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Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Dear family,

It has been an amazing week!  Three members of a family we were teaching were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!  They asked Elder Legrand and I to baptize them.  One of them has a back injury and she was worried about bending backwards, so both of us were in the font to help her be baptized.  The bishop in the ward did the confirmation for all of them.  They were given incredible blessings.  It was really awesome.  I didn't realize that confirmations take so long especially when there are three of them in a row.  Sacrament meeting ending up going way over.  It was good though because now everyone in the ward knows them.  There were a lot of people that introduced themselves at church.  The ward has helped them out a lot, but they are going to be a blessing for the ward.  We are also going to the temple with them on Tuesday to do baptisms for the dead.  They are really excited to do that!  They were so excited to be baptized and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to teach them.  

After the baptism service on Saturday, a member in the ward came up to us and said they had our next baptism.  They have a foster child and the parents agreed that he could be baptized.  We are going to start teaching him this week.  We also visited 17 year old whose mother is a recent convert, but hasn't been able to come to church because of work.  We had a short lesson with him and during the lesson we asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said yes!  So we are going to start teaching him the lessons this week.  We also have some great potentials and other investigators that we are hoping to teach this week.  It is going to be a busy and exciting last week!  This week we also have a leadership meeting and we have a devotional on Sunday for investigators to come to.  Also all of the departing missionaries go to a temple session with Pres. and Sister Nattress.  It is going to be a really busy week, but it is going to be great!

I had a really neat experience this week, but it happened when I wasn't really expecting it.  I was able to interview a 9 year old to be baptized, which is always fun because they usually look at you like they don't know what you just said and what they should say.  This little kid did great with the interview and answered all the questions.  At the end I asked him if he was excited to be baptized and his face lit up and he said yes.  I then asked him why he was so excited.  He responded by saying, "because I get to live with God again."  I don't think he knew how profound it was, but I felt the spirit, and it reminded me how important the Lord's work is.  It's amazing to be a missionary and help others receive the ordinance of baptism.  It reminded me of this quote by Elder Oaks in PMG, “We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives. … We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this”  As we share the gospel we are helping Heavenly Fathers children return to live with Him in the celestial kingdom.  It is incredible to be a missionary.

Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much, and I pray for you every day!


Elder Joshua Gandy

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 1, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week here!  It is starting to get hot!  Usually it starts getting hot at the beginning of May, but it has been an unusually nice May, only being in the 90's most of the time.  It's in the 100's now, which will be fun!  All the weeks start to blend together so hopefully I remember everything that happened this week.  

We were able to teach S, E and K several times this week.  They are doing great and they are very excited to be baptized!  I don't know if I have seen anyone so excited to be baptized.  It has been fun teaching them, because they are excited to learn and feel the spirit.  The ward is also doing a great job welcoming them into the ward.  

We have also been teaching a women who is nervous to come to church.  We think it is because she has young kids and is worried they are going to be a big distraction and they won't be able to sit still very long.  She has been reading the Book of Mormon which is great!  She also came to our mission choir concert on Thursday.  We were not quite sure if she was going to come because she said she was super busy, but as we were walking into the church we ran into her as she was getting out of her car.  

The zone that I am in is doing really well.  Recently, in the zone, there have been many new investigators found and many people that have a date to be baptized.  There are a lot of great missionaries in this zone that work really hard, and everyone is seeing miracles.  It has been great to be here for my last transfer and work with these missionaries.  

This week before the choir concert, we had a choir practice a couple days before.  While I was there I talked to the missionary that is in my old area in the Val Vista stake.  He told me about how one of the people we taught there is planning on being sealed to his family soon.  He said it would either be in June or July so I'm really hoping it is sooner than later.  That was really exciting news!  

It has been a busy and crazy week, and I'm excited for this next week.  Every week I'm surprised at how much I learn, and how much I realize I still need to learn.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is something we will always be learning.  It's not just a one-time event, but truly is a pattern of living that brings us peace and joy, and enables us to return to live with Heavenly Father.  Also following Christ's example and becoming more Christ-like happens with one action and decision at a time.  I'm grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary!  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S. Thanks for the pictures you sent!  Also I forgot how green the grass is.   

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Joshua will be returning from his mission on June 23.  He will be speaking in our Sacrament Meeting at 1:00 on June 28.

May 25, 2015

Dear family,

It has been an amazing week full of miracles.  We received a call last Monday afternoon from a lady we did not know.  She started the conversation by saying, "You don't know me, but I have been looking for you."  At first, I thought that was really strange and weird, but she told us she is not a member, but wanted us to come give her a blessing.  She continued to tell me more about herself.  and we learned that she met with missionaries about 2 or 3 years ago, and was close to being baptized, but her husband at the time didn't want her to.  She just recently moved into our ward and told us that recently every time she passes a church building and the temple she has these feelings that keep pointing her to the church.  We gave her a blessing that night, and met her daughter who is 17 and her grandson (that she has basically raised) who is 11.  We came back on Wednesday and taught them the restoration and had a great lesson and she accepted to be baptized on June 13th!  They definitely felt the spirit and have a desire to be baptized.  We met with them also on Saturday and they came to church on Sunday.  They loved church and the ward did a great job on welcoming them.  It couldn't have gone better!  I'm super excited to teach this family!

We also started teaching another family, who was a referral from other missionaries.  This person was invited to meet with missionaries with one of her coworkers.  Her coworker recently had her husband pass away, and she saw how strong her coworker was during that difficult time, and wanted to learn more.  She loves the thought of having an eternal family.  We had our first lesson this week, and she has started reading the Book of Mormon.  She said we could text her every night to remind her.  She didn't come to church this Sunday because she had family come into town, but she is planning on coming this next week.  She also has a 9 year old daughter who we are going to teach as well.  

We have been working with several other people like a 17 year old who is a great soccer player.  He has a lot of friends that are members and wants to learn more about what they believe.  We are also hoping to work with a couple of old investigators from the area book.  One of them said they might come to our mission choir concert which is this week.  We also found a couple of potential investigators who we are going to teach tonight.

We had a really busy Sunday yesterday.  We started about 6 in the morning and got out of our last meeting at 6:30 in the evening.  I went to two ward councils, two sacrament meetings, other classes, and a stake ward missionary training in the evening that they asked us to give a class at. It was quite the day, but I learned a lot at church.  During one of the ward councils the bishop ended by saying thank you to the ward council and giving this thought.  He talked about being a disciple of Christ and how we do what we do in our calling for Christ.  We don't do it for ourselves nor for the bishop, but we do it because we love Christ.  It made me reflect on when we are doing our calling and when we are serving others, how often do we remember that.  If that is our desire and we just remember that, I can't imagine getting discouraged.  I can't imagine wanting to quit.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I'm grateful for the gospel and how much it has blessed our family.

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

Elder Joshua Gandy

P.S.  So random cool fact, the person who played Joseph Smith in the restoration movie and who is Peter in the bible videos is in one of our wards and we had dinner at his house.  It was kind of cool, it was like Peter was at the dinner table.  

