Monday, July 6, 2015

July 5, 2015

Hey everybody! I hope your week went well! Mine went great! Things
were pretty busy, but fun at the same time!

Monday we had our District Activity where we planned on doing Park
Golf which is a mix between real golf and Mini Golf, so we were
excited for that, and then it became a bbq instead! It was way fun! 

And then we had Volleyball again tonight!

Tuesday we had DTM but since the mission office couple is leaving this coming Friday
(7/10) we made goodbye videos to say thanks for all of their hard
work. They're excited to be the Temple President and Matron, but they
were super surprised and didn't expect it at all!

Wednesday we had interviews with President Nakatsuka which was way
cool! I love him so much! He's such a smart great guy! i also got to
see Elder M and T which was fun! I love them both so much!

Thursday we had companion planning meeting and then had a Family 

Home Evening at the church which went well! Everyone seemed to have 
a great time, and O san came so it was great!

Friday we met with N san who is actually coming along pretty
well! He's getting really interested in the Godhead and how they're
separate, as well as Agency so it's been good! Then we played
ping-pong with a young man who went to Youth Conference but isn't a
member, so it was way fun! He seems to be pretty interested, so we're
excited for him!

Saturday we visited some investigators and non-attending members who weren't home so
that was too bad, but we made sure we had fun doing it so that people
who saw us would want to hear from us at some point!

Sunday we had an amazing Fast Sunday, and then a member was super nice
and invited us over for dinner which was so good! But they are super
awesome! Also in Sacrament meeting everyone seemed to talk about missionary
work and the spirit was so strong, so it was amazing!

I'm loving being out here so much, and I can't believe how fast it's
going! Only a few weeks left, but I'm sure they're going to be the
best yet! Love you all tons! Talk to you soon!

Elder Bickel

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Well hey everybody! I hope your week went well! Mine was way fun but a
little crazy! But I'm enjoying it a lot so I'm not too excited to come
home... ;) But I'll be home soon enough... A mission really is fast...

OnMonday we had a fun time for P-day just messing around. We also
had a great time at Mini-Volleyball, and one of the people there knows
G, our investigator! So that was fun!

Tuesday we had DTM on helping investigators understand our purpose and
get them to understand that we have 5 lessons so they'll listen to
them all. Then we had bento lunches, and then studied,
and had a great time at Eikaiwa! It was a fun, but super
crazy day! :)

Wednesday we went to Tobetsu and visited A san who was doing well,
so we taught him the full Lesson one as a review, and then visited a
few other investigators.

Thursday we had DKK and then taught O san about Esther and
having faith that God will help us when we stand up for what's right
so he can possibly come to church on Sundays instead of work. He
seemed to really understand and told us he does want to get baptized,
so we're hoping we can get that to work out well. And since in September, Sacrament
meeting is being moved to the first meeting, he'll at least be able to come to Sacrament Meeting! So we're way excited!

Friday was good as well! We taught N san about the 10
commandments and keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  When we
invited him to church, he didn't say no, so we're going to follow up
and make sure it's a yes. Then we went to Futomi and met with this
Referral  who is a super nice Grandma and she let us
play this super cool Japanese instrument a little bit in her genkan,
and then we talked to her a bit about hymns and how it helps us feel
God's love so it was great!

Saturday was fun cause we got to do a little service! We went out to
Tobetsu to G's house so we could weed her front yard which was way
fun and then they fed us a bunch of food, which definitely wasn't

Sunday was exciting! This week, a former missionary, Sister V and her
family came to visit Shinoro, so I got to talk to them for a bit since
they don't all know Japanese very well. But it turns out that her dad went 

to Olympus High School and also knows the area where we
live, so it was fun to talk to him. Because they were here, we had a
Shokujikai which was super good! I tried to cut back on how much I ate
though cause later that night we had a Member dinner with a Mom, and 

her 22 year old daughter, who have a son out on a mission right now. 
He's been out for about a year, but they also invited a young family 
in the ward to come as well, with the sister missionaries, so it was a 
party! But not only was it a party, it was a taco party! She made real 
american tacos which I haven't had for a long time. The shells were the 
soft flour store-bought shells as well, so it was the real deal!

