Tuesday, September 20, 2016

All good things must end...

Back Row: Sister Nagano, Elders Ogata-Higashi-DiCastri-Tsuchida-Bennett and President Nagano
Front Row: Sisters Hakes-Cook-Gushiken and Crandall
Preparing the last meal... 
Eating the last meal... 
-With President Nagano
Signing the Mission Quilt

Monday, September 12, 2016


Matsudo Zone Conference - September 2016
Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, I will be returning to America this week. I will no longer be using this email, so I would encourage you all to send emails to my personal email account, ameliacrandall@gmail.com, from now on.

Also, I will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting this coming Sunday. You are welcome to come hear me bear testimony.

Lehi 49th ward
Sunday September 18, 2016  1:00 pm
3180 N 300 W
Lehi, UT 84043

Thank you all for your continued support!

With love, Crandall Shimai


Dearest Crandall Shimai and my beloved family:

This my last Hapa email to Crandall Shimai as before next Sunday she'll be removing the nametag and become as one of us -- a non-set apart member of the Church.

I will miss hearing about your adventures, hardships, good and interesting experiences from Japan. We'll miss the dropping in of Japanese words which make no sense to us but mean the world to you.

I'll miss seeing your face as you eat foods that may be strange to us but have become the norm for you (at least to see and smell). Maybe we'll do sushi if you're up to it...

I'll miss the anticipation of waking up most Monday mornings hoping there will be a message from you with a pic or video letting us know you're okay and happy.

I'll also miss your Mom's counting down the days to Mother's Day or Christmas so we can speak with you live... (Five days from now we'll hold you in our arms!)

I'll miss enjoying the videos and hearing your fluency in Japanese and your obvious love for the people over in that part of our Father's kingdom.

Those are some of the things I'll miss. I have a few "I suppose" thoughts about the next few days and next week.

I suppose you'll be staying in the mission home with the President's family and with the other returning missionaries. You'll have great lasting memorable experiences with Pres. & Sis. Nagano who've taken such great care of you. You'll likely shed some tears of joy and sorrow for the separation you'll have to endure.

I suppose you'll get one more chance to go through theTokyo temple. You'll also receive a new recommend from Pres. Nagano.

You may have the chance to see some places you didn't have the time to see, or didn't get to see because of mission rules, etc. It'll make you love Japan even more.

You'll get the chance to say good bye to a few lucky people still on your list. They're lucky because they got to know and love the girl we've known all along.

I suppose you'll get on a plane with excitement and sadness Friday. Sad because it's not an easy thing to just get on a plane and go back without some serious planning and resources. Sad because you'll miss the people and the good experiences. You'll be excited because your big life is so ahead of you.

You'll be excited to see your mom --  she's really relaxed (NOT!) about your return. I'm excited. I just don't show it like she does...

You'll be excited to see the Rah and meet Danny. You'll be completely different than the way Sarah described you to him. That's okay, you two have been apart for years and you've changed.

You'll be excited to unite with Darci again. She's still the great sis and she has grown so much in many wonderful ways. You'll like the condo she's rented and shares with sisters...

You'll be especially excited to see Claire who's all growed up, kinda. She adores Darci and "forces" her to do all kinds of things with her... She'll be that way with you too. You'll love Jessica! She'll be afraid at first and then she'll warm up. You'll also love getting together with Robert & Linds.

Honu has missed you and will be thrilled to have you back!

I suppose you'll be curious about what our Father has in store for you. Just like your mission you'll have to allow Him to disclose it one day at a time. Know that your best days are in front of you. We so look forward to being there for some of them.

Just in case you've forgotten what I look like I've attached a recent photo of me. I hope you know that this father couldn't be more proud of the service you've rendered. You have blessed our family since you departed.

Our Heavenly Father would certainly say: well done thou good and faithful daughter!

This week will be a roller coaster of emotions -- most of them good. We look forward to embracing you this Friday evening and welcoming you home.

Love, Hapa

Monday, September 5, 2016

Lessons Learned in the Temple

Dearest Family:

This week was just perfect.  It was so special.  I had the opportunity to go to the temple with Miki, and it really was the best day ever.  I've looked forward to going to the temple with Miki for my entire mission, and it was so amazing to finally be able to go!  As I sat in the endowment with her, I had this overwhelming feeling that my mission was successful.  I've had a lot of ups and downs on my mission, a lot of miracles and trials, but through it all I feel that I was able to give my all to the Lord.  I was able to give Him my whole will, and because of that my mission has changed me.  I would not be who I am today if not for my mission.

I'm so grateful for all the people I have met on my mission, for the wonderful friends I've made and the many people I've been able to talk to.  I learned so much about myself and about how to open up to others.  I've learned a great deal about charity, and what I need to do to become more like my Savior.  I've learned so much more than I could possibly write, and I know that I will continue to learn more throughout my life.

I love Japan.  I love the people, the land, the culture, and even the bugs.  I love being here, and I will miss everything when I go home.  But, I know that the Lord has so much more in store for me, and I look forward to seeing and experiencing it all.

I love you all so much!  Thank you for your continued support throughout the last year and a half.  I look forward to when we can reunite as brethren and sisters in the Lord.

