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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 17, 2014

Dear family,
 
It has been an amazing week!  Just to let you know Elder Merrell and I are both staying in the area for another transfer.  One of our investigators is still on date and is super excited for her baptism.  She is actually going to be baptized on her birthday.  She came to church yesterday and was telling us about how she felt so welcomed by the ward.  She is going through a lot of challenges right now, but it's amazing how faith in Jesus Christ can help us through every challenge that we face in life.  She just has a great desire to serve others and is so willing to make any changes to follow the commandments.  

This week we met with a part member family.  It's a young couple and they have a six month old boy and the father is not a member.  When we met with them we showed the temple presentation that we have been doing to them.  Afterwards we bore our testimonies of the temple and asked them about their experience as they went to the open house.  They had a wonderful experience and they talked about the peace that they found in the temple.  We asked the father if he could imagine himself being sealed to his family in the temple.  He said yes and that was something he wanted.  He is now on date to be baptized in April.  It is amazing how much Heavenly Father has prepared them over the past year to be where they are now.  Their son was born premature and everyone even the father recieved priesthood blessings and they saw many prayers answered.  It was an amazing experience to teach that lesson.  I've thought a lot about how grateful I am to have this chance to teach these people.  Every time we have a lesson or talk with them I want to be a better missionary.
 
It has just been a great week and I'm glad I get to stay in this area another transfer.  We have a couple more investigators that we are working with.  Missionary work is awesome!  It's amazing how much work there is to be done in the two wards we cover.
 
Thank you for all your prayers. I love you all so much!
 
Love,
Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10, 2014

Dear family,
 
It has been another amazing week here in Arizona!  We're still working with the investigator I mentioned in my last letter.  She seems to be doing really well and is just loving everything that she learns.  She is still on date to be baptized for the 26th.  Almost everyone in our zone has someone on date to be baptized this month and most are on date for the 29th.  Our zone is three stakes so it's really exciting to see everyone finding success.  I wouldn't be suprised if some of them are from the temple.  An investigator from my last area is also being baptized on the 29th and I will be able to go to that.  I'm really excited to be there for that.  It makes it really easy when I'm only a couple miles away from my last area.
 
Last night we had dinner with a part member family.  Missionaries have been working with the non-member husband for several months.  We were able to have dinner with the family and teach a lesson afterwards.  This was the first time we have met with him since the family went to the open house, so we talked about the temple.  The parents were telling us about how special it was to be in the temple as a family.  The husband was also telling us about how he felt comfortable there and how it felt familiar.  He also mentioned how it just felt right.  He said he still wasn't ready to change, but we could tell he was getting so much closer.  It was amazing to hear this family's experience of going to the temple and what it meant to them.  It has been hard to meet with him because of his work schedule, but we hope to meet with him more.
 
This week we stopped by a less active family that no one has been able to meet with ever since they have moved in.  After stopping by a couple times we were able to meet them and set up time to come to their home to show them the temple presentation that we have been showing to all the members.  Yesterday they came to church for the first time in a long time.  We also met another less active family with a son that is 19.  The son has just been working and hasn't decided what he is going to do next.  We stopped by again a couple days later and the son told us about how he was talking to his mom about coming back to church and about going on a mission.  It's amazing what one visit can do.
 
Next week is transfers so I will let you know next week if there will be a change.  There is a very slim chance that I would be leaving since I have only been here for a transfer.
 
I'm so grateful for this chance to be a missionary!  I love you all so much!  Thanks for all your prayers.
 
Love,
Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 Gilbert Temple Dedication

Dear family,
 
It has been an amazing week!  The Gilbert temple was dedicated yesterday.  At the dedication I was thinking about the whole experience with inviting people to the open house, teaching about temples, going to the open house, and the dedication.   As I thought about everything that has happened over the past couple months I am amazed at how much my testimony of temples has grown.  I love the temple and the blessings of the temple.  I'm so grateful that our family can be together forever.  I know the temple is the house of the Lord and I know we can feel close to Him as we go there.  I'm sad that the open house and dedication are over, but the pheonix temple should be opening later this year.  It's not in my mission and I believe it is about an hour away, but I hope that we get to do some similar things when that open house comes around.
 
The cultural celebration was held at a huge park across the street from the temple.  It hasn't rained here for around 70 days (from what I've heard) and everyone has been praying for rain.  So the one day it rains here ends up being the same day as the cultural celebration.  It started raining really hard that evening, but they went ahead and did the performance anyways.  We watched it at the stake center so we didn't get wet, but you could see everyone there was very wet.  It still went very well and all the youth did a great job.  If you want to see it you can probably find it online somewhere.
 
We found a new investigator this week and she is already on date to be baptized!  She is very interested and is loving everything that she is taught.  She has asked us a couple times why doesn't everyone believe this.  She should be baptized later this month.  This is another time that it was perfect timing for us to stop by.  She actually is friends with a member in the ward who has invited her several times to meet with us, but she has always canceled or wanted to put it off.  We stopped by the member's house one day and she told us how her friend just broke her right arm and can't drive because her car is a stick shift.  She hasn't been able to go anywhere so it was kind of hard to say she didn't have time.  She has been going through a hard time and it was the perfect time to start teaching her.
 
I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to be a missionary.  Thank you for all of your prayers!  I love you all so much!
 
Love,
 
Elder Joshua Gandy