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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23, 2014

Dear family,

It's been another great week here in Arizona! The weather is pretty warm... I don't know if that's the right word to use, but we're getting use to sweating all the time.  I think the two seasons for Arizona are the season of wanting to stand in the sun and the season of wanting to stand in the shade.  It's the standing in the shade season.  When you stop on your bike you always look for the nearest shade.  I'm starting to like the heat.  I just realized it hasn't rained here since probably the beginning of March.  It's always blue skies here!  

Thank you for sending the pictures!  It was fun to see how big all the kids are getting.  To answer your question of who some of the cool people are; I know of people who served as mission presidents and area seventy and other church callings, a general in the military,  one of the first people to break the sound barrier in a jet, a pro baseball player who use to play for the Braves, and a couple other people that I can't think of right now.  I'm just grateful for all the different members that we get to work with.  Most of them are not super successful people, but many of them are just great examples and great leaders.  You learn a lot from the leaders in the ward and stake you serve in.

We didn't have a ton of lessons with investigators, but it seemed we had more lessons with less active members and lessons with members in the ward.  In one of our wards we had three part member families at church.  One was the family we have been working with for the past couple weeks, and the other two we hope to start working with soon.  Working with Bro Snuka has been great!  He has a lot of ideas to get everyone excited about missionary work.  Right now he is wanting all the members to go and meet someone new in their neighborhood.  One of the part member families that came to church was his next door neighbor and I believe he invited them to come. 

It's exciting to hear all that you're doing for family history.  I wish I could do family history, but that is something that will have to wait right now.

Well I'm running out of time.  Thanks for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!  I'm just loving my mission more and more every day!  Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Dear family,

It has been an exciting week!  On Wednesday we had transfer meeting and my new companion is Elder Jewkes from South Jordan and he has been out for around 10 months.  He came in a transfer after me.  I'm excited to work with him.  Three of my four companions so far have been from Utah.  There are a lot of people from Utah here.  I also forgot to tell you, but I'm also a district leader now.  The district is just the Val Vista stake so there are 8 missionaries in the district, three companionships of elders and one companionship of sisters.  They are all great missionaries and I'm really excited to work with all of them.

This past Friday the stake had a fireside and Danny White and his wife were the guest speakers.  If you don't know who Danny White is he was a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys back in the day.  He lives here in the stake and they asked him to speak.    This week we invited all of our investigators, recent converts, and some less actives.  We also tried to get members to invite their friends and neighbors.  It was a great fireside and there were a couple investigators and less active members there.  

We are continuing to work with this part member family that I've mentioned a couple times.  We went over a couple times this week.  They were going through some challenges, but they seem to be doing a lot better.  We were able to teach them part of the plan of salvation.  We also visited a less active member this week.  We invited him to the fireside and to church.  We had a great visit about why we go to church.  At the end of the visit he asked us if he had home teachers.  We told him we were not sure, but that we would find out for him.  We could tell that he really wanted home teachers.  It just reminded me about how important home and visiting teaching is and how we really need to be there to help those in need.

I am just loving my mission more and more each day.  It's not always easy, but it is definitely worth it! 

I love you all and thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9, 2014

Dear family,

It has been another great week here in the Arizona sun!  R was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!  It was a great baptismal service.  The next step is receiving the priesthood and their goal is to make it to the temple!  I'm so grateful that we were able to be the missionaries to teach him.  He is such a great example to everyone around him.  That was the highlight of the week!  This week is transfers.  I'm staying in the area, but Elder Merrell is leaving. 

I can't really think of any lessons or anything unusual this week.  We taught the part member family that we have been working with again.  We visited our long time investigators M and S this week.  We went over with our ward mission leader to say happy birthday to M.  She just turned 94 this week.  Their fellowships have been working with them for a while now and they are slowly progressing.  They also came to church without telling their fellowship.  That was a nice surprise.  We usually know when they are coming.  I also went on exchanges with my zone leader this week and I learned a lot from him.  We had a fun time tracting and seeing if they went to the temple and telling them about family history.

Thank you for all your prayers. I love you all so much!  Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Dear family,

It's been another great week!  It's always a great week when you're a missionary!  We were actually trained again in family history this week.  I guess they're teaching everyone again.  It was fun and I learned a couple new things about how to find ancestors.  We're hoping we can start doing presentations about family history just like we were doing presentations about the temple.  Really anyway that we can meet people in a member's home is great.  Just yesterday we had dinner at a member's home and they invited their non member mother over for dinner.  We didn't get a new investigator from it, but we were still able to teach after dinner. 

We are working with several people, but with some it's just trying to find them when they are home.  We've been working with a less active family and this week we taught them about the temple.  They had several questions and want to go to the temple.  They also came to church on Sunday.  We also helped two part member families move this week.  One family the missionaries have been teaching for a while now, but recently he has been progressing.  We contacted the missionaries that are over the area he moved to.  Hopefully they can continue working with him.

It's getting hotter!  It should be exciting!  Pres. Nattress said in his letter that he sends out to all the missionaries that the hot summer months are the best time for missionaries. 

I'm so grateful for this chance to be a missionary at this time!  It's so exciting!  I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the scriptures!  I have come to love studying the scriptures every morning.  I wish I could read them longer.  The Book of Mormon is so important and as it says in Preach My Gospel, "The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion." and "The Book of Mormon is a springboard to testimony and personal revelation."

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

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy