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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 25, 2014

Dear family,

It has been another great and busy week!  There were quite a few activities this week for members to invite their friends and neighbors to.  The Emerald Bay ward had their annual ice cream social which had a great turn out.  There were at least four part member families that came and a few non members that members invited.  The ward missionaries in the Crystal Shores ward put together ice cream making party.  They called it an ice cream freeze off.  It was at one of the ward missionaries houses and they had a great time making ice cream and then eating it.  They also had a great turn out.  There were probably around 20 to 25 people there and probably close to half of them were non members.  We were able to meet almost everyone we didn't know at both of these activities.  There was also what they called a "Mormon Movie Night."  It was a movie night put together for the youth to bring their friends.  They have done it every month this summer and every time there are about fifty youth and several non members.  The stake actually wants to continue doing activities like that every month.  It seems like all the activities just happened to be this last weekend. 

We started teaching a former investigator and her two kids this week and have an appointment for this week.  We also have a couple appointments set with part member families and some less active members.  It should be another busy week!  I'm also going on exchanges twice this next week so that should also be fun!  We also have the first mission choir performance at the reception area that our mission put together at the church right next to the temple. 

This has been a great area to serve in and a lot of great things have happened here.  This is the last week of the transfer so next week I'll let you know if anything is changing.  I've been in this area for a while, but who knows maybe I'll stay another transfer!

It's great to be a missionary and there are miracles that happen every day!  I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is also the last week for the Book of Mormon reading.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear family,

It has been another great week!  I can't believe it is already half way through August.  It feels like the summer just started.  This summer really doesn't seem that bad.  Maybe that's because it is my second summer.  We didn't have a lot of lessons this week, but a lot of cool things happened.  The Emerald Bay ward had a scout dinner for all of the cub scouts and boy scouts.  The family we're working with came and they are really getting to know more of the members.  We stopped by to say hi and we noticed a lot of people we didn't know.  They were several less active members and non members there and their parents.  Hopefully we and the members can invite them to start coming to church.  The ward is also having another ward social next week which I am excited about.  We were also able to do service for a part member family on Saturday.  We helped them move their yard and trim some large over-grown bushes in their back yard.  They were very grateful for the help.  We don't have an appointment to start teaching them yet, but it was a great start to getting to know the missionaries.  It was also nice to get in some service clothes and do some yard work.  I am not usually a fan of yard work, but it was fun.

We stopped by a less active family this week to set up an appointment.  We were not able to meet with them yet, but the wife came to church this week with their kids.  They probably haven't come ever since I have been in the area.  Now I don't know if us stopping by had anything to do with them coming to church, but I have seen that happen before.  Stopping by and just saying hi and then see them at church that Sunday.  One visit can really make a difference.  Just going a little out of your way to say hi to someone that you haven't seen at church in a while might make a big difference for that person. 

There are some great things happening in this area and we have a busy week ahead of us!  It will be exciting to see what happens!

Another cool thing that I forgot to mention is that the Gilbert mission is putting together a choir.  I guess the choir is going to perform each week at the reception area at the stake center by the temple.  We have had a couple rehearsals so far and I think the first performance in on the last Thursday of the month.  It's going to be a lot of fun.  Another benefit of having a small mission!

It's exciting to be a missionary!  As everyone that has been on a mission probably knows, every day brings something different!  Each day, week, month there is something to learn, progress to be made and faith to build.   I'm grateful for this opportunity!  We will be finishing the Book of Mormon pretty soon as a mission.  I don't think I have every read through it in such a short amount of time.  It has been great to read and study it again.  Also to focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we have been reading through it. 

