Mission Address

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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

weekly letter

Happy New Year's! 

Our Christmas Week in Tsu 

We splurged and spent money on Japanese pizza for Christmas. Worth it. P

I thought to Skype home early Tuesday morning, but alas I arrived at the church building at 7:00 am and discovered that there was an automatic garage door locking system which didn’t suspend until 8:00. We still had a fun time standing outside talking over half-decent Wifi. 

There is a new calling in the mission with a special assignment. The Roaming Assistants to the President go around and conduct two day exchanges with companionships to elevate faith and see miracles. Even in the holiday season, the effects are astounding. We were blessed with an exchange this last week, and the area has exploded with new people to teach, 伝道FIRE, and ways to improve beyond our dreams. Honestly, it was probably the best exchange I’ve ever had. 

The Branch President also come out on Sunday and announced a new mission plan for next year. It’s the best thing I’ve seen, we're so excited for it. Every single member will become tremendously involved in the missionary effort. 

There was also a belated Christmas party held at the church. Some guy brought a Pig's Blood Stew thing. I don’t know whatever inspired that terrible idea. 

Also, I guess there's a special soba for New Year's in Japan, and we were treated by a member. I didn’t notice much of a difference, but they were exclaiming about how wonderful the thing was and so we just rolled with it. 


Elder Cardon 

Sorry I talked a lot about food this week. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

weekly mission email

Tsu is on fireball.

Elder Miole and I have decided to Revise our morning schedule. Mostly, we are working towards an effective exercise time. So, the personal study goes first, then planning, then exercise and prep. Whereas before, I would wake up and force my muscles into rigorous action, and the struggle was real. Now, after my mind has had time to uncloud for a bit we go out for a stroll. 
There is nothing better than running on a beachside.  the white shells and morning ocean breeze will be missed. 

We had a thing in our Zone for a bit where everyone was asked their favorite color. But, it had to be specific. Like, what shade exactly. I’ve gone with a good Pine green. 

Two referrals came in last week. One literally walked himself into the church door asking to see a priest. I love those type of people. 


Elder Cardon 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

weekly mission email

It was a good week in Tsu, but basically I’ll only be sharing one story today. 

- - -
I went on an exchange with Elder Higashi in Ise this week. It was pretty eventful. 

We were out for the evening knocking on doors in the neighborhood of a member who lives really far away by bike. As we pulled up and were preparing to get started, that same member drove past and stopped in front of us at the stoplight, and then rolled down her window and exclaimed her excitement at seeing us! It was a short exchange of remarks, as she was out on her way and the light soon turned green again, and we wondered at the uncanny timing of it. 

Well, two hours later, as we were pulling out of the area, we got a call asking us if we wouldn’t come over for a bit and share a message to the member couple there. That same member. 

The brother was very nice, and the sister talked a day. We received the Okinawa special Ginger Hot Cocoa and some souvenir French Biscuits for our trouble. Overall, a pleasant time. 

After a bit of this, and gleaning information from the elderly couple, we asked if the brother wouldn’t help us in one of our purposes for being in the area that night: visiting a nearby Less Active. The brother ended up being coaxed into it by his volunteering wife. 

We went by car down the road a ways for the visit. We then proceeded to pull into a nice neighborhood off the side of the road, and then into a nice, grand mansion-type house with extended pull-through driveway and several large houses on the property. This was it, we had arrived. 

A little intimidated, we rang the doorbell together and waited for a reply. A large man whom you could tell ate feasts for meals (he had a belly to show it) stepped out into the cold and asked kinda gruffly what we wanted.  

Tenderly, Elder Higashi explained who we were and our purpose for visiting tonight. He introduced the member, and then asked if the man remembered going to church in Ise Branch. 
The man perked up as he recalled a member, then two, and then started listing off names and families, asking about their welfare and happenings. The conversation turned really good at the point, and as it continued we were able to invite him to the upcoming Christmas party, hand him a new copy of the Book of Mormon, and tentatively exchange schedules for appointments. 

This Less Active had refused contact from the church for about 30 years, yet simply having a member whom he was familiar with beside us changed his countenance and led to such great progress. For an upcoming while, the mission will be emphasizing working together with members to accomplish miracles, and I heartedly affirm that this can change everything in terms of success. 

