Monday, February 24, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 29

Just an awesome day in Tsukuba

Hey everyone! It's been another really awesome week here in Tsukuba and I'm excited to write about some of the cool stuff we saw this week. :)

Goofing around

First of, I just want to say I love you guys. Seriously, I was praying a lot today about those things in my life that I'm thankful for, and I felt really so thankful for the awesome family I was sent to. You guys really kept me on that straight and narrow path, and were always urging me to love those around me, and always trust in The Lord. It seems like every day as a missionary, I'm using something that I learned when I was a little kid, and I'm really so thankful for that. Just wanna saw thank you so much for all that you do for me, and especially for all of the prayers. I've been really feeling it so much recently, and I'm so thankful for that. Being a young Zone Leader really leaves you pretty worn out sometimes... But then there's that burst of energy and strength that I know isn't from me, and I know that it comes from those prayers. Thanks so much. :) I love you guys so much, and I'm so excited to talk to you again on Skype in just a few months or so now! How crazy is that?! Weren't we just talking on the phone for Christmas? Time is really picking up like crazy, but I'm loving this whole missionary experience so much. It's really changing my life and making me into that person I've always wanted to become. I'm so thankful to be here in Tsukuba as a missionary, and I'm so thankful for the wonderful miracles the Lord has blessed us with here. It's been such an awesome transfer, and I'm so stoked to see what the next transfer has in store! Can't believe it's already about over! Today was temple day, but unfortunately I wasn't able to go due to some money issues and lessons that prevented us from going, but it's all good, there's always next transfer!

So one really awesome miracle I want to share is about our investigator Dhani! Dhani is a 19 year old college student here who has been meeting with the missionaries for 2 years, and this week he finally committed to be baptized in the first week of April! I really hope I'm here for it, haha. But we had such an awesome powerful lesson all about God's personal love for him, and the spirit was so strong in that lesson. It really built my testimony in the power of those simple principles. What we decided to do was collect a bunch of things that God loves about Dhani, find scriptures to back those things up, and then we shared them with him. He really appreciated it so much, and The Spirit really spoke strongly in that lesson, and he was able to set that date to be baptized! How awesome is that? It's been so crazy, the miracles that we've been seeing here are seriously so amazing.

Another really awesome miracle was our investigator Kiyo! One of my life long dreams has been realized! I'm teaching a Japanese surfer. He's such an awesome guy, and recently he's been reading the Book of Mormon so intently. He's a vegetarian, and he threw out his TV because he thought it was too distracting. But he's such an awesome guy, and he's loving the Book of Mormon. He says he knows it is a true book from God, and our next big step is just helping get closer to baptism. He really isn't a huge fan of organized religion, but he is really such a prepared guy, and we know that the Lord will help him get to that point as we keep working hard and showing love to him. Kiyo is so awesome though! He always sends such gnarly emails with awesome endings like, "Keep easy like a bird. Sultry summer breeze, dense freeze winter." And "Relax yourself, and step confidently." Kiyo is awesome.

But honestly, I really love being a missionary so much. It's changing my life so much every day, and I feel so thankful to be here. Some days my Japanese feels like it's really coming along, and some days it's pretty hard, but the Lord has blessed me so much, and His strength keeps me going. I've been thinking a lot about the Atonement lately, and it's just something that has become really so real and awesome in my life. Through that incredible sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ, we can truly change. There is no mistake that can't be painted over, or wall we can't climb over. With Him, anything is possible. Sometimes we feel like we're walking in that thick fog, or darkness that surrounds us, but He is that unfailing source of light that guides us back home. My new favorite hymn has become Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy, and I love the lyrics to it so much. We have this great knowledge of this great Gospel, and we know the change it can truly have on all of those around us, and we really are those lower lights along the shore. :) Man, I really love that hymn. I feel so lucky to be a missionary at such an awesome time, and for the chance to just try to be that light along the shore. I love this gospel, and I'm so thankful for all that it's given me. I can't believe I'm reaching 9 months! It seems like yesterday I just started, but I'm so excited to just keep going strong and give this work all I've got. :)

One of the biggest churches in Japan, and it's an LDS church!

