Monday, May 26, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 41

Hello most awesome family in the world!!

It's been another really awesome week here in Tsukuba, and I'm so stoked to talk about some of the great miracles we were able to see this week. So! First off, this is a long transfer, so still no transfer calls, but next week I will find out! I'm really hoping to stay another transfer here in Tsukuba, it's really been such an amazing area, and I really love it so much. It's an area I really feel like I've grown so much in, but I'm really excited to just go forward this last of week of the transfer, and just give it all I have. We had the awesome opportunity to have Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Joseph Maynes come and tour our mission! It was so awesome to hear their love, feel of their faith and desire, and just learn so much from these great men. Sorry I didn't mention it sooner! I heard somewhere we weren't supposed to tell anybody until after the conference, but it was really so amazing! It was combined mission conference with Tokyo South and I was able to see my old MTC companion Elder Scott! It really made me so happy to see him again, and we had so much fun talking and reminiscing about the MTC. I can't believe that the year mark is coming up! Missionary life has started to become such a normal thing, but I love being a missionary with all my heart, and I'm so thankful to be in such an amazing mission. Elder Cook spoke a lot about the mission decision process when they see our pictures and gain that revelation where we should be called to serve, and it really made me feel so thankful to be a missionary here in Tokyo Japan. I love Japan and the Japanese people so much, and I'm so thankful to be here spreading this great news of the Gospel.

Also Mom! I received the first package, and I seriously love it! I wore the tie to the combined mission conference, and I absolutely love the shirt! Thanks so much for sending a piece of home to me, and please know I appreciate the time you took to make that package for me. :) You and Dad sound so busy this summer, and I'm really thankful for the time you took to make me feel that love of home. Thanks Mamma, you're awesome. :) I'm so stoked for package two!! And Alexa I'm so pumped to hear you got that job!!! I was gonna send you a personal letter saying I was praying and fasting for you, but I'm so glad you got that job! I know that the Lord loves you so much, and he's so happy to bless you at this time. Keep being awesome, and tell me about the job and what you'll be doing! Tyler it sounds like Europe was amazing man! I'm way glad you had such a great time, and especially that you weren't "Taken"! That would be crazy lame. Haha, but it sounds like a trip you'll always remember, and I'm really glad you're making some awesome memories man. Love you! And Whit, holy goodness Iceland!! All of those pictures you sent were so crazy pretty, I was so blown away. I have a new goal to go and visit Iceland someday, I'm so happy you got to go on such an incredible trip, and I know it's one you'll remember for the rest of your life. Thanks for being such an awesome example to me of going for the things you desire in life, and just for being so awesome. You're my hero Whit!

But anyways, recently I've been really thinking a lot about this time as a missionary, and really trying to follow Dad's advice and put down on paper those things that have been learned so far in this time as a missionary. It really has been such an amazing experience, and one I'm really so thankful for. Today was such an awesome p day because we were able to visit a recent converts family today, and they were so thankful to meet the missionaries, and although they aren't church members, they loved the Spirit that was able to be there in the simple message we shared about families. After that we were able to grab some dinner with Tugs and his other sumo wrestling friend named Rekishi, and they both were so excited to learn about the Book of Mormon, and learn about that eternal happiness that can be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As well this week my AWESOME friends Shohei came all the way to Tsukuba to visit me! He's such an awesome friend, and I'm really so thankful for they chance I got to meet him here as a missionary. We started talking after English Class, and he said some really nice things that really made so thankful for this opportunity, and especially to the changes it has brought to my life. Elder Sakamoto and I were riding here to the church, and I just felt such a strong thankfulness to this special time of being a missionary, and I'm so thankful for all of the miracles that Heavenly Father has blessed me with during this time as a missionary. I have a testimony that the atonement of Jesus Christ is so real, and is such an amazing gift that we have in our lives. No matter the mistake. No matter the person. No matter the situation. We can all truly change and become the person The Lord has always wanted us to become. I'm still really full of mistakes, and definitely had to do some repenting this week, but I'm so thankful for this time as a missionary, and the changes it has brought in my life. I love this Gospel with all my soul and I'm so thankful to have been blessed with such an amazing family that has taught me the importance of being a missionary since I was very little. I love you guys so much, and know I pray for you all every day by name. :) I can't believe it's just about 1 year until we're all back together again, but I'm so thankful for this time, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now. I love you guys so much, have an awesome week!!! がんばろうジャステセン家族!

Elder Justesen (DR.J)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 40

Hello awesome family! It's been another really awesome week here in Tsukuba, but today is another "not tons of time to write" day! Super sorry... But I just wanted to say thank you so much for making that mother days call so special! It was seriously so great hearing from all of you, even though Tyler was calling from the bathroom... Love you man. ;) haha, but I really felt such a strong feeling of thankfulness to have such an amazing family, and I just want to say I love you! I really miss you guys so much, but I'm so so so thankful to be here as a missionary, and I'm so thankful to all of the love and support you show me. Today we had the opportunity to attend the temple, and I really found myself just thinking about that incredible power within the family. I know that Heavenly Father has blessed our family so much, and I'm so thankful to have such an awesome family! 

