Monday, May 25, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 92

Hey everyone! Wow I can't believe it's been another week already...It's really starting to go by so fast! Recently I just got an email from the mission home filling me on all of the last things I have to do before returning home, as well as my interview day and time with President Budge, and my travel companion! I'm going to be back with my awesome companion from Tsukuba, Elder Jacox! I'm so stoked to be working with him again for the last couple days of my mission, and I know it's going to be such an amazing experience. The time is going so fast now, but I'm so thankful and excited to keep working with every last effort here in Tokyo Japan. I love this work with all of my heart, and I especially love the incredible country of Japan. This coming Sunday will be my last normal Sunday in Japan, as my last week will be Tokyo Stake Conference! One really amazing thing about that though is I will be able to see my trainer, Elder Hamada, and his new family at the conference! Such an awesome miracle near the end of my mission. :) Heavenly Father has truly been sending so many of those these past couple of weeks, and I'm so excited to keep going forward with faith!

It sounds like everyone is doing so amazing, that makes me so happy! So sorry Mom's going to be doing some tarp sleeping...that's the worst! But if it makes you feel better, I have not slept on a bed in about 2 years, haha. Gotta love the futons of Japan! But everyone just sounds way happy, and it's so cool to see all of the amazing blessings happening in our family. It makes me so so happy, and I'm so excited for everyone! That's one thing that has been so awesome to feel and know as a missionary is that God's plan is truly perfect for all of us. I was reading one of my favorite talks from this past General Conference The Plan of Happiness, and it made me just feel so thankful for all of the amazing blessings that Heavenly Father has sent to us. Elder Adachi really is teaching me so much about Heavenly Father's perfect plan for all of us, and I'm so thankful to have him as my last companion here in Tokyo! He's been such a huge blessing to me, and I'm way thankful to have the chance to learn from his amazing example. He's an awesome friend and brother and I'm so thankful to work with him! Heavenly Father has really sent down so many great miracles to us, and we're way excited! This past week we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Shigeyoshi, and he set his own baptismal date for his birthday on October 13! It was such an awesome miracle, and he's really committed to being baptized on that date. Although I won't be in Japan to see it, it makes me feel so thankful for this amazing miracle, and I'm so excited to keep working with every effort as a missionary!

As well one really crazy thing is tomorrow I'm meeting up with Shohei near Urayasu! It's way crazy because this will be my last visit with him as a full time missionary here in Japan. :( He's heading out for Utah on the 27th, and so tomorrow will be our last time here in Japan! It definitely is such a sad feeling, but I'm so so thankful for my amazing brother Shohei, and for how much he has blessed and changed my mission so much. He's such an awesome example to me, and I'm so thankful for the incredible kindness he has always shared with me during my time in Japan. It'll be so awesome to hang out with him tomorrow, and have some of those last good-byes. It's going to be so hard though! It's so crazy how fast this time as a missionary is going by, but I'm so thankful for all of the eternal friends Heavenly Father has allowed me to meet and know. I love this work with all of my heart, and I love being a missionary so much. It was never super easy, but it has definitely been some of the happiest two years of my life, and 2  years I'm looking back on with such a strong feeling of thankfulness. I'm so excited to continue to give every last effort, and give my whole heart and will to the lord. I know that through trusting in Him, we can truly change, and as Paul said, become no longer strangers in the fold of God. I love being a missionary! The gospel is true, the book is blue, and God loves you! Have an amazing week!

Elder Justesen

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 91

Campanion shots at Meiji Jingu!

Hey everyone! Wow I can't believe it's been another week, it's really starting to go by so so so fast! But this past week was so amazing, and Heavenly Father is really sending down so many awesome miracles here in Urayasu. I'm super stoked because tomorrow we get to have an exchange with one of my favorite missionaries, Elder Kudo! We actually were in the MTC at the same time, and we're heading home together! Urayasu was his first area so he's so excited to come back and work with us just for the day. It's going to be such an awesome time! Also I have some waaaaaaaaay awesome news! It turns out that Shohei and Elder Howard are going to come to my homecoming!! Shohei gave me a call this morning and he said he and Elder Howard were talking, and they decided they want to come to my homecoming! How awesome of a miracle is that? I'm so excited for you guys all to meet Shohei, it's going to be so cool. It's so awesome to see how the missionary life will just keep going, and I'm so thankful to have Shohei and Elder Howard as my true brothers here in Japan. They really blessed my life so much, and I'm so thankful for all of their amazing kindness to me. I love being a missionary with all of my heart, and I love this work with all of my soul! It's been such an amazing time here in Tokyo, Japan, and I'm so thankful for these next 3 weeks coming forward. I'm so excited to work hard with every effort, and always strive to be the servant that the Lord wants me to be.