I know this church is true!  I know that He is the Way to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, my Savior.  I am grateful for living day prophets and continuing revelation.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the light that it brings into my life.

With love, Crandall Shimai

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Dearest Family,

We had zone conference this last week, and it was really weird to be one of the returning missionaries and to bear my testimony.  I actually cried during my testimony, which makes me think that maybe I will be just like my mom.  (*^^*)

On Saturday we had a kubarikai with the ward.  Only a few people showed up, but it was still fun.  Since it was raining and no one was on the streets, we just posted the apartments near the college. Afterwards there was a ward party, and we ate Nagashi Soumen in the church's parking lot.  They set up bamboo that they ran water through so that they could send noodles and stuff down for everyone to eat. That was a terrible description, so I'll send a video.

After the party, we went with Misaki (recent convert) and Yuuka (investigator) to the Tsukuba Matsuri and watched the parade.  It was so cool!  The taiko drums were amazing, and the Omikoshi were so beautiful.  Whenever I see so much culture, I just feel like I want to live in Japan forever.

This week I have the opportunity to go with Miki, one of the first people I met when I came to Japan, to the temple for her to receive her endowment.  I am so grateful for the relationship I have been able to build with her.  I am grateful for her example and for her diligence in the Gospel.  She is such an amazing person!  I am so excited for her to make eternal covenants with her Father in Heaven.

I love the temple!  I love the blessings and knowledge we can receive there.  I look forward to going more regularly when I return home.

I love you all!  Have a fantastic week!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, August 22, 2016


Dearest Family,

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate via broadcast in the Sapporo Shinden dedication! It was an amazing experience! Elder Stevenson conducted the meeting in Japanese, and President Whiting was able to share his thoughts in Japanese as well. I feel like that was very special for the Japanese people. President Nelson (I love him) spoke in English, and was so excited to speak that he often cut off his translator. It was a very special meeting. I was happy to use the white handkerchief I brought from home for the temple dedication in the Hosanna Shout. It was interesting doing it in Japanese. I memorized the lyrics for The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning in Japanese, but was disappointed when we only sang two verses. It was a really great experience though, and I felt an even greater bond with Japan. I will truly miss this place and these people so much.

We've had a lot of rain these last few days (taifuu season), and the other day we saw a rainbow! It was pretty large. I can't remember the last time I've seen a rainbow.

Yesterday we watched The Restoration video (the hour long one) with Yuuka. It kept skipping and freezing, which was probably Satan's fault. It was still really powerful though. We should be meeting with her parents in a week or two.

I am so grateful for Joseph Smith, that even at such a young age he thought so deeply about religious things and was willing to stand by the answers he received. I cannot think of anyone more courageous or more steady than him. Truly, Joseph Smith has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. I am so grateful for his example and for his many sacrifices. I know that he was foreordained to be the prophet of the Restoration. I know that he truly did see God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the Sacred Grove. I know that he received all of the Priesthood keys necessary for our salvation, and I know that we still have those keys today.

I love you all! Crandall Shimai より

Monday, August 15, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends,

My father complained that I did not say more about Sister Hill, so I guess I'll write just a little bit more.

Sister Hill is from Sandy, Utah, the third of four children.  She is super funny and already has a deep love for the people here.  She works hard and is unafraid to try new things.  She's really sweet and a huge support to me.  I am so grateful for her, and I know that she will see so many miracles throughout her mission!

This last week was 山の日、or Mountain Day!  It was the first annual Mountain Day, so we decided to organize a ward activity where we all go hike 筑波山 Mount Tsukuba together!  Only two people came, but it was still way fun.  It was my first time hiking it, and my legs have been ゼリー since.

We ate dinner at a little pond last week, and we had fun playing with the duck and looking at all the turtles.  I'll attach some pictures.
As it is summer break, a lot of our time has been spent teaching English to all of the kids who are out of school.  It has been a lot of fun.

Today is Obon, my favorite holiday.  As you may remember from last year, it is a holiday celebrating (or honoring, I guess) our ancestors.  The Japanese people believe that during this time of year, the Spirit World is closer to the earth, so everyone goes to their graves and prays to their ancestors.  I am so grateful for my ancestors and their choices.  I would not be where I am today, with a knowledge of the restored gospel, if it weren't for my ancestors' decisions.  I look forward to when I can truly embrace the Spirit of Elijah, find my ancestors, and perform saving ordinances in their behalf.  I know that families are forever!

I love you all!  Please be safe!
Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lastborn in the Wilderness...

Dearest Family & Friends... This is Sister Hill!

Sisters Hill & Crandall with the Naganos
Arriving Missionaries 8/2/2016

Note from Crandall Shimai's mission president:

​Brother Crandall,

Thank you for your kind message. We love Sister Crandall very much and she has been one of the most trustworthy sisters we have had in our mission. She loves the Lord, the gospel, her companions and the people in Japan. We have asked her to train again and she is doing a wonderful job. Thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter of God!

Best regards,

永野 卓司
日本東京伝道部 会長

Takuji Nagano
Japan Tokyo Mission
4-25-12 Nishiochiai, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 161-0031