In other news, I've lost weight! Today I hit 72 Kilos! Which I'm not too sure what that is in pounds anymore... But around 160ish I believe? That's almost about 20 pounds lost since leaving home! Pretty gnarly. I've been trying my best to work out hard every day, and I've recently started doing a P90X for missionaries! All the Zone Leaders, assistants, and even President Budge use it apparently! It's pretty awesome. And with Spring on the way, I'm gonna try to start running every morning again with my companion. It seems like yesterday Elder Howard and I were running around Oyama when I was transfer 2, time flies by way too fast!

But all in all, things are going really awesome. The Lord has blessed us with some truly awesome investigators here in Tsukuba, and this transfer has just flown by. Elder Dunbar is really such an amazing missionary as well. He's really taught me so much throughout this transfer, and he's shown me that true power of exact obedience. He's truly a Christlike servant of the Lord, and I feel really lucky to be serving with him. We're hoping to be together again another transfer, but we'll just see how it goes!

Being a missionary is just awesome though. I wish I could have been there at that missionary fireside, and I would have just testified that missions change lives, and it is the greatest gift ever. Two years may seem like a long time, but it's the chance of a lifetime. Tonight we taught Jimmy the plan of salvation, and the spirit was so strong as we taught about this life and where we will go after. Jimmy just kind of smiled and said it's so crazy because before tonight he just saw life and the grave. There was no life before, or chance to keep living afterward. When he said those words, it really just made me feel so thankful to be here, and be sharing this message. Yeah, somedays are pretty hard, and somedays you're way tired, but you're on the Lord's errand, and He's with you every step of the way. He'll raise you up. He'll strengthen you. He'll bless you. He'll cleanse you. He'll refine you. He'll change you. I've really come to feel that in these short few months, and I'm so thankful for this chance to be serving.

As well this week, Elder Hardin, who was in the MTC with me, and I went on exchanges, and we saw so many awesome miracles. At the end of the exchange we just talked and testified about how our missions have changed us so far, and it was such an awesome experience. Being a missionary has been such an amazing gift, and I'm thankful that I still have about 15 months to keep going with my whole heart. I love this gospel, and I know that it has that incredible power to change lives and change hearts. This week we also visited a man named Jason who is a less active here in Tsukuba ward. He's preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood so that he can baptize his son, and it's been so awesome being with him and his family.

I love being a missionary! I miss you guys like crazy, but I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. :) Have a great week, and know that I'm praying for you everyday by name! I love you guys so much, and I'm so thankful for all that you do for me! The Gospel is True, The Book is Blue, and God Loves You! Also... Keep easy like a bird, sultry summer breeze, dense freeze winter. Have an awesome week!!

Elder Justesen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 28

Dinner with Tugs, our sumo wrestler investigator!

Hey everyone! It's been another really awesome week here in Tsukuba town of miracles and awesomeness. It's been a seriously awesome week! First off I just want to say I'm way sorry about the picture situation, I'm working on it as best I can, but I hope you enjoyed the ones sent just a little bit ago! The whole iPad transfer has had some hiccups, and President Budge is working way hard to figure out the kinks. I'll hopefully be able to send the pictures on my camera soon! Also! Thank you so much for the awesome Valentine's day package! The candy was seriously so good, and the tie is way suteki! I'm way pumped to rock it at zone meeting this week, haha. I find it pretty awesome that as a missionary your main source of identity really is your necktie... I like I've got a pretty stylish source of identity now.

It sounds like everyone is doing way good this week! That makes me way happy, and I'm so stoked to hear about all of the missionary work our family is doing!! Seriously, way to go Whitney, Alexa, and Mom. The Lord really needs all his faithful servants to go forward and spread the Gospel with all of those that he is preparing everyday. Know that I'm with you in spirit as you share this awesome message everyday! Man, I really just want to say thank you so much for all that you do for me. :) We met this AMAZING new investigator named jimmy who is from china this week, and his big dream and desire is to have a family of his own one day, and it just got me thinking about how amazing my own family is. Just want to say thank you so much for all that you do, and always being so patient with me. Thanks so much. :)