After temple day, Elder Howard and I were able to go with the missionaries in Oyama and go grab lunch with our old investigator, Shun! Shun was the young 17 year old teenager who really loved skateboarding and music. He's recently been battling depression pretty hard because of some bullying at school, but he was so excited and beaming with such good light as he came to the temple today. It really confirmed that testimony that Heavenly Father lives and loves us so individually. Shun has been able to find that small family amongst the missionaries and this church, and it was just such an awesome opportunity to see and show some love to him today. I'm really so thankful for the people that the Lord has let me meet here in Japan. :) Shun is such an awesome kid who has blessed and changed my life a lot, and I'm really thankful that he's doing great and meeting with the missionaries still!

Well rain season has officially started in Japan, and it's raining way hard, but it's so awesome and pretty! I've got some really great rain gear, so no worries whatsoever. :) I'm so thankful to be in a place so awesome like Japan! At the temple the Spirit was just so strong, and I felt really so blessed to be serving in such an amazing country. Of course it's not always easy, but this experience has changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for every blessing, trial, and especially the miracles. The other day we saw such an amazing miracle! We were heading home from the temple, and we missed a couple trains, had to pick up some things in Tokyo, and eventually we were heading back. Our train pulled up, and the car that stopped right in front of us had my favorite Sumo wrestler inside! In was Tugs!! We sat down next to him, talked some more, and set up another appointment to meet soon. Of all the trains in Tokyo, a city of 13 million people, we catch the same train as Tugs. Seriously such an awesome miracle!

It sounds like you are all doing so great, and that seriously makes me so happy! Sounds like everyone is having fun all over the world, haha, and I'm glad you're all safe! Whit, seriously those pictures from Iceland are AMAZING! I'm still telling everyone that you are chilling (haha) in Iceland, and I'm really so proud of you! You've really done such amazing things with your talent of photography, and I'm so proud of you! You saw the dreams you wanted to achieve, and you just went for it, and I know that the lord is really blessing you so much. Keep it up! :) and Tyler I'm way stoked for you too man! I hope you're enjoying Europe, but remember your British Lady is waiting for you at home. ;) Way jealous, but you know motors aren't everything, missionary bikes are pretty gnarly too.

Over all it's been such an awesome week, and really so many great miracles. I always love going to the temple, and just having that spiritual boost to keep going forward with all I've got. :) This week I've had a lot of opportunities to really get on my knees and pray fervently, as well as repent for those mistakes that I've made, and it's really strengthened that testimony that Heavenly Father loves us all so personally, and as we pray to Him, He truly hears our prayers. I know this gospel, and I love being a missionary with all my heart. I can't believe the first year is coming up!! It seems so crazy, but I'm so thankful to be hear, and I'm especially thankful to my amazing family. Love you guys so much, keep the faith and have an awesome week!! Love you guys!

Elder Justesen
P.S. Mom I'm so stoked for those packages! Thank you so much!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 39

Good morning everyone!! Okay... I'm way sorry about last week! I felt seriously way bad sending off such a short letter but that's life I guess, haha. But we saw a super awesome miracle! Let me explain.

So last week we had our really great investigator Dhani call us up randomly on Monday and said he wanted to meet that night. So we thought we would have time to email after that lesson, but it ended up going a little long because Dhani had something he wanted to tell us. So Dhani is 20 years old, and has been meeting with the missionaries for 3 years, and he's truly been so prepared by the Lord. Elder Dunbar and I worked so hard with him, and then he went to Indonesia and it was a little different when he came back. Back that Monday he told us that he's just very tired and he wants to make that decision to be baptized once and for all. So! He's asking us to give him 4 super lessons, last one being tomorrow, and he said he will then make his decision to be baptized or take a break. So pretty heavy stuff, but! We prayed and prayed, and we felt such a strong confirmation that this is going to be a major turning point in Dhani's life, so we started prepping for these lessons! Dhani is looking really so great, and the other day he was asking me all about what he would have to do if he wanted to become a missionary. He really loves missionaries so much, and he stayed for all three hours of church yesterday, so he's looking really so great! Dhani has been standing between the lines of commitment for so long, and it was such an awesome miracle to see him become so determined and heartfelt about receiving that answer from the Lord. We've encouraged him to fast, pray, and just really open his heart to the Lord about how he is feeling, and we'll see how it all works out tomorrow night! It's big stuff, but I know that the Lord is proud and happy for Dhani. Dhani is actively seeking the Lord, and I know that the Lord will bless him as he does this. Keep Dhani in your prayers!!

