Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Talent Show

Me with Ishibashi san.  She wants me to teach her how to Hula dance!
Dearest Family, Friends and Missionaries,

Wow, it has gotten really hot here! The humidity is pretty bad. I can literally feel the moisture in the air. Apparently with humidity, the temperature yesterday was about 111 degrees fahrenheit. Pretty crazy. I'll try not to bask in it too much. I'm trying really hard to drink lots of water. As Elder Hansen says, "Copious and clear!" =D

We enjoyed visiting with Morishita san last week. She sent us a text one morning saying that she saw my favorite band on a tv show, and she was excited because she knew I like them. She said she was surprised at how popular they were (and I'm surprised, too, since no one here seems to have heard of Kalafina). I love meeting with Morishita. She has so many good insights. She loves the scriptures, and she especially loves to study. I have seen her progress so much these last two months I've been here, and I think she will eventually be baptized. She is so receptive of the Spirit, and truly has an understanding of her Savior's role in her life.

We also visited with Saitou Shimai, an older less active sister in the branch. We usually go sit in her little piano room, and she will play as we sing hymns. She will talk our ears off forever if we let her, although we usually keep her to an hour or so. She always insists on giving us something to drink, which is usually some kind of juice or sports drink. Recently she has been giving us a lot of plum juice. I don't know why the Japanese people love that terrible drink so much. We always drink the whole cup and tell her how grateful we are, and then book it outside where we can drink water to wash out the flavor. It's pretty great.

The branch had a talent show on Saturday, and Chapman Shimai and I were pretty worried about no one planning it. We set up the program and found some people to present talents. We made cookies and had the chouroutachi bring drinks. We were worried that no one would show up and that it would just be really lame, but it actually turned out to be a really good activity. There were six members that came, and we had seven investigators come! It was a bunch of fun, and everyone freaked out when I danced some hula for them. It was a great activity, and I am so grateful to the Lord for how it turned out. I really felt the Spirit during parts of it. I think that the investigators really enjoyed the laid back activity (and the members acted pretty normal for it, so it was great!).

I am so grateful for this Gospel! I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. It brings so much guidance in my life, and I know that it can guide anyone who reads it.

I am so grateful for my amazing family and friends, who have all been such wonderful examples to me!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, July 20, 2015


Dearest Family and Friends, 

Today we had tenkin happyous, and I am excited to say that I will be staying in Kisarazu with Chapman Shimai for another transfer! This marks the end of my third transfer, which means a fourth of my time in Japan is already gone! Where does the time go? Next month I'll hit my one year left mark.

Wow, this last week was super busy! We texted Takahama san on Monday to see if she was going to be able to meet with us that night, but she never responded. Then, she randomly showed up at the church! Sadly, we weren't there, but the chouroutachi were there, and they were able to set up an appointment for us on Wednesday before Eikaiwa. This is how the conversation went: Elders: "can you come to Eikaiwa a bit early? The sisters can meet with you then." Takahama san: "Yeah! How early? Two hours?" Elders: "!! No, probably just one hour early is fine." Wow, Takahama san seems so eager to meet, and she has so much interest in learning! It is so nice to meet with someone who doesn't cancel appointments all the time, someone who is willing to make time to meet. I love Takahama san, and I feel that she will progress a lot. She said that she loves the feeling that she gets when she comes to the church. Takahama san is a miracle - she really came out of nowhere, and now she has a lot of potential!

We met with Sanae san after Eikaiwa, and she started asking weird questions about why only Alma was able to see God, and so on. It's hard, because we try so hard to explain things simply, and she totally understands, and then the next time we meet, everything is jumbled inside of her head. We've told her several times now that there is only one Holy Ghost, but every time we meet she thinks that there are more... It's really frustrating, but we'll keep working with her. We'll try to teach more simply...

We called Eiko to see if we could visit her, and she said no... then Sister Chapman skillfully talked her into letting us come over for ten minutes. We went over and ended up staying for close to an hour. Eiko said that she always wants us to stay longer so that we can talk more... so it makes me wonder if it's because she is worried about taking up too much of our time that she seems to be avoiding us. Anyway, we had a good lesson with her, and then on Saturday we went to her son's ballet performance! It was my first time going to a ballet, and it was fun to watch everyone dancing so gracefully. They danced the story of Sleeping Beauty, and I'm pretty sure the evil witch was a boy. It was super entertaining, although we had to leave early because we had another appointment. Eiko was super happy that we came, and Atsushi kun was super cute.

