Hello everyone! It's been another really awesome week here down under in Tsukuba! Although it's still WAY weird using Facebook as a missionary, it's been such a blast catching up with old investigators, and as well some of those awesome eternal friends I've made here as a missionary. It sounds like everyone is doing really awesome! The weather here in Tsukuba has been really awesome lately, and the cherry blossoms started blooming a little bit today! We all woke up this morning and went for a morning jog, which in the past was always freezing cold, but today was so nice and it was such a blast! So much fun, we did it without shoes! Elder Sakamoto was a track and field runner, and he told us all today it's the best way to run. It was fun!
But the main thing I want to say today is... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEXA! Holy goodness I can't believe that you are now 25 years old... What is this craziness? Today I was talking with with Elder Sakamoto, and we both agreed that time goes way too fast. You're a little bit older than him by a couple months, and he's scared to turn 25, haha. Just want to say thanks for being such an awesome example to me Alexa! I love you tons!! I hope you have a really awesome day today, make some sweet memories! I promise I'll only miss one more of your birthdays, haha. But seriously though! Have tons of fun with Mom and Dad, and have a blast! You only turn 25 once. :)
|My companion Elder Sakamoto|
|Jungle Juice in Tsukuba!|
But yeah this week has been pretty awesome! So quick update on Jimmy. We still haven't been able to contact him, but we're praying and fasting for him pretty often, and the ward is praying and keeping an eye out for him as well. He's such an awesome guy, but he may just be kind of going through a hard time right now. He's come so far though from when we first met him, and I know that the Lord is truly working with him right now. He's preparing just like he prepares all of his children, and we're just praying and waiting. :) I know that whatever happens is what the Lord wants to happen, and I'm okay with that. There's a really awesome scripture in Isaiah 55 that says it best. His thoughts are not always our thoughts, but if we follow him to the best we can, he will bless us. He'll give us that comfort and peace that we need, and we can take so much hope in knowing that we're following the will of the Lord. I love being a missionary so much! It's been so far from easy some days, but it's taught me so much about relying on the Lord, and putting His will before our own.
|My friend Taro|
Our new investigator Bell from Nepal is looking so awesome though! He came to church this Sunday, even though it was only for Sacrament meeting! He owns his own Indian curry restaurant, but he took that time to come to church on Sunday, and it was really so awesome. Bell is such a cool miracle, and we're so stoked for him! He's set to be baptized, and he's looking really good! He has such an awesome desire to follow the Savior, and he wants to learn more about those things. His English and Japanese are a little hard to understand, but he always expresses his love for Jesus Christ, and he learned the word "awesome" from me, and that's a word he's using to describe Jesus Christ. :) Heavenly Father has really given me so many awesome blessings as a missionary, and it makes me just really thankful to be here. Today my really awesome buddy Elder Burt reminded me that this spring will be the last season I'll have two of in Japan. That really hit me! It's been a long time for sure, but it's flown by so fast, and I'm so thankful for every minute of it. Some days have been so far from easy, but this time as a missionary is changing my life so much, and I'm so thankful to be here. I love being a missionary, and having this chance to share the gospel here in Tokyo Japan. It's such an amazing place, with such kind, humble, and really loving people. Having a Japanese companion has been so awesome, and has helped me so much in learning the language, as well as the culture. Elder Sakamoto is so awesome. The other day we had a companionship inventory, and we were just in the praising each other section, and he just looks at me and says, "Elder Justesen, you are a child of God." And that simple truth hit me really so hard. I felt such a warm feeling fill my heart, and I realized the true power and happiness that is in that small fact. We are all children of our Heavenly Father, and He loves us so much. I love being a missionary so much. :)
|Our friend Sasho, who's getting baptized this week!|
|With our friend Junya!|
So some other way awesome news! Remember Luis back in Maebashi last transfer? My boy is getting baptized this week!! I called up Elder Tu'ua last night to check up on how he's doing, and Elder Tu'ua told me that he's really had such an amazing change of heart, and he finally made that decision to come and be baptized. As well, they were talking to him about the temple and missionary work, and he got so excited by the idea of becoming a missionary! And Luis is in his early 20's so he definitely could if he wanted to! It was seriously such an awesome miracle, and it showed me how much the Lord is involved with those people that we love. Although I couldn't teach Luis anymore, I've been praying so hard for him, and I'm so stoked for him! He's been such an awesome friend to me, and he was so hard to leave when I got transferred, but I'm so stoked for him! I'm gonna try my best to go, but Maebashi is on the other side of the mission, so it may be a little impossible, but I'm really so excited to see those photos. :) Luis is a real eternal friend, and I'm so excited for him.
|Important apartment business :)|
All in all this week had its ups and downs, but overall it's been super awesome. :) I love being a missionary with all my heart, and I'm so thankful for these 9 almost 10 months! Yikes. They've really changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful to all the wonderful people that I've been blessed to work with. I love my family!! It's fun to kind of see what you're up to when I pop on Facebook, and I'm always praying for you everyday. :) Thank you so much for all you do, and know I love you so much! Have an awesome week, and enjoy the spring weather!! Winter is finally over!!! :) The gospel is true, the book is blue, God loves you!