- - - 

The work is good down here. We have four people lined up for receiving baptism, and  were recently given a lot of Emergency Foods meal sets as Christmas presents. What more could a missionary want? 
PS(I would bet that the reason behind the meals would be the fact that they expire in January and missionaries will eat most anything. ) 


Elder Cardon

The emergency food works like you put a chemical pouch inside the ziploc between the two foods (rice and sauce), pour over special water and seal the bag. The chemical reaction creates steam, which vents out the top for about 20 minutes until it’s all cooked. And done! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

weekly email

Last week in Tsu ,

Brother Iwamoto's cousins 
One day, a door opened up to a 13 year old boy who was home alone. Can’t do much there, but we asked if we could come back the next day when his parents were home. Actually, he doesn’t live with his parents, he lives with his two older sisters. 
The next day, we came back late and caught one of the sisters just as she was returning home from work. Having contact with the boy was kind of our “in” to starting a conversation, and as the talking went long the other sister joined us in what turned into a lesson on the Restoration. When we pulled out the BOM to present to them, they all made the connection with our message and the Mormons. “Ah! I know Mormons! My Aunt is a Mormon.” Kind of thing. 
We found out later in the week that these people were actually related to one brother in the ward, and had asked questions before about the church but had never met with missionaries. 

John Peter 
A referral came in from the sisters. This boy has actually learned a lot, but because of his part time job the sisters could never take an actual appointment with him. This week, we were finally able to catch him at home. 
One of the biggest problems is that although John Peter speaks English, it’s not quite good enough for the vocabulary of the lessons. The same goes for his Japanese. 
So finally, Elder Miole was able to clear up all the parts that he didn’t understand before. 
John Peter met with us at chance when we actually were just leaving from his apartment after talking with his dad for a while. On the way out, we found that although he doesn’t have a phone (which is why it’s so hard to pin him down), he has a Facebook, so we were lucky to trade that. 
Then, later in the week, we invited him to a basketball activity. The activity itself wasn’t so good, and we hardly even played any basketball, but there was a lot of chances to talk during the down time, and it turned out that John Peter didn’t have work the next day. Ah, miracle! We invited him to church. 
We picked him up, brought him over, and walked him through church. All the members were fabulous fellow-shippers. John Peter wasn’t expecting the service to be three hours long, haha, but it was ok. During second hour, we sat down and talked about baptism and following Christ. John Peter accepted the commitment to be baptized. 

Bread Ears パンの耳
In Japan, everyone is a spoiled little child when it comes to their sliced bread. There are no butts! And, oftentimes the crusts are pre-cut off of the sandwiches. Japan is missing the most nutritional value of bread! It doesn’t even offer wheat or anything like that. 
This last week, we went hunting to find where all these pieces were mysteriously disappearing. Most stores simply throw the crusts away, but at last we found one who had neglected to do so. They willingly gave us a bag of the leftover, free of charge. Maybe we should order our bread every week like this. 


Elder Cardon

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Food Blog

Happy Thanksgiving! (Our feast) 

 Thai curry from a can? With Tuna!

Why is it that SPAM is such a huge deal everywhere but America?

Quesadilla Pizzas

My companion's worst idea ever. Corn, pumpkin ice cream, evaporated milk, plus chocolate syrup


weekly mission email

There’s way too much going on down here; the highlights will be cut short but multiply. 

Service Activity
The problem with raking leaves next to a shedding tree and a busy thoroughfare is that all the leaves you just raked are blown apart from your neat pile by any passing Semi, and then afterwards the tree decides to release more leaves just to spite you. Literally no progress. 

Eikaiwa last week
Japanese bread is sliced specifically for toast. Not sandwiches. I learned this. Like, it’s an actual thing that the bread in Japan is not made for making sandwiches. People just want a thick slice of bread with butter and jam on it in the morning. 

Casual Proselytizing 
Japanese people honk at each other to show the other cars gratitude for graciously pausing and allowing them to enter the roadway. Too much politeness here. 

Frederiksen mud baths 
We're Helping a member who's moving into the area fix up his house before the big transition. Pictures below. 

