Monday, July 28, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 50

Urawa Church!

The Saitama Urawa building!

Hello most amazing family in the whole wide world. :) This week has really been so amazing, and I'm so excited to talk about some of the amazing miracles Heavenly Father really blessed us with this week! First...thank you so much for the amazing care package! I promise you I wore that San Francisco Giants shirt so much this week, and it's looking really awesome next to my Hawaiian shirt! So stoked when I saw that. ;) As well, the candy was so delicious, and my companions were super happy when I shared with them, haha. It was so awesome as well to read so many amazing letters from you all, and it made me feel so thankful to have such an amazing family. Those words of comfort really blessed and helped me so much this week, and I truly felt the power of your prayers this week. I'm so stoked to write about the miracles, but I really want to just write a quick thing for you guys!

When we ran into Teshi

With Teshi in Shinjuku

Thank you so much for all you do! This week I've been really blessed to talk to so many awesome friends about the gift of families in my life, and I just felt such a strong thankfulness for my family. You guys really are so amazing, and have blessed and changed my life so much. I just want to say thank you so much for all of the love and kindness you are always so willing and happily sharing with me. Not all days of being a missionary are super easy, and I'm so thankful for the blessing of my amazing family. I love you guys more than I can describe (and that's not just because I'm forgetting my English!!) Haha, but I just want to say thank you so much. :) I miss you all so much, but I'm so thankful for this chance to be serving a mission for this wonderful gospel, and message of happiness. Recently we had zone meeting, and it was so awesome to see so many amazing and hard working missionaries giving their whole hearts to serving Heavenly Father's children. Such an awesome work going on here in Japan. :)

Almost found an In-N-Out :(

Kimchi nato curry

So this week for miracles! So many this week it was so crazy! I just want to share the one that really meant so much to me, with our main buddy Teshi! Teshi is a young investigator here who is about 21 years old, and he's just way cool! He's got such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and coming to church, and he's got such an awesome love for his Heavenly Father. We finished our Chinese night which was awesome, and we decided to go pray where we should go next. We felt such a strong impression to go to the nearby eki, and we ended up running into Teshi! He was running through the eki, and we were able to sit down and have an awesome lesson with him. He told us as well that he never usually ran by the station, but he felt something in him that said he needed to run to the station that day. So awesome! It was such a huge testimony builder of the guidance Heavenly Father gives to us every day. I love being a missionary so much, and I love this gospel! This week I hit one year in Japan!! It seems so crazy, but I'm so thankful for this amazing opportunity to serve. I love His gospel with all of my heart, and I'm so sorry this email is short! We have 3 areas white washing this transfer, and Zone Leader responsibilities can be pretty intense, haha. But I'm still taking that time to sit back and enjoy the wonder of this incredible work. :) I love this gospel, I love my family, I love being a missionary. Have an awesome week, promise I'll write more next week!! P.S. All of your words of kindness and love came at the most perfect time, I'll explain more next week. :) love you!!!!

Elder Justesen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 49

Hello everyone! It's been another seriously awesome week here in Urawa, and I'm so stoked to write a little bit about the miracles! :) It's been such an awesome blessing being here in the Saitama stake, and it's been seriously so much fun this week!

Just wanted to say thank you all so much for all the great emails! It sounds like everyone is doing so good, and I really appreciate so much all the time you take to write to me and always fill those emails with so much support and love. It really blesses and helps me so much, and I'm so thankful to have such an amazing family. :) Whit I'm so pumped you're going to go check out Seattle! Just have an awesome time, and remember to go hit up the singles ward down there! I know they'll be so excited to meet you, and you're going to be such an awesome addition to the ward. :) With your killer attitude and love of life, I really know you're going to go fit in so great. As well it's Seattle, so there's bound to be all the greatest indie Mormons ever out there, haha. Lexa sounds like you're doing so awesome as well! Thank you so much for all that you do to help the missionaries in your ward! I know they appreciate you and love you so much, and I know that Heavenly Father will continue to bless you so much as you continue to do so. :) Love you tons! Tyler, dude you keep looking better and better in each picture! I can't lie, I've actually gained a little weight this week due to some dinners with investigators, but I'm hoping to look as good as you soon enough! Thanks so much for all the love you share with me man, and please know everyday I'm so thankful for the amazing example and bar you set for serving a mission. It's really changed and blessed my life so much, and I'm always asking myself how you would deal with the current situation if you were a missionary. :) Thanks man, love you tons!

