Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Dear family,

Happy Easter!! Thank you for sending the awesome birthday and Easter
package, really though, thank you so much for the package.  It made my whole week.  And props to you mom for the Easter egg surprise stuff [I sent him a 12 days of the last days of Christ leading up to His Resurrection egg hunt through the scriptures].  As I was looking through them I told my companion, "man my mom is such a Primary president"!

Easter in Japan is unique.  It wasn't until we saw the Primary
children running around outside looking for Easter eggs that we
realized that it was Easter.  Nobody talked about it in Sacrament
meeting, there were no lessons on it in Sunday school or priesthood,
no one mentioned it or made any announcements about it.  Like for
real, it was just another Sunday, haha.  We were kinda of upset about
that, but it's just another culture difference we work with.
Ironically, the world was celebrating Easter, but the church wasn't,
haha.  The church in Japan is kinda of the polar opposite of the
church in America.  In a good and a bad way.  For example, two of our
good friends, Eimi and Rui Stevenson, the 1st councilor in the mission
presidencies daughters, are in our ward here.  They both are leaving
today for their missions.  Yesterday in church they gave their
farewell testimonies, but it was much different than American style
farewell testimonies.  They each bore a little 5 minute testimony,
said a few words about what a mission means to them and how they were
feeling, and then sat down.  No big final speech, no large family
there supporting, no big farewell party from the ward or anything,
just quiet dignity.  They are honorably leaving to serve their
missions in Kobe and Fukuoka.  Christmas, Easter, all of these big
holidays are almost non existent over here.  However, ward unity, ward
food parties, their love of the missionaries is significantly more
apparent over here than back in America.

We had our last two zone conferences this week.  We were in Fujisawa
and Musashino zones, got to give my final testimony in each of those.
Starting to realize that I'm not going to be seeing some of my
missionary friends again.  Oh well, such is life.

Yesterday, the General Young Woman's President, Sister Oscarson, and
the General Relief Society President, Sister Burton, came and gave a
devotional at our church. We had one of our good friends, Pan Di from
China, come and attend the devotional.  He enjoyed the talks very
much, however he only believes in science, haha.  Sister Burton had
some great stories that really intrigued him, especially this one
story about one of her ancestors. It was a miracle story about some
trials that she was going through to which she received some heaven
sent guidance.  Pan Di said that he would believe the story if the same
thing happened to him.  But he is developing a little bit of faith
little by little.  We will just keep on working with them at sports
night and English class every week.  Nice guy.  Maybe you will get to
meet him one day.  But the Sisters truly had powerful testimonies and
a special spirit about them.  There were many Japanese members that
came from my old wards and I was able to catch up a little bit with

Things are kinda winding up and winding down if you know what I mean.
We weren't able to go to Bible class this week cause we had to take a
missionary to the airport.  He had to go home and take care of
family things, but that helped me get a little midnight Tokyo street
driving time in, holla!!  Yes, it was as fun as it sounds.  I am way
excited for Bible class this next week to reconnect with everyone and
continue to work with Yuichi.  It is a great time to be a missionary
and we have a lot of good things coming up this next week.  We have a
special Japanese missionary training only for native Japanese people.
Also, next week is mission leadership council, and then the week after
that is transfer week! Time is going fast but I am having a ton of fun
for sure.

I love you and hope you have a wonderful festive weekend!


Elder Crandall

P.S. So here is what I did for my birthday.  I went to a cat cafe down the
street and hung out with a bunch of cool cats! You just pay for an
hour and get some drinks and hang out in a room full of cats! Only in
Japan, right!

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