Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hot Water

On Friday last week, Elder Medlyn got sick, and I wasn't feeling great myself.  So I took a shower while he slept it off, but the shower water suddenly got cold, so I got out and went to my scriptures and read forty chapters of Isaiah.  (see Mormon 8:23)  I liked the stories about Hezekiah in chapters 37-38, but that might have mostly been because they were a nice change from all of the destruction-and-restoration prophecies in the preceding thirty-six chapters.  We discovered that night that our water heater wasn't working at all.  The next morning we all took freezing cold showers, and then when lunchtime came around we found out that our gas wasn't working either. This meant that our meal options were severely limited, since we cook almost everything on the stove, but it also explained why our water heater wasn't working.  So we called the mission office, and fortunately they got someone to come fix it later that afternoon.

Most water heaters I've seen here in Japan have electronic control panels.  As long as the water heater is turned on, the water is hot.  I've never heard of anyone running out of hot water.  As soon as you turn the heater off, the water goes freezing cold.  When you turn the heater back on, in a moment the water becomes hot again.  I think they just heat up the water as it's flowing instead of heating up a tank of water like they do in America.  The control panel also lets you adjust the temperature of the hot water.  Our apartment in Tama doesn't have a control panel for the water heater, but if you let the hot water in the kitchen run for a minute, it gets hot enough to make hot chocolate with.  ^__^

We had a "zone blitz" last Saturday.  All of the missionaries in our zone came to Tama, and under the zone leaders' direction we all swapped companions three times for an hour each and did different kinds of finding activities.  That day we were focusing on family history.  Our mission, and especially the Machida Stake (where I am), is working on learning how to use family history in missionary work. I happened to meet one of the board members of Toys 'R' Us that day, playing with a remote-controlled boat in a park.  He was friendly but he wasn't very interested in what we had to offer.  We also talked to a bunch of junior-high-school students who were practicing a dance at the park.  Junior-high kids who speak English (or try to) are really entertaining to talk to.  ^__^

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Yesterday I went down to a place called Kamioooka.  It has three of the letter "o" because it has HUGE hills!  (In Japanese it's 上大岡 in kanji, or かみおおおか in hiragana.)  We watched a family receive baptism there.  They were so happy!

There's a squirrel zoo in the next area over from us.  We've been talking about going there some P-day.

They have waterproof pocket notebooks at the dollar store here in Japan.  They really work.  You can use them in the rain and they don't get damaged at all.  They do take some time to dry, though.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

General Conference

Because of the fifteen-hour time difference, it's not really practical to broadcast General Conference live to Japan, so we got it the weekend after.  All of the missionaries assigned to wards in the Machida Stake (including myself) gathered at the Machida Stake Center Saturday and Sunday.  The native Japanese missionaries watched the broadcast in the chapel with the rest of the Japanese people, and the rest of us English-speaking missionaries went upstairs to another room to watch it in English.

On Saturday, the broadcast went from 12:00 - 8:00 pm, with an hour break between each session.  Between the end of the afternoon session (5:00) and the start of the priesthood session (6:00) we ran down to a convenience store and got some dinner, and ate it at the church.  On Sunday, the morning session went from 10 am - 12 pm and the afternoon session started at 1 pm.  Most people brought food with them to eat for lunch.  We brought stuff for peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, but then it turned out that several people brought extra food for all the missionaries, so we were well fed.  ^_^

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


General Conference doesn't get broadcast to the meetinghouses in Japan until the 12th and 13th, so that's when all of the missionaries here will watch all of it.  However, the priesthood session started at 9:00am Sunday in Japan time, so I was able to watch the first two talks before church started at 10.  It was on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and I watched it live, via the church building's wifi, in HD on my iPad.  I thought that was pretty cool.  ^__^

Spring in Japan:

Flying Koi:

The castle at the end of the road is Sanrio Puroland (the Hello Kitty theme park).