Monday, October 14, 2013

Tokyo Japan Week 10

After a long day of knocking doors

Hey everyone! It's been another really awesome week here in Oyama, and I'm so stoked to write about what has happened this week. 
Shohei and I on a trail to a shrine!
Anyways, it sounds like you all are doing so great. That really does make me so happy, as I always pray for you all by name everyday. I miss you guys so much, and I can't lie! Seeing Conference got me a little homesick for Mom's cinnamon rolls, BUT! I had some nice Sushi and Ramen on Conference Weekend, so it all works out. :) This week has been so awesome! I just got back from an awesome day trip up to Nikko, which is this AMAZING little area deep in a canyon basically here in Tochigi-Ken. It's really close to the Sendai mission actually, and it was amazing. Whit, you would die if you came here! There were so many awesome bridges that overlooked this awesome river, and as well I went on a tour of the Imperial Summer Palace deep in the Canyon. Seriously... So cool. I'll try to attach some photos so you can see! It was such a fun day, but dang I'm way tired now, haha.  
Elders Burgin and Hamada, my first trainers!
Me with some homemade curry
But onto the coolest thing of this week! So recently, we have been teaching a lot here in Oyama, but finding has been pretty hard. We've been pulling out all the stops trying to find some new investigators, but so far no luck. Then this week, we had splits, and Elder Howard (My comp) let me know that I would be staying in Oyama, he would be going to Utsunomiya, and a brand new missionary named Elder Gray would be coming to Oyama to work with me. I was so stoked, but then felt pretty nervous! It basically would be the blind leading the blind! As well, that day I would have to find a house I had never been to, which meant using Japanese directions, bless a house, and other missionary type stuff. So I went down to Utsunomiya, picked up Elder Gray and we started heading back. On the train, Elder Gray being the awesome new missionary that he is was trying to talk to everyone! I was doing likewise, but most people were pretty stand off-ish. But then one young guy started talking to us, and we sat and started talking. Since Elder Gray is brand new, his Japanese is still pretty hard, so I began teaching this really great young college student. All I can say is, the gift of tongues is so real. I was able to teach him all about the Book of Mormon, share scriptures, ask questions, and try to set up another appointment. He really nicely said he couldn't meet anytime soon, but! He has a Book of Mormon now, and he knows a little bit about it. The Lord really did bless me so much, and I just prayed and prayed saying thanks. That's not all though! That day, Elder Gray and I found 3 new investigators and 3 potential investigators! At one point in the day, we were teaching a group of 5 runners at the local college! It was such an awesome confidence boost for me, and it made me remember how much the Lord cares for His missionaries. It made me so stoked to be a missionary, and as well just got me so excited to see where the rest of my mission takes me. If we have faith and trust in the Lord, we can seriously do anything! He loves us so much, and He truly does want us to succeed.
Shinkyo Bridge! Translated as "God's Bridge"
Me with my guitar!

A wedding!
Nikko river!
But yeah, it was just a way great week. Conference was so good! I especially loved Elder Dube's talk! Got me so pumped to just keep working hard. Our investigators here are doing really well! Unfortunately our one investigator Shun has said he wants to get baptized after school gets out... In about 3 months. So that was a major setback, but we're not getting discouraged! The Lord has really blessed us so much here in Oyama, and I'm so excited to be here. I can honestly say serving a mission has been the greatest decision I have ever made. I'm so glad I made it, even though some days I seriously miss you guys! I know this is where the Lord wants me right now, and I'm so stoked to be His mouthpiece in Japan. When you're talking to someone about the love of the Savior, and you see their eyes light up, it all just makes sense, and it all becomes worth it. Every slammed door, every rejection, can be totally made up by that one person who smiles and says they can meet again. I love being a missionary! I'm so grateful to be serving, and I'm thankful for the blessings I've received. I love you all so much!! Have an awesome week! The Gospel is True, The Book is Blue, and God Loves You!

-Elder Justesen 

Inside the summer palace

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