Mission Address

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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

weekly email

Here we are on Halloween!

We ate at a cute little restaurant up in the city for lunch Monday. It was a quaint Italian pasta, pizza, and cakes restaurant. We were concerned when the prices started pretty high, then found the catch: all you can eat. Those little shopkeepers didn't know what was coming. Japanese people, as a culture, don't eat very much. We cleared six plates of salads/breads/delicacies each--and finished two 10" pizzas. Free drinks, too. Felt we got our money's worth. 
I tried Mister Donuts in the same day (just some samples). Definitely good, but not near Krispy Kreme. There's a fundamental difference in the mix. The chocolate with crunches and creme donuts were the best. 

Also toured Ueda Castle Ruins; pretty legit. 

I made a thank you card out of an old Halloween printed square tissue box for a Dendou (mission) fire member. It was the bomb-diggety. Go recycling! 

Elder Smith had me report to the district leader Wednesday night. It was surprisingly difficult because the phone kept breaking up, the DL had that speakerphone removed voice thing going on, and I don't know all the statistics or names of the people we talk to. I told the district leader, "That's great!!" when he informed me he had caught a cold and wasn't feeling so well that day. 

We met with a less active member who had totally forgotten about the church since he was baptized during the Tokyo rush. The only thing he had remembered when we first met him was the name Joseph Smith; he also had a copy of the old hardback BOM first given to him almost 30 years ago. When we talked to him tonight (Wednesday), we wanted to discuss the restoration and explain God a bit. It started off great and we were able to address some good questions of his; it got a bit off track, talking about languages of the Jews and Egyptians and translating and stuff. However, even though I got a bit lost amongst it all, at the end I said to Satou-san that I had felt a feeling of peace as we'd talked, and God's love for Satou-san. I testified that the words of the BOM were given by God, and written by prophets, and that we can always feel peace, guidance, and love by reading them. I recommended the passage 2 NE 31-33, and promised him that he could feel the same things I was currently feeling. Afterwards, Satou-san grew quiet, and asked to turn towards the passage in his BOM. He held the book with a ginger reverence I'd not seen in him before (or hardly ever), and as I pointed the passage out to him he could hardly take his eyes off it. Since coming to Japan, this has been one of the most powerful testimonies of the Spirit and God's love for His children I've felt. 

I now know the horrors of being caught in a torrential downpour unexpectedly. Happened on Friday night; good thing I had my Mr. Mac special to tough me through, eh? The only part of me that remained dry was my socks, surprisingly. Thanks, HushPuppies.

Japanese are SO smart; I'm still blown away by some of the things they put into everyday life. You can only use plastic bags at the grocery store if you buy them (save the environment!) and escalators only operate when people are actually on them (save energy!) 

Halloween party day was the best!! Which pumpkin did I help with, can you tell? 

We met a man on the street named Wakabayashi who reads the bible and was interested in studying with us. We planned to meet him Sunday afternoon in front of a local grocery store. We bike out there and wait; sure enough, within 5 minutes he shows up. However, he brought a friend. We start talking and the friend is a super friendly, interesting guy who was more into the conversation than Wakabayashi himself. I thought to myself, "What a blessing from heaven! This guy is going to be baptized!" 
The friend actually reminded a lot of my cousin Brandon. They say that within the world's population, you have approximately 7 look alikes. Well, I found Brandon Cardon's and he's Japanese, 40 years old but looks 28, and lives in Tokyo. He had every good thing I've ever admired about Brandon in a 10 min conversation; intriguing questions, soft laugh, very agreeable, uber polite--characteristics and habits were the spitting image. He was so good, I didn't realize until 10 minutes after they had left that he had rejected us twice and we wouldn't be meeting them again! Ah, sad day. But at least we left a good impression. 

(Wakabayashi is on the right; Yamaguchi Brandon Twin is left) 

上田にいっぱいの奇跡が起こりますよ!毎日主の業をはたすことが楽しくなれるよ!SYL, OYM しなさい!そうすれば、与えられるであろう!



P.S. This one was mine

Sent from my iPad

pinata video

We made this piñata and it was the hardest thing ever. Water, flour,
balloon, newspaper, paint and a whole week of waiting for it to dry!

Food Blog

Now introducing a new feature: quick update on what we eat out here in Japan!! ✌︎('ω'✌︎ )
(☝︎ ՞ਊ ՞)☝︎

Sometimes money is tight; sometimes you just have to be creative. 

