Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Dearest Family, Missionaries, and Friends,
As many of you may have guessed, this week was Sisters' Temple P-Day, so we have P-Day on Tuesday instead of Monday. I am always unhappy that my email schedule is thrown off, but it is what it is.
This week was crazy. Some people started progressing a lot more, some stopped progressing so much...
Our district leader asked us how things were going with Mei san, and we said that we weren't super close yet. Our relationship was still kind of awkward. Right after that phone call, we met with Mei san and our relationship improved a bunch! She started to ask us questions and tell us when she didn't understand. She really gets along with one of the members, too. On Sunday, Mei's husband, Ning san, was baptized, and she came to the baptism! She stayed for all three hours of church after that. Sunday evening we saw her again at a member's house for a dinner party, and she seemed so happy. Ning Kyoudai has been reading the Morumon Sho with her and praying with her every day, and she is starting to build a lot of faith. I pray that I will be able to see Ning baptize his wife.
Miki, Sakamoto Shimai, Crandall Shimai, Mizuki, Manami, Crocket
Chourou, Higbee Chourou
We skyped with Miki a few times, and she is so kin! She has so much faith! She prays every day that her dog will get better, and she says that she knows she will. Miki really has a desire to keep all of the commandments and to come to church. She wants to become a better person. We're planning on teaching her about the Word of Wisdom soon, so hopefully that won't be too big of a problem...
We surprise visited Hana yesterday, and she was so excited to see us. She is starting to have a lot more light, which is amazing. She has work all the time, but says that she just wants to read the Book of Mormon. She wants to finish the book in one year. She told us that she wants us to come study with her, and we told her that we'll transfer away sometime. She then said, "Well, I don't care who studies with me, as long as someone keeps visiting me!" She is too cute. We're hoping to talk about baptism with her soon.
We had a lesson with Mizuki on Saturday, and we talked a lot about baptism. She was super hesitant about it and would not accept a date. We talked about prayer and asked her to pray for us, and she really didn't want to. I then had the thought that I needed to pray first, so I did. It was amazing how the words just came to me. I knew in the moment what I needed to say. When I finished, Mizuki was crying. She consented to pray for us and gave one of the most beautiful, heartfelt prayers I have ever heard. I pray that she will remember the Spirit that she felt that night.
Hibiki didn't come to church again, which means we have to push back her baptism again. We need her mom to come to church so that we can get permission for her to be baptized. We learned that two church members showed up at Hibiki's house on Friday or Saturday, but they didn't invite her to church, so she didn't come. When we spoke with her, she said that she had been invited to attend her old church again, and she promised them that she would go next Sunday... It broke my heart. We obviously need to talk with her again about faith and baptism and what that means.
The temple today was glorious. I love the feeling of peace that comes when I am in the Lord's house. I am grateful for the revelation that I receive. I know that as we stand in holy places, the Lord will be able to bless us abundantly. He will teach us and guide us. I am so grateful for the temple, and I am so grateful that I have always lived within close proximity of one. I know that as we show our diligence in following the Lord, He will trust us with His work.
I love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear friends and family,

I couldn't think of anything better for the title. Sorry.

It has been another crazy week in Matsudo! It's hard to believe that we are already halfway through the transfer. Other missionaries kept telling me that the second transfer would go by faster than the first... But I didn't expect it to go by this fast!

We met with Hana san this last week. She is really struggling right now, and we keep asking her if we can help her, but Asians seem to have this thing against receiving help from people. She refuses to let us come over and serve, but I think we'll get to her at some point. There was a crazy miracle this last week. On Tuesday, Hana had to cancel our appointment because she had a bunch of work to do. On Friday, I was worried she would do the same thing. However, for some reason, our phone didn't charge at all during the night, so it died midmorning! We were worried about being late, so we just went over to her house. When we got there, she told us that she had messaged us to cancel on us. Just then, our douseki (member participant) drove up, so Hana decided to let us in anyway. We were able to help her understand more the nature of God, and we were able to understand her situation better.

