Monday, September 2, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 4

Konnichiwa everybody! (Saved and Drafted.) Haha, I have learned from my mistakes! 

This week has been pretty great actually! We just got back from our Zone P-Day which was seriously so much fun! We all met up as a Zone and did these weird "Skills" challenges, and it was seriously a blast. It's so fun and cool to see these awesome missionaries who work so hard during the week have all this fun. As a missionary, it's really so true that you work hard and play hard! I got some sweet videos, and as well we had this eating challenge that we had to do, so of course I volunteered. So! The game was that there be two missionaries inside a giant coat, and the missionary behind has to be the hands of the front missionary who will be eating the food. All with chopsticks too! So my companions as ZL's introduce the game, and then we start! Everyone's having fun, and then they announce the final round. This round is worth 30 extra points and the eater has to be blindfolded, so I knew something was up. But I got volunteered! Challenge accepted. So we start eating, and then I just hear everyone in the room start getting super loud and I smell... Fish. Lots of fish. So I'm thinking this is the end, but I couldn't let my team lose! So I ate it... And... It was another awesome Japanese delicacy! Pregnant fish!!! I ate it all! It wasn't too bad actually, and I was pretty stoked to add it to my weird foods list. Japan has so great food! Haha.

But yeah, this week has had some pretty funny moments actually! So right now we have this investigator named Saratandra, and he is really so awesome.He's a famous movie director from Sri Lanka, and he used to be Buddhist, but he loves the life of the Savior. So, he doesn't speak too much English or Japanese, so it's been REALLY hard teaching him, but he really enjoys us coming by, and we really love him. So the other week we talked to this family who said they spoke the Sri Lankan language, and the father said he'd come translate next lesson with us. So he comes with us and we're so excited, and... The man doesn't speak Sri Lankan at all! He's from Pakistan! I instantly get so stoked because of my Pakistan class, and we had a really great discussion with him! He's name is Javel and he's just awesome. I never thought that I would find myself serving in Tokyo Japan on a sunday night teaching a man from Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Tokyo really is such a melting pot of incredible people that Heavenly Father is preparing to receive the Gospel.

So another pretty funny moment this week was we met Fabio at the train station! No, not my idol Fabio with the luscious locks, but this really awesome guy from Sao Paulo! We started talking to him about the Gospel, and he just loved it. He's supposed to be coming to church this sunday, so we're praying for him! What was so funny though was we started talking about the gift of tongues, and I mentioned to Fabio that my brother lived in Londrina as a missionary like me, and he got so excited!! He said he saw missionaries all the time in Brazil, and he loved them. It was so cool to see missionaries are really so recognized and people can just feel so good around them. I feel really so blessed to be one of those missionaries, and I get so excited everyday when I get to put my tag on and go forward and serve the Lord.

Despite some of the funny stuff this week, it's been a really faith building week as well. Missionary work can be so tough at times! Haha, I'm sure Dad and Tyler remember all too well the long walks home in the sun, the rejection, and prepared people that just can't seem to keep their commitments. Those days are rough! But really, I feel so blessed to have these experiences. The Lord gives us trials so that we can put our trust in Him and rise above to heights we didn't know were ever possible. When we just let our will go and take those small steps forward, the Savior walks right beside us. The Savior never leaves us, and His hand of mercy is always extended to those that have lost there way for a small moment. The Lord gives up on no one. I feel so close to the Savior on those rough days, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be here in Tokyo Japan as a laborer in the Lord's vineyard. My companion Elder Hamada goes home after this coming transfer, and it's so cool to hear his stories and as well the incredible things he has witnessed. Missionary work is so amazing, and it changes, and smoothes down our rough edges until we become that person the Lord wants us to be.

I just want you all to know how much I love you so much, and how much the Lord loves families. The Japanese family culture is really a lot different from the United States culture, but when you enter this little Mormon Japanese homes you just feel the difference. This Gospel really does bring families together in so much happiness in unity. I'm so glad to know that our families can be together forever, and that we can always know where to feel that love and support that come from our families.I've only been serving as a missionary for about 3 months now, but I feel so much different from who I used to be. Through the love of the Savior and through this Gospel, I feel so much better about who I am and who I can become. I know that if I continue to trust in the Lord, He'll continue to guide me and lead me to wherever He wants me to go.

Which includes possibly training in a couple months! Yep! We heard through the grapevine the other day that the next group of missionaries coming in soon is going to be HUGE, and President Budge has asked so of us new missionaries to start preparing to be ready to train in about a month or so. Yikes!! Haha, but I know that whatever happens is what the Lord wants to happen, and that's good with me. Also! Some news about Austin! He and I have been writing back and forth each week, and... His papers are just about in!! He just has to do insurance and then he's all done he said! I'm so so stoked for him! Missions are hard, but they change you and make you so much stronger, and I know this is what's going to happen to Austin. It's just another testament about how the Lord never gives up on us. No matter the experiences we've had, no matter the guilt we may have... He is always there. The Savior always has His hand stretched out to us to return to the Lord's fold and feel of the love and peace that is there.

I love being a missionary!!! I miss you all like crazy on some days, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I know that once these two years are done, I'm going to be changed for the better. But for now, just gonna keep going forward with faith in this work! Japan is truly prepared, and we're seeing miracles everyday. I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all of your love and support and all you're kind words of encouragement. I can feel of you love everyday when I pray, and I'm so thankful to all of you. This gospel is true!!! Hurrah for Israel! Have an awesome week!

Elder Justesen 

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