- Visit the Country – See the country through your own eyes. There is nothing magical here but it helps take out the mystery of what the country really is and isn’t. This is a reality check.
- Take Someone with Experience – Take a mentor or a missionary friend who has experience in survey trips and let them give their perspective on everything. Since he isn’t moving there he will probably notice things you won’t or choose to look over.
- Ask Questions – Ask as many questions as possible and record the answers. Always have a notebook on you or electronic device to record everything. Prepare all of your questions in advance and write them down and take them with you, otherwise you will forget.
- Take Notes – As you are doing research before your trip, you should start taking notes and making a notebook that can help you not only plan the trip but that will also aid in forming your strategy. Make a detailed outline of everything that you do on the trip and write as many thoughts about each part of the trip as you can. For example, as you visit different cities write your first impressions and things that you see.
- Meet Missionaries – You are going to the country as a missionary and so you need to meet missionaries in the country to find out what their circumstances and get answers to your questions. They are going to be the most valuable asset when asking questions. But missionaries say a lot of dumb things so you have to ask a lot of them a lot of questions and come to your own conclusions. Visit their houses, ministries and ask about support, adapting, language, etc. Ask the missionary who they who would talk to if they were moving there and then get other contacts and phone numbers to make other appointments.
- Visit Churches – Find out what is being done and what they say can and can’t be done. You can visit a missionaries church and a national’s church. If the national doesn’t speak English and there is no translator, then don’t go. Ask question while you are there and find out as much as possible.
- Visit Language Schools – Within 45 days of leaving for the field you need to be in language school, therefore you need to know where yo start. Visit several different schools to see what options you have and find out the price and application process. You can always change schools alter but you need somewhere to start.
- Look at Houses or Apartments – Find a real estate agent that can take you to look at a place for rent, visit a missionary’s house or ask them to take you around and looked at different neighborhoods. Collect information about prices, areas, size, etc.
- Visit Temples Etc. – See the religious culture firsthand and found out what it is they actually believe.
- Visit Grocery Stores, Appliance Stores and Markets – Visiting these places can give you a quick note to what is easy to find and home much things cost. You can easy price things, write it down for a later reference and see what appliance are available and how much they cost.
- Transportation – Take as many transportation options as you can and that don’t inconvenience the trip. I prefer to take taxis since it is the easiest way to get around but also check out the other options available and see how easy or hard it is to use them to get around.
- Get a Bird’s Eye View – Find the tallest point in the city and go there to get a view of the city. Pray over the city and realize the task ahead of you.