This is a street in one of the wards we cover.   It is just a little different compared to Gilbert.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 18, 2015

Dear family,

It has been quite the week with transfers!  So for my last transfer I went to the Queen Creek zone.  So my area is actually partially in Queen Creek and on the border of San Tan valley.  It is a little different compared to Gilbert.  I'm a lot closer to mountains and there are a lot more farms and open fields.  It's a little different.  Also my new companion is Elder Legrand.  He is from France.  After only having companions from the western United States, it is a little different.  He has been out for about a year and a half, so he speaks English very well, but still has a thick french accent.  For the first couple of days I was having a little bit of a hard time understanding him, but I'm getting use to it.  I'm really excited to work with him.  He has a great desire to work hard and is an awesome missionary.  

My area consists of three wards: the Sunset, Circle Cross, and Hasting Farms wards.  They are very different compared to my last wards.  Elder Legrand has only been in the area for a transfer, so we are both trying to figure out what is going on in the area.  As I looked through the area books, I realized there were a lot of people that neither of us knew.  Most of this week we were stopping by these investigators.  There were several that were not interested, but there were some that said they lost contact with the missionaries and invited us back.  Looking through the area book, I can tell there is a lot of work to do in this area.  There are a lot of former investigators and potentials to work with.  We also found a couple of great potentials and received a great referral this week.  We are hoping that they will all become new investigators this week.  I'm really excited to see what happens in this area. 

Transfers were on Wednesday this week, and there were some cool things that happened before I left the area.  There is a Vietnamese family in one of the wards and the grandmother that lives with them is not a member.  On Monday evening this family called us and said the grandma would like to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The grandma doesn't speak english, so the family translated the lesson for her.  She also didn't have much of a religious background so we were trying to teach the very basics simply.  I don't know what it was or if there was something special about the situation, but the spirit was really strong in the lesson.  It reminded of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 90:11 "For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ."

It was sad to leave my last area because of the people we were teaching, but I'm excited to be in this area.  I know I was transferred here for a reason.  I doesn't really make sense for me to leave the area I know better than the back of my hand to spend only six weeks in an area that I don't know at all, but I know I'm here for a reason.  I don't know what that reason is yet, and I may not find out while I'm here, but I know Heavenly Father puts us where we need to be.  We have been able to see several miracles so far, and I know that as I try to follow the spirit and do the best that I can, we will continue to see those miracles.  

It seems like a lot has happened this past week and I wish I could tell you everything that has happened.  Thanks for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 11, 2015

Dear family,

It was great to see all of you yesterday!  So I thought I wasn't going to get transferred for my last transfer, but I guess I'm suppose to go somewhere else for my last transfer.  I've never served in an area outside of the Highland zone, so this will be interesting.  I'm excited to see what happens!  I'll let you know next week where I'm going and who my new companion will be.  I know I already told you some things that happened this week, but I'm going to write about them again and write about the things I forgot.  I actually forgot my planner to remind me what happened this transfer, so I'll probably forget something.

We had a lesson with one of our investigators yesterday before I talked with you.  She had questions about Joseph Smith so we watched the 20 minute restoration video.  She really enjoyed it and she prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and she got an answer to her prayers.  When she was describing the answer she got, it sounded like she was feeling the spirit.  She also made a comment in the lesson that she has never been to a church that makes this much sense.  She said it all makes sense to her.  They are going to take her to the visitor center this week to see the Joseph Smith the prophet of the restoration movie.   

This week we found a couple of potential investigators.  On Tuesday we were knocking doors in the evening and at one door a lady answered and said she wasn't feeling well, but asked us to come back.  We went back on Thursday morning and a man opens the door and invites us in.  We were a little confused since that usually doesn't happen.  As we talked to him we found out that he is a less active member, but is trying to come back.  I guess he has been coming to church with his parents that live far away.  We also met his wife who is not a member and the lady who answered the door the other day was his mother-in-law who is also not a member.  They were going some place so we asked if we could come back to share a message and they said yes.  Hopefully the missionaries get to start teaching him.  This week we also stopped by a member when their non member parents were over.  They were not planning on us, but we just happened to stop by at the right time.  We shared a short message and were able to bear testimony.  The family seemed really happy that we stopped by, and were able to share a message.  I can tell the family is really hoping that someday the parents will be interested in learning more about the gospel.  We also found out our investigator who moved to California ended up staying, and he wants to be baptized!  So hopefully they get to start teaching him again.

We had a zone meeting this week and we gave the challenge to give out a box of Book of Mormons this week.  We talked about the blessing we have in our lives because of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There are so many things we blessed with, and as I pondered it I thought about how much my life has been changed.  I can't imagine my life without the restoration! We also talked about how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.  Just like Pres. Benson said  “Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it”

We also had the opportunity to go to a young mens activity where they talked about the Book of Mormon.  The new priest quorum adviser just recently got home from being a mission president in Peru, so he role played with the priests giving out a Book of Mormon.  It was really cool!  We were able to share our testimonies at the activity, and I was reminded of all the blessing I've received from the Book of Mormon.  I've received answers to my prayers, comfort and peace in stressful times, and so much more. 

Well I'm out of time, but it was great to talk to you yesterday!  Hope you have a great week.  Thank you for all of your prayers and I love you all so much!


Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another busy week!  It seems like we had a lot of meetings this past week.  The meetings seem to take a lot of time, but we still saw some great things happen this week. 

We were able to have a lesson with our new investigator from last week, on Sunday.  I believe I already told you about her in my last letter.  In our first lesson we mostly answered her questions and briefly taught the restoration.  This time we finished teaching and retaught parts of the restoration.  The lessons went great!  As we were talking about prophets, she told us that that was something she learned while coming to church with her daughter.  She talked about how it makes sense that God would have a prophet now.  We taught her more about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray to know if it is true.  She told us that she knew she needed to pray about it, and she knew she would receive an answer.  We invited her to be baptized at the end, but she said she wanted to learn more about Joseph Smith first.  We are probably going to take her to the Mesa Temple visitor center to see the Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration movie.  She asked us a couple of questions about baptism and told us that she has already been thinking about it.  I'm super excited to continue to teach her! 

We also had a couple lessons with the kid we met last Sunday at the park.  We had a couple lessons with him and even gave him a church tour, but he ended up going back to California.  He was super excited to meet with us and said he wanted to be baptized.  Hopefully the missionaries in California talk to him soon.  When we taught him the Restoration and we got to the part about the Book of Mormon, he stopped us and asked "Why did you guys stop to talk to me Sunday night?"  We weren't quite sure how to respond exactly because we talk to everyone.  I can't remember how we answered, but he then told us how he found a book like that at his house the other day.  I have no idea how he already got a Book of Mormon, but maybe some body gave it to him or a family member forever ago.  It is kind of cool that he found it just a couple days before we talked to him. 

