January 1, 2015

Japan Fukuoka Mission

Free resources about the Japan Fukuoka Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Japan LDS Missions.

Japan Fukuoka Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Japan Fukuoka Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Japan Fukuoka Mission
9-16 Hirao-josuimachi
Chuo-ku
Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
810-0029

Phone Number: 81-92-522-0386
Mission President: President C. Samuel Gustafson

Japan Fukuoka Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Japan Fukuoka Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Fukuoka Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with Japan Fukuoka RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Japan Fukuoka Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about Japan

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Japan. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Japan, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  language  Traditions  time lapses  Storms and Natural Disasters

Japan Fukuoka Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Japan Fukuoka Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, blog URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Elder Michael Wintercorn mymission.com/eldermichaelwintercorn 2016
Elder Kevin Colton elderkevincolton.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jason Sherrill elderjasonsherrill.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Janette Jorgensen janettetakesjapan.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Marina Johnson sistermarinajohnson.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Caroline Raines sistercarolineraines.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Tyler Madsen eldertylermadsen.wordpress.com 2016
Elder & Sister Rowe melodyandglenn.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Glen Krebs elderglenkrebs.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jayme Wheeler elderwheelermission.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Sarah Lowe sarahannemission.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Kyle Davies elderdaviesjapan.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Kiersten White siswhiteinjapan.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Tristan Egan mymission.com/eldertristanegan 2016
Sister Mako Ketch makoketchjapanfukuokamission.weebly.com 2015
Sister Joyze Curtis mymission.com/sisterjoyzecurtis 2015
Elder Dallin Osborne dallinosborne.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Michaela Bready sisterbready.wordpress.com 2015
Elder Nicholas Walton elderwaltoninjapan.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Caitlyn Malone sistermalone.blogspot.com 2015
Elder & Sister Koberstein kdskupboard.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Christopher Bryce ckbryce.com/wordpress 2015
Sister Anna Gazdik gazdikstakejapan.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Amber Stevenson sisterstevenson.weebly.com 2015
Elder Jarom Jameson elderjaromjameson.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Travis Bloomfield eldertravisjbloomfield.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Iain Lee elderleejapanfku.blogspot.com 2015
Elder & Sister Koberstein koberstein1800.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Breksa sisterbreksa.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Bryce Capener bcapener.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Victoria Roberts roberts-shimai.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Joseph Gandy elderjosephgandy.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Bronte Baird sisterbaird.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Katelyn Sharp sisterkatelynsharp.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Jordan Wood missionsite.net/elderjordanwood 2013
Sister Meghan Stirling missionsite.net/sistermeghanstirling 2013
Mission Alumni mission.net/japan/fukuoka 2012
Sister Carlie Eddy sistereddy.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Samuel McConnell elder-sam-mcconnell-mission.blogspot.com 2012
Elder & Sister Christensen bessandtom.blogspot.com 2012
Sister Lucy Tingey missionarylucy.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Nathan Fontanet missionsite.net/eldernathanfontanet 2012
Elder Miguel Villalobos missionsite.net/eldermiguelvillalobos 2012
Elder Dallin Woodward missionsite.net/elderdallinwoodward 2012
Sister Tia Johnson tiaandadriel.blogspot.com 2011
Elder & Sister Arnell shirleyarnell.blogspot.com 2011
Sister Sarah Lemmon sisterlemmon.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Robert Gregory elderrobertgregory.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Kyle Stubbs kmsmission.blogspot.com 2011
President & Sister Margetts margettsmission.blogspot.com 2010
Elder Michael Peterson japanfukuokamission.wordpress.com 2000

Japan Fukuoka Mission Groups

Here are Japan Fukuoka Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Fukuoka Mission.

  1. Fukuoka Japan Mission: Isn’t it about time? Group (783 members)
  2. Japan Fukuoka Mission – President Mills Group (99 members)
  3. Fukuoka Mission Nishimoto Jidai Group (38 members)
  4. Fukuoka Mission Pres. John Sakamaki (1985-87) Group (38 members)
  5. Japan Fukuoka Mission Facebook Group (37 members)
  6. Japan Fukuoka Mission Moms (LDS) Group (17 members)
  7. Fukuoka Mission- President Dwight Pincock Group (2 members)
  8. Okayama/Kobe/Fukuoka Missions 1974-78 Group (1 member)

Japan Fukuoka Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Japan Fukuoka Mission!

Shirt designs include Japan Fukuoka Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Japan Fukuoka missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Fukuoka Mission gifts

japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-1 japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-2 japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-3 japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-4 japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-5 japan-fukuoka-lds-mission-shirt-6

Japan Fukuoka Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Japan Fukuoka LDS Mission.

  1. 2015-2018, Bradley C. Egan
  2. 2012-2015, C. Samuel Gustafson
  3. 2009-2012, Sherman Kay Margetts
  4. 2006-2009, David B. Iwaasa
  5. 2003-2006, Kelend I. Mills
  6. 200-2003, Mark A. Gottredson
  7. 1997-2000, James A. McArthur
  8. 1994-1997, L. Dwight Pincock
  9. 1991-1994, Cyril I.A. Figuerres
  10. 1988-1991, Raymond Y. Sasaki
  11. 1985-1988, John L. Sakamki
  12. 1982-1985, Takashi C. Shimizu
  13. 1979-1982, Roy I. Tsuya
  14. 1976-1979, Goro Yamada
  15. 1973-1976, Arthur K. Nishimoto

Japan LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 128,216
  • Missions: 7
  • Temples: 2
  • Congregations: 266
  • Family History Centers: 63

