It has been another great week! It has also been a very busy week. We always seems to be busy which is always a good thing. We had Elder Packer come to the mission on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday he had a meeting with all the leadership in the mission. He asked all the leaders what was one thing that would be helpful to train on. So we went around the room and everyone gave their answers. He had someone make a list and he used that to make his training for the next day. On Friday we had a meeting with him in the morning. Oh my did we learn a lot! Sister Packer talked about ways to make sure we have the spirit with us, like cleaning our apartments, getting rid of all contention especially in the companionship, being exactly obedient, and doing family history. Elder Packer talked about creating a culture in the mission since the mission is still relatively new. He talked about a lot of other things, but one thing that I learned is how important it is that we act on our faith. It is when we are truly converted that we act on what we believe. That is why it is so important that we invite our investigators to read and pray and to act on the things that they are learning. They will not only receive a testimony, but will be truly converted and will not fall away. I wish I could tell you everything that he said, but I don't have that much time.
We had several lessons this week. We had another lesson with our investigator M. She is still on date to be baptized in January. We also went with a recent convert and her non member son and mother to the Mesa temple Christmas lights. They do a really good job at those temple lights. Not as great as the lights at temple square, but they are pretty great. They really enjoyed the temple lights and want to come back to the visitor center there when it is not as busy. I also ran into Sis. Willahan at the visitor center and I ran into another person that I went to high school with that is now serving in the Mesa mission. I wasn't expecting to see anyone that I knew when I went. We have been showing the He is the Gift video to as many people as we can. We showed it to a part member family and also a couple families with youth that have not been baptized. Not any new investigators yet, but hopefully soon. We have also been working with a couple less active members. One of them came to church yesterday. We were not expecting her to come so we were really excited when she came. Another less active member came to a Christmas concert one of the stakes put on. It was similar to the one that our stake would do with each ward choir performing and singing songs in between. This stake went all out. They took the first couple benches out of the chapel and had a full orchestra. It was impressive.
We did a couple of service projects this week also. We helped a non member put up their Christmas lights. As a group of missionaries we also helped the town of Gilbert set up a community activity. There is a place called the Riparian Preserve with several lakes in it. They set up lights around the lake and we helped put up luminaries all the way around the lake. It was an interesting service project, but it was fun.
One of our wards had their Christmas party. They had it on a Saturday afternoon and they had someone come and put snow outside on a hill next to the church building. The snow looked so out of place on the green grass, but all the kids had a blast in the snow. I'm not quite sure how they got the snow there, but somehow they did.
It has been a great week and I'm excited for this next week. We were going to have interviews this week, but they got rescheduled to this week because of Elder Packer's mission tour. We are also having a mission temple trip on Thursday and a mission Christmas devotional on Friday. I'm sure it is going to be another busy week! I'm grateful for this chance to be a missionary! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I'm grateful for this time a year. It is a perfect time to share the gospel with others. Thank you for all of your prayers. I love you all so much!
Elder Joshua Gandy