Alex Fuller's Mission to Japan

Alex at MTC From June 2006 to June 2008, Alex is serving
a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints in the Japan Tokyo
South and Japan Nagoya Missions.
(click pic to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Japan Kobe Mission To Re-Open

Greetings from Japan on the day before I turn 20. I am excited to stop being a teenager, though I will never be older than a six-year-old at heart. I have recieved some very nice presents from our English class students already. My favorite is a giant melon, the likes of which I have never seen, which says "Happy Birthday Elder Fuller! Jan. 26 We Love the Missionaries" and then signed Emiko. Emiko is a faithful English class student who would be a member of the church if her husband did not object. So, instead, she just showers us with gifts. It`s fun, and she`s increadibly nice.

So now on the the big news. Really, really big news. Yesterday was a combined zone conference, which means all the missionaries in the Fujisawa and Shizuoka Zones (or stakes) got together at the church in Fuji. About 50 missionaries came, along with President Tucker and his wife. Combined conferences are rather rare since it takes a lot of effort to get everyone to travel so far. Nevertheless, it was great to see seven of the eleven missionaries I came to Japan with from the MTC and other friends I made. So, it started, and all of our lives began to change.

President Tucker gave an extensive history of missionary work in Japan over the last 50 years. He talked about how there used to be a Kobe mission, but it was closed in 2001 because of various difficulties. The members in Kobe and that mission felt rather discouraged, viewing it as a punishment for something they didn`t do and a step backwards in Japan. He then went on the talk about how ever since then, various proposals have been made to re-open the Kobe mission.

I started to get a little nervous as he was talking about this; the tension in the room was thick. Finally, he talked about how one day he recieved an ordinary envelope from Salt Lake that he thought very little about. He opened it and was surprised to see that it was from the First Presidency of the church. In effect it read "President Tucker, you and your wife are being transfered to preside over the newly re-opened Kobe mission."

So this is an increadible step forward for Japan, having Kobe re-opened and my mission president being the one to go and do it. However, it brings with it more change than just a new mission. The missions in the this area are all being completely changed so that the North and South Tokyo missions are now becoming one mission, the Tokyo mission, which will be the most populated mission in the world. However, the boundries for the Nagoya mission are also changing and will now include the Shizuoka zone/stake, of which I am currently serving in. The changes will all take place starting march 1st.

So here is the biggest news for me, that unless for some very extreme reason I am transfered out of Shimizu before then (which I won`t because my companion is returning home and I have to stay here) I will be serving in the Japan Nagoya mission starting March 1st. This area, and the missionaries serving here, will be absorbed.

A little surprising to all of us. However, that meeting was a very special one. The Spirit of God was burning in our hearts the entire time. No one there could not know that this was God`s plan and that His will is being fulfilled. I personally felt a very quite, and sure confirmation come over me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that I am supposed to be serving in Nagoya for the next year and a half.

Missionaries have a peculiar calling. They just wear their black nametags and go where they are called to go. They preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ wherever they are. I will go and do the things the Lord has commanded me.

It will be sad because I have grown to love my mission president so much, and the ten other missionaries I came to Japan with will all most likely remain in the Tokyo mission, but I know this is right. Spiritual adventures await.

Hopefully soon a press release will be made about this, it is increadible new for the Japanese Saints.

More than ever I know that this church is true. I wasn`t called to serve in the Tokyo Japan South Mission, I was called as a missionary, with that area being my first assignment.

Monday this week we had an increadbile lesson with a young woman who`s name is Takeru. She is 18, a senior in high school, and was found through our English class. She goes to a christian high school and actually had a friend give her a Book of Mormon a while ago. She is so prepared, and the one girl in our ward who is 17, who came and helped with our lesson, is becoming her friend. Members are so important in helping others know how to live a Christian life in Japanese Society. The spirit was so strong as this 17-year-old member bore her testimony of how the Book of Mormon has helped her, and promised Takeru the same blessings.

What an amazing work this is. What an amazing time to be alive. I love life, all 20 years of it. May you feel this same thrill for life which God grants us is my prayer.

Elder Alexander Todd Fuller
Japan Tokyo South Mission (Until march 1st) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the entries on your Blog. It was great to have a flavor of your mission experiences. I was pleased expecially to see the pictures and learn about the Kobe Mission (where my daughter served). We love you and appreciate your service.

Jim Scott and Famiily

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous David said...

Ack! My mission no longer exists! What am I to do now!

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous David said...

Did Elder Fuller ever talk about singing "The Tokyo South Mission is a field that's white today..." Or did his namebadge have a logo with the Tokyo temple and Mt. Fuji? Wow. It's all history now...

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Alex's Dad said...

Yeah...sounds like lots of changes in Japan. Alex hasn't mentioned the Tokyo South Mission song nor the namebadge logos with the temple and Mt. Fuji. That sounds like a cool namebadge. Do you still have yours? Can you post a picture of it?


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