Monday, November 24, 2014

Tokyo Japan Week 66

Whoa Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Hey Amazing Family! So today starts the Thanksgiving week, and I wanted to start off today saying one of the things I'm most thankful for... All of you guys!! It's been the most amazing experience of my life serving here in the Tokyo Japan mission, and I just want to say that I'm most thankful for my amazing family! Here in Japan and in the States, there's family everywhere for me, but I just wanted to pop a quick list saying why I'm so thankful for you guys. Here we go! 

Reasons why I'm thankful for my gnarly family:

1: First and foremost because they show an incredible amount of love to me! Whether I was in the hospital with a broken arm, playing video games like crazy, or jamming on the guitar, my family is always showing me so much incredible love. Thanks guys. 

2: They're always in the kitchen making me sandwiches. ;) Haha, but really my family is super chill with my weird humor! I'm really thankful for the peace and comfort I know in the home that being myself was perfectly right. I'll forever be thankful for the incredible mother and father who urged me to pursue what made me happy in life, and awesome siblings that kept me from doing anything drastic, but always urged me to be my own self. Thanks, you guys. 

3: My family is a family that is patterned after the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm really so thankful for the immense amount of gospel lessons and learning experiences that my family helped me recognize, apply, and learn from in my life. I'll always be so thankful for the times Mom and Dad would say, "this will really help you on your mission!" Because those moments all truly have, and I'm so thankful for the family I was raised in that taught me to love the gospel. Especially for the amazing missionary examples in my family, thanks so much.

4: My family is always sending care packages!! Haha, I'm so excited to receive these next two! Thanks so much Mom, the last one I received was the conference package, but I'm so excited for the next two! The second half of my mission there have been so many packages, and I really just want to say thank you so much, I really do appreciate it. You take so much time to show that extra love for me over here in Japan, and I just want to say I'm really really so thankful. Those packages truly helped so much those couple months back, and I just want to say thank you so much! I love you Mamma! :)

5: My family is from California. That about says it. 

6: My family always urged me to improve and become more of the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. I'm so thankful for the incredible love and support you all always give to me in serving as a missionary of this great gospel. I'm so thankful for that support, and it's truly carried me throughout this time serving as a missionary of this restored Gospel. It's truly changed and blessed my life in so many incredible ways, and I'm so thankful for the counsel and urges you gave me to serve as a missionary. 

But anyways, I just want to say thank you so much for everything you guys have done for me! Always during these holiday seasons, it's hard not to think a little bit about the family, but I'm so thankful for this incredible chance to be serving as a missionary of this great gospel. Check out your Gospel Library Apps for the new He is the Gift video! It's really amazing, and it's getting me so excited to give every effort in this Christmas season. I'm so thankful for this chance to be serving as a missionary in this special time of Christmas. I'm thankful to wear His sacred name on my badge, and I'm just way stoked to completely lose myself in this Christmas season. It's going to be so awesome!

So a report quick on the week of tons of miracles! Our investigator Han is looking so great, and he's so excited for his baptism on the28th of December! He read the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and he felt it is true! He is probably one of the most prepared people I have been really blessed to teach as a missionary, and he's looking so great. I have a very strong testimony that the people of China are truly prepared to receive this Gospel, and it's been so evident with Han. We taught the plan of salvation on Sunday, and he felt so strongly it was true, and he's so excited to keep learning! He's been such an incredible blessing in my life, and I'm so thankful to have met him, and to be teaching him at this time. He's a true eternal friend, and I'm so thankful for this Christmas season for Han. As well Futoshi is looking so great for his baptism on the 20th of December! He recently told his two closest friends who are recent converts in the Urawa Ward, and they're so pumped for him! He's really excited, and he's feeling so strongly that receiving baptism will be the change he's been searching for in his life. As well we have another really amazing miracle this week! We met our next door neighbor named Kou, and it turns out he met with missionaries a few years back as an 18 year old! They hung out a lot, but he never went to church or anything, but he was really excited to meet us! We had a great church tour with him, and he's truly so prepared, and he feels like a true brother. He moved to Saitama due to his heart being pretty broken by a girl he loved a lot, and he said he's looking for that second chance. We discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he said he'd really like to learn more about baptism and the second chance it gives us in life. He's awesome. His only concern was if the water was cold! We're so excited for him, and it's been such an awesome blessing to be meeting with him. 

That's probably been one of my favorite things serving as a missionary. I've met so many amazing people that the love just comes so naturally. You can genuinely feel like you were brothers in the pre-existence, and I'm so thankful for the many times I have felt that as serving as a missionary. I'm so thankful for the incredible outpouring of blessings Heavenly Father has given me and Elder Shumway in these past couple weeks. Just like Dad was saying in his letter, the blessings have just begun to flow as we've been fasting and praying as a zone. We've been meeting in the conference call every morning, and it's been such an immense amount of blessings. Our zone is looking pretty awesome! We're so excited for this Christmas season, and it's going to be so great. I love being a missionary with all my heart, and I'm so so so thankful to be serving in Japan Tokyo. This country has changed my life, and the people here have truly changed my heart and perspective. I love this Japanese people so much, and I'm so thankful to be serving amongst them. 

Some people may say that serving in Japan is hard, but I say not at all. Serving in Japan is the most incredible blessing, and a true privilege.

Sorry to get a little intense, haha, I've just been feeling that so strongly lately, and I'm so thankful for the amazing 6 months a few weeks I've got ahead of me! It's going to be so awesome, and I'm so thankful to keep going forward with faith. The time is truly flying by, but I'm so excited to give every moment my whole effort and focus, I love being a missionary!

It sounds you guys are all doing so great though! It sounds like thanksgiving is going to be so awesome this year, and I'm really so happy for all of the great things going on in the Fam! I'm praying for you guys everyday by name, and I'm so thankful for all the cool blessings. :) just to let Dad know, we copied your zone activity today! It was a smash hit! We had mashed potatoes, pan cakes, pumpkin spice cakes, French toast, sushi, pasta (made by me), huge salad, Japanese style rice, and tons of soda! It was so awesome to meet as a zone and have a cool thanksgiving feast, and talk about all of the cool things we're thankful for as a zone. Thanks so much for the awesome idea, it went so great! 

So lastly I just want to let you know of one really awesome thing I'm looking forward to in the next couple weeks! In the mission home there's going to be a big Christmas concert, and I've overcome my fear of performing and an investigator up here and I are playing Silent Night on the guitars! It's gonna be so awesome, and I wish you guys could see it! I'll make sure to get a video, and it's going to be so cool! Anyways, just wanted to let you know! It was such a cool miracle, and I'm really thankful to have this cool experience with this great college student investigator!  

Thank you guys again so much for everything, I hope you have an amazing thanksgiving, it's gonna be so awesome, and I'm so excited to talk to you guys on Skype again in just about a month! I 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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