At that cute little Italian restaurant: 

Mr. Donuts

Peanut butter, banana, chocolate oatmeal toast

Soba: green pepper, red pepper, chicken, cabbage, potato, carrot, white onion 

Rice cooker tatin cake; I substituted a banana for one egg and baking powder and it turned into the most delicious thing I've eaten in my life 

Nikujaga: meat and potatoes and carrots and onions cooked in soy sauce over rice 


Onigiri: I balled up rice with cold water and salt on my hands, put tuna in the middle, and wrapped in cabbage 

Pumpkin muffin cake that actually tasted more like corn bread (we use the rice cooker as our oven)


Western style breakfast! 

Hobo dinner! 

Cooked apples (butter,sugar, vanilla) over peanut butter toast 


Ate at my first ramen shop. It was delicious! The meat was cut-with-chopsticks tender and seasoned favorably, the eggs halves a color-taste wonderland, there was the classic Naruto white fish thing with the pink spiral on it, and the broth was a great pork base that wasn't mild nor overpowering (unlike my neighbor's fish based one). I finished my bowl, and the member providing had given up on finishing his so I helped him out a little. Got his bowl of rice, too. As we were about to leave, I look over and see Elder Smith had left his broth unattended and rice mostly untouched. I had to help him, too. I was told many times not to keep eating, that I was overdoing it, but it was worth it in the end. Very good stuff. I think I'll go fast for the week now. 
The worst part about this is that now I've eaten all-you-can-eat fill-your-stomach-past-bursting three times in a week. The very next day, after District Training Meeting, we went to a buffet shabu-shabu restaurant. Shabu-shabu is basically the Melting Pot (like fondue with actual dinner). You have a small cauldron over a hot plate, boiling water and vegetables of your choice, and all you can eat thin slices of meat that cook really fast. You cook the meat, dip it in egg, then a sauce of your choice, and eat over rice. Of course, there were other all-you-can-eat options such as curry and ice cream, as well. This is all really bad for my stomach, probably.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Message in Japanese





A walk down the lane: 
Moats around the houses (gutters) 
grates on the sidewalks every 6 ft or so 
Strips of yellow with bumps for blind people 
grass sprouts wherever there are cracks in the sidewalks and on the rails 
Left side driving--think will crash at every turn 
Streets narrow as the rod of iron 
Orbs for streetlights (like Harry Potter) 

peanut butter and jelly containers are itty bitty
actually most every commercial item on the shelf is itty bitty 
ueda isn't all that cold until the wind blows 
bikes are as common as cars 
little bridges for pedestrians 
stop lights are sideways 
the little buttons say "おまちください
the church is just a regular building built across a hotel by the train station 
ueda actually has a castle. look it up. most of the cities in the countryside have a castle because they belonged to old feudal lords 
kids ride in actual cat buses 


weekly email

Here's another beautiful picture of my area. You see these little
graveyards a lot; they are actually quite beautiful. Loving the
countryside! Although it's been a bit tough because every one of our
appointments live so far away. It takes an hour by the train
sometimes, and we have to take our bikes. Normally, not a problem. In
Japan, unless you take apart the bike and stuff it into a bag you
can't take it on the train. You can imagine how cumbersome that has

Halloween is up and around the corner and the Japanese people totally celebrate it; or at least they attempt to. I dot think they really get it. If kids knew that all you had to do was dress up and go out and collect candy, I'm sure it would be huge. As it is, people are still trying to figure it out. There are Jack-o-lanterns and candy, and you see some ghosts and things on packages at the store, but that's about the limit. Well, it's fun anyways. Last week we got to parade around a bit with a bunch of kids handing out treats to all the workers at the train station. So cute. We went with an investigator who is better at giving us referrals than the entire branch combined. She's interested in the church but always had the feeling it was scary because of some weird experiences. She lived in Australia and traveled Europe via backpacking so she's also fluent in English! We teach together sometimes. The investigator is the one with a purple blanket on the head.

Here's a treat I tried recently. I thought it was just a small marshmallow--was I in for a treat.

This week was funny and a ton of miracles happened. I'll just share one. We went to visit a less active who had moved from the Philippines and lived way out in Sato. Another long train ride. Our member who was going to join us canceled last second; the less active is a woman, so we couldn't effectively teach her without a man accompanying us so we could go into the house (mission rules). So, last second we called another less active we had planned on visiting in the same area. Brother Goe agreed to accompany us to Sister Kikuchi's home. Hahaha two in one swoop! We talked so long we missed our train ride home and couldn't make our last appointment; however, the feelings were good and the Spirit strong as we gave the sister a blessing of comfort and council for her rough life. Her 8 and 12 year old daughters aren't baptized yet, so we'll be coming back to teach them soon. Brother Goe even offered to take Sister Kikuchi to church, even though he himself hadn't been for who knows how long. It was great.

