Monday, June 23, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 45

Hello amazing family!! Happy start of summer, it's actually really starting to warm up here in Tsukuba, and the transfer is winding down to the end, which is so crazy! This week is only a 5 week transfer, and today starts week 4, so it's definitely getting to that "go with all we have" type feeling in the zone. Especially for me! I've been here in Tsukuba the longest, and so it's definitely looking like this might be my last little bit of time in Tsukuba, and I'm just really so excited to go forward with all I have these last couple weeks here. I'm so thankful for these past 6 months, and I'm so thankful for the growth and building up that this time has given me here. It's been such a blast serving around the college students here, but it will definitely be a nice fresh start into a new area. This past week we had stake conference, and it was seriously so great! Especially because I could actually understand almost all of the talks! I remember just about a year ago when I was sitting in my first stake conference in Chiba with Elder Burgin and Elder Hamada, and I really couldn't understand a single thing! Now here I am a year lately being able to understand, and really gain so much more out of these wonderful stake conferences. :) It really made me so thankful for the gift of tongues, and the amazing help Heavenly Father has given me as a missionary here in Japan. At the stake conference we were able to crash at the Matsudo Elder's apartment, where my greatest buddy ever Elder Barnes is being a Zone Leader in Matsudo South! It was so great to talk with him, catch up, reminisce about the MTC, and talk about the growth that has happened in the past year. It really made me so thankful for the people Heavenly Father has placed in my life, and I'm so thankful for this time as a missionary. Another way big thing was my old trainer Elder Hamada got married this past weekend! Way gnarly, and it made me realize I've been out for a while! Haha. The time has flown by so fast, but I'm so thankful for this incredible chance to serve the Lord. I'm ready to just go forward with all I've got into this last year, and keep trying to changing every single day.

It sounds like you guys are all doing so great this week! Sounds like Utah was way fun, whoa snow!! That's super crazy. But what's a good family reunion without some craziness? But all in all it sounds like you all had a great time! I can't believe that Mom is starting up for girls camp again, I feel like that was just yesterday you were telling me that in an email! Crazy how fast time flies by, but it sounds way fun! Whit, totally have a blast in Long Beach! Tell David I say hello, and make sure to find a church to attend! I know it can be hard when you're on trips, and you have lots of things you have to do, but always remember to take that time to give that special time to the Lord. He loves you so much, and I know that he's blessing you so much, and he's so thankful for that desire you have to draw closer to Him. Tyler, sounds like you're having a blast on the Thruxton! Keep having a blast in SLC, and always keep the Lord involved in all you do. He loves you a lot man, and I'm really so thankful for the example you've always shared with me growing up. That decision to serve a mission really was so strengthened by your decision to serve, and I'm so thankful for you man. Obrigado! Alexa, I'm so stoked you're loving your new job, and I'm so thankful for all you're doing to help the missionaries and be such an active role in the ward! I know as you keep doing that, Heavenly Father will bless you so much. :) Honestly, young single adults are so awesome to missionaries, and I promise you can be present to see lives being changed, and see Heavenly Father's children come closer to Christ as you keep helping His missionaries. As well, I know Heavenly Father will bless you so much as you do all you can to help His servants. Keep being awesome! :)

Mom and Dad, I just want to say thanks so much for all you do, and for creating such an amazing home for me to be raised in. I'm so thankful for all of the love and kindness you've always shared with me, even at times when I wasn't doing all that I could have done to have been a better son. I love you both so much, and I'm so thankful to have parents as amazing as you. In this short year, a lot has changed, and I really just want to be a better son, brother, friend, and one day husband and father. I know that if I follow the example both have always set for me, it'll all work out okay. I'm so thankful for all you do for me, and especially the prayers that bear me up everyday. Somedays can be pretty hard, and working in a non-Christian country definitely has it's challenges, but you both have always taught me that with Heavenly Father, anything is possible, and this weekend I was really able to feel that. One of my first investigators in Japan, Sarath Chandra was baptized! Way funny story is that my first MTC companion Elder Turley is back in the mission, and is actually in my first area Narita! And now this week they saw that miracle of Sarath being baptized! It was such a cool miracle, and he was actually very high up in the Buddhist community before, but now he's made that decision to come closer to Jesus Christ. :) such a cool miracle, and I felt so thankful for the wonderful people the Lord has allowed me to meet here in Tokyo Japan. I couldn't ask for a cooler, more awesome place to serve!

Thanks so much for all that you do for me every day, and for all of the love and prayers you send my way. They really do keep me going, and give me that strength I need everyday. Being a missionary has been the greatest experience and decision in my life, and I'm so thankful to be here serving Heavenly Father's children. Also Alexa! Your friend Benjamin Taylor and I have tons of mutual friends now! Ask him if he ever served in the area of Oyama in Tochigi prefecture! I think he did! Way cool to see how much missionary work brings people together, and help them grow and progress with the Lord. I know Heavenly Father loves us all so much, even at times when we wander a bit from that security. He is always calling to us to return to Him, rely on Him, and trust in Him. There have been so many times as a missionary where I just needed to let go and trust in Him, and it's really blessed my life so much. I love being a missionary so much, and I love this Gospel so much! Thanks so much for everything, I'm so excited for the next care package! Here's some things that would be greatly appreciated!

1: delicious American candy! Trolli is an amazing candy company.
2: family member letters!
3: inspirational quote cards like from before!
4: some prints of pictures! Whit would know what I mean I think. :)
5: this may be a big stretch... But a great Hawaiian p-day shirt for
the apartment would be so cool.
6: something that would bring a California spirit! Sorry I know that's
really broad, but that would be so cool!

Again thank you so much for everything, love you all so much, have an awesome week!!! The Gospel is True, the book is blue, and God Loves You!

Elder Justesen

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