Monday, January 26, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 75

Hello Amazing Family!

Wow this week really went by so quickly, it was really awesome though! Heavenly Father has really been blessing Elder Higashi and me so much throughout this transfer, and there were a lot of way awesome miracles seen this week! First off I just want to any thank you guys so much for all of the kindness and love you guys always share with me. I'm so thankful to have such an amazing family I can truly rely on, and feel that kindness and love at all times. Love you guys. :) Also! Thanks so much for putting that awesome class schedule together for me, I really love it! It will be awesome to try out tennis again and see how that goes, haha. Thanks so much for taking all that time to make sure I'm all set to go when summer semester starts, I'm really so thankful to you guys! :)

Making new friends!

Overall it sounds as though everyone is doing really awesome, I'm so excited to hear all of the amazing things happening in everyone's life, it's so awesome to see those amazing blessings from Heavenly Father on the family! It's been so cool throughout is time as serving as a missionary to see and feel the love that Heavenly Father has for all of us, and it makes me really so happy to see Heavenly Father truly guiding our lives!

Temple day!

This week was pretty quick, and I feel so bad I don't actually have a lot to write! Except one really amazing thing happening this week! So! Elder Aoyagi of the quorum of the 70 will be visiting our mission this week, and he's asked to have personal one on one interviews with some of the missionaries in this mission, and I was selected as apart of that group! I'll be having an interview with him this coming Friday morning before the conference, I'm so excited! I'm a little bit nervous, haha, but I'm so excited to prepare spiritually and have some prayed over questions ready to ask him! If you check out this most recent Ensign or Liahona, he recently wrote a really awesome talk concerning the importance of following the words of the prophets. I'm so thankful for this great chance to sit down with such a powerful servant of the Lord, and especially a man from the country I have come to love so much. I'm so thankful for this chance to be serving in Japan, and I'm so thankful for the incredible miracles Heavenly Father has blessed me with during this time serving. I can't believe I'll be starting transfer 14 in a week, it seems so crazy! I've been doing a lot of pondering lately on the things learned as a missionary, and every time I've been really left with a feeling of immense gratitude. I've recently made a Gratitude Book where each day I'm writing down the one thing I'm especially thankful to that day, and today I'm just so thankful, and so happy to be a missionary. It's been the most life changing experience of my life, and I'm so thankful for the decision to serve. The Lord is truly changing my life through His infinite love, and through the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the Book of Mormon, and the message of love it contains, and the evidence it gives us that Heavenly Father is truly actively apart of our lives. Being a missionary is awesome!

Our investigators are doing great, and many awesome people are really starting to progress! Urayasu is pretty amazing, and I'm so thankful to be serving here. Also Mom! I finally decided where to send the little Japanese snow globe! I decided this morning during my prayer that I'm going to leave it with the Mikami kids whenever I leave Urayasu! They've really blessed my life so much, and I think they're the perfect family for that little gift I committed to give away a while back. :)

There's still so much to do, and I'm so thankful for the chance to have these last few months as a missionary. I'm so stoked to give it every effort, and continually trust in the Lord! Thanks again so much for everything, I love you guys so much! Have an amazing week!! The book is blue, the gospel is true, and God loves you!!

Elder Justesen

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 74


Hello Amazing Family!

Hey everyone! I hope you guys are having a way awesome week, we just got back from the temple this morning! It was really such an awesome experience, and I'm so thankful that during my time here as a missionary, we can attend the temple every 6 weeks! It's such a huge blessing, and I really felt so thankful to be inside the house of the Lord today.

This week was pretty awesome! I just want to say thank you guys so much for the neck tie, cereal, and more candy! Haha, I got to be pretty careful not to eat too much of it, but it was such an awesome care package, and I'm so thankful for the little piece of home you guys sent over, it was so awesome. :) As well Mom, I just sent an email right away to President Budge with the link attached, so hopefully we should be good to go! It felt pretty crazy sending that to him, but I'm pretty excited to start school in June! It will be so awesome to start that next chapter in the medicine field, and I'm really praying that Heavenly Father will provide a way for things to all work out smoothly. Thank you so much for being so on top of all of these things, and helping me get ready for school! This past week my awesome eternal buddy Shohei Yoshida came down to Urayasu, and it turns out he's going to visiting Utah right at that time! I'm so thankful for the eternal friends that are being made here in Tokyo, Japan. :)

Elder Williams and I goofing off

As well another really amazing miracle that happened this week! So back in Urawa there was a small family that elder Shumway and I were teaching, and today Elder Shumway told me that the father made his own date to receive baptism, and it looks as though he'll be baptized on February 7th! His wife is going to Thailand to see what the church is like down there, but she's planning to receive baptism as well after him! In fact, he might be able to baptize her at that time, as he will have the priesthood! It was such an amazing miracle to hear about today, and it really gave me such a strong feeling of thankfulness as I walked into the temple. Today was really special time at the temple, and I felt so much peace and excitement for the future ahead. I know that as I continue to give a full effort each and every day, the final months of this missionary experience will be truly unforgettable. I love serving as a missionary with all my heart, and it really seems so sad to know that I only have about 20 weeks left, but I'm so excited to make each one of those days count, and give a full effort every single day.