But that's how the week went! It was fun! Also today we had a
District Activity,  but I'll tell you more about it next week! Love you tons!

Talk to you soon!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 21, 2015

Hey everybody! I hope your week went well! Mine was fantastic!
Although I do kinda feel like more than half of it was spent in a
chair... Kinda like Honbu... ;) hahaha cause basically, as a Trainer,
our study schedule is lengthened. Plus this week, we spent an hour a
day putting the Area Book into our iPads. So it was kinda cool, but it
was long! ;)

But here's how the week went!

Monday: We went with a member to a place called Sapporo Satorando
where we played Park Golf. Park Golf, for those of you who don't know,
is like right in-between Real Golf, and Mini Golf. It's pretty fun,
and it was nice to get to play something new! We had a good time with
that though, and then we just did the regular P-day stuff.

Tuesday: We had our first District Meeting of the Transfer, and it went super well!
The theme for this month's DTM's is Modern day Ammon, so i talked
about how he found his "Investigator's" needs, and taught to them. So
that was good! Then for lunch we went to the Tabehodai again, but
my companion still didn't have his bike, so I ran from the church to the
restaurant while everyone else rode bikes, so I figured I worked off
the stuff I was eating anyway... ;) haha Then we had Eikaiwa which was
fun, and taught everyone about Directions.

Wednesday: Today we actually had Splits with the Zone Leaders. I went
with Elder N, and my companion went with Elder S. But I
went to Kitahiroshima, which is about a 40 min. bike ride from
Atsubetsu, but the ride is absolutely amazing. The scenery was
amazing, and it was just a fun ride. We visited a few investigators,
rode up a massive hill too many times, and then went back which again
was a great ride! ;) Then we visited a member who I actually knew in
Shibetsu, but they had sadly forgotten me, so that was a little bit of
a bummer, but I can't really expect much more, since I was only there
for 6 weeks...

Thursday my companion was kinda sick, so we let him sleep to get over
it quick, but I was able to write in my journal for a while, and do
some more study! Then we went and visited a member who hasn't been
coming to church to deliver the Teachings of the Prophets Ezra Taft
Benson book that we use in Priesthood meetings, and he was very happy!

Friday we got to do our Weekly Planning, and then visit our
investigator N-san. He's doing really well, and is coming along
well. He is still super interested in good and evil, so we're trying
to show him that God's commandments show us what's good which will
help us be blessed, and not following God's commandments is evil. So
we'll see if it works.

Saturday we went out to Tobetsu and actually met with G! We talked
with her for a while and she said she wants to do a Bible study, as
well as she'd appreciate it if we came and helped weed their garden,
so we'll be getting some good service in. Also her husband came out
and talked with us, and while he doesn't really like religion in
general, he seems to really like us so that was good! We're probably
going to pass them to the Sisters, but keep in contact.

Sunday was great! We had a way good time at church, and then went to
the Elder's Quorum Activity Planning Meeting which was fun. The
Elder's Quorum President asked us to come, so we helped out with that,
and then actually went with him to visit some non attending members in the ward which
was great!

But this week's been a blast! My companion is way funny and we're
getting to be good friends! But I love you all, and I'll talk to you

Elder Bickel

June 14, 2015

Well this week was great! I got my new companion and his name is Elder
L from a place called Kelso Washington which is closer to
Portland Oregon than it is to Seattle, but since Seattle is still
Washington, he just says he's from Seattle cause no one knows Kelso!
;) But he's super nice, pretty funny, and excited to work hard out

But Monday, we had our District activity and we did a Shuji(Japanese
Calligraphy) activity, where we got the Shuji stuff, and then did it
at the church, and went to a All-you-can-eat Buffet which was way fun!
I ate a ton, and we actually went to the same one the previous
friday(see last week's email), and then had Dinner with the S
family for their Family Home Evening. We taught a lesson on Jesus
Christ.   They were sad to hear that my companion would be leaving, 
but we made it a really fun night.

