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Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Dear family,

It has been great and warm week!  I think the high for this week was around 116!  For some reason I enjoy it.  We had transfers this week and we got a couple of new people in the district.  It should be a great transfer!  I'm with Elder Jewkes still in the same area.  I seem to stay in areas for quite a while, but I like it that way.  J. is still on date to be baptized for this coming Saturday.  We were only able to teach him twice this week because of his work schedule.  I think I already mentioned he does air conditioning and it's a really popular thing right now in Arizona.  He is really excited to be baptized and he makes comments all the time like, "Wow this really is the true church."  He says he will keep the commandments we teach before we can even extend the commitment to keep them.  We need to meet with him a couple times this week so he can be baptized, but he said he was willing to do anything to do it.  We met with the part member family we have been working with for a while now, but the past couple weeks we haven't been able to meet with them.  We were able to teach them a short lesson this week and the wife Wendy, who is not a member, came to church this week.  Some other exciting news is that Rob got the priesthood yesterday!  I was really excited to hear about that!  At church we had three of the people we've been working with.  They all came to gospel principle and we had a great lesson.

Being a missionary is great!  I love being able to serve here at this time.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S. I just talked to a missionary that met Joseph yesterday at the singles ward.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21, 2014

Dear family,

It has been another great week here in Arizona.  The work is going great!  We only met with our golden investigator once this week because of he was working some long hours this week.  He works for an air conditioning company and this is their busy season.  We had to move his baptism date back so we have enough time to teach him all the lessons.  We met with him on Saturday and he came to church on Sunday.  He loves coming to church and learning.  Transfers are this week and Elder Jewkes and I are both staying in the area.

We also had a great lesson with one of our new members this week.  We are teaching the new member lessons.   We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week.  We had their neighbors come who are also their home teacher and her visiting teacher.  The lesson went really well and there were a lot of great testimonies and comments.  It's amazing what happens as we learn and accept the Gospel!  Later that same night we ended up teaching our neighbor in the apartments the restoration.  He is not interested in joining the church, but we were able to answer several of his questions.  We see him several times a week and all the missionaries that live right there know him. 

We had some great lessons this week with investigators, new members and less actives.  We also went to the temple this week which is always great!  We also went to a fireside last night and I was able to see some recent converts from my last area.  I'm excited to stay in this area another transfer.

Thanks for all of your prayers.  It's great to be here on a mission.  It's amazing how much we learn every day.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautifully simple but we continue to learn more and more every time we study and teach.  I'm really enjoying reading the Book of Mormon and highlighting everything that has to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love you all so much!  Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dear family,

It has been another amazing week!  I'm pretty sure all my emails start that way, but every week really is great!  We have continued teaching J. (our new investigator) this week.  He moved this weekend into the same apartments that we live in.  Good thing that it's still in the ward.  We talked to him yesterday and he ended up going to the Mesa Temple visitor center all by himself.  I didn't even know he knew about the visitors center.  He said he talked to the missionaries there for about an hour.  He is really loving all the things he is learning and has been reading the Book of Mormon.  Yesterday when we were talking to him he also asked us for a reading assignment from the Book of Mormon. 

Yesterday we also had a really great lesson in the Gospel essential class.  We were teaching the lesson and we felt it would be good to watch the restoration video.  We ended up having a non-member and a less active member in that class that we were not expecting.  The non-member took the lessons almost a year ago, but on Saturday night she called her member friend and said she wanted to come to church.  There was a really great discussion afterward the video for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The less active member was a convert and she ended up telling her conversion story.  It was really great lesson!  I also sang in sacrament meeting in one of the wards.  I sang If the Savior Stood Beside Me.  I think it went well.

We had interviews this week.  It's always exciting to have interviews and talk with Pres. Nattress.  We were able to be trained there by some of our leaders and by Sis Nattress.  I also went on exchanges this week with one of the elders in the district.  It has been a pretty busy week!  This week will be exciting too.  We get to go to the Gilbert temple on Tuesday and we will find out about transfers on Sunday.

It rained for the first time this week since I believe March 1st, the day of the cultural celebration.  When it rains here it sure can rain.  We were coming out of church when it started raining and in about 10 minutes it started to pour and the parking lot was full of water.  It has been a long time since we have seen rain! 

