Konnichiwa mina san! I hope you are all having an awesome week! So, first off, I feel pretty bad I haven't answered some of your questions, so I thought I'd answer them first!
1: Yes I have been to the temple! The first three weeks we went, but unfortunately the temple is now closed, so we've just been given more study time. But! I really enjoyed the times I went before. Apparently the Tokyo Temple is right in the middle of the two missions, so both missions attend semi-regularly?
2: Mama! Yes, I have received all of your AMAZING packages besides the one that went to Puerto Rico? Perhaps someone needs to practice their handwriting. ;)
3: Keep sending the cookies! I shared one of my chorotachi, and he loved them, and sure enough they were all gone in a matter of moments. Haha, but seriously, thanks so much for the packages! Mom, your laminated cards have become a thing I share with everyone each week, I think I mentioned a story about one that really helped out our district when we were having a rough day. Your kindness is being spread to all the missionaries. :)
Okay okay, now for the week update! (Jimmy Fallon Voice)
Thank you... Alexa, for sending that amazing package full of goodies and the SD card reader.
Thank you... Whitney for those awesome photos of your Oregon trip!! I'm so stoked you had a good time and saw all of your old buddies. My chorotachi still think you're a model, and some have called "dibs" after the mission, haha. I'm super glad you got to go, I was praying it'd be fun!
Thank you... To this awesome experience that happened this week! Allow me to explain. So! On like, I was getting my lunch and I heard someone yell out "Elder Justesen!" I turn around and it's Brady Peck! Now Elder Peck going to the New Mexico mission. He and I talked for a while, and it was really great! It's so cool to see that now all of my old buddies are serving missions. But anyways, this Gospel is so amazing, and the Atonement is so real. It takes our old selves and perfects us into becoming exactly what our Heavenly Father wants us to be. it may take time, and at times it is very hard, but if we allow it, this Gospel can change our lives and hearts.
Thank you... Kind of to another experience I had this week. So! My group and a few other zones are officially the oldest people in the MTC. A group of 900 (Yeah, 900) missionaries left yesterday, and now all of us 6 weekers are the oldest ones now. So to the experience, sorry, haha. Our Dai-Senpai left a couple days ago, and honestly it was so sad. We had all grown so close together, and we were all so sad to see them go. They were all going to Kobe, Fukuoka, and Nagoya, so we would not be seeing them for the rest of our missions. We didn't think we'd miss them this much, but we felt like we were losing our older brothers. It's incredible the unity this Gospel brings. In a matter of 6 weeks, a group of strangers can become close like a family. We had a great District meeting last week, and our branch president (President Mack) told us there is a very different kind of spirit within the Japanese missionaries. He explained that out of the missionaries he has met, Japanese missionaries are very quick to love and become like a family very quickly. It's so amazing to see how the personalities line up a lot for missions, and see how much Heavenly Father really does know us personally. He knows our strengths and fears, and His love dismisses them. Through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can be alright with our weaknesses, because through Heavenly Father, our weaknesses can truly become our strengths. Missionary work is so awesome! It just takes your old self and just improves you. Like, I'm still me you know, joking around about the Office, being sarcastic etc. Demo (However) Sorry that's just like my favorite Japanese word besides fluffy (Fwa Fwa) I feel so much closer to my Savior and as well the Spirit. I can feel it's influence throughout my day, and I know that a big part of that is just following the commandments. Especially everyday scripture study. The Book of Mormon contains so many incredible truths and ways to live our lives the way our Heavenly Father wants us to. I'm really so grateful for all of our scriptures, and I know that all of them go together as one incredible testimony that Jesus is the Christ, and that through Him we can find everlasting happiness in this life.
Phew, sorry, just really on a Spiritual high lately, haha. I'm so stoked to get to Japan though!! Only 3 weeks now, and today I received a letter from President Budge, so I'm feeling very sure I will be serving in the Tokyo North mission! it's coming up quick, but I'm so excited! Oh! You all should go to the Mormon Channel onLDS.org and watch the I'm a Mormon Ad about the girl from Tokyo!! They've made about 4 or 5 new ads, all featuring Japanese people! How rad is that? Apparently Japanese is now the second most taught language in the MTC now, so the Gospel is gearing up to go to Japan. Check them out! The ad is really so great, and you can turn on the subtitles. The Crafstman one is waaaay awesome too!
But anyways, I hope you all have an awesome week, have fun at the concert Alexa!!! Elder Killpack (my buddy) is way jealous of you. Know that you are all in my prayers everyday, and I feel of your support and it helps me more than you can ever know. This gospel is true. This opportunity to serve has already changed me into the person I have been striving to be, and I'm so excited to just keep going. The downs are always rough, but through faith that all will be alright, I know that I can overcome them. This message really is one of peace and happiness, and I'm so excited to go and teach it to the Japanese people!! Owari yokereba subete yoshi! (All is well that ends well.) Love you all!!
Justesen Choro (Devin)