We had a cool miracle happen this week.  There is an inactive family in one of our wards with a son who is not baptized.  We were walking through the neighborhood and saw the father throwing a football to his son.  We ended up talking to him for 15 minutes and passing the football around.  That was the first miracle because we heard that he didn't want any contact with the church.  As we were talking to him, a ward missionary in the ward was biking around the neighborhood and stopped to talk to us.  This ward missionary was just assigned to be in charge of scheduling our dinners and told us that while we were talking to the father.  At the end of the conversation with this inactive member, we asked if we could come back to get to know their family and share a message with his family.  He said they were really busy, but said they would sign up to have us over for dinner.  The miracle is I don't think it could have happened any other way.  If we knocked on his door he probably wouldn't have talked to us for very long.  If that ward missionary didn't stop by, he probably wouldn't have had the idea to have us over for dinner.  It's always amazing when we are put in the right place at the right time.  This truly is the Lord's work and we cannot do it without him.

We had the last expanded zone conference this week.  Pres. Nattress invited all the members who came to use Elder Anderson's apostolic promise to pray to know with whom to speak.  We are going to be following up with all the members who came and see if they have someone they want to share the gospel with.  We also had our normal zone conference this week.  It was another awesome zone conference!  I wish I could explain all the things we were trained on, but there isn't enough time to write it all.  At the zone conference we also got Tiwi in all of the mission cars.  I don't know if you already know what it is, but it's a box that keeps track of how good of a driver you are.  It tells you if you are driving too fast, don't have your seat belt on, or are driving aggressively.  I don't really know how to explain it, but you could probably look it up.  We also had our mission choir concert this week.  It has been a busy week.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary!  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we follow Jesus Christ's example, it brings so much joy, happiness, and love into our lives.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another exciting week!  It seems like a lot of great things happened this week.  I'm not quite sure where to start.

We had a couple of lessons this week.  We met with one of our investigators on Sunday and we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They have to check his schedule, but he should have a date picked to be baptized by the end of this week.  He is doing well and he will probably be baptized at the beginning of June.  

We picked up a new investigator this week!  There are converts in one of our wards and the wife's mother lives in the ward.  Ever since I have been in this area, this convert's mother would come to church with them every once in a while.  For the past couple months she has been coming to church every week.  One time she brought her grandchildren when the parents couldn't come.  She has even read all of the Gospel Principles manual.  She watched general conference all by herself and loved it.  We have been trying to teach her for a while, and we were finally able to set up an actual lesson.  The lesson went well and she mostly wanted a couple of questions answered.  We answered her questions and taught about the restoration and she agreed to start meeting with us.  She says it will be hard for her to stop drinking coffee, but I'm sure she can do it. 

We also found a great potential investigator last night.  We just visited a member and we were on our way back to our apartment and we saw someone skateboarding at the park.  It must have seemed a little strange, but we pulled over and started talking to him.  Elder Anderson can skateboard so they talked about that.  We started talking about the church and he said he has been thinking about going back to church.  He said it was weird that we started talking to him because he was just thinking about that.  We taught him a little bit and he said that was something that he wanted to learn more about.  He was really excited about learning more.  So we have a lesson set up with him tonight.  Now the unfortunate thing is that he lives in California and is just visiting his dad for a week.  Hopefully we can teach him while he is here and the missionaries in California can finish teaching him.  It is one of those times where we were in the right place at the right time.  He just happened to be visiting in Arizona and just happened to be at the park and we just happened to pull over and start talking to him.

Something really exciting happened on Saturday!  Someone I taught my very first transfer in the Brighton ward was baptized.  Since the Brighton ward is in the zone and is right next to my area, I was able to go to the baptism.   She had been taught by a lot of missionaries.  She probably took lessons for three years or so.  Her baptism was great and the spirit was strong there. 

We had an expanded zone conference on Tuesday and Thursday this past week.  I was just in the musical number at the beginning, so we just had to be there at the start.  The last expanded zone conference is Tuesday this week and this is the expanded zone conference that our stakes are invited to, so this one we will stay the entire time.  This week we will have our actual zone conference on Thursday.  We also had mission leadership council this week, which is always a great meeting.  We talked about planning, Elder Holland's general conference talk, and all kinds of things.  We also had stake conference in one of our stakes this past weekend.  They had an incredible Saturday evening session.  They did a video slide show of all the missionaries from their stake.  They showed their picture and then showed a quote from one of their letters.  I knew several of the missionaries before they left on their missions and it's neat to see some of the things that they have learned on their missions.  I don't know if that made sense, but it was really cool.

Mom, sorry I didn't answer some of your questions from your letter.  For some reason the letter didn't come until Monday, so I didn't see it until after I emailed.  The weather here is still great!  The past weekend a rain storm came in and cooled things down for probably the last time.  April has been in the 80's and 90's, but this week it will probably be in the 90's all week.  It will only be like that for a little bit though.  I don't know when the mission is going to send you something, but I think I will be coming home on the June 23rd.  There is still a lot of missionary work to do, so I'm not going to think about that, but that should be the day. 

I wish I could include all the things that I'm learning and all the experiences that I'm having, but there are too many things to write and not enough time to write it all.  One of the things I learned this week was something Pres. Nattress taught at MLC.  He talked about how we always need to be testifying.  You can always testify when you don't know what to say and you should always testify when you teach.  When you share your testimony it can be the most powerful part of the lesson.  If you find a discouraged missionary, they probably are not testifying.  I know that Christ is our Savior and I know that this is Christ's church on the earth today.  It's incredible to have the fullness of the gospel in our lives and to know we have a prophet on the earth today.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 20, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great and busy week!  We had some great teaching opportunities this week and we reached some goals that we set, so it has been an exciting week.  Last Monday we got a call from someone in our singles ward and they said they had a friend that wants to take the lessons and to be baptized.  We had a lesson with them on Wednesday and we taught her the restoration.  The lesson went really well and we invited her to be baptized at the end.  She said yes and she had already been thinking about a date.  We were really excited and then she said that she is moving at the end of this month.  It was a little disappointing, but she will still be in the mission, and there will be some very happy missionaries in the area that she is moving to.  Even though she won't be in our area, it was still great to teach the first lesson. 

We met with another investigator this week and taught him the plan of salvation.  He is doing great and is reading all of the assignments that we give him.  He also came to church on Sunday.  We were also able to teach a couple people on the street this week.  We met this one person on the street about a week ago, and he said that now wasn't a good time, but told us to come back.  We went back last night and he invited us in.  We talked to them for a while and we showed them the video Because He Lives.  We then invited them to learn more about the restoration.  We were really hoping they were going to say yes, because most people don't just invite us into their home after talking to them for a couple minutes.  They didn't accept the invitation to learn more, but they said they might come to one of our mission choir concerts.  We are still hoping something might happen there.  We talked to another man on the street for about a half hour answering his questions about what he has heard we believe.  He wasn't interested after we answered his questions, but I am amazed at some of the things people think we believe and all the misconceptions that are out there.

We were able to teach two recent converts this week.  Another gave a talk in sacrament meeting.  We didn't hear about it until after, and we ended up going to our other ward that starts at the same time.  I wish I could of gone, but we heard she did great!  We also had a lesson with a recent convert who is going to start coming to the singles ward.  She is a awesome recent convert and she is excited to do missionary work.

