Mission Address

Japan Nagoya Mission
1-304 Itakadai, Meito-ku
Nagoya, Japan T465-0028

Sunday, March 18, 2018

weekly letter


The Zone Leaders rang our doorbell at 7:00 A.M., right when we wake up! We were very surprised. We probably didn’t look the best with bed head, either. But it turned into a fantastic Wednesday. 
Actually, the Zone Leaders were on splits with the AP's, so it was Splits-ception and Elder MagalhΓ£es worked with Elder Cox for the day. I get the feeling that most APs are tall, lean foreigners. 
They had a cool experience. When knocking door of a high rise apartment building, one lady listened for a long time before saying she thinks her son already goes to this church. Turns out the son is semi-active! He wasn’t home at the moment. The mom has interest, though. 
They were coming back home and waved at a mid-aged dude on the street. He slammed his bike brakes and asked what’s up? Turns out, it was the semi-active son! Nice πŸ‘ 


Elder Cardon 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

weekly email

This guy in Ichinomiya appeared out of nowhere! 

Last PDay, it was down pouring and we weren’t in much a mood to go anywhere, and so waited at the church with a delivery order from McDonald's on standby. A man walked in, and I went out to pay for the food but he actually was waiting for a friend here and wasn’t the delivery man. We held a quick church tour for the man, and he looked into the baptismal font and asked if he could hear more about Jesus Christ. After we taught the Restoration, he was particularly interested in repentance and being made clean, whole spiritually. 
Being PDay, we weren’t equipped with our regular supplies and couldn’t find any other materials nearby except a nice new Triple set of scriptures. We decided to loan the man the scriptures, and committed him to coming back for church on Sunday where we could give him a personal set to study. 
The man came back after church on Sunday, and we taught him again the principles of repentance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. He felt ready to accept an invitation to baptism. Immediately afterwards, there happened to be a large lingering of members playing card games and he left to join them. He later texted saying how glad he was that he went! 
God went beyond the details in providing a way that this man might come unto Christ. 

I’ve often reflected that our moods (spiritually tuned) are a huge indicator for the work the Lord wants done.  Even last night, after a lot of meetings and coordination when we weren’t feeling up for a huge bike ride as we usually would for finding, we decided to stay close and remembered a bimyo appointment we had with three Philippine men earlier that day. We had missed the appointment, but it was close so we went anyway. Turns out they had waited for us! We taught them and handed out Books of Mormons, rejoicing in their commitment. Just like we can always search for opportunities to serve God, God will always search for opportunities to serve through us. 

We had so many guided moments last week: 
A clue of a broken lock to go visit a long uncontacted referral instead; the urge to text people and then bump into a long untaught Eikaiwa student; the blessing of an investigator who is more for the progress of members than for himself; the reminder to always be obedient in the small things, else an unlocked bike becomes a stolen one; a recent convert who made the life changing decision in his old age.. 

I honestly have no idea what will happen each day, 


Elder Cardon

Linnea asked: Who had their bike stolen?

Paul replied:
It’s a funny story I didn’t write up. 

We were on exchanges, pouring buckets and buckets of rain that day and so we decided to do studies in the afternoon and go housing at night at the biggest apartment around so that we wouldn’t have to go outside in the rain after we finished housing the place we went outside back to the bikes to brave the storm and my bike was not there I say no! Somebody moved my bike I’m pretty sure it was security and so we thought my bike was stolen but it was actually OK it’s just really scary. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

weekly email

Recently for Ichinomiya I’ve only written a lot of finding miracles as we continue to seek the elect of God. Last week, too, there were some pretty cool finding stories, but I’m tiring of only writing about those so today I’ll focus on the how, instead. 

On the mission, it’s a constant struggle to hone your skills and faith in order for the Spirit to take over the work. As a young missionary, you often rely mostly upon Faith and your companion's skills to accomplish this; on the other hand, like a teeter-totter the longer you are out, the more skills you develop and the easier it is to lose a firm grip on “Faith reliance.” 

Recently, as we’ve practiced thousands of times approaches and methods to help people listen more to the Gospel, I’ve noticed our companionship lacking the vitality and energy that comes from “Faith reliance.” 