So I really apologize so much about the short letter, but it was so awesome to see Dhani start progressing like that. As well this week, Brother Bel received the Aaronic Priesthood! Bel is seriously awesome, and it's been so awesome helping teaching the after baptism lessons, and just seeing his faith growing. He's such an awesome man, and such an awesome miracle to have met and be teaching him. He strengthens my testimony so much whenever we meet him, and it really makes me so thankful to be a missionary.

It sounds like you guys are all doing so awesome!! Tyler have a blast in Europe! Fly safe and don't be Taken okay? Haha, stay safe! I'm so excited to talk to you guys this coming weekend!!! I'm so excited to answer some questions and see how everyone is doing! I love you guys so much, and it's gonna be such a sweet reunion over Skype! Oh! So I remembered Mom said something a package coming my way soon and I just wanted to ask for a couple things if that's okay! 1: maybe some more p-day t shirts? Some of those Arbor shirts would be so awesome! As well as any other of my old t shirts would be great! The ones I have are great, but I could maybe use some more. :) plus! It's always awesome getting some of those old clothes from home! 2: if you could maybe toss in one pair of normal shorts that would be awesome as well! We're getting close to summer in Japan now, and it's really starting to warm up, so some normal p day shorts would be awesome as well. 3: okay! So there is a cd that tons of missionaries here have called the Lower Lights? Apparently it's a cd collection of church hymns covered into indie awesomeness, and I'd really love to have that cd! You can't buy it here in Japan, but apparently you can find it in the U.S.! It's way good music that I'd really love! 4: anything else you'd love to throw in there! Pictures, letters, cards, candy, anything would seriously be so appreciated. :) I always get so stoked when I get a package from home, and I really appreciate you sending me packages so often here. It really means so much to me, thank you so much!

So as well this week we had Mission Leadership Council, and it was pretty sad because it's my trainer Elder Burgin's last transfer here! He's still got a few weeks, but he and I talked for a while, and I really felt so thankful to have had such an awesome trainer. It's so true that as missionaries the Lord is always preparing us to meet His prepared children, but just as well Heavenly Father is always preparing people in our own lives that will truly change us. And that's really what my trainers were for me, and I'm really so thankful to have had such an awesome trainer like Elder Burgin. He and I were kind of freaking out because he was about transfer 8 or 9 when he picked me up from the mission home, and now I'm about the same place!! Time seriously flies by so fast as a missionary, but I'm so grateful for every moment here as a missionary, and I'm so excited to keep going forward and giving this work my all. It's not always easy, and some days you really feel like you've given you're absolute best, but sometimes the results come slow... But they do come. Heavenly Father loves us all far too much to ever let us fall, and He is constantly with us as we do all we can to follow His will and His son Jesus Christ. Especially at this 1 year mark coming up pretty soon... I took Dad's challenge and I've started collecting those things I've learned so far, and just experiences I've loved, and it's but such an incredibly humbling experience. A mission will change the course of your life forever, and make you into the person the Lord has always wanted you to be. Therein truly is the power of the Atonement, and it's something I'm so thankful for. I can still so clearly remember those first few days at the MTC just not knowing what was going to happen, wondering if I could ever learn Japanese, or most importantly if I would be a good servant of Christ... but the Lord has that power to cleanse, heal, and make us new. I'm so thankful to be a missionary. :)

I'm also super thankful for my awesome family!! Yesterday we had a Cinco De Mayo party at the Davis' house here in Tsukuba, and I can't lie, I may have gotten just a little bit homesick! Haha, their son just got back from his mission about 6 months ago, and the family is so much like ours at that time when Tyler had just got back from his mission. It's always so strange but awesome being around a family from the United States, and it just made me so thankful for the awesome family I was blessed to be with. I seriously love you guys so much, and I'm so thankful for everything that you do for me every day. :)

Well I'll leave some space for us to talk next week which I'm so stoked for!! I was thinking maybe 12 o'clock Monday my time, which I think would be Sunday evening at 8 your time? If that's cool that would be awesome! Monday is p day here, so it'd be nice to talk to you guys on that day, but whenever is good for you! I'm so excited to talk to you all, especially to the most Gnarly Mom in the world! Love ya Mom. :) I'm way excited to praise and compliment you to the point of annoyance! As well, I'll probably be wearing one of sweet short sleeve white shirts... Prepare for the Gun Show. Tokyo Japan style. And by Tokyo Japan style, I mean 16 hour time difference and on a little screen... Haha. But anyways! If that time is okay, let's go for it! If not, try to write me back soon and tell me! I hope Tyler can join us too, I'd love to say hello and talk to him too! Love you man! Saw tons of Skylines today and thought all about you!

Well I'm seriously so excited to talk to you guys, and I hope everything is going great! Thank you so much for all you do, and know that I'm always praying for you every day by name. I know that this Gospel is true, and that through the Savior Jesus Christ, we can all start again and strive to become who the Lord has always wanted us to be. I love being a missionary so much, and I'm so thankful to be here in Japan! Today marks 11 months, and I'm so excited to keep going strong! Love you guys so much, talk to you next week!!

Elder Justesen