Just doing some housing
But yeah this week was seriously so awesome! First off I wanna talk about my main man Tugs. As seen in the photo I sent. He's a legit sumo wrestler who came to English class this week! He's a young guy from Mongolia, and he's seriously awesome. He came in, rocking a Scooby Doo beanie, and when we shared what we did as missionaries, he really wanted to meet with us and talk about it more! Over all you can eat pizza here in Tsukuba. It was intense going head to head pizza eating with a sumo wrestler, but I won! Haha. It was way fun, and we were able to teach him a lot about Jesus Christ, and he really loved it. When we asked what he thought about Jesus Christ, he said, "oh he's amazing!" And it was such a cool experience that we had with him. He's moving to Osaka pretty soon so we won't be able to teach him, but we want to get him meeting with the missionaries over there, and our dream is he'll have his own I'm a Mormon ad soon. ;) but in all honesty, it was such an awesome experience meeting with him, and one I know that I'll remember for the rest of my life. This week we as well had interviews with president budge, and it really made me just think about how much The Lord has blessed my life so much in this time as a missionary. Today I got an email from president budge, and my old Brazilian investigator Sandro got baptized a little bit ago in oyama! I don't know if I mentioned him too much, but we were meeting with him back when I was in oyama. He was always so busy, but I called everyday just to follow up with him on the Book of Mormon, and share scriptures, and he got baptized! This really awesome missionary from Brazil came down to oyama, taught him in his native language, and he finally was baptized! It was just another really awesome blessing The Lord gave me this week. :)

I can't believe this transfer is already coming to an end soon! The time is really starting to pick up, and it's seriously so crazy! I feel like yesterday I was dropped off at the MTC, and started learning this language. So Saturday night Elder Dunbar and I were asked to give 5 to 10 minute talks in sacrament meeting, and we didn't have any time to prepare, but I did it! It was such an awesome feeling going up to the pulpit, and talking about the temples, Bree getting married there, and other blessings I've seen from the temple all in Japanese with no notes. When I finished I just thought about that first day in the mtc, and it made me feel so thankful to The Lord. I feel that that is one of the most awesome and faith strengthening gifts He's given me. Japanese is not an easy language by any means, and I still have such a long way to go, but The Lord has blessed me so much, and I'm so thankful for that. The gift of tongues is truly so real!

A cool Italian restaurant 

Another really awesome miracle we saw this week was a man named Kiyo! So elder Dunbar and I were walking down this super endless road with no body on it, and it reminded me of a way awesome miracle elder tu'ua and I saw the transfer before. We were in that kind of situation before, and we ended up finding an investigator at the end of thatstretch of the road. So I'm telling elder Dunbar this story, and all of a sudden at the end of the road, this man starts walking down it! We instantly walk over and talk to him, and he ended becoming a new investigator! We got some lunch with him, and when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he just says, "oh I already read it! My old friend once introduced me to two other guys like you once, and I read it!" It was so awesome, and it really showed us how much the preparing to hear the gospel everyday. He's actually moving to Mexico soon, but we're meeting with him again, and hopefully he'll go and find those missionaries down in Guadalahara. Kiyo is a major miracle though!

Another awesome miracle is Jimmy! So he came to church, and had such an awesome time. The Tsukuba ward is seriously amazing, and probably one of the best wards I've been in here in Japan. The bishop is such an awesome man, and there is so much diversity in the ward. There are many Philippino, African, Utahn, American, and Chinese! It's such a fun ward to serve in, and Jimmy just loved it. After church we had a lesson with him and our ward mission leader, who was baptized only 4 years ago. Yeah, he was baptized, and then served a mission in Sendai, and is now married and expecting his first child soon! He's such an awesome guy, and he testified so powerfully about how this gospel can truly change lives. It was such a powerful lesson, and then jimmy accepted the baptismal invitation! He didn't set a specific date, but he said he really wants to receive baptism soon. He's such a prepared guy, and we're so stoked for him. He wants so badly to have his own family, and we were so blessed to be able to show him how this gospel can help him achieve that dream.

That has probably been the coolest thing that I've seen here in Japan. The church is still pretty young, and most of the ward leaders are converts themselves, and it's been the most awesome, faith strengthening thing ever to hear their stories, and see how The Lord has completely changed and blessed their lives so much. Especially when I look at our ward mission leader, he's just such an awesome guy, and only 4 years ago, he had no idea who Mormon's were. It just has shown me how much God loves all of his children, and is so aware of all of their thoughts, desires, and prayers. He listens to us so carefully, and he loves us more than we know. I that that is true, and it's something I'm seriously so thankful for. It's something that has changed my life, and makes me want to do all I can to be better person everyday of my life. Man... I'm really thankful to be a missionary. It's completely changed my life, and I'm just way thankful to all it has given me.