FHE for the Recent Converts
We were in charge of making pizzas. Not too hard, we're American, after all. Well, you'd think. It didn’t actually go like that.  
The pizza dough was ...tough. It didn’t rise. Either the flat pizza's were the old baking soda's fault, or else Elder Shiraki's recipe, but in the end we basically had the equivalent of Broke College Boy Quesadilla Pizzas. 
But the FHE went great, no problems on that end. 

Exchanges with Elder Mossman from Hawaii 
There was a lady we found in the Records last week whom I’ve been dying to meet for a good while now. I finally had the chance. 
We went the mile to Check out the nonexistent pin. 
It turns out that the apartment was completely evacuated. You could see why. Nobody in any right sense would want to live there! The whole thing was cankered with rust and I’m pretty sure I felt the stairwell shift when Elder Mossman started climbing it. The place was a ghost town probably filled with actual bogeymen. 

Primary Program!! 
Tsu Branch actually has enough children to hold things like a Primary Program. Ah! It’s been over a year. I was so touched by the small, high pitched, off-tune voices as they sang an over-welcomely extended program which almost took half of our second hour, as well. I forgot how funny kids can be. It was great.  

Last Sunday 
Up up up we climbed on our bikes towards an area of potential investigators. We started knocking on doors, and on the second one we accidentally housed LA Sister Uenaga. Haha she came out to give us a schpill about her life circumstances right now, and we were humbled and learned a lot, but left on good terms and with a tentative plan to come back. 

At church one day 
The church got a phone call. I’ve always wondered who, and why anybody would ever call the church directly, but I guess there's some mysterious force out there that brings good things to those who wait. 
Some lady named Amy called the church and inquired about the Sunday services. She has recently moved to Japan, and isn’t a member or anything but is genuine interested in finding a church. We took her contact info, and will follow up with her later this week through a meeting at her house.  

Lastly, both of the baptismal candidates had successful confirmation in the last Sacrament Service. What a wonderful spirit which filled that room! 

Loving the work down here. 


Elder Cardon

Monday, November 20, 2017

weekly mission email

Maegawa Akiko got baptized! Pictures attached. 

Also, my companion baptized Kendorian Martinito! It was a good day. 

Also, we had District activity today. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

food blog

Philippine food has increased 

weekly email

Things in Tsu last week wrapped up to about three people

Our apartment leaks during typhoons, and the commisarian called a guy to come fix it. The guy came last Tuesday. I don’t know what we were expecting, but it was actually a good thing that our apartment leaks! 
Several surprises. So Koji, the handyman, isn’t a member. He's actually a local shop that came for the repairs. Koji made the business himself. 
When Koji walked in to looks at our sliding doors, he looked over at the bookshelf in plain view to the left. His first comment was something like, “You have a lot of BOM's in here!” 
And then he had something to keep conversation going, and kept referring back to something connected to BOM. Thus, he kept asking about us, our job, our beliefs, and such as he worked. No problem from us there. 
Well, it turns out that Koji also loves Jesus Christ! He wouldn’t call himself Christian, but he reads the Bible everyday and even has seminars for Japanese people on it. He has been to Jerusalem 18 times, and proofed it with several magnets and pictures which he kindly gave to us. Koji is what you would call a saint. 
And before he left, we asked if he knew anything about Christ's ministry in the America’s, and he replied no, but was curious about it, so we ended on a gift exchange of magnets for one of the nice BOM he first saw. 
Koji generously fixed a giant pothole in the parking lot on the way out, without saying a word to anyone or asking for any thing. He is seriously the most interesting, generous man I know.

We have a new couple moving into our Branch boundaries. The brother is Danish, and his wife Japanese. They bought a traditional, 100+ year old Japanese house for free and were told that the only thing they were responsible for was the possible renovation costs. This house was literally built before WW1! 
Well, we got a nice tour of the spacious grounds (it was a RICH house) and there are a lot of mistakes made over the years of the people who “upkept” it. The water isn’t draining, the grounds are flooded, neglected holes in the roof of the secondary house threaten the bearing beam, the neighbors are encroaching on the property, the porcelain outhouse just isn’t doing it for the wife, the animal stalls and silkworm farms are nice but old fashioned, the traditional garden's sculptured boulders are positioned perfectly too close to the house and are hindering... etc. 
But, anything that the last grandma left behind are their inheritance! Lots of old treasures, and nice bedding included. 
We are helping them move in, but it may be a bigger project than just moving a piano and fridge. On the upside, 
 I learned all about traditional Japanese house construction, and that was cool! 

