Mission Address

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Food Blog! (๑>◡<๑)

Today's breakfast was sunny, with green peppers and white onion fried
over butter and lemon, coated with salt.

The kinds of things we eat at Thanksgiving Parties 

Found my new favorite vegetable: renkon! This is stir fry, and the bottom is this over rice and paired with marinated/grilled chicken. 

Mr. Donuts

Some interesting pastry thing I received 

Yakiniku all you can eat (liver and sardine are the best,
. They're at the top right corner )

The jam! 

Weekly mission letter

Our companionship is great! Elder Miyaki takes care of all the cases
of extremely hard-to-understand old or quiet Japanese people, and I
take care of all the rare English people that we occasionally see.
Then it's beautiful when we both contribute to conversations!
It's interesting to see how much more Japanese people open up to a
Japanese elder than one from America. You can reach the same level of
trust, eventually, but it comes much faster with a Japanese companion.

We had a small earthquake while I was cooking. That was fun.

I broke two glass jars trying to make jam (note to self--buy
plastic!!). I did, in the end, manage to successfully produce the
semblance of a half a batch. Yay!

There's a bit of a power struggle going on around here. Each of us wants to confer the role of leader to the other because we're too polite to seize all the power for ourselves. It looks like I'm losing this battle; someone's gotta step up or nothing will get done! 
Update: It's getting better. We just discuss everything and probably think a little too hard about it before deciding. 

Oooh yakiniku is indeed the best! Got to try it all-you-can-eat style, sided with things like make-your-own-salad, make-your-own-miso, curry, ice creams and puddings and parfaits and jello, and even American soda! The favorite meats were definitely liver and sardine, although the fat pieces of bacon were also scrumptious. 

Thanksgiving Day; it wasn't like a sit down feast or anything, but we did get to eat some pretty good food. Sorry, I forgot to snap a picture. Some Matsumoto members made donburi, with sides of salad, small pizza slices (Japanese are very conservative), and assorted fruit cup topped with vanilla ice cream. Later, we filled ourselves with tofu over rice, then for dessert we splurged and ate Mr. Donuts. Not bad. 

It snowed! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; everywhere you go. Actually most of it melted within the day. 
We have small power outages whenever we try to keep warm. We only have so much capacity so running the heater and dryer at the same time kills everything. Silly dryer. 

We avoid using half of our apartment at all costs. One half warms to a toasty, livable temperature--the other remains in the solid confines of Arctic imprisonment.  Literally drops 20 C crossing the border. 

You know those days that are false? Where the sun is shining and the flowers blooming, you go outside to enjoy it all and it's zero degrees? We have a lot of those. 

Elder Miyaki really likes to spend time studying his scriptures; he's also very diligent in learning English from a book he has. He also likes to clean. 

We had two events this week that went swimmingly. The first was Eikaiwa on Wednesday; we only had one person show up, so we sat down, ate sweets, and just talked for an hour in a mixture of broken English and Japanese. Since it was Thanksgiving,  we each told what we were grateful for and the guy immediately said his wife and two daughters! So of course we taught about families, the church, and what we do as missionaries for a bit. Count your many blessings; I'm pretty sure this guy can be baptized, and it's all thanks to nobody else showing up. 
Then on Saturday something similar happened for a church sponsored Thanksgiving party. Nobody showed up. So we talked with Brother Wakabayashi for a while and learned a lot about the area. A point that was punctuated was service. There're definitely a lot of opportunities for service here, especially being Christmas time. We may see a small shift in our schedules for a bit.  

愛しています!最近マースタ聖句が変わってしまいました!見ましたか?一つの新しい聖句は最高です。2NE28:30. 永遠の命を得るために、ぜったいキリストの教えを勉強やめないでください!私の証は教えが一派すぎるなので、続かなければなりません。止まられません。毎日新しいの情報を探しに行ってください。キリストの御名によって、アーメン。

カードん長老 ٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Food blog

Curry is a fav here

Hahaha tried to make a cobbler in a rice cooker

Mmmm soup.  I finally found bouillon!

fried pumpkin with soy dipping sauce

orange jello

savory rice topped with mandarins, lemon, butter, spices like oregano and basil...

local bakery goods.  There's a cheesy hotdog w/ BBQ sauce, hard chocolate donut, and eggplant deliciousness. Really common things out here.

If you want the most delicious thing of your life, try this:
Take a Tim Tam (Australian chocolate cracker) and bite tiny pieces off opposite ends.  Stick one end in hot chocolate, suck on the other until you taste the hot chocolate in your mouth, then eat the cracker whole.

In case you are wondering where he got Tim Tam from: There's a foreign import shop in the mall.
You can't get Kindereggs ... but interesting fact! You can eat raw egg over here because the hens are fed Natto! Mmmm 

weekly mission letter

I've been so busy lately worrying about what to do and where to be that I haven't thought about what to write this week! This'll be short. 

I got a new companion! 
Elder Kenchirō Miyaki (宮木) : From Yokohama area. This is his third area and ninth transfer. He was in Kanazawa with his Dad, Elder Bunch, and Grandfather, Elder Smith, before Ueda. 

Well, we definitely get a lot more cleaning done around the place. 

This week was kinda tough. Definitely had that hyper stress at first. I'm the area Senpai so I get to teach Elder Miyaki everything I know until he's confident to take charge. There's a lot to do. This week was slow mostly because we spent a lot of time exchanging information for questions, and Japanese isn't quite yet my forte, per se, so it kinda took a while; couple days. We had DKK twice. There were a couple lessons, but not many. Mostly just adjustment. Nothing really fascinating. 

Our Branch President Satou had a stroke. We're praying for him as he recovers. Planning to visit him today. He had a blessing yesterday. 

Saturday we ran into a miracle. Elder Miyaki wanted to go housing, but the problem is that the missionaries before us did nothing but housing. I was reluctant at first, but then thought something like "If the Lord will provide and if I am to trust in my trainer, then by golly I'm going out to see a miracle tonight." Kind of at a loss right , I then, I looked at Maps.me and found one red dot for an apartment not far from ours. Now why would somebody mark one apartment when there are so many to choose from, I don't know. So of course we tried it out. 
Aaaand I received the biggest surprise! The third door is a lady who answers in English! Hahahaha figures that the first investigator I find without Elder Smith is a Canadian. She studied Asian religions as her minor, and is curious what Christianity and Mormonism is all about. Good news is, she teaches online so we can practically visit her anytime! I was all pumped and geared to teach her, then realized when counting stats that we hadn't set a firm next appointment, so she doesn't count yet as an investigator. Aaand I forgot to get a phone number... probably half of my stress this week has come from trying to figure out Phone missionary work. 

Some other things: I'm going to try to make Eikaiwa (a free English conversation class we do as a service) bigger by increasing activities and advertisements. This week everyone is contributing in a Thanksgiving potluck! Can't wait. 

Ever wondered how Christ himself prayed? Look it up in 3 NE 19:18-23. Good stuff. 


Elder Cardon

Monday, November 14, 2016

other stuff (pictures)


Cold weather gear

The people that came in with me (although I only flew in with three of them) 

Food Blog

Here we are again!

butter, cabbage, seaweed pasta w/ Elder Abe

The attempted cookies that turned out as biscuits

a pancake-omelette: cookies and cream edition

most delicious French toast ticks I've ever had.  Made with a cinnamon sugar milk soaking sauce


caramel pancakes

our go-to easy tofu dinner

It was half-off

Kaki (parmesillianor something); in the back is oatmeal chocolate no bake cookies

best soba ever; meat was rubbed with garlic mixture beforehand

described as a pizza-man

homemade recipe

fried rice

chocolate cake from rice cooker

This is Chinese restaurant style for about $5 each

The fried chicken that made me sick last week 

Mmm kimchi

curry udon with fried onion on the side

service project

Sunday, November 13, 2016

weekly mission email

We went everywhere this week: Nagano, Nagoya, Nagano again, Saku, etc. I don't think I was hardly in Ueda. 

Monday: we spent literally all day on a district activity with the Nagano elders. Left at 10:00 AM and returned 5:55 PM with just enough time to shoot off an email on the way home. Sorry I couldn't sneak any pictures into that window frame. 
The district activity was great! We had to fix Elder Smith's bike for the third time in a week before we could do anything fun, because he has gotten a flat three times on the same tire and the only place to fix it is the Asahi in Nagano. Actually, the third time got flat even with a new tire and tube, within a day of the replacement, so he got that one free. Nice! 
Third time seems to be the charm up here in Ueda. We've run out of rice in the apartment, and you can't make hardly anything here without rice; to top it off, we couldn't do any grocery shopping on Monday because of the district activity. Thus, it's been a perfect week for fasting! We've fasted three times in the last six days. Count your many blessings. 
The district activity might have been worth it. We went out to eat lunch first at an all-you-can-eat crepery. You don't feel full until 20 min later, right? Well, until those 20 min are up I can sure pack a punch. I literally was cramping over afterwards as my stomach tried to cram all the carbs into my bloated stomach that just wanted throw up relief. I didn't, though. Phew. 
And the rest of the time we saw a huge Bhuddist temple and a quality free zoo. It was awesome. 

Tuesday: service and fasting day. We helped pick kaki (parmesans) for an orphanage that, like every typical movie, is way up on the mountainside; isolated, self-sustained, and the only way up there is a loooooong, windy road nestled within the forest. 

Wednesday: training meeting in Nagoya. We were literally on the train for 8 hours. The meeting was only 2 1/2. It was great to see Wesemann Choro again; we had a great catching-up session that was lots of fun. 

Thursday: koukan (exchange) in Nagano. Perhaps the weirdest part of all that was riding Elder Jones' bike for a day.  (From my journal:) 
Elder Jones' bike is the classic All-American Little Red Flyers Wagon. It is small and feels like a toy, but a very old robust one at that. The handles are squishy, the seat cushion plumpy, and the seat lowered so you never have to lower yourself from it even when you stop; all things are maximized for comfort. There's a basket on the back for convenience, and a little bell on the front. The gears are old and look like they won't work, yet they do because the thing is robust. 