Helpful Articles about Japan

Japan Fukuoka Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Japan Fukuoka RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2014-2016 (Dan)
  • June 2013-December 2014 (Lacee)
  • August 2013-June 2015 (Sam)
  • 1989-1991 (James)
  • 1989-1991 (Paul)
  • August 2004-July 2006 (Ryan)
  • 1977-1978 (Greg)
  • 1999-2001 (Ystyn)
  • 2013-2015 (Andrew)
  • 1988-1990 (Mark)
  • 2002-2004 (Scott)
  • 2008-2010 (Juli)
  • 1979-1981 (Gordon)
  • 1978-1980 (Kendall)
  • 2007-2009 (Grant)
  • 2010-2012 (Nate)
  • 1988-1990 (James)
  • 2007-2009 (Cameron)
  • 1989-1991 (Paul)
  • 2014-2015 (Rui)
  • 1989-1991 (James)
  • 2012-2014 (Carlie)
  • 2013-2014 (Sarah)
  • 2013-2015 (Jonathan)
  • 2014-2016 (Jeremiah)
  • 1989-1990 (Melissa)
  • 1987-1989 (Karl)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Saijo, Nagasaki, Yatsushiro, Naze, Yamaguchi, Okinawa. (Dan)
  • Iizuka, Oita, Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Omuta, and Nobeoka. (Paul)
  • Okinawa, Nagasaki. (Greg)
  • Isahaya, Naha, Kadena, Oita, Nago. (Ystyn)
  • Hamada, Ishikawa, Oroku, Nakatsu, Mihara, and Hikari. (Andrew)
  • Kita Kyushu (Yahata), Omuta, Kagoshima (Yoshino), Kumamoto, Fukuoka (Ijiri), and Maebaru. (Mark)
  • Miyakonojo, Isahaya, Nagasaki, Futsukaichi, Shimizu, Tsuboi. (Scott)
  • Fujisaki, Iizuka, Taniyama, Kumamoto/Nagamine, Nobeoka. (Juli)
  • Ijiri, Fustukaichi, Shuri, Omuta, Yatsushiro, Miyazaki, Oorio. (Gordon)
  • All of Southern Japan including Okinawa. (Kendall)
  • Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Kurume, Yahata, and Urasoe. (Grant)
  • Saga; Omuta; Itoman; Ishikawa (Uruma); Nakatsu. (Nate)
  • Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Kumamoto,Oita. (James)
  • Kitakyushu, Amami O-Shima, Chikushino, Omuta, Tsuboi, Fujisaki. (Cameron)
  • Iizuka, Oita, Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Omuta and Nobeoka, Japan. (Paul)
  • Nagasaki/Sasebo/Fukuoka/Taniyama. (Rui)
  • Yatsushiro, Oita, Isahaya, and Ijiri. (James)
  • Hatsukaichi, Ube, Chikushino and Nagasaki. (Carlie)
  • Kurume, Omuta, Taniyama. (Sarah)
  • Isahaya. Kure. Nakatsu. Omuta. Nobeoka. Nago. (Jonathan)
  • Yonabaru and Nago, Okinawa. Takasu and Mihara, Hiroshima. Yahata, Kyushu. Taniyama, Kagoshima. (Jeremiah)
  • Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Miyakonojo. (Melissa)
  • Fukuoka. (Karl)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Okinawa soba, Hiroshima okonomiyaki, Hakat ramen. (Dan)
  • Everything! Hiroshima Okonomiyaki, chicken nanban, ramen, sushi, Black Thunder, Puccho. (Lacee)
  • The ramen is amazing! There’s also okonomiyaki, which is like a pancake with meat and cabbage and sometimes noodles or eggs in it and sauce on top. I don’t know if that sounds very good, but it’s great! Also, there are lots of good yakiniku places, which is a Korean-style barbecue where you get to choose and cook your own meat. (Sam)
  • Okonomiyaki, katsudonburi, sukiyaki, curry, takoyaki, Nagasaki Chanpon. (James)
  • Katusdon, okonomiyaki, and udon. (Paul)
  • Gyoza, curry, nontraditional sushi, taco rice, Melon Cream soda. (Ryan)
  • Bontan Ame. Ramen noodles. Curry rice. (Greg)
  • Yakiniku, Okinomiyaki, Taco Rice, Goya Chanpuru, Omuraisu, Karaage, Gyudon, Oden. (Ystyn)
  • Okonomiyaki. Kara age. Taco Rice. Ramen. (Andrew)
  • Tori sashimi, hoka hoka bento, tabehodai, and yaki niku. (Mark)
  • Umeboshi. (Scott)
  • Okonomiyaki. Ramen. Mandarin oranges. Asian Pears. (Juli)
  • Katsudon-buri, mugi-cha, tonkatsu, yakisoba. (Gordon)
  • Rice, miso, curry rice, yakitori, and ramen. (Kendall)
  • Ramen, yakisoba, curry, mabodofu, bibinba (bibimbap), shabushabu, tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, fried veggies/eggs/spam/croquettes over rice (w/ketchup & mayo), sushi/sashimi. (Grant)
  • Anpan; Natto (yes really); Milky’s; Vanilla Coolish; Red bean & mochi soup; Pork Ramen. (Nate)
  • Curry, Yakiniku, Sushi, Sukiyaki, Tonkatsu. (James)
  • Curry. (Cameron)
  • Katusdon, Okonomiyaki, Udon. (Paul)
  • Indian curry. Sushiro. Kabab. (Rui)
  • Katsudon, okonomiyaki, suki-yaki, yakisoba, karaoge, nagasaki champon. (James)
  • Rice, vegetables, gyoza, sushi, okonomiyaki, pretty much anything really. (Carlie)
  • Indian curry, okonomiyaki, sushi, ramen, onigiri. KARAAGE!!! (Sarah)
  • Ramen, okonomiyaki, yakiniku, giudon, shabu shabu. (Jonathan)
  • Yakisoba. Okonomiyaki. Katsudon. Ika. (Jeremiah)
  • Chicken Nan Bam (sp?) You could only get it at a Hoka Hoka Bento and only in the southern part of the island, mugi cha; you just have to power through that until you learn to love it! (Melissa)
  • Katsudon, gyoza, sukiyaki, and of course katsu curry. (Karl)

What was a funny experience?

