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, December 30, 2013

Happy New Years!!

Dear Family,

Well this last week has been good. However my companion and another Elder have been sick for most of the week. We were still able to go out and work for a couple of days. I also did a companion exchange with the other Elder who was not sick. 

It was a great Christmas season. During Christmas we also went caroling with some members. The Australian (Elder Poole) was dressed up like Santa. While we were going around we had a couple of kids ran up to us. They were super excited because they thought they found the real Santa. It was hilarious because they were running around trying to tell their friends. We had to hurry out of there before more came. 

As for New Years usually everyone gets together with family and has a party with a lot of food. They always seem to have mochi which is basically smashed up rice that becomes kind of gooey. Well today is transfer calls so we will find out if anything is going to change. Other than that there is not to much other news I can think of at the moment. I love you all and hope you have another great week. 

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Note:  We talked with Joseph on Christmas Eve since that was Christmas Day in Japan.  It was great talking to him.  For those who haven't heard already, we've received his flight itinerary for his return home.  He will arrive in the evening on February 14 - Valentine's Day.

Dear Family,

Well it was nice talking with just a few hours ago. There is not a lot that I have to say. We had a fun Branch Christmas party and have been wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I love you all and hope you have a great Christmas.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Here are a some pictures of my zone at Thanksgiving, the four of us at a samurai resturaunt, what my area looks like from a really tall building, and my district with their secret santa presents.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Dear Family,

I always enjoy this time of year and look forward to Christmas. We have been talking to everyone about the true meaning to Christmas. Most of the people we have talked to so far did not know that Christmas was connected with Jesus Christ. So we are hoping that we can bring many people closer to Christ during this season.  Right now we have a few really good investigators that all want to keep learning. So hopefully things continue to go well. 

I have a feeling that this next week is going to be busy. We have a Branch Christmas party this Saturday. The committee decided to make me the elf leader. So we are in charge of some of the entertainment and will probably do a couple of small skits. I`ll probably juggle and pantomime for everyone as well. It has been fun putting the party together because we have two investigators that are working with the members to put it together. It is going to be another full week. 

Last week went really well we did a lot of finding and just tried talking to as many people as possible. We are also doing a 12 days of Christmas for an investigator. We are going to be doing a small act of service or give a gift to them each day. 

I love you all so much and hope you all have a jolly Christmas!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

Dear Family,
It has been another really good week. We have an investigator we are meeting with about every other day who is really progressing. She seems like a member but still hasn`t received baptism. She does however help us in our missionary work. She invites a friend to come listen to the lessons with her. Now both of them are preparing for baptism at the end of this month. Last week we couldn`t find a member to joint for a lesson so we had to go to the park. At the park they had one of those hot springs you can put your feet into. So we decided to put our feet in. It was too hot to keep them in for very long but while we were there we talked to a man who was also there about the gospel. He was super nice and showed quite a bit of interest. He does live in another area but I was glad that we had the chance to share a message.  I`m so happy every time I have a chance to share the gospel which is why I think mission life is the best because we have those chances everyday all day. 

Well Christmas is in a couple of weeks and the mission office asked that we do our Christmas calls on Christmas so that would actually be Christmas Eve for you.  So this year I can`t use skype because our computer doesn`t have it so it will be just a normal phone call. By the way we got a second phone for our area because we have been super busy with phone calls between missionaries, members, and investigators. 

I love you all and keep you in my prayers. Have another good week!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

Dear Family,
So yesterday our church computer was locked in a different room so we couldn`t e-mail. So I don`t have a lot of time to e-mail but I`ll do my best explaining what happened. 

So Elder Ramey is on his 7th transfer and he is from Idaho. He is also a power lifter and is convinced that I can gain ten pounds of muscle before the end of my mission. However he really likes to joke around and have a fun time. Then there is Elder Apina who I met in the MTC he only has a few weeks left and then he goes home to Hawaii. Elder Poole is the youngest and he is from Australia and they are both just a funny combo. So at the apartment we are always laughing. 

This last week I felt like we did a lot of planning and trainings. We had to go to Fukuoka and had a missionary council meeting with Pres. Gustafson. We also had to train everyone in the zone a few days ago. I feel like everything went really well. We talked a lot about being prepared and gaining confidence. 

We also have two great investigators who are preparing for baptism at the end of this month. So we are looking forward to that and helping them get to that point. By the way Yamaguchi is really cold and we should supposedly have a white Christmas this year. Well I`m running out of time. I love you all so much.
Love, Elder Joseph Gandy
P.S. We had a big Thanksgiving lunch with our zone which was super delicious even though the food was mostly made by the Australian. (Who doesn`t celebrate thanksgiving)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

Dear Family,

Well last week was transfer week. I`m no longer in Miyako in fact I got sent up to Yamaguchi which happens to be one of the coldest places in the mission. Everything here is super pretty and I enjoy seeing mountains again. 

My new companion is Elder Ramey and he is from Idaho. Our apartment also has two other Elders as well. Elder Apina, the Hawaiian, and Elder Poole, the Australian. They are all super funny so I feel like it is going to be a fun transfer. Elder Ramey and I are the Zone leaders. We have 22 missionaries in our zone 12 are Elders and 10 are Sisters. Even with all of these missionaries we are one of the smallest zones in the mission. 

The Branch in Yamaguchi is great. I still don`t know a lot about the area but we have between 30 and 40 active members who all seem amazing. We also have some good investigators. Last week we invited a girl in our english class with her investigator friend to come to church together. Yesterday they both came and ended up knowing some of the other members in the branch that they were already good friends with. So that was awesome how things just seem to work out perfectly. It definitely is a testimony to me that so many people are being prepared in many different ways. Anyways I`m looking forward to this transfer. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

Well, if you are wondering why this is a day late it is because it is transfer week. We should be receiving our call in a few hours to see if anything is changing. 

Last week has been an amazing week.  So much happened. We were able to meet a lot of our investigators, even a couple that we haven`t seen in a while. I feel like all of them are doing great and would make great members. So I`m hoping that all will go well with them. 
Most of the less actives are doing great they just have a couple of things that keep getting in the way from them coming to church. I`m praying that a way or something might open up to help some of them come back. 