This week we were all around getting things prepared for this lady's baptism next Sunday. It’s been a long time, and many people have forgotten all the protocols that go behind a baptism. There's a lot of work to be done! 
But I had the opportunity to interview her this morning, and I cannot deny that she is prepared and fully willing to take upon Christ's name. What a wonderful woman.


Elder Cardon 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

weekly email

Another week in Tsu: 

Imai FHE
There’s a family here who recently made a huge comeback in returning to church, and they are all fired up for helping us. We meet with them often, and they take us around to visit members, investigators, and focus people. They’ve fellowshipped the newest baptismal candidate beautifully, and are taking a lot of proactive thought into planning for the candidate's wellbeing. It’s so great!

Eye doctor 
Maybe the guy I went to in Utah was old school, or maybe the technology in Japan has just skyrocketed, but whatever the case the clinic I went to to get my eyes checked beyond anything I’ve experienced. It was a sensation. Like, the waiting room was the hardest part because there were so many people crowding inside, wanting a minute with the doctor, that we needed to sit down for almost an hour in plush, stuffed armchairs for our own turn. How terrible. 
When I was finally ushered inside, the doctor sat me down at one small eye machine for twenty seconds, and then another. In the first, I looked at a small hot air balloon going in and out of focus for a bit. At the second, a small blinking green light grabbed my attention, and then I was slightly startled when a puff of air was blown into my eye. It was like somebody had blown a bit of frosty breath into my face, Puff. 
I was almost relieved when I sat down in the third chair and across from me was a traditional screen that I could tell was for the classic ABC test. I wasn’t sure I was getting my money's worth from the first couple tests. Doctor had me read the letters once with, and once without my glasses. Except, I wasn’t reading letters (not even in Japanese), but pointing up, down, left, or right where the C was open. The C just got smaller which each answer. What is this magic! 

And then I was told my results. That was it. It was over in less than five minutes. 

Mission Conference 
Brother Brian K. Ashton and his wife visited our mission last Thursday as part of their tour of Japan. What's funny is that the introductory speaker gave an eloquent speech on how we would cover Teaching, using the Spirit, and asking Inspired Questions today (as part of retaining investigators), and then Sister Ashton got up and announced that she felt a much different direction was needed. 
We had a wonderful conference on faith, finding, and the commandments of the Lord in relation to our efforts that day. See D&C 82:10. 

Matsusaka Saturday 
My faith in Member missionary work has redoubled recently due to a couple experiences from the last week. 
We were asked to accompany a couple members in visiting a coworker who recently had a baby girl. The coworker warmly welcomed us all in, we had a nice time chatting and admiring the baby, and before we left the members looked to me expecting that I give an invitation of some sort to hear the missionary lessons. Well, it wasn’t the most beautiful invitation I’ve given, but because of the nice environment and the friendly encouragement we had backing us up, the lady warmly accepted and we are welcome to come back next week. 
The members, happy with our success, took us over to visit someone who recently hasn’t been coming to church. That someone wasn’t there, but we knock on his neighbor's door and were received into another small family's home for a bit. Complete strangers. Again, this probably would never happen if we weren’t out with friendly members. We all sat down in the small living room, and my companion and I taught the Restoration lesson on the spot. It was great! A very spiritual experience. 
And so we continue to see great improvement in the general well-being of Tsu.


Elder Cardon

Maegawa is the one closest to me. To her right are Sister and Brother Imai

Hey, happy birthday Claire!! 

Just to inform you, I celebrated out here by buying a new coat! At the secondhand shop, I found a wool jacket for about $15. And, a new wool tie for 3. It was quite the bargain! I absolutely love it. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

weekly mission email

In Tsu with Elder Miole: 

We have a new Service Activity—a dope weaving place! I guess some lady reinvented the loom so that even a child can learn to use it. Right now, this place hires Handicaps and funny old guys to make things like jackets, hats, mufflers, socks, and even wallets. A member, Sister Okubo, referred the place to us. It was way cool! 
 On our way out, we each received a cat coin purse. I Will buy a muffler before the end of this. 

