Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Week in Japan!


Hey everybody! I`m now in Japan!
So Monday this week we woke up at 2:30 so we could say goodbye to the half of our district that was going to Sendai, and also so we could leave ourselves. We left the MTC at 4:30am! Crazy right!? we hopped on a plane and flew to Seattle, and then to Osaka Japan. The Osaka airport is actually a pretty cool place! We had some Japanese food and looked around, but since everything is in Japanese it was kinda hard to understand what everything meant or what was going on ;) I slept for almost all 15 hours of flight time so I was expecting to be super jet lagged right? But, I slept super well on Tuesday night (we lost a day because of the time difference) and have slept super well each night since. So that`s monday and tuesday.
Wednesday: My first full day in Sapporo Japan! I was so excited! We had a full day of training where we got our bikes, debit cards, training materials, and our new companions and areas. I sent this home already, but I'm in Ebetsu with D Choro!  We`re whitewashing the area(starting fresh) cause he was the recorder at the honbu(mission home) and there used to be only two elders in Ebetsu. So I live with K Choro, S Choro, and D Choro. Anyway, back to Wednesday. I placed(helped at least) my first Book of Mormon in the field which was way cool! We stayed at the Honbu that night since D Choro had to finish training the new recorder so we travelled to our area the next morning.
Thursday: Today after our study and all of that good stuff, we went to the Sapporo train station and met up with all of the other missionaries that were transferring. There were a ton of people I didn't know who all wanted to talk to the new guy so I ended up saying Hajime mashite(good to meet you) a lot... We stopped in this massive store that is like a physical Amazon.com cause you can find anything in the world in that store! It's massive and has everything! We then went to catch a train to our area. It gets dark here really early. Like at 6 o'clock so that kinda killed me and I have had a little jet lag, but it just gets me to sleep quickly. Everyone thinks that I sleep so quickly and a ton, but that's not a bad thing so I'll get used to it. We grabbed me an electronic dictionary, a clicker(counter device that we use to keep track of how many people we contact a day), a pillow, and a few other items I'll need to get started. We made plans for the week, and Streeted and Housed as well, which was scary cause they don't really know English, and I don't really know Japanese... But it was fun. I also talked with the Bishop on the phone which was super scary. But it worked out.
Friday: Wow, what a day! I really don't know the language which makes things tough. I want to be able to stop people and share this wonderful gospel with them, but I just don't know how to in Japanese. However, D Choro is helping me out and I'm starting to get the hang of the basics. The problem is when they talk back to me... ;) There are some interesting drinks here in Japan... One's called a Bikkle so everyone who hears my name thinks it's so cool that there's a drink with my name on it... I tried it the other day and I don't actually think it's that good though haha... However there is this soda called Calpis soda and it is super hard to describe, but it's actually pretty good. It's kinda like a grapefruit, but not really, but it's good which is what matters. ;) Also there's one called Orangina which is like orange juice with carbonation and it's actually very good. The candy here is also good, but maybe I'm just Japanese at heart and so that's why I like this stuff... ;) Also there are no Left-turn-on-red here. And I know there's not in the US either, but we drive on the left side of the road so that also takes a little getting used to. Also they count bikes as vehicles... So I am driving a vehicle my whole mission! How cool is that right? ;)
Saturday: So today we went to D Choro's old investigators here because this is actually where he was trained. His trainer was a recorder at Honbu, and trained him here, and now he was the recorder and is training me at Ebetsu, so people are thinking I'm going to be the recorder and train in Ebetsu. We'll see if it actually happens, but it'd be interesting for sure. But ya we talked to this lady he knew for like 2 and a half hours on her porch and by the end of it my feet were so tired that I think I fell asleep that night within like 2 minutes! Everyone else laughed, but I felt great the next morning! ;) We are having some great times together so I'm really excited for this transfer.
Sunday: So today was my first Sunday in Japan and I didn't even get to go to church. We had stake conference instead which was way cool, but I couldn't understand a single word that was going on. They speak super fast, and I don't have a huge vocabulary here so that's been interesting... Especially since I "Talk like I'm 40..." ;) Also I was talking to Sister Evans, and she has now recruited me to sing the Messiah this Christmas... I guess we'll see how that goes... We also went to the other Elder's baptism that they had. We did a musical number that we put together the night before for 30 minutes, but it actually turned out ok... But it was really cool to see the baptism happen here in Japan since most people we've talked to aren't very interested in the church. So we got all fired up seeing that and I think I'm going to get a baptism this transfer. Well a funny little thing that happened today was our Daily Planning at the end of the night. It went for an hour and 20 minutes!!!!! It usually doesn't but today was different because of our activities today.
Monday(aka. Today): So today we have a Baseball game that we're going to as a mission activity, and only the missionaries close enough to the Honbu are allowed to come. However we still need to clean, dendo(missionary work), shop for food (we're basically out...), and find out how to get there and back. Now you see why the Daily Planning took so long. ;) We ended up deciding to come email at this internet cafe (our ward building and apartment don't have computers) and bike to Sapporo and back. It's been interesting, because K Choro got a flat tire about halfway to the internet cafe, and now we're going to try to find a train station to get us there and back. It'll work out though. The Lord takes care of his missionaries! But ya I'm loving it here, and I am excited to let you know all of the fun times I'm having!
Talk to you next week!!!!
Love,
Elder Bickel

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