Yesterday the volunteer couple missionaries who were here also went home. It was a blast having them here for the last couple of months. They were a huge help and did a great job at helping strengthen the branch. 

We had an awesome experience on Sunday. We had just finished having a lunch at the church and got ready to head out and work. As we were about to leave, a former investigator that Elder Nakabe and I had started teaching came in. He told us that he wanted to be baptized and knew that this church was true after going to some of the other churches around here. The other Elders were able to set a baptism date for the 30th of this month. I was so happy to see him come back because he was super close to being baptized before but then dropped himself. I hope that he will be able to get baptized in just a couple of weeks and overcome any challenges he has. 

Everything has been going really well and I have enjoyed my life as a missionary. I feel like there are so many blessings I have received which I`m forever grateful for. This next transfer I have decided that my transfer theme is going to be "In the Strength of the Lord."  I know that with Him all things are possible which are according to His will. I love you all so much and am grateful for all of your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013

Dear Family,

It has been another great week we got to meet with many of our investigators. It had been awhile for some because they had been super busy with work. They are still all doing well. We are just trying to do our best to teach with the Spirit. We are praying for each of the investigators here so they will be able to gain their own testimony. 

We also went on a companion exchange with the missionaries down in Ishigaki. So Elder Jameson and I got on a plane and flew down. We were there for a couple of days helping them with their work. It was a lot of fun but also it has been kind of hot during the middle of the day. I sometimes can`t believe it is November because of the heat. I`m just glad we are not sweating as much anymore. 

On the exchange we were able to find a couple of new investigators for them. I was with Elder Vance who is on his first transfer but the last door we knocked on was answered by an American. He invited us in and had a lot of questions.  Being familiar with the Catholic church and other protestant religions he wondered what was so different about the Mormon church. For me it was kind of weird teaching in English this time. There have been other times where teaching in English was fine. However the lesson still went pretty well and he seemed like he had been in the process of being prepared to hear the gospel. 

We are looking forward to another week and we hope that we will be able to help as many people as we can everyday. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 3, 2013

Dear Family,

Well it has been another fantastic week. Last Tuesday we had a companion exchange with the other Elders here on the island with us. I worked with Elder Nakabe again.  It had been a while but it was amazing to see how much he has progressed in just a short amount of time. Elder Jameson went with Elder Nara and even though they are just on their 2nd transfer it sounded like they had a great day. 

Then we also had our Halloween Party mixed with our English class.  It was a lot of fun. We had two investigators come with their kids. I felt like it was a good turn out and of course the kids enjoyed the candy. 

After Halloween we flew up to Naha for zone conference. It was a great meeting.  President and Sister Gustafson talked about the Atonement and the enabling power that comes from it. Zone conference is always a great spiritual boost. I also completed the lesson mastery program so at zone conference they rewarded me with a small Preach My Gospel and a Japan Fukuoka Mission pin. I was so happy to finally get it finished because I had been working on it for a long time. 

After that we came back to Miyako and had a good rest of the week finding. Our investigators are still doing super well. One investigator is a less active member`s mom. Right now we are hoping that they will both be able to come to church. We will keep doing our best. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. I have been terrible with birthdays but wish Daniel and everyone else I missed a Happy Birthday including Hunter because I know her birthday is coming up as well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

More Pictures

Here are a few more pictures, thanks to Elder Jameson's mom who shared them.  Miyakojima really does look like a beautiful place just as Joseph has said.

October 28, 2013

Dear Family,

Well it sounds like everything has been going super well back home and that everyone is having a good time. The weather has been cooling down here which makes it nice riding around. This last week it was super windy because of typhoons that were close by. However I think typhoon season should be ending within the next few weeks. 

We had another great week though teaching investigators. We have one investigator that is basically a member and loves the gospel there are just a couple of things in the way before she can be baptized. I`m sure that she will be a great strength to the branch and receive baptism some day. 

We had a great adventure with a less active and reactive member last week. They took us fishing and to other places on the island.(I`ll attach some pictures) It was a lot of fun and Miyakojima is small but super beautiful. 

This last week we spent some time preparing for our Halloween Party. We have invited a bunch of investigators with their kids. Right now we are just hoping to have a good turn out. 

This last week we also went to meet a less active to find out that no one was home. As we were leaving the mom returned home and started talking with us. She thanked us for always helping her son. As we talked we brought up the gospel and plan of salvation and how much these things have helped us. After that she accepted an invitation to actually have us come back and continue teaching her. So we are looking forward to meeting her again. 

We have so much next week that I`m looking forward to like Halloween and Zone Conference. Well I love you all so much and am grateful for your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. The first picture is of delicious tofu balls that the couple missionaries made for us that we just ate a couple seconds ago.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Family,

Well the weather her in Miyako is pretty nice now. Some days it is kind of hot but for the most part it is really nice being outside all of the time. 

This last week has been great. We have 3 progressing investigators right now. We hope that we will be able to help them overcome any challenges that they face. They all seem to have a desire to learn more and draw closer to Heavenly Father. I always look forward to meeting with each of them. 

This last week we also met one of the less actives here for the first time. It has been a year and a half since the last time he met the missionaries. He seemed really happy to see us and invited us in. It was nice getting to know him and his dad who used to be a former investigator. The visit was a lot of fun and we look forward to meeting them again. 

We have been doing a lot of finding this week as well. Yesterday was amazing.  We found and talked to so many people who seem to have interest. So now we have some good potential investigators. Everything seems to keep going well. 

Elder Jameson and I get along great we are always laughing and just having a good time. He is also doing an awesome job with Japanese and is working super hard to get it down. I think we will have another great transfer. I love you all so much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. The fish and sugar cane was pretty good.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 14, 2013

Dear Family,

Well there were no changes in transfers. So Elder Jameson and I can keep pressing forward here. We finally got to see general conference the other day which was just amazing. I love general conference and always leave with a determination to become a better member/missionary. There is always so much to learn but learning is something that I have really come to enjoy. 

