I am here! (Claire) I don't think you bought 51 yet. If I had a dictionary I could probably translate it, but I don't know where Oda lives. Kaicho means president. I do speak Japanese with Sister Rogers (much to her delight because her last companion didn't know much Japanese at all). I'm definitely not fluent yet though. It's hard to understand what other people are saying, but somehow the spirit and my companion piece it all together for me. I flew over in a group of 8 missionaries going to Japan (me, another sister, and 6 elders) and then there were some missionaries going to the Phillipenes on the same flight. Yay for blogs! Here's some mission prep adivice that I have:
1. You can't take water from an empty bucket. If you don't have a testimony that God answers prayers, that he loves you and everyone on this earth, that he WILL help you, go get one. If you don't have a testimony that you can recieve personal revelation, go get one. If you don't have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is a true and powerful tool of God, go get one. If you don't have a testimony of the importance of church attendance, GO GET ONE. If you don't have any experience teaching another person or sharing your testimony, or praying in front of others, YOU NEED TO START NOW. Fill your bucket.
2. Study from Preach My Gospel. If you can, read the whole thing before you come. If you can't, read Ch 3. Also, read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People if you can. It helps straighten out your priorities.
3. Even more important than preparing to go on a mission is preparing to make and KEEP temple covenants. Attend a temple prep class. Talk to people about what it's like in the temple. You can actually talk about a lot of things. Tell people as you're talking to them that if they don't feel comfortable talking about it they don't have to. Especially talk to your bishop and stake president. They know a lot. There was an article published in the June or July 2012 Ensign titled "Preparing to Go to the Temple" or something like that. Read it and the related stuff it reccomends.
4. Be obedient. The mission rules and standards of the church are not made because the Bretheren want cookie cutter members or because God wants us to be special or even because it'll be healthy. The mission rules and standards of the church are for your LITERAL spiritual and physical safety. For example, one rule is to not get up earlier or stay up later than you companion because you want to have some alone time. This is a prime time for Satan to attack you, to whisper things about you, your performance, your companion, what have you. Thus, go to bed at the same time. Be obedient and be happy about it.
5. It'll be hard. A mission is like 50 years of everday membership in the church crammed into a few months. You'll have ups and downs everyday. Don't freak out because of it. It's natural, normal, and everyone goes through it. You are creating an intimate relationship with God when you go on a mission. Because of that, Satan is going to pound you hard. This is one reason you've got to have a full bucket. If your bucket is empty, Satan can crush it. It's hard, but that kind of a relationship with God is definitely worth it. Endure to the End.