Thank you so much for all of your prays.  I love you all so much!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Dear family,

Well it has been another great week here in Arizona!  J. was baptized on Saturday and the baptism went well and ran smoothly.  It was a great spiritual experience for him.  The missionary  work in that ward has really been picking up.  The bishop and the ward leaders have been getting more excited about missionary work.  A family we've been working with came to church on Sunday.  They ended up only wanting to stay for sacrament meeting, but afterwards there were several ward members that talked with them and they ended up staying at talking in the chapel for a little while.  There was also a part member family at church and we found out another part member family just moved in.  There were several non members there in sacrament meeting and they were able to see J. be confirmed.  I guess that is one miracle for having it moved back a week.  There have been a lot of things happening.  I'm excited to see what will happen this week!

We had zone conference this week.  I always love zone conference and I wish they could happen more than every other transfer.  Pres. Nattress started by asking everyone to share one scripture in the Book of Mormon that is meaningful to them.  We went around the room and shared the scripture that we chose.  It has been really neat to read the Book of Mormon and highlight the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is amazing how it testifies of Jesus Christ on every page.  There were a lot of really cool things that we talked about in zone conference and I wish I could just give you my notes.  At zone conferences one of the stakes make the missionaries lunch.  It ended up being the Val Vista stake's turn.  One of the members that helped make the food is the fellowship for our 94 year old investigator.  The investigator ended up helping her make some of the food and the fellowshipper,  invited her to come to the zone conference and meet some of the missionaries.  It was kind of cool to see her talk with a lot of missionaries.

I guess the mission created a website and a facebook page and they want you to check it out and like the page.  The website is arizonagilbertmission.com and I'm not sure what the facebook page is, but I'm sure it's not too hard to find.  It should be pretty cool!

It's great to be a missionary!  I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love being here and sharing it with everyone that we can.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Thank you for all of your prayers and I love you all so much!

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S. Bryce, I had dinner at an older couple's house this week and they served in Lima Peru south mission about the same time as you as office staff and they said they knew you.  Their last name is Plowman.  Do you remember them?

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Dear family,

It has been an amazing week!  It didn't turn out the way that we planned, but it was great and we learned a lot.  So J. was suppose to be baptized on Saturday, but it has been pushed back a week.  We finished teaching him the lessons and he had his baptismal interview and he was all ready, and then on Friday he was electrocuted at work.  Don't worry he is doing fine.  He ended up getting two large cuts on his arm and had to get a lot of stitches and he wasn't suppose to get them wet for over 24 hours.  So he is going to be baptized this Saturday.  I believe that this is all happening for a reason and that we will see miracles from it.  He is still doing great and loves coming to church and learning about the Gospel!  We also met with a part member family this week.  The wife who is the non member in the family,  had questions about church last week and had a couple of concerns.  We had a really great visit and were able to teach and answer questions.  While we were there she actually shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon with her husband.  We shared the scripture (it was Ether 12:27) with her last week and she liked it so much she put a bookmark on the page.  It was really cool to see that she remembered that and wanted to share it with her husband.  We also had another new member lesson with R. this week.  He has had a problem getting work off on Sunday but he has come the last two Sundays. 

I feel like I've learned a lot of different lessons this week and I wish I had time to tell you all the stories.  While we were sharing a message with one member family they were talking about how they find peace when they serve.  I realized that it really is hard to worry about yourself and your own little problem when you only thinking about others and serving them. One day we didn't have a dinner appointment and not much was happening that afternoon.  I was kind of having an off day and probably wasn't in the best mood.  Right before we went in for dinner we decided to stop by one more family.  As soon as they opened the door they asked us if we wanted a bowl of soup.  They ended up feeding us dinner and we had a great lesson with them at the end.  It turned my day around.  I felt great afterwards and I was excited to go out and work that evening.  That was actually on Friday and I'm glad I was in a better mood before I found out about J.  That was a miracle and it shows that God really does know all of us and knows what we need and wants to bless us.

It's amazing to see all the miracles that happen every day and that the Lord's hand is in His work.  It's amazing to be a missionary and to serve in this way.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing and truly changes us.  I love you all so much and thank you for all of your prayers.

Love,

Elder Joshua Gandy