This week I tried conveyor belt sushi for the first time. Hahaha they even had little cheeseburgers on top of rice! Loving it.

So we have a little grill hidden underneath our stoves; it had literally never been used. So I changed things up a bit, and tried my hand at grilling bits of marinated chicken. It was great; would recommend 9 out of 10 to a friend. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016


my bike

Brother Wakabayashi

Food Blog and Other Thoughts

Saturday we had WAY too much food. We have to get rid of apples
desperately, so we made pancakes. I had 6 pancakes. For lunch, we had
to get rid of spaghetti. I had 4 normal servings' worth of spaghetti.

Dad, the planks have been going great! I try to get at least one in every morning. 
Mom, I'm sorry to report that all the extra work we went into to learning laundry was for naught; I've only ever seen 1 setting on every laundry machine I've used since becoming a missionary! 
The package still hasn't arrived; my companion says the average arrival time is about 3 weeks. 

I'm thinking of starting a food blog; since coming here and being able to fend for myself, we've had some extraordinarily interesting creations go on! 

ice cream here is the best

Cooked some fruit because we have excess. Sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon for the win 

Mmmm stacks of 4 of these babies

Mmm lunch.
Here's what I'm eating right now

weekly mission mail

Fun things this week:

I received a free Baby squid at a farmers market. The old lady was very kind and insistent that I eat it. So down it went; tentacles, head, shell, eyes and all. It was very chewy, but not gummy. Also, was fishy. Clogged the entire vascular system. 

This week we had the privilege of visiting a Nursing home of sorts for retired old ladies; it's different from America in that the ladies don't live there permanently. Rather, they visit for the daylight hours and enjoy afternoon tea together. Japanese old ladies are the best! The are so upfront about your weight and can hardly take a minute to stop talking, although they use super old Japanese so you can hardly understand a word they say! 

We accidentally visited a less active's house who, unbeknownst to us, had turned hantai (anti-LDS) earlier in the year. Also, as it turns out she is the lady that works underneath our apartment in the Beauty Shop. We were properly Scolded by a hantai for 20 min the following morning. Good thing my companion knows the most humble, polite forms of Japanese there are, else she would never have looked at us again. The members have been trying to work with her for a while now, and we feared we had ruined all their efforts forever. 

There are more 7-11s in one city here than I've ever seen in my life up to this point combined. Way to go, 7-11. 

It's freezing here! Especially at night. Apparently the worst is yet to come, though--February is the coldest month here. I need to buy winter things today. 

When I left the MTC I thought I left knowing I'd never see again Brother Robinson's cowboy Japanese accent. However, to my surprise, Goe Kyodai (a less active who has lived here for about 6 years teaching English) has the exact accent and skill level of Brother Robinson! What luck! 

I've recently seen many hawks circling the skies. It's that nice countryside life-style for you. 

Last Friday was something of a Miracle Day. We didn't teach hardly any lessons or receive many new investigators, but what did happen was awesome. After an inspiring District Training Meeting that centered on becoming consecrated missionaries, not great missionaries, we headed out to a distant village to visit some Less Actives. Upon getting lost amongst the giant mountainsides, we stopped by to ask for directions from a nearby house. The lady who answered became a new investigator. We talked for forever, and she was extremely nice and interested the whole time. She'd met Jehovah Witness missionaries for a while and wanted to hear more about Christ.  Awesome. 
Then we ride down the mountain a ways an encounter a duo of old men. Japanese old people (as I'm sure you know by now) are the best. We also talked with them for quite a while about anything and everything, laughing and joking at each other. So kind; they offered a recommendation for a delicious cheap restaurant (as we'd been fasting the entire day), and even proffered a couple nice, ripe, famous countryside apples. 
The recommended restaurant wasn't opened, so we hit a local noodle shop up instead. Again, the conversation turned long with the shopkeeper, full of mirth and sport, and about anything and everything. The shopkeeper gave us his best, and even my companion a second bowl. When it came time to pay, he would only accept $1000¥ (about 1/2 the cost of the actual meal). So great; I love that guy. 
Then, on the way home we encounter a high school student also returning home. Same situation as before. He make clear he wasn't interested in joining any church, but relinquished his telephone number to drop by and visit as friends later. Wonderful. So many miracles! 

