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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Here are the pictures Joseph sent with his last e-mail. Hopefully you noticed the requests he made in his several post scripts (PS). I will definitely be sending him pictures but I'm sure that he would appreciate mail from anyone else who wants to send a picture. I have all the family birthdays but would appreciate knowing friends birthdays to put on the calendar I'm sending to him. So if you are one of Joseph's friends who would like him to remember your birthday, please send it to me in an e-mail ASAP. (gpgandy@gmail.com)

Castle at Kumamoto


Castle at Kumamoto

Pizza served at a Relief Society activity

A member's front yard

Dear Family,

So to start off the typhoon wasn't that exciting. We got the edge of it and it just seemed like a normal rain storm. Maybe another one will come. It still is that time of year.

That is so great to hear about everyone and their missions. I'm glad you told me. I thought I was never going to find out. Do you know when all of them leave? Keep me up to date on other people when they get theirs ください.

This week just seems like it is full of birthdays. We have some investigators and members whose birthday's are coming up. Also Katie's birthday is today and Ferrin's is on Saturday so if you will wish them a Happy Birthday from me that would be awesome.

So last p-day we went to Kumamoto because we had zone conference the next day. We actually went to the castle there it was pretty cool. It was very different from the castles in Europe we saw last summer. Then it was our last zone conference with Pres. Margetts. It was an amazing meeting but it is sad to see him leave. I really could feel how much love he had for all of the missionaries. This week he goes home and then the new mission president comes in. His name is Pres. Gustafson.

It has been a very busy transfer. Yesterday we had a special stake conference that was for all of Japan. Elder Oaks and Pres. Uchtdorf came and gave talks. It was so good. They talked a lot about just being a friend and loving everyone around you. It is so easy to love people who are already friends so that is probably a good place to start. Making friends is so important because it helps so many people. Everyone needs a friend.

One thing I love about the mission is study time in the morning. It is so great getting up every morning and learning. It really sets up the entire day for me. Recently the topic we have seemed to be learning about a lot is trials. Our zone received this little notebook with a picture of Christ on the front and underneath it said "I know what I want you to be." We had a lesson about how we go through certain trials to help us become better. I started thinking about that and wondered who does Christ want me to be. So I wrote down on a piece of paper who am I and who can I become? After this I pulled out my patriarchal blessing and studied it. Now I have a better understanding of who I am and what I need to do. We have received some of the most amazing blessings from our Heavenly Father that I'm so grateful for. I love you all so much and am blessed to have you all in my life. I keep praying for you everyday and hope everything turns out fine.

Love, Elder Gandy

P.S. I created a profile on mormon.org you should check it out. I found Bryce's and we actually use that site for missionary work so we showed it to an investigator. We were asked to make one and tell all our family and friends to make one also. Its actually pretty cool so you should all do it. Hint an easy way to find me is to search Fukuoka.

P.P.S. Since there have been so many birthdays would it be possible if you could send me a calender and have family and friends birthdays on it. I don't think I can remember everyones birthday.

P.P.P.S. I'm sorry that I'm asking for kind of a lot but apparently its a big thing here to show people pictures of family and friends back home and some of things you did. So if you could send some more pictures that would be awesome if not its fine.

P.P.P.P.S. By the way I'm extremely grateful for all that you have done for me. Especially all of the small things I've taken for granted like all of the small cleaning and just everything else. That is another thing I've learned about since living in an apartment with 19 and 20 year old guys. Thank You for everything!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is just a quick test entry to make sure those who are following by e-mail are receiving these posts.
Joseph's companion is Elder Everett and, thanks to the group ldsmissionarymoms, I was able to contact Elder Everett's mom. She has been posting her son's letters on a blog just as I have. It's fun to hear about Joseph's mission from his companion's point of view and I thought you'd all enjoy reading this letter that he wrote about the work they're doing.

It's Fathers' Day and the Start of Rainy Season 6/18/12

Happy Monday from the land of the rainy season!

Well, it's June now, so that means that Japan has finally entered into the infamous rainy season here! The rains started a couple of days ago and so far it hasn't been too bad, just very, very wet. Going through the days we quickly realized that the rain jackets that come from the missionary store... they are not made for rainy climates! The water leaks straight though them so as to dissuade any attempt at keeping oneself dry. It pretty much just becomes, get wet and try to protect all the pamphlets and Books in your back pack. It's been a fun exciting couple of days!

It has been a super good week though! Monday we played sports and hung out with one of the Young Single Adults (YSA) in our ward and then went to go visit Less Active members with him. It was way good to see the members get together and have a good interaction; really the best thing to keep someone in the church is a good friend!