Another seriously awesome experience this week was going to mission leadership council! It's a meeting down in Tokyo at the mission home where all the zone leaders and sister training leaders go, and we just receive training. But, I got to see both of my trainers and it was just so awesome. I just gotta write, I love Elder Burgin and Elder Howard. They are the nicest guys ever, and I really was so, so, so blessed with the trainers I had. Elder Burgin and I got to work together a bit on the train on the ride back, and we talked to this way cool teenager on the train. Elder Burgin just was super nice, saying how much I've grown, and he said some really awesome things that I really needed to hear. Just gotta say, the people The Lord places in our lives is not by chance by any means. They've been our friends and life shapers way longer than we can remember. Elder Burgin and Elder Howard have been that for me, and they've really blessed my life so much. :) love those guy.

But all in all, it's just been a really amazing week. The mission is kind of mellowing out with the crazy growth, and President Budge is just super excited and full of faith in seeing where the mission goes next. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Yeah it's far from easy, and there are some days I wish I could just run home and sleep for a bit, but the blessings I've received here make up for all of those little things. It's really not a sacrifice, it's an opportunity to reach you full potential. It's an opportunity to see the lord's hand more fully than you've seen it before. It's an opportunity to see lives changed, and yours included. It's an opportunity to change and follow Christ. It's an opportunity to walk away from who you used to be, and be more of who the Savior wants you to be. It's just awesome. That's about allI can say :) I just love it with all my heart, and I'm so excited for the time I have left! It's not always easy, and I know that it won't be a peace of cake, but I love it so much, and I'm so thankful to be in a country as awesome as Japan. I love being a Tokyo missionary! I love you guys so much, and i pray for you every night and day by name. I love you guys more than I can say, and I just want to say thanks for all that you do. Have an awesome week!! I'll try to send more photos soon. ;)

Elder Justesen 

P.S. Other awesome things this week.
1: Sister Budge said I'm the smiliest, happiest missionary in the mission and told me she really appreciates the smiles.

2: went to Costco and ate pizza again!

3: my bike died! But I got an old bike from a missionary who just went home, and it's awesome!! It's a road bike.

4: my family is amazing.

5: only thought about the office 1 time this week. Boom roasted.

6: it's getting closer to cherry blossom season!

7: made a HUGE pot of spicy curry and fed 8 missionaries. Gnarly. I'm a curry fiend.

8: taught a skateboarder about the gospel and heard the most interesting life story ever. Businessman to skater in a week.

9: figured out sarcasm in Japanese!

10: life is awesome.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 27

Hey everyone!!! So... This will be the first email sent to you from the newest tool to help hasten this work... The iPad mini! Haha, it's still weird having one of these, but it's helped so much already in teaching our investigators, and I love it! It's been a pretty awesome week here in Tsukuba, and I'm excited to talk about some of the miracles that we saw this week.

It sounds like you all are doing really awesome! I'm happy to hear mom is doing better, stay healthy okay! And as well I'm way happy California got some rain finally! I was praying for my home state as well, so I'm glad to hear it got some good rain fall. It snowed like CRAZY here in Tsukuba this week! Seriously, it felt a little bit like Rexburg, haha, maybe just because Tsukuba is a college town, but it was crazy intense! We still worked way hard though, and some of my old dirt biking in the sand helped a ton with biking in the snow... It was gnarly cold, haha. But all in all a total blast, and The Lord really blessed us so much this week with some cool new people!

First off I wanted to talk about our investigator Ko a little bit! I think I may have mentioned him last week? He's a way cool college student that we met a little while ago, and he actually did a home stay in San Francisco and one of his friends is Mormon, and he wanted to learn more about what we do! His big dream is to have a family and being married, and it's been such a blast teaching him. Only hard part is he's having a hard time realizing that this gospel really has so much relevance in his life, especially in achieving those desires of his heart. He loves learning about these things, but he hasn't really been trying them out. So! Today we taught him primarily about prayer, and he committed to pray tonight! I got to make up a little card in Japanese about how to prayer, and I filled it with some sweet little doodles like I used to draw when I was little. I'm really so thankful to the help that The Lord has given me in this language. My Japanese is still far from perfect (haha) but the Lord has blessed me so much, and I'm really thankful for the help He has given me. The gift of tongues is truly so real, I'm so thankful for it. I remembered today that first Sunday I had in Japan with elder burgin and elder Hamada, and just how far I've come since then. The Lord has strengthened me so much, and it's been a total ether 12:27 experience.

