Monday, August 12, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 1

Watashi no kazoku! Konnichiwa from the land of the rising sun! Just finished eating some sushi at this little restaurant and I'm ready to write. :) 

So! This week has been a whirlwind of new stuff, but it's been so amazing. So when we landed in LA, we thought we would have a large amount of time to eat dinner, but nope! We had 5 minutes. It felt like the breath before the plunge, but I made it! The flight itself was not bad at all, we were able to give a few people some Books of Mormon and pass along cards in our broken Japanese, but it was seriously so cool to be amongst all these missionaries willing to serve. Then we arrived in Tokyo!! Honestly... It's the most gorgeous city I have ever seen. You guys have to visit some day! It's so beautiful, and everything you heard is true. Japanese people are the nicest people ever. They are always so eager to help and are truly so kind. But anyways! We spent the next two days meeting President and Sister Budge, who are so great. President Budge joked with me a bit about California, and he seems so great. He's ready to give these last two years all he's got, and he really does have so many great ideas! Then I got assigned my area! Drumroll please.... I am serving in NARITA! Basically the Los Altos of Tokyo! It's this awesome little town outside the city and it's so beautiful. My trainer(s), yup plural, are Elder Hamada and Elder Burgin! Missouri and Osaka. ;) They're the zone leaders! So the three of us share a super small apartment, and it's been really great. They're the best in the mission, and I feel really lucky to have them as my trainers. They work so hard! It's so inspiring and I love learning so much from them. Elder Hamada lived in Hawaii before his mission so his English is perfect, and he's hilarious. Elder Burgin is an ox! He works so hard, and he's been such a great trainer.
The language is pretty dang hard, but I'm having faith. Heavenly Father called me to teach the people of Japan in the Japanese language, so I'm just going forward with faith. There are miracles happening in Japan! So on Friday we decided to go to the Eki (Train Station) and hand out English class flyers, which is one of our primary ways of finding, and we ended up finding 9 new investigators. 9!!! It was so incredible, and I'm so thankful the Lord is blessing us here in Narita. I've been in many wards, but I don't think they can touch this one. Narita ward is so unified, and they're like a big family. I had to bear my testimony and give a short talk on Sunday, kind of last minute which was gnarly, but that's mission life! But anyways, I bore my testimony and I don't think I've ever been complimented so much for bearing a testimony. It was so cool! They said my Japanese was really good, and as well that the fact I was 18 was unheard of. Haha, seriously Japanese people are so amazing, I love them. Also you use a lot of English here in Tokyo! So far we've taught one man from Nepal, one from Sri Lanka, and a couple from Brazil! Tokyo really is a melting pot of great people.

This Work is really so amazing though. I'm so thankful to be apart of it, even when it's hard. It definitely isn't easy, but I feel like I've become stronger in my faith in the Lord. I had to teach an English class, and do many other things that were WAY out of my comfort zone, but I've loved every second of it! Even yesterday, here's a funny story. So we are streeting at the Eki again yesterday, and I spot a man and women standing by the train, so I went over and started talking to them in English since they weren't Japanese. It turned out they were from Norway, so I explained many of my ancestors came from Norway! We chatted for a while, and they started asking why an 18 year old was living in Tokyo, so I taught a little bit about the church! After that I bore testimony about the Book of Mormon when I realized I left my copy in my bag a little ways away! I asked if they'd stay put as I went to get the Book, and when I came back they were gone. Sad Face. But! I just kind of laughed cause I realized how much I must have looked like Elder Calhoun from the Best Two Years, hahaha.

But seriously, this Gospel is amazing, and I love the Japanese people. The language is hard, but I have faith that Heavenly Father will help me! Gambattemasu! Haha, I love you all so much, and I'm so thankful to all of your kind words and prayers. Families are so important to our Heavenly Father, and through this Gospel are families are so strengthened. Thanks you all so much, have a great week!! Thanks so much! Love you!

-Elder Justesen

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