But I'm so thankful for all of the amazing emails from all of you this week! I just want to again say thank you all so much for all of the amazing kindness you always share with me while I'm here in Japan. I'm so thankful for all of your amazing kindness and love you always share with me. Throughout my time serving as a missionary, that kindness and love has really blessed and strengthened me so much here in Japan, and I'm just super thankful for the most amazing family ever. I love you guys so much! It's hard not to get a little excited about seeing you all so soon now, but I'm so excited to keep working with every effort these last 3 and a half weeks. I love this work so much!

This week has really so awesome though! Our great investigator Shigeyoshi is looking so amazing, and we saw such an awesome miracle with him this week! We had a way powerful member, whom I've determined is the Japanese version of Will Smith, and the Spirit was so strong! Shigeyoshi decided a couple weeks ago that he feels ready to receive baptism, and he's going to do all he can to receive it by October! He has some things at work he's working on changing, and by October he should be all ready to go! It was such a cool miracle to see, and it's so awesome to see how the Lord has been working on him for so long now, but he's made that really amazing decision to receive the great blessings of this Gospel! As well, Brother Tsukushi is looking so solid! Please keep him in your prayers, as he's starting to think about talking to his parents soon, but his testimony and faith is so on fire, and he's finished the Book of Mormon the second time! He's truly converted to this Gospel, and he's such an awesome example to me. Keep him in your prayers! :)

But anyways, I just want to say I love you guys so much, and I'm so thankful and excited to be serving as a missionary at this time in Japan. I love this country with all of my heart, and it's been the most incredible experience ever serving here in this wonderful country. I know that the experiences and things learned here will truly last forever, and especially the friendships will continue into the next chapter! I'm so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to come to this place and serve, and as I've seen others lives be change, feeling and witnessing my own life changing. I love this Gospel so much, and I know that it is true. I'm so thankful for my Savior, and for the restoration of this gospel. I'm thankful for the plan of salvation that gives us all purpose, and shows us the roadmap back to our loving father in heaven. I'm so excited to go forward with faith, and keep serving and saying thank you for all of the incredible blessings! 最後まで頑張りましょう。宣教師というのは永遠な責任だからです。:)

Elder Justesen

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 90

Interviews at the mission home!

Companionship unity

Hey everyone! So today's email will be pretty short, but I just wanted to write saying thank you so much for such an awesome Skype call with all of you! It was so much fun to talk to you guys, feel of all the love you shared with me, and as well to meet Alex and Kaitlin! All I can say is wow, they really seem so so awesome! I wish I would have talked to Kaitlin a lot more, but I'm so excited to get to know her better, but she and Tyler seem so perfect for each other. As well Alex was super funny! He seems like such a great guy as well, it's really so awesome to see how much Heavenly Father is blessing our family, and I'm so excited to get to know everyone better. :) Way awesome!

This past week Heavenly Father really blessed us with so many great miracles, and I'm just so excited and thankful to be serving as a missionary at this time. Heavenly Father has sent down so many amazing blessings, and I'm just really thankful to be a missionary. It completely blows my mind to think there are only four weeks left, but I'm so excited to give every last effort in this remaining time, and really do all I can to sprint to the finish line. I love being a missionary so much, and I'm so thankful for the time I have in Tokyo, Japan.


At a ward BBQ

Also just want to wish Mamma a super amazing Mother's Day! The list was pretty short today, but I just wanted to say thanks so much for everything Mom. :) You're such a huge example to me of faith, love of the Gospel, and just power within trials. I'll never forget the things you have taught me, and I feel so thankful to say I'm your son! Love you!

Dinner at the Bishop's

I'm officially an old missionary
All in all it was a pretty awesome week, and I'm so thankful to be working with Elder Adachi here in Urayasu! He's such an awesome companion, and he's been such a huge blessing to me already. We really love working together, and we're so excited for the miracles ahead, it's going to be awesome!