Mom and Dad, it looks like you're getting into the summer blur! I always remember once you hit August the rest of summer just flies by, but it looks like you're having so much fun, and I hope all goes well with girls camp this week! Yesterday I was doing some really deep pondering during study, and I just felt such an incredible feeling of thankfulness for my awesome family, and I'm so thankful for the home you raised me in. There was always such an amazing feeling of love and peace in our home, and I'm honestly so thankful for that. As well, I'll always remember those awesome drives with Mom down to Cottonwood for tennis, playing tennis with Dad near the skatepark, going to the skatepark where Mom got pulled over ;) and all of the memories you took so much time to make with me. :) I try to not to reminisce too much cause I gotta stay focused, haha, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the amazing things you did for me. This week Elder Mobley and I were talking about the families we hope to have one day as we strive to live the gospel and I just saying I wanted to pattern mine after the family I was raised in! I hope that I can be a good enough Dad to rock the Hawaiian shirts daily. ;) haha, love you so much, and I just want to say thank you so much for all you do for me every day.

But this week was really so awesome! The people here in Urawa are really so amazing, and the stake has so much missionary fire! They're all so excited to help share the gospel with all of those around us, and we're all working towards our Big Sunday Challenge on the 10th of August! We're hoping to have 50 people at church, and it's been so cool to see the excitement and joy the ward is having toward this goal! It's going to be awesome. It really is such an amazing blessing to be in a ward as big as Urawa! The other day at church, it just felt so good to sit in such a beautiful church building, and most importantly during the Primary musical number, I nearly exploded from the adorableness. Seriously, Japanese kids are the cutest things on the face of the earth! They sang I Am A Child of God, and I couldn't help getting a little misty eyed. It was so amazing to see that no matter the places we may live, the backgrounds we have, the languages we speak, the trials we may have, we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and He's so actively aware and always caring for the welfare and happiness of our lives. This week I needed to really repent on more than a couple occasions, and it just made me feel so thankful for the chance Heavenly Father gave me in coming here to such an amazing place like Japan, and serve in the vineyard at this time. It's been the greatest year of my life, and I'm so thankful and excited for the time I still have. :) I love serving as a missionary with all my heart, and I wish I had more to time to explain all of the miracles that are being seen every day. Trying my best to keep my journal updated, and I'm so excited for the miracles that lie ahead. It's gonna be awesome!

Thank you so much for sending the package, I'll be keeping an eye out for it! Thanks so much again for all you do for me, and as always for all of the love you share. I pray for you all each day by name, and I'm so thankful to have such an amazing family. :) If there's anything I can do for you guys please let me know, love you all so much, have an amazing week!!! The Gospel is true, the book is blue, and god loves you!!

Elder Justesen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 48


Wow what an intense, awesome week! I just got back from visiting Shinjuku with our first investigator here in Urawa, but it's been such an awesome day! I just want you all to know how really thankful I am to be in this area, and I'm so excited for the miracles the Lord has already blessed us so much with here. It sounds like you're all doing so great, and that really makes me so happy. :) I'm praying for you all every day and night by name, and I'm so thankful for the blessings Heavenly Father is showing us at this time. 

But anyways this week was so great! It was pretty hard saying goodbye to the Tsukuba area, especially the investigators that are there, but things are really looking so great here in Urawa. First off, the ward is so huge!! About 120 members strong, and the church is so big! It's nearly American size, and it was so cool to be back in a church that is completely full every Sunday. I really do love the small wards I've been serving in, but it's been so cool to now see the other side of the big wards in Tokyo! Urawa ward is so awesome, and you can just feel their intense desire to share the gospel with all of those around them. In Tsukuba we were working hard to help the ward establish a "bring a friend to church" day, and here in Urawa they've already got one set up! It's so cool to be here in a such a missionary work focused ward, and I just hope to be a helper in any way that I can.

