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, February 10, 2008

Back To The Streets

What a great week with some good old fashion hard work. It started off well last monday with a fantastic preperation day. We went to the Samurai district part of town - and since there were like seven of us, we just had a fun time joking around. We went into this old museum of like an old pharmacy. It was really cool, except the was a random brocken television in the back of one of the rooms. We all thouroughly enjoyed commenting about how it was a Samurai Television. Also along the roads, we would occasionally see Samurai cars drive by and then Samurai way too expensive gift shops. The Samurais were a pretty sophisticated and evolved society I guess. I actually bought a way nice mug that was from the pottery style that`s famous is Kanazawa - now who should I send it home too? Also, Kanazawa is famous for it`s gold leafing - basically supplying Japan with gold. They have so much actually, that it is a fine delacousy to put little bits of gold on food. You can actually by these gold shavings (of course I bought some - gold food, can you get any classier?) and put them on your own food. Well Elder Williams thought this was the funniest thing in the world, so he bought some, and then we went to McDonalds. On his dollar cheeseburger, he sprinkled some gold - and we enjoyed it to the fullest extent that one can. What a good day.

The rest of the week invloved some companion exchanges - which brought me to Toyama and Takoaka with a coupld other Elders, 24 hours each respectively. We talked a lot, and worked a lot too. It was pretty fun. One of the Sister Missionaries` investigators - Goto Yumi - her had got in a car accident a couple weeks ago, so we went and visited her dad. That was pretty fun - though he was not really a talkative person. However, I evetually got him to start talking a little bit - mostly because I always ask people really silly questions. Well, they`re not silly, but I`ve heard the answer a thousand times before- but hey, whatever gets people talking, and whatever makes them cheer up a little. He was smiling quite a bit by the time we left - and it felt good to be able to visit him. Old people speak WAY hard Japanese - so it would be hard to do here, but when I get back in America - it would be pretty fun to just walk around a hospital for a while and make some friends. I dunno, probably sounds silly - but it would be fun I think. I certainly wouldn`t be nervous talking to new people like I was before. It`s way fun to meet people.

Lots of doors to be knocked - and Elder WIlliams and I are just having a blast. Just a handful of lessons taught each day, but a very rewarding feeling when we come back home at night. As we work, the Spirit comes and joins us. With the Spirit, people`s hearts are touched, and then we begin to see some things happen.

Elder Smith, who`s my district leader in Takoaka right now, participated in a lenghty and in depth discussion about enthusiasm and hope. We eventually arrived at the question - How do we maintain and keep enthusiasm and hope from day to day? When it is lost, how do we gain it back? We both resolved to pray on the subject. THis time, it didn`t come to me, but Elder Smith got a profound answer. Whenever we lose hope, he said, we need to repent. THe scripture he gave was in Aaron`s councel to King Lamoni`s Father, Alma 22:16, "But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest." That is exactly how we gain hope. This just sounded perfect to me - I was surprised by the simplicity and the power of which Elder Smith explained the answer he recieved. I am grateful that answers to our questions come - through many sources.

Finally, I close with a story that warmed my heart. Elder Smith was actually the one who replaced me in Shimizu when I transfered out of ther about a year ago. I left behind 93-year-old Satake Hiromitsu - who Elder Smith actually baptized. Being 93, I always kind of wondered just how much he understood - even though he was very humble and believed and trusted the missionaries. Before Brother Satake was baptized, his son gave him the Book of Mormon stories book - a pciture book at a fourth grade level with stories from the book of Mormon. One Day, Elder Kruger (my former companion) and Elder Smith came to brother Satake`s house, just before his baptism. They came into him reading on his own, that children`s book. Tears were flowing down Brother Satake`s cheeks. He felt something that caused him to cry. I still don`t know exactly how depe his knowledge is, but I was assured that he knows that it is true. He still comes to church - even if he has to call a taxi. God loves him, and I am sure He is pleased with our dear brother.

If this wasn`t God`s work, it could`t go forward as it is. I am grateful to be a part of it. If I were to walk away from it, it would continue without problems - but it`s in my envolvement that I have been able to witness so many tender mercies of the Lord. I love you all very much and pray for those mercies to enwrap you as you pass through the cold storms.


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


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