We went to Tateyama last week, and we got to see the ocean! We also saw Fuji san, so that was cool. Tateyama is a beautiful place. It's about an hour train ride away, but is still in the area.

I am so grateful for the message that I am sharing. I am not the best of teachers, but I know that I can still be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I may be weak in speaking, but He can strengthen me to accomplish the purpose that He has sent me to do.

I love you all so much!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, July 13, 2015

Quick Update!

Dearest Family, Friends and Missionaries,

I love you all so much! Don't forget that.

We had another slow week last week. Not as many lessons as I would've liked, but I feel like I am still working hard, so I guess it's alright.

It rained a lot this last week. After Eikaiwa, we were visiting with Sanae san, and then suddenly we could hear the rain. It was dumping bucket out there! We walked home, and at one point we were walking in water up to our ankles! Then on Friday and Saturday it got super hot. It's super hot right now, and everyone says that August is way hotter. Ooh, I am not very excited for that.

We went to a concert on Saturday for Kobayashi Shimai. It was pretty fun, although it was a bit long. There were a bunch of old people singing (in fairly operatic voices) a bunch of French style songs. By the end, I think they were all just trying to hold out long high notes. It was really entertaining.

One of our investigators, Takahama san, has been looking really good. She only meets with us about once a week, but she has started coming to church fairly often. She says that she loves the peace she feels at the church, and she really fits in with all of the branch members. I really love her and would love to see her progress toward baptism. Family is so important to her, and I feel like she is in my family.

Today we met with Sanae san for lunch and we got to talk with her about the Spirit World. She has a tendency to forget everything we teach her... but she is super sweet and speaks English with a super English accent. She doesn't like scary things at all. We were sharing a little bit from the story of Alma and Korihor, and then she started reading ahead... I suddenly thought, "oh no, if she reads about the end of Korihor, she is going to freak out..." Luckily, she didn't get that far. Someday, she will read it though, but hopefully she'll already have a testimony by then.

I love you all! I'm a bit short on time this week. Just remember that we can find the answers to any questions in the Book of Mormon!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Asakusa and SCRAMBLE!

Dearest Family and Friends,

We had temple PDay this week, and I had the opportunity to do the work for one of my ancestors! (Thanks Darci for sending me some names!) I did a Japanese session this time, and it was really interesting, but I think I'll stick with the English one next time.

After the temple, we took a train over to Shibuya and went to Taco Bell! Yum! I think it's the only Taco Bell in Japan. It was the place where all the cool kids hang out. We also walked through the "scramble" several times. スクランブル is one of the most (if not the most) busy intersections in the world pedestrian-wise. The lights would all go red, and then the people would flood the street for about a minute. It was so crazy! We took some pictures, but I don't know if they can adequately describe the experience. It amazed me how there were always so many people there every time the pedestrian signal turned green.

After Taco Bell, we hopped on a train to Asakusa, a tourist temple/shrine place. Because today is the Tanabata (star festival in Japan), I was hoping that there would be a lot of cool stuff going on there, but I don't think anything special was happening. There were lots of people and shops, and it kind of made me think of the Nihon Matsuri in Salt Lake (though much bigger). There were a billion gaijin and several nihonjin wearing yukatas. We walked around and looked at stuff, and then we rode the train two hours back to Kisarazu. It was pretty fun, and I'll probably go back again sometime.

This last week was a little slow for dendou, but we still had a good week. We had exchanges, and I went to Tougane for the day. We planned to visit a referral, but it was starting to get super stormy outside - lots of rain and crazy wind. We decided to go anyway, and by the time we made it, we were pretty wet. It was a good visit though, and we hung out in the referral's genkan (small area just inside the door) for around an hour while the worst of the storm passed.

On Thursday, we met our new mission president and his wife! I hate to break it to all you missionaries (current, returned, future) out there, but I have the cutest mission president and wife in the history of missions. President and Sister Nagano are so kind and loving. They are so excited to serve the Lord and really have a lot of dendou fire. I am so excited to work with them. I know that they will lead this mission and help it become even stronger and more unified. I love them so much already, and I can feel their love for me! <3

I love you all so much! Remember to always keep a prayer in your hearts!

Love, Crandall Shimai