Elder Higashi and me!

With Shohei Yoshida!

It sounds like every one is doing really awesome, and I'm so excited to hear about all of the amazing things happening! Especially Tyler and Kaitlin, that is so so awesome!! I'm so stoked for you brother. :) I just want to say thanks so much for always being such an amazing example to me, I look up to you so much! Also Whitney, congrats on the Flickr thing!! That's so amazing! I'm so proud of you, and I just want to say thank you so much for always being such a powerful example to me of pursuing our dreams. You're awesome! Haha. Also Alexa, I'm so excited to hear about all of the cool things you're doing in California! I'm excited to soon become a cougar like you at BYU, and hopefully I'll be as cool as you were when you went there. Also mom and dad! I just want to say thank you guys again so much for all of the love kindness, and so much support you always share with me. I love you guys so much, and I so thankful to be your son. I want to do all I can to be the missionary you both believe I am, and I so thankful for this chance grow, learn, and become more of the person I've always wanted to be. I love being a missionary so much!

The Mikami kids!

But anyways, this week was great! We're working really hard with the Mikami kids, and they all were able to attend church last week, and we had a really great experience with them! They all have such an awesome desire to receive baptism, we're just working to receive that permission for the mother and father. They both are Buddhist, and it's a little bit of a challenge, but with God and Jesus Christ, we know anything is possible! I was praying for them in the temple, and I felt such an assurance that things were going to work out soon enough, and I'm so excited to work alongside that promise. Although missions are far from easy, this truly has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary. I love serving with all my heart, and I'm thankful for the chance to be in Tokyo Japan! It's the most amazing country and city ever, and I'm so excited for these next 5 months. It's going to be awesome. :) Again thank you guys so much for everything, love you guys! Have an amazing week!

Elder Justesen

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 73

Hello Awesome Family! It's been another really awesome week, and I'm so excited to talk about some of the miracles this week! Looking at the title, it's exactly how I've been feeling this week. :) Serving as a missionary has been the most amazing, sometimes most trying, but overall greatest experience of my life, and I'm so thankful for the chance I have to be serving as a missionary here in Tokyo Japan! I can't believe today starts 5 months, but I'm so excited to give every effort, and sprint to the finish! This week Heavenly Father truly blessed us with so many miracles, and I could truly feel his love throughout this week. First off with some of the really amazing miracles!

Dhani came to visit!

First Brother Futoshi Kawai in Urawa was baptized! I wasn't able to attend unfortunately, but I had the chance to talk to him on the phone right after his service, and he was really so happy. He said he felt so much peace and love in his heart when he came out of the water, and it made me feel so thankful to be his friend. I'm so thankful I had the chance to share this gospel message with him, and I'm so happy for this awesome decision he has made to follow Jesus Christ. As well this week, I received a call from the Narita elders, and it turns out Sister Chika, one of the first investigators I ever taught will be heading to the temple soon for her own endowments! I was so excited, and I felt so thankful to have met her here in Japan. As well the Matsuhashi family back in Urawa are progressing so well, and apparently the husband Brother Yu is planning to receive baptism sometime very soon! It's incredible to see and feel of the influence serving a mission has in your life, and I felt so thankful for the time serving here in Japan. Serving as a missionary as Dad and Tyler can say, is not always easy. Sometimes you really feel you're not going anywhere, or maybe that your faith just isn't strong enough. But at those times, I've been so thankful for the gift of prayer, and I'm so thankful for the incredible miracles happening here in the final months of my mission.

Apartment view!

As well this week Heavenly Father blessed Elder Higashi and I with so many cool miracles in our own area! Brother Arai is looking great for his baptism in February, and this week we had such a cool experience! As we were handing out English class fliers at the station, an older man walked by and gave a pretty strong rejection to the flier. He walked away, but 5 minutes or later, he came walking back, took a flier, and began talking to me as if we were good friends. We talked about God and the Plan of Salvation, and he seemed to really want to learn more! I asked him what happened, and why he seemed so uninterested before. He looked at me and said, "Well, as I was walking away I saw something in your eyes that told told me you knew something really special. I felt I needed to come back and talk to you immediately." And so he did! He accepted a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and we set up an appointment to meet this week! Such an awesome miracle, and just made me feel so thankful to be serving as a missionary at this time.