That's one thing I love about the iPads! Scripture study has really become so amazing! They downloaded the gospel library app, and it's been so awesome to be so into the scriptures, and have them so easy at my fingertips. I've been really trying to study the life of Paul in Corinthians, and I've started to gain a new love of the New Testament. The scriptures truly are such amazing gifts that we have in our lives, and it's been so awesome to be even more deeply studying them with these awesome iPads. I've as well started the Book of Mormon over again, and I'm so excited for the new things to learn this time around!

I love being a missionary! Honestly I can't say that enough. Yeah, it's far for easy, has quite a few challenges, and some days just leave you beaten and trodden down, but it has truly been the most life changing and most awesome experience of my life. I'm especially thankful to be a Tokyo Japan missionary, and have the opportunity to meet so many awesome people everyday! The other day I met an amazing man named Mohammed from Nigeria, and we had such an awesome conversation about the scriptures. He was a member of the Islam faith, and there are some heavy rules that we cannot teach Muslim people at this time, but he and I had an awesome discussion about God, and especially about the scriptures. He pulled out his Koran on his iPad, and I pulled out my Book of Mormon on mine, and we just found all of the similarities, and those basic truths that Christ taught. It was probably one of the coolest experiences I've had so far, even though it couldn't go much further, but it was so awesome learning about his faith in God, and his desire to follow his teachings. I could really feel why I took that Middle Eastern class that semester. :) He and I talked about faith, and it was super edifying and uplifting.

I just want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you all so much. I can really feel of your love and prayers everyday, and I just want to say thank you so much. I couldn't ask for a more awesome family, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary at this awesome time in Japan. :) I still have so many kinks and weaknesses to work though, but The Lord is truly helping me so much everyday, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be a missionary of this incredible Gospel. It's changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for it. This church is truly amazing, it's been really cool to use the "I'm a Mormon" ads our teaching appointments, and it just helps me see how truly incredible this church is. We as members are far from perfect, but we're perfected in Christ, and His infinite grace is what keeps us steady on the waves. Sorry, I've been loving teaching about waves and ocean analogies lately in Japanese. :) Gotta love being a missionary right? Haha, well I just want to say I love you guys so much!! Crazy that I've been a missionary for 8 months, but I'm so excited to just keep giving this work my all. My three words I've been trying to keep in my mind lately are: 

信仰: Shinko which means faith.

愛: ai which means love.

働き: hataraki which means work.

The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you!!! Have an awesome week!

Elder Justesen

Sent from my iPad (haha) 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 26

Konnichiwa everyone!! It's been another super awesome week here in Tsukuba, seriously... Just awesome. I'm so stoked to write about all of the awesome miracles we saw this week, and yeah, onto the week. :) First off DAD! Happy Birthday!!! I'm way sorry I didn't get a chance to send you anything awesome this year... Just know I love you so much Big Guy, and your prayers and advice always keep me going. I know that if I can be a missionary like you were, I can be a really great missionary. I was looking over the "My Family of Missionaries" picture, and it always just makes me feel so proud to be a missionary alongside such awesome examples. You really set the way and path for me Dad, and I just want to say I love you so much. I'll just have to miss one more, but after that we'll do something super fun together! Maybe Huge Motorcycle Road Trip? ;) I really like this idea, haha. 

Mom I'm so sorry you got so sick! Please know I'm praying for you everyday, and I hope everything works out. Dang... Just know I'm hugging you through the email, and my prayers are with you! You've always been such an awesome example of endurance in my life, and I know sometimes all that hard work can take a heavy toll on our bodies. Just feel better and don't work too hard! I love ya so much! 

Well all in all, it sounds like everyone is doing way good! I just want to say I love you guys all so much, and I'm so thankful for all of your prayers and especially all of your kind words in the emails. They really give me that drive and desire to do my absolute best, and I just want to say thank you so much. I love you guys!! Just keep praying, reading the scriptures, and looking to the Lord, and I know that those awesome blessings will keep coming. :) 

This week started off super awesome! Elder Whiting of the Seventy came and toured our mission, and it was probably one of the most intensely Spiritual meetings I've ever been in. He prepared no talk. He had nothing written, but he taught with the power and authority of a General Authority, and it was so awesome. I received a ton of personal revelation, especially when he talked about the importance of these two years. It was so awesome, and it made me so stoked to give my absolute all to this incredible missionary experience. I can't believe I'm at 8 months!! That's almost a year! I swear it was yesterday I was dropped off at the MTC, but the time is really starting to pick up pace. Scary! Haha. As well, this Wednesday we're receiving our iPads! The whole mission is getting super excited, and I'm so stoked to see how much it will change missionary work. :) 

