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