On Sunday, we headed out into the countryside again to help a farmer move his ginormous pumpkins. As a reward for our hard effort, the church got to inherit eight or so of said pumpkins to use for our upcoming Halloween party. It was so fun! Messy, dirty, sweaty, but the rewards were sweet apple juice, chocolate bites, and long, hearty conversations. 
This Halloween party is going to be the best, BTW. 


elder cardon 

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Paul's response to David's letter

I have an awesome letter in store full of a scripture deep dive I conducted in Mosiah 9 this morning. 

Sorry you took off work and I didn't even call. Guess I could've, if I had really wanted to (some random lady gave each member of our group 20$ at the airport), but Christmas is close so I didn't think it necessary. 

I slept on and off on the plane. On the 14 hr one I got about 7 hours, maybe 9. Idk. However, we got two full meals and one snack meal, airplane slippers, headphones, pillows, night eye thingies, and personal TVs that I could play sudoku and chess on. The seat next to mine was unoccupied, so I got extra blankets and space. A very luxurious plane ride indeed. 

The bike I bought was 5 Man (roughly equivalent to 500$ USD.) that's actually pretty expensive out here, although there were some specialties that got up to $1000 USD. The bike is a yellow sports bike made by Marin. With the required front light, rear red light, and such it came closer to 64000¥ the tires are somewhat skinny, I forgot to get a water bottle holder and they didn't put on my mud guard, but I love it. It's a 24-gear, 10.7 oz, aluminum frame without basket; has a small bell, though. 

We exercise every morning--good reminder, I'll start up some planks again. Probably much better here than before, but honestly I think I'm about as healthy as I've ever been; my abs would agree when I flex, anyways, but I do still have an air bubble that won't go away when I'm not, for some reason. 

Ueda is ridiculously cold right now; winter cold, already. Only at night, though. Thanks again for the sweater-it saved me last night as we biked to far inactive houses. 

Elder Smith is reliant on the Lord, and very friendly with the people. His approach is usually to get to know a person, establish a relationship and talk for a while about common interests before ever bringing up anything about the gospel. He is a sporty person who isn't overly ambitious or thinks very long-term for himself. He's actually a lot like me when I go out of my way to do those things, or you when you are trying to carry on conversation. He doesn't have nit-picky things or pet peeves. He loves his cereal--calls himself a cereal connasuir, and eating without milk is blasphemy. He has a tendency to leave the dishes sitting In the sink until I go to clean them later. We are figuring out the extremely complex garbage and recycling system today. He is laid back, but motivated; he'l take time to scrub the bathroom of moss or clear up a desk.  He isn't full of himself and talks just about as much as I do. 

Looks like my PDay is just about midnight on Sunday night. It's about 1:00 AM your time now; 4:00 PM here. 

Love you

Monday, October 10, 2016

first email from Japan

I haven't written in about two weeks so there's a lot to cover in this letter. 

So we missed the flight to Japan. Monday, 4:20 AM, Elder Wesemann and I are ready with our bags to head to the SLC airport and fly to Japan. However, the shuttle before us, 3:50, was having some trouble with some missionaries not showing up. Five missionaries had thought that they were to leave at 4:00 PM or something, so they weren't packed or ready to go when they should have been. After a half hour of waiting, the shuttle finally left, but without those missionaries, I think. 
So we board the shuttle and get through all the safety rules and such, just about ready to catch the FrontRunner train that would take us to the airport, when an elder asks if it was actually necessary to [bring] a passport to the airport if you are going to a foreign country. You see, he hadn't brought his because he thought it wouldn't be. What was this guy thinking?! We had to wait again for this guy to go grab his passport, which in turn caused us to (when we finally make it to the train station), miss the train by a matter of minutes. Thus, we had to wait for the next one to come, which took another half hour or so. So we're about 1 1/2 hours behind schedule. It takes over an hour to get there. We had started with a good solid four hours to catch this flight. Then there's baggage claim, security, extremely long lines for some reason, and slow-pokes who can't travel--all in all a nightmare. At the security line, we happened to luck into a guard who was new on the job (or perhaps just extremely meticulous), who, upon discovering a problem with my carry-on bag, proceeded to spend a rough 10 minutes scanning, pondering, and scanning again to figure out the problem. He couldn't have looked to the side of the bag, seen a water bottle, and chucked it--that's too simple. Then we had to repeat the process again for Elder Shimazaki right behind me; he had brought some shampoo, lotions, and eye solution. They hand-checked all our bags, but by then it was too late.
So we had to go back to the MTC. They found a flight that left at 1:00 AM, which connected to Atlanta, then Detroit, then straight to Nagoya Airport. The last leg alone was 14 hrs; the whole trip took roughly 27. We left at 10:00 that night depressed at our losses but happy to be going; there were five of us--of our initial group of 12, somehow all the other made it. 
The rest of the week has been much better! My new companion's name is Elder Smith; he's from Oregon, and this is his last transfer. He's 21, attended BYU Hawaii for a bit, and wants to go into Journalism.
On a scale of Japanese speaking level, we're actually almost equal; he knows more vocab, and has a better ear for it, but his sentence construction is about on par with mine. All the members have not been able to stop wondering at my current level; it's all they ever talk about with me. I'm a super Bean-chan, now. 

