Mission Address

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

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

1 comment:

  1. Google translate (I have to laugh at the rough translation of the Japanese characters):
    Jesus Christ knows that it us to lead this work. Every day, if we just listen to God, I know that it God give the miracle I'm the power of the Spirit. The other, I saw it because I came to Japan. By the name of Jesus, Amen.
    I love you!

    Gurdon elder