Monday, March 2, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 80

Hello Amazing Family! Wow, I can't believe it's already March! February really flew by so so fast, it seems so crazy! So sorry that today's email will be a little shorter, so much to do today with very little time, haha. But it's been such a cool week! Heavenly Father is really blessing us so much every day, and I'm so thankful to be serving as a missionary at this time. It seems so crazy now to think that I've been a missionary for about 21 months, but it makes me feel so excited and thankful to the next three months I have to serve the Lord. I just want to say thank you so much to you guys for the incredible (seriously incredible) love and kindness you always share with me. I always just feel so much kindness in each email I read, and I'm so thankful for the amazing family I was blessed to be apart of. Last night we had family home evening over at the Bishop's home, and it was so much fun to participate in the activity! It actually reminded me so much of our own family home evenings, and it brought back so many amazing memories. As well it really hit me how strongly I want to raise a strong family in the Gospel as well. :) I love being a missionary!

It sounds like everyone is doing so great! It's so cool to see all the awesome photos, and see everything you guys are up to! I'm so excited to meet Kaitlin! She seems way awesome, and I'm way excited to welcome her into the family! Way to go Tyler, so happy for you! As well Mom and Dad, it makes me so so happy to see how much Heavenly Father is blessing us with the Costa Vida restaurants! I'm always praying for you guys! :) As well Whitney and Alexa, it's so awesome hearing all the fun things you are up to! Whit it really sounds like the photography is really taking off, and I'm so excited to see all the amazing things you are going to do. I actually knew about Fight the New Drug before my mission, they are so awesome! They have such a cool cause, and I'm so stoked to hear you're helping with it! Way proud of you. :)

Well the work is going forward, and I'm so excited to keep serving as a missionary! The Mikami kids and Watanabe are both looking so great, and progressing in the gospel. We've had a lot of great member present lessons recently, and it's been so cool to work alongside the great members of Urayasu, and just feel that joy of the work together. As well this week we met up with Brother Suita again! We had a great time talking about seminary stories, as his parents were both seminary teachers as well. We had a really awesome time talking about the Book of Mormon, and just the blessings of the gospel. Apparently the stake president here in Tokyo would like to come with us next time we visit him, and the whole ward is ready to help him return to activity. He's such an awesome friend, and I feel so thankful to have made contact with him!

But all in all the work is really amazing, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary at this time. I'm doing all I can to not think too much about home, but I've been taking some time lately to do some deep reflecting on what my mission is teaching me, what it taught me, and what I hope it will continue to teach me in the future. I learned best how to ponder from Dad on those Sunday mornings in the big chair back in Draper. ;) But recently while thinking, I felt such a strong feeling of thankfulness to the testimony that my mission has given me. It's given me a strong desire to continue faithful in this Gospel, and work hard with all diligence to be more of the missionary and servant that the Lord the wants me to be. It's given me a knowledge that with faith and love, we can truly change from the people we used to be, and with the Savior start a new chapter and phase of our lives. No matter the mistakes, or the place we are coming from, we can change, and move forward on a brighter path. I'm so thankful for the love that my mission has given me, and I'm so thankful to keep working with all faith and go forward with all effort! I'm so thankful to be a missionary! Again thank you guys so much for everything, I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!

Elder Justesen

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