But this week was really so awesome! So... This week we started with one baptismal date in the whole zone, and now we have 4 in one week! The Lord truly strengthened us so much, and really blessed us with some really amazing people. We have a new baptismal date with the COOLEST college student ever named Jason! He's a really young guy from China, and it was the coolest miracle we saw this week. We met him on the street, and set up a time to get some dinner and talk more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he said he had some interest because his grandma was a devoted Christian women. So we met for dinner, and we started talking to him about some of his goals and life dreams. His main dream is to work really hard, earn some money, and eventually take his mom to see the United States. Apparently she has had this dream for such a long time, and his main dream is to help her achieve hers. It was so awesome, and he instantly accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and set a date to be baptized on the 9th of March! He's in China right now for the New Year Festival, but I gave him one of my personal Books of Mormon, and he said he would read it while he's in China. Way stoked because that Book of Mormon was completely marked up with Questions of the Soul! It was my main finding Book of Mormon, but it was the only one we had on us, so I couldn't not give it to him! Haha. But Jason is just such an awesome guy, and we're so stoked for him. Keep him in your prayers! 

As well through this week, the Lord blessed us with so many awesome new investigators. So Tsukuba is home of one of the biggest universities in Japan! Aka, tons of foreigners, young students, and people with incredible desires and open minds. It's been so much fun getting to know the area, and meeting so many awesome people! A lot of them speak English super well, but my Japanese is getting better I think! I can now read the Book of Mormon in Japanese pretty quickly, which was one of my goals I set in the MTC to have done by my half way mark, so that was awesome! The gift of tongues is really so real, and something I'm thankful to so much. It's helped me so much in knowing what to say, how to say it, and most importantly when to say it. Being a missionary has taught me that so much. When we rely on the Lord with all we've got, trust in Him, and give our absolute best, He's with us every step of the way, and brings us to that higher plane, and helps us to reach and achieve those desires of our hearts. This week just really showed me how much the Lord is eager to help us, and it's something I'm so thankful for. I love being a missionary!! :)

And honestly, I love being a Zone Leader! It's been such an awesome learning experience, and it's really strengthened my faith so much. It's been so much fun getting to know all of these awesome missionaries, and having my faith strengthened so much by them. As well, I love so much being in a position of always trying to serve and help others. I love praying for them by name every night, and I love celebrating with them when they see awesome miracles! It's just way fun, and I'm way thankful it's something I get to experience so early in my mission! 

Just gotta say, being a missionary has been the greatest gift I've ever received in my life. Elder Dunbar and I were housing in Tsukuba yesterday, and it was a pretty countryside, rice paddy, type area, and I just kind of had a blown away moment about how much I've been blessed in these short 8 months. My life has truly been so changed, and I'm so thankful for it. It's not been easy by any means, and there has been some intense refiners fire, but it has changed me so much from the person I used to be, and is molding me into something better. Elder Whiting spent a lot of time talking about the Atonement, and I just felt really so thankful to our Savior Jesus Christ. Sometimes we look at the Atonement as kind of our free ticket. It's that cleanse factor we all are searching, but it really is something so much more. It's an incredible loving tool that we can use to change from who we used to be, and become that child the Lord has always wanted us to become. He loves us so much, and wants nothing more than our happiness. Sometimes we have to have that opposition in all things, but with the Atonement, we can truly meet any challenges that we have in life, and continue on with that brightness of hope that it talks about in 2nd Nephi 31. I'm just really so thankful to these 8 months, and I just want to say how thankful I am to be a missionary. It's really changed, and is still changing me everyday into the man I've always wanted to be, but maybe wasn't too sure I could actually be. It has shown me that with the Lord, anything is possible. Anyone can change. Anyone can be forgiven and move forward lightened from those burdens. 

I love this Gospel! I love this work, I love being a missionary, and I especially love my family! I miss you guys a ton, but I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. :) Less than a year and a half now we'll all be back together, and I'm so excited for all the awesome changes that we'll see. :) I love you guys so much!! Have an awesome week! The Gospel is True, The Book is Blue, and God Loves You!

Elder Justesen