I guess the big news of last week was really general conference and transfers. Our progressing investigator went up to another island but attended the first session of conference and said it was wonderful. We are pretty sure that she will be ready to receive baptism in the upcoming week. She seems like a perfect member already so I`m sure that she would be a big strength to the branch. We are super excited to keep working with her.

Right now we are hoping that we can find some more people who are being prepared as well. Oh your story about the dogs reminded me of a experience that Elder Jameson and I have almost every week. One of our investigator's apartment building has a dog that always seems to chase Elder Jameson while he rides his bike. The dog does not pay attention to me, just Elder Jameson. The other set of missionaries here call me the dog master and Elder Jameson the cat master. So that is something just kind of random and fun. Anyways I love you all so much and am grateful for all of your prayers and support.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Here is a picture when we went fishing with a recently reactived member and me eating that fish and some sugar cane.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7, 2013 - Typhoons and Transfers

Dear Family,

Well this last week has been great and kind of crazy. So as for the title of this e-mail we had a big typhoon a couple of days ago which lasted from Saturday until Sunday afternoon. Our church was canceled which was unfortunate because I was ready to march through the strong wind and rain just so we could go. The typhoon was quite the adventure. The wind was super noisy and halfway through the power and everything went out so it was pitch black but we did have our flashlights. We spent the night singing hymns in the dark because there wasn`t much else we could do. 

Other than the typhoon we are still meeting with our golden investigator. Today we have a lesson with her as well. We are down to just the last couple of lessons and hope that she will keep on progressing. So far it seems that she will be getting baptized on the 26th. In our last lesson we gave her a prayer rock as a reminder to pray and read everyday. She already believes this is all true and we keep praying that everything will continue to go well. It is amazing how many people are being prepared to receive the gospel. 

In just a few hours we will probably be getting our transfer calls. So we will see if we are staying or going. However I`m really looking forward to general conference this next week. 

I just thought of another story I wanted to share. We met with another investigator who read the plan of salvation pamphlet we hand out to so many people. When we asked how the pamphlet was she told us that while reading about life after death she felt this warm feeling  like opening up inside of her. We recognized that she had felt the influence of the Holy Ghost and so we explained its purpose and how it helps each of us. She told us that she wants to come to church and wants to pray so she can feel that Spirit more in her life. 

This is not our work but the work of the Lord. I`m so grateful to be able to here on a mission and see the hand of the Lord in the lives of people we meet. I love you all so very much and am grateful for all of your support.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Joseph's District when they met for interviews 
with President Gustafson.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Here is the address for Elder Jameson's mission blog.  He is Joseph's companion and this week there are some good pictures that you might enjoy seeing.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 29, 2013

Dear Family,

This last week has been just another really good week. We actually got to fly up to Okinawa and have interviews and training with Pres. Gustafson. It was all super great we talked about the importance of planning and talked about different tips or ideas we could use. It also gave us a chance to meet the missionaries in our zone. 

Other than that we keep meeting with our golden investigator and keep having great lessons. Yesterday at church we started teaching her the commandments. She also brought her younger sister to church as well. It was her first time to meet with the missionaries but I`m sure that she had heard a lot about us. We taught both of them about the word of wisdom and they both accepted to live it right there on the spot. The sister said that she has a lot of interest and wants to learn more. However she lives in a different area but we found out her information and gave it to the missionaries over there. We are hoping that the entire family will accept the gospel. So that is pretty exciting to see how everything will turn out. 

We had a good number of teaching opportunities that went really well. Sorry this week is kind of short but I love you all very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. By the way less active work is going really well. The couple missionaries are super great at helping less active members.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013 - SUBARASHI!

Dear Family,

Well this last week has been amazing that I hope that I`ll be able to write everything. Last week a member from the stake presidency came down with his wife. We were able to do some work with them and we also had a family home evening with them which was super fun. 

Towards the end of the week they left but the new volunteer couple came and they should be here for about two months. Their name is Iwama and both are super fun and hilarious people. It was funny, we talked about a lot of different things right from the start and found so many interesting connections. They showed me pictures of one of my former companion's wedding. We also found out that they know some people that live in Joshua`s mission.  One is the Scott Family whose son is serving in South Tokyo. The other is their daughter who lives in Chandler Arizona (I`m not sure if that is in the mission but its close).  Her last name is Bodily. I think it would be kind of cool if he knew them or was working in their ward. 

So I`m actually super excited to be working with these new missionaries for the next little bit. We also had a lesson with one of our golden investigators who is now preparing for baptism. She has honestly been prepared to hear the gospel. When we first met her she opened up and told us that she was thinking about joining the Catholic Church but decided to stop and wait for a little bit. Later she also told us about her son who passed away seven years ago and how she feels that he has been guiding her to the truth. Of course the message of the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation sparked her interest. Yesterday she came to church and it was just a wonderful experience. During our first lesson I decided to testify at the beginning of how Heavenly Father loves each of us. From that point the Spirit entered the room so strongly and just lead the rest of the lesson. 

The Lord has been preparing people to hear and accept this gospel. There are so many different ways in which people are prepared and the Spirit will guide us to know how we can help them. The other day we had a baptismal service for two young men. It was amazing to see them enter into the waters of baptism. These two young men were people that me and my previous companion started teaching last transfer. 

This is such an amazing time to be serving a mission. This last week I have learned a lot of different things relating to missionary work especially from Alma chapter 26. I feel like I can really relate to what Ammon says in verse 12. I know that this is the Lord`s work and am glad that I have this opportunity to be an instrument in His hands. I love you all so very much and am grateful for all of your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for the e-mail I haven`t been in touch with too many friends recently. Except for Mikey who sounds like he is doing great. I`m glad to hear about how well Kyle and Braden are doing as well. In fact something interesting happened the other day. A member from Okinawa came down and when he met me asked if I had an older brother who served in Sapporo. Daniel would probably remember him as Fukuyama Chourou. He was a bean and Daniel was his zone leader. I asked if he knew Braden as well and he told me that he was Braden`s zone leader when Braden first came into the mission. It really is funny to have small connections like that and I`m sure it will be a lot of fun to speak in Japanese when we get back. 

As for this last week we spent a good amount of time finding and found a large number of new investigators. As a district we found 12 new investigators and also have a lot of really good potential investigators. It has been so much fun with another set of Elders.  We actually have been seeing some great success and with it being such a small island I`m surprised that we don`t run into each other that often. 

This last week a couple from the stake presidency came down to help us with our work. They will be leaving in a few days but after that a couple missionary is coming down. I`m super excited to be working with them and to have their help. I feel like the mission is really trying to strengthen the smaller branches so they`re sending in as much help as they can. We have been doing our best to work with the members and branch president. I believe that the work here is just going to keep accelerating faster and faster. 

I love every minute out here and hope that we will be able to help some of God`s children. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8, 2013

Dear Family,

Well it sounds like it has been a good week back home. I enjoyed the pictures that Bryce sent to Joshua and me.  It is so fun to look back on how we were back then. 

To answer some of your questions, the hospital was actually really nice and to fix my toenail they had to cut off a portion. It wasn`t bad even though I`m not very good with medical stuff. After that it was just taking the medicine which I finish taking today. 

Miyakojima definitely is a vacation spot.  I have met a couple people that have come for travel. I think it depends on the time of year because there haven`t been a lot tourists yet.

This last week has been great.  We have been meeting and finding some great people to start teaching.  A lot have a hard time understanding because not very many people know anything about God or Jesus Christ.  We have been talking to people a lot about Heavenly Father`s love for all of us. Everything seems to be working out super well.

We also had 19 people at church the other day which is the most I have seen so far. That kind of gives you an idea of how small our branch is but all of the members have strong testimonies. 

Well I love you all so much and hope you have another great week.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Some people have been saying Elder Jameson and I look a lot alike. My previous companion also said I look like Brad Pitt. I think Daniel had someone tell him the say thing.

Note from Gayleen:
This is the picture that Bryce found and sent to Joseph and Joshua.  It was taken while Bryce was on his mission to Peru (2004 to 2006).  They asked me to take the picture and send it to their big brother on his mission so he could see how much they looked like missionaries.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 1, 2013

Dear Family,

Well there is no surprise but yes my new companion is Elder Jameson right from the MTC. He is has great faith and a strong desire to do the work. I`m sure that we will have an amazing transfer. If I remember right he actually entered the MTC the same day as Joshua. 

I have now been on Miyakojima for about 3 months. It has been a really fun area so far. We spend most of our p-days playing ping pong because it is mainly too hot outside to do anything else. I have actually been getting pretty good except for the fact that Elder Nara (Elder Nakabe`s new bean) has played for 12 years so it is impossible to beat him. 
Also typhoon season is pretty long but the most typhoons come in during september I think. 

Things however have been going really well the past few days. Elder Jameson and I saw a lot of miracles in these past couple of days. We went to visit a lot of investigators who ended up not being home so we did finding around those areas. The miracles were that there were people in those areas being prepared to hear the gospel. We found so many people that seem interested in learning more. It is really exciting and I`m excited to work with them. 

I think I`ll mention how a couple of them have been prepared. One was a man who met missionaries ten years before and liked Christianity so he sent his kids to a Catholic Preschool. Another had a friend in college who introduced him to the Book of Mormon but never got a chance to actually read one. I know that the Spirit leads us to where we need to go and helps us know what to say.  

I love this work and I know that the Lord is pushing it forward. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. I also had my first experience at a Japanese hospital because I actually had a pretty bad hangnail. Although now things are all taken care of. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for your e-mail it sounds like everything has been going super well back home. 

This last week however has been just amazing. We did switch apartments but our new apartment is super nice. At the beginning of the week there was also a small typhoon but it wasn`t too bad so we still got to go out and work. Its funny the people here are so used to typhoons that if its weak it is just like any other normal day. 

Even though this week was busy with the move and typhoon we still had many great experiences. We met with many of our investigators. Most of them really opened up and some showed a lot of interest in learning more about the church. The big miracle however is that a couple of youth from part member families went to an EFY activity a couple of weeks ago. When they returned they both had a strong desire to be baptized.  This last week we have been working closely with them so that they can be baptized in the upcoming weeks.

The people in Miyako are honestly being prepared to accept the gospel. This next week we expect to become a four man apartment and the week after that some volunteer missionaries from the stake should be coming down as well. A few days ago I got a call from Pres. Gustafson giving us a special assignment and he has some great plans for this area. I know that the Lord is hastening His work. 

I`m so grateful to be able to see how Heavenly Father works with all of His children. This last week I also got a call from the assistants telling me about when I`m going home. I`m not going to say the date because I don`t want to think about it. But it made me realize that I have been out for 18 months already. It is crazy how fast time flies especially when you're having a good time. I`ll keep doing my best and love serving the Lord. I love you all and am grateful for all of your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Today we have our transfer calls. All let you know what happens next week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 18, 2013

Dear Family,
Thanks for the e-mail it sounds like everything is going great and that the Yuzawa group had a good time. I`m a little jealous of the grits and eggs because I don`t think you can buy grits over here. 

Well things here have been going really well. To answer some of your questions about Miyako there are about 10 active members here. It is probably one of the smallest branches in the mission. Our church is on the first floor under someone's house. So it is pretty different than most of my other areas. 

This last week we actually had a companion exchange with some of the other elders in our district. So in order that we could do the exchange we had to get on a plane and fly to a different island. We went and worked with the elders in Ishigaki. As we were about to go over there our plane got canceled because of bad weather. So we ended up taking a detour. We flew to Okinawa and from there flew to Ishigaki so it took more time than we wanted it to. However it was a fun time and we saw so many miracles. We found a couple of great people that said they would come to English class there which is awesome because they have been trying to start it up for a while now. 

At the end of the exchange we came back to Miyako on a really small plane. The plane fits around 40 people at max but there were only about 20 on it. So that was a new and exciting experience. It is only about a 30 minute plane ride from there to here. This transfer I have been on so many planes that it is kind of hard to believe. 

We also had our stake conference here so we got to watch it online. This week we are also going to be moving into our new apartment which is kind of exciting. Some new missionaries should be coming to Miyakojima as well in a couple of weeks. The mission is definitely increasing in size which is super exciting. Well I love you all so very much.

Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Some elders in our district just met a kid that came back from an exchange program in Utah who said he wants to learn more about the church and go to BYU for college. It's interesting the many different ways people are prepared to receive the gospel.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for the e-mail it sounds like everything is going really well and that you are having a good time. As for here it has been a pretty good last few days. 

For zone conference we went up to the island of Okinawa which has two different zones there. One half of the island is the zone I was in before and the other half is the zone I`m in now. My zone consists of 12 elders and 5 sisters. Everyone in my zone is on the island of Okinawa except my district we are all on three different small islands. 

Zone conference was a lot of fun and I learned so many different things. We talked quite a bit about faith and if we exercise that faith how it will help us in our missionary work. We also read some scriptures in Ether 12 which is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. We also talked about accountability and the Doctrine of Christ. It was a very spiritual and uplifting conference. 

While I was there I got to see some of my previous companions. It was amazing to see how much they have grown and become the missionaries that they now are. I was just super happy to see that they were all doing really well. Right after the conference we had to go as fast as we could to the airport to catch our plane we were lucky to make it with just a few minutes to spare.So that was a little bit of an adventure. 

Thanks for all of your prayers. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 7, 2013

Dear Family, 

Well I'm sorry for e-mailing kind of late this week. Our p-day was changed to Thursday this week so our entire zone could spend p-day together. Next week it will be back to normal though. Everything has been going super well we have so many investigators that we are teaching every week. We are trying to do our best in helping all of them. Everyone is different so we are really trying to figure out there needs. This would be so hard if we had to do it all by ourselves which is why the Spirit is so helpful in our everyday work. 

Well I'm sorry for the short e-mail I don't have to much time today. Tomorrow is our zone conference so I'm looking forward to learning a lot then. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 28, 2013

Dear Family,

Well the weather is hot but it is mostly because of the humidity. We
do a small simple activity and we are already sweating a lot. We do
occasionally have a great nice ocean breeze to cool us down at times.

It really is a small world. There are not a whole lot of people on
Miyakojima. So it might be hard to meet people who are from here. I do
know of a couple of missionaries that used to be in the Fukuoka
mission that were from Gilbert Arizona. As far as pictures of our
apartment go we will probably be moving sometime soon so I`ll wait so
you can see the new place. 

As far as the work here everything is going fantastic. We had an
exchange this last week with the zone leaders. It went really well. We
found a lot of great people who seem interested. We also got to meet
with most of our investigators this past week. We were able to meet an
investigator that we haven`t seen for a while because she was super
busy. However when we met everything seemed to be going well and she
still has a strong desire to learn and come to church. During the
lesson she opened up and told us some of her concerns. We were able to
help by teaching her specific to her needs. It was a great lesson.
Listening has really become the key. If we listen to our investigators
and to the spirit we can understand the different needs that people
have. Sometimes you have quiet investigators but that is when good
questions can help them. 

I`ve learned so much this last week and am
grateful for all of the blessings I`ve received. I love being a
missionary and this experience just keeps strengthening my testimony
that this is the true church. I love you all so very much and pray for
you each day.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 21, 2013

Dear Family,

It definitely seems like everyone is in the missionary spirit over
there. I was super excited to hear about Alex receiving his mission
call. I`m sure he will do great. I love being a missionary and am
excited for so many of my friends to have this experience as well.

This last week has been great. As far as transfer calls went nothing
changed. So Elder Nakabe and I can keep working hard. There was a big
festival that was going on last week. We were worried that it was
going to be hard to find people to meet while housing but it actually
turned out very well. I feel like the spirit led us to the people we
needed to meet. We found some great new investigators that also seem

The work with less active members has also been going great. So many
of them really do want to come back to church. We are going to do our
best at helping them with the three things every member needs which
are a friend, responsibility, and being nurtured by the word of God.
However since we are not in the position to give members a calling
I figured that we can ask them to help in our missionary efforts by
fellowshipping investigators and so on.

This really is an amazing work and I know that the work of spreading
the gospel is moving forward rapidly. I`m so grateful to be a missionary.
Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 15, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for the e-mail. I`m also really enjoying reading Joshua`s
e-mails as well. Everything here has been going pretty well.

There was a typhoon last friday so we couldn`t go outside. We did however
find a good way to work if we are stuck in the apartment. We started going
through our area book and called as many people as we could. It turned
out to be really effective. We found and talked to this lady who met
the missionaries before and said we could come visit her when there
wasn`t a typhoon.

The investigators we have been working with are
kinjin (which means they are golden people). It is amazing seeing
people progress and make changes in their lives so they can live the
gospel. The other day we also went to visit a less active member who lives
pretty far away. I felt like we basically rode our bikes around the
entire island. It was tiring but we had a great visit.

Recently we have also been learning a lot of different expressions that
people use in Miyako. It has been fun learning them but it is honestly
like a totally different language. Lucky for us they are not used very often.
Only the elderly people here know a lot of the different expressions.

It has been a fantastic week and a great transfer. Today we have our
transfer calls so we`ll find out later today if anything is changing.
I love you all very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013

Dear Family,

Hey it has been an amazing week and it was great reading your e-mail
along with the ones that Joshua sent. The weather is super hot but I
heard that the weather in Arizona is more so. Its cool to think that
Joshua will be out of the MTC working really soon.

Right now the big thing that is going on is we have a couple more
investigators with baptismal dates. We have been working really hard
and doing our best to help these children of God receive baptism on
those days.

It really is an amazing time in the Lord`s work. Over the course of
my mission I have seen the work progress especially in Japan. I`m sure
that is how it is all over the world. I love being a missionary. Everything
about it is amazing. The joy that comes from sharing the gospel is great.

Last week we had a special training. Because we are on an island we
couldn`t go to the training with the other missionaries. For that
reason we had the meeting with Pres. Gustafson, his assistants, and a
few other missionaries that are also on different islands. I learned
so many different things from the training. We talked a lot about the
importance of sacrament meeting and how we can work more with members.

I`m looking forward to this next week. I love you all very much and
pray for you everyday.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30, 2013

Dear Family,

It`s so awesome that Joshua is now a missionary. I`m going to be
looking forward and hearing about the great experiences he will have
in the next two years.

The other day I just finished with my second
journal and did a little bit of reflecting on the things that have
happened during my mission so far. It has been an amazing experience
and I really love being a part of this great work. Heavenly Father has
blessed me in so many ways. There is still a lot for me to learn and
do. I`m just going to make sure that I live each day to its fullest.

We have been keeping up with doing service here. In fact today we will
be helping a member move. However I think the best part of this week
so far is the broadcast we saw about missionary work. It talked a lot
about member missionary work. Another thing that I learned is the best
way to do missionary work is out of love. As we love the people around
us we will desire that they might come to learn about the gospel. If
we share this wonderful message out of love the Spirit will be able to
testify to them that this message is true.

I have been thinking about
how I can love the people around me that I have never met before. Here
are a couple of ideas that I had that I believe will help me learn to
love everyone I meet:
1. Remember that they are a child of God and that He loves them just
as He loves me.
2. Remember the times that I felt the love of God in my life and how
others can feel it as well.
3. Think about the other people that love them and desire their
happiness(specifically ancestors who are waiting for them to receive
the gospel).
4. Remember the love that I have for my family and how that love and
happiness can continue throughout eternity.

As others receive the gospel they come closer to our Heavenly Father.
Through this gospel and Jesus Christ`s Atonement we can return and
live with our Heavenly Father again. I know that this is the work of
salvation and can eternally bless the lives of the people around us.
I`m so grateful for all of you and the examples you have showed me.
Thanks for all of your prayers. I love you all so very much and pray
for you always.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 23, 2013

Dear Family,

Wow I`m super excited for Joshua to be going into the MTC. His time
there will be a lot shorter than mine was but I hope he loves it. I
learned so much while I was in the MTC and really enjoyed my time
there. Missions are so great I love to hear about all of the news
about people going out to serve.

Well things here have been going
really great. The work is progressing and we have so many
investigators that it is beginning to get a little hard teaching all
of them. We will keep doing our best to help each of them though. We
have also found a lot of people that seem like they have been prepared
to receive the gospel. It has been so much fun going out everyday and
sharing the gospel.

This week we had a good experience with service
and how service can really help in the work. Last week we met a
foriegner who is related to a member here. They called us and asked
for some help because there was a language barrier. So we gladly went
and helped out and did some translating. It did help me feel a little
more confident about my Japanese but there is always room for
improvement. Yesterday this investigator came to church and we had a
great lesson. We learned that he is very humble and heavily relies on
Jesus Christ. We are doing our best to help him and all of our other
investigators to learn the truthfulness of the gospel. I know that the
Holy Ghost is the most important part of this work. I`m grateful for
all of your prayers and love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

June 16, 2013

Dear Family,

I was super excited to hear about Gracie and will be excited
to see her as well. Things are going really fast soon he will
be in the MTC. You should send me his
missionary e-mail address so I can write him if I have some time.

Everything has been going really well here this week. We have done a
lot of finding and found a great amount of new investigators. We have
been working hard with all of our investigators to help them progress
and grow in faith. We have also been working with a good amount of
less active members. Most of them want to come to church but are busy with
work. Some are older ladies that just don`t have a way of coming but
we usually take the sacrament to them every week.

We have been super busy and keep trying to do our best.
The work just keeps progressing
and I`m so grateful that I can be a part of it at this time. The other
day in church we were reading some of the teachings of Pres. Lorenzo
Snow. We talked about obeying God`s will. In the chapter we read it
makes a reference to missionaries about how they are nervous and feel
inadequate sometimes. However Heavenly Father gives them power to
succeed in His work. I remember writing in my journal when I was in
the MTC wondering how can I become a successful missionary and how can
I learn Japanese. I definately felt inadequate in my skills but I felt
comforted in knowing that the Lord has called me to do His work. I
knew that he would not send me out to fail. I have definitely received
power while doing this great work. Success can be measured in many
different ways but I know that as we obey the will of Heavenly Father
that we will be successful in the way he intends for us individually.
These were just some of my thoughts that I wanted to share this week.

I love you all very much and pray for you all everyday.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 3 and June 10, 2013

June 3, 2013

Dear Family,

To start off I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday Mom. It sounds like everyone is having a good time. Its interesting to think that Joshua is graduating and will be going on a mission. Time really has flown I look back thinking it was just one year ago that I graduated but it has been two.

Everything here has been going well. By the way the name of my area is called Nago. It is a super pretty and fun area to be working in. This week has been really good we found some good new investigators. We actually had kind of a funny miraculous experience with one. We met him on the street and got to share a short message. He seemed interested in hearing more of what we have to say so we set up a time that we could meet him. A few minutes afterwards we realized that we had a stake conference meeting during that time. We tried finding him but had no success. The day before this meeting we decided to go visit a person that we didn't plan on meeting that day. On our way over we saw this guy we had just met. We immediately stopped him and asked if he could meet a different day. He said it would be fine so we are actually going to meet him tonight. So I'm looking forward to that.

This week was also stake conference which you probably already figured out. It was a great meeting and we had two Japanese members of the seventy there that spoke to us. It was a great meeting that was just very spiritually uplifting. Our mission president was there as well and he is always fun to listen to. He is a great example to all the missionaries here. That sounds like most of the news for this week. Today is transfer calls but we still haven't heard if anything is happening yet. Next week I'll let you know what happened. I love you all very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

June 10, 2013

Dear Family,

Wow it sounds like a lot is going on. I`m excited to hear about Bryce
and Becky`s baby. It is awesome hearing about all of the news.

Well as for news here I got transferred. I`m now a lot closer to Taiwan than I
am to the mission home. My area is a place called Miyakojima. It is a
fairly small island and the only missionaries here are me and my
companion Elder Nakabe. The weather is really hot but the scenery is
beautiful. Elder Nakabe and I are getting along great he is from Tokyo
and we are having a good time going around trying to talk to everyone.
We have been super busy with all of the work. It is fun to see how the work is
progressing in different places. We have some good
investigators that we are working with right now.

