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