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)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again

It`s been a dream.
It was everything and more than I had ever thought it would be.
10,000 kilometers on bike.
Seven areas in Japan.
Two years.

This last week had all been packing and saying goodbye. I haven`t cried yet, but I also know I`m coming back to see everyone on Saturday for a big barbeque. There`s a lot of brothers and sisters here that I`ll never forget. Elder Smith has been such a true friend helping and working along side me. I feel so blessed to have served here in Suzuka.

Everyone keeps asking me for a final thought - and I`m not too sure what to say. I just say the same things that I have tried to say since the first day. God is our Father. He loves us more than we know. Jesus is His Son and our Savior. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 beginning the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Chirst. The Restored Gospel brings us peace in this life and happiness in the life to come. There is no other way but through Christ. I know this through the Holy Ghost and in answer to prayers.

The words are the same, but the feelings are different. I knew the facts of the gospel - it made sense, but I hadn`t really experienced it yet. I knew that when we had trials we needed to rely on the Lord, but I hadn`t done that too many times. I knew the commandments were important, but they`d never been a huge sacrifice.

I think that`s why a mission is a lot like a refining fire. Just hard. No matter where you serve, among any people, it`s trying. But those trials are the genius of the Lord`s program. I`ve been put to the line so many times to see if I really, really believe the gospel enough to live it. I tell others to follow the commandments of love, but do I follow them myself?

A big buzz word around the mission is regret, or rather `no regret`. However, I have lots of regrets. Times of weakness, mistakes, and tiredness. And I regret things. Or at least I did. Somehow I would eventually kneel down, and pray for forgiveness and humility. That`s a hard prayer to say. And sometimes sooner, sometimes later, the Spirit would return and peace would enfold me. And the regret would be gone.

Repentance is so amazing. Forgiveness is such a miracle. If I went my whole mission without regret, then something must have been wrong. Rather through regrets, and repentance, little by little I could learn and move forward. And so I stand today - still imperfect - but so much more profoundly grateful for the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

That may have been what I`ve learned. A bit more about the atonement. It was worth everyday.

I love Japan and its people so much. I shall always have dreams of this peaceful land and hopes of returning. Maybe someday I`ll have a Japanese Cherry Blossom tree in my yard.

I am sad to leave, but excited to see my family. My Mother is an angel - with faithful, loving letters of encouragement weekly or more. My Father has provided for every temporal need and many spiritual ones as well. I can`t wait to hold my siblings in my arms once again.

This Friday morning, I have a phone interview for a job. The Lord will hopefully take care of me from here.

"After wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was cracked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more."

I love you all so much. God be with you `til we meet again.

Yours always,

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


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