Tuesday we partied at Eikaiwa with the students for Elder S's and
Sister K's last time in the ward. We got to have some good snacks
and have some good conversations with everyone. We also had Zone
Training Meeting in Atsubetsu, which actually went a lot better than
we thought it would. We didn't have any time to really prepare either
of our workshops, so we just planned the best we could and did it by
the Spirit But it was great!

Wednesday I went to Honbu to pick up my new companion and get some
training with him. I spent the training translating from Japanese to
English cause he was the only Gaijin bean this transfer! So that was
kinda cool! Then we had dinner at the Nakatsuka's which was delicious,
and then the Bean's first testimony meeting in the mission. Then I
said goodbye to Elder S and Elder T for the last time in a
long time, cause they're both training and it's not likely I'll see
them again until long after the mission, so that was kinda sad, but it
was good to get to say bye!

Thursday we did companion planning and taught O-san! It was great! He's been
doing well lately, and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon
more, so we're hoping it'll help him out. We also went with M
Kyodai to a sushi place for lunch which was way nice of him and was
super good!

Friday we went a few places, including visiting the I family
because they are going on a couples mission to the Tokyo temple,
well…today, so we talked with them and then housed for a little bit
and saw some cool success!

Saturday we tried to visit a bunch of people in Tobetsu but they weren't
home, and then went to the ward to start planning a Music night for
hopefully before I leave... After that, we ran to a member's house to
have dinner with them which was super nice of them. The member has a
cool conversion story where he was drinking like 2 liters of
alcohol a day, and was just able to quit it without any problems! It
was way cool!

Sunday we had church, and my companion gave his testimony, which was
good. Then we talked a ton with the members, and actually had Ward
Council. But that went good, and then we had lunch, went home, and had
our study time. Because Elder L is in training right now, we have
a lot longer study time so it's been long, but good!

But that was the week! I hope everyone's doing great, and I'll talk to you soon!

Love you tons!

Elder Bickel

June 7, 2015

Hey everybody! How's your week been? Mine's been a little crazy, but
it's been great!

So first off, Monday: We went to a place called Round 1 where you just
play a bunch of sports, with a member named M Kyodai who served a
mission in the Nagoya Mission about 5 years ago, and is way cool! He's
really into movies and stories and stuff, and one of his favorites is
Singin' in the Rain, so it was fun to talk to him about that type
of stuff, as well as his mission, cause he was in Honbu for 5
transfers! Then we went to the Mini Volleyball and talked to a bunch
of people and did pretty well in the tournament they had this week! It
was a party!

Next was Tuesday: On Tuesday we had DTM where I taught about
becoming good Leaders, and then for lunch we went to sushi at
Matsuriya which was way good! We also had Eikaiwa where we talked with
everybody about the Weather and just had a good time. The Shinoro
Eikaiwa doesn't have a ton of people, but it has really fun people so
it's great!

Wednesday was fun! We went to Tobetsu to deliver a picture of Christ
to G and her family, but no one was home, so we just left it on
their doorstep. Then we went to A san's but he wasn't home, so we
ran home, had lunch, and dendoed in the rain! It rained super hard,
but it wasn't too bad cause we just used umbrellas as we walked and
talked to people. So it was fun! We also got to visit a member who
hasn't been coming to church, but was baptized when he was 19 in
Asahikawa! Then he came to Moiwa, and then to Kushiro, and now lives
in Shinoro but he knew some people I know so it was fun!

Thursday: We had companion planning and got a bunch of stuff planned for this coming
week and for ML Kaigi, and then we went to the church to meet with
O san to watch Legacy with him. It's about the Pioneers and it
was really fun! He said he was glad he didn't have to go through that,
and that the persecution has gone down a lot! So I think he's starting
to count himself as one of us, so he'll realize he needs to be
baptized quick!