When it came time to plan for Tuesday we had no idea what to do. We didn't really have anybody to visit and we were at a complete loss. We decided to pray about it so that we could know what the Lord would have us do. We prayed and discussed what it is that Oita really needs, and we thought about our recent convert members. One man's name came into our minds and we decided to call to see if we could meet with him that evening. When we called him, he told us that he had just been trying to have a gospel related conversation with his non-member mother and wasn't sure how to do it. We told him that, well, that was our specialty and we would love to meet with them. Well, to make a long story short we ended up visiting him that Tuesday, met with both of them in their home, had a wonderful discussion, then went out for Sushi together for dinner! (The sushi place is called a Kaiten Zushi type restaurant, which is where they just put sushi on a conveyor belt and your bill is measured by the number of plates you accumulate by the end!) It was Elder Gandy's first time at a sushi place, which is always fun :D I think he ended up eating just as much meat as he did fish, which the member picked up on right away. In response he commented in Japanese "American's do eat a lot of meat huh," then in English he said "Meat, meat, meat... Meat Festival!"

I love Japanese members!

The interesting thing about going out and finding people is that sometimes we don't actually get what their name is. Either we forget to ask, or they feel awkward about giving it, or any number of reasons, but, when those times occur, we have to figure out some way to refer to those people, right? So recently we've been visiting people such as "That one lady" and "Nightmare before Christmas guy". Maybe we should work a little harder on getting people’s names.....

Thursday we got in contact with one of our former investigators who just so happens to be a captain of an Ultimate Frisbee team here in Oita! We joined them for their Practice, and it was so natsukashii. It’s the Japanese phrase for nostalgic, but it doesn't quite sound as stiff and uptight. Truth be told though, my legs still hurt from it.... man, I haven't done any sort of sports exercise in a long, long time! But I do have it up there as one of my favorite ways to Dendo so far (Dendo means to do missionary work: Frisbee Dendo, Phone Dendo, Lehi Dendo (where you sleep and receive revelation in a dream), Dance Dendo, House Dendo, Member Dendo.... and the such). Hopefully from the coming weeks something will come out of this awesome group of people!

Some other cool thing from the working this week: Members like to give us food! It definitely is a plus from working with a lot of less active members because just about everyone wants to give us food! We get packets to make Au Gratin, oreos, bananas, chips, drinks, eclairs, and a ton of great stuff! We even managed to get some more Less Active members to church again on Sunday, too! I have to say, I am definitely a fan of people being at church.

Oh, I really should put in a plug about being in a four-man apartment again; essentially every night is like a Junkai night. Games, pranks, really long conversations abound in the apartment now. (Well, Games have always been around while I've been in charge, that's just who I am :D) It has been a little hectic as far as cleaning, food distribution, and other such things that become strained as you double your numbers.

Well, we've got to go hit a bus to go to Kumamoto in less than an hour. We have our last Zone Conference with our Mission President before the new one comes in on the 29th of this month. It'll be an interesting last ZC, and everyone is super excited for it!

Have a good week (and hopefully we'll somehow miss the super typhoon that's barreling toward us)

Elder Everett

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Family,

So this last week has really been a lot of fun. For p-day we went to this awesome park that had an obstacle course and a pirate ship. In Oita there are a lot of pirate ship styled parks I'm not exactly sure why but its cool. I also got a haircut from Elder Peterson its a little short but that's alright because it was free. Another thing we got to do this week was play Ultimate Frisbee! We have an investigator who plays frisbee in college and he invited us to come play with him and his team. It was great. I feel like its been a long time since playing a game. I hope everyone is still doing frisbee thursdays back home.

One of great/funny experiences of this week was we started teaching a recent convert's mom. We decided to call him and see how everything was going and he said he wanted to share the gospel with his mom but didn't know how. So he invited us over and we got to teach her. It was a good lesson afterwards they took us to one of those places where they have the sushi coming around on conveyor belts. Its funny I'm beginning to like most sushi and I enjoy eating nato. Anyways while we were there the mom basically told me that I was good looking and wanted me to date one of her granddaughters. That entire time I had no idea what she was saying but apparently she kept giving me compliments. It was really funny because we didn't know how to respond and then she just kept going and going. I think they are probably some of the funniest people I've met so far.

So yesterday we had church and I got to bless the sacrament in Japanese for the first time. It was great (and yes I only had to do it once). I always enjoy participating in the sacrament. It is such an important thing that we get to do every single week. I like being given a little bit of time to really sit and think about all of the different things the Atonement means to me. It was also Father's Day so there was a primary program. After all the kids sang they went and handed cards they made to their dad's. Then some of them made and gave cards to us. It is amazing to think about how much we mean to all of the kids here. They really think of us as superheroes. I just want to try my best and to be that superhero that the children think we are.

