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 03, 2008

Working With Members

Well hello everyone - I heard the Groundhog saw the shadow his shadow - so six more weeks of winter. I tried to explain what a groundhog was and what february second meant in America - but I don`t think my Japanese friends quite understood it. First, there is no word for groundhog - the closest thing they have is "woodo chuku" for wood chuck. It`s just not quite the same - though it`s definitely still winter over here.

I was able to watch President Hinkley`s Funeral which was broadcasted to the Kanazawa steak center. It was a good service - with some laughs and some profound thoughts. The bagpipes at the end were a nice touch too. However, while watching the service with some other American missionaries - there were a few things that we all agreed on:

America has a LOT of white people. Girls have real blonde hair - that's way weird. The streets are HUGE and people drive on the right. Houses have yards. And in the end, we all don`t really miss America too much. Yeah, I miss English, but wherever there are Latter-Day Saints and other good people - it is a good place.

My dad sent me a package which also included some silly string. Elder Williams and I have been thinking and talking a LOT about what the opportune time to use it would be. Obviously, more thourough meditation will be required.

I`m trying to maybe get some pictures sent soon...I`m working on it, sorry it`s been a while.

Well of the good experiences of this week - I`ll just touch a couple. Tuesday was Zone Leader Council which meant a total of seven hours round trip of trains to Nagoya. The gathering was spiritual as we discussed Preach My Gospel and especially working with members. Working with members has been the keyword for decades now, but how to actaully do it has been the mystery. President Traveller himself quoted from his journal as a young missionary in the seventies that they too were trying various programs. However, the difference now, President Traveller said, is that we have Preach My Gospel - which will make the difference. Elder Williams and I are testing the program out, and being able to help members to take that courage and act is a rewarding experience.

On Thursday, we had an opportunity that I will not soon forget. A recently found investigator had us over to his home to discuss things with him. As we sat down, I felt prompted to ask about his plans for after our appointment. He said that he was going to a funeral for a co-worker in just a couple hours. I asked him about what he thought about the next-life, and a discussion followed. What a blessed chance to lay forth the doctrine of the plan of salvation so that he could know personally where he came from, why he is here, and where his friend went as he passed through the veil. A timely truth for current questions. Most of all, the spirit was overwhelming as Mr. Kobayashi said the closing prayer. Simply adressing Our Father, he said, `my friend wasn`t a very good guy, but please help get into heaven.` How grateful I am for a merciful and loving God, and the restored truth about the state of souls passing from this realm. In reality - I think more the reason we cry at funerals isn`t for the loved one who passed - but rather that we are going to without their company for a period of time. One day, as we`ve read, our tears will all be wiped away.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support. They help. May we all be at peace, Always,

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


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