Brother Sugiyama

Adorable Japanese babies :)
Just again want to say again thank you so much for everything you all always do for me, and especially for making this last conference call so memorable. It was so much fun, and it just reminded me how much I love my family. Heavenly Father really sent me to the coolest family ever, and I'm so thankful that we have a family that is centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this work, and I'm so excited to keep going forward with faith! Love you guys, have an amazing week! Again... Alex and Kaitlin are AWESOME! The book is blue, the gospel is true, and God loves you!

Elder Justesen

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 89

Me and Brother Hide

With Elder Templin 

Hello amazing family! It's been another really awesome first week of the transfer, and Heavenly Father has really been blessing us so much here in Urayasu! It's also so awesome to be working with Elder Adachi, he's seriously such a great companion, and he's already really teaching me so much during our time together. The members absolutely love him, and the investigators we are working with as well are all doing so great with him! It's been such a huge peace of mind, and I feel so confident it's totally going to be okay when I head out next transfer. It's going to be such an awesome time, and I'm so thankful and excited to be working here in Urayasu!

Basketball with Ura San

Us with Tsukushi

It sounds like everyone is doing so awesome as well! Again I just want to say that thank you guys so much for always showing me so much love and kindness, I truly do appreciate it so so much. :) It's always so awesome every Monday to hear from all of you (most of the time, haha) and always the kind loving words you all share really do motivate me so much, and really leave me with a great desire to do better each day, and serve with all of my heart. I love being a missionary so much! Last week one of my great friends from Urawa Brother Hide Yagi came to Urayasu to visit me! He went to the temple a couple months back, and he's now received the Melchizedek Priesthood! It was so awesome to see him and talk to him again. I was able to teach him a few times right after he was baptized, and we really became such great friends in Urawa! It made me so thankful to be a missionary, and I'm so thankful that this work truly goes on forever.

With Gary from Hong Kong!

Exercise class

One kind of bummer this week though was that Shohei and I won't be able to go to the temple together while in here in Japan. His Bishop in Kyoto feels he needs to wait until December, and Shohei was so crushed. He called me on the phone and was so sad, and he had just been in tears most of the day because he was so eagerly anticipating entering the temple. I of course was so bummed as well, but we had such a great conversation on the phone about God's plan for all of us, and how sometimes the plan takes some unexpected turns and trials, but it will always lead to true happiness, and there is always a reason behind every trial. He told me thank you, and we had such an awesome talk together just about how happy we are to be best buds here in Tokyo. Although it makes me so sad that I won't be able to enter the temple with him as a missionary, I know there's a reason behind this, and I'm so exited to keep in contact with my awesome brother, Shohei Yoshida. :) He and my trainer Elder Howard might actually be coming to my homecoming! I know whatever happens is what the Lord wants, and I'm just so thankful to keep striving my best to align with His will. I love serving as a missionary!

Our friend Gary

Chin and the Etou family

But anyways! Our investigators are doing so great here in Urayasu, and Elder Adachi is such an awesome companion. He's from Bountiful Utah, and he's full Japanese. His mom lived in Hawaii for a really long time, so he's really got a strong Hawaiian vibe, and it's looking like it's going to be such an awesome transfer! Heavenly Father has truly been so good to me throughout these past 2 years, and I feel just so thankful at this time to be His servant. Not every day has been easy, and some days have been so hard, but I wouldn't give this up for anything in the world. My time serving as a full time missionary has completely changed my life, and is continuing to leave me with a strong desire to follow my Savior, do what is right, and do all I can to live my life in the way that the Lord desire me to. I love this work so much, and I especially love my family! With Mother's Day coming up so soon, I've just been feeling so thankful to my amazing mother. Mom, you really are a super hero, and I love you so much! I'm so thankful for your incredible example of love, kindness, and patience in trials. You've truly taught me so much, and all that is good about me, which isn't too much haha, but I owe all of that to you. I love you so much, and so excited to talk with you next week!

Us with the Etou family

At the Sibata's home in Tsukushi
Elder Kondo and I at the temple

Please know I'm praying for all of you everyday! It's getting closer and closer to us all being reunited again, but I'm so excited to stay focused and give every effort to this amazing work. I love my Tokyo Japan, and I love serving as a missionary so much! Talk to you all next week! The book is blue, the gospel is true, and God loves you!! Also! I'm going to be calling this Monday at 10:00 AM Japan time! So that would be sometime Sunday evening in America! So excited to talk to you guys!

Elder Justesen