell!
 
This week I have been trying to learn the area and about the investigators and potentials that we already have.  After being in my last area for almost 6 months, I forgot how hard it can be to come into a new area and know nothing about what is happening.  Elder Merrell was in the area for several months so it hasn't been that hard to figure out what is happening.  I've met quite a few of the investigators we have and I'm excited to teach all of them.  This area has a lot of potential so I'm excited to work with the wards here.
 
One day we were riding through one of the apartments and we saw someone moving in.  We offered to help and so we helped them move a mattress into their new apartment.  They were really grateful and said if we ever needed anything to knock on their door.  We invited them to the temple open house and they seemed really excited about it.  We told them that we had a few extra tickets and that they could join us if they wanted to.  They were really excited and asked if they could bring a neighbor who said they also wanted to go.  We are going to go on Wednesday with them.  I haven't been to the open house yet and I'm really excited to go with some non members!
 
This is the last week of the open house.  I'm really sad that it's almost over.  I wish it could last for a couple more months.  I've heard a lot of cool stories about members taking their friends to the open house and how it has softened people's hearts.
 
Sorry I don't have as much time today to tell you all about my new area.  Thank you for all your prayers!  I love you all so much!
 
Love,
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Dear family,
 
Yesterday was transfer calls.  I'm being transfered and Elder Gardner is staying in the area.  I'll find out on Wednesday where I'll be transfered, so next week I'll tell you all about my new area.  I've been in this area for a while so I was kind of expecting to be transfered.  This has been a fantastic area and I will have a lot of great memories of the wards here.  I have stories about this area that I will probably tell for the rest of my life.  I've met so many different people and have learned so much!  I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve here!  I'm also really excited to find out who my next companion will be and where my area will be.  Since my mission is so small I might not be moving too far.  Instead of some missions where you wonder what part of the country you're going to, I'm wondering what part of Gilbert I'm going to.  It's still really exciting though!
 
We had a really great week doing missionary work!  Our investigator who was just baptized on Jan 11th, recieved a calling in church.  She is on the relief society compassionate services committee... or something like that.  I'm not actually sure what she will be doing but she will be working with one of her fellowships.  It was neat to see her stand up in sacrament meeting and recieve a calling.  The other person we've been working with is also doing really well!  He will be baptized in March so I don't know if I'll be able to come back to see that.  He is just doing great and really wants this in his life.
 
We started teaching a former investigator this week.  We saw him outside so we invited him to the temple open house.  He had some questions so we showed him the video about the temple and bore testimony of the temple.  After that we set up a return appointment with him.  We also recieved an unusual amount of referrals this week from members.  For one referral we didn't get very clear instructions on what apartment, so we accidentally knocked on the wrong door.  It was obviously the wrong person when they answered the door, but we invited them to the temple and they said they would be interested.  We set up a time to meet and came back a couple days later and had a great meeting with them.  They said they would be interested in taking the lessons, but were too busy right now.  This is almost exactly the same story as Regina's.  It took about a month after we met her before we started teaching her.  So I told Elder Gardner that he has to start teaching her just like Regina.  I know it was no accident that we knocked on that door.  We pray every day to be led to those that are ready to accept the gospel so when something like that happens I know we were meant to be there at that time.
 
I'm excited for the adventures that are ahead of me in my new area!  I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary!
 
Thanks for all your prayers! I love you all so much! Hope you all have a great week!
 
Love,
Elder Gandy