Zone Conference was last Thursday, and it was held at a ward super far away, so we had to stay the night at a checkpoint apartment with the Elders in Yokkaichi. The Ise Elders also joined us, so we had eight elders sleeping squished on the floor with a single mat and blanket each. Great fun! 
On the trains up there in the morning, we all had to fight the Morning Rush crowds with our overnight bags and such. Not so much fun. Funny thing though, on a transfer to a subway line the crowd was so bad that the conductors were sectioning off people and then jamming them into the trains which came every five minutes. Our group just happened to land at the end of a section. We all go in pushing for that extra centimeter of space, but then Ise Elder Mossman was left remaining on the platform. No more room, but his companion was on the train, so something had to happen. He decided to hop aboard. 
Remember, this is a big, Hawaiian football player plus his size-able overnight backpack. I distinctly remember hearing several gasps as peoples' feet left the floor. 
Japan train crowds. Real thing, not as fun as they’re hyped up to be. 

This week we also had a fantastic Halloween Party!  We actually were put in charge of a game and the drinks, so we decided on a toilet paper mummy-wrapping race and a huge cauldron of root beer. People loved it! Except the root beer. Well, it was split: Love-hate thing, kinda like natto. The small four oz bottle I had made 5 gallons, so... 
well, in the end we split the remains between people that wanted it, and gave away approximately 10 liters. I think it was still worth it. 

This lady who we called “Wonder Woman” last transfer (because she didn’t give us her name the first time we knocked on her door) is actually quite the wonder woman. 
Maegawa is just the best. 
She came to church for the first time yesterday. The sisters have been working with her for a couple weeks now, and you can tell that she’s been completely prepared by the Lord. She asked about giving up any specific foods, teas, or anything before the sisters had even taught their third lesson. We got another call from Temple Square asking about her, and they practically squealed when I reported that Maegawa had accepted a BOM, come to church, and set a baptism date for 11/19 (which was set on her first lesson). 
Everything is perfectly fine, and she’s completely on track to receive baptism on that date. She’s been fellowshipped nicely, and is so accepting of everything. She actually came up to me after the Gospel Principles class yesterday and inquired about receiving a personal copy of the Triple I had let her borrow for church. Wow! 

Looking forward to the day we all go up to the baptismal font next month! 


Elder Cardon 

Monday, October 23, 2017

food blog

First day at church and Elder Miole gets two cans of sardines from members.

We made a chocolate sheet cake to celebrate our safety

Also, meatballs over rice

Sunday, October 22, 2017

weekly email

This week in Tsu:

 I actually had to go with Reis up to his new area for two reasons: 1) I had no available tachiai (temporary member companion) for like 6 hours and 2) my new companion had not only sprained his right wrist, but also broken his Samsung Tablet by default when he forgot his password, and thus needed a new tablet from HQ. 
But that was good because I got to see Elder Wesemann, the mission’s Recorder! #MTC comp

It was an Adventure. We went way out to Toyota first, met an Elder Cutler, then I picked up a quick guitar tune and then we took a fancy tram back into Nagoya, where we walked to HQ and met an Elder Ilg on the way (a new missionary from Brazil who didn’t know his trainer yet. He’s actually from the same, countryside place as Elder Reis so they had a good time catching up. Elder Reis thought for sure that he would train this guy ..but the Lord works in other ways). 

Elder Miole's tablet was broken, and HQ couldn’t fix it. They couldn’t give him a new one, either. So
we had to get an iPad! Oh, Man.. so disappointing! ;) ..we set it up, got out, arrived at the station and then realized that he had forgotten the charger. To add to that, Elder Miole forgot his iPad password already, somehow, and we had to go reset his iPad again! 

But back on our feet, first week in Tsu, one afternoon we were headed out to a service project referred to us by a member. Ooh, service! Ok! 
We got lost amidst the Inaka (countryside) highways and barely made it slightly late ...to the wrong place. Wow. We must’ve biked 14 Km to that place! But it’s ok! It has potential for the future. We checked out the new place and it seems to be opening up a neighborhood Eikaiwa class soon that they would love to have native speakers to volunteer at. No efforts wasted. 

