Monday, March 28, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends:
There were crazy miracles this week.  A lot of them.

The miracles started on Monday.  We went to Laketown (the giant mall nearby) and did some finding, which was great.  It had been so long since we had had a large enough chunk of time to just talk to people for over an hour.  Usually all of our finding happens on the way to appointments and stuff, but it was great to finally have time set aside to just find.  We were able to talk to a lot of really cool people.

Then on Tuesday, all of our appointments fell through, so we had the opportunity to find almost all day.  We first went to the Souka Eki, but upon seeing the elders we fled to Yatsuka where one of the first people we talked to became a new investigator.  We had a lot more really meaningful interactions there as well.  Wednesday was also a day of finding, and although we had only half as much time as we had on Tuesday, we talked to almost the same amount of people.  We loved being able to hand out the new Easter Hallelujah cards, and we felt that people were a lot more receptive to those than they were to chirashi.

Then the real miracles started.  Wednesday night we texted Rie, a less active youth we had an appointment with for Thursday.  She had told us that she was going to invite a friend, and so we were following up to see if things would work out.  We asked her, "Is your friend able to come tomorrow?"  and she responded, "Yeah!  But there are four of them!"  Wait, what?!  On Thursday we went over to her apartment, and lo and behold there were four high school girls there studying English.  We don't know if they were told that we would be sharing a spiritual message or not, but we went ahead and taught the Plan of Salvation.  It was a really spiritual lesson, and all four girls said that they wanted to learn more. On Thursday, we only had time to talk to five people on the street, but one of those five became a new investigator!

On Thursday we also visited with one of our investigators, Imanari Yuka, and we set really good expectations with her.  She has been investigating for about a year now, but we were really honest about what we wanted to do.  We now have expectations to meet twice a week, and she even came to the international group in Urawa on Sunday!  That was the first time I had ever seen her at church!  I am so excited to see how she progresses.  I really believe that she has real intent, and now that she really understands what we are here to do she is trying harder than ever before to make time to meet with us.  It is amazing.

We met with another investigator, Wendy, via skype twice last week. She actually lives in Adachi area, but she works in Souka, and since there are no sisters in Adachi we are teaching her.  She speaks very little Japanese, and only some English, so we taught very simply about who God is and who Christ is.  She really wants to draw closer to God, and she very proactively changed her schedule so that she could make it to church on Sunday.  We've been working closely with the Adachi Elders (via phone) to help make her experience at church great.  I am very excited because she has so much real intent.  I really think that she will progress until baptism.

Sunday, Easter, was amazing.  I really enjoyed watching the General Women's Session of Conference live Sunday morning, and then going to the international branch and having church in English was really special.  It had been so long since I had sung hymns in English or heard the Sacrament prayers in my native language.  We even sang my favorite hymn, so it was really special for me.

I am so grateful for this Gospel, for the light that it brings into my life.  I cannot even begin to describe all of the happiness, guidance, and comfort that I have received from my Father in Heaven.  I know that He is guiding His church here on the earth.

I am so excited for General Conference!  We'll be watching the Priesthood session live next week, followed by the Saturday sessions of Conference.  I so look forward to feeling the Spirit and being edified by our living prophets.  I know that they speak by the Spirit.

I love you all!  Have a fantastic week!
Love, Crandall Shimai

PS:  Today was transfer call day, and I will be staying in Koshigaya one more transfer!  In fact, my entire district is staying the same. I'll have been here for about six months by the end of this next transfer.  Crazy!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Dear family and friends,

Evelyn was the highlight of my week last week. We had been struggling finding all week, so we finally went to Souka Eki and just pushed through it. As it was coming to about time for us to go home for dinner, someone calls out to us, "HEY! Can we take a picture together?" What the? We proceeded to talk with Evelyn and her husband, Yuuji, for the next fifteen minutes (yes, we missed our train. Luckily they come every ten minutes and not ever hour like in Kisarazu). Evelyn is one if the funniest ladies I've ever met. She just kept talking, and talking, and talking. She and her husband have lived all over the world (she's Filipino, he's Japanese). She told us about how they believe in love. She was like, "Christ taught us to love our enemies. Well, I married mine!" She then proceeded to tell us all about the unfriendly feelings between the Philippines and Japan. At the end we were able to get in the new Hallelujah video, and their comment was, "wow, it's nice that they included people of all different colors!" The whole interaction was just so hilarious that we were laughing for the next 15 minutes as we returned to our apartment.

Sakaniwa Kyoudai spoke in church yesterday! I've decided that he is also one of the funniest people I know. He is so quiet and reserved, but every once in a while he says something that is hilarious! As he was introducing himself, he was like, "my family consists of me, my extremely beautiful wife, my daughter and my son." But the way he said it was priceless. He was just so serious the whole time! Anyway, his talk was really good. He has such a strong testimony. He bore testimony of how the gospel has blessed his family since he got baptized and shared an experience he recently had while working (I may have zoned out midway through and missed the important parts of that story). Anyway, it was great.

We were able to meet with two less active Filipino families yesterday - the Hipos family and the Ano/Tuling family (referred to us by Hipos Shimai). Both families are going to do their best to come to church this next week, which is way exciting! It is so fun to work with them, as they are so willing to work at becoming more active.

Lastly, we had dinner with Bishop Node and his wife on Saturday! I ate so much that I was still full when I woke up Sunday morning. I love spending time in their home.

