Welcome to Elder Joseph Gandy's Mission Blog. You will find Joseph's letters and other pertinent information about him and his work in the Japan Fukuoka Mission.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 23, 2012

Dear Family,

It sounds like everything is going great. I like reading about what is going on at home. Well that's nice to have a little bit more money that I wasn't expecting. So I have some exciting news to start off. I get to go on a field trip next week because I'm singing in General Conference with the MTC choir! I think we're singing at the Saturday afternoon session but I'm not sure. So maybe you might see me on TV.

This last week has been really great. On Sunday we watched a talk that Elder Bednar gave about the character of Christ and how we should all strive to follow his example. Christ never looked inward on himself. He always focused outward on helping others. After watching that talk it helped me really want to become better at helping my fellowmen. I remember when I first got here and how I looked at people. But now I want to look at everyone and say to myself, "They are a child of God. He loves them more than I know. What would he want me to do to help them?" I hope that in two years time I'll come back and look at everyone that way.

This week we also had Elder Oaks come talk to us for a devotional. He talked about the importance of the sacrament and renewing our covenants. He also stressed the importance of the spirit and how we should always keep it with us. The spirit is one of the strongest tools in conversion. Another thing I learned this week is that conversion is a continual thing. It is something we should always try to progress in. There is a promise in the Book of Mormon that, when we are truly and fully converted, then we'll never fall away. Our conversion will be strengthened as we obey his commandments and do his will. We need to exercise and act on our faith because faith without works is dead. I hope all continues to go well at home. I'll continue to pray for you all. I love you all so much.

Elder Gandy

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 16, 2012

Dear Family,

That is so exciting to hear that Joshua got nominated for best actor. You will have to let me know how all of that goes. It was also great to get that letter from Daniel. It really helps me practice the Japanese. Oh and let Daniel know that Sister Holly Miller says "hi." It is kind of surprising at how many people I know here.

Well it has almost been one month of being in the MTC. Time is so interesting because everything goes by so fast that it is hard to keep up with it. Well a lot has happened in this last week. Me and Elder Barrus have been working on our goals harder and you really can see the effect it is making. This last Sunday we had a fireside from Richard I. Heaton, an Administrative Director of the MTC. He talked about having "perhaps goals" - something that we can't conrol the outcome of. As servants of the Lord we can only hope that people will use their agency to choose to come unto Christ. We can't get discouraged. We should do what the Lord asks even if we don't receive an award.

I love studying and learning here because it gives me lots of time to ponder on things. I recently read Ether 12:6 and a thought came to my mind that prayer is a trial of our faith. As we pray we hope God will answer us. When we receive our answers though we should change and strive to be better.

On Tuesday we had a devotional by Craig A. Cardon, a member of the seventy. The focus of his talk was about all of us being children of God and how we should help bring others to that knowledge. After all of our devotionals we have a testimony meeting as a district. Pres. Krueger also joined us and afterwards he asked us to remove our shoes so he could polish them. You could definitely feel the love he had for us each individually.

You can always feel the spirit here and I have definitely felt closer to our Heavenly Father. As missionaries we invite others to come unto Christ. As individuals though we should ask ourselves "What can I do to come closer to Christ?" It is a lifetime project for us to keep progressing and following the example that Jesus has set for us. None of us are perfect but we may be perfected in Him. I know that as we strive to become better faithfully God will help us accomplish our goals. I love you all so very much.

Elder Gandy

P.S. If you want to send me some ramen with the plastic sandwich bags, I would gratefully accept it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 9, 2012

Dear Family,

Everything here is going amazing. Thanks for the packages. It's exactly what I wanted. That just shows how well you know me. Everyone here is so great. My companion, Elder Barrus, is from Missouri and he took a year of Japanese but that was five years ago so he didn't remember very much.

So the people we are teaching are actually our teachers but they didn't let us know that for awhile. The Japanese is hard but it felt like just the other day something clicked and I understand it so much more now. I always am learning so much through personal study, class, firesides, and devotionals. On Sunday Alex Boye came and talked to us and he is actually really funny. He told us about his conversion and how important missionary work is. We will also be remembered by the people who we help bring unto Christ. Elder David F. Evans also came and talked to us at a devotional and he went to Japan on his mission. He talked about enduring to the end no matter what. We also learned that the Book of Mormon really is a keystone to conversion. Right now I'm working on being diligent. Through studying I've read a lot about faith and diligence and the blessings that come through that. Elder Barrus and I also gave a district lesson on Sunday. It went super well. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the third lesson of Preach My Gospel if you want to look at it.

Another thing that happened this week was I was bearing my testimony to some of the Elders in my district about the plan of salvation and shared with them the story of Dad's passing away. The next day one of the Elders received a letter that one of his friends passed away. It's amazing how God puts you in places to help others and that there is a purpose for it all. I'm so thankful for all the opportunities I've been given. We are so blessed to be part of this church. Even though we are all different and have different talents and gifts, we're all on the same team. I love being in the service of our Lord. I love you all so very much.

Ai shitaimasu,
Gandy Choro

P.S. I was also wondering if Daniel isn't too busy with school if he would send me a small letter in hiragana to help me practice reading and translating Japanese every once in awhile.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 3, 2012

Dear Family,

Things have been going great here. I love being a missionary. Sunday is one of the best days. It was so much more relaxing than the other days. It has been a lot of fun with my district. I've also learned so much. Oh, and I ran into Daniel's trainer, Todd Kyodai [Brother Todd] the other day just to let you know.

While I was studying I was looking at Preach My Gospel under "Your Purpose" and then I decided to change it to "Our Purpose." I realized that this is our purpose as members to invite people to come unto Christ. It's also God's purpose. He wants everyone to come unto Christ and he will help us teach and invite people. Elder Holland also came and talked to us on Tuesday. He told us that we share the same title and we are lower case "a" apostles. Apostle = Missionary - a witness sent to declare the message. If we go forth doing everything by the "manner of the workings of the spirit" (Moroni 6:9) lives will be changed including our own life.

Elder Gandy