Later this week, we were hit by a typhoon. It rained buckets for three days. But, you can’t let a spot of water hold you back from work, so we headed out as normal to find some new investigators. We wanted three in one night. Miraculously, we were blessed with that. 

It kinda happened like this. We walked down a ways from the station towards a LA whom I’ve never met before, tried to meet them but only got the answering service of their 10 year old daughter.  Then, we decided to just knock on all the doors of the apartment complex in which they live. It’s a huge complex. There must have been about 20 gigantic buildings there. 
That night, on the hunt for 3 People, we were expecting to find a lot of people from the Philippines because it seemed to be that type of foreigner's place. But after getting rejected by some, and only receiving sketchy appointments from others, we finally came across one Philippine lady who showed solid interest in the Book of Mormon. There's one! 
Go a little further and there’s this one older Japanese lady who opens up to us. We shared a message about Family History, something the Mission has been trying to push for a while now but nobody has a clue what to do for, and the lady actually showed interest! She gave us all her contact information, asked us to come back next week, and then politely wished us safety home. There’s the second one! 
I wasn’t settling for the earlier, sketchy appointment as an actual investigator, so we go on again until a door opens up to a young, high-school aged Japanese lady. She was chill! Way prepared. I have no idea what approach to use for these kind of people, but just by opening my mouth I sensed that it was filled with the words she needed to hear. I talked about Christ and why he is known around the world. My companion gave excellent support, and the lady said we could come back next week. Even amidst the rain, when you don’t feel like much, the Lord will bless you with guidance towards your goals! 

Loving this area. The members are all fired up now that Elder Miole, a Philippine missionary, has come. He’s probably the first, maybe the only, Philippine missionary that I know. How lucky I am to work with him here! The Member missionary work is going to explode this transfer. I’ll probably get some very interesting tastes of Philippine culture along the way. Anyone ever heard of Balut? 



Elder Cardon

Sunday, October 8, 2017

weekly mission email

This week we were bouncing all over the place between exchanges. On the exchange with the Zone Leaders we ran into this guy who was all a missionary ever asked for. The conversation went something like:

“Good evening, how are you?” (“”=Missionaries and    =guy)
I’m fine, thank are. Are you guys from America? 
“Yeah! We're volunteer missionaries for the Christian Church around the corner.”
Really? I love English, I really want to learn. Would you be my friend? 
“Of course! We are actually teaching English tonight as a community service. Would you like to come?” 
Man, I can’t tonight. Sounds good, though, do you offer anything for the weekends? 
“Well, we can do private lessons for 30 minutes in exchange for a 30 minute introductory explanation about our church. Would you be interested in that?” 
Jesus Christ? I traveled in Europe once and saw all the beautiful Christian churches, and have been curious about Jesus ever since. Yeah, I’m interested. Actually, do you have thirty minutes right now? I’ll buy us drinks and we can talk about it. 

And then we continued to set up a 30/30 appointment and such. It was cool. He was practically asking us for the lessons. 

This weekend in Tsu was a huge お祭り (festival) that happened to land exactly on the street in front of the church. It was great! We did a lot of prep, including:

— Printing and Posting the church name on the windows upstairs so you could see it across the street and over the small shops parked out in front 
— Putting up some street signs pointing people towards a Free Toilet! Wow! 
— Setting up the church lobby so that people were immersed on the way to said toilet. MoTab playing in the background, a BOM display with an array of about 10 different languages, huge posters containing the basic Plan of Salvation pamphlet on it, and such. 
— Opening up the chapel doors, for anybody to walk and take a rest in. A quiet place, and we just happened to have General Conference playing on a TV up front. Some people walked in only because they were curious what the Japanese voice on the TV was saying for the American speaker.  

And then all the missionaries were out front handing out flyers and pointing people to the church. Man, so many people! I’m pretty tired. I haven’t walked and stood for so long in my life. 



Sunday, October 1, 2017

food blog

Don’t even ask.

What a mess of a curry

Hawaiian LocoMoto