Dear Family, So this is my last letter home from the MTC. By the time you get this I might already be in Japan. That is so great to hear about everything going on back at home. Oh, and by the way, I do know an Elder McConnell. He is actually in the same room I'm in and we'll be going on the same flights to Fukuoka. That's funny that you met someone who knows him.
Well, this last week has been great. We had a fireside with M. Russell Ballard earlier this week. I learned so much this week through all of the meetings I've been to and also through personal study. We also had a meeting with a former mission president from Fukuoka and he talked a lot about some prophecies that have been made about the gospel in Japan. I feel so honored to be going to Japan and wouldn't want to go anywhere else. I already have a great love for the people there.
The other day we had an in-field orientation and they talked about some of the best things missionaries should focus on doing. One of them was working with the members. When a member becomes part of the teaching process it gives them a friend in the ward. The more help the missionaries get, the easier it makes their job. Another thing I learned this week was during companionship study. We decided to study accountability and most of the time people look at it in kind of a negative way - like I'm accountable for sins and mistakes I make which is a good thing to recognize so you can fix it and progress. But I think I'd rather look at accountability differently. We can also be accountable for the good things we do in life. So I'd rather look back on a week and say, "Yeah, I was accountable for that and have no regrets." With this point of view I always want to be doing my best.
I also had a really awesome dream earlier this week. In my dream there was this huge hill and all around the hill was just flat land. The top of the hill was just covered with light. You couldn't really see what was up at the top but you could feel the light kind of like the sun. As I climbed the hill there were obstacles I had to pass but, as I got closer to the light, the more I could see and the better understanding I had. While I was on the hill, I looked around and saw thousands of people gathered going up the hill and others just standing in the field not knowing where to go. In my dream, not losing my progress on the hill, I could come down and help people recognize the light and all they needed to do was turn around. They could feel it but just didn't look in the right direction. As a missionary this is what I'm going out to do - help people see the goal in life and how to get there. There will be obstacles and things that seem to get in the way but we can overcome anything that is in our path. It's after those hard times that we begin to understand more and feel God's love more in our lives.
I feel so blessed to serve the Lord and can't wait to help my fellow brothers and sister in Japan. I love you all very much and keep you in my prayers. Love, Elder Gandy