Note: By way of explanation for the beginning of Joseph's e-mail, I had a chance to visit New Orleans and wrote to him about going on a swamp tour. I also asked him some questions relating to the experiences I've had going out with the sister missionaries to visit and teach people in my ward. GG
The swamp tour sounded like quite the experience. I'm glad that you enjoyed it all. To answer your question I'm going to give my perspective of what I've learned and what we are trying to do. When visiting less actives it is very easy to just ask them questions but becoming their friend is very important. The next thing is to help them remember what our goal in life is. For me I want to help them by showing them the path to Heavenly Father again. The plan of salvation is a great way to do that. That is my personal perspective because it is something I know that I can testify about and if we do this with love it will help them out so much more. We will also be blessed and learn more about ourselves as we do this. I hope that helped in some way or another.
So this last week was transfers and I got transferred. You will probably be happy to hear that I am now in Hiroshima (the cold part of the mission just in time for winter). I actually work in the ward that goes to the Hiroshima stake center. It seems like a great area and I'm super excited to work here. I also had quite the experience traveling to my new area. I left my previous area and got on a train and then I was supposed to take a bus. I arrived at my stop in a very country-side looking town and I soon found out that there was no bus. So after calling and talking to the assistants we got everything figured out and I arrived safely and actually earlier than expected. But I did have to communicate with Japanese people all by myself so I knew where I needed to go. At least now I know I have survival Japanese. Which is a very good thing because my new companion is Japanese. His name is Elder Ichikawa and he is a great missionary.
These last few days have been amazing. My new district is all Japanese except for me and one other foreigner. So I'm really looking forward to this transfer and speaking Japanese as much as possible. So far communication has been going really well. We also got to watch general conference the other day. It was an amazing conference and I can't wait until we get the magazine so I can read the talks again. I enjoyed listening to all of the talks. Conference really does mean so much more to me now. It helps me know what I can be doing better. This conference I also made sure that I wrote down questions and sure enough they were all answered. In fact it seemed like every talk was directed towards me and things that I could be doing better in my missionary work. Hopefully I will be able to apply all of the things I learned. I love you all so very much.
Love Elder Gandy