We have a couple of great potentials that we are trying to start teaching.  One member invited their neighbor to church.  They told their neighbor a couple of returned missionaries were going to speak in church (there were two missionaries in the ward that just got back and gave their talks) and their neighbor said yes.  We are also probably going to start teaching another lady who has been coming to church for the past several weeks with her daughter who is a convert. 

We went to the temple this week, and it's always great to go to the temple.  We get up early to go, but it is always worth it.  Most missionaries usually stop at Kneaders (which is really close to the temple) afterwards to get something to eat.  While we were there the cashier looks at my name tag and asks me if I had an older brother who served in Peru.  I guess this cashier served in Peru with Bryce.  He said they were in the same zone or something like that.  Small world.

We have another busy week ahead of us.  Our mission is doing expanded zone conferences (zone conference for members) again this month and I was asked to be in a musical number for all of them.  They are going to do three for the different parts of the mission and two of them are next week.  It should be fun!

I'm learning so much every day.  I have been thinking about this scripture and it has come to my mind lately.  It's Alma 5:26 " And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"  I have thought back to those times where I feel the joy of the gospel.  Sometimes it can be easy to forget in the midst of the challenges and trials of life.  No wonder it is so important that we need to always pray and read our scriptures every day.  We always need to continue to come unto Christ and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel is truly a pattern for living.  As we continue to live the gospel we will be able to say "Yes, I can feel so now." 

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

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 13, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another busy and great week here is Gilbert!  It seems like we did quite a bit of service this week and found some new potential investigators! 

We were able to meet with our investigator who works out of town on construction jobs.  He's only home a couple days at a time.  Luckily this week it was raining where he was working so he was home for a couple more days.  We were able to meet with him this week and committed him to read the Book of Mormon every day.  We gave him several chapters to read.  Later in the week he texted us saying he finished the chapters and he wanted more recommended chapters to read.  His wife is a less active member who was baptized six years ago, so we have also been trying to help her come back to church.  We have also been teaching her.  We were not able to set a specific day for his baptism, but we are hoping he will be baptized in May. 

We found some great potential investigators this week that said we could come back.  Right now we are trying to talk to as many people as possible, and find people to teach.  We have found some of the potentials knocking on doors, talking to people on the street, and working with the members.  One night this week, we were walking down the street in one of our wards and started talking to someone that I recognized, but didn't remember she was.  After talking to her for a minute, I realized  I had talked to her at a park a couple miles away.  She wasn't very interested in talking to us, but we invited her to watch the new Easter video.  Afterwards she made the comment,  "I'll watch it, maybe there is a reason I keep running into you."  Our area is pretty small.  Sometimes I'm surprised we don't run into the same people more often.  Hopefully they would think the same thing this lady did. 

We contacted an old potential this week.  We probably talked to them a month ago, and talked to them at the door for a while.  We asked if we could come back, but they said they would give us a call.  Usually nobody calls us back, so we kind of took that as a no.  We decided to knock on their door again and we couldn't remember how interested they were, but thought we would try.  When they answered the door they mother of the family said they tried calling and left a voicemail.  We were confused because we never got the voicemail, but Elder Anderson and I were surprised because someone actually tried calling us back!  They got our number again and said they were going out of town this weekend, but that we could come back this week.  We saw that as a miracle that we decided to stop by since we couldn't remember if they were even interested.  That is one good reason to keep an area book!

We helped pick grapefruit again this week for the food bank, helped at a nursing home and we helped out at the special Olympics like we did last year. 

We found out yesterday morning that a young man we taught and who was baptized was speaking at a stake youth fireside last night.  We had appointments already scheduled so we couldn't go, but we heard that he did great.  When we asked if he wanted to share his testimony at his baptism he did not want to do it.  He isn't a big fan of speaking, but we heard that he did a great job.  He talked about how he was grateful for the persistence of his friends.  One of his friends would invite him to church every week.  Before he started coming to church he would have never imagined himself joining the church.  He talked about how he was grateful that his friend kept inviting him.

We have a great week ahead of us, and I'm excited for all the opportunities we will have this week.  I'm grateful every day for the chance to be a missionary.  Sharing the gospel and serving others brings so much joy and more blessings than I could ever imagine.  I'm grateful for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much! 

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 6, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week, especially with general conference!  It was a perfect way to celebrate Easter, by hearing the prophets and apostles bearing their special witness of our Savior.  There is always so much to learn from conference, so I'm excited to study all the talks!

It was the start of another transfer and a new month!  The first part of the week we were in a trio because one of the elders in the zone finished his mission.  So we had his companion with us until transfer meeting.  It was a great chance for us to go on splits!  On Tuesday afternoon I went with a priest in one of our wards and Elder Anderson went with the other missionary.  The priest in the ward actually got his mission call.  That would have been awesome to go on splits before my mission.  If anyone is wanting to prepare for a mission, can't think of a better way to prepare than to go do missionary work with the missionaries.  We went on splits later in the week and we both went with two returned missionaries in the singles ward.  They both got home not too long ago so they were both super excited to come with us for a couple hours.  It's great for us because we get to stop by twice as many people and we get to learn from them.  That is one great benefit from serving where there are lots of members! 

We currently have only one investigator, but we have lots of potentials.  Our investigator is back in town.  He has been out of town for work for almost a month strait.  He came home this weekend and we have a lesson with him tonight.  He will also be home for half of these next week so we are hoping that we can teach him a couple times before he leaves again.  He is a great guy and wants to be baptized and have an eternal family.  We are excited to teach him.  

We taught a kid in high school this week on the street and he wants to meet with us, but his mom is not too fond of the church.  We probably won't be able to teach him because of that, but we are hoping the priests in the ward will help fellowship him.  We also have a potential that is the mom of a convert in our ward.  She has come to church many times and loves to come.  She has even come by herself and brought her grandkids when the parents couldn't come.  We invited her to watch general conference and she was already planning on it.  I have no idea why she hasn't been taught yet, but we are hoping to figure that out this week.  We also had a couple potentials go to the Easter pageant this week.  We are hoping to start teaching all of these potentials this week. 

We helped pick citrus again this week for a food bank that provides food for children that don't have food on the weekends.  I believe we are going to do that service project every week for a while.  There is a new institute/church building on the ASU polytech campus which is in the Gilbert mission, and they had an open house this week.  The church is only used for YSA wards so they asked all the missionaries in the YSA stake to help at the open house.  We went to that and helped with that.

We have a zone meeting tomorrow and we are going to be talking about the role of the Holy Ghost and how important it is in missionary work.  I noticed in general conference how many times they talked about that.  In Preach My Gospel they have a quote from Pres. Benson, “The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability” I'm not perfect at recognizing and responding to the Spirit, but I feel I have learned how to better follow the spirit.  There have been a couple of talks about recognizing the spirit that have really helped me, but I don't remember what they are called.  Maybe I'll have to tell you the names of them next week.