We saw another really cool miracle this week. On Thursday, we were going to go visit a lady named Emi Ogawa. She told us that we could stop by anytime, although she didn't tell us when would be good and she did not give us her phone number. As we were finishing up with dinner, I felt that it would be more convenient to set up facebook at the church and look up her address and then visit her afterward rather than visit her immediately after dinner. I inquired of Sakamoto Shimai and she said that sounded fine. I immediately had the thought that we needed to go right after dinner, so we returned to our previous plans and biked over to Ogawa san's house, trusting in my memory to get us there. We were kindof disappointed when she wasn't there. As we were leaving, we took a slightly longer route to get home (like one block longer). We met a lady who was walking to dinner. She said that she didn't get anything from her kids for Mother's Day, not even a phone call! We gave her a Mother's Day card and walked with her for a while. We soon parted ways and continued our bike ride back to the church. We passed by several people who were all uninterested in the church. We rode past one girl and said "Konbanwa!" We couldn't stop her in the middle of the intersection. I then had a strong feeling that we needed to go back and talk to her. I told Sakamoto Shimai that we needed to turn around and she said that she had had the same thought! We talked with the girl for a long time. Her name is Sakura, and she was super interested in learning more. We promised to get her a Book of Mormon in Spanish, and we even set up a return appointment. It was amazing to me how so many things happened to help us to meet Sakura. If we had decided to visit Ogawa san later, if Ogawa san had been home, if we hadn't met that lady and walked with her for several blocks, we would not have been able to meet Sakura.

One of the chouroutachi's investigators was baptized on Sunday! His name is Morijiri Yuuji san, and he's super shy. It was really exciting! It made me super excited for Hibiki's baptism which.... We learned we probably can't do next week. Miyagi Kyoudai (the ward mission leader) wants her parents to come to church and support her. It was hard to go and tell Hibiki that she won't be able to be baptized on the 24th as planned. I feel like it's not fair to her. She has so much support from the ward, and she was even attending another church on her own for several years. We're hoping to get it figured out so that she can be baptized on the 31st. For now, we plan to start her on Personal Progress and maybe even Seminary.

We met with Mei san again last week and started talking about the Restoration. We are trying to take it slowly so that she really understands everything we are teaching her. She wants to find joy through knowing that God is real, and we testified to her that the Book of Mormon is the evidence that God is real. I know that as she studies with real intent, she will feel God's love for her. Her husband, Ning, is going to be baptized on the 24th! I hope that she feels the Spirit very strongly at the service.

Miki! We met with her on Friday! It had been almost a month since our last visit! She told us that she has been praying every day - we didn't even have to ask! Her dog, Lili, is sick, and so she has been taking her to the hospital every Sunday. I can truly see the lit of the Gospel in her eyes as we speak with her. She is so kin! Once she starts coming to church regularly again, I think that she will be ready for baptism! We set up a schedule with her to Skype with her every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Hopefully she'll come to Eikaiwa on Wednesdays! I am so excited to see her almost every day! Although I will miss her super awkward hugs when we Skype.

For those of you who are not aware, I am now able to use facebook! Please like and share my posts (even if you can't read them). However, I will not be responding to any personal messages or comments.

I love you all so much! My heart is so full of love whenever I think of my family and friends and their wonderful examples to me.

Crandall Shimai

PS: Shout out to my amazing companion, Sakamoto Shimai, who was disappointed that I didn't mention her in my last email! Her Nihongo is so pera!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Matsudo is on Fire!

Mother's Day 2015
Dearest Family, Friends, and Missionaries,

I had the opportunity to Skype with my family this morning, and it was glorious! I just about started crying when my mom bore her testimony to me. I am so blessed to have a mother who knows! I mentioned that Matsudo is on fire, and my family thought I meant it was literally on fire. I meant that the missionary work was going really well, but little did I know that it was literally on fire! Okay, it was only one building, but there was a lot of smoke and it was a little creepy. The authorities put it out really fast, so not too much damage, I hope...

This last week we had a lot of finding time... A lot of our investigators were not responding to our texts or calls, so we weren't able to set up very many appointments. We decided to surprise visit a lady that came to church. Her name is Hana. She said she worked from home and that we could stop by anytime, so on Tuesday we hopped on our bikes and found our way there. We rang the doorbell twice, and no one came. We were pretty bummed, and as we turned to leave, Hana's four year old daughter opened the door... And she was completely naked! She kept gesturing for us to come in, and we were thinking to ourselves, "We can't be alone with a child, especially not one that is naked!" She kept pointing up, trying to tell us that her mom was upstairs. We tried asking her to go get her mom for us, but it was no use as she doesn't speak any Japanese or English... We finally just called out to Hana (so awkward) and we were able to have a lesson with her. Hana said that we could visit her every day, so we told her we would come back regularly every week. We look forward to teaching her more in the future! And it's way nice to have someone that we can meet with regularly.

Our investigator Miki was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but three weeks ago she became super busy and could never meet with us. It is really hard to see someone so close to making those covenants with their Heavenly Father, and then choose other priorities over Him. I'm hoping that we can keep teaching her, but as of right now I don't know. If she chooses to make time for us, I believe that she will progress so much!