Friday: On our way to visit an inactive member, we met K Kyodai
who is a super nice, strong member of the ward. As we started to talk
to him, he said that the member we were visiting wasn't home, but then
offered to take us to dinner on Saturday. We said that'd be fine, and
then he asked about the Sisters. So we called them, and they said they
couldn't do it on Saturday, so he said he'd just take us tonight then.
So we met up with him and the Sisters at 6 at a Tabehodai where we
stuffed ourselves! It was super good and there was a delicious grape
ice cream! There was also a bunch of really good Yakiniku and cream
puffs, so I was very satisfied by the end of that meal! ;)

Saturday: We went to Honbu so we could be there for Mission Leader Meeting! We had a
great time there and learned a ton and worked hard to help the
mission. I also got to see some old friends from Honbu, as well as
some missionaries that are going home next week, so it was really nice. I
also got to talk to G 長老 who is doing well, and excited to meet
my family. Then we headed home, and started prepping for Zone Training
meeting for Tuesday.

Sunday: We had a really good time at church, and then got to talk to a
bunch of super funny members about transfers. They really love us and
didn't want either of us to transfer, but still enjoy joking with us
about what's going to happen. Then tonight we got our transfer
calls(my last real one...) and found out that my companion will be
going to Kitahiroshima with N 長老 to be ZL, and I will be
staying in Shinoro to be a District Leader and... TRAINER! Ya! I'm way
excited, but a little nervous, cause I don't want to ruin the poor
Elder's mission experience... ;) hahaha But it'll be fun. Especially
for my last transfer.

So that's the week for you! Hope your's went well, and I hope your
coming week goes great as well! I love you all tons, and I'll talk to
you soon!

Elder BIckel

May 31, 2015

Well hey everyone! How're you doing? I'm doing well, just roasting
like a pig all dressed up nice. It's super hot right now! It's like 82
degrees outside, and we're outside a lot... Don't worry though, I'm
drinking a lot of water! ;) But here's how the week went!

Monday: We went with our investigator to this Vegan restaurant(she's
vegan) but it was actually way good. I started to think about becoming
vegan, but then realized that I'm a missionary in Japan, and there's
no way it'd be possible, plus when I'm back, I'll be enjoying steak
and hamburgers and hotdogs and I realized I just couldn't do it. But
then we went with the investigator to the Nakatsuka's Family Home
Evening which was way fun! I got to see everybody and our investigator
had a really good time so it was great!

Tuesday: We went to the Toyohira District Meeting to help out H 長老 if he
needed any since he is a new DL this transfer, but he did great, so we
just got to sit, listen, and participate! It was great! Then we came
back, and had Eikaiwa tonight! Eikaiwa was fun and we taught everyone
about health. It was kinda a hard one, but it worked out ok!

Wednesday: Today we had our District Meeting where I taught a workshop on being
obedient. (Man I love Obedience, it's like my favorite topic...) And
it went really well, and then we went to Atsubetsu to split with the
Atsubetsu Elders so I could do a Baptismal Interview for one of their investigators. The investigator passed and was super happy. She's deaf, so I had an interpreter, but she's super nice and it was a great experience. I also got to see some members from Eniwa-Chitose as well as one from Ebetsu and talk to them, so it was really natsukashii (nostalgic)! Then
we headed home!

Thursday: Thursday we had companion planning and got a bunch of stuff planned out for
the next week since it's the week before transfers, and we're pretty sure one of us is transferring since we've been together for 2, but we're going to be super busy! It'll be nice to be busy, cause a busy missionary, is a happy missionary. Then we met with O san and taught him about the Signs of the Second Coming which he thought was really interesting.

Friday: Today was good! We met with N-san and had a good
lesson about Good and Evil and Baptism. He really felt the Spirit so
we're excited to see him progress! Other than that, not much happened

Saturday: We met with an investigator named G. She is Phillipina
and is really nice. She has a nice family and we got to talk to them
for a while. They also were kind enough to do a bbq for us which was
way good! Also the Dad is a really good guitar player so he played some
songs for us. So that was pretty sweet. Then we visited the F
Family, and got to talk with them for a while. They are super nice,
and are super strong in the Gospel! They're great!

