Monday, March 17, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 32

Konnichiwa everyone! It's been another really awesome week here in Tsukuba, and I'm happy because now I have some time to write. Just want to say I'm way sorry it's taken me a couple weeks to write about what has been going on lately, but things have been going pretty great! It's finally starting to warm up, and Elder Sakamoto told me that the Sakura trees should be blooming super soon, so I'm so excited! It's so cool to see the work going forward at such a fast rate, and I feel so lucky to be a missionary here every day. It's almost been 10 months since the MTC, and I was thinking about all of the blessings and miracles I've seen. Being a missionary really has been the greatest experience of my life, and I'm so thankful to be here! Elder Sakamoto is such an awesome companion, and being around him has helped my Japanese so much. He's a missionary that is really full of so much charity and love, and it's been such an awesome transfer so far serving with him.

It sounds like everyone is doing really great! I'm always praying for you by name every day, and I'm really so thankful for all the love and kindness you always put in your letters! I'm really so thankful to have such an incredible family, and I'm so thankful for the things you all taught me while I was growing up. :)

Tsukuba is amazing! This week we were able to set 2 new baptismal dates with our Nepalese investigator Bell, and our other investigator Cho! They both have really been such miracles here in the Tsukuba area, and we're so excited for them. The really incredible thing I wanted to write about though is Cho. So! When we first met Cho, he had such a strong desire to learn English, as well as learn about God. But, he said since he was a scientist, he wasn't too sure if he could, but he really wanted to try. So we had a couple lessons with him, and they really went so well, but he said he was still having a hard time believing, and he was kind of losing hope in that faith. So we started praying for him really diligently, and asking Heavenly Father how we could help him. And then the other day we were eating with him, and he looks up and says, "so, in order to become Mormon, you need to stand in the water right? I saw a picture of that on your website." We were so blown away! He had on his own searched up the church website and looked up baptism, and really wanted to learn more about that forgiveness of sins, and coming closer to God. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he committed to be baptized! It really showed me so much that as missionaries, we really are just the tools in the Lord's hands. He uses us and guides us, and it's been such an awesome experience seeing how much The Lord is preparing His children everyday, and I'm so thankful to be here as a missionary in that position to just serve, and do the best I can to be a good tool in the hands of the Lord of the vineyard. I love being a missionary!

If I could ask for one thing, could you guys pray for Jimmy? He had this really big exam this weekend, and we haven't heard from him in a couple days. His baptism is set up to be this weekend, and he's looking so good, but we just haven't had a chance to meet in a little while. Jimmy is such an awesome guy, and it is seriously unlike him to just kind of disappear, so please pray for him! He's been progressing so well, and his whole focus has been on having that eternal family, and he's really come so far. He has truly been prepared by the Lord, and when we first met him, he really didn't believe in a God, and he's now grown so much closer to him, and the ward really loves him as well. It's been such a miracle to meet Jimmy, and he's taught me so much about how Heavenly Father truly wants all of His children to find that happiness. Jimmy's such an awesome guy!

Also Mom I got your package! Thank you so much, I really love it! Man... You all have really such awesome taste in ties and candy. ;) I used the candy for a present for Jimmy, and the tie is really so awesome! I've really grown quite a big collection of ties, haha.

So one of the really big things that happened at Mission Leadership Council was the announcement of all Zone Leaders starting to use Facebook! It was a pretty big shock for everyone, but everyone is so excited to see how it will help the work go forward faster. So they really want us to use our old accounts, just to clean them up a bit, and then go forward! So I checked it out today, and I don't think I'll have to delete too many photos, I just wanna say thank  you so much for making my Facebook look so great! It was so cool to see all the photos from the other end, and it made me really thankful for the awesome technology we have now. It's cool to see how we all can stay super connected, even though we're all living pretty far apart. :)

All in all it was such a great week, and I love being a missionary. Tonight we taught the plan of salvation to a young high school student at a nearby park, and it made me so thankful to be a missionary here in the Japan Tokyo mission. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much in these past 10 months, and every day has been such an incredible opportunity to grow and learn. I've come to learn that Heavenly Father really is there, and He loves us so much. No matter how far we may stray from him, He never strays from us. When we feel like we can't do this on our own, I testify that is when The Lord is right by our side, urging us on, and at times carrying us to that place of rest. I've come to feel that so much as a missionary, and I'm so thankful for the blessings He has given me. He's given me companions and people who have changed my life. He's given me a language I can now (barely) speak. ;) he's given me eternal friends who have come to the savior, and felt that love that he has for them. He's given me a chance to change. He's given me a chance to become someone new. He's given me a chance to see through his eyes, and a chance to reach out and help. I'm so thankful to be a missionary. It has completely changed my life, and I feel so lucky to go forward everyday and share this message. I know this Gospel is true, and that when Joseph Smith knelt in the sacred grove, he truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, and that through his experience we can know that God speaks. He speaks to us every day through little means, and large means. He speaks to our hearts in a language we've always known, just maybe at times forget. But He never turns from us, and He's always anxiously waiting for us to come back to him. I love being a missionary, and I'm so thankful to be here. I'm so thankful to my awesome family! I miss you guys a ton, but there's no where else I'd rather be at this time. :) in just about a year and 2 months, it's gonna be such an awesome reunion, and I'm so excited to take this time and become a better person, and take every chance to change. :) I love this gospel, and I being a Tokyo Japan missionary! Have an week, I love you guys so much!!!

Elder Justesen

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