The investigators here in Urawa are so awesome too! Right now we're working with so many amazing people, including a young man who was referred to us from the Sapporo mission who is so excited to be baptized, it's so awesome. We're going forward with the lessons, and helping him prepare, but his desire is so awesome, and we're excited for him. He's looking great! As well, the investigator that we went with to Shinjuku today took us to so many cool places! Most of the pictures are on my camera, but I have some on the iPad. We went to the Tokyo Giants stadium, unfortunately couldn't go inside, but saw it! After that we went to the a Metropolitan Tokyo Office Building where we went to the 45th floor which overlooks all of Tokyo! Seriously so cool, and what was awesome was as we were going around seeing all of these great sights, we talked about the importance of prayer in our lives, and he told us he's been praying every morning and evening, and he always prays before his meals. He loves prayer so much, and he's got such an awesome love for his Heavenly Father, and he's pretty young! Just turned 21, and the ward really wants to help him be baptized and go forward and serve a mission! It would be such an amazing miracle to witness that, and I really hope to be able to help along that path. He's such an awesome young guy, and he's really got such an amazing humble attitude and way of looking at life. Sometimes missionary work can wear you out quite a bit, but it's always so awesome and such an incredible blessing to share the gospel with amazing people like the people here in Urawa.

I'm so happy to hear everyone is doing great! Thank you all so much for the emails, and especially the kind words. They really help and strengthen my day so much, and I'm so thankful to the amazing family Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I love you guys so much, and I'm so thankful for everything you do for me. Your examples and your love have truly blessed and shaped my life, and I'm so thankful to have such an awesome family. :) Thank you all for putting in the personal letters for the package! I'm so excited to receive it, and hopefully once I receive the Hawaiian shirt I can join in the Koshigaya music night! Haha.

This week I'm just so thankful to be a missionary, and be serving in such an awesome area. As soon as I got off the train, and I had such a strong feeling that this area is going to be super special to me for the rest of my life, and I can really start feeling and seeing why. My companion Elder Mobley, 19, from Anchorage Alaska, is so awesome! He's already taught me so much about true humility, and the blessings of having that deep charity for all of those around us. He's still pretty new at being a Zone Leader, but he's been such an awesome companion, and it's so awesome to be working with him. This week my trainer Elder Howard went home! He finished his mission, and it was such awesome blessing to talk with him on the phone before he took off the next day. It's pretty crazy because the time he picked me up is the time I'm at now, and his advice was just, "Hold on tight man! It starts flying by, but it's so amazing." Haha, but it was so cool to talk with such a great missionary like him. Garrett Howard is his name, so you can maybe send him a note on Facebook just saying Elder Justesen appreciates all that you did for him. :) I've really come to feel that as a missionary. Heavenly Father truly prepares the people you will meet, and if you let them, they can truly change your life. I've loved my mission so much with all my heart, and I'm so thankful for this opportunity to be a missionary, sharing the great news of this gospel. I love you all so much, and I'm so excited to keep working with all I've got! I've recently set a pretty small goal of just once I hit that beach in Santa Barbara, I want to feel like I've really earned that sunset and beach. Meaning, give my absolute all until the very last second, never letting a moment slip by. I know that if I continue to trust in Heavenly Father and rely on His strength, we can see so many amazing miracles and blessings in our lives. Love you all so much, have an amazing week!!!

Elder Justesen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 47

Oki's baptsim!

Hello amazing family! Aw man, now because of Mom's recent email, I'm feeling you all are noticing my vain repetitions... Way sorry my English is slowly slipping! Haha, but I'm so STOKED to write about some of the great miracles of this week! Including the results of this morning's transfer call.

P Day fun in Costco

Bomb PB&J

So! I've been transferred out of Tsukuba! It was pretty intense to get that call this morning, because I've really loved Tsukuba so much, and I really feel like I've grown and learned so much here, but I'm really so excited for this next chance to learn and grow in the great area of Urawa! I'll now be moving to Saitama prefecture, which is really close to Tokyo, so I'm slowly moving closer and closer to straight up Tokyo! I'm really so excited because I get the awesome opportunity to be a Zone Leader again down here in Saitama. :) I'm so excited to have this chance again, and I'm so pumped to get to work down there! I'll be moving out of Tsukuba on Thursday, and all day it's been feeling like I'm prepping to leave home for college or something, haha. Tsukuba has really become so much like home to me, and I'm so thankful to all of the wonderful people that have blessed my life so much here. Today we had an amazing lesson with Brother Bel, and he was pretty sad to hear I was moving, but we had such a great lesson with him on the love that Christ brings to our life, and he's now almost all done with the Book of Mormon. Because there isn't a translation of the Nepalese Book of Mormon, he's been reading in Hindi, which is a lot like reading the Spanish Book of Mormon being a Portuguese speaker. It takes a little bit more time and effort, but he's loving it so much, and his faith and kindness has really blessed and changed my life so much. Elder Jacox went to the bathroom for a bit, and Brother Bel and I were just talking, and all of a sudden he looks at me and says, "Justesen chourou to atta node, hontou ni ureshii desu." Which means, "because I met you, I'm really so happy." And it really hit my heart so hard, and just made me feel so thankful to be missionary in a country as amazing as Japan. Brother Bel really is a pioneer for the church in Nepal, but he's blessed my life so much, and I'm so excited for him in the future. It was such an awesome P-day today. :) I'm so bummed to leave Elder Jacox, he's really been such an amazing companion! He's really blessed my life so much, and he was just so great at working hard while still having that really funny attitude, which really made this transfer so awesome. Hopefully we'll hang out lots more post mission, but it's really been such an awesome time with him, I'm seriously gonna miss this guy!

