Monday, April 27, 2015


The District
Dearest Family, Friends, and Missionaries,

This last week I stressed a lot about the upcoming Tenkin Happyou... Transfer calls! Teruya Shimai and I have seen so many miracles this tenkin, and I am so grateful for her wonderful example! I was hoping that we would be able to work together for at least one more transfer, especially since we have three baptisms planned for May... But the Lord has called Teruya Shimai to serve elsewhere. She will be training one of my douki from the MTC! I will be staying in Matsudo for another transfer, with Sakamoto Shimai! I feel so grateful to be able to stay. I know that I will see many more miracles this next tenkin!

We met with Reika last week, and we invited her to be baptized! She accepted the date of May 31st, so we will work toward that. The Young Women have been wonderful in participating in lessons and fellowshipping our investigators. They are really feeling the fire of missionary work, and I believe that it will continue to spread to the rest of the ward as well. As the ward gets involved, miracles happen. Missionary work is nothing without the members!

The Zone
One interesting thing about the Tokyo Mission is that we do a lot of phone dendou, meaning we teach people over the phone! A lot of people are too busy to meet, but we can teach them lessons over the phone. It shows how God has prepared means for us to do His work. We're also going to start using Skype more because Miki, who is supposed to get baptized on May 10th, lives far away and hasn't been taught very many lessons. The opportunities available to us excite me. This truly is the Lord's work, and He will hasten it.

I feel very inadequate in many regards. I have difficulty understanding my investigators, and I have difficulty saying the things I want to say. I know that as I rely on the Savior in all things, I will be able to say the things He would have me say. He can turn my weaknesses into strengths.

I am so grateful for my mission. I feel that I am learning so much about what I want in life, who I want to become, the kind of person I want to marry... I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a step back from life and see how I can improve. There are so many things I want to change when I go back.

I know that my Redeemer lives!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



Konnichiwa from Matsudo! I hope all is going well!

This week has been crazy! We taught twelve lessons in the last two days, and we've seen so many miracles! We had Sisters' Temple PDay, as mentioned in my previous email, and zone meeting. Regardless of that, we were able to meet mission standards for the first time this transfer! We had at least twenty lessons, at least two investigators came to church, and we have two new investigators! Things are really going crazy here in Matsudo, and not just for the sisters. The chouroutachi are also seeing a bunch of miracles.

Yesterday, Teruya Shimai and I went on splits right after church. Teruya Shimai taught our new investigator, Hibiki, and I taught our eternal investigator, Isono san. Isono san has been investigating the church for eleven years now, and she has never read the Book of Mormon completely! I taught about its importance with Anderson Shimai. I could only bear simple testimony of its truthfulness, but I felt that that was enough. However, Isono san still declined my invitation to read every day with her son. She says that she does not have faith and does not want to read the book. It makes me really sad to see her refuse to feel that peace, but I know that the choice is hers. I look forward to the day when some missionary can touch her heart and bring her back to her Father in Heaven. Afterward, I joined Teruya Shimai's lesson with Hibiki san and three wakai jyosei, and I was informed that Hibiki san accepted the commitment to be baptized on the 24th of May! It was so relieving. Teruya Shimai said that the young women basically taught the entire lesson, which is as it should be. Hibiki san really loved church, and the wakai jyosei in the ward were really good with befriending her.

What's interesting is that two of the wakai jyosei who participated in the lesson went to a birthday party a few weeks ago that we also went to, and we were able to start a relationship with them. The Lord was preparing us to work together to teach Hibiki chan, I think. Hontou ni a cool kiseki I think.

Teruya Shimai has several nicknames for me. One is Pocky, because my limbs are always popping and she thinks it sounds like breaking pocky. She also calls me a Scripture Vending Machine because she can tell me what kind of scripture she wants and I can always find one for her.

Every store I go to in Japan has super magical music. Not just that, but every day at 5:00 pm, a song is played really loudly all throughout Matsudo. It is so happy, and every time I get super excited. Teruya Shimai has been in Matsudo for seven months and is tired of the song. The music here in Japan makes me feel as if I am in a Pokemon game. It's really interesting.