  • Speaking Japanese. (Dan)
  • We were going to be late getting back home from a member’s house, so we had to run down this long hill to catch the monorail home. My companion and I ran barefoot because our shoes kept falling off. (Lacee)
  • One night early in my mission my companion and I were walking down a busy street and an older lady came up to us smiling really big. We thought she might ask us where we were from (since we were obviously foreigners) or something, but she came up to us and said, “Does your body hurt?” I said, “Uh, no….” and then she asked us to do several stretching exercises like bending down to touch our toes and things, and then she thanked us and walked away. (Sam)
  • In Nagasaki, I was on splits and we were knocking doors. I knocked on a door, and was greeted with, “hello.” I told them we were missionaries in the area and were talking about how important families were. There was no response, so I said hello again, and again heard hello back. I repeated my message again to silence. After a third time of that, I walked to the side of the house and said hello, a parrot in a cage again answered me back. I’m probably the only Fukuoka missionary who has tracted out a parrot! (James)
  • We had a crazy person calling us in the middle of the night for several days straight, rambling about how we were wasting our time because the Japanese people were “too hard-hearted.” She always insisted on talking to the American elders, of which there were three of us. Finally, one night, we handed the phone to the one Japanese elder in our apartment, and he pretended to be American. (Paul)
  • The mission doctor recommended using a neti pot if you had a runny/stuffy nose. My companion and I filmed each other trying it out for the first time. Our reactions were… funny haha. (Ryan)
  • Almost getting arrested on Halloween. (Greg)
  • We found some water damaged Book Of Mormons in the apartment which were not in a good enough condition to share with people during a lesson but were not destroyed enough to throw away so we put them through the open windows of cars in a Justco parking lot. (Ystyn)
  • Playing quidditch in Okinawa. (Andrew)
  • A young and far too up tight junior gets mission clown as a senior and is told during language study that oh genki desu ka is good but if you really want to get the attention of the older members, Oh bempi desuka is far better. I will allow you translate on your own. (Mark)
  • I got sick and the Mission President needed to stay up with me because the meds I took were causing an allergic reaction. The next day driving back to my area, President accidentally fell asleep in traffic and slowly bumped into the car in front of us. (Scott)
  • When we knocked on someone’s door right after the pregnant wife’s water had broken, and the husband told us, “We’re busy,” with a panicked excited smile on his face. (Juli)
  • As we were riding into Fukuoka for a zone conference, we were standing around on the train listening to the trifs talk about the suteki gaijins. We couldn’t resist responding back in Nihongo as we got off at the eki and seeing their slightly embarrassed reactions. I don’t think we were cruel, just having fun. (Gordon)
  • One time I tried to contact a taxi driver, but he got distracted by my nose. Japanese people love Americans’ noses, and I’d say mine is a little larger than average. He interrupted my question to ask me if he might be able to touch my nose. At this point I’d been in the country long enough to have stopped caring how weird people could be, so I consented, and he fondled my nose. (Grant)
  • We get done shopping and I can’t wait to open up my six-pack of coke when we get home. On the way back, a car juts out of a driveway and within less than two seconds I jump on the hood of the car, the car hits my bike, and the groceries go flying everywhere. I’m fine, but the only thing I can think of is “I hope my Coke is okay…” The driver gets out, asks if I’m okay, I say “yeah yeah, are you?” He looks at me with an ‘are you crazy?’ look. Rightfully so, but I just pick up my stuff, and head on back. We might’ve given him a Book of Mormon but I don’t remember. I don’t remember being shook up either. We get home, and lo-and-behold by some miracle, the Coke opens fine. (Nate)
  • Green missionary sprayed himself with washlet because he didn’t know what it was. (James)
  • My companion walked his bike down a boat ramp on Amami O-Shima to get closer to the water and slipped on the moss growing on the ramp, and slowly went into the water. (Cameron)
  • We had a crazy person calling us in the middle of the night for several days straight, rambling about how we were wasting our time because the Japanese people were “too hard-hearted.” She always insisted on talking to the American elders, of which there were three of us. Finally, one night, we handed the phone to the one Japanese elder in our apartment, and he pretended to be American. (Paul)
  • I was in same zone for 8 transfers and I attended the district conference 3 times and those 3 times I was translating so a lot of members thought that I was APW (Assistant to the President’s Wife). (Rui)
  • I tracted a house in Nagasaki and when I knocked on the door heard, “konnichi wa”. I started into my message and silence…I knocked on the door again and heard, “konnichi wa”, so I repeated my message. I did this three times and finally walked to the side of the house and saw that I was talking to a parrot. (James)
  • My companion liked to pick flowers and then dry and press them in books. One day while she was getting ready, I decided to clean up a bit. She had a pile of dried flowers on her desk but they were all torn and smashed, so I just threw them away figuring she could pick more. I then decided to clean out the refrigerator and then put the trash out. During personal study, she turned to me and asked if I had seen the flowers that were on her desk. My mind started freaking out and I asked her why? She could sense that I knew but she didn’t want to push it. I kept asking her why she needed the flowers and after a minute or so she asked if I’d thrown them out. I said yes but I figured she could pick more. She looked distraught so I kept asking why they were so important and she said, ” they were from the Garden of Gethsemane”. I burst into tears and started saying nonsense about how I threw away flowers from where our Savior atoned for us all… It was so sad. I grabbed the trash bag and ripped it open in the kitchen floor. Everything was covered in spaghetti sauce and goma dressing. Hysterically I grabbed my tweezers and started pulling apart the garbage to find six little flowers no bigger than a quarter. She kept telling me it was okay, but I couldn’t let it go. Miraculously, about 30 minutes later, I found all the flowers. I immediately dried them off and lamanated them into a bookmark. She still keeps it in her Bible. Biggest fail ever! (Carlie)
  • Just so many fun experiences with companions, language mess-ups, and just weird things you run into. (Sarah)
  • Talking to happy science proselytors. (Jonathan)
  • My companion and I were walking down the road and we were stopped by a man who wanted to trade us some dollars he had for our yen. We refused but offered to walk with him to the bank where he could change them. When we got there, we could see people inside but he refused to go in, so we parted ways. (Jeremiah)
  • One morning, we got ready to go out for the day and my bike was missing. My companion told me that someone just needed to borrow it and she was sure that they would return it. I did not have such hope but, the next morning, it was right back where I had left it. (Melissa)
  • We went to an investigator’s home on New Year’s Day and they fed us dinner. It started snowing just after we showed up on our bikes. During dinner, they served a home-made fruit juice. It smelled pretty bad, almost as if fermented. My senior companion loved it and had at least three glasses that I saw. On the bike ride home, not only was it still snowing, but my companion was acting real funny. After only one block and him falling off his bike five times, we decided to walk our bikes the rest of the way home. Yes, he woke up with a headache the next morning. When we asked later about the juice, the investigator said it was an old family recipe and they sit for at least six months in the basement before serving. (Karl)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • Biking accident. (Dan)
  • We were out knocking doors one night, and it started raining harder than I’ve ever seen it rain in my life. We thought it would be ok, but then there was crazy thunder and lightning. We prayed and decided it would be best to go home. The next morning we got a call at 6 AM to make sure we were ok, because a huge landslide happened about 10 minutes by bike away from our apartment. 75 people died, and for the next few weeks we did Mormon Helping Hands to help clean up. (Lacee)
  • One day I was riding along a main road with my companion who was Japanese, in front of me. There was a van waiting to turn out from a side road onto the main one, whose driver apparently didn’t see me coming, because as I went to cross in front of him he started to pull out and hit me pretty bluntly on my right side and I went down. Both my bike and the van were okay, but could tell there was something wrong with my right shoulder. My companion didn’t see the wreck, but once he realized I wasn’t behind him he came back and found me and called the police. When the police got there, they called an ambulance. I was taken to the hospital and got an x-ray which showed I had dislocated my shoulder. The doctor put it back into place and it healed up pretty quickly. That night the driver of the van and his boss came to our apartment and apologized like crazy. He even drove back to pick up our bikes for us (since we left them at the accident site.) (Sam)
  • My companion fell into an open ditch at night and hit his face on the concrete as he fell. I’m sure he had a concussion. We gave him a blessing and took him to the hospital. We stayed in the apartment for a few days while I kept checking to see if fluid came out of his ears. (James)
  • It’s a toss-up between the time we tracted out a Yakuza mafia member, not knowing his mafia connection until after he took us out to eat steak and lobster, listened politely to our lesson, and accepted and promised to read the Book of Mormon, and the time we snuck past the police barricades to help residents in a flooded area of town bail out their homes. (Paul)
  • We were racing to get home on time. It was dark and pouring rain. As I biked past a parked taxi, the driver door opened and hit me right on the handlebar/ my hand. I was thrown over my bike and rolled for several meters down the wet road and ended up with my bike crashing on top of me. (Ryan)
  • Going out at night in Halloween costumes. (Greg)
  • One of the four missionaries in the famously haunted Kadena missionary apartment saw a ghost standing in the genkan during companionship study one morning. (Ystyn)
  • Biking in the rain. (Always…) Having so much rain there was a 4 inch deep river instead of roads. (Andrew)
  • Regular downhill rides to church from Yoshino Hill to the Kagoshima Branch building. (Mark)
  • One night we decided we needed to break rules and go outside after mongen and shoot each other with air soft guns. (Marcus)
  • A man opened his door and swung a wooden sword right in front of our noses. It was scary, but then he actually talked with us for a while. (Juli)
  • I almost got hit by a bus while trying to avoid a car backing out on a sidewalk. I jumped the curb onto the asphalt, and the second my tires hit the ground, the bus went barreling past me, probably missing my handlebars by inches. My companion and roommates saw it happen, and we’re very surprised I didn’t die! (Grant)
  • Every time we rode down the top of a hill in the rain in the Naha-Itoman area. (Nate)
  • Hit by a car. (James)
  • My companion was riding his bike behind me down a steep hill. I stopped suddenly when I saw a chain hanging ahead of us. My companion didn’t see the chain…(Cameron)