The Book of Mormon reading is going great!  I always look forward to the time that we get to read.  I think all the missionaries here are really enjoying it.  

It sounds like you had a good time in Japan!  It's awesome to hear about missionary opportunities!  That's really cool that Joseph gets to travel around to different temples.  Well when he comes to Mesa he will be able to feel the warm weather here!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!  I love you all so much!  It's great to be on a mission and to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is amazing the blessings and joy that they see in their lives. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

July 7, 2014

Dear family,

It has been an exciting week!  We started the week with our mission activity on Monday and we all went to the temple on Tuesday morning.  It was a really neat experience to be there with everyone in the Gilbert temple.  The last time the whole mission went to the temple was around Christmas time and we went to the Mesa temple.  After the temple we all met in the stake center right next to the temple and had a devotional with the temple president and matron.  They also showed us a tour they had come up with that they are going to start doing at this stake center right next to the temple.  The tour will involve walking around the temple and touring the really nice new stake center.  They made the stake center look really nice.  It's almost like a visitor center you can put up and take down.  I think they said we couldn't call it a visitor center for some reason.  After the devotional we all split up into zones and had a short zone meeting and then we had lunch there with the mission.  After the lunch we all went outside to take a picture as a mission in front of the temple.  It was a little warm in suits, but I'm sure the picture will be really cool!

We got a new investigator this week and he accepted the invitation to be baptized!  He is going to be baptized at the end of July.  He is divorced and has a 6 year old daughter.  He came as a member referral and we taught him in the members home.  He is really excited to be baptized and has been telling people about his baptismal date.  He came to church and when people asked him if he was visiting he told them he planned on coming from now on.  Usually investigators don't drop out of the sky like this guy, but it's exciting when they do. 

I saw a good size dust storm this week!  It happened on Thursday.  Apparently it was on the news.  I got a couple pictures of it in the distance.  We didn't have a good view of it, but you could see the cloud of dust.  We just went inside the church and waited till it blew over.  It actually didn't last that long which was good, because we had people we wanted to visit.  I still want to see a really big dust storm.  If you're wondering we didn't really do anything exciting for the 4th of July.  It was a pretty normal day except we had to go in at 7 just for safety reasons. 

I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be on my mission.  I feel like I'm learning and growing so much.  I really believe that when we bear our testimony it grows and I'm grateful to do that every day.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that through him we can be cleansed from sin and return to live with our Heavenly Father.  I'm grateful for the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to our lives.  I love you all so much!  Thank you for all of your prayers.

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Here are a couple pictures of the dust storm.




Friday, July 4, 2014

July 1, 2014

Dear family,

It's been an exciting and busy week!  Now I have been on my mission for over a year.  To answer your question, there are not really any traditions and we didn't do anything exciting, but on that day a member dropped off a big bag of bread from a bakery close by.  That was a nice one year mark present.  I'm amazed that it has been a year already.  Time does go by fast! 

It has been another usual week.  We had a lesson with the part member family that we have been working with.  We also started teaching someone new this week.  A member in the ward invited a friend from work over for dinner and to have a lesson by the missionaries.  Sadly she doesn't live in our area so we will probably teach her one or two more times and then have her taught by the missionaries in her area.  I also got to go on exchanges this week with our zone leaders.  It's always fun to go on exchanges and learn from other missionaries.

Tomorrow (July 1) is the one year anniversary for the Gilbert mission.  Today we had a mission breakfast and activity.  We played some games and launched some water balloons.  I'm grateful that the mission is so small because it's easy to get the mission together for transfers and these kind of things.  Tomorrow we are going to the Gilbert Temple as a mission and having a devotional afterwards.  Then we are going to split up into zones and have our zone meeting like we would usually have on the first Tuesday of every month.  I'm really excited!  We are also going to read the Book of Mormon together as a mission.  We are going to read the Book of Mormon in 60 days and they wanted us to invite our families to read it with us!  While we read I believe we are going to highlight the Doctrine of Christ.  We are going to start tomorrow and they gave us a schedule that I could probably send to you if you would like. 

It's getting warmer, but I love Arizona!  I'm so grateful to be a missionary and always talk about and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love you all so much!  Thank you for all of your prayers. 

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy