Monday, December 30, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 21

video

Hey everyone!! This letter is gonna be a little short cause I just wrote you all personal emails, but it was such a blast writing you all. :) I'm definitely gonna do that from time to time. This week was awesome! Why? Well, first the Skype call was such a blast. It was so cool to talk to you guys, see your faces, and feel of your love. I just want to say thank you so much for being that awesome family, and always being there for me. I can't lie, it was a little hard to refocus after the call, but I was just stoked (yeah I said it) to get back to work and serve the Lord in this great cause!

I'm really so sad to hear about Virginia. I'll be praying for her every day. She's such a fighter, and I know that she can overcome this. If it is her time though... I know that she has true mansions above waiting for her. She's been such a strong influence on my life and the lives of others, and I know that whatever happens will be what the Lord wants. I'll be praying for her every day though. 


Nothing too much has happened in the few days that we talked on the phone, but we have a new Baptismal date here in Maebashi! We're following an area seventy counsel and inviting investigators to be baptized on the first lesson, and we saw that true miracle today! We taught our new investigator Nozawa the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we committed him to be baptized at the end, and he said yes! February 1st is his date, so we're way excited to start working diligently with him. He's a way cool guy who just moved here from Yokohama! 


Other than that, it's been a pretty mellow week. With Christmas, not too many people in Japan celebrate Christmas, so it was a pretty great day of missionary work! We went out and worked hard, and the Lord is blessing us so much everyday. I'm seriously so thankful to be a missionary, and I'm so thankful to all that the Lord has given me. He's blessing me so much everyday, and I'm so thankful to Him. Oh! We also had a Zone Conference, and President Budge said that this month was the most baptisms a Japan mission has seen in a single month in... Basically ever! How incredible is that? He says the whole story is on the mission blog, so please check it out! It's been an awesome Christmas season full of miracles in Japan, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary at this time. 


Also Mom, THE PACKAGE CAME! And it was so awesome. Seriously thank you so much for sending all of those awesome presents! They really made my day, and it was so cool to put on those old sweatshirts again. As well the ties are seriously awesome! I can't wait to start wearing them! Whit!! Love the CDs but... Our CD player doesn't work here so we'll have to wait until next area maybe until I get to use them! Sorry...  


You guys are seriously so awesome, thank you so much for everything you do for me everyday! The Lord has really given me an awesome family, and this missionary experience is truly changing my life each day. It's been the greatest gift going out and focusing on others, rather than focusing on myself, and I really love it so much. Some days it's hard, but I want to testify that the Lord truly does answer prayers, and He hears us when we pray to Him. He is eager to help ease the burdens on our back, and He is always walking beside us. I love you guys so much!! Have an awesome week! The Gospel is true, The Book is Blue, and God LOVES YOU!! 


Love, 

Elder Justesen

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 20

Perera and all the Oyama missionaries!

Hey everyone!! Okay so this email is going to be pretty short, because well... I'm talking to you in about TWO days! I'm so stoked to talk to you guys and see how everyone is doing. WHIT! So proud of you!! I'm so stoked and I know life is just gonna start clicking for you! The Lord is getting ready to bless you so much, and I know things are just gonna work out the way the Lord wants it to. I'm praying for you everyday!! Sad I wasn't there to see you take the stage and receive your diploma, but I know that the Lord has some really awesome things in store for you. And Alexa you too!! Holy awesomeness, I'm so excited for you too! Going to the Bay Area! I know that's where the Lord wants you, and things are gonna happen. Provo is a really awesome place, but I think there comes a time when everyone has to leave. The Lord's preparing awesome stuff for you! And Tyler, you look so good in your photos man!! Seriously. Keep it up! 

Chika, Brother Taylor, and Elder Burgin!

So Mom! I'm so sorry I never answered you last email! But... So I haven't received my package, but I called the mission office, and they said they would get back to me. What they may be doing is giving me the package on our Zone Conference which is this Friday. They do that sometimes, but I'll try to call them soon and see if that's the case! Don't stress though! The Maebashi ward decided to buy Christmas Presents for all of the missionaries, Elder Tu'ua and I, and there were so many! Tons of candy and socks, and a couple ties! I'm still way excited to see what your package has though! It'll be so nice to receive some stuff from the states. :)

Well, I'll tell you all about this week on Wednesday, cause it was really one to remember. I saw TWO baptisms  this week, and they were my two close friends Perera in Oyama, and Chika in Narita. What was awesome was last minute, Perera asked me if I could come to Oyama and baptize him, so I did!! I'll tell the whole story on Wednesday, but it was such an awesome experience, and one that has really shaped my mission. Chika was baptized Sunday morning, and although I couldn't go because I needed to be in Maebashi, she and I had an awesome conversation on the phone, and it just was so good. Elder Hamada, well now Brother Hamada, came down, and Elder Burgin was able to baptize her. It was awesome!  But I'll tell you more this Wednesday! This week was really so awesome, and I'm so stoked to talk to you all this week! I'm praying for you all everyday, and I just want to testify that this work is so true. Being a missionary has it's ups and downs, and sometimes you really just have to give your heart to the Lord, and trust in Him. When we do that, I promise that the Lord will bless us! He did it for me this week, and I'm just way thankful for all that He has given me this Christmas season!! I love this Gospel!! Talk to you on Wednesday!

Love,
Elder Justesen

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 19

Konnichiwa everyone! Emailing you from my new area of Maebashi. Just finished getting all settled in and stuff, and I'm stoked to write about some of the stuff that has been happening here in Japan! Just want to say really how thankful I am to be a missionary here in Japan at such an awesome time. The Japanese people have truly been prepared to hear the Gospel, and not just the Japanese people in Japan, but as well people who moved to Japan who didn't have a chance to hear the Gospel in their own country. This week... I'm going to TWO baptisimal services for two investigators!! First, Perera, our awesome Sri Lankan investigator in Oyama, who was just about ready to be baptized when I was transferred. He called me up last night to let me know he's going to be baptized this Saturday, and he wants me there. I'm so excited to travel a bit this week, and go see these amazing people come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. Just wanted to say, I love being a missionary so much! It's completely changed my life, and made me a better person. It's been so far from easy, but I am truly loving it. I've made some really awesome eternal friends here, and I'm just stoked to go forward! Just yeah, haha, it's been a really awesome Christmas season so far. :)

This week was really intense but awesome!! I went and picked up Elder Tu'ua, my new companion, and he and I went down to the Honbu in Tokyo to go receive some awesome trainer and trainee training. All of the missionaries were there, and we got to go in and see where all of them were going, as well as who their new companions are. What was so cool was my entire MTC district was there!! It was an awesome reunion, and we just got pumped for what's in store for all of us. We're basically all training now, which is crazy intense, but we're stoked! I've hit that point I think where missionary life just seems so natural and normal, and it's hard to remember everything that came before! I really love it though! So after the training, Elder Tu'ua and I started heading down to Maebashi, where they were having a baptism that night. Elder Martinez, my zone leader, was going to be going home the next day, and he finished off his mission with a baptism. It was seriously so awesome, and it was so cool to see such an awesome way to seal off his mission with such an awesome thing! Elder Martinez is just awesome! It was such a great service, and yesterday the man baptized, Keshab (Nepal), received the gift of the Holy Ghost! It was so awesome, and his smile just really built my testimony so much. There are truly prepared people everywhere, and the Lord is bringing them to the Gospel all the time. I feel so blessed to be apart of this awesome work, and just to be here. :)

It sounds like everyone back home is doing so great this week! Honestly this weeks emails made me way stoked and happy for all of you! Whit, so dang proud of you!! Life is just gonna take off for you I know it, and Lex I'm so stoked to hear you're moving to the Bay Area! These things falling in place should just show you that the Lord has some really awesome stuff in store for you, I know that there's things on the way! Tyler, it sounds like life's really going for you too, especially with that Scion. ;) Haha, Mom and Dad, I'm so stoked to hear about all of the missionary work you guys are doing! Missionaries and members really do have to work together in a companionship, and then the work can truly go forward, and it sounds like you guys are seeing it in the ward! 4 baptisms!!! That's so intense, I bet those Elders are just stoked, and especially thankful to you guys. Aw man, I just love you guys so much!! I'm really so thankful to have such an awesome family. :) There Lord is really blessing us so much everyday, and I'm so thankful for that. We just gotta keep going forward with faith, and I know that those blessings will keep coming! ESPECIALLY THE BYU ACCEPTANCE THING! I can't believe it!! I'm so stoked though, and it really showed me that miracles happen everyday! I mean... I just got into BYU! That's a pretty gnarly miracle!

I just gotta say I really love being a District Leader here in Maebashi! It was pretty stressful at first, but I've started to just love calling everyone at night. My district is actually one of the biggest in the mission, so I have a lot of people to call! But it's seriously so awesome. They all have so much faith and a strong desire to serve their Heavenly Father, it really builds my faith up so much whenever I call them up! It's a lot of responsibility, but I really love it so much. The Lord is strengthening me everyday, and I'm so thankful for that! 

I'm really so stoked for this week, and I can't wait for the photos I'll be sending next week! I'm so thankful to be here and sharing this message with all of those around me. I'm so thankful to all that the Lord has given me, and for all the blessings he has given me. :) 

I'm so stoked to talk to all of you NEXT WEEK! How crazy is that?? Weren't you just dropping me off at the curb in June? Time really is flying by so quick, but I'm so stoked to talk to you all! Have an awesome week, know I love you guys so much and am praying for you everyday by name! LOVE YOU!

-Elder Justesen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 18

Konnichiwa everyone! Well... I got some pretty big news for you guys. So we just got back from Zone P-Day down in Maebashi, which is going to be my new area!! We got transfer calls on the train ride up, and I've been called to train and be a district leader in the awesome area of Maebashi! It's where the Zone Leaders just were, and I'm just way stoked. Nervous as well, but really so thankful for this awesome chance to serve and take this next step and have some leadership experience. What's way cool, I'm one of the youngest district leaders in the mission's history! Well, at least youngest non-fluent Japanese fluent speaking missionaries, but anyways. It was a crazy call, but I'm just stoked. They said they really prayed about it, and President Budge felt I was really ready, and could do great things in Maebashi. My new companion is on transfer 2 so I'll be training him and his name is Elder Tu'ua! He's an awesome Poly from Provo, and he just seems like a missionary who is ready to go. I knew him pretty well this transfer cause he was with our Zone Leaders, but I know he and I are gonna see some awesome miracles. (I wonder if he'd be weirded out if I asked him to call me Kolipoki...) A few of my old District members from the MTC are all training, and a couple of us are District Leaders, so it's just showing how much younger the mission is getting! We're all so stoked for this Christmas season, and I know we're going to see some awesome miracles.

But to answer some questions! Still waiting for my Christmas Package, but I'm so stoked to get it! Elder Packer and Elder Broadhead all got some Christmas stuff this week, and I'm pumped to get that little piece of home. It's hard not to think about the family a lot during this Christmas time, but know that you guys are always in my prayers, and I love you all so much! Also Mom and Dad, you guys are really making me so proud and stoked to hear about the missionary work you guys are doing! We had our stake conference this week, and the big focus was on members and missionaries working together as a partnership, and it makes me so happy to see you guys have caught that vision, and are just being amazing. Missionary work really is the greatest thing ever, and it has that incredible power to change our hearts, and focus more on the needs of others. I promise you guys will keep feeling that love for Kimberly, especially as you bring a family unto the Savior during this Christmas season. The past six months have really been some of the hardest, but most rewarding 6 months of my life. I love being a missionary so much, and I'm so thankful to all the experiences that the Lord has given me recently. Just way stoked right now! 


Whit, just want to say how proud of you I am!!! I can't believe you're graduating onto bigger and better things, and know I was totally there being an art critic around your BFA project, haha. I know that the Lord is blessing you with some awesome things, and you're just gonna go be amazing. Keep praying for those things that you want to accomplish, and I know the Lord will bless you! I'm praying for you every day, and I know that great things are right on the horizon for you! Just keep it up, and keep giving photography your all. I know that the Lord has blessed you with so much in that department, and you're destined for awesome things! Keep your chin up, and always look to the Lord in that you do, and He will bless you, I promise that! 


Lex, I'm praying for you everyday as well, and I know that the decision to move back to CA is pretty scary, but I know awesome things are in store for you as well! Sometimes we just have to leave our comfort zone a bit, and then those blessings will follow. Hey, we're both doing way scary things right now right? I'm moving also, and it's a little intense! But through the Lord, anything is possible, and when we do what's right, and just show Him the desires of our hearts, He will always show us the way! I know that that will happen for you, and the Lord's gonna bless you as you take these big steps. 


Tyler, you BOUGHT A SCION! Like a boss, I'm way proud. It may not be 100% Japanese, but it's pretty close. I'm stoked to see some pictures of it soon! I know that the Lord's really blessing you as well, and it's so cool to hear how your life is really just going forward and taking off. Just keep showing the Lord those desires that you have, make some goals, and go get them! I know that the Lord will bless you also! I'm praying for you everyday man! 


Mom and Dad, I love you guys!! I'm so stoked to talk to the whole family in a couple weeks, and I know that's because of the wonderful Gospel centered home we were all raised in. We talked a lot this week about family Christmas traditions, and it just got me thinking about all the awesome things we used to do as a family, and it made me so thankful to all of the awesome memories I have. Being far away can be hard, and I do have a craving for mom's famous cinnamon rolls right now, but there is no where else I would rather be! The Lord is blessing me so much everyday, and I'm so thankful to the eternal friends I have made here so far.  I know that this Gospel is true, and that through it we can find that eternal happiness through our Savior Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement. I was really lucky to meet Elder Aoyagi of the seventy this week at stake conference, and his testimony was so strong and powerful. This is an incredible time to be missionaries and to be members! The Gospel is truly going forth, and we have this awesome opportunity to share it with all of those around us. I love you guys so much!!! I hope you have an awesome week, and I'm praying for you all everyday by name! Next week I'll be sure to let you know about how we're gonna do some calling for this Christmas season!! So STOKED! Love you all! The Gospel is True. The Book is Blue. And God loves you!!


Love,

Elder Justesen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 17

Temple day with my companions!

Konbanwa everyone! This week has been really so amazing, and we have seen some awesome miracles here in Oyama. I'm way stoked to write about them! Today was Temple Day, and I really did some deep thinking about some of the things I have really been thankful for in my life, and I just have to say two things came to my mind instantly. One! My awesome, amazing, gnarly family. I just want to say thanks so much for all that you do, and all of your prayers for me, and always just being so awesome. I love you all so much! I sat in the celestial room and just prayed, and felt such a gratitude for the home I was raised in. Just, thanks for raising me in the right way, and always pushing me to do my best. :) Also! Number two, I felt so thankful to be a missionary at such an awesome time in Japan! Today we got to explore downtown Tokyo, and I got to hit up Shibuya and take a walk in the Scramble! Check it. World's largest intersection in the world, no big deal. It was so cool!! It was awesome seeing all of these people from all over the world in such a brief crosswalk! So cool. And Whit, photographers were EVERYWHERE! Like flickr-esque people! So cool, I definitely chatted them up a bit, asked if they knew you! They said no... But! It was a good ice breaker to introduce the Gospel a bit. ;) It looks like you all had tons of fun this week! I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but you know I was there in Spirit! You guys were on my mind all day, and I just felt really thankful for all that you have done for me. Thanks for keeping my joking reputation up Pops, love ya. ;) Haha, but I really want to go into the most awesome thing that happened to me this week!

So, this week we had this AWESOME opportunity to have an exchange with one of the assistants named Elder Hogue. He's going home at the end of this transfer, and he's seriously an incredible missionary. So he came down to Oyama, and he and I were going to have a few hours to work together, and I was stoked. I really learned so much from him, and he taught me the huge importance, and how to really give this work your absolute all. We just worked and taught, and I really learned so much. I'm not sure where he lives in Utah, but keep an eye out for an Elder Hogue coming back from Tokyo. He and my old companion Elder Hamada, now Brother Hamada, were companions and Assistants together! So we had some fun joking around and talking about Elder Hamada, and it was way cool. 

Awesome park across the street from the temple
But so that's not the awesome part! After we have our time together I get a call from Elder Burgin in Narita! He's kind of laughing, and he just says, "Elder Justesen! I got someone here who really wants to talk to you!" And he puts on one of my first investigators Chika on the phone!! She had just had here Baptisimal interview, and SHE'S GETTING BAPTIZED ON THE 22ND! When I left Narita, I promised that I would come back when reached her baptisimal date, and she did! She and I talked for a little bit, and she asked me if I would give a talk at her baptism. Also, I talked to the sister missionaries now teaching her, and they sayed that she talks about me really a lot, and that the small picture of Christ I gave her when I left (Lameneted one mom sent me!) has been her scritpture marker, and something she holds really dear. Elder Burgin came back on the phone and just sayed, "Elder Justesen, you are loved in Narita." he told me that she walked out of her interview, she walked up to him and said, "I gotta call Elder Justesen!" He said it was the first thing she did. :) It was just awesome, and it just showed me that when you gave your entire self to the Lord, He returns it ten fold with so many blessings. Chika is so awesome, and I'm so stoked to go to her baptism! Elder Hamada will be coming down from Osaka, and it's going to be just a really awesome Narita reunion. It's like Dad said, once you hit those sixth months, things just starting kind of happening, and I can really see that now. Missionary life is just becoming way natural, and something I love so much! It's been the greatest gift I have ever received, and I'm so thankful that the Lord has taken something as simple as me, and with His power and love, He's blessing me with the ability to do great things. I'm still just a really simple 19 year old missionary, but the things I have learned in this short time will bless me the rest of my life! I know that that's true.

Oyama elders! 

I'm so stoked to see what happens next transfer! Elder Hogue said President Budge's vision is that my group start training this coming transfer, which was unheard of in the mission before apparently, and I'm stoked for the challenge! I know that with those tough challenges come some of the greatest miracles. I know that if I do become a trainer, with the Lord's help I can do it! My Japanese might not be really great, but He can strengthen it. My teaching may not be incredible, but He can strengthen it. I may not be able to read train schedules at all, but He can strengthen it. There may be days where I won't know where to go or what do or what to say, but He can strengthen and guide me. I love the Lord with all my soul, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary! I can't believe it's been 6 months already, but I'm so stoked for what the next 18 have in store! I know that as I keep working with all I've got, and follow the examples of the awesome missioanries I have been blessed to work with, I know I'll see success out here! This Gospel is so true, and I know that it blesses and changes lives everyday. The Prophet Joseph Smith truly saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and with that, brought a world living in Spiritual Darkness into a light of eternal happiness.

You can see Moroni through the trees!

Just want you to all know I love you!! And I'm so stoked to talk to you guys in just a few weeks now... How gnarly is that?? I'll let you know what the whole way we will be doing that as soon as I find out! Who knows, I may be training at that time! Haha. But anyway, love you guys so much, and keep sending those pictures! I love seeing what you guys are up to, and see how suteki everybody is! I have one super oshare family! Ask Sister Eshbaugh what those words mean! I'm sure she'll find it pretty funny. :) Tell Virginia I say hello also! She's still the only girl for me, and even when some missionaries talk about their ladies back home, I know I got Virginia so I basically win. Nuff said. Haha, have an awesome week!! Love you guys! Also! I'll try to see if I can get some Christmas presents for you guys here! Apparently sending things to America is cheap, just sending to Japan is way expensive. For my Christmas, probably just some ties, maybe some slacks? You know, good old missionary stuff. Oh! Also, one other thing! Mom, if you could... Could you toss in some of my sweatshirts into that package if they fit?? That would be so awesome! Especially the San Jose Sharks one! I would love that one up here! If you can't that's totally fine too!! Thanks so much! Love you guys!!!

Love,
Elder Justesen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 16

Eikaiwa (English) and Music Corner Advertising

Awesome P Day with Oukinin!

Hey everyone!! It's been another awesome week here in Oyama, and I'm stoked to write about some of the really cool things that happened this week. Just want to say I'm jealous you guys are heading to Rodizios this Thanksgiving! Maybe in two years we'll go hit up Sushi and have a real Japanese Thanksgiving. ;) That's actually what I'm having this week! An awesome older couple named the Adachi's are having all the missionaries in the Kiryu Zone over for a Thanksgiving dinner. Their daughter married a young guy from Utah, so they know Thanksgiving really well. The Adachi's are seriously awesome, I love them! Although I'll miss you guys a lot, I'll have to do the best I can with my Japanese Family over here. Mamma, I'm way sorry I've been really lame at answering your questions, I'll be sure to answer them today! So... Yes! I did receive that letter package from Sister Chamberlain and the ward members, and it was really so awesome. I got it my second week in Narita I believe? But anyways! Sorry it took me so long to answer. Dad, I got Bishop Wunderli's referral in, it's now in the Tokyo South mission, and missionaries are on their way to contact her! So stoked to see what happens with that. Missionaries here don't get a ton of real mail, just little letters here and there, and then packages for the big holidays and birthdays. :) I hope that answers most of those questions!! Haha, onto the week. 


My awesome comps! Elder Broadhead, 18, straight out of high school from Heber City, Utah! And Elder Packer,  20, from Kirtland, Ohio. Related to President Boyd K. Packer!

Merry Christmas from the Oyama elders!

Oyama elders. Yeah buddy.
So! This week was REALLY awesome, starting off with Tuesday. Tuesday we all went down to Tokyo South Mission for a two mission conference with Elder David F. Evans. Can I just say, it was AWESOME. He got everyone very stoked to do missionary work, and he told us all about how this age change in missionary work hasn't only changed the missions, it's changed the whole Church. He told us the entire story of how it was decided with the First Presidency, and a lot of the things going on when they decided it. Apparently, President Monson's primary concern wasn't when we would leave, it was when would we get home. Long story short, after that was a lot of talk of, "After this get married quick!!" type stuff, but it really put some perspective into my mission. It really is an awesome chance for two years to really show how committed I am to this great Gospel, and a way to show that devotion to Heavenly Father. I'm really so thankful to be here every day, and I love being a missionary so much. The two mission conference was so great too because I got to see my MTC companion Elder Scott! It was an awesome reunion, and we had some fun together. After the conference we went back to the mission home in Nakano and had a really early Christmas party, which was such a blast. We had a white elephant gift exchange, which was way fun, and we watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The old one of course, not the Ron Howard (Sorry Whit.) Haha, but it was so great. It made me miss you guys quite a bit, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. I'm so excited to spend this Christmas not worrying about gifts or things being given to me, but instead focusing on others, and sharing this incredible Gospel message. I love being a missionary so much!

Elder Packer and me. 
Shun had some issues with bullies at school, so we cheered him up with ping pong!

Shun and Elder Broadhead looking studly.
Our investigators here in Oyama are really doing so awesome. We invited basically all of them to be baptized last week, and we received all, "When I'm ready" type answers, one in particular that was so cool! It was definitely a Heavenly Hug. ;) So! We had a lesson with the Kakihara couple, who are a recently married part member couple. Sister Chihiro (wife) was baptized when she was little, but her husband has not. They're such an awesome couple, and we decided to go for a lesson directly centered on an eternal marriage and family. But some other news, BREE IS GETTING MARRIED! I got a wedding announcement the day of our lesson, and so I decided we should definitely use it in our lesson. It was such an awesome Spiritual experience. I was able to pull out the announcement and talk all about how she wasn't a member, but she was baptized, and is now going to the temple to be sealed for always and eternity. It went so well, and I have to admit I got a little teary talking about Bree, and telling the Kakihara's that they could have that same happiness. I'm really thankful to the people the Lord has placed into my life. :) Just want to testify a bit that our Heavenly Father knows us all so individually and personally, and as well the people and experiences that we have in this life are no accidents. Everything truly does happen for a reason, and everything we receive from our Heavenly Father is always done out of love. He loves us so much and wants us to be happy in this life, and that's why He gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth and atoned for us. Not only for our sins, but for all of our doubts, and concerns, and weaknesses. In the Garden, He truly felt all of those things. I feel so thankful to be teaching about the true meaning of Christmas this year, and I'm so thankful to that atoning power of Christ's Sacrifice. But through the Savior, our sins can truly all be made okay, and we can move from those sins and mistakes, and have that chance to start fresh. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I'm so glad He never gave up on me throughout my life.

Oukinin and I doing some doodling!

My awesome companions on a Sunday Less Active visit.

Ward pot luck!

So just want to say one thing I'm way thankful for this year... MY RAD FAMILY! I just want to say thank you so much for all of your kind words, prayers, and just always being so awesome. My goal for this transfer has been to become a more charitable person, and have that immediate love for all of those around me, and I had to do some repenting for not showing that love in the past. I hope you all know how much I love you with all my heart, and how stoked I am to talk to you in about a month! How crazy is that?? I can't believe it's already been six months since I put on the tag and walked away! Except it was nice and hot then... Now it's pretty cold, haha. Japan is seriously almost identical San Fran weather and I love it! It's really foggy in the mornings now, and then it's that nice autumn chill, which turns to ice cold night, haha. But I'm doing great! Got myself some thermals, scarfs, really nice big coat, so it's just turning into some really great Winter Missionary Work. I just want to tell Mom and Dad how stoked I am to hear that you guys are being so active in the missionary work in our ward. Seriously, I can just imagine you guys rocking it like the Adachi's here in Oyama, and that makes me so happy. Missionary work was never meant to be a distinct thing of missionary and member. They go together, like a marriage as Elder Evans said (I laughed and thought, "Whoa dude! I just hit six months, calm yourself.") and it makes me so stoked to hear you guys have that vision. I definitely want to be more involved in our ward for the short time I'll be home after a year and half! Crazy right?


Ward party with our investigators Oukinin and Perara! They are both amazing. 

Ustunomia Shrine! Right in the middle of town.

Shrine selfie!
Me and Elder Broadhead!

Well I just want to say thanks so much, and I love you all!! Missionary work is truly awesome, and so much fun. Days are hard sometimes, but the Lord really does give us those Heavenly Hugs all the time. Our Father's love for us is personal to each of us, and He knows us so well. We had interviews today with President Budge, and during my sub interview with Sister Budge we talked about that. She just laughed when she found out about the guitar I had been given, and just was so happy to hear that the Lord had answered my prayer and gave me a chance to put music and missionary work together. Right now we're doing a music corner type thing right after English class where I play a primary hymn in English (indie style of course) and we share a message about it. It brings such an awesome Spirit, and it just makes me happy to be a missionary. I know I'll remember these times for the rest of my life, and I'm just way happy to be here. I miss you guys quite a lot during this Holiday Season, but I'm so thankful to be here in Japan at such an awesome time. I hope you guys have an awesome week! I'm praying for you every day, and I know that blessings are happening to us every day. Wow... was that bad English, that felt like bad English... I hope this Christmas call goes well and I don't have any issues with understanding, haha. Love you all so much! Have an awesome week! And Mom, I'll try to start including my favorite Heavenly Hugs in all my emails now! Thanks so much!!
Love,
Elder Justesen

Me and the Shrine!

It's looking like Fall!

Cool view of Ustunomiya!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 15

My companions! Elder Packer, left, and Elder Broadhead, middle.

Konnichiwa everyone! It's been another really awesome week here in Oyama, and I'm way stoked to write about some cool things that happened this week. But to first answer some questions! Mom, I really love your nativity Christmas idea! I'll try to pitch that to our Bishop here in Oyama, but I really think that is a good idea. During this Christmas season, we're really focusing on a lot of less active work, and bringing those great people back to Church. It's been a real blessing to go visit some of these great people, get to know them, and try to spark that fire back again in their lives. Christmas in Japan is definitely a little different than in the US, but! That same spirit of good will and love is still there, and we're excited to get going, and I think your idea will be a really big hit. I can't believe this transfer is almost over!! I'll be starting up transfer 4 really soon, and I can't believe I'll be 6 months into my mission already. That seems crazy! It's like Dad and Tyler said though, I really am starting to love my mission so much. I have since day one, but it's just starting to click now. The language is coming really well, and the Lord is blessing me so much everyday. We had a way awesome P-Day today, and I just did a lot of deep reflecting on these past few months, and I just felt really so grateful.

Oyama! I love this area.

I want you all to know that I love serving a mission with all my heart. I love being able to walk up to people and tell them I'm a missionary, and just share with them what I believe. Numbers don't determine success as a missionary, it really is your commitment to your service, and I needed to be more committed! I was focusing too much on the baptisms determining my success, and I realized today and throughout this week that the Lord has been blessing me so much in these past 5 and a half months. I feel really so much like a changed person, and I feel so much closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. He's given me so much, and He's given me this awesome opportunity to see miracles every day here in Japan. I love being a missionary!!!! Just wanted to say thank you so much for fasting for me this week, I really felt it, I can honestly attest to that. We saw so many incredible miracles this week, and when you said in your email you fasted this week, it just made sense. :) I love you guys so much! Thanks for being the greatest family ever. I love showing my investigators pictures of you all and telling them that my family is so happy because of this great Gospel, and I know that that is true. Just love being a missionary, haha.

A traditional Japanese meal in a traditional Japanese home! My knees sure hurt after.

Our investigators are doing really well this week! We found an awesome new investigator named Shachin who is just gnarly. He's from Nepal. loves Jack Johnson and Bob Marley, and is so sensitive to the Spirit. It's been a blast teaching him. We committed him to baptism today, and he asked us to give him a couple days to think and pray about it, and so now we're just trusting in the Lord. The Spirit really led our lesson today, and it was such a great experience. I feel seriously so blessed to kind of be the guide to bring people back to Heavenly Father and more fully feel his love for them in this life. Shachin just said he felt so good and peaceful after our lesson, and it was just really awesome. Our 17 year old investigator Shun is doing really awesome as well! It was so cool, his mom actually came by the church this week unannounced specifically at a time which we were there (Miracle right?) and told us how thankful she was to us for everything that we're teaching to Shun. She was so concerned that because he said he couldn't receive baptism right now, he wouldn't be allowed to come to church anymore. She was so happy to hear he could keep coming, and that we're still going to meet with him. We're really feeling that Shun is the gateway for his whole family to receive the Gospel, and come closer to Heavenly Father. We're just way stoked for him! He's such an awesome kid, and he and I have become tight the past couple transfers. That's honestly my FAVORITE thing about being a missionary! I get to just love everyone and talk to everyone. It's seriously the best, haha. 

We taught a lesson in Starbucks! Don't worry, it's hot chocolate. :)

Last week was just lame, and I was focusing too much on the things I wanted to happen, rather than looking at all the incredible things that the Lord has given me. First off, an amazing family!! Second, this awesome opportunity to be a missionary in Tokyo, Japan! He's given me the ability to speak Japanese! That's a miracle in and of it's self! I just want to testify that even when our lives feel like there's just so much we can't do, if we just take a few moments to look around at everything our Father in Heaven has given us, we'll realize we truly have so much. :) Although my time in Oyama isn't up yet, I feel really so blessed to come here and serve. But when I first got here to Oyama, there were hardly any investigators on the board, and finding was REALLY hard. However, if I leave it this transfer, I know that I have left this area better than when I arrived. There are so many awesome people to be taught, a ward that is stoked to do missionary work, and an area that has the Lord's trust. I feel really thankful to have been a part of that, and I know that Oyama will see baptisms so soon! Will I be here for them? That's up to the Lord, but I'm confident that they will happen here. It was an area that needed some tender care, and the Lord blessed me so much by letting me come here and help! I'm so thankful for all the awesome stuff that has happened here, and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

I love Japanese ramen and gyoza! And I've mastered slurping my noodles.

By the way, I was thinking a lot about the things I'm really thankful for this week, and I just have to say my FAMILY! I love you guys so so so much.Thanks so much for all of your prayers and seriously kind words. They mean so much to me. I feel it was just yesterday we would all crowd around the computer after doing some homework to see Tyler's email, and I know you guys are all doing the same for me... Except with iPhones and what not. Haha. Just know I'm so thankful, praying for you all everyday, and that I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I'm really so happy to be here in Japan, and I'm way stoked to talk to you guys in about a month now! It's gonna be awesome, but please refrain from making fun of my Engrish, haha. Have an awesome week! I love you all so much! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE, THE BOOK IS BLUE, AND GOD LOVES YOU!

Winter in Japan. We get crazy fog!

その書いたが真実だと知ってます!本当に今週からいっぱい必要なことを学んで、あてはめて、与えて下さいましたので心から感謝いたします!私の心中で神様の愛を感じて、その感じて下ったことからすごくうれしく成りました。やっぱり、そのつらいことがあれば、いつも、神様は助けて下さいますよ!私の書いていることはそのしょこうですね?この福音を伝えてみせますよ!愛してますよ!いつも、あなたたちの助けに心からかんしゃもしあげます!じゃ、またね!

ジャステセン長老
Elder Justesen

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 14

Konnichiwa everyone! It's been a really awesome week here in Oyama! It's been another awesome week here as a missionary in Japan! Stoked to hear about Brigham's mission call, I totally called Europe! He'll be a way great missionary for sure. This week has been pretty awesome! Elder Packer and Elder Broadhead are seriously awesome missionaries, and they really carry the Spirit with them so well. Elder Broadhead has so much great faith and we are doing all that we can to see some great miracles! We're fasting tomorrow for the White Christmas that President Budge mentioned to all of you back home, so we're really excited to just go forward and keep working. The mission is getting together for a big Christmas party in a couple weeks actually! We are all going down for a two mission conference which is going to be so awesome, and after that we have a Christmas Party, so I get to spend my whole day in Tokyo! I'm stoked for that. Mom, thanks so much for all of your kind words in you letters, you always know just what to say to put a smile on my face! Dad, same goes to you, thanks so much for all of those nice words. But anyways, onto the week!

So this week was full of some amazing miracles, and a couple of things that were a little hard on the heart. I'd rather not go into a lot of detail why, but our awesome investigator Kazuo may have to be dropped. We found out the other night during our lesson that he has actually had two seperate families his whole life. Both families are now fully grown, have children of their own, but still have no idea about each other. Kazuo is breaking the law right now, so we had to kind of end our lesson and call President Budge. We called, and he told us that basically we should invite him to repent and change his ways, but if he says he won't, we have to set our focus elsewhere. It really broke my heart! Kazuo truly needs the Gospel so badly, and I know that his meeting with the missionaries 25 years ago and now us is no accident. I'm praying for him every day, and I know that whatever happens is the Lord's will for him. It was pretty rough on my heart, but I know that our meeting was not an accident, and that some sort of miracle will come from it.

Our other investigator Shun is doing so well! We're really focusing on him to see him baptized by the end of this transfer, and we can really feel the Lord helping us every step of the way. We went to go pick him up to come to church yesterday, and we finally were able to meet his mom! Shun has been a little hesitant to introduce us to his parents, but we finally met her, and it really went so well. She's such a nice women, and when we came to pick Shun up she was so excited for him to be going to Church. Shun had a great time at Church, and we know that if it 's the Lord's will, Shun will get baptized this transfer! So far no date set yet, but as we get the okay from his parents, we know he'll start progressing really quickly. He has such a strong desire to draw closer to his Father in Heaven, and I'm really thankful to be teaching him. He and I have really gotten so close over the past two transfers I have been here in Oyama, and I'm really so thankful to be his missionary! He's an awesome 17 year old kid, and I know that as he makes this covenant with Heavenly Father, his entire life will be changed from it. This Gospel has such a strong influence on everything that it touches, and I'm so thankful to be spreading it throughout the Japanese country.

The Lord has blessed us so much here in Oyama! This week we've been so blessed in our finding, we found 24 new people since Elder Packer and Elder Broadhead arrived! The Lord's trusting us with His prepared children, and we feel so lucky to be with them and teaching them. Being a missionary is seriously the greatest gift I have ever received. My Japanese is coming along and I know that the Lord is helping me everyday to become the missionary that He wants me to be. Every day His chipping off a little bit of the rough edges I used to have, and He's making me into the servant He needs me to be. I love this Gospel so much, and I'm so thankful to the incredible gift of prayer. It's blessed my life so much as a missionary, and it's such an awesome gift we've been given! I know that we can truly speak to our Father in Heaven at anytime, and anywhere, and that He will listen. His love for us is really infinite and no matter what we have down in our lives, we can always come before Him and make things right. The Savior's arms are always outstretched towards us, and He is always calling for us to come to Him and feel of that personal love He has for us. I testify that the Savior lives, and that He is so aware of our challenges. He knows them because He experienced them all in the Garden. He knows exactly what we feel, and is the perfect comforter in those times of pain and doubt. When we doubt ourselves, He is always there to cheer us on, and urge us to keep going with faith! I know that as we trust in His will, and go forward with faith, we will find so much peace and happiness in this life. I know that Joseph Smith was truly called of God to restore the Savior's full and infinite Gospel to the Earth once again, and the Book of Mormon is true evidence of that. Within those pages we can not only find guidance for our lives, but as well answers to the questions of our heart. Within the Book of Mormon we can fully understand our potential and as well all that the Lord desires to bless us with. I love this Gospel so much, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary here in Japan! Although some days are really hard, I love being a missionary so much. I know that this is where the Lord wants me at this time, and that miracles are happening around us everyday! I love this message, and I'm so excited to share it everyday!! The Gospel is True, the Book is Blue, and God Loves You! Have an awesome week!! I love you all so much!!

私はこの福音が真実だと知っています!本当に神様がいると知ることからもと幸せになことが出来ます!ときどきつらいきもちを感じますけれでも、いつもイエスキリストに来るときに、その愛もいかい感じられるとやくそくします。いつもこの伝道のきかいに本当に心からかんしゃもしあげます。すべてことありがとう!!がんばりましょう!信仰によってなんでもできるよう!愛しています!!

-Elder Justesen
ジャステセン長老

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 13

おはいようございます!! It sounds like you all had a pretty awesome week, I'm stoked to write about some really cool things this week. It sounds like you are all doing so great, and that makes me happy! :) It looks like you all had a seriously awesome Halloween! Halloween was actually transfer day here in Japan, and I didn't see too many kids dressed up! However, our Halloween party a week before was seriously awesome. 

This week has been really pretty awesome, but a little hard! I got a really bad cold on Wednesday that has kind of stayed with me the past few days, and then it stole my voice! I can honestly say though that when you're really sick, and still keep going strong with missionary work, that is when you can really feel the help and love that our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. I was really blessed this week as I tried to stop people with a broken voice, and my body not feeling super well. But! The cold is just about gone, and my voice is coming back little by little. I'm stoked to be back at my full 100 percent and hit this transfer hard! I really do love this area so much right now, and I just want to give it my all this transfer. I keep getting a feeling this may be my last transfer in Oyama, so I gotta make it count! :) The Oyama ward is seriously so great though, and I have really come to love them. It was actually pretty hard the first few days my new companions were here because I'm technically the area senior, even though I've only been here about a month! Pretty crazy, but I was cool to start working one on one with members, and really putting my Japanese to the test here in Oyama. The gift of tongues is so real, and Heavenly Father has blessed me so much with this awesome language. I'm really starting to become more comfortable in speaking, and that really is so comforting to me! I was so worried that Japanese would just be way too hard, but I know that with the Lord I'm learning it! He's helping me so much along the way, and I'm so thankful for that help. Elder Packer and our new missionary Elder Broadhead are seriously awesome. They are dedicated and hard working missionaries, who I know are just gonna boost this area! Elder Broadhead has that incredible MTC faith that moves mountains, and Elder Packer has the vision to help this ward. The three of us are gonna see miracles I know it! 

I can't really lie, this week has been a little hard! Haha, every so often there are those weeks were you just kind of plop down on your futon and just deeply breathe, and this week has definitely been like that for me. The training gloves are officially off, and it's been a pretty big switch. I want to tell you about this incredible miracle Elder Broadhead and I experienced the other day! So it was Elder Broadhead's first Mitsuketaikai, which is where we hand out free English class fliers out at the train station, and try to stop people and talk to them about what we do as missionaries. So! Elder Packer heads to his area, and asks me to show around Elder Broadhead, and show him how to do it. I show Elder Broadhead the ropes, a little bit of some Justesen-ness to add to it, and sent him to work! He was stoked to work, and I went down to my area to start handing out the fliers. A couple minutes later, I look over and I see that Elder Broadhead is talking to a man already, and is telling this man about the Book of Mormon! In English, but still, seriously awesome! I walk away feeling happy for him, and next thing I know, Elder Broadhead's bringing this man over to talk to me. The man's name was Jess, and he was from the Philippines. We started teaching him about what we believe in, and he told us that as he was coming down the escalator, he had this feeling he had not felt before, and when he saw Elder Broadhead, he knew he needed to talk to him. How amazing is that! Elder Broadhead was just so stoked, and I felt so lucky to have that experience with him. I keep telling him he's gonna be the next AP, and I love just building him up. The faith that these brand new missionaries have is just awesome, and I love working with Elder Broadhead! Elder Packer and I are somewhat acting like his parents, and we're just having a ton of fun. They both have so much faith, and really have a strong desire to help the Oyama Ward. It's gonna be a white Christmas for sure! 

We just got back from some good old dendo, and are pretty tired, but I just gotta say once again, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. We decided to go stop by to see our investigator Kazuo, who met with the missionaries 20 years ago. He told us he's been reading the Book of Mormon, and as well we talked about baptism. He used to be a member of the Yakuza when he was a young man, and he really loved the fact that all those past sins can be taken away. He really loves his cigarettes, but! I know he can give them up, and he's been praying with us all the time, and his prayers are so humbling and filled with the Spirit. I know he stopped me on the road on that rainy day for a reason, and I feel so blessed to have met and teach him. Kazuo is the man! Haha, I really love him. Elder Gray, my FAVORITE now transfer 2 missionary, and I went and taught him earlier this week on splits, and he gave us Snake extract! A really tasty vitamin drink! He's just such a fun and kind man, and I feel so lucky to be teaching and talking with him. I know that if it's the Lord's will, he will be baptized soon, and he will be able to feel all of those great feelings of peace and comfort all the time. I was thinking a lot about the atonement last week, and I always get really blown away at how truly amazing that gift is. I feel so blessed to have been born in this great Gospel, and fully understand that when we make mistakes, we can always change. We can always try again to be better, and keep trying our best. It just makes me so stoked to go to work, and bring all of God's children to that knowledge. I know that everyday He is preparing those people for us to meet, and as we work with all of our heart and might, we are going to see miracles!! All of God's children are just seeking for that comfort and peace, and they come in all different shapes, sizes, and tattoos! But they are all God's children, and are all entitled to that same peace and joy we get to receive everyday. Nobody's perfect, and we all fall short sometimes. But our loving Father in Heaven knows that, and is always cheering for us to get up and keep trying. I love thinking of the analogy of a race! We get to the starting lines, we've practiced, and we're all set to go. We start our race and start going, but all of a sudden, we realize we're not exactly the fastest, or the best runner! Sometimes we even fall and think about just giving up, and throwing in the towel. But, we always have our parents. Father and Mother are always in the stands, cheering us on, and telling us to keep going with all we got! It reminds me of when I would play baseball when I was little. I definitely wasn't the best player, but I always knew that my Mom and Pop would always be there to cheer me on. Even when I missed a grounder, struck out, or got out on base, Dad and Mom would always still treat me like I was the best player on the team. Our Heavenly Father's love is just like that. He knows and understands our weaknesses, and even when we make mistakes and turn away from Him, He always has a way for us to come back. He is always urging us to keep trying, and go forward with Faith. In our Father's eyes, we're the MVP, and the best player on the team. We just have to give it our all, and the Lord will always take care of the rest. 

I just gotta say I really love analogies! Probably been my favorite way of teaching here in Japan! Heavenly Father gives us so many awesome experiences that we can really relate to the Gospel, and I really think that's so cool! I've used so many old stories from when I was little to relate to the Gospel, and I really am so thankful for the home I was raised in. Mom and Dad, you guys rock!! Remember when I was little, and was absolutely terrified about moving to Utah? I remember we were moving and Dad always would say, "Devin, this is preparation for your mission! You'll have transfers and it'll be just like moving all over again!" Well, you hit the nail on the head Dad! I was bummed to see Elder Howard go, he seriously felt like my older brother, but! I'm really so thankful to those experiences I had as a little kid! They really did prepare for a mission without me even knowing! I just want you to know how thankful I am to all you guys! I couldn't ask for a better family, and I'm so thankful for everything you do for me. I pray for you everyday!! I hope you guys have such a great week, and I hope you all are getting stoked for Thanksgiving! It'll be way weird not being home, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. The Gospel is True, The Book is Blue, and GOD LOVES YOU!! 神様がみなさんを愛していると知っています!!!その愛からもと幸せになることが出来ると知っています!本当に私の家族に心からかんしゃしってます!全てのたすけとかあふれる愛とかほめっていることからよりよい宣教師になったよ!それに本当に心からかんしゃしっています!私のけいけんしたことからじゅんびしていつもおぼえているですよ。それがスゴイだと知っています!ありがとう~ね?がんばる日本!!!じゃ、またね!のんびりしって下さい!愛していますよ!

Love, 
Elder Justesen 
ジャステセン長老

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 12

I taped this to the back of my nametag

Konnichiwa everyone!! It's been a pretty awesome week here in Oyama, and I'm stoked to announce some new changes that have just happened today. So transfer news... I'm staying in Oyama! I'll be receiving a new missionary and an older missionary and I are going to be co training basically. I'll be follow up trained, and as well help with this new missionary! Elder Howard and I are bummed to split up, but he's stoked to go to his new area of Matsudo and be a Zone Leader! He's been an awesome companion, and I have really learned so much from him. I'm stoked to go forward with this new transfer!! I have a really good feeling about it. My new companion will be Elder Packer, who is coming down from Niigata which used to be apart of the Sendai mission, and President Budge said he's a hard worker! I'm stoked, and I know that if we have faith and work with all we've got, we will see miracles!! So to answer some questions, yes I totally felt the Earthquake a few days ago! It was pretty gnarly, and shook our apartment a bit, but honestly I loved it! Don't ever worry too much though, if there was any real trouble, I would always email! Japan loves their earthquakes, and it always brings back memories from CA. ;)

A whole fish that I ate, eyes included!

So today was seriously awesome! We did a massive Zone P Day and we went down to an area called Oizumi! Tyler, you would love this area. Basically, if you speak Portuguese or Spanish, you go to Oizumi! It's a small area that is a little Brazil. All of the signs change to Portuguese, BBQ restuarants line the street, and there are Brazilians everywhere! We had our Zone P Day down there, got some awesome Brazilian BBQ, and had a really great time. A few of the missionaries in our zone are actually heading home at the end of this transfer, so we said some goodbyes, and it was overall a really awesome day. Tyler I gotta say, Brazil seems like an awesome place! Gotta love the Fazion (Rice and Black Beans) so good!! Dad, I'm so stoked you and Mom tried Japanese Curry! It's actually kind of my forte here in Japan. I make a mean delicious curry! I'm excited to make some for you in about a year and a half or so. Hopefully you'll like it more by the time I come back. ;) 

But anyways! This week was seriously awesome, but one pretty major sad thing... So Okenchu did not get baptized this weekend, and as well he's completely dropped us. He won't answer our calls or emails, and he canceled our appointment we had the other day. He's such an awesome kid, and I'm praying for him everyday, but it does hurt quite a bit. It's really incredible to see how just a few small bad choices can take us so far from our Savior, and so far from the good path. I'm not giving up on him yet though! He's such an awesome kid, and I know that he will be baptized one day. I'm following the missionary trick of imagining all of your investigators in white ready for baptism, and I know that that's Okenchu. He just needs some more time, but he'll come back soon. Love that kid though. The Lord blessed us with some awesome new friends though! First one is Ike! He is an awesome guy from Nigeria, and he really seems so prepared. He loves his Savior Jesus Christ so much, and is always talking to us about how he wants to learn more about Him. He met a missionary about a year ago in downtown Tokyo, and he was just really busy at the time and couldn't meet. But he really wants to, and we're so stoked to start teaching him. He's such a nice guy though! He and Elder Howard were talking on the phone the other night, and he just goes, "Hey, tell your friend Justesen I say hello! I hope he has a great night." He's just awesome, haha. Our other new friend is Sandro! Take a guess Tyler, he's from Brazil! He's actually a referral from Oizumi, and he also is a nice guy. He's full of so much good light, and he and I were talking the other day and he told me he just wants me to teach him more of the words of Jesus Christ. I laughed and told him that's what I'm here for! He laughed and set up a date to meet. He rocks! The Lord gave us some trials with our baptismal candidates, but he's given us two really awesome new investigator. Both taught in English/Portuguese, so it's seriously so fun! By the way... My English is seriously starting to slip! It's pretty sad, haha. I've recently had a hard time saying: Bless, rain, hello, English, etc. It's so true! Once you start learning a new language, the little things start slipping and you can't speak the same way anymore! Alexa is going to give me a hard time when I talk at Christmas with an Engrish accent... Hahaha.

EPISODE 3: REVENGE OF THE MISSIONARY

I can't believe I've been a missionary for almost 5 months now!! I feel like it was just yesterday I was being dropped off at the curb at the MTC. It just goes to show how fast time flies when you're having the greatest experience of your life. I'm so thankful to be here in Japan, especially at such a historic time. The field is white everywhere, and we should expect to see miracles of this everyday. With the White Christmas season on the way, the whole mission is just getting psyched to do missionary work. Missionary work is so amazing, and it just blesses the lives of everyone it touches. I feel so lucky to be a missionary, even though some days can be pretty rough, like with Okenchu. That's the one thing that is still hard for me! As missionaries, you basically wear your heart on a sleeve, and it can be rough when stuff like that happens. But! At the same time, it's kind of my favorite thing as well, I get to love everyone! It's such a blast, and I'm so thankful to be here everyday, and just keep going forward. No baptisms yet, but I'm staying committed! Success doesn't come from numbers, it really is centered on how committed you are everyday to just give it your all. I'm giving this work my best! Some days it's hard, but I love it so much. I've made so many awesome friends here, many of whom have completely changed my life. I'm stoked to say the training wheels are coming off, and I'm stoked to be a full fledged missionary! The Japanese is coming along pretty well, and I love speaking it. It's such a fun language! The gift of tongues is really so real, and I'm really thankful for it everyday. Serving a mission has hands down been the greatest decision I have ever made, and I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me to come work here in Japan. The most gnarly, awesome, prepared place ever. Japan rocks. All I can say! Haha. ;) Well, I better go and start prepping for my trip down to Tokyo this Thursday, I love that city! The bustle is really so cool, and I just love it. I hope you all have an awesome week, and know that I love you all so much! I pray for you everyday, and I know as we unite our prayers and pray for this Gospel to go forward, it totally will! It's too awesome to keep to ourselves, and it truly changes lives. The Gospel is true, the Book is blue, and God Loves You! Have a great week!! またね? あいしっていますよ!信仰によってなんでもことができますよ!

-Elder Justesen!
(ジャステセン長老)