Things are going so well and it really is so much fun. Well right now we are headed off to Kumamoto for a zone p-day and then zone conference tomorrow. So that's really exciting. I love you all very much and keep you in my prayers.

Love, Elder Gandy
ギャンディ 長老

p.s. I think Joshua would be interested in hearing that a typhoon or hurricane is coming right towards us. So this will be a first for me and apparently it is supposed to be pretty big so that is exciting I guess. I'll let you know how it goes in my e-mail next week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I just received a couple of pictures along with this message from another missionary mom who saw one of my posts in ldsmissionarymoms.

Gayleen is this your son? if so i met him at the mission home when his ward came to temple night. I think he was brand new and seemed very happy to be in Japan.
His comp Elder Everett is a great guy. My son, Joel Farb,the guy in the white shirt (It was the first day they could take off their jackets so he did!), was in his district before and they enjoyed going on splits a having a great time working together. They were in the same zone and met every week in his last area in Saijo. So as you are probably aware, your son got a really good trainer! You can tell by the smile on their faces, can't you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dear Family,

It's so exciting to hear about everything that's going on. I can't wait to hear where everyone's going on their missions. I also want to hear when they are leaving to see if any of them have to wait as long as me. I'm so excited for them. Being a missionary is the best.

June in Japan has been pretty good. It's hot. The rain season has apparently already started but we don't really get it that much where I'm at. There are some of the biggest and strangest bugs all over the place though. Oh and the bees and spiders here are huge. Apparently there are a lot of cockroaches too but I haven't seen any yet.

This last week has been really good though. So we had transfers and me and my companion are still in Oita. Its great I love it here. The ward members are amazing. But the exciting news is that they made my area into a four man because of how big it is. So now we have Elder Peterson and Elder Tipton with us. They are both older missionaries getting close to the end of their missions. We had to spend a lot of time at the beginning of the week trying to find more room in our apartment for two more missionaries. We got it to work even though its a little tight. The work here is just going fantastic. We are being so blessed everything is exploding here in Oita. Yesterday we had one of our students from english class come to church. It was actually really surprising. It was awesome because we might be able to start teaching him now. It is great seeing all of the people that are being prepared to hear and receive the gospel.

I've learned so many different things this week. One thing I learned this week was when we recognize and notice the blessings and influence that Heavenly Father has in our lives how it can strengthen our testimonies about his love for all of his children. I love everything that we do. I love all of you and pray for each of you.

Love Elder Gandy
ギャンディ 長老

p.s. I haven't heard where anyone is going on their missions yet. But if they're sending a letter I can wait a little longer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I would just like to start off by saying Happy Birthday Mom! Everyone in my district also wishes you a happy birthday.

Its funny thinking that a year ago I graduated from high school. Sounds like "drama" is living up to its name. Personally I think the Sound of Music is much better than Cinderella anyways.

Well everything here has been going really well. Last week for p-day we went to this place called Round 1 they have bowling and a bunch of different sports you can play. It was a lot of fun. I also had real legit sushi for the first time. It wasn't bad but definitely not one of my favorite things. I think it was mainly the texture that got to me. Speaking of food when I first got here I could barely eat anything but now I can't stop eating. I've gained a little more then ten pounds since I left and most of it was gained after coming to Japan. Elder Everett says its because he is from the South.

One funny thing that happened this week was we were standing outside of this house saying a prayer and this older lady walks out in the middle of our prayer. It was really awkward because she was surprised and we didn't know what to do so we just kept praying. We did talk to her but she was in a hurry out the door. During this past week though we have been having a lot of success with the less active members. Yesterday we had six of them come to church. It was great seeing them there having a good time. They really have to overcome a lot of different problems and challenges they're facing. Its amazing to see how the church really does help everyone.

Some other news we have is this week is transfers so who knows I may or may not be in Oita next week. This transfer has gone by really fast. So much has happened we have seen miracles, come closer to Christ, learned lessons, and helped change lives. Life as a missionary is so great. It can be tough at times but we can always receive the help we need from our Heavenly Father. There is no better way to serve Him then by serving our brothers and sisters here.私は神様と御父の子供の皆のために伝道しております。I love you all so very much and keep you in my prayers.

Love Elder Gandy
ギャンディ 長老

Preparing for companionship inventory.

Overdose of Pokemon.

Some of the delicious food we experiment with.

A week in the life of a missionary.