It's great to be a missionary!  I'm grateful for every day that I have to be doing missionary work.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 30, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week here!  This week is transfers and I'm staying!  I'm been in the same general area for a long time and I'm to the point where I definitely do not want to leave.  I'm hoping I can just stay in this area for the rest of my mission.  Not a lot of changes are happening in our zone and I'm excited for another great transfer! 

The Easter pageant at the Mesa temple started this week and we having been trying to get as many people to it as possible.  On Thursday night, the Highland West stake did something called "get on the bus."  The stake got a couple of buses and had the members invite their friends to get on the bus to take them to the Easter pageant.  It makes it really nice because they avoid the parking and they reserve seats for you.  People come a couple hours early to find a good seat, so it made it really nice.  They stake ended up taking four buses.  It was pretty cool. 

We did a couple service projects this week.  I don't know if I have told you before or if you have already heard about the justserve program?  I think I told you, but if not you can look it up at  It gives us a great opportunity to serve in the community and serve along with non members.  On Wednesday we helped pick fruit off citrus trees for a food bank for children.  On Saturday we helped at a easter egg hunt for children with downs syndrome.  On Sunday we helped do a non denominational devotional at a nursing home.  It felt like we did a lot of service this week, but it was a lot of fun.

Right now we have one investigator that is consistently meeting with us.  Right now he is traveling for work and is out of town during the week and home for the weekend.  It makes it a little hard to teach him, but we were able to meet with him yesterday and we are meeting with him next Sunday.  We also found a couple a great potentials this week.  We were out on our bikes one day and we started talking to three high school age kids.  We talked to them for a while, but they didn't seem really interested.   Before we left we asked if we could watch a video with them.  We had one of the kids pull out his iphone and find the new video that the church came out with for this Easter season.  We watched it and afterwards we briefly taught and bore testimony of Jesus Christ, and we asked them how they felt after watching it.  One of the kids said he felt refreshed.  We talked to them a little more and set up a time to come back this week.  It's amazing how when we bear testimony of Christ in simple ways it invites the spirit. 

That video is an easy way to share your testimony with others and help them feel the spirit.  It's really cool all that the church is doing to hasten the work of salvation.  I'm guessing you have already seen the video since it is probably all over social media by now, but if not, it's called Because He Lives.  It is an awesome video to share with everyone!

Last night we had an interesting experience.  Usually on Sunday nights we have a couple of appointments or a fireside, but last night none of our appointments worked out.  We found a couple of other people to stop by.   Earlier in the day we had a lot of things to do and after dinner I didn't really want to ride around and try to find someone to talk to.  We prayed before we left that evening and went out.  We were riding our bikes and we passed by a house and I had the thought to knock on the door.  We passed by it and went to the person we were going to, but on the way back we passed by it again and I felt we needed to knock the door.  I've learned you might as well knock on the door rather than wonder later what might have happened.  A man opened the door and we ended up talking to him for about 45 minutes.  While we talked to him he asked some great questions and we talked about prophets and the Book of Mormon.  He took the Book of Mormon, but didn't want to set up a time to meet with us.  We said a prayer before we left.  We ended up having a great lesson on his door step.   After we got home that night I was tired and ready to go to bed.  While I was thinking about our day I realized how much the Lord blessed us that day.  It might not be easy to see the blessings throughout the stress of the day, but it's good to look back on the day and recognize those blessings.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary!  Thank you Mom for sharing that missionary experience.  It's always exciting to hear all the missionary experiences going on.  I hope that I continue to always have that desire to share the gospel with everyone.  The gospel of Jesus Christ brings us so much hope, peace, and joy.  Hope you all have a wonderful Easter and enjoy general conference!  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 23, 2015

Dear family,

It has been busy week!  It seems like a lot of different things have happened this week.  Including interviews, choir performance, family home afternoon which we do with our zone once a transfer, a couple of baptisms, and a mini missionary.  It has been exciting!

The over-age youth that we've been teaching was baptized this week!  One of their fellowships invited them over for FHE and dinner last Monday night.  The non member husband was also there and we were able to share a message.  We were also able to have a lesson with them on Tuesday night to review what baptism is and to talk more about what was going to happen at the baptism.  The baptism went really well.  Her dad came a little late, but he got there just in time for the baptism.  At the end of the baptism her mom bore her testimony.  It was a wonderful testimony.  She talked about how she knew she needed to come back to church, and how it was through her daughter that she would start coming back.  It was a great experience for their family.  We also ended the baptism by singing I Love to See the Temple.  It was perfect!

A high school student we've been teaching was also baptized this weekend.  It was actually a really busy Saturday morning because we had to run from one baptism to another.  At the first baptism we were in charge of teaching while she was changing so we couldn't leave until after that.  It ended up working well and we got to both of the baptisms on time.  There were a lot of people at the high school student's baptism.  She has been coming to church for 3 or 4 years and she is a senior in high school so she had a lot of friends there. 

On Tuesday we got a random call from another missionary.  This missionary was calling to ask if I could take his spot in the choir performance on Thursday.  So I ended up singing a solo at the performance on Thursday.  I was a little nervous because I hadn't sung the song for a long time and I went through it twice on Thursday morning.  It ended up going well and of course the spirit is the most important part.

Something really cool happened this week!  One of our recent converts, was called to be a ward missionary just a couple weeks ago.  This week he taught the gospel principles class!  It wasn't a small class either.  There were probably around twenty people in the class.  He seemed nervous before the class, but he gave an awesome lesson.  It just happened to be lesson one which is about Heavenly Father and he asked great questions and led some great discussions.  It was really cool to see.  We joked around later that he can teach us the new member lessons.  It actually sounds like a great idea.  I also saw another recent convert again just today.  Several of the elders in the zone went to the church this morning to play basketball and there were several members there playing, and he (the recent convert) was playing with them.  It's great to see he is doing great and being very well fellowshipped.

We ended up getting a mini missionary for this past weekend.  He was with us from Friday evening to Sunday evening.  He was a great guy and is excited to do missionary work.  We took him street contacting at a park the first night and he did amazing.  It sounds like they have a great mission prep in his stake!  We were able to teach several people on the street while he was with us and found some new potential investigators.  We also met some interesting people so now he also has some great stories to tell people. 

It is going to be another busy week!  One of the stakes is doing something they call Get on the Bus.  The stake rented a couple of buses and these buses are going to take people to the Easter pageant on Thursday night.  It's great because you don't have to worry about parking or trying to get a good seat.  The only trick is if you are a member you have to bring a non member or less active friend to get on the bus.

It's great to be a missionary!  I'm so grateful to have this opportunity.  It's amazing all the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It truly changes lives.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another exciting and great week!  It has been spring break here for all the schools.  We were expecting a lot of people to be gone on vacation and not a lot would happen, but we saw some great things happen.  All the missionaries in the zone also had a great week! 