  • It’s a toss-up between the time we tracted out a Yakuza mafia member, not knowing his mafia connection until after he took us out to eat steak and lobster, listened politely to our lesson, and accepted and promised to read the Book of Mormon, and the time we snuck past the police barricades to help residents in a flooded area of town bail out their homes. (Paul)
  • I just fell off of my bike when I was speeding with the elders and I ran into the back of my companion’s bike. Ya, that was dangerous. (Rui)
  • I was going down a street at a high rate of speed and ended up flying into a car windshield. I spent a couple of days wrapped up in those sticky patches to get over some soreness. (James)
  • Before we went to end, we were talking about our families. Somehow the conversation lead to one of our threesome talking about how her Aunt had recently died from a gas leak in her house. After talking some more, we eventually fell asleep. At around midnight, I woke up thinking we need to check the stove. I don’t know how but our stove top had been leaking gas for about 6 hours without us knowing. We all got up and immediately fell onto the ground high and dizzy. Miraculously, the sister whose Aunt had died was not affected. She was able to get the two of us outside, open all the doors and windows and call our Mission President. I’m sure that her Aunt in heaven not only woke me up with that thought but protected her from the gas so she could get us out. I think without that help, we would’ve all died in our sleep. (Carlie)
  • I once got chased down a street by a lady swinging and whacking the ground with a metal laundry rod…that was pretty terrifying. (Sarah)
  • Riding an old broken bike. (Jonathan)
  • There. We’re some sister missionaries that were in my area and they were getting followed every once and a while by these creepy guys, so for a while, the elders had to escort them to their apartment. It was really scary for them and made us very worried. (Jeremiah)
  • Tracting during a typhoon! We just thought it was raining really hard and people kept telling us to go home. We finally did and boy was that a good thing!! It was a big one!! (Melissa)
  • Crazy drivers that misjudge how fast missionaries go on their bikes. Baptizing an investigator on the roof, while it is snowing, in cold water (with three pots of warm water added to take the edge off, lol). (Karl)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Teaching people who don’t know they have a Father in Heaven. (Dan)
  • There were so many! One that was really cool was when one of our investigators said yes to being baptized. She was so awesome. That whole lesson the Spirit was just so strong. We hadn’t planned on inviting her to get baptized that lesson, but we felt like we should. When she said yes, it was one of the most spiritual moments I’ve ever had. The Lord had prepared her so much to hear the message. (Lacee)
  • One day while my companion and I were tracting (they usually call it “housing” in Japan) in a really big apartment building, the doorman of the building came up to us very angry and told us to leave right away and even marched us back to our bikes and made sure we rode off. After riding for a few minutes, my companion stopped and said that we should say a prayer for the doorman, so we did. We had planned to be housing in that particular apartment for at least another hour, so we were a little lost, but decided we might as well start somewhere, so we decided to start housing again at the next apartment building we came to. The first door we knocked on, a man answered, and as we talked with him, he shared with us some difficult things he had been through. He agreed to let us come back, and although he didn’t end up getting baptized while I was there, we had several of the most powerful spiritual lessons of my whole mission with that man, and I felt strongly that we were supposed to meet him. (Sam)
  • We gave a boy a blessing who was anemic and had ulcers. He was staying out of school because he didn’t have enough red blood cells in his blood. My companion and I fasted and then gave him a blessing. A week later, we stopped by his mom’s house to see how he was. She had tears in her eyes as she met us at the door. The doctor didn’t know how, but his ulcer was shrinking and his red blood cell count was back up in the normal range. (James)
  • Meeting up with a couple when I was headed home who I helped teach and baptize in my first area, and learning he was now the Branch President. (Paul)
  • We had a long time investigator (like 10+ years) who was in a part member family (he was the husband – the wife and the son were members). He attended church regularly and was always willing to lend a hand. One day, as we were waiting for the wife to make dinner at their home, I felt a distinct impression to be bold. So, I looked him in the eyes and said “Brother, your family is going to the celestial kingdom; where are you going?” The sound of the wife’s spatula hitting the pan as she dropped it in shock is still quite vivid. The husband hemmed and hawed a bit but I then asked him why he was avoiding baptism. He knew the Gospel is true. After a short moment, he agreed to be baptized and, a few weeks later, he was. He and his family are still strong in the Gospel to this day. (Ryan)
  • When my American trainer, who had only been in the field himself for about five months,  gave a Japanese member a blessing during a very difficult period in his life and quoted word-for-word segments of the brother’s patriarchal blessing without even knowing it until afterwards. It was so incredible! (Ystyn)
  • Any time I taught someone about the gospel and felt the Spirit. If they feel it, you will feel it. (Andrew)
  • Baptism my final Sunday in Japan performed by former companion. Unforgettable last week. (Mark)
  • I keep spiritual experiences to myself, sorry. (Scott)
  • We had lost contact with an investigator. We knew her apartment building, but not the number, and it was the kind where you need permission to get in the building. So we prayed and got the feeling to go to the building. We went and she wasn’t there, but we knew we were supposed to be there and we knew she’d come, so we waited. We talked to 2 people coming out of the building, one of whom became an investigator, and our original investigator heard us and came down. It was a miracle to us. (Juli)
  • Teaching a group of high school-aged boku-tachi and trifs (about 6-8) and having such a conviction of my own about the words I was teaching. This was about 1/2 way thru my mission, so my language skill was good, my gospel knowledge was good, and my confidence was good. As I was teaching, I knew that what I was telling them was true and they knew that I was so confident. The Spirit was the strongest I had ever felt up to that point ever in my life. As my dode commented after, it’s like the Holy Ghost walked in, pulled up a chair and sat down. We all felt of the Love of our Heavenly Father so strong. If I remember correctly, at least 2 or 3 of those kids ended up being baptized. It made the local unit stronger and we eventually became a branch. The Lord was very good to us in that area. (Gordon)
  • Meeting my one golden investigator (she found us), who already knew all the answers, wanted to be the best she could, and even taught our other investigators. She taught me a lot. But the best experience of my mission had to have been a year after I got home, when I was going through a really hard time in my life. I got a call from my former companion at the time we met and taught that investigator, and he told me that she had finally gotten baptized (I guess she had wanted to be more knowledgeable before being baptized, so she took her time). It came at a time that I needed to know my time in Japan hadn’t been wasted (I never actually baptized anyone), and I felt so much joy knowing that she had made the right decision. (Grant)
  • In Itoman, on a preparation day, at the third-story of the building, at the time we were doing our email, the phone rings. My companion’s doing email so I answer and it turns out to be someone who wants to tour the building for English Class. I ask her when and she says that she was outside right now. We go down, give her a tour and get to talking where she pours her heart out about her sick kid and wanting to better her life. She comes to the English Classes, we have lessons after-and-out-of class between us and her area’s real missionaries, and she goes from being agnostic (she had a really rough background) to developing what I think is a testimony. I think we were able to better her life for that time, and most importantly, what would Jesus do. If I were to go back, I’d do it again in a heartbeat and the only regret I have from that was not having lessons with her more often. (Nate)
  • Teaching and testifying everyday. (James)
  • Meeting up with a couple when I was headed home who I helped teach and baptize in my first area, and learning he was now the Branch President. (Paul)
  • When one of my investigator told us she was looking for guidance and I pick the place and block to Dendo on that hour and she said it was the perfect timing because if we were an hour earlier, she was busy with her home stuff and if we were an hour later, she wouldn’t be home. So when I realized that I know it was the Spirit guiding us to find her and talk to her. (Rui)
  • We taught an investigator in Yatsushiro and he joined the church. He was baptized in the ocean at dawn (in February!). As we drove back to Yatsushiro in his car, he told us that his heart felt very light. We testified to him of the Spirit and joy the Lord had and was showing him as he chose to follow the Savior. (James)
  • I served in the same area for 9 months. When I got there, my then companion told me, we don’t bother with less active work. I didn’t really understand her reasoning but I didn’t question her. Two transfers later, I got a new companion, who just so happened to be my Mission Training Center companion. We were both on transfer 3 and couldn’t speak Japanese too well. We decided that along with trying to find investigators, we wanted to reach out to the more than 400 less active members in the area. We got all their addresses and would spend free time finding where they all lived. Once we mapped most of them out, we started visiting them. A lot of them moved, a lot of them told us never to come back… But a few, let us in. After 6 more months in this area, the two of us had worked with ward members to reactivate 28 members. One of whom decided to serve mission! After that, we became known as the Less Active sisters and with the help of our Mission President and members, trained other areas and Zone Leaders on the importance of Less Active work and the miracles that can come from never giving up on people. (Carlie)
  • When we had an open-house that had in attendance 30 non-members. We sang songs, watched short gospel videos, and introduced them to the church. We got 10 new investigators from that and a whole family got baptized! (Sarah)
  • Going back to a door that had rejected us based on an impression. (Jonathan)
  • We were teaching a lady who had a desire to know what we were saying was true, but had no will to do the work. I then bore my testimony telling her that she could know if she put in the effort to know and about what we were saying was true, all the time not breaking eye contact. At that point, she started and looked at my companion and said ” his eyes lit up. Did you see that?” All that time I was feeling the Spirit burning and I was grateful that she could feel it as well. (Jeremiah)
  • About 2 weeks into my very first area, we were riding our bikes to an appointment and we passed a lady walking. The Spirit told me 3 times to turn around and talk to her. When I finally got the courage to tell my Senpai, she agreed, so we did. In my very broken Japanese, I bore my testimony and gave her a Book of Mormon. We never saw her again, but I know I did as the Lord directed me to do. (Melissa)
  • It is amazing no matter where you go to serve as a missionary that if you are obedient and are there for the right reasons you cannot help but learn to love the people in a way that Christ loves each and every one of us. (Karl)