That is where is becomes essential to try new things. New areas, new ideas, new approaches push us to rely more on faith as we develop our skills in different ways. If you don’t change anything in your life, it becomes monotonous, routine, and boring; you cannot expect anything different to come from doing as you have always done. 

So, recently, we’ve tried jumping straight into a lesson on the doorstep instead of asking to step inside or set a next appointment. It’s been tremendously successful, and we’ve given away many more Book of Mormons, set more solid Potential Investigators, and felt more joy in proclaiming the gospel than before. Truly, spoken word (aka testimony) is the enzyme to joy. 

Life is an upward climb, but the higher you climb the broader your view becomes.


Elder Cardon 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

weekly email

Let’s go Ichinomiya! 

Elder MagalhΓ£es' bike incident: price paid miracles. Truly, the Lord works in His own time. 
We found a new area of great potential to go finding in. We were thinking to start on it after an early dinner, and on the way we got sidetracked into knocking doors of another random apartment we found. Not much there, so we picked up our bikes to continue on except Elder MagalhΓ£es' bike wouldn’t move. Ah, silly, he forgot his chain. He has a special, hefty duty key-lock chain for his bike. Elder goes to remove the chain and the key snapped in half inside the lock! Ah, no way!! ;.;  we're caught halfway between the middle of nowhere and now his bike is rendered useless! 
Hahahaha we finished what we could, and started walking back. Elder MagalhΓ£es had to half-carry his bike on its front wheel so the back was suspended. I bet it looked like we were stealing bikes. It was a long walk. 

But, the story turns ok with the next day. We had [an] opportunity to go back to the same place with a member for a bit. Still finding. 
Within twenty minutes, a lady opened up who had no interest but loved to talk anyways. She rejected the Eikaiwa offer first, but quickly picked up on a conversation about Family History. One thing leads to another, and she asked questions about why there are so many Christian churches? Boom, the Member whips out a Restoration pamphlet and teaches her right there the story of Joseph Smith. It was intense. 
The conversation kept going (more dragging on, really); it was difficult to trade contact info or set a next appointment, and we had to go back to Eikaiwa, but as we were finally leaving the Member was on fire and whipped out a Book of Mormon to present to her. Ah! She accepted. And we made it to Eikaiwa on time. 
We referred this lady to the Sister Missionaries. 
It was lucky Elder MagalhΓ£es ' bike broke the day before, because just the two of us probably wouldn’t have seen such success in inviting this lady to learn more. 

The story goes on. On Saturday, Zone Conference talked a bit about testifying in under a minute, and I connected it back to Wednesday night where we literally had even less than that to get any word in between that lady's talking. I actually got assigned a five-minute sacrament talk the following day, and brought up this experience specifically. 

Well, the Sisters went back on Sunday evening to see if they could catch this lady again. We were out in the opposite direction doing other finding, so only heard the results afterwards. I guess that she was home! And talked a lot, again. But it was good; the lady complained about reading the small lettering from the book, and the sisters encouraged her to try downloading the Gospel Library app, instead. It worked! Hahahaha . I say double guided in helping teach this lady. She’s so extra special. 


Elder Cardon

Sunday, February 18, 2018

weekly email

Ichinomiya. Faith filled miracles on my left hand and my right. 

Can you imagine? 5 New Investigators in an hour 
There was a huge mission tour with Elder Choi (pronounced Chey...?) from the Area Presidency coming to speak to us. That’s a deal in itself, but it also meant that we had a lot of missionaries spend the night here at our apartment from really far areas. +4 missionaries. 
It takes forever to arrive, so they left early and spent the entire day traveling, and expected to arrive around dinner time, like 5:30ish. Actually, only two made it on time, but we weren’t letting this opportunity going to waste. We were going out to knock doors as a mass and see miracles. 
I was paired with a new missionaries who has giant faith. That night, we only got on knock on about 20 doors and talk to maybe half that because of the two biggest miracles ever. 
First, this guy opens up and acted wishy-washy, but I promised him big spiritual blessings if he would let us inside to share a message with his family, and he gave in allowing us 20 minutes. His wife and brother were inside. Ooh, that Restoration lesson was so powerful, and they all asked for Book of Mormons afterwards. Commitments+blessings. My companion was so good with his testimony. 
Not long after that, a different door opened up to a lady holding a Cup Noodle, which smelled so good I had skipped dinner. She also let us in, and it was a Brazilian Family so I couldn’t do much beyond introductions but the father came out, and the two daughters, and my companion started teaching all of them. I was on the floor playing origami with the kids while my companion answered the lady's sincere questions about life after death by teaching the Plan of Salvation. It was a full lesson, with commitments to church and read the BOM and everything. That was also super powerful, I’m so glad we took advantage of this opportunity! 