I know that the church is true! I am so grateful for restored truth! This last week I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Japanese for the first time, and it was amazing! Reading the last chapter, I felt so much peace. I know that that book is true. I know that through the Book of Mormon we can draw closer to God, we can draw closer to our Savior.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Crandall Shimai

#Hallelujah #ハレルヤ

Monday, March 14, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends,

It rained a lot this last week.  It really brings back memories from when I first came to Japan.  I came last March, and it was COLD.  I thought that winter wasn't too bad, but I guess it just gets really bad in March with the freezing rain.  It's a good thing I'm not in Niigata!  Anyway, I'm sure it will pass - it did last year!  The cherry blossoms have already started to bloom.  I love seeing pink trees all around!  Hopefully we'll be able to go see the flowers with some of the SA’s.

We visited a referral less active named Ano Shimai from Hipos Shimai this last week (weird English, sorry).  She is also from the Philippines, and her records never came out here to Japan.  I feel like there are a lot of people like that here in Koshigaya... Anyway, we found her apartment, and as we were praying we heard her walk up behind us!  She let us in, and we got to meet her two kids and her mom.  She agreed to let us come back over on Sunday and share a message, which went great!  Her Mom (named Elora) still has a way old triple combination, and she says she reads from the Book of Mormon, the Relief Society handbook, or other church materials daily.  Ano Shimai is a little less active, but we challenged her to come with her family to church on Sunday, so maybe we'll get to go to the international group on Sunday.  Also, Ano Shimai said that she has a friend who might be interested in learning more about church... It's like a referral from a referral!

We started visiting high schools this last week to promote our new tutoring service.  Japanese high schools all look like prisons on the outside, and we found out that they look like prisons on the inside, too.  They had a huge genkan where we took off our shoes and put on the slippers they had provided for visitors.  ...only in Japan.  It was actually a lot of fun, although the public high schools were pretty straightforward in saying that they couldn't promote it to their students or anything.  Kind of a bummer, but we believe that acting in faith will help our program to be a success.

I read a good scripture in 1 Nephi 3:5-6 (I think).  It is Lehi talking to Nephi, and he says something like "Laman and Lemuel have murmured at my request, but it wasn't me that requested it of them - this is a commandment from the Lord!"  Sometimes our church leaders, namely the prophet, will ask us to do hard things, but it is important to remember that they aren't the ones asking it of us - it is the Lord!  And His commandments really are just a way to receive more blessings.

I love you all!  Have a fantastic week!
Love, Crandall Shimai

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Church is True!

Dearest Family and Friends,

Hello! I feel like it hasn't been that long since I last emailed. We had a really busy week last week with Temple Pday on Tuesday, MLC on Wednesday, District Meeting on Thursday, Exchanges on Friday, and Bible Study on Saturday. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament yesterday - one of my favorite things every week. I love the Spirit that we can feel at church.
Mission Leadership Council
I can't remember if I mentioned last week about Hipos Shimai or not. We visited on Monday, and she was home! I had never met her before, so I was excited about that. We talked with her and asked if there was anything we could help her with. She said, "I really just want to come back to church!" Great! We have church every Sunday from 10 am! Haha, well, we first need to help her realize that church is more important than her job. Anyway, we went back on Thursday to mogi the Restoration with her and her daughter, Rie, and it was way good. We asked if they knew anyone we could teach, and Hipos Shimai turned to Rie and said, "What about Sara at school?" Rie was like, "Yeah, I've been thinking she might be ready for the Gospel. I'll invite her to our next lesson!" And the Hipos Shimai was like, "Yeah, and then afterwards, take the missionaries over to her house to meet her mom." Okay, if this all actually works out, that would be great! Anyway, we were very happy when Rie chan was able to come to church on Sunday! We met her at the eki and walked to the church together, and everyone at church was so excited to see her again. They all came up and said hello to her and enthusiastically shook her hand. Rie chan should be able to go to girls’ camp at the end of this month, so that will be cool! Anyway, there have been a lot of miracles regarding the Hipos family, and I am excited to see what follows.

I know the church is true! I know that God has prepared His children to accept His word. I know that as members and missionaries work together, we will see countless miracles! I am so grateful for the Atonement of our Savior, for that enabling power. I am grateful to be able to be forgiven of my sins, mistakes and shortcomings. I am grateful for the strength that allows me to overcome weakness. I am grateful for the comfort that I can receive in times of need. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful for an understanding of His character.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Crandall Shimai

Thursday, March 3, 2016

One Year

Dearest Family and Friends,

As many of you may or may not have noticed, I hit my one year mark this last week. In fact, Sister Wadsworth and I hit it together as we entered the MTC on the same day. We bought cake. It was really good. Elder Harrison also hit his one year mark, so half the district was celebrating one year. Woohoo!

We found our kinjin last week. We got a random referral on Sunday - just a name and an address. There wasn't even a room number - just a building. We decided to go check it out anyway, and luckily all the names were written on the wall (for all 27 floors) and there was only one last name that matched. We rang the little intercom and asked "Is this Furukawa Karin san?" She responded yes, and upon hearing that we were church volunteers told us to wait a second as she came down to talk with us in person. Apparently she did a homestay in America a few years ago and stayed with a Mormon family. She has a Book of Mormon and HAS READ IT TWICE. She sent us her information on and says that she wants to start taking the lessons. What? Who is this girl? Sadly she got the flu and was unable to come to church on Sunday, but we have high hopes for her.

Another lady we met on the street that same day randomly came to church on Sunday. She seemed to like it and might come back next week. She really wants us to meet her daughter, but she is unwilling to try to set anything up for us... She wants us to just call her daughter and act as if her mom didn't tell us to call her... We'll figure this one out.

We went to the temple today, which was wonderful as ever. I always love the peace that comes there. It was a Japanese session this time, which was fun. I always love not having to wear headphones.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Crandall Shimai