Monday, January 6, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 22

Konnichiwa everyone! First off I just want to say... HAPPY 2014!!! It was a pretty awesome day here in Japan, the night before we had a mission-wide apartment cleaning day! Yeah... so in Japan I guess it gets pretty intense on New Years Eve, so President and Sister Budge had us all do a mission wide apartment cleaning. Haha, it was way fun actually, and Elder Tu'ua and I were able to build up some comp unity from it. It was gnarly! There were quite a lot of areas in the apartment that REALLY had not been cleaned in a long time, so we finished up with the apartment nice and clean. Then I set an alarm to wake me up at 11:55 and counted down with Elder Tu'ua, and it was way fun. :) We heard a ton of fireworks throughout the night, but we couldn't see too many from where we were. Apparently Tokyo was going crazy though! A lot of missionaries didn't sleep too much I heard! Then the next day I got to go over to a less active's home and have some real traditional Japanese New Year food! It was SO good! Lots of sushi, rice, and bamboo! Yup! Bamboo is actually WAY good boiled, and it's supposed to symbolize long life! But all in all, it was a pretty awesome way to kick off the new year, even though I missed you guys a ton! 

Finally got my Christmas package!

This week has been seriously just awesome. I told you guys about the baptismal date we set with our miracle child Edward! Edward is the guy from Yokohama who called us up on Christmas Day, and asked to be taught! We set that date, and he's looking super great. He has a really intense work schedule on Sundays, so it's really hard for him to come to church, but we're praying really hard for him, and we know the Lord can work some real miracles with him. He's a really great guy, and he has such a strong desire to follow the Savior, and he says he's so sure that it can bless his life and as well his friends and family. He's a way cool guy, can't say enough about Edward! 

My companion, Elder Tu'ua!

But then this week there was Luis! I haven't told too much about Luis, but he is one of those eternal investigators that has known missionaries for about 2 years almost. He's from Peru, and he's really such an awesome guy. He's only problem was that he was very committed to being spiritual, not really taking part in organized religion. He loved what the missionaries were teaching him, he just couldn't really commit. But then we had an awesome lesson with him on Saturday night, and we just testified about this message. The room was on fire with the Spirit, and he told us he could really feel it. That day I had talked to the missionary who first found him, and I testified to Luis that meeting that missionary was no coincidence, and that it was God's plan for him. It was probably one of the most awesome lessons I've had on my mission so far, and I'm so thankful that the Spirit strengthened my words, and helped me to find the right things to say to him. But after that we committed him to come to church with us the next day, and he said yes! We found him a train, and were waiting for him at the train station. 

Maebashi got a Burger king!

All of a sudden the train that he was supposed to be on arrives, and there's no Luis. Elder Tu'ua and I were so bummed, but we had to run back to the church for sacrament meeting. The whole time running back, I just felt really down in my heart. I knew Luis needed to be at church, and I just couldn't understand how he didn't come. I said a prayer in my heart running back to the church, and I just had this awesome feeling that everything would be alright. We sat down in sacrament meeting, and it just happened to be the one Sunday that almost everyone stayed at home because it was so cold! I just got so down in my heart because there was hardly anyone at church, and all of our investigators that said they were going to come didn't show. It was way rough, and I was just praying to the Lord for some extra strength, and the Lord delivered. IN WALKS LUIS! He walks in and we run over to sit with him, and he just kept apologizing about being late, and it made me so... Yeah I'll say it, STOKED! He came to church, and we were able to have an awesome lesson on faith afterward, and he committed to be baptized on February 5th! It was seriously such an awesome miracle, and one that I'm so thankful for. The Lord showed me this week that when we rely on Him, anything is possible. I'm so thankful to be a missionary, even on those days where I feel like I really just can't do it. The Lord meets us in our weaknesses, and when we rely on that infinite love, He makes us strong. He take those weaknesses and turns them into reasons to hope. That's what he did for me this week, and I'm so thankful for that. 

I love me a good burger. 

I can't believe I've been a missionary for 7 months now! That's honestly so crazy, but I'm so thankful for every single day. Some days I love looking back on, some days I'd rather forget, but they have all changed me into something better, and more committed to the Lord. I'm so thankful to be a missionary!! I just want to say that. :) 

I ran into a Bentley and a Ferrari. Sweet!

But it sounds like you guys are all doing way good! Lex, have a blast in Palo Alto you're gonna totally rock it! I met a women at the train station the other day who was visiting from San Fran, and she was way nice! Go hit up Japan Town for me okay? Get a little taste of what life is like every day here. ;) And Whit! Get some good rest, and go hit that job market!! I'm praying for you everyday, and I know that whatever happens is what the Lord wants for you, and He's gonna take great care of you. Just keep trusting in Him, and follow Him, and He'll lead you to those paths that will bring so much happiness. Tyler! Keep Provo warm for me okay? Haha, it sounds like you're having a great time there, just keep following the Lord and use those things that you learned on your mission. Mom and Dad, I love you guys. :) Keep being awesome, and just know I love you with all my heart! It was hard not to be a little homesick this week, but I know the love that you guys have can help and push me through anything and everything. Love you guys! By the way! My Zone Leaders have my package from Sister Eshbaugh, and they're supposed to give it to me on Friday! Way stoked. 

Man... I just want to say I love you guys so much. I was thinking a little bit today about what life is gonna be like in a year in a half, and I just got so stoked! Heavenly Father has really blessed us so much with being a happy close family, and I'm so thankful to all you guys. Keep up the Faith!! The Gospel is True, the Book is Blue, and GOD LOVES YOU!! Have an awesome week!!

Elder Justesen

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