Sunday: Well as you know, today was the 5th Sunday, so we had a
combined lesson which the Bishop taught about applying the Love of
Christ more in our lives! Then my companion taught a lesson about the
Gift of the Holy Ghost for Sunday school, and then Sacrament Meeting
was great. After church we went home, visited a bunch of Non-Attending
Members, as well as the Ward Mission Leader, and the K family who
gave us a list of people we should go visit who haven't been coming to
Church lately. Then we headed back and crashed on our futon's and
died. Well not really died, but after planning and Hokoku and stuff,
we slept like babies! ;)

But that was the week! I hope yours went super well! Talk to you soon!

Elder Bickel

May 24, 2015

Well hey everybody! I hope your week went well! Mine was really fun, but super windy and kinda rainy! :)

On Monday we went to Sapporo so Elder S could get a new watch.  Sadly it was a little damaged(the second hand was off the marks), so we're probably going to take it back. Then we went to Tobetsu to do the Mini Volleyball again with the member, so it was way fun! It's
basically volleyball on a super small court but the ball is like a blow up beach ball... So it's definitely not the same... ;) But we had fun with it!

Tuesday was fun! Since K 長老 is a new DL in our Zone we decided to sit-in on his DTM and it was really good!  Then we went home, and visited a few investigators and then had Eikaiwa which was fun, and we taught people about body parts. Then we played a game called fruits basket, as well as we did a game that tests their English Listening skills, and reflexes! It was pretty funny! ;)

Wednesday! We made a Baptismal Date! Yah! So we went out to Tobetsu to visit our investigator and when we got there, he was just making lunch so he says to come back later. So we start going around and housing some places, and then we met this way cool Philippine woman who talked to us for a while named G. And then we went back to the
investigator's house, taught him about Baptism and then made a Baptismal date with him. He is going to be baptized on June 21st!  We're super excited! Then we went and visited our Bishop and talked to him about various Non-Attending Members and he told us a bunch of
names to go visit, so it was great!

Thursday we had our District Training Meeting, and even though it was the 3rd week of the transfer, it was our first DTM so far, so it was kinda weird, but I taught the workshop on Understanding and Knowing the Doctrine of the Missionary Lessons cause we have a lot of young missionaries in our District. So that was great, and then we came back, had DKK and then went to a FHE at our Ward Mission Leader's house with an Investigator(O san) and a recent convert. We had a way good time with them, and taught a message about Heavenly Father. The Spirit was way strong, and we hope it'll help both of them strengthen their testimonies and become stronger in the Gospel.

Friday we visited a ton of non attending members that we were referred to us by the Bishop.  Then we visited N san who's been doing well this week, and we tried to make a Baptismal date with him too, but he kinda ran from that... But he still wants to meet, so
we're going to keep on working for that. Then we visited the K family who are also doing well, and they gave us a few referrals as well.

Saturday we again visited a bunch of non attending members and then went to a Baptism of an 8-year old in the ward. He had a really good baptismal meeting and it was just a great spirit. Then we helped a member translate a church video into Japanese, and then went to the Shinkotoni Music night. We got to talk to a bunch of members, investigators so it was
way good!

Sunday we had Church, and then a Shokujikai afterwards. It was super good! There was a ton of just delicious food that we had, and then we had a Temple Fireside from the Temple Missionaries who told us all about the Sapporo temple. Then we went home, had Companionship Study, and then we visited a member who is a super cool guy! He is a returned missionary from Nagoya, but was a convert and went on a mission after only a year and a half! But he's way cool and we had a great time talking to him about Dendo and stuff.

But that was the week, and it was great! This week's looking pretty busy, so I'll let you know how it went! Love you all tons! Talk to you soon!

Elder Bickel