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)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Riding the Bullet Train

It was the Best of Times.
This past week was one to remember. Never have I seen the Lord`s hand set forth in front of me so many times. Let`s start with Tuesday.

We met with our 93-year-old investigator, Satake Hiromitsu. We taught about faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then, I challenged him to recieve baptism. He didn`t say anything.

He was actually distracted by the scripture I had just had him read, Alma 7:14-16. Finally, he looked up again and said the Japanese equivlent of "Sure."

Well, not exactly what I was hoping for, and so his son went on to explain. His son, a former bishop, explained that being baptized is a very signifigant and important covenant we make. To anyone who was have hearted, it would have scared them off. Then very directly, Satake Hiromitsu looked as his son and said, "I want to recieve baptism." His date is for April 14th. Never have I met a more humble man. He wants to do whatever his son and we ask him. Indeed, he is like unto King Lamoni`s Father who said that he would believe all the words of Aaron in Alma 22. It is always a spiritual experience to teach Brother Satake.

We left later that day from Toyota, the place where they make Toyota cars. It is close to Nagoya, and in preperation for a mission conference on wednesday, we stayed the night closer so as to make it on time.

What a crazy night!
So there were two Brazillian missionaries in that apartment, and then two americans. The Brazillians were out of control! At 10:15, they did something they called "Lamanite Wars." They turn off all the lights, grabbed toy swords, put on load `battle music` and proceeded to beat the snot out of each other. I was curled up in a ball in the corner, laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Some recieve mission calls, but never quite become missionaries. Quite the first impression of Nagoyan missionaries.

Well, surviving (barely) tuesday night, we headed to Nagoya for the mission conference. We have 100 missionaries, and I only know 18 of them. Pres. Stevenson is amazing, and the spirit was strong all day. I don`t know why I am here, but I know it is for a reason.

Leaving Nagoya, Pres. Stevenson came up to our district and said, "Elders, in order for you to get home on time, you are going to have to take the Shinkansen." The Shinkansen is the bullet train. It was probably the most fun I have ever had on a train. It`s so fast. It cut our 4 hour journey down to just 45 minutes or so. I took lots of videos.

Well, the story actually goes on. We jumped on the first train available, which unfortunately was a super-express that didn`t stop in Shizuoka where we lived, but kept going until Yokohama, right by Tokyo. So we had a little extra ride. We went WAY out of our missin boundries, about an hour by bullet train, and then jumped on another train and came back home. We probably would have made it home sooner on the regualr trains, but it was a lot more fun.

On the way back, I had an interesting experience. I was sitting next to this man that was typing away furiously on his laptop. It was probably close to 9:15 by now and I was tired. I was sick, tired, and didn`t want to talk to anyone. I read the scriptures.

I felt like I should lean over and talk to this man. I didn`t. I kept reading, giving a thousand excuses why I shouldn`t talk to him. Mostly I was too tired and thought I had earned a minute to just relax. I kept reading. The topic was the Holy Ghost. "Open your mouth and it will be filled, and I will give you utterance." I kept feeling impressed to talk to this man, but I had not the slightest idea of what to say. Finally, the speaker came on and announced the next stop as Atami. I swalloed my pride and fear of rejection, and leaned over. I asked in my tired Japanese, "Is Shin-Fuji after Atami?"
He replied, in fairly decent English, "Yeah, where are you going?"

So we talked. The Spirit gave me what to say. I didn`t want to bring up the gospel, I just felt that if I was supposed to talk about that, I would know how. I trusted the Spirit.

After talking about his job, family, and daily commute, he asked, "So are you a catholic church or a protestant church?"

What a joy it was, close to nine-thirty at night, in Japan, traveling hundreds of kilometers an hour in a bullet train, to share with him the message of the restoration. He recieved it well and then got off at his stop. I was left with a sure knowledge that the Lord directs this work and that the Spirit will surely give us the words we need in that very moment we have faith to open our mouths.

If this wasn`t the Lord`s work, if the message I share wasn`t absolutely true, I wouldn`t do it.

But it is. It is joyfully perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect.

The miracles continue - I only have enough time to describe a couple from tuesday and wednesday, but the week continued and climaxed yesterday with a powerful ward conference.

There is no greater joy than in assisting in the Lord`s work. Nor is there anything harder. But yet I am happy. Tired and happy. What is life good for but to be worn out in the service of others. That you may find the same joy is my prayer.

Your brother in the gospel,

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


Post a Comment

<< Home