Funny thing
Last week Monday was a huge holiday that equivocates to the 4th of July, National Foundation Day. Hahahaha but nobody actually celebrates it, everybody just enjoys the extra day off, so it’s closer to President's Day. We took the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in their homes. One dude was just the best. He opens up, sees our smiles and responded perfectly, having no clue who we were or what we did really but open to hearing us out. Except, we caught him at dinner time, and halfway through our introduction there was a shout from the other room from his girlfriend or sister or something asking who it was. He shouted back, “Christian Church!” And then you hear from the other room, “Don’t you remember, we're Buddhist?!” Oops.  She came out to kindly close the door. We’ll probably go back to talk to that dude again, though. 

Also, there was this moment when we were biking to an appointment about 45 minutes away and the weather decided to be extremely temperate— what was originally a perfectly acceptable light drizzle of rain suddenly turned into snow, and then huge gusts of wind combined to make a mini blizzard that only lasted about five minutes! Pretty sure that those discouraging winds were only to prevent us from having another super bomb lesson that day. 

Lots of other cool miracles and guided moments happened last week that I can’t write about, but just know that last week was a really, really good week. 


Elder Cardon 

Egg πŸ₯š 🏑

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sudden death

I received the news exactly one week ago that the man I baptized in Inuyama, Nozawa Norihito, passed away around the age of 55. Nozawa was the only investigator I’ve taught who was baptized, and the news was both shocking and depressing. I have never taught a man more humble, or felt as pure of Charity for as I did for Nozawa. There were a couple pitfalls in my work last week. 

There are no details as to his cause of death, or the circumstances surrounding, or even when the funeral processions will be held at the moment. Keep you posted.

Elder Cardon

weekly letter

Last week in Ichinomiya was a rollercoaster 

We were phoning people and PI Kobayashi pops up. 
There’s a super long list of potential investigators stuck in the phone, so we’ve been trying to clean it up about once a week. A lot of people's numbers are no longer connected, so that makes things easier. One guy we called was pretty old, 60s I’d wager, but seemed pretty interested. He’s a funny dude who spoke weird English. I guess he’s from Brazil, but he’s been I Japan for about half his life now. The bomb was dropped when he said that he converted recently and lives in Seto, a city above Nagoya but an entire Zone away! I have no idea why we had Kobayashi's number, but I made an appointment for him to come to church on Sunday so we’ll see how that went. 

Two people committed to coming to church, and one handicapped lesson. 
Thursday we seemed to have no time because of all these unexpected blessings. The first guy we talked with on the street actually went to a Christian College and was interested in more, and then much later, 10 minutes before an appointment, we felt weird about going in early and so decided to knock on a couple doors; we found a Brazilian lady whose Dad is actually Mormon! Nice. 
After the appointment, we knocked on more doors and were welcomed inside by one big man. We sat down at his kitchen table and taught a full-length lesson, which took a ton of time and actually canceled another appointment we had set up. It was late and we were reaching curfew.  But we met the father on the way out, and it turns out that the big man was handicapped, probably. A really nice dude, though, there’s no other way I would’ve spent my evening. 

Exchanges with Elder Wesemann. 
Hahaha can I say more? It was a blast. Love my MTC comp. Maybe ate too much pizza, though. 

Somebody had way too many tacos, the ceiling fan blew out. 


Elder Cardon 

Q: Are you swatting for bed bugs?
A: Ah, I forgot to tell you. The dust allergy got really really bad last week. I literally couldn’t even breathe through my nose, it was so congested. So we’re trying to beat out all the house dust to the best of abilities. Also saw the doctor and he fixed me up for a couple days..