We were able to have a lesson with our over-age youth investigator this week.  Her mother had to work all weeks so they were not out of town luckily.  They didn't come to church the past two weeks and we were a little worried.  The lesson we had this week, we finished the last two principles in lesson five, which ended up being perfect.  We talked about the importance of learning at church and also enduring to the end.  The lesson went great!  I'm always excited to go over there because the lesson always goes great.  At the beginning of the lesson the mother offered to say the prayer, which usually does not happen.  It was neat to hear her pray and express thanks for all of their blessings they have because of the gospel.  They came to church and met with the bishop and they are all ready to have their daughter be baptized this Saturday.  I'm really excited to see her be baptized!  Their fellowship invited them and us over for a family home evening tonight. 

On Wednesday we went to the temple early in the morning.  I'm so grateful that we get to go to the temple so often.  We are quite lucky!  It's amazing to go and feel the spirit there.  It truly is a place where you can feel close to Heavenly Father and feel peace and joy.  Later that day something similar happened like what happened last week.  We took time to read the Book of Mormon that day like we usually do.  Afterwards I just felt like I learned so much, and as we left to go out to work I was ready to find those prepared people!  We decided to knock some doors and no one answered.  We stopped by a potential and that went okay.  Just before dinner we decided to go to a member who brought a non member friend to church.  We were just going to see if they invited the friend to learn more.  As we got to their house they were just pulling into their garage.  They just got back from taking their non member friend to the Mesa temple visitor center.  They invited us in and we were able to teach their friend.  Their friend doesn't live in our ward so we will have to pass them off to other missionaries, but we were able to have an unexpected lesson and found someone to teach.  Every time I feel like I had a great study of the Book of Mormon that day, we always see a miracle later that day.  Remember to read the Book of Mormon everyday! 

We have two baptisms this weekend!  It will be really exciting.  We set a goal for baptism in March as a zone and we are getting really close to reaching it.  Even if we don't reach it we will be closer to our goal than we usually are.  We also challenged our zone earlier this week to see who can talk to the most people.  We unfortunately didn't win the challenge, but together as a zone we talked to a lot more people than we usually do.  I love where it talks about talking to everyone in Preach My Gospel.  Everyone is a child of our Heavenly Father and he loves them just as he loves us. 

We have several people we are trying to work with and we have a great week ahead of us.  It's going to be another great week full of miracles.  We were able to teach a couple people around my age this week.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon and we were able to give it to them.  I just love being a missionary and being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here and to be a missionary.  I know Jesus Christ is our Savior.  Thank you for all of your prayers and all that you do for me.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 9, 201

Dear family,

It has been another amazing week!  We saw quite a few miracles happen this week!  Hopefully I can remember everything.

This week we got a text from the bishop in the Higley Groves ward saying to give him a call.  When we called he told us that a young woman that has been attending the ward for about four years just received permission from her mother to be baptized.  She first started coming with her friend to youth activities and then started coming to church and she has been coming ever since.   She just hasn't been baptized because her mother wouldn't let her so she was just planning on doing it when she turned 18.  She is graduating this year and she wanted to be baptized before all her friends left for college so her mother agreed to let her be baptized a couple months early.  It's not everyday that the bishop call and gives you someone to teach.  We are hoping to encourage all the youth to invite their non member friends to the baptism. 

The mission has been doing another Book of Mormon read through, so most days we take 30 minutes to an hour to read from the Book of Mormon.  On Tuesday our morning went okay and after lunch we took the time to read the Book of Mormon.  Afterwards I remember feeling ready and excited to share the gospel with everyone feeling confident that we were going to find someone to teach.  We were driving to a referral that afternoon and as we turned into the neighborhood I saw a street and I felt that we needed to go there.  After we contacted the referral we started tracting on that street.  After we knocked on several doors we saw three teenagers on a doorstep.  We started talking to them and one of them ended up being a member.  We talked to them for a while and we ended up teaching them about the Book of Mormon.  At the end one of the non members took the Book of Mormon and we had a prayer with them.  Later that night we felt that we needed to stop by a family with over age youth.  We have tried this family several times before, but they were either not home or said come back.  That night when we stopped by the whole family was home.  We were able to have a lesson and all of the family members participated in the lesson.  The ward has been trying to work with this family for a while and we were able to teach them.  Reading the Book of Mormon that afternoon invited the spirit and we were able to find people to teach.  We had two unexpected lessons that day.  I have been thinking about the importance of the spirit in everything that we do especially as a missionary. 

Last p-day we had a super awesome zone activity!  We planned to play kick ball against another zone, but it ended up raining almost all day.  A lot of the missionaries wanted to play anyway.  I was hesitant at first because the baseball field was all muddy, but we did it anyway.  It turned out to be a lot of fun!  We did get muddy from running and some of us slipping in the mud.  It was great!

It great to be a missionary and I'm grateful for every day that I have to be here.  I'm excited to share the blessing of the restored gospel with everyone!  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week here!  I can't believe February is already over.  It went by really fast.  The last week of the month is always great because we have MLC (missionary leadership conference) and the last Thursday of every month is the choir fireside/performance.  We had a great MLC this week.  We had a former general authority come speak to us.  He was a general authority and was young men general president at one point in time.  I guess he is a good friend of President Nattress.  I can't remember how to spell his name or I would tell you his name. He was coming into town and Pres. Nattress asked him to come.  He taught us a lot of great stuff and told us stories about his mission.  One of the things he taught us was the consistent commitment creates conversion.  As a missionary we always need to be committed to do the Lord's work.  It's also true as we go through life. 

We had wonderful lesson with the over-age youth investigator and her mom this week.  We talked about eternal families.  We talked about all the blessing we have because of families.  We also talked about things we need to do to bless our families.  We talked about praying and reading scriptures together as families.  As we talked about families we could just see her face light up.  As we talked about how our families can be together forever, she was so excited.  It was a great lesson and the spirit was there as we talked about the importance of families.  They also came to the mission choir performance this week.  They really enjoyed it.  Afterwards we went to the reception area and showed her the baptismal font in that building.  They are really excited about their daughter's baptism. 

We had a lesson with another investigator.  He has been taught before, but something has always stopped him from progressing or meeting with the missionaries.  His wife is a member of the church and they have a couple of kids.  We went over to teach one of their kids that is approaching baptism age about baptism.  His dad was there and we were able to talk to him about baptism.  He knows he needs to be baptized and he is wants to set a date for his baptism the next time we meet with him.  We are going to have our next lesson on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday the missionaries in the Highland East stake put together a youth activity to invite all their friend to.  The activity was a dodge ball tournament.  It was a lot of fun, but it was a little crazy.  We were trying to get everyone's attention and organize the games.  It didn't work out to well, but the activity was successful and there was a great turn out from all of the wards.  There were also many non members there.  It's great to see the youth inviting their friends. 

At MLC Pres. Nattress asked the question "how has the restoration blessed your life?"  After he asked the question we probably talked about all the different blessing in our lives that we have because of the restoration for a while.  There are so many things we are blessing with because of the restoration.  We have the Book of Mormon, a prophet on the earth today, the priesthood authority, a greater knowledge of God's plan for us, and that our families can be together forever.  I'm so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It's great to be a missionary.  Thanks for all your prayers.  I love you all so much!


