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, January 06, 2008

Jazz, Nanao and Mochi

Happy New Year! 2008! Hooray. Not one of you saw me once during the entire year of 2007 - I was in Japan the entire time. That`s a weird thought. Also, I`m almost 21 years old, that`s weird too. Of course the legal age in Japan is 20 - so 21 doesn`t really mean anything here (and it`s not like it would mean anything in America either), but it`s still exciting. We had a little snow here for the new years which was very good.

It is very interesting how God places certain people in our paths. Ever since I came to Kanazawa, the bishop here has been really excited about me playing the saxophone. He wants to have some church activities of music performances, talent shows, and things like that. I am excited to perform, but just playing by myself isn`t entertaining for too long. I asked if there were some good piano players in the ward - which there are - but nobody that could play too much with me.

Well two weeks ago, a new student came to our English class. A lady in her 30s who works at hotels and restaurants playing jazz piano. She is increadibly nice - wants to study jazz in America sometime in the future, and is more than happy to come play music with me anytime. A jazz piano player, wanting to learn english, and willing to do whatever we ask is a rare, rare thing in Japan. It just interests me a lot that it worked out so well - almost too well.

The one challenge of course is that whenever we talk, I`m too excited to talk about music that the church doesn`t come up. It`s been a LONG time since I`ve talked with someone that knows there is more to music than the beatles and Elvis- though I like the beatles...and Elvis`s movies are way funny. Nevertheless, the sister missionaries are taking care of the gospel part, which is good.

In other events, our investigator that wants to get baptized - Susumu - is doing well. He is a pretty special guy, and wore some immodest clothing. He isn`t homosexual, but just kind of acts really weird, which makes lots of people feel uncomfrotable. Anyway, we talked a lot about modest clothing, gave him a "for the strength of youth" pamphlet, and he changed his clothes! He looks a thousand times better - and is becoming so much more like a normal person. It`s really been good - and the ward is being very, very kind to him. Saturday we talked about the word of wisdom, and even though he likes coffee, he said it would be no problem to give up. That`s good faith. We still works on sunday and can`t come to church, but we`ll work on that as well.

A couple of times, we had an activity with members called a mochitsuki , or making mochi. Mochi is a rice thing. You pound steamed rice with a big wooden mallet until it`s kind of gooey. It`s way fun, especially because I was the champion with the hammer - thank you morning exercise! Lots of english students came too and it was a great opportunitu for the members to fellowship and befriend them.

Yesterday, Elder Cano took a two hour train ride to the Pennicula of Nanao. (Nanao means seven tails, I thinks it`s prehaps the coolest name i Japanese. Actually no, Igarashi is the coolest, it means fifty storms. That would be so cool to go up to someone and say, "Hello, I am Mr. Fifty Storms." Woah, the power!) Anyway, Nanao has a little branch of six or eight faithful church members who come each week. There currently aren`t missionaries serving there, so we visited this past sunday. The Spirit in that room, as so few gathered and partook of the Lord`s supper, was powerful. If I knew something was true, would I hold faithful to it my entire life even if nobody else did? That would be hard. However, I feel very much that Christ visits the few, before the many. The atonement will make all right and just.

Today I finished the "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith" It was one of the best books I have read and have been much edified by it`s teachings. The Spirit testified to me twice that the words were true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.

I love you all so much and pray for you many times throughout the week. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and grant you His Spirit which brings peace that surpasses all understanding.

Yours always,

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


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