Monday, November 30, 2015

Laketown in Koshigaya

Crandall and Gottfredson
Dearest loved ones,

Hello! I'm back! I transferred safely to Koshigaya, my new area, and we have been so so so busy! I can't believe how much stuff we pack into one day. I am blessed to work with Sister Gottfredson. She is so sweet and loving. She has a lot of fire for missionary work and she works hard! We've had several meetings already, and we are going to MLC tomorrow. It'll be my first time!

Koshigaya is a beautiful place. (Not as beautiful as Kisarazu, though. You can't beat that.) There is a nice road that runs alongside a river, and we tend to bike along that a lot. Koshigaya is fairly big - bigger than Kisarazu, although not nearly as big as Matsudo. The weather has suddenly become a lot colder, and I am ever grateful for the coats that Carlile Shimai left behind when she left Matsudo. It has been fun breaking out my scarves.

On Friday, we went to a place called Kazeza where we spent time with a bunch of mentally handicapped people for an hour. It was so much fun!  We made some Christmas decorations. This is a service project that we do every week, and I am so excited to go back!

We went to church yesterday, and it was so strange to be in a ward again. I'm used to there being about twenty people at church, but this ward had around sixty people there! I am so excited to get to know these people more. I know that we are going to see a lot of miracles together! Our mission is focusing on having a Christmas Miracle of at least one hundred baptisms by the end of the year. I know that this miracle is possible. Is there anything too hard for the Lord?

On Saturday we visited with a less active named Mamzi. She is one of the coolest ladies I have ever met. She is so spiritual! After visiting with her, she let me try on a pair of her shoes. They were pretty great. She wanted to give them to me, but I told her that I couldn't wear them on my mission.

I got a flu shot on Saturday... about two inches above my elbow! I think that's the weirdest place I've ever gotten a shot before, but as long as it works I'm happy!

Today we went to a place called Laketown. It is a combination of three giant (like three story giant) malls. It was fun to go walk around and see all of the weird stores. There were even some stores that I recognized, like American Eagle. It was fun to finally go to the mall that everyone was talking about all weekend.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be in Koshigaya right now! I know that we are going to see so many miracles, including the Christmas miracle! I know that this is the place where I am supposed to be.

I am especially excited to skype with my family this transfer! I hope everyone has been working hard to finish memorizing the family proclamation as time is quickly running out. 頑張ってね!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, November 23, 2015


Dearest loved ones,

I apologize, I'm a little short on time today. We just received our transfer calls this morning, and I am leaving my beloved Kisarazu and going to Koshigaya! (See that Sister Chapman? I am not a Chiba girl!) I will be serving as a Sister Training Leader there, so that should be exciting and new. I'll include an experience that I wrote in my letter to President Nagano.

“After visiting an investigator on Friday, we returned to the church to do our twelve week study. Midway through the study, Moore Shimai had the distinct impression we needed to go back and talk to a girl we saw sitting by a gate on our way to the church, so we walked back. Upon arriving, we found that the girl was gone. We looked a bit closer at the gate and realized that it was the gate to a high school! And we could hear voices inside! We waited a few minutes, and then five girls came out. We engaged in a friendly conversation with them, and we asked them to help us start an English tutoring class. The girls wanted to help, but they couldn't really understand what it was we were asking them. And then the miracle happened. Four more girls walked out of the gate and stopped to see what was going on, and then their English teacher started driving out! The girls went crazy and stopped their teacher so that she could speak to us. As we talked with the English teacher, the girls excitedly took photos and videos. The teacher asked us why we were in Japan, and we were able to tell her about our role as missionaries and our desire to serve. We told her about the tutoring class we wanted to start, and she helped us choose a time when all of the girls would be free. She basically told all of the girls there that they should come to our free English tutoring. We are very hopeful for this next Saturday when the girls are supposed to come. This entire experience was so amazing to us. It was definitely the Lord who orchestrated this encounter. It was a great dendou experience, and, most importantly, it was fun.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in Kisarazu. I love this place so much, and will definitely miss the people. The relationships I have made here are so precious to me. I will definitely come back and visit sometime. I look forward to new experiences in Koshigaya!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Sister Amelia Crandall
Japan Tokyo Mission
4-25-12 Nishi Ochiai
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo-to 161-0031

Monday, November 16, 2015


Dear all,

Yes, the email you've all been waiting for! What did Crandall Shimai do at the Pokemon Center? And what are these illuminations I've been hearing of?

Let's start with Pokemon. I love Pokemon. We had branch conference yesterday, and one of the stake leaders said to me, "Oh, you like Pokemon?" I had forgotten that I had written that on my bio for e branch, which is posted on the bulletin board. I guess the whole world knows now that I love Pokemon. Anyway, we went to the Pokemon Center in Ikebukuro last week! It was amazing. There were giant Pokemon statues that you could take pictures with. There was Pokemon music playing the entire time. There were a billion Pokemon statues. The Pokemon cards were endless. Did I mention the music? Oh yeah, I did. I learned that there is a new Pokemon series called 'Pocket Monsters XY and Z', which makes me wonder if a Z version game will be released. I bought a lot of cute Pokemon stuff... And restrained myself from buying a lot more. I will send pictures.