Elder Joshua Gandy

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 23, 2015

Dear family,

It has been an exciting week here in Gilbert!  Transfers were this week and my new companion is Elder Anderson from Ogden, Utah.  He has been out a little over a year.  I have had a lot of companions from Utah.  He went to Utah State before his mission and he is a big snowboarder.  I'm really excited to work with him.  We are going to see a lot of great things happen!

I've had a lot of great experiences this week.  It started with the baptism on Monday.  It was a little crazy because we were trying to get everything ready for Elder Rich to leave and get ready for the baptism.  Elder Rich literally had to leave right after he performed the baptism.  There was a priest in one of our wards that took him to the mission home while I stayed for the rest of the baptism.  The last time I saw him was when he was in the baptismal font.  It was a little crazy.  The baptism went really well though.  We taught the restoration while we were waiting for him to change.  We showed part of the restoration video.  The adversary knows that the first vision is the most powerful part of that lesson.  As soon as it was playing the part of the first vision on the video a thing popped up on the screen and someone's phone went off.  It's amazing all the distractions that can happen.  After the video I decided to re-teach the first vision without distractions and it definitely is powerful when you quote the first vision.  

It was interesting not having a companion for a day.  I ended up going with another missionary in the zone and we had a great day.  Monday evening we got a call from a missionary that returned from his missionary that morning.  He called us and told us to let him know if he could do anything for us.  I knew we had a couple lessons set up for the next day, so we invited him to come to those lessons with us.  We had some great lessons that night with him and the missionary I was with.  We were able to teach the over-age youth about missionary work and invited her to invite friends to her baptism.  We were also able to teach a less active family and invite them to come to church.  The spirit was definitely there in both of those lessons.  This returned missionary also took us to meet one of his friends.  It was cool to see this returned missionary still so excited to go do missionary work.  

On Wednesday we had transfer meeting and were trained by Pres. Nattress.  It is always a great training.  He is still focusing on these three works: Ask, Seek and Knock.  There are many different scriptures that talk about asking, seeking and knocking.  It is mentioned in the scripture about 120 times.

We were able to participate in a combined young mens and young womens activity for one of wards.  They invited all the missionaries in the stake (which is three companionships) to come teach the youth how to teach the restoration.  They learned how to teach this week and in a couple weeks they will go teach other families in the ward.  The youth seem so much more prepared than I was to go on a mission.  We were able to do role plays with them and show them how we teach.  It was a great experience.  

We also had a lesson with another investigator.  I have actually never taught him before.  The first time we taught him I was on exchanges, so I wasn't there.  He has expressed interest in being baptized and he has actually read the Book of Mormon a couple times.  As we taught about the Book of Mormon he said he knew he needed to start reading it again.  We invited him to start this week.  We have another lesson with him this week.  We had a lesson set up with a part member family that just moved in and is about to have a baby, but it ended up canceling.  He hope to meet with them soon.  There are some members that are also going to reach out to them and start fellowshipping them.  

We had a great lesson on Sunday.  Sunday started out being kind of a long day.  We got up early to go to a meeting at 7 and we had a busy morning trying to figure out another youth activity that some of the other missionaries put together.  It ended up being a little stressful.  We also had a lesson that evening with a member's friend that didn't go as well as we hoped.  Then we had one more appointment that evening with a less active member.  We have had many lessons with him and he just struggles to find his testimony.  It had been a long day and I didn't give much thought to what to teach him, but I felt we needed to teach him about the Holy Ghost.  We shared several scriptures about the role of the Holy Ghost and how we can recognize the Holy Ghost.  I don't remember what we asked him, but we were able to help him recognize an experience where he felt the spirit.   It was just earlier that day at church while he was listening to one of the talks in sacrament meeting.  Someone had talked about how spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers.  He told us how he felt when he heard that in church.  The spirit was very strong at the lesson.  I feel he now knows the role that the Holy Ghost plays in his conversion.  As it says in Moroni 10:5, it is by the Holy Ghost that we can know the truth of all things.  It was one of those experiences where I felt guided by the spirit to know what to say and what to teach.  I don't know for sure, but I think it was exactly what he needed to hear.  It was a long day with several different challenges, but I'm glad I continued to keep going and not give up.  I remember Pres. Porter (well I guess he is not president any more) always would teach us in seminary when things are hard there are blessing right around the corner waiting for us.

Feeling and recognizing the Holy Ghost is an essential part in gaining a testimony.  In Preach My Gospel there is this quote "Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the power of the Spirit: “True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed. When individuals … feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true” (“Now Is the Time,”  Ensign, Nov. 2000, 75)."  It's amazing how we can all know the truth of the gospel for ourselves.  I know this is the Christ's church on the earth.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  I'm so grateful to be a missionary.  

Well this seems to be a little bit of a longer email.  I can't promise it will happen again.  I guess it makes up for the shorter email last week.  Thank you again for all of your prayers!  I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 16, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week!  I'm sorry if this letter ends up being a little shorter.  Elder Rich is reporting to the mission office today, so there was a lot of packing and getting things done today.  I am staying in the area and I will find out on Wednesday who my new companion will be.  That also means that from this evening until Wednesday morning I will not really have a companion.  Tonight I will be with another missionary whose companion also reported to the mission office today and tomorrow I will most likely be in a trio with another companionship in the zone.  It will be fun!  

We have a baptism tonight!  Before baptisms I am always a little nervous just hoping everything is taken care of.  It is always nice when baptisms run smoothly.  We had a lesson with the over age youth this week.  They are doing well and are starting to plan her baptism.  We have another lesson with them this week.  We also had a great lesson with a recent convert that is being transitioned into the YSA ward.  He was baptized just a couple weeks ago in a family ward and will have the new member lessons in our singles ward.  He is an awesome convert and I'm excited to be able to teach him.  He is still excited to learn more about the gospel. We had a great lesson with him this week and we taught the restoration.  He will be receiving the priesthood and going to the temple soon.  

We set up a lesson with that part member family that I told you about.  When we went back to set up a lesson they were already thinking about a time that would work for them.  We are going to meet with them this week.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

I'm excited for this next week with transfers and the appointments that we already have set up.  We are also going to teach the youth in one of our wards this Wednesday for their combined youth activity.  We are going to teach them how to teach the restoration and then in a couple weeks they will go teach it to members in the ward.  It is always fun to work with the youth.  This week a youth invited two of his non member friends to dinner the same time they invited us over for dinner.  At the end we were able to share a message and invite his friends to read the Book of Mormon.  

Sorry I have to go set up for the baptism right now.  I'm so grateful for this chance to be a missionary.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!  The blessings of the gospel are truly amazing.  I know this is Christ's church.  Thank you for all of your prayers. I love you all so much!

Elder Joshua Gandy  

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week here in Arizona!  It seems like a lot has happened this week!  Hopefully I can remember everything. 