What are some interesting facts about the Fukuoka Mission?

  • Geographically, it’s pretty big. It includes Hiroshima and everything south of that. There is an island called Ishigaki, that is super close to Taiwan. (Lacee)
  • My mission covers a really big area of Southern Japan, including all of the island of Kyushu and several small islands to the south, including Okinawa. Missionaries who get transferred to Okinawa and the islands often travel by plane. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities that were hit with atomic bombs in World War II, are both in my mission. There are at least two active volcanoes in my mission- Mount Aso and Sakurajima. (Sam)
  • I learned for 7 months. I had two native companions and loved it. I mostly served in the rural areas, which were my favorite.
  • The Fukuoka mission has several active volcanoes. You also experience typhoons. (Paul)
  • We were, at the time, the most expensive mission in the world due to the many islands our missionaries and Mission President traveled to. My entire time in the mission, we had exactly 20 sister missionaries except for one transfer where we had 21. (Ryan)
  • It also included Okinawa. It was like serving in two countries. (Greg)
  • The mission home is underneath the temple. Some missionaries are lucky enough to serve on the mainland and the island of Okinawa which involves transfers via plane. (Ystyn)
  • The area of Fukuoka mission covers 3 missions, two of which are now closed. Both nuclear bomb sites are in Fukuoka mission. (Andrew)
  • Went senior way too soon due to the creation of the Okinawa Mission and poor Yata Choro who had to tolerate my lack of Japanese ability and suffer as my junior. I still have little idea of what he taught investigators and local members, but I believe he made me a much better missionary because we had to communicate. (Mark)
  • Nagasaki is the site of where the second atomic bomb was dropped. (Scott)
  • I loved the variety of seasons and locations. Rural, city, mountainous, beachy, all kinds. The people were so nice, overall. They loved talking to the gaijins and having us know about them and their culture. (Gordon)
  • It has its own temple. There are multiple islands in the mission, some of which have only two missionaries assigned to them. (Grant)
  • To an American, some new experiences were having to hang your clothes outside to dry (except in Okinawa); Some Americans may think that Japan and “dense cities” are synonymous, but the reality is that there is a lot of countryside and instead of watching “Tokyo Drift” to get a feel for the place, it would be much more accurate to watch “My Neighbor Totoro.” (Nate)
  • Best mission in the world. Mission home was turn into a temple. (James)
  • The Fukuoka mission has several active volcanoes. You also experience typhoons. (Paul)
  • People are nice. Nice enough to listen but not accept. (Rui)
  • I served in my first area for seven months, and served in four areas. I met a woman who saw the atomic bomb explode over Nagasaki, and listened to her talk about that one evening. (James)
  • The mission home is in the basement of the Fukuoka temple. It’s right by a beautiful botanical garden and zoo. It was always so wonderful being able to be in the mission home and feel the spirit of the temple right above us. (Carlie)
  • The dialect is crazy! Especially depending on where you go. Okinawa has a whole other language. (Sarah)
  • Atomic bomb sites. (Jonathan)
  • The mission home is now in the basement of the temple there. Fukuoka was the site of two Mongul invasions, both of which were repelled by Typhoons or Kamikaze. (Karl)

What was the weather like?

