Monday, June 8, 2015

Tokyo Japan Week 94

It's been the best ride of my life. :)

Hey everyone! Wow... I can't believe this will be my last email to you all before coming home on Friday! My heart is really full of all kind of emotions, but I'm really excited to send this little email today just saying how much I have loved my time serving here in Tokyo Japan. I love being a missionary with all of my heart, and I'm so thankful for all of the amazing things that happened this past week. This week was full of so many goodbyes, and saying thank you to so many amazing friends that have blessed and changed my whole life. I love this country and city with all of my heart, and I'm so thankful for the chance Heavenly Father has given me to come and serve here for this past two years. I feel like my heart has truly been changed, and I'm so excited to go forward now with faith into this next stage of life. There's many stories I'm going to save to tell you guys this Friday, but I wanted to share the coolest thing that happened this week.

So! This past weekend was actually Stake Conference, and Elder Aoyagi and his amazing wife attended, and so did President and Sister Budge! It was such an amazing last Sunday filled with many amazing memories, but this one will always stand out amongst the rest! So the other morning I received a message from my trainer Elder Hamada, who's now living in Shibuya in our Stake! He and his wife, and newborn baby Kizuru were heading home, and he said he wanted to come pick up Elder Adachi from the conference and take us home to Urayasu! I was so stoked, haha, and said for sure that would be great! So we are sitting in the meeting, and we feel we should go check outside to see if he's arrived, and perfect timing, he comes walking into the church right as we check outside the chapel. It was so funny to see him in jeans and a t-shirt, haha, but we both just got so stoked to see each other, and had a way big hug. From there we run to the car, where he introduced me to his awesome wife and baby! This being the second time Elder Hamada has picked me up from the mission home, haha, we start racing through the streets of Tokyo. We make a quick stop at Pizza Hut where he tells elder Adachi and I to pick up some pizzas, while they went and visited a less active recent convert Elder Hamada taught as a missionary! 

They came back and we took off to Urayasu. What was so cool though was while we are racing through Tokyo at night, we had such a great talk about the things learned as missionaries, and he just asked me all about what happened throughout these past 2 years, and the Spirit was just so strong in the car. We had so many great laughs, and what was just way too awesome was as we were pulling into Urayasu, it was right during the firework show at Disneyland! We could see it from the car, and it was such an amazing experience. Elder Hamada is really such a huge influence in my life, and such a great example to me. His family was so happy and awesome, and it just gave me such a strong vision of the man I hope to be one day. I'm forever thankful for the amazing companions I've been blessed to work with, and how much they really have blessed and changed my life. We talked about the importance of setting goals, following the Spirit at all times, and living close to the Lord. From there, Elder Hamada had a lot to say about the importance of marriage, haha, which was pretty great and way funny to hear from him. It was so amazing though to see how he was no longer the full time missionary I once knew, but he was now an incredible Priesthood holder, a father, and devoted husband. He still had an immensely strong love of the Gospel, and it was so awesome to meet with my brother one last time in Tokyo. :) As we got out of the car, he gave one last hang loose sign, said, "love you man!" And sped off with his family. Unfortunately there was no time for pictures, but I'll never forget the last ride with my brother, friend, and teacher in Tokyo Japan.

All I can really say is how happy I am that the Lord made it possible for me to serve here in the greatest city in the world, Tokyo. I love this city with all of my heart, and I wouldn't change these two years for anything in the world. I just showed Elder Adachi the video of me opening the call, and he said how different I am now, and that really meant so much to me! Haha. I know that with the Lord, it really has been a change for the better, and I'm so excited to keep this closeness to the Savior, and go forward with faith into the next stage of life. I just want to again say thank you all so much for everything these past years. Your prayers have kept me strong, and your love and kindness kept me devoted to this work each day. I felt your prayers so strongly, and I can especially feel them now. I love you guys all so much, and I'm so thankful for this chance the Lord has given me to serve. As much as it hurts my heart to say, I know it's now time to return home, take off the badge on my shirt, strengthen the one on my heart, and go forward with faith and love for the Lord. I love this gospel with all of my heart, and I'm so thankful to come home now with honor, knowing I gave my heart to the amazing people of Japan. Until we meet up again Friday afternoon in CA, this is Elder Justesen signing off. :)

Elder Justesen
The Gospel is True, the Book is Blue, and God Loves You

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