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)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Officially Transferred to Japan Nagoya Mission

Hello once again,

I have so much to write and not too much time, so here I go.

Well I am officially a Nagoyan missionary. I met President Stevenson and his wife last tuesday in Shizuoka. He is great, but he will never be my first mission president, Pres. Tucker. Oh well, Pres. Stevenson is still amazing. My interview was fun. All my interviews are usually the same - trying to understand my complex family. I`m just going to tell people to avoid the question of "how many brother and sisters do yo have?" or just make something up. Oh well, it`s fun.

The biggest difference between my old mission and Nagoya - lots more rules and lots more structure. Fun? Not really. But oh well, we`ll see what happens. There are lots of things to be done - maybe I can help.

The biggest new thing is we now count something called contacts. It`s how many people we offer to teach the gospel to, or have a chance to hear a lesson. This number can get pretty big, so that`s kind of fun. They even gave us clickers to carry around. That will be a fun new experience.

Elder Kruger and I have been having some fun. We think that Satake is about ready to get baptized. He is 93 years old. Sure, baptism is a life-long commitment, but we`re thinkin it might just be a couple months for him. :) Most of all, he is just like a child in humility. Somehow, he was able to find the basic truths of the gospel from wherever they came, and now, as he hears it in purity, he has no problem accepting it. He feels the spirit at church, what else could one ask for. The big question is whether I will transfer before or after. I hope after.

So this sunday was one to remember. The world and missions are divided up into areas in the church. The area my mission is in is the Asia north area, which includes all of Japan, Korea, and maybe more. The president of the entire area is a seventy named David F. Evans. He talked in general conference last may, I think. Well President Evans came to Shimizu for sacrament meeting yesterday. It was amazing.

He came early and talked to us for a while. He recounted how some 30 or so years ago, he too was a young missionary in Shizuoka, and that it was the hardest part of his mission. Nevertheless, he saw the greatest blessing from this area, as well.

Our ward mission leader, Brother Mitsuya, was a convert from Elder Evan`s work. Brother Mitsuya has been a bishop, served in the stake presidency, and now has a daughter on a mission to Fukuoka. What a reward.

In sacrament meeting, it was of course all in Japanese, but Pres. Evans gave most of his talk to Elder Kruger and I as missionaries. He asked us never to forget that "Through the hardest trials come the choicest blessings." He promised the ward that as they worked together with us, miracles would take place and the work would move forward. The Spirit was powerfully present as a special witness of Jesus Christ bore his testimony of Him who he served. I fought back tears the entire time.

Later that day, we had a very funny experience. We saw a big chevrolet truck, which is increadibly rare in Japan. I rode my bike quicker to catch up, and shouted to him that he had a nice truck. He replied, "Arigatoo, ganbate choro" which means, "Thanks, keep up the good work Elder"

This is very intersting, funny, odd, because he called me Elder. The title is very seldomly used even by members because it means a very old and wise person, and so they avoid it. To have a stranger, who somehow knew who we were, say Elder, or choro, was very interesting. He drove off and i just stopped looking kind of surprised. I justly attribute it to a tender mercy of the Lord. It raised our spirits and helped us to work hard all day.

Sometimes we just need someone, a stranger, to tell us to hang in there. I love compliments, because they show love. I try to tell people I love them through complimenting them. One things I do that`s rather silly, is that whenever I see someone wearing a hat, I tell them it looks good. "Suteki na boshi desu!" which means, nice hat, but not in a sarcastic way.

So there are many great things taking place. I am so excited and doing well. I hope everyone is doing well. My prayers are with you. I love you all.

Elder Alexander Todd Fuller
Japan Nagoya Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


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