By the way something interesting about my area that I think you would like to know is that
there are some huge spiders here. I was surprised at how many spiders
I saw that were about the size of my hand. My companion saw a spider
that was twice the size of those the day before I came here.

I feel like there is a lot to say but at the moment I can`t really think
of anything right now. It was neat seeing my entire area from the
plane as I flew in. The airport is super small as well. Well I`ll
probably explain some more next week. I love you all so very much!

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. Oh yeah right now I`m the district leader. This is my first time
so I`m a little bit nervous. It is interesting because we are on an
island we do district meetings over skype with some Elders that are by
themselves on another close by island. Our district is called the
Island`s District.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 26, 2013

Dear Family,

This last week has been really amazing. We saw some miracles and just had a great time. A few days ago we had a zone conference and I really think the things they taught us will help us in our missionary work. One thing they suggested we might do is to spread the gospel through homework. Basically the idea is you leave someone with a small assignment and a place to read in the scriptures and teach them how they can find answers to their questions. Sometimes we ask people if they will do things that they might not know how to do. So we need to focus more on teaching them how they can keep their commitments. I felt like the training was good and was definately something that our investigators need.

While we have been finding we had a couple of cool experiences. We met this one man from Sri Lanka who was super nice and opened up to us immediately. After we shared our message with him he said he was super curious and wants to know more. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised that he would read it. We also met a guy from the U.S. who is an atheist. He has met the missionaries so many times but said that everyone told him he was wrong and just tried to force the gospel on him. He was super nice and respects religion. He started asking us questions about our beliefs and because our approach was that we invite people to learn and not force them to believe he decided to listen. It was interesting because it was more like discussing something with a friend rather than teaching a lesson. After talking with him for a bit he said that he wants to meet and talk some more even though he isn't interested in joining. So hopefully we'll be able to meet again and see how things go from there. Its funny we don't run into people to often that are from a different country. That is just a couple of things that happened this week.

I'm still keeping a journal and making sure it is more detailed. This last week we have been very blessed by the Lord in seeing miracles and people change. The work is progressing and just keeps getting more fun as time goes on. I love you all and am grateful for your prayers and support.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 19, 2013

Dear Family,

Well I hope things keep going well for all of you. This last week has been another great week. The rainy season has started over here and it will probably be raining until the end of June. Even with all of the rain we are doing our best at going out and finding people. It makes it kind of hard to talk to people on the streets but we also have some good investigators that we are meeting with regularly.

Yesterday we had an investigator come to church for the first time. I felt like he had a good experience and he actually knew one of the members. It was great that now he has a couple more friends in the ward. We are helping him progress towards receiving baptism on June 16. It is super exciting seeing him progress. We hope that we will be able to help our other investigators progress as well.

We are always pretty busy and time just seems to be flying by way too fast. This week we have a lot more going on with zone conference and I'm preparing a talk for church next week. I'm thankful for all of your prayers. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 5, 2013 - Hearts Being Opened

Dear Family,

Joshua's mission call really is super exciting news. I can't wait for him to experience mission life.

Well as for things here it has been another great week as usual. We are still working hard to find more people to teach. I feel like the work here has really started to progress and the people are opening up their hearts to listen to the gospel. This last week we met this college student on the street and talked a little bit about the gospel. It went so well that now we have an appointment to meet with him tomorrow. We also got a random phone call from this lady that we have never met. She called and told us how she was interested in learning English but then said how much more interested she was in learning about our church. So now we have an appointment with her on Wednesday.

Not only have we been able to find those who are prepared but they have been finding us. This next week we have a lot more scheduled appointments with our investigators. I'm looking forward to sharing the gospel with each of them. I'm so grateful to know that the Lord is blessing us in this work. Without His help it would be impossible to do on my own. My love for this work is growing stronger everyday. I'm beginning to feel a greater love for the investigators we have been teaching. I'm so very grateful for all of your prayers. I love you all very much.

Love Elder Joseph Gandy

Sunday, April 28, 2013

August 28, 2013

Dear Family,

Well I'm really looking forward to hearing where Joshua is going. It sounds like everything is going great back home. Thanks for sending the addresses.

Things here have been going pretty well. My new glasses are a bit of an adjustment but I'm glad I can now see better than I could before. This last week we had a great time. We found a new investigator that we are excited to work with. We also had one funny experience that really just made my day. While we were housing we met this old lady who was very happy. She also spoke a little bit of english that she learned from doing karaoke I think. It was funny because she started singing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray." I felt like I just had to sing along. It was just one of those experiences that really made me smile.

Other than that things have been going extremely well. The work has been great and there is nothing better than when you can share your testimony of this gospel. I know that it is the power of the Holy Ghost that will touch the hearts of the people we meet. I hope that we'll do our best at keeping the Spirit with us always. I love you all so much and am grateful for your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 23, 2013

Dear Family,

I forgot to let you know that this week would be transfers so that is why this e-mail is a day late. Nothing is changing though. Elder Low and I will still be working together. I'll actually be going and getting glasses tomorrow so I'll take a picture and send it to you next week.

Well lets see if I can answer some of your questions. The daily schedule of a missionary changes depending on the area. But we always start the day with a few hours of study in the morning. Then if you have any appointments you go and teach them if not you might go visit people that you haven't been able to contact in a while or you find.

As far as food goes we get a lot of food from members on Sunday but we don't eat with them to often. Usually we make our own food which consists of some kind of noodles or something on top of or with rice. To clean up one exploded egg took about 5 minutes.

This last week has been great I had one experience that I would like to share. While we were finding we met this man on the street and started talking about religion. He was Buddhist but said that all religions seem pretty similiar. So he told us about some of his beliefs and then we noticed that one of the big differences that we believe in is revelation. So we testified to him that we really can receive a witness which comes from heaven. I went to share something from the Book of Mormon with him and then I had this thought to read a different part. So I did and after following that impression was when the spirit really came into our conversation. When we first contacted that man he wasn't really interested in talking about religion and it looked like he was going to run away when he first saw us. By the end of our conversation I felt like he wanted to know if we can receive revelation. That experience has strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father knows each one of His children and their specific needs. I hope that I'll be able to keep trusting in the Lord as I help in this great work.

I love you all so very much and am extremely grateful for your prayers.

Love Elder Joseph Gandy

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14, 2013

Dear Family,

This week has been a super fun week. Especially with the chance to see general conference. It was very uplifting.

We did have some interesting funny experiences though that I would like to share. On Wednesday we went out with four other missionaries and passed out over 2000 flyers for our English class so hopefully it will continue to grow. While we were doing that this dog started chasing my zone leader that I was with at the time. It was kind of scary at the moment.

Another thing that happened which I thought was unbelievable was that I blew up an egg. I had been told that it is impossible to take an egg in your hand and then brake by just trying to make a fist. I had tried before and couldn't do it but last week I did. It was actually super unfortunate because egg got everywhere. So it wasn't terribly fun to clean up. Those were just a couple of random funny things that happened.

As for the work though we keep pressing forward doing our best to find those who are prepared. I know that the Lord will be able to guide us. This week we spent the last part of the week in another area to watch conference. It was a lot of fun I had the chance to work with Elder McConnell who was in the MTC with me. I enjoy the mission so much.

I'm going to make my guesses for where Joshua will be spending the next two years. Foreign: Fukuoka Japan. Stateside: Boston. Those are my two guesses. I can't wait to hear where he is going. I know that Heavenly Father has a purpose and a plan for whereever he sends us. I love you all so very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 7, 2013

Dear Family,

Well it has been another great week full of work. This week we spent a little bit of time making cookies to give to investigators and ward members. It has been a lot of fun just doing small nice things for people. We have also been riding all over town talking to everyone we see. This week I felt like the Lord has blessed us in a few ways for all of the work we have been doing. One of the blessings is that a couple of less actives came to church yesterday who we haven't been able to contact in a while. The other one was at our english class we had 8 new students show up which was super exciting. We also had to find some more chairs so everyone could sit down.

This week we also got a DVD from the APs which had a talk that Elder Holland gave at the MTC. It was similiar to his talk in last conference but more directed to missionaries and the work that they do. In the talk he says a mission should change your life. In order to be an effective missionary you need to have the gospel already planted in your heart. It was just an amazing talk and helped me want to continue to do my best. I'm grateful for all of your support and prayers. I love you all very much.

Love Elder Joseph Gandy

April 1, 2013

Dear Family,

It sounds like you are having a great time up in Sapporo. If you ever run into Elder Hutchinson tell him I say hi. This last week has been pretty good. We have been talking to everyone we see and trying to share the gospel with them. It has been a lot of fun. We did have some cool experiences as well. A couple days ago we got a call from a member who we actually home teach asking for a blessing. When we got there she didn't look well at all and was super sick. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to come to church. So we gave her a blessing and kept praying for her to get better. Yesterday at church she came and was feeling so much better. It was a great seeing her there and being able to partake of the sacrament. That experience really helped me know more about the power of prayer.

I'm extremely grateful for all of your prayers they really do strengthen and support me. Yesterday I also was assigned to give a talk in church on agency. I felt like as I started I was super nervous but then the words just seemed to flow. So I think it went pretty well even though I couldn't feel my legs after I finished. Well I hope you enjoy your time in Sapporo and that everything continues to go well at home. I love you all very much.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

P.S. There are a couple of other things. I couldn't find a good place to get glasses. I was also wondering if maybe you could find out some of my friends mission addresses. Right now I only know Bradens.
P.P.S. Apparently there was a tornado warning here the other day as well. Which is weird but nothing happened as far as I know just a warning.

Note from Gayleen: If any of Joseph's friends or their parents are reading this and want to get in touch with me to give me the addresses he has requested, I will send them to him.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 18, 2013

Dear Family,

Wow mom it sounds like you have had some pretty cool experiences. It sounds a lot like what we are doing here just talking to people and getting to know them hoping we can share our special message. I remember when I first came to Japan I was so nervous talking to people but now it is something I enjoy. Still a little scary at times but I know that the Spirit is with us and guiding us to know what to do.

Well this has been an amazing week my new companion and I have just been working so much. My new companion just came from the MTC. So Nago is his first area. He is a great guy from Farmington Utah but his mom is actually Japanese. He was in the first group to officially start the 9 week program at the MTC. So it seems like the pilot program turned out well after all.

Things here have been going super well and I'm really enjoying the work. I feel like I have really been blessed these last few days. I know that the Lord's hand is in this work and he will not let us fail. I'm so grateful to be serving our Father in Heaven at this time. This last week we also came up with a transfer theme. We decided on "A Persons a Person No Matter How Small" and our scripture to go with it is Matthew 25:40. Our goal this transfer is to talk to everyone and remember that they our children of our Heavenly Father who loves them. So we hope to do our part by at least helping one person come closer to the Lord a day. It has already been going well and I'm looking forward to whats in store. I love you all so very much and am extremely grateful for your prayers.

Love, Elder Joseph Gandy

March 24, 2013

Dear Family,

That was a lot of great news. Its exciting to hear all of the different things that are going on over there. So yes I'm now a trainer and it has been amazing. We have been seeing so many miracles and success. Another thing we found out this last week is how our mission will be increasing. Right now my mission has around 120 missionaries but by November that number will double to 240. It is awesome being able to see the mission grow.

This last week we just went to work and did our best finding those people who might be prepared. We were blessed to meet so many people and share our testimonies with them. We met this one lady who seemed really interested and said we can come back and share more. We found out that her aunt is a member and she heard a little bit about the church when she was young. We also met this girl who came to our English class. Apparently she met Pres. Gustafson while him and his wife were on the plane on the way to Okinawa. From meeting them she decided to come to English class.

A lot happened last week and it still always amazes me what the Lord can do. Honestly to me one of the biggest miracles is that I can speak Japanese. It still isn't perfect and there is a lot more I can learn but in the last couple of weeks I feel like I have received more help from Heavenly Father. Like in Alma 25:12 I know that I am weak but as long as I trust in the Lord all things are possible. I love being a missionary and helping people come closer unto Christ. This is a marvelous work. I'm so grateful for all of your prayers. I love you all so very much.

Love Elder Joseph Gandy