Brother Futoshi's baptism

It sounds like everyone is doing so great, and I'm so stoked to hear about all of the amazing miracles and blessings Heavenly Father is sending down to our family! I'm so thankful to you guys, and for all of the love and kindness you always share with me. It's been not always easy being so far away from you guys for 19 months now, but I'm so thankful for the opportunity Heavenly Father has given me to serve, change, and become more of the priesthood holder he wants me to be. I love this gospel so much, and I'm forever thankful for the chance to be serving as a missionary for this incredible gospel. It's changed and blessed my life in so many ways, and I'm so excited for the months ahead! It's pretty cold, haha, but the work is warm and awesome. I love you guys so much, and I'm giving you all a huge hug through this email!! Have an amazing week, I love you guys! :) Also! Tell Sister Naoko thank you so much for those kind words! I'm so excited to talk to her in Japanese after the mission! Haha, thanks so much for everything, have an amazing week! Hurrah for Israel!!!

Elder Justesen

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 72

We wrote Kanji!

Hello Amazing Family!

Wow I can't believe another week has gone by, and now it's 2015!! This year really went by so so so fast, and I can't believe it's been another New Years in Japan! I definitely missed you guys a bit during this week, but it was such an awesome week full of amazing miracles! Heavenly Father has truly been so kind and loving with the blessings he's been showing to Elder Higashi and I. Elder Higashi is such an amazing missionary, and I feel so thankful to be working with him. He's such a great example of faith, diligence, and just having those really pure intentions in serving the Lord. He's an awesome companion, and I feel so thankful to be serving with him! It was such a cool week!

With it being the week of New Years, it's one of the largest holidays in Japan, and most of this week we're not allowed to be out proselyting, but it actually ended up being one of our most productive weeks so far in the transfer! We had many different dinner appointments with members, and we were able to meet with many of our investigators and have great lessons with them! As well on the 1st we had a mission wide Read the Book of Mormon all day, and it was such an amazing experience. It was so awesome to feel that fire of the Book of Mormon once again, and refresh that testimony again at the start of the new year. I read almost all of Alma, and it was so awesome to read of the missionaries, and the many miracles of faith that they witnessed. One person that stood out in my mind was Amulek! I've never before realized how much he left behind to serve God, and I was so impressed with his desire to serve God, the acknowledgement he had of his weaknesses, but his overall unshakable confidence in Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. It was so awesome! But I'm really excited to share what happened on the 2nd. ;)

With Elder Barnes and Elder Killpack 

Us and Ryo at the bishop's home

So! We had a mission New Years conference actually in my old area of Urawa, and so all of the missionaries met to celebrate the Christmas miracle, and get ready for the new year! It was so crazy not seeing any of the sisters that I was with in the MTC, but it was so awesome as usual to see so many of the missionaries I love and have impacted my life so much. It was such an awesome conference, and I felt so thankful for all of the amazing miracles Heavenly Father has shown everyone during the year! What was WAY cool though was later we watched Meet the Mormons as a mission! Oh... And the way cool thing was I was asked to translate it into Japanese for the Japanese missionaries! I had the whole microphone and everything, it was so cool! So so so hard, but really just a cool miracle and experience I'll remember for a way long time. :) I felt so thankful for the gift of tongues, and just the opportunity Heavenly Father has given me to learn this amazing language! I love Japanese so much, and I'm excited to keep learning more! Heavenly Father has truly helped me so much with learning Japanese, and I feel so thankful for the chance to keep learning and striving to master the language! I love Japan and Japanese! :)

New Year!

There were so many awesome miracles this week, and I felt such a strong feeling of thankfulness to this whole year Heavenly Father has given me. In this year I truly felt the love of our savior Jesus Christ, and especially the powerful love he has for his brothers and sisters here in the country of Japan. It makes me pretty sad to know that this year I'll only be a missionary for half of it, but I'm so thankful for the amazing full year of being a missionary. It's completely changed me from the person I used to be, and it's shown me the person that I really want to strive to be. I've set a goal as well this past week to be a seminary teacher by 25 or 26! I hope I can be as awesome teacher as Mom and Dad! Haha, but my mission has truly given me a vision of the person I really want to be in this Gospel, and I'm so excited for the future! I know that as I keep giving a full effort every day and give my whole heart and soul to these 5 months, it's going to be truly life changing. I love serving as a missionary with all of my heart, and I'm so excited for the things ahead. :)

It sounds like everyone is doing so great though! I'm really excited to hear where things are going with the "people" I heard about during the conference call! Please keep me updated! I'm so thankful for all of the amazing blessings Heavenly Father is sending to you guys, it makes me so stoked to keep working harder! I'm so thankful for all of the awesome love and kindness you guys always share with me. It truly has blessed and impacted my life in so many amazing ways, and I'm so thankful for the amazing family I have. Thanks so much for all you do for me, and always the outpouring of love, I really do appreciate it so much. :) Love you guys! But anyways, it's been a really amazing week, and I'm so excited to keep going forward with faith, and continue to give this work my whole heart! I love you guys so much, have an amazing week!

Elder Justesen