Monday, May 30, 2016

ゾーン大会 (Because everything looks cooler in Japanese)

Dearest Family and Friends,

Switching with Sister Tausinga!
This last week was really interesting.  We had surprise exchanges (I mentioned that last week, I think) and then temple PDay.  On Wednesday, Sister Burke got sick, so we were inside all day.  Thursday was Zone Conference, which was AMAZING!  All in all, we really only had Friday through Sunday to dendou here in Tsukuba.  It was kindof weird.  I'm excited to have a full week in my own area this week!

Zone Conference was all about how to feel the Spirit, how to receive revelation from God.  I got a lot of great insights the whole time - even during the prelude music!  I love to hear from President and Sister Nagano.  Whenever I am with them, it is confirmed to me that they are supposed to be my mission president and wife.  I am so grateful for them!  I am grateful for their revelation and their guidance for this mission.

I know that the church is true!  I know that God is our Heavenly Father!  I know that He leads and guides us.  I know that we have a living prophet today.  I am every grateful for continuing revelation from a Father who cares about each of us individually.  He knows what is best for each of us.  He is always there to take us by the hand. Remember, the first eternal truth is that God loves us!

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

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Temple Weekend

Dearest Family and Friends,

Wow, this last weekend was great!  I was able to go to Matsudo on Friday for Zone Meeting!  It was so great to be back in my first area!  I was so excited.  That church is so beautiful... I can't get over it.  It could probably be a temple.  We then had half day exchanges and I got to work with Sister Oda for a few hours!  It was way fun!

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to go with a recent convert in Tsukuba named Misaki to the temple to do baptisms!  It was my first time seeing the baptistry in the Tokyo Temple.  It was really small, but it felt so 懐かしい。It made me want to do baptisms every week again.  I was blessed to see a less active from Koshigaya there in the temple, Sano Shimai!  I love her so much, and I was grateful for the opportunity to visit with her for a minute.

We were informed on Saturday that the Sister Training Leaders had to change their exchange schedule, and we went back to Matsudo for exchanges on Monday!  I spent the day with my beloved Tausinga Shimai.  During my first transfer, we spent a lot of time together as our companions were both Sister Training Leaders.  It was fun to be back together again during Sister Tausinga's last transfer.  I was able to lead her all around as we visited with less actives and other members.  We surprised Miki at our Skype mogi lesson, and I had so much fun teaching her the Word of Wisdom.  That lesson stands out in my memory as the turning point in our lessons with Miki.  That was when she went from being another investigator to an actual progressing investigator.  It was really special to me to relive that moment.

Sister Burke & Sister Crandall
This morning we went to Tokyo and did a session in the temple!  I love being in the temple.  It is amazing now to be able to get insights from hearing it in a different language.  I know that the ordinances in the temple truly are necessary for our salvation.  This is God's plan.  The temple is where our families become eternal.  The temple will always have such a special place in my heart.

I love you all so much!  I am so grateful for all of your love and support!  Please continue to be safe.

Love, Crandall Shimai

PS:  Oh yeah, there was an earthquake last week.  Everyone has been writing about how big and scary it was... I didn't think it was that bad.  It seemed pretty short and not very destructive.  According to the members, it originated from Tsuchiura, which is a city in Tsukuba area.  Maybe it just wasn't as severe right in the epicenter?  I don't know.

Anyway, I love you all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends,

Konnichiha from Tsukuba!  I arrived here last Wednesday, and it was nice to see all of the plant life.  There's even a (small) mountain here called Tsukuba San.  We were supposed to hike it, but due to some problems with my ankles we had to cancel.

There aren't too many investigators here, but there are a bunch of daigakusei walking around!  I will talk to all of them!  I will find those who are prepared!

We had a Relief Society activity this last weekend, and it was nice to get a head start on learning names.  This ward is just a little smaller than Koshigaya ward. It shouldn't take too long to remember names.  I have already been impressed at how willing members are to drive us around.  We've already been able to visit with several less actives.  I am really looking forward to working here in Tsukuba.

Oh, I learned this last week that Tsukuba does have Kanji!  It's usually written as つくば、but it originally came from 筑波。I think that there are just so many foreigners at the college here that they probably changed it to the phonetic characters instead.

I am grateful every day for the opportunity I have to serve in this beautiful country.  I love the people, I love the culture.  I love the Gospel, and I know that there are those who are ready to receive me.

Have a great week!
Love, Crandall Shimai

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends,

With another transfer under my belt (except I guess I don't wear a belt... under my arm かな), I will be moving from Koshigaya to a new area!  I've been in Koshigaya for six months, so It'll be hard to leave.  But, at the same time, I am a little tired of all the ekis and roads in this little area.  I'll miss it, but I'm excited to go somewhere new!

As many of you may have guessed already (based on the title of my email), I have been transferred to つくば! For those of you who don't speak or read the Celestial Language, I've been transferred to Tsukuba!  It's a part of Matsudo Stake, so for exchanges I'll be able to return to my beloved bean area!  I look forward to working with Sister Burke, a sweet sister who is deathly allergic to fish.  Sorry Dad, I probably won't come home loving sea food.

