Hey everybody! This week's been another great one! Here's how it went:
Monday: So today was a little more relaxed, but still pretty crazy. We did a super deep cleaning of our apartment because it was a mess, and did the shopping. Then we went to do a little fun shopping and went to the Hobby Off which is a recycle shop aka. thrift shop to just mess around. The thrift shops in Japan are way better than the thrift shops in America though! They have so many cool things other than clothes that people would actually want to buy! ;) Some examples are original in the box N64's, Super Nintendo's, game boy color's and a bunch of old classic stuff, as well as cards or basically anything... After our fun little souvenier shopping was done we went to go email. After email we went to talk to some potential investigators but they weren't home so it didn't quite work out. We then had to walk our bikes and the other Elder's bikes home because they had gone into Sapporo to go to a family night thing at Honbu. So we both had two bikes and were just walking along the main road. Naturally we got some pretty strange looks... ;) but it worked out ok! Dinner we had these Yakisoba bento's. The type of thing where you just add hot water. But these one's are super smart! You add water to cook the noodles, then pour the water into a cup, and make soup with seasoning that they give you, and then you've got noodles with all of the seasonings for Yakisoba, and soup!
Tuesday: So today was pretty rainy. So everyone in our district brought our rainsuits for District Training Meeting. We also had to make this movie for President Evan's birthday. So we put on our rainsuits and did this thing where we spelled out 'Happy', 'Birth', and 'day' and then disappeared and it actually looked kinda cool! I wanted to get a copy of the video and just use that for birthday presents and say 'Hey I got my whole district together to do this for you!' but the video wouldn't copy so I'll have to come up with something else... For DTM lunch today we went to this place that had burgers with 5 patties and 5 pieces of cheese for 500 yen which is about 5 bucks so we tried it out and they were massive! I did eat it all in case you were wondering... ;) We then had Eikaiwa which was on Colors and shapes today so in the advanced class we went pretty complicated which was pretty funny! We said stuff like 'to feel blue' or 'green with jealousy' and crazy things like that. So it was pretty fun!
Wednesday: So today I felt like I was picking up more of the language, but I know there's still a ton to learn and it'll take time. The day was pretty normal and we just housed and went around trying to find people, but we just had fun while doing it. But ya sorry today there isn't a whole lot to tell...
Thursday: So today was DKK (weekly planning) and for part of it, D Choro showed me his 'black hole', which is where he has all of his Japanese junk that he's picked up in the past year and a half that he is going to take home with him. The thing I was most jealous of, and really the one thing I cared about was one of his card games. It's this werewolf game called Jinroh, which is absolutely awesome! It has the possibility of 42 people playing and having a character and being engaged in the game. There are a ton of new cool characters and to be honest it's better than Rebokavonia (if you don't know what this is, don't worry about it). :) Anyway, we decorated our study room a little bit with pictures of Christ and the map of our area so it would provide a better atmosphere for studying, and then went to have dinner with the Stake President and the rest of the missionaries. We had tonkatsu and curry, and it totally reminded me of Mom's and it may not have been quite as good, but it was still very good, and it was a nice little reminder of home. Tonight the Zone Leader's came for splits so we prepped with food, soda, and Jinroh! We played it for a while and then went to bed.
Friday: So today was our day to go on Splits with the Zone Leaders so I went with R Choro who is on transfer 14, is an amazing musician, and is super funny! He is actually taking the test to be certified as fluent in Japanese, and he came into the field with MTC level Japanese which was very reassuring to me that I can learn it too. But ya splits were a blast, we talked a bunch, and I asked for advice. He told me just to make sure you're happy, and just chill and don't worry about it. Things will work out how they're supposed to, so if we stress about things we won't be able to have the Spirit which is key for missionary work. One other cool thing he said was that, there technically is only a set amount of things that we need to learn before we become perfect, and on a mission we learn a lot. But on a mission, we may learn personally, but we all basically learn the same stuff if we're trying. Pretty sweet. We also had this YSA activity that the Sisters put together but it was pretty strange... But it had free food, so we were all right with going! ;) Oh also, Sister Evans called me and asked me to put together a special musical number for the Zone Training Meeting in two weeks so I'm singing... Let's hope I do ok... ;)
Saturday: So today we were pretty busy. We went and met with our investigator and played ping pong and frisbee, until we had to run to teach a lesson with the Ward Mission Leader to an old lady who lives pretty far away. We taught her for about an hour and a half during which she said that D Choro and I were very handsome and that we could be actors which was kinda funny coming from an 80-year-old Japanese woman. We then went and visited some PI's (potential investigators) and NA's (non actives) which was kinda cool. While doing it, we had a great view of the sunset, and it was absolutely amazing! It was a little cloudy near the sun, but not enough to block the view like usual. But so the sun turned the clouds first to this amazing bright orange, then it wentto a pinkish color, then to a good pink, then to light purple, purple, and then it was dark. But it was really really cool! It's rare to actually see the sunset here though because it's pretty cloudy, and there's no mountains so you have to make sure there aren't many buildings in the way of your view. So we were super lucky to get to see it!
Sunday: So today was pretty good! It was Fast Sunday today, and we'll watch Conference next week probably. Anyway, the day didn't go by too quickly, but we did do a lot so it was ok. We set up some lessons with members to practice and to get them excited for missionary work, then we tried to visit all of the young men in the ward. Only one is active right now and there's 7 total so we went to each house and invited them personally to the ward Halloween party. They don't live in the same neighborhood though so we were biking a ton! After that we went to the church for a little bit to practice our musical number. We basically got it down and just need to continue practicing so we'll be good enough for the ZTM coming up. If we're good enough we'll be singing for this Music Fireside coming up, which is a pretty big thing so hopefully we'll make it! Dinner was pretty crazy... We had udon noodles in a soup curry that we threw all of our vegetables and spices into, and also had some cereal, and we were seriously considering making dessert as well... We are now basicaly out of food... haha but oh well, we're shopping tomorrow.
But ya that was the fun week, and I'll write again next week! Hopefully all is well with everyone, and I wish all those who are struggling with anything the best wishes possible!
Elder Stephen Bickel