Church with Cho

Church with Dhani

Lunch with Youhei

This week the Lord has really blessed us so much, and it's just been so awesome. Being a missionary has many different challenges and at times we are brought pretty low, but today and throughout this week I've just been feeling so grateful to be a missionary, and just for the incredible blessings the Lord has given me in this short time. He's given me so much love and grace, so often at times I really feel like I don't deserve it, but it really just fills me with that sense of Heavenly Father's personal and truly deep love He has for all of us. This short time has changed my life so much, and I'm so thankful to be serving in Tokyo Japan. My last trainer Elder Howard is heading home this week, but he was able to see such an amazing miracle his last Sunday in Japan! Remember that old man who gave me the guitar back in my second transfer? Well, turns out the elders there have been teaching him, and he decided to be baptized last week! It was such a great service, and I felt so blessed to be apart of teaching him. :) It's been so amazing to see this transfer multiple friends from past areas finally making those important first steps in receiving this great gospel, and making those important steps in following their Heavenly Father. I have one amazing miracle that happened this past week! So last transfer, during our zone P-day Elder Sakamoto and I were able to meet this incredibly nice guy from Kenya, and we discussed some of those basic principles of the gospel, and he seemed so excited to hear more! I remember that day because I was feeling so sick when I was having that fever, but I really wanted to talk to him, and we had a really awesome conversation. We were able to refer him over to the elders in Matsudo which is where he is living, and I learned this week he's decided to be baptized in the next coming weeks! It's been such an amazing miracle, and it's made just so thankful for all of the little miracles that the Lord grants us everyday. It's just been a pretty awesome week. :)

Church with Tomohisha and Daiki

Brother Orlando's baptism


Mito elders

Well it sounds like you guys are all doing so amazing, and thank you so much for all of the wonderful pictures! It looks like you all had an awesome time down in San Francisco, and I'm so excited for next year when we'll all be back together! It's going to be so awesome, but it was such a great last Fourth of July in Japan! It didn't really hit me that it was the last until the evening, but it was really so great. Just want to say I love you guys so much, and I'm so thankful for all of the missionary work you're all doing! Seriously, I was so STOKED while reading Mom's email about all of the missionary opportunities she and Dad are taking, and it just made me feel thankful to have such awesome parents. Thank you so much for always raising me with that example of sharing the gospel at all times, and know it's really blessed and shaped my life so much. Lex as well thank you so much! I know that as you keep befriending the missionary's investigators, you'll truly be such an amazing blessing to them, and The Lord will bless you so much as you continue to strive to help his children. Whit as well, I'm so thankful for the missionary work you do with your photography, I know that you're showing that example of believing in God enriches our lives. As well Tyler, thanks so much for all you do, man. I really love you so much, and I'm so thankful for the awesome example you set for me in being a missionary. I'll always remember that attitude you had of being a clutch player, and it's really helped me so much to think of what you would do in a certain situation. I'm still learning little bits of Portuguese everyday, and it's so awesome! Haha, such a gnarly language. :)

Well know I love you all so much, and I'm so thankful for the love and kindness and especially the prayers. They really lift me up so much every day, and I'm so thankful to my awesome family. :) I really love you all so much, and I continue to pray for you all every day and evening by name. I'm so stoked to go forward into this next transfer and go have a blast in Urawa!! I know if I continue to rely on the Lord in all things, actively use the gift of the Atonement, and keep a great attitude, it's going to be so great and life changing. I love you guys so much, have an amazing week!! The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you!

Elder Justesen