This last week was a lot of fun.  Miki, my recent convert from Matsudo, came to Koshigaya on Tuesday and we had lunch together!  It was so fun to talk with her.  She is currently a Relief Society teacher in Matsudo Ward, and she'll probably start taking the temple prep lessons soon!  She loves interacting with the sisters' investigators there.  I didn't know this, but Miki told me that to get baptized she changed jobs!  She wanted to be able to come to church every Sunday, so she quit working at the company where she was employed and started working somewhere with the expectation that she wouldn't have to work on Sundays.  She says that it's farther away, and it's a little 大変、but she loves being able to come to church every week.  I love Miki so much, and I look forward to going to the temple with her this August/September!

We had the Yamashita Kaichou conference this last week.  President Yamashita from the Asia North Area Presidency and his wife came and spoke to us about everything under the sun - from cleanliness to opening our mouths to loving our companions to having effective study... It was really insightful, but a little overwhelming.  He and his wife are both super adorable, though.

The next day we had MLC in Tokyo all day.  That was also really inspiring.  It was probably my last MLC of my mission though as I am no longer a Sister Training Leader and I will probably be training my last two transfers.

Saturday we had a youth activity, and only one youth came.  Shion kun is a trooper!  (yeah, his name is Shion, like Zion!)  There was also an investigator who brought a friend and a few single adults that came.  All in all, it was a fun activity.  I shared a short thought from the scriptures and then taught them a hula dance.  Sadly, none of the young women could come, but I feel like it was a success.

I'm so grateful for my mom!  Mom, I love you so much!  I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Please know that I am always thinking of you and praying for you.  神よまた逢うまで!

I am ever grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, for His Atonement, and for His love.  I know that He lives.  I know that He loves me.  I know that He sacrificed Himself for me, that I can return to my Father in Heaven.  I am ever grateful for this important truth, that He loves us!

Happy Mother's Day!

Love, Crandall Shimai

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Pictures!

Skyping for Mother's Day <3

Tokyo Mission Mission Leadership Council

Saitama, Matsudo & Kiryu Zones

Monday, May 2, 2016


Dearest Family and Friends,

I did it.  I finally bit the bullet and got my hair cut.  How short? you might ask.  Well, to me it feels quite short, but most people probably won't even see a difference.  I got about 15 cm cut off.  I was shocked though, because the place I went to just cut it dry.  Why would they do that when I have naturally wavy hair?  I'm a little worried that it isn't straight, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow when I wash it.

ANYWAY.  This last week was a little crazy.  We decided to do half day exchanges in Kasukabe, and instead of taking the train, we just biked there.  It took about an hour to bike, which is actually shorter than it takes us to bike to our less actives' homes... Crazy stuff.  That day we ended up biking about 45km, which is about 28 miles.  I was exhausted, but I felt really good.

Things have been warming up here, and I'm finding myself extremely sensitive to the heat.  What am I going to do when it is August?  I'll walk outside and evaporate or something!  I'll probably be throwing out all of my old long sleeve shirts next week when transfer calls come.  Fleece lined tights are a thing of the past.  I did it!  I survived my only winter in Japan!  Next up is Tsuyu part 2... Maybe I'll break down and buy rain boots this year.

The ward here is also warming up.  The Dendou Shunin is starting to participate more in our work, and he is helping us to organize youth activities!  This Wednesday will be the first day of our 8 week Eiken Test Prep program.  Our mission was chosen to be the pilot mission for this new dendou tool, so it'll be cool to see how it works out.  We announced this in Relief Society on Sunday, and told all the sisters that it is a great dendou opportunity for all of them.  We invited them to invite their junior high and high school aged neighbors.  They were way pumped about it.  Inoue Shimai even asked if it would be alright if she went to a nearby junior high to tell them about it. It's so amazing to see this ward get so excited about dendou, and I'm a little bummed that I'll probably be transferring away next week.

This week should be fun.  We have the Yamashita Chourou conference, as well as MLC - two all day conferences right in a row.

I guess I'll finish with a miracle that we saw last week.  On Saturday, we had had a pretty slow morning.  In the afternoon, we had a little bit of finding time, so we decided to go visit a member who had recently moved in.  She wasn't home, but on the way to her apartment and back, we talked to two amazing women.  The first had gone to a Christian Kindergarten, and she was way interested in learning more about Christ.  The other lady, when asked if she believed in God, went off about how we should always give thanks to God; how whenever she was in nature or with her family she wanted to give thanks; and how we have a lot of trials, but those are given to us by God to help us to progress.  All of her thoughts about God were spot on!  It was so amazing to talk with her!  Afterward, we had a meal appointment with our Dendou Shunin and his family, but upon arriving ten minutes early we decided to visit another older member who lived across the street.  We visited with her and shared these two miracles we saw while finding, and she cried.  I was so touched to see how deeply moved she was.  Her faith really impressed me.  I too want to have faith like that.

I love you all!  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and a wonderful Mother's Day!

Love, Crandall Shimai
PS:  I apologize for the lack of good titles to my emails.  I'm really running out of good ideas!