I was reading the Book of Mormon a few days ago, and I read Alma 17:2-3. I've always loved this scripture, but it seemed a lot more meaningful this time. At this time, my friends and I have all gone our separate ways to preach the truth that we love, and someday we will all be reunited as brethren and sisters in the Lord. I really look forward to that time. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends with standards that match my own.

I love you all! Keep smiling! The Lord is always watching out for you! He wants to protect you!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sisters' Temple PDay

Dear Friends and Family,

We had a temple PDay on Tuesday, so our PDay schedule was kind of mixed up. Most sisters had time to email after the temple, but all of the new missionaries had a training that we missed at the beginning of the transfer. Instead of doing PDay on Monday, we had exchanges, so here we are on Wednesday finally emailing.

The temple was so wonderful! It was so natsukashii (nostalgic) to go since I haven't been in several weeks. I feel so blessed to be on a mission where we can go every transfer! We were running late, so in my haste I didn't even see the temple until we were right next to it! It's really tall, and it was hard to take pictures of it. The inside really reminded me of the Provo Temple, except for the cool Japanese style art pieces. The temple is definitely the best.

Last week, before Eikaiwa, I prayed that someone new would come that we could teach. I was a little disappointed when no one new came, but our investigator named Mizuki did come back from Sendai, so we visited with her afterwards. The contrast between when she left and when she came back was so stark! She suddenly had a bunch of kyoumi (interest) and actually treated us as missionaries (instead of just friends). She said that while in Sendai, she thought a lot about the church, and she said that she always feels something different when she talks to the missionaries. We invited her to be baptized, and she said that if she feels this is true, then she will be baptized! We want to set up a date tonight. Although no one new came to Eikaiwa, teaching Mizuki is like starting all over with good expectations. It truly is interesting how the Lord works.

We had to drop an investigator on Friday, which was really hard. But, when we got home, we got a call from the elders about a girl who is super interested in learning more about the church. The Lord immediately filled that hole in our hearts. It was such a tender mercy. The girl, Hibiki, came to Conference on Saturday! I think she was a little confused (and she was worried that there were no nihonjin in the ward here), but she still really liked it. We look forward to working with her more.

Speaking of Conference... It was so good! There were so many talks about marriage and family. I feel like the focus is coming off of missionary work and more onto preparing for future family life – at least, that's what a current missionary/future mother heard. The talks were all so inspiring. I especially liked President Packer's talk. He was so straightforward. I think some other themes from Conference that stood out to me were the importance of covenants, maturity, and the importance of actions over words (that last one is what Mizuki learned when she came to Conference). I love Conference! I am so grateful that we have living prophets and continuing revelation from God. I am grateful that the Conference talks are already online (in English, at least) so that I can go back and study.

I'm starting to get better at finding. Talking to strangers has always been difficult for me, but I know that the Lord is strengthening me. I handed out three Books of Mormon in the last two days, the only ones I've ever handed out before! And one of them was to a gaijin named Ed (Eigo dendou is super hard. I prefer Japanese)! I still struggle with train dendou, but I talked to a lady who we found out was baptized a long time ago but had fallen away when she became busy. We challenged her to go home and pray with her family. It's super cool to see all the tender mercies of the Lord.

Those are about all of the highlights for this week. Well, besides the exotic food I've been eating... I've had a bunch of mushrooms, and I'm able to eat tomatoes now (yay!). Last night the Watanabe family fed us takoyaki... It was my first time eating octopus, and it wasn't too bad. It was super chewy.

I love you all! Keep studying Conference!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fukkatsusai Omedetou!

Dear Friends and Family,

I apologize to those who did not receive my email last week. I was short on time and unable to add everyone to the list. I am hoping that will not happen again.