First, we were able to go to the temple with B. to do baptisms for the dead.  There was a group of about ten youth that went with him for his first time.  We were not able to stay the entire time, so we were not able to talk to him afterwards.  It sounds like he had a great experience.  Before we went to the temple we tried to find him a family name to take.  We had some difficulty with getting information about his relatives, so we were not able to find one, but the next time he goes he should be able to take some of his own family names.  

One of our investigators is going to be baptized next Monday.  It will be kind of strange to have a baptism on Monday, but I guess it will work.  That will be Elder Rich's last day, so it will probably be a busy day.  This week we were able to teach him about the priesthood and missionary work.  I'm glad that we teach that before his baptism, so that soon after he can receive the priesthood and go to the temple.  We're excited for him!  

We had a lesson with the over age youth this week and they decided on March 21st for her to be baptized.  Usually we try to do it sooner, but it is what works best for their family.  They are wanting family to come in town for the baptism.  Her grandfather  is coming to baptize her.  We were able to start teaching a less active part member family this week.  The father who is not a member has had a desire to be baptized, but hasn't been able to meet with us because of his work schedule. We are excited to start teaching them more.

We had a miracle this week that helps me know that we are being led to those that are prepared to receive the gospel.  We were visiting a member to follow up on one of their friends that we taught.  As we left we asked if there was anyone that they knew that we could do service for or that we could teach.  They jokingly pointed to one of their neighbors that they did not know.  I don't think they really thought we would go over there, but we did.  As we approached the door a older couple came out of the door and told us that they were busy right now.  The door was open and we could see that someone was still by the door.  The older couple left and we decided to talk to whoever was by the door.  There was a young couple that came to the door.  As we talked to them we found out that the husband is a less active member and the wife is not a member.  They recently moved in and nobody in the ward knew them yet.  They are also going to have a baby soon. The wife said they wanted to have their baby blessed, and asked if we could come and tell her more about how that works.  We hope to start teaching them soon!  The adversary might try to tell us not to reach out like the older couple did, but as we continue in faith we can see miracles.  I'm sure there are a lot of lessons to learn from this experience. 

We had several other great things happen this week.  We had our monthly meeting with the Val Vista stake presidency.  I always enjoy interacting and working with these great church leaders.  They are great examples to me.  I was also able to go on exchanges with a couple of elders in our zone.  I went on exchanges with Elder Bartlett and we went to my old area.  It was kind of strange.  We had a missionary coordination meeting that night and it was great to hear about some of the investigators and how they are doing.  During that exchange I was able to see a couple that we taught who have received a calling in the ward.  They teach the 9 and 10 year olds in primary.  I was really exciting to hear about that.  I also heard that another person I taught is going on a scout trip this summer with his step son.  We also had a lesson with M. and she has had some great experiences with feeling the spirit.  A lot of great things have happened this week.

I'm grateful to be a missionary.  In Pres. Nattress' weekly letter that he sends he mentioned the promise in the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18: 14-15.  Being a missionary does bring us great joy.  It's amazing to see the gospel of Jesus Christ bless the lives of those around us.  I know this is Christ's church on the earth today and that we have the fullness of the gospel.  Thank you for all that you do for me.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much! 

Elder Joshua Gandy

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2, 2015

Dear family,

It has been another great week here in the mission field!  It has been busy with several different things.  We had a MLC (mission leadership council) this week on Thursday.  It was an awesome meeting.  I always enjoy having the opportunity to be trained by Pres. Nattress.  Pres. Nattress taught something that was original taught by Elder Oaks.  It was the idea about the difference between a river that is a mile long and a river that is eighty feet wide.  The mile wide river looks like it is barely moving while the eighty foot wide river is raging and moving very fast.  Both rivers have the same volume of water, but are very different.  The eighty foot wide river is focused and gets things moving while the mile wide river is spread out and moves slowly.  We talked about the comparison and compared that to two different kinds of missionaries.  I hope that makes sense.

Our investigator, A. is doing great!  He decided he wanted to be baptized on Monday February 16th.  Monday is an unusual day to be baptized.  He wanted his mother to be there and she is coming in town on the 15th.  He also wanted to do it before Elder Rich goes home which will be on the 17th.  Elder Rich tried to tell him that it was okay if he wasn't there, but A. didn't take that for an answer.  It might be a little different, but we will figure something out.  We are almost done teaching him all the lessons and he is ready to be baptized!  He already knows a lot about the church since he has been coming to church for so long.  

We were not able to teach the over age youth, this week. They had family coming into town for the super bowl, and they didn't make it to church.  We haven't been able to schedule a specific date for the baptism, but we have a lesson with them this week.   

We got a random call this week from an older man in Tempe.  He called asking us if we had a baptism on February 7th for a person we had been teaching.  It turns out this man's wife was in the hospital for a couple days and our investigator was her nurse.  I guess she told them about her baptism and they said they wanted to come.  This was before she decided to take a break from meeting with us.

We also have some great potentials in our area!  We have a lesson set up with a former investigator.  He met with the missionaries before and then he got a new job with crazy work hours.  He stopped meeting with the missionaries because he almost never had time to meet or come to church.  He just got a new job with great hours and he wants to meet again.  Before when he was meeting with the missionaries he wanted to be baptized so we are excited to teach him.  

We also have a recent convert in one of our wards that invited their friend to church.  We were able to go over to their house after church and have a lesson with their friend.  We had a great lesson, unfortunately their friend doesn't live in our area.  It's great to see members inviting their friends to church! 

Yesterday, we had dinner with a family in one of our wards.  Close to the end of dinner, a couple of sisters in the ward knocked on the door to see if this sister wanted to join them on their walk.  They saw us around the dinner table and came at talked to us for a second.  One of the sisters looked at my name tag and said "I had a teacher in elementary school with the last name Gandy."  I asked her where and she responded by saying "In Salt Lake,"  assuming that I wouldn't know who it was.  I asked her if she went to Jackling elementary and she said yes.  It turns out that she was in Dad's class when she was in 6th grade around thirty years ago.  She also said a couple of her siblings had dad as a teacher.  She said dad was always smiling and she said she thought was weird in elementary school.  It's interesting whenever I meet someone that knew Dad (which has only happened twice, by the way) they always say I smile like him.  It was another strange connection with another person.

Our mission also had another choir concert this week.  It went very well and one of the missionaries in the mission is a great bag pipe player and he played a couple of songs.  We are going to have a choir performance once a month on the fourth Thursday of the month.  Pres. Nattress talked to me after and said that he is requesting that I sing at the next one.  I'm going to need to start practicing! 

We have plans to go to the temple this week with one of our recent converts to do baptisms for the dead.  We are going on Thursday in the late afternoon.  We got him started on family history this week and we hope to find him a family name before he goes.

It's amazing all the things that we learn throughout our lives.  It's awesome to be a part of helping other come to know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.  It's an amazing blessing to have a prophet to help guide us and teach us.  The Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ and helps us come closer to Him.  One thing I have learned is that everyone can change and come unto Christ.  He does not turn anyone away.  I'm grateful to be able to be a missionary.  Thank you for all of your prayers.  I love you all so much! 

Elder Joshua Gandy