Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 2

Hello from Japan!! I hope everyone had a super great week, it sounds like everyone is doing way good! First off... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMMA! I'm sorry I wasn't there for it, but know I was thinking about you all day, and praying that you had a great day. It sounds like you did though so that makes me way happy! Sorry if I seem a little hyper, it's been a way good week, missionary work wise. Thank you all so much for your letters! They mean so much to me, and I love hearing from all of you. On to the week!

So on Tuesday Elder Taylor, one of the AP's came on exchanges with us and we worked HARD. By the end of the day, we found 13 new investigators, and we taught 12 lessons! The Lord blessed us so much, and I even found one all on my own in Japanese! I was really thankful from the help I received from the Lord. He's really behind us in everything, and He's preparing people for us to meet everyday. Being a missionary is seriously so great. Many days it can be so hard, especially learning Japanese, but meeting people and telling them about the wonderful Gospel principles makes me so happy. Speaking of that, we set 2 baptismal dates this week!! Our investigator Shiyuu accepted last night, and our other investigator Ogura accepted 2 days ago. We're so stoked for them, and their incredible faith is so inspiring. They're truly prepared, and I'm so thankful to have met them. Elder Taylor told me at the end of our lesson that my face lights up when I talk about the Gospel, and he said he could really see that I love being a missionary and this Gospel. It was way nice of him to say that, and I give the thanks to my family. You all taught me so well when I was a kid about how this Gospel blesses lives, and I'm so thankful to all of you for setting that example to me while I was growing up.

So! Somewhat of a funny story. So the other night we're getting home from the day, and Elder Hamada (My awesome Nihon-jin Companion) says he wants to make us a traditional Japanese meal! We say yes of course, and he quickly whips up this really tasty looking rice meal. However. On top of the rice is a long pink meat type thing, and it looks a little sketchy. It's really soft, and completely raw. We ask what it was, and he refused to tell us until after we ate it! So, we start eating it, and it DID NOT taste right! But I kept eating until my bowl was empty, and Elder Burgin and I asked again what that was. He smiles a bit and says... "It's fish ovaries! Really good right?!" Haha, so yup! I ate fish ovaries. Pretty cool right? Hahaha, I can just imagine Mom freaking out. Welcome to missionary life in Japan!
But in all honesty, I am so thankful to be here. The other day I had such an awesome experience I want to share with all of you. So yesterday at church I was feeling pretty discouraged about the Japanese language because I still can't understand church hardly at all. It's hard not to get down on yourself a bit, and I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Suddenly, Elder Burgin motions to me we need to go outside. We go outside right as a car pulls up with one of our good member friends, the Sugiyama family. Recently Sister Sugiyama has developed a form of cancer that has stolen her daily abilities such as walking or even standing up. We helped Brother Sugiyama set up her wheelchair, and he lovingly placed her in it and brought her inside to church right as sacrament meeting started. Even though she was so weak, her desire to keep her covenants was even stronger, and it showed me how much love our Heavenly Father has for us. He sent us to this earth to have those experiences that uplift us. Even when at times we just feel we don't have enough strength, or the task is too hard, we can always trust in the Lord and know that He walks beside us. He wants us to be happy in this life, and all experiences we have in this life are for our benefit. It was such an awesome thing to be able to witness.
Well, all in all, being a missionary is amazing. This Gospel is amazing, and the Japanese people are amazing. Thanks so much for all of your love and kindness, I miss you all so much, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be for now. Have an awesome week!!! Love you all so much.:)
-Elder Justesen

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