  • Rainy. (Dan)
  • Wet. It’s always humid. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. During rainy season and typhoon season it rains A LOT! (Lacee)
  • Luckily the Fukuoka Mission is the warmest part of Japan! Summers are very hot and humid, especially on the islands. Winters can get cold on Kyushu, but snow is rare. June-July is the rainy season, when it rains several days/week. Every Fall, from about August to November, typhoons are common. (Sam)
  • A lot like Houston, Texas. Hot and humid summers, coldish winters. (James)
  • The summers were hot and humid, and the winters were cool, with dustings of snow on a few occasions. (Paul)
  • Depends. The northern areas (Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kitakyushu etc.) would have snow in the winter whereas the southern areas (Okinawa and other islands) were quite tropical. (Ryan)
  • I remember a lot of humidity. (Greg)
  • Cold enough in winter but only snows once or twice. It was very, very humid in Okinawa with plenty of rain and the occasional typhoon. (Ystyn)
  • Occasional snow in the winter in the very uppermost areas of the mission. Really hot, humid summertime everywhere. (Andrew)
  • Humidity does not exist in Idaho, enough said. (Mark)
  • Winter wasn’t bad, summer was brutal. (Scott)
  • Very distinct and predictable seasons. People would tell me, “It will get cool in September.” And then literally Sept. 1st or 2nd the temperature would drop. Winter was cold for me (I come from Southern United States), in the 30’s-40’s. Summer was hot and humid, in the 90’s. (Juli)
  • Hot & humid, cold & humid. (Gordon)
  • Very cold in northern part. Very hot in the southern part. (Kendall)
  • All four seasons, humid, monsoon month in late spring, very little snow. Okinawa is very hot and tropical. Beautiful place. (Grant)
  • Subtropics; Humid; Rainy; If you’re from Florida or the like, like I am, then it won’t be much of a change except Okinawa is slightly hotter than Florida. If you’re from Utah / Idaho… がんばって. (Nate)
  • Four seasons. (James)
  • Very hot and humid in summer, quite cool in winter (depending whether you were north or south in the mission). (Cameron)
  • The summers were hot and humid, and the winters were cool, with dustings of snow on a few occasions. (Paul)
  • Nice and hot in summer and long rainy season. So humid. (Rui)
  • Much like Houston, Texas. Summers in the 90s and high humidity. Cold winters, again because of the humidity. (James)
  • Great most of the time, really miserable some of the time. (Carlie)
  • Super hot and humid. The winters were actually surprisingly pretty cold as well. (Sarah)
  • Sunny, rainy, overcast, humid. (Jonathan)
  • Super hot and humid half of the year, then cold and humid the other half. If you are lucky and not on a little island, you will see snow! (Jeremiah)
  • Hot, humid, humid and humid, then cold. (Melissa)
  • You name it, we had it. (Karl)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Super nice. Really, really nice people. (Dan)
  • Everything! It is the best place in the whole world. It’s beautiful! And the people are seriously the nicest people in the entire world. The culture is also really cool. (Lacee)
  • The people are amazing! They taught me so much about hard work, patience, love and faith. Many of them are up against a lot as they try to live the Gospel, so I was inspired by the faith and humility they showed as they lived the Gospel. There were so many people I met who were just very deeply kind. Japan is also a very safe place in general, which definitely was a relief. (Sam)
  • The Japanese were the most friendly and hospitable people I’ve met. Their culture is beautiful, their language is beautiful, the crime rate is almost non-existent. The members are very generous. (James)
  • It’s been over 25 years, and I still love them. I discovered quickly that my personality meshed well with Japanese culture. (Paul)
  • Everything. Nearly everyone I met was polite and, to an extent, friendly. I had offers to help me find places (gaijin are always lost, right?), I had one person offer me the literal shirt off his back when I complimented it and so many other great examples of people being Christ-like in their day-to-day activities. (Ryan)
  • It had an amazing history. I wish I would have spent more time learning the culture. (Greg)
  • The people, particularly the members, are so polite and really lovely to talk to. I also really loved serving in the busy cities. (Ystyn)
  • The people are all so kind, and the active members are all really strong. They do so much for the missionaries. (Andrew)
  • I’m relatively short by American standards. I played power forward in Japan and was deadly because I could dribble. I had never experienced tipping the ball back at the basket before. Until other missionaries stepped in. Very polite people. (Mark)
  • The Isahaya Branch was the best area of my entire mission. (Scott)
  • Everyone was very polite. I never got yelled at or cursed at. People were accommodating of my lack of linguistic and cultural knowledge. (Juli)
  • Loved the people so much. Loved the culture the land. (Kendall)
  • Wonderful, hard-working, polite, and intense. They have a crazy sense of humor, and love to laugh. (Grant)
  • Instead of writing volumes, I’ll just say that if you actually give a darn about serving The Lord, then you will have a heart full of love for just about everyone you meet; the people in particular are polite (almost to a fault), surprisingly hardy (especially in Okinwawa), and though may disagree and even resent certain aspects of you, are so kind they don’t want to offend you. Most, especially the young kids, have a fascination with Americans. As a “mind-my-business, you-mind-yours” person myself, I love that part of the Japanese culture. Even though you may be packed together sometimes (i.e. High-school rush-hour on the trains), most keep to themselves and expect the same courtesy (unless there is a relevant reason to speak with them -_^. I found it best for me when conversation starters were relevant, reserved, and most importantly “unobtrusive!”  (Nate)
  • They were all very kind. (James)
  • Generally very friendly and respectful. (Cameron)
  • It’s been over 25 years, and I still love them. I discovered quickly that my personality meshed well with Japanese culture. (Paul)
  • They are so kind. Even to the strangers like us. Place looked pretty that I could just talk to people about weather to start the conversation. (Rui)
  • I found the Japanese to be amazingly courteous and gracious people. The members have a great sense of unity and togetherness. What’s NOT to love about Japan??? (James)
  • It’s beautiful and clean! The people are so kind and generous! (Carlie)
  • The atmosphere. Everyone is super nice and polite. It’s just a fun, interesting, exciting place to be. I don’t think I ever got used to how unique it is. (Sarah)
  • Everything. (Jonathan)
  • The people were always so nice and wanted you to feel welcome. Everything was very clean and nice. (Jeremiah)
  • The people were very kind and respectful. The place was beautiful!! I’ll never forget the lush, green rice paddy’s!! (Melissa)
  • Everything except the smoking habit. (Karl)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Toothpaste and deodorant. (Dan)
  • It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so pack accordingly. Sisters- get skirts you can ride a bike in because you’ll be riding a bike every day. I bought my rain suit there but if you’re really tall it might be hard to find a size that fits. Just remember you have to drag around whatever you pack and you’re going to get a lot of books in the MTC. (Lacee)
  • Short sleeves in the summer. Get a good scarf to cover your neck in winter. Lots of windy bike rides. (James)
  • Take slip-on shoes and leave the lace-ups home. You will be taking your shoes off at every home you go to, including your own. (Paul)
  • Bring a durable, quality digital camera or buy one there. Slip on shoes are very handy. Bring a photo collection of home to show people; they love that. (Ryan)
  • You will likely get a rash after a month or so in the mission field. Get some Desitin. (Greg)
  • A rain suit is a must. A trench coat was unnecessary. If you need deodorant, make sure you take plenty because it was difficult to find (in the late 90s anyway). (Ystyn)
  • Don’t worry too much about log sleeve shirts. Just a couple. Get a very breathable suit if possible, and a warm one for winter. (Andrew)
  • I fit the large size Japanese attire but I didn’t like Mizuno as much as my Nike or Reebok. Slip on shoes were very convenient for the customary doorway event. A good backpack because I biked everywhere. I purchased a bike there and left it to a member in my last area. (Mark)
  • If you’re small (under 5’10) just buy everything like coats and stuff over there. Great deals. (Scott)
  • Coat and boots for winter. Scarf and gloves. Skirts you can ride a bike in (for sisters). Rain suit (waterproof jacket and pants…yes, you stuff your skirt into the pants). Light weight skirts and blouses for summer. (Juli)
  • Slip-on shoes. No one actually said that in the list sent before I left, but we found that out in the MTC. So I ditched the lace-ups and got slip-ons that saved me. From the experience of my sons and their missions, buy the Ecco brand that are NOT made in China. They can last the entire two years, even if you have to walk/wade thru water! (Gordon)
  • I got into a habit of, at the end of every transfer, figure out what I want to give away, leave as bones, and ship home (that can be pricey for shipping back to Florida, so hope you saved some cash for it. I think it ran me nearly $50 each time. I didn’t want to spend more than that per area). (Nate)
  • Slip on shoes and good socks. (James)
  • Mesh garments for summer. (Cameron)
  • Take slip-on shoes and leave the lace-ups home. You will be taking your shoes off at every home you go to, including your own. (Paul)
  • Buy good rain clothes. (Rui)
  • Short sleeves in summer, and a decent winter coat. (James)
  • Don’t pack much from the states. It just weighs you down and you can buy almost everything, including cute clothes, in Japan. (Carlie)
  • Tights, good waterproof jacket/pants/boots, deodorant, feminine products, and peanut butter!!! (Sarah)
  • Mesh garments, breathing clothes, rain clothes. (Jonathan)
  • You can get nice suits cheep at recycle shops and at the end of seasons. Plus recycle shops are the best for extra clothes and pretty much everything else. (Jeremiah)
  • Extra shoes if you have American size feet! They don’t really have our sizes over there!! (Melissa)
  • Expect anything, especially hot and humid summers. (Karl)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Closer to my Heavenly Father. Better understanding of the Atonement. (Dan)
  • A closer relationship with Heavenly Father and my Savior. A sense of purpose. The best experience of my life. A stronger testimony, a greater love for God’s children, etc. (Lacee)
  • It deepened my spirituality and anchored my testimony in the gospel. I met people I respect, admire, and love. Serving a worthy mission will settle your soul. (James)
  • I was a relatively quiet, reserved person before my mission. Now, I am much more outgoing. My mission also provided me the opportunity to grow immensely, spiritually. (Paul)