Friday: get back, DTM, Indo-curry--nan is all you can eat and there's no rice, just the actual curry you dip the nan into. It's been so long since I've had cheese like that! (You can't really buy dairy products here in Japan.) 

Saturday: Transfer calls: We got a transfer call on Saturday morning. Guess who's leaving! Honestly, we totally forgot all about them because we thought we were safe. Tip: you're never safe. 
Let me tell you why they were so weird. 
I just arrived in Japan, and Elder Smith is my trainer. Your trainer takes you through a course in 12 weeks, showing you how to become a proper functional missionary. Our training was cut down to 10 weeks because of some missionaries leaving early for Christmas. 
Elder Smith is "dying" (returning home) after my training. 
Together, we had the usual chance to whitewash an area. We start from scratch, and build it up again. There's a lot of work involved. 
So why is it that considering all this my companion is being transferred on Tuesday? !We spent all of Saturday in shock over the matter. 
My new companion will be Elder Miyaki; a Japanese Elder. Actual, Elder Smith trained the missionary who trained Elder Miyaki, so they know each other well. In missionary family terms, that makes Elder Miyaki my nephew, because Elder Smith is my Dad, he trained another and that would be my older brother. However, because Elder Miyaki will be taking over my training he is also my Step-Dad. Our family tree is ruined; this has never happened before that I know of. I meet my new companion tomorrow. 

On another note, I've recently been thinking that I want to try my hand at bread making again--luckily, I know the perfect place to do it: what better place to make bread than in a rice-maker? 

I lost my toothbrush on the exchange -- now, I'm using a Japanese toothpick of a toothbrush. 



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Monday, November 7, 2016

weekly email

It's been a slow week. Literally every person who had an appointment with us this week had to cancel or didn't respond; there's a cold going around rampage and it's made our work really shift gears.   

I finally had my first exchange on Tuesday. It was with with Elder Jones, we stayed in Ueda, and it was decently productive. Elder Jones is from Nagano (companion = Elder Abe); our district is made up of us four elders. Makes things easy. There's a senior missionary couple in Nagano that drops by for the meetings we have every week as a district. They're nice and give us snacks, usually. 
Basically,'with Elder Jones we spent the morning on a bike ride out to a distant less active member's apartment who wasn't there, the afternoon with an investigator whom Elder Jones knows and loves (he had referred us to her in the first place), and the rest of the evening doing mostly service for that same investigator. We spent a lot of time there. We ate lunch at a unknown treasure of a Chinese restaurant (super cheap + huge portions) and the service we provided was picking seeds off a dead bush in prep for a big Earth Day project. Elder Jones broke his messenger bag trying to get on and off Elder Smith's tall bike seat and I supplied him with an extra from our apartment. In return, he gave me a bunch of nice PDFs, notes, and pictures for missionary work--even a recipe for Taco Soup,'although where I'm supposed to get beans, taco mix, sour cream and salsa in Japan IdK. 

Since we'd lost most of our active lesson-teaching time, Elder Smith and I decided to use that time for Updating Maps.me and making a member record, instead. When we got to Ueda there was practically no information for us to go off of--who the members are, what they're like, what they do; who the investigators are, why they're interested, what they've been taught; former investigators and less actives, where they live, what their name is even--all missing, or at least very scattered from records made 10 years ago. So, there's a lot of record work that needs finishing for the future missionaries that use this area before we can really start hammering down on increasing things like church attendance. 

This week we made delicious Katsu (fried pork bites), but I also got sick from it because the bigger pieces weren't cooked thoroughly. Learn from me--always let your companion eat the bigger pieces of chicken. 

This week (as with every week) we taught English as a service to the community and our students now want to give me Natto for my birthday. We talked about Korean BBQ, riding elephants, Canada, and Antarctica. Antarctica is hard to say in regular English but even harder when you try to slow it down and pronounce it correctly for others to learn from. 

One of the highlight adventures of this week was our trip to the Onsen (hot springs). We only wanted to briefly visit a former investigator to works out there (it's a three hour bike ride; 30 min by train), but got a whole lot more instead. So we couldn't actually find her store, and spend a good chunk of time wandering around. While so doing, we ran into an American who's actually been living in Japan for 22 years teaching English. He got a rig for free boarding, food, and travel for 6 months as he teaches in Saku; he visits his family in Yokohama on the weekends. Not bad at all, but I'd miss the family time. It was good to talk for a bit about in English about various things going on and what we do. He's a good guy. 
Well, we found and taught the lady finally but it was getting late. Then, Elder Smith punctured his tire. 3 hours away and we can't get back. We had to abandon our bikes,'ride the expensive tour train back to Ueda, grab bike bags, go back and put bikes into said bags, then return. It was super costly both time and money wise. However, one good thing did come out of it: while waiting for the next train before finally heading home, we used the down time to try out a foot onsen (that's as much as the mission will allow). It was so refreshing! Even if only for ten minutes, it was worth it. 

Cool fact: Ueda is the basis for the anime movie Summer Wars . Love that movie. 



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