Monday, April 7, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 35

Sakura trees in full bloom!

Hello everyone!! It's been another seriously gnarly week here in Tsukuba, and today was temple day! I was so stoked to be able to go this transfer, and it was really such an awesome experience. I always feel so blessed to be in a mission where we have that awesome opportunity to go to the temple every six weeks, and it was exactly the spiritual refresher that I needed. This week has really been so awesome, and the Lord has blessed us so much down here in Tsukuba! I can't believe that this transfer is coming to a close, but it's been so awesome. I really feel like I've grown so much this transfer in particular, and I really felt such a strong love of being a missionary today at the temple. There's always such a strong feeling of love here, and I know that that is a place where we can go to take a break from the worries of this busy world. :) It's such an awesome blessing to be able to go there every six weeks, and today was just especially awesome. I can't believe I've been a missionary for 10 months already! The double digits have started, but seriously I feel like I just started! Haha, the weather has been so nice lately, and Japan really is so gorgeous in the spring. The other day we went on a bike ride with our amazing investigator Bel, and we took a ride through some Sakura trees. It was seriously so pretty, and it just made me feel so thankful to be a missionary. Especially in Tokyo! Today after temple day Elder Sakamoto and I went on a walk around Tokyo a bit, and it's such an awesome city! So massive and full of people, but it just has such a cool feeling about it, and I feel super blessed to be a missionary in such a prepared place. To answer Mom's question, I haven't heard anything recently about North Korea! Hopefully that all mellows out, no worries so far though! I knew things were getting tense, but that's about all. :/ Don't worry though! I'm all good. :)

It sounds like everyone is doing super great though! I just want to say thank you all so much for the long emails this week! It was so awesome to hear about all of the cool things you are doing, and I know that the Lord is really blessing our family so much. Even hearing about those little things that go on every day helps me to see how much the Lord is involved with all we do, and I'm really thankful for those longer emails! :) I really love hearing from you guys so much, and I'm really so thankful for all of your love and support. It really keeps me going on those days that may be a little harder than others, and I'm just really thankful to my awesome family. I'm always praying for all by name everyday! Just wanted to say thanks so much for all you do, I love you guys! :)

So this week was way fast but really awesome as well! Bel is looking so great for his baptismal date! He's come to church every week, he's heard all of the lessons, and his baptismal interview is set up for next week. He's so excited, and he's really so excited to come closer to Jesus Christ and follow that example of being baptized. Bel is one of those giant miracles I know I will remember my whole life. He's had such an impact on my faith, and he's shown me how much the Lord cares and knows His children so much. We had a lesson with him the other day, and he explained to us a dream he had a week before he met Elder Dunbar and I! He explained in the dream he saw two books in front of him, one was about Buddhism, and the other about Jesus Christ. He knew he needed to read one, but he couldn't decide, and he said he felt God say to him, "You need to study this book about a Christ." And then a week later he met the missionaries! How incredible is that? He's been waiting to hear this message, and he's so readily accepted it, and is applying it into his life. The other day he fasted with us on Fast Sunday, and was so eager and ready to pay his tithing. Bel is just so awesome, and has shown me that as missionaries, we really are just tools in the Lord's hands. The Lord prepares His children every day, and as missionaries, we have this incredible opportunity to just become those tools, and seek to do the Lord's will. To answer Mom's next question, I'm so stoked you are starting to study PMG with me!! I love PMG so much, and I'm way excited to be studying it together. Recently I've been studying a lot from chapter 8, focusing a lot on the "How to Set Goals and Accountability" sections. There's really such incredible power in setting goals, and I'm studying to become a better goal setting missionary. :) As well, I'm trying to study from chapter 6 at least every other day, and focusing on an attribute I want to improve in my life. Have a blast with PMG! I love it!

This week as well, one of our old investigators Jason from last transfer hit us up last night! He's such a prepared young guy, and we were so sad when we lost contact, but all of sudden he's back, and he's so stoked to learn more! He recently went to Utah with his mother, and she urged him to study as much as he could about the Mormon faith because the church has such powerful and good members. She's not a member herself, but that incredible example the church sets has influenced her so much, and she wants her son Jason to learn as well. So cool!! The Lord is seriously preparing Tsukuba so much every day, and it makes me so thankful to be here!

Burgers in Tokyo! 

All in all, it's been just an awesome week. Of course not every day was super easy, but I just love this work with all I've got, and I love being a missionary. It's been such an amazing blessing in my life to come to this awesome country, and share this great news with those around me. This experience has completely changed my life, and forever changed the course of my life. The atonement is so real, and it has such an incredible ability to change hearts, and change desires. I've felt such a big change in my life here as a missionary, and it's something I'll forever be grateful for. I know this gospel is 100% true. I've been blessed to see it change hearts and lives, including my own. I know Heavenly Father lives and He loves us so much more than we can possibly understand. I know that being here is exactly where I am supposed to be right now, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Not every day is easy, but this experience is a once and a lifetime thing. I know that as we give all of our desires to the Lord, He blesses us with that ability to face all of life's challenges, and as well achieve those things that it is expedient to Him that we accomplish. Japan has changed my life, and I'm so thankful to be here! I love you all so much, and I'm so stoked to Skype in a couple months? Next month? I can't remember! Haha, but soon! Thanks so much for being the most gnarly awesome family ever! Love you guys so much, have an awesome week!!!


Elder Justesen

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