We met with Hibiki chan earlier today and finished the lessons with her! We just need to review everything with her and then she will be ready for baptism on the 24th. She is so kin! We have been trying to get her mom to come to church to see what she is learning about, just so that she doesn't feel like her daughter is being baptized into some secret combination or something. We also need her permission for Hibiki to be baptized. I hope that she will come to the baptism, just to support her daughter.

The Chouroutachi have been teaching a kinjin named Ning san, and he is going to be baptized on the 24th as well. Ning san told the elders that he wants his wife to start taking the lessons as well, so they set up a lesson for us on Saturday! We were able to meet Mei and go over our expectations and what our purpose is. We talked briefly about the Book of Mormon, and Ning and our douseki bore their testimonies as well. Mei cried the entire time, and she even tried praying at the end! It was such a powerful lesson. The Spirit was so strong! Mei is so ready for this gospel! She has seen how it has changed her husband. I believe that it will change her, too.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve here in Matsudo right now. I am seeing so many miracles. These people have been so prepared by God. People are just walking into the church and saying "I want to learn more!" The ward members are astonished at everything that is happening. There will be three convert baptisms in the next two weeks! Matsudo really is on fire, and I think that things will just keep going faster and faster.

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family! Their testimonies and their examples are so strengthening to me. My heart is so full of love for them! I issued a challenge to my family today, and it stems from Sister Oscarson's talk from the Women's Conference. She asked us all to be defenders of the Family Proclamation. My question is: how can you defend the Family Proclamation if you don't know it? So, I challenge all who read these emails to join me in memorizing 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' by Christmas. I know that as you do this, your own testimony of the importance of family will be strengthened. I know that your family relationships will also be strengthened as you rely more on the Lord.

I love you all!

Love,  Crandall Shimai

Monday, May 4, 2015

Golden Week

Dearest Family and Friends,

Wow, another week has gone by! With transfers last week, time really flew by! My new companion is named Sister Sakamoto. She is from Brazil, and her English is better than her Portuguese. She is a fifth transfer missionary, and we often discuss what we plan to do together after our missions, as we both plan on starting school at BYU in the fall of 2016. She is so sweet, and I know that I will learn a lot from her. I am so blessed to be trained by two different missionaries! I am grateful for the time I had with Teruya Shimai, and I look forward to the time that I have with Sakamoto Shimai. I know that we will continue to see miracles as we do the Lord's work.

We had the opportunity to go to a basketball game this last week! One of our investigators, Reika, had a game and she really wanted us to come. We made sure it was okay with President Budge and then went with a member. It was so cool! It makes me excited to watch BYU Football after my mission.

This week in Japan is Golden Week, so everyone goes on holidays. There are several holidays this week, so school is canceled for the whole week. The post office is closed, too (we learned the hard way). May fifth is Children's day, and I saw several Kabuto in peoples’ houses. They are cool helmets for their sons to have good health. There are also Koi kites all over the place! Apparently the girls get to eat some kind of sweet food, although I forgot what it is called; some kind of mochi with something inside of it.

On Wednesday, we had transfers, and I had the opportunity to do some streeting in Kashiwa with Gaynes Shimai and Tausinga Shimai while we waited for Sakamoto Shimai. We met a woman named Joann and her daughter Reiko, and they were super excited to come to church! They even came to Eikaiwa on Wednesday! They got here early, so we took the opportunity to give them a church tour, and Joann cried a lot. She said that she went to a church in the Philippines, but she could never find one to go to in Japan. She wanted a good church for her daughter to go to so that she could learn good values. She said that she wanted her daughter to become like us. She also told us about how she rarely went into downtown Kashiwa, but she had a feeling that she needed to. The fact that we met was truly a miracle. They were unable to come to church this last Sunday, but hopefully they will be able to come this next week.

We met with Mizuki, and she hasn't been progressing much recently. We asked her if she was reading the Book of Mormon, and she said no. She said that once Teruya Shimai gave her a passage to read, and she read it, but she doesn't understand it very well. So, we gave her a passage as well (2 Nephi 31) and said that we would discuss it at the next lesson. And... She read it! We only did a follow up, so we have yet to discuss it, but I think we've figured out how we can help her to progress. We want to help her to read the Book of Mormon in each lesson. We want to help her learn how to study and understand it. I know that as she learns with real intent, she will have that desire to be baptized.

I know that we are doing the Lord's work. I am so grateful for all of the miracles I have seen. I know that this is the Lord's work, because I really have done nothing. It has all been the Lord! I know that he will continue to move His work forward, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a tool in His hand!

Love, Crandall Shimai