Monday, April 6, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 85

Hello amazing family! Wow I can't believe it's been another week, it went by way too fast! Although I can't lie, I'm so excited to watch Conference this coming weekend, I heard it was really amazing! Many of the members in Urayasu are all very good at speaking English, and many actually watched the Saturday session at 5 in the morning here in Japan! Way awesome members! I've heard that Elder Ringwood's talk was amazing as well, as he's very well known amongst the Japanese members. I've had the opportunity to shake his hand! He was in attendance at the Elder Nelson conference we had last month, and he's such a great man. We actually have many investigators that should be coming as well, they're very excited! What's really so amazing though is how this is going to be my last general conference as a missionary. It seems so incredible that 2 years ago we were all gathered in Utah getting the missionary clothes, and just anticipating entering the field. I'll never forget that last Conference as a family, and looking back now I'm so thankful for the incredible changes that Heavenly Father has brought into my life in this time serving as a missionary. I love this work with all of my heart and soul, and I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father has given me this chance to come to the incredible country of Japan. Maybe it's the Sakura season, maybe it's the language, maybe it's the amazing Japanese people, but I love this country with all my heart. It hurts so much that I'll have to be leaving in the near future, but I'm so thankful to just work with every effort, and take in everything about this incredible country. I know that one day I'll be able to come back, but only one time as 18-20 year old missionary. :) I love Japan!

It sounds like everyone is doing so great! Whitney I was so stoked by all of those great photos that you sent me! It looked like you had a really amazing time in Hawaii, and the pictures were absolutely beautiful! I'm glad you had so many opportunities to share the gospel with Sarah! I know that through your incredible brightness and love of the Lord, you will continue to be a powerful influence for good in the lives of others. Way proud of you! :) Also Alexa I'm so excited to hear about how much fun you're having in the Bay Area, and especially how great things are going with Alex! He seems like such a cool guy, and I'm praying for you guys every day! He's a super lucky dude to be with you, make sure he remembers that! ;) And Tyler! Again I just want to say thanks so much for always being such an awesome example to me of the Priesthood holder I want to be someday. Your missionary service in Brazil really left such a powerful impact in my life, and filled me with a desire to serve. I'll always remember when you got home and told us all of the amazing stories, and I felt so excited to go. You're the man, and I love you so much dude! Kaitlin is marrying one awesome returned missionary!

And Mom and Dad! Especially around this time of year, I'm remembering those last couple months we had together before I left for my mission, and I just feel so thankful for all of the kindness and how special you made those last couple months together. I'm so thankful for the incredible examples you have set for me, and the love that always was in our relationship in the home. I love you guys so much, and I can't lie, I'm so excited to see you both soon. :) I was so blessed to be sent to such an awesome family. I'll continue to pray for you all by name daily!

Things are going pretty awesome here in Urayasu! The Mikami kids were all able to come to church, and although it was pretty sad, we referred one of the little girls, Yuria, to the sisters. We felt really strongly that they could help her much more than we could, and we're really praying hard for a miracle! I'm not sure if I'll see them receive baptism while I'm here, but I know that they will one day. They really have found a second home in the church, and although they may not fully realize it being children, as they grow, I know they'll remember the visits from the missionaries, the ward supplying an incredible Christmas for them, and just attending church each Sunday. I love sitting beside them, and sharing small messages of the Savior each week. They're an amazing little family, and one I've been so touched by as a missionary. Their apartment would make most people cover their mouths, but those little kids' eyes shine with the light of Christ, and despite their circumstances, they feel the love of God, and I'm so thankful to have met them, and to be teaching them. As a missionary you see certain things that you wish were different, but I'm just thankful to know them, and I know that Heavenly Father is preparing incredible blessings for them, as long as no one ever gives up on them. I've realized that despite how bad we may want to see them receive baptism soon, what is most important is showing that love, and helping them continue to develop a loving relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I'm thankful to be apart of that great work. :)

As well we had such a cool miracle to meet with Brother Suita again this week, and he's looking so awesome! We had a great lunch with him, and he said that our visits always remind him of his time in seminary with his mother and father as teachers, and just the love of the gospel that he still has. He says he's going to work hard, and hopefully around summer he should be able to return to church, and he's doing great at reading the scriptures again! With brother Suita it's been so cool to feel and see how much love God has for us, and how much He will do to answer the prayers of those that pray for us. I know that so many loving siblings and a mother and father are praying for brother Suita to come back to church, and it's been so awesome to be a little bit apart of this amazing evidence of God's love for us. I love working with him, and I'm so thankful for the chance to have become friends with him. He's a true brother, and I'm way excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for him!

But all in all, it's been another amazing week, and I'm so thankful to be a missionary at this time! This past Sunday I was doing some deep reflecting on the Conference 2 years ago, and I'm so thankful for all of the amazing love Heavenly Father has shown me. :) I'm so thankful to go forward with faith! Thank you guys so much for everything, and for all of the love you always show me, I'm so excited to keep loving the Japanese people, and serve with all my heart till the finish. Love you guys so much, have an amazing week!

Elder Justesen

P.S. This coming May, I'm going to go through the temple with Brother Shohei Yoshida for his endowment! How awesome is that? The work goes on forever!!

PP.S. Congratulations to Cally on being called to Brazil!!! That is so awesome! She's gonna be so amazing done there, she'll be a powerful missionary! Make sure to let her know I say congratulations, and welcome to the most AMAZING work in the world! :)

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