  • Too many to name. The mission is the single greatest period of spiritual growth I have ever experienced. Serving the Lord for 2 years helped me to develop a much more personal understanding of the Savior and His work. (Ryan)
  • I learned discipline and how to get along with people. And a new language. (Greg)
  • Every blessing since then. In particular, I learned to speak Japanese and saw a foreign country, made wonderful eternal friends, and was able to serve my Father in Heaven and represent the Savior. (Ystyn)
  • I have made friends that I never would have met otherwise. I have seen the power of the gospel in my life. I have seen the light of the gospel come into people’s lives when they accept it. I have seen the Lord guide people to us that He has prepared. (Andrew)
  • Tolerance, a new perspective on the meaning of life, and experiencing my religion in a way that goes far beyond reading and attending services. There is a real connection if you are really looking for it. At this point, it’s not a religion anymore, it is a relationship. (Mark)
  • I got a smokin hot wife, a job in Tokyo, and I make a ton of money. (Scott)
  • I met great people and learned great things. I gained a testimony of daily miracles and that God is aware of everyone. And I gained confidence in myself that I can do hard things. (Juli)
  • A better life! (Gordon)
  • So many. Too many to list. (Kendall)
  • Wonderful memories, great friends, stronger testimony, cool language skills. (Grant)
  • A few include : developing a stronger testimony of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon (likely a function of all the study time); the healing & fulfilling effects of charity; Gaining more of a testimony of genuinely “listening and following The Spirit” (even if it’s not 白便覧 kosher at times); being able to adjust to and compromise with certain personality types; gain more of a testimony of what Christ and His Atonement actually means and the healing that can come from them; Being able to fill my heart with more love for people (I hope). (Nate)
  • Testimony. (James)
  • Closer relationship to God, strong work ethic. (Cameron)
  • I was a relatively quiet, reserved person before my mission. Now, I am much more outgoing. My mission also provided me the opportunity to grow immensely, spiritually. (Paul)
  • Met my eternal friends. How to have Nintai and Jiai even people who have hard time loving. (Rui)
  • The gospel more fully is ingrained in who I am. I am able to see the Lord’s hand during my mission, and I have thought about my mission almost weekly at times. I am able to look back and see the places and companions and Mission President I had were exactly what I needed, when I needed it. (James)
  • I think one of the greatest blessings I received was a greater love and appreciation for all people, no matter their race, age or religion. I really came to love so many people and that love for strangers has helped me since returning home. I also met my husband on my mission as we were both serving in the same zone. I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else. (Carlie)
  • So many. I made so many new friends, got many new skills, learned a language, fell in love with the people, came closer to the Savior, grew so, so much, and learned about myself. You seriously can’t get grow/learn like this any way other than serving a mission. (Sarah)
  • Friends, language, emotional and spiritual strength. (Jonathan)
  • I really found out how much the gospel means to me. It became something that is not just Sunday but every day, working to be better. (Jeremiah)
  • I actually met my husband on my mission! He was my Zone Leader for my last 2 weeks! We were good missionaries and it’s a long story but we started writing when I got home…he still had 6 months left, and the rest is history! We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2016 and we have 2 beautiful daughters! (Melissa)
  • Too many to name, but it continues to this day. (Karl)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Japanese, Biking, Talking to strangers. (Dan)
  • Better time management, perseverance, charity, work ethic, leadership abilities, etc. (Lacee)
  • Speaking Japanese. I learned to cook a couple dishes. Eating with chopsticks. Learning the value of daily scripture study. (James)
  • Other than the language, I also learned to get along with people from other backgrounds and cultures. (Paul)
  • Japanese, haha. Cooking. Learning to live with someone I might not be too fond of and then learning to love them as a brother. Cultural appreciation. (Ryan)
  • Japanese language. Respect for other cultures. (Greg)
  • Japanese speaking. Self-awareness. Positivity. Bike repair. (Ystyn)
  • Ability to plan. Ability to wake up when needed. Ability of not panicking when things don’t go according to your plan. (Andrew)
  • I tested off my language credits for college, but nowhere close to fluency. I have trouble remembering the simple alphabet. I probably remember enough to visit and get by. (Mark)
  • Japanese, people reading, and patience. (Scott)
  • Speaking Japanese. Teaching. (Juli)
  • Japanese language, interpersonal relationships, church leadership, patience, long-suffering, humility. (Gordon)
  • Language of course. Working with others. Following rules. Structure and independence. (Kendall)
  • Chopsticks. (Grant)
  • Besides learning some Japanese (by the way, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m an example of that). Being able to work better with people (I’m a “leave me alone” loner by nature); Developing more empathy (also a blessing I suppose); Given I had already gotten a Bachelor of Arts and had worked two years before heading out, I can’t say I improved things like “work ethic” or “time management skills”. I actually was working about the same amount I used to, and I thought mission time-management trainings were “lighter” than what I usually did, but if you’re a young-buck out of high-school, those are some great skills you could learn. (Nate)
  • Teaching, Listening, and Loving. (James)
  • Other than the language, I also learned to get along with people from other backgrounds and cultures. (Paul)
  • Cooking. Nintai. Interpreting. (Rui)
  • I learned Japanese. I was able to see another culture and realize there are many ways to get along and do things as a people. I am more disciplined and focused, yet more patient. (James)
  • Language, group decision making, conflict resolution, compromising, cleaning, teaching, bike riding, social skills, etc. (Sarah)
  • Dedication and obedience. (Jonathan)
  • Dealing with people that are different from me. Working hard at things that aren’t easy. Finding joy in working hard, and enjoying the little things. (Jeremiah)
  • Independence, map reading and perseverance!! Oh and Japanese! (Melissa)
  • Japanese and coping with mushi atsui temperatures. (Karl)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • Learning Japanese isn’t the most important part of missionary work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important and the Lord expects us to learn it, but there are more important things like following the Spirit and loving those you serve with and among. (Lacee)
  • Be ready to immerse yourself in the language at the Mission Training Center. That truly is the foundation to build your language skills on. (James)
  • I wish I was more knowledgeable about the Book of Mormon. I’d read it, and studied it in class, but had not really studied it in depth. (Paul)
  • Humility. I wish I had been humble. In particular, I wish I had treated some of my earlier companions with more understanding and compassion. (Ryan)
  • Studied the language harder. Had the skills taught in Preach My Gospel classes. (Ystyn)
  • I wish I knew that it wasn’t me that was going to bring miracles. And I wish I humbled myself to be more obedient from the start of my mission. (Andrew)
  • I wish I knew how to help some one have the faith to put the church in front of a job that takes care of your family. When I went on a Mission way back then, it was easy to switch jobs and find another with the same or better pay or benefits. Since the economy has crashed here, I’ve seen jobs harder to come by and I returned to college late and have struggled to find employment to use my new skill. Even in my ward, inactivity occurs because any job is necessary which includes working on Sunday. I left a family hanging in Kagoshima because I couldn’t get past a shoe repair job. (Mark)
  • I wish I would have taken more pictures of daily life things and less pictures in the apartment. I also wish I had people’s names written down. (Scott)
  • I wish I knew how to speak Japanese :). (Juli)
  • Worked harder. (Gordon)
  • Wish I had been more diligent in preparation. More mature. (Kendall)
  • Knocking on doors and street contacting aren’t the most effective ways of sharing the Gospel or serving members. I wish that I’d spent more time looking for less-active members and trying to strengthen the people who’ve already accepted and been baptized. There was a culture in our mission that if you’re not hardcore and working on contacting 9 hours a day, that you were a bad missionary, and it really bothered me. Be open to alternative forms of missionary work, and don’t get depressed when it gets tough. (Grant)
  • Fail enough times until you succeed, that success will makeup for all the fails combined and then some. Leave the anxiety at the door; the hardest part of the day should be getting out that door; planning the work, setting goals and working the plan helps to kill anxiety. Remember that older missionaries are dirt-tired, are probably stressed-out, and likely doing the best they still can, so have more patience and humility. I don’t think I had a lot of “greenie-pride”, but there might’ve been some. As a senior, I had a strong hate (yes, “hate”) for prideful self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitudes (especially if it came from a “young’un'”). (Nate)
  • Language. (James)
  • The most important thing is to have fun! I spent my whole mission striving to being 100% obedient and ended up feeling bitter towards my companions and the people. Have fun, love the people, love your companion. (Cameron)
  • I wish I was more knowledgeable about the Book of Mormon. I’d read it, and studied it in class, but had not really studied it in depth. (Paul)
  • Make mission goals and write down where I could see anytime. Keep reading Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel and Mogi. (Rui)
  • I don’t think I would have changed anything. I was excited about each new adventure. (James)
  • I wouldn’t take anything back from what I knew or didn’t know… I just would’ve packed less things. (Carlie)
  • Don’t be afraid of anything!!! Speak up! No one will care if you make mistakes in the language–you’ll never be perfect so just use what you have right when you get there! (Sarah)
  • I was capable of more. (Jonathan)
  • I wish I had started reading the Book of Mormon in Japanese from day one and started studying kanji. (Jeremiah)
  • I wish that I had been a LOT more humble and known that my companions knew more than me! (Melissa)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Fukuoka?