Since coming here there's a lot of awesome culture shock that's gone on. My first fast-food restaurant here (and last in the USA, as it turns out) was of course McDonald's. Other recent delicious purely Japanese food I've had recently include Natto, udon, waffle ice cream thing from 7-11, granola cereal, tofu, and sauce less/meatless okonimiyaki (the last elders didn't stock our fridge very well). Basically cabbage pancakes. 
The first morning, I decided I wanted to make pancakes because that was literally the only thing we had in the pantry. I didn't realize that we also lacked eggs, and didn't find the oil until much later. So I improvised and tried my hand at eyeballing (measuring cups were also mysteriously lacking) mixture, bananas, and water. I got better as I went along--the last ones actually do turned out alright. I put some scraps of yogurt on them for flavoring. 

So I've found that there are literally grandmas that are less than 4 ft tall here, and that is a totally normal thing. You see them all the time at the Super Market. 

There are only four types of cars here in Japan: the box, marshmallow, old English Taxi, and small white farm truck from animes. Other normal cars are few and far between. 

My first area that I am called to work in is the Ueda region of the Nagano Zone. When I selected Isaiah 52:7 as my scripture plaque, I didn't think that I would literally be walking within such beautiful mountains from day one. I would send a picture, but we aren't allowed to take those while prosylating. 

My companion and I are white washing this area--nether of us know anything or anyone. We are starting from scratch, but have high expectations (Elder Oak's talk was great, wasn't it?) and are working well with the 12 or so members here. 

To get anywhere here, you either have to bike or take the train. I didn't have a bike for the first couple days, so I know the torture of trying an alternative. We went to pick up a bike in Nagano on Friday; the trip ended up taking five or so hours. There was no time to do anything else at the end of it all. What happened was we got lost in the city that wasn't our own, and wandered around for forever. However, that was a good thing because on the train ride home I managed to hand out my first BOM (turns out that was the last copy we had in the apartment. Silly elders previous to us). I didn't know until much later that this guy was totally drunk. He just seemed so interested--even leading the discussion, at times. You never see that in Japan unless it's a drunk, apparently. He'll probably be extremely confused when he gets over it, heading to teach his elementary students, and finds this book laying around. 

The weekend has been fun. The branch is in a small building by the station, so we only have one TV to watch General Conference on. Thus, I was forced to watch it in Japanese. No regrets. We spent a lot of time cleaning out the apartment (one of the the elders "died" here so he left behind a lot of junk). Sleeping on a futon has been fun. Reading, and just being able to read, a lot of the Kanji on the signs that are everywhere has been neat. The grocery store is unlike anything else--beyond words, I'd say. Heated toilets are definitely a plus, and the little squirt thing isn't too bad, either, though it takes some adjusting. The bath is small, but quaint--too bad we don't have enough time to take an actually bath, only sitting showers with the little hose. 

I recently found out that only about 15% of the missionaries in Nagoya are Japanese. Oh well. President Ishii is cool, and his wife very sweet. I'm glad to have them leading this area's work. 

Thank you all for you patience, support, and regards. 


elder cardon

BTW tell everyone that all letters and packages must go to the Mission
Home because if I transfer, ands letter gets stuck, I'll never be able
to see it otherwise. Here's the address:

Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Meito-ku, Itakadai 1-304

(Cool fact: lit. Trans. = Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City, Meito
Division, Itakadai St. 1-304)

Sent from my iPad

Monday, October 3, 2016

flying to Japan

we missed our flight at 8:33 this morning; right now I'm back at the MTC until we can catch our next opportunity. It's a long story--a lot went wrong. Wasn't our faults. 
We'll catch a flight at 1:00 AM instead. We'll have to leave the MTC at 10:00 PM. The flight goes out to Atlanta, which connects to Detroit, which then shoots straight til we land in Nagoya. The last leg of the trip should take 14 hours. I'll be in Japan at 3:00 the day after tomorrow (daylight savings and stuff). 
Love you; take care


Elder Cardon
Japan Nagoya Mission