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful time decorating eggs and celebrating the resurrection of our Savior! I'm sad that we were unable to watch Conference, but our fast and testimony meeting here in Matsudo was pretty great, too. The Spirit was very strong. We were hoping to get 300 people to church, but there were only 260. Oh well. Have you all seen the Easter video yet? I meant to share about it earlier, before Easter, but I forgot to. It is so good, though! We shared it with a bunch of people, member and non-member alike. #BecauseHeLives #イエスが生きておられるので

I wasn't planning on bearing my testimony on Sunday, but then the thought came to me, "If your testimony could bless the life of your investigator (Miki was our only investigator to come to church), would you bear your testimony?" Of course! I bore my testimony very simply, but I feel that I spoke by the Spirit. Hopefully Miki was able to feel the reality of her Savior.

This last week was pretty exciting. I don't care for riding my bike in Japan because the sidewalks are so narrow. Last week, we biked to a recent convert's house, and when I stopped, I suddenly lost my balance and fell over. It was so weird. It was a super dramatic fall onto my back. I kindof bruised my nose, which was really weird, since I fell on my back. My helmet probably saved me from going to the hospital... Mom, I promise to be more careful! (The only thing that REALLY HURT was my pride...)

We had temporary exchanges again because Teruya Shimai and the other Sister Training Leader had a leadership meeting, so I went to Kamagaya with Tausinga Shimai again. We visited with a sister named Ayako, but she likes to be called Baba (because she's a grandma). She had a baptismal date for Saturday (and was baptized, as planned)! She was so cute! I love her to death. I'll probably never see her again. She was so kin.

We saw several miracles this last week. We went through the area book and called several people, one of which was a Mongolian woman named Bagi. She cried when we shared our message with her and told us to come over as often as we want. She is so prepared! I look forward to meeting with her, although she just informed us that she will be returning to Mongolia for a while because of visa issues...

We met with a sister named Liu. She recently returned from China. She has had several dreams, one in particular about baptism, and one where there were three doors and certain people were going through each door... it sounded a lot like the Plan of Salvation the way she described it... During the lesson, I got the strongest impression that I needed to invite her to be baptized, so I did. She said no, but then after a bit more talking, she decided that if she did feel that this was the true church, she would be baptized. It was a really soft baptismal invite, but at least she knows our purpose as missionaries.

Every week we teach Eikaiwa, an English speaking class. I teach it with one of the other elders in our district. We both have Nihonjin companions, so they can't really help us. It is a bunch of fun, even if it does feel weird to talk to people in English... At Eikaiwa this last week, we met a girl named Margaret. She is from China and has been studying here in Japan for a few years. She has no religious beliefs and is searching for truth. She is so kin. She was very receptive to our message and is super excited to come to church on Sundays and to read the Book of Mormon.

We felt prompted to visit with an old investigator named Miyazaki san this last week. Apparently she stopped meeting with the missionaries because she felt intimidated by them. Something like that. We stopped by and shared the Easter video with her and talked about Christ and Joseph Smith. She started crying. The Spirit was so strong! I was hoping she would come to church on Sunday, but she didn't. Hopefully she will be able to take a step of faith and come unto her Savior.

This last week, Teruya Shimai and I bought some bread from a bread truck. It was kindof like an ice cream truck, but it sold bread instead. It was playing some English Folk song. It made me so happy! Bread here in Japan is so yummy! I don't like bacon, but people often make bread with bacon bits in it and it is delicious!

I learned that Teruya Shimai and I have opposite tastes. I love sweet foods, and I am super picky with what I eat. Teruya Shimai prefers vegetables, but can eat anything. We were at a member's house yesterday, and I got up the courage to try natto... otherwise known as fermented soy beans! Most missionaries hate natto. I'm like most missionaries. It was so gross! But, I am proud to say that I swallowed my bite.

I loved the General Women's Conference! We watched it on Saturday (in Japanese, but I had the English talks on my iPad), and it was so good! I loved what Sister Oscarson said about protecting the Family Proclamation. I feel strongly that I want to be a mother. I want to be one who stands up for families! I also think it was interesting what President Eyring said. At the last meeting, President Uchtdorf spoke about how the Lord wants to bless us. At this meeting, President Eyring spoke about how the Lord wants to bless others through us. I loved it! I always want to be someone that the Lord can depend on to bless others.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week! Keep working hard! I know that the Lord will bless you for your efforts!

Love, Crandall Shimai