  • It’s never too early to start preparing! Study (and I mean really study! not just read) your scriptures and Preach My Gospel. Go out and work with missionaries in your area. Share the Gospel with friends and family. (Lacee)
  • Be prepared to fall in love with Japan, the people and culture, and the language. The harder you work, the more joy you’ll have. (James)
  • Be patient with the language. You will make mistakes, but the language will come. You are called to your mission area for a reason. Have faith that the Lord planted you there for his plans. Work hard to find out what those plans are. Whether you convert a hundred people or only convert yourself, they are both successes. (Paul)
  • The Lord will always provide. Simply believe and then go to work. The Lord will bless your efforts more than you can imagine. (Ryan)
  • Get involved in the culture. You will not baptize very many people. It is very hard. Lots of missionaries go the entire time without any baptisms. (Greg)
  • Be prepared to study hard. Have a testimony of prayer. Be 100% obedient. (Ystyn)
  • If you allow the Lord to do what He wants to do with you on your mission, you will grow beyond your wildest dreams. And if you try to force the Spirit or a calling, or a transfer, it will not work. You will end up hurting yourself in the long run if you keep thinking you will be “happy once __________.” Allow yourself to be happy in your circumstances. (Andrew)
  • I thought knowing the scriptures would be my biggest challenge. It turned out being able to find common ground on the purpose of life and faith. My greatest weapon was my testimony on why I believed and did what I did. Having confidence with this especially when language barrier is involved. (Mark)
  • Get your personal life together. Don’t spend your time talking about how many girls you dated, and GET TO KNOW YOUR JAPANESE COMPANIONS. If you don’t know how many siblings, what foods they like, what their hobbies are, etc then you probably only talk about yourself. (Scott)
  • Don’t let the language get you down. It will come; just try your best. Learn hiragana and katakana, but don’t worry about kanji. Focus on speaking first and learning how to teach the lessons. And always contribute to the lessons, even if you don’t think you have anything worthwhile to say. I once asked my companion to pray with me for me to have the gift of tongues. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, “You already have it. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have gotten called here.” Believe that. (Juli)
  • Work hard. A mission is hard; no two ways about it. But it is worth EVERY drop of sweat and every ounce of stress. You come out on top because the Lord is preparing you now to serve a mission, if you are willing to let Him. On your mission, He is preparing you for life; mortality and immortality/exaltation. Once you realize that not everything is handed to you, but that you just forge ahead and it works out, trusting in the Lord’s SPECIFIC plan for YOU, then you will find true happiness and feel His influence in your life. (Gordon)
  • Don’t get discouraged with the language. Be patient. Be serious about your language study. Volunteering to read in church shows the members that you’re serious about learning the language. Building trust with them in that way, and many others ways, makes them want to participate in missionary work, and makes them want to share their friends with you. (Grant)
  • Like I already alluded to, love Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost with all you can, then love your companion all you can, then love each individual person you meet all you can. Always remember and be asking “What Would Jesus Do?” while listening to The Spirit and you’ll avoid regrets. Remember to De-Facto worship God, not that little white squarish thing in your pocket that should be in the far back of your mind and not the far front (though stick to that little-white-squarish-thing as much as you can. Remember you signed a contract to do so). Don’t be a prideful judgmental jerk. Everyone’s got problems, you should mind your own. Be a workaholic goal-setter. If you weren’t before, get started. Do not sacrifice spiritual studying for more language study, and though The Book of Mormon should be a part of it, more important than studying that record is to study Christ. The above is just from me, but remember I’m just some Return Missionary guy. The most important advice-giver and testator is The Holy Ghost, so make sure you keep Him close by. (Nate)
  • Study the Book of Mormon and preach my gospel. (James)
  • Be patient with the language. You will make mistakes, but the language will come. You are called to your mission area for a reason. Have faith that the Lord planted you there for his plans. Work hard to find out what those plans are. Whether you convert a hundred people or only convert yourself, they are both successes. (Paul)
  • Prepare a simple, short testimony that you can share on the street or end of the lesson when you have time. (Rui)
  • Be prepared to work. Mainly on the language. I felt the language would just come to me. It didn’t. I had to focus on words and grammar pronunciation. In actuality, the language will come fast, but it won’t feel like it when you’re going day to day learning 10-15 words at a clip. (James)
  • You’re off to the best experience of your life. Take in all the good. Don’t dwell on the bad. Love everyone! (Sarah)
  • Have one that is unshaken, be open to loving everyone and anyone. (Jonathan)
  • Start learning as much as you can about their culture and the religions there, as well as the doctrine. Work on Japanese every day and don’t give up even if it is hard, because it is work working hard before the mission to get the info you can’t get on your mission. (Jeremiah)
  • Love the people and they will love you back!! Serve diligently and study hard because the Lord needs you to be prepared!! Also watch out for wasabi! (Melissa)
  • Serve with all faith and obedience. (Karl)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • The words for sweet bean paste (they put it in snacks or desserts) and poop are very similar, so a missionary meant to say they liked eating the sweet bean paste, but they accidentally said the other word. (Lacee)
  • I told a man who answered the door that we were there to talk about the law of chastity. I meant to say the purpose of life. (James)
  • I was teaching a lesson about the Word of Wisdom, and I explained that tea is bad for your books. (Paul)
  • One time a companion bore fervent testimony to an investigator about the amazing sexual experiences his family would have at church. (He swapped seiteki in place of reiteki). (Ryan)
  • Calling people carrots instead of “people.” (Greg)
  • A missionary wanted to say he had a spiritual experience which is “reiteki no keikan” but he said “seiteki no keikan” which means he had a sexual experience. (Ystyn)
  • I said “onaka suika” which means “my stomach is a watermelon” instead of “onaka suita” which means “I’m hungry” for most of the MTC. (Andrew)
  • Asking the Omuta Bah chan where she was sick and she showed me by lifting her shirt at stake conference much later in my mission. I know tmi. (Mark)
  • Don’t try to scare the kids by saying “Boo!”, it’s just not right. (Gordon)
  • Make sure you clarify the difference between 聖 (“sei”) and 性 (“sei”). (Nate)
  • I was teaching a lesson about the Word of Wisdom, and I explained that tea is bad for your books. (Paul)
  • It wasn’t me but she was trying to say Yakusoku (promise) but instead she said Yakisoba (one of the Japanese food’s name). (Rui)
  • I had a very pronounced Texas drawl. An old man answered my first door and I began my well prepared door presentation. He can’t understand my Texan Japanese, so he goes, ‘Huh?’ I can’t understand his huh, so I asked him to repeat what he said (again, very Texan). He just shook his head and closed the door. Meanwhile, my companion was behind the door laughing uncontrollably. (James)
  • I couldn’t even tell you. I’m pretty sure 95% of the things I tried to say made no sense to the Japanese people. But I didn’t care! I showed them my heart and love and if I had to occasionally speak in English, I did. (Carlie)
  • “Tamago-tachi wa dou desu ka?” instead of “mago-tachi wa dou desu ka?” He said “how are the eggs?” instead of “how are your grandchildren?” hahaha (Sarah)
  • Accidently said damn instead of beast, said someone’s cooking was good in the past but no longer in the present. (Jonathan)
  • My companion spoke in English to a cute girl asking her out, then she unexpectedly replied she couldn’t because she’s married. (Karl)