Now, the illuminations! Yes, the illuminations are basically just Christmas lights, but I think they last for all of Winter. We went to two different illuminations. The first was in Mother Bokujou. It was very simple and small, but I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was so magical. I really liked the blues and greens of the lights together. We went with an investigator and her family. She seemed a little disappointed, so she invited us to go see the illumination at the Doitsu Mura (German Village) with her the next week. That illumination was a lot brighter and a lot bigger. I really enjoyed the Christmas music. They had a little square for dancing, and every few minutes there would be loud music and flashing lights, and giant machines would blow out these really cool bubbles that would turn to fog when popped. We really enjoyed spending time with this investigator.

 We had the opportunity to go to the temple this last week, which was amazing. We decided to take a bus this time which drove us on the Aqualine, or the road that goes through the middle of the bay. The road actually goes under the water! Although since it's made of cement you cannot see into the water. It was still way nicer, and even a bit cheaper, than taking a train. As always, the feelings from the temple were glorious. I always love the peace and quiet, the safety that I can feel there.

 We decided to drop one of our investigators awhile back, but every time we met with her we kept thinking, 'well, once she understands the atonement, we'll drop her,' and 'once we see if she's willing to work towards keeping the word of wisdom, we'll maybe drop her.' Well, today we met with her, and as we were discussing the Book of Mormon a little bit, I paused and asked her, "what do you know about Joseph Smith?" She said, "Nothing." We decided that we just need to start from the very beginning with her. We shared the first vision, and we asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon. She said she would. She said that she wants answers. I'm really hoping that I can stay and teach her more, but having already been in Kisarazu for four transfers it's not very likely. I worry that the next sister that comes won't be able to speak Japanese, and then we'll lose all progress.

With transfers coming up next week, I feel a lot of gratitude. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve in Kisarazu. I would love to stay longer, but I will not complain if I am asked to transfer. I cannot complain. I am so grateful for the message I have and for the miracles I've seen.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Adventures in the... Pokemon Center?!

Dearest Family and Friends,

As you may have guessed by my late email, we had our temple PDay this week! We've had a lot of adventures lately, including spending time with investigators, spending more time with investigators, and, yes, even catching some Pokemon. More on that next week. Be excited.

I completely forgot to choose a new ponderizing scripture for this week. Watch for it on facebook, as I will post it there once I decide.

I know that this church is true! I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who cares enough to send us prophets to guide us. I am grateful for the standards of the church. I know that as we align our lives with His standards, we will be blessed immensely.

I love you all!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Sister Moore and Sister Crandall
Happy Halloween everyone!

And Happy birthday to Darci and Mom, as well!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable time. We planned a party, and this last week we scrambled to find time to hand out flyers, shop for food, set up, etc. It was way fun, but I sure am glad it's over. I wore a simple Pokemon trainer costume, and everyone was excitedly calling me Satoshi (Ash's Japanese name, for those of you who don't know). Moore Shimai bought some stuff at Daiso and made herself an Eevee costume this last week. It was pretty amazing, and everyone thought it was great that we were a set.

We had a few crazy miracles this last week. On Friday, we felt that we needed to drop Morishita. It was a hard decision, but we both felt good about it. However, dropping someone that you've been meeting with for several months already is a lot harder in the moment. As we were studying about charity with Morishita, I kept thinking that maybe we could just keep meeting with her, maybe just a bit longer. Maybe she needed just a little bit more time. As I bore testimony of how Christ's atonement was the greatest act of charity, Morishita asked us why only Christ is able to atone for us. We thought that she had understood this for a long time, and we feel like this may have been a huge road block for her. I explained how Christ was perfect, how he chose to suffer the penalty of our sins so that we wouldn't have to suffer. You could see the light clicking inside of her. It made sense. The Spirit was so strong, and my Japanese was flowing so well. She said, "I think... I think I need... to empty my mind!" (; ̄ェ ̄)It was at that point, when she clearly understood Christ's atonement, yet still rejected the path that He had set, that it was reaffirmed to me that we needed to drop Morishita. It was heartbreaking. I solemnly told her that as missionaries we needed to find and teach people who would progress towards baptism. I expected her to be angry, or feel betrayed, but she wasn't. It was such a sweet tender mercy. She was so loving. She said she understood. She said that she would continue to study and search for the truth, and if she ever felt she needed to be baptized, she would call us. She exhorted us to go out and find people and baptize them. She also told me that I have to come back and visit her again when I am no longer a missionary. I promised her that I would. I feel so grateful that I can continue to be Morishita's friend. I know that she will find the truth as she continues to study, and when she comes to the conclusion that she needs to be baptized, she will know that no one is compelling her to do so. It will be her own decision.

The very next day, we got a text from Takahama san. Takahama san. Takahama san! She was a sweet old lady that we used to meet with before summer! I loved her like my own grandma! And then she just disappeared. We were pretty sure that she had blocked our number. But she texted us. She said she was coming to the Halloween party! And she did come! I was so happy to see her again! The reunion was so sweet! I felt that the Lord was blessing us for following the prompting we had to drop Morishita. Takahama san is back, and she said that she will probably be able to come to Eikaiwa again! I am so happy!

My heart is so full. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. I have truly seen His hand this last week. This is His work, and He is preparing the hearts and minds of His people.

As a side note, we went to a planetarium this morning and got to watch a star show with a bunch of fourth graders from Tateyama. It was pretty great. Because of that I have not yet had time to choose my ponderizing scripture for this week. Sorry!

Mami's 'English' House
I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Crandall Shimai