Sister Jena Anderson

Sister Jena Anderson
Entered the MTC December 28th, 2011 and left for Kobe, Japan March 12th!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Room in my heart...

Note from Sister Jen's parents:

She will be returning home from Japan 
Wednesday, June 5th!

She will be speaking in Sacrament meeting on June 30th at 9 am.  
The ward building address is 14400 South Redwood Road, Bluffdale.

My primary friend, Miku Chan

Dear Family,
I can't believe this time has come. Everyone keeps writing me about seeing me this week, and it just seems so unreal that I will actually be there!!!
Having that said, yesterday at Church was truly a crazy experience. We had nine investigators at Church, and lots who came later (maybe 7), and it was such a powerful testimony meeting. One of the sweet members just started talking about me at the end of her talk, and I was gone. I cried I think the whole day. The only 11 year old in Primary got up and bore her testimony about me, how we couldn't meet a lot but that we both had done ballet, and how much she loved me. Both of them! I bore my testimony to the sweet people who came, so many investigators, and just explained how much Heavenly Father loved them, and how baptism is the way we go to live with Him. It was all so neat to me. I love every one of the sweet faces in that audience. As I bore my testimony, I just kept feeling how Heavenly Father loved every one of those people in the audience, and how each of them was so special. I told my branch how my family didn't worry, because I had a family here in Japan. They are truly so special. I thought that there would be no room in my heart for love after Takamatsu, that it was finished. I realized that Niihama snuck in the back door and is such a part of my heart.
Three of our sweet investigators showed up the first time, a family, bringing Japanese gifts to send me off. Somehow, it all hurt as I talked to the less-active who is coming back with her non-member boyfriend, who we have an appointment to start teaching. The new outfit that my sweet friend Jedley bought me, with her two sweet recent convert girls. 
The hand made and signed fabric letter from the branch. I just love them so much. I've never known love like this, and we didn't even see a baptism here in Niihama. But it is so incredible. Our new investigator who brought us famous towels from a place called Imabari. An investigator who made a mistake last week and went to the wrong Church, another Christian Church close to us, but came this week and said to the Branch President: "This Church is different, isn't it? It is the best." I look up at the night sky and ask, how can I be so blessed? What did I do to deserve this mission in Japan?
The departing missionaries seem to have chances to testify so often. It has made me think a lot about success. Because I love each and every investigator, I want them to be baptized. It breaks my heart that many still are not. But their conversion will be a part of my prayers and a focus of my work until they are there with me, in the Celestial Kingdom, and I can teach them again, rejoice with them, in the Celestial Kingdom. I think success is in keeping at it, even when we fail. I think that if I had never failed, I never would have known the joy of my Redeemer. I think of how sometimes it was so painful. And then I rejoice that there is light at the end of that pain through Jesus Christ.
We truly do have the "good news." I know that my mission will not stop. It will continue. I told my Zone that as m\y time finished here, the thing I feel the most is just urgency. I feel so many unfamiliar emotions lately that I can't put my finger on with all of the change, it is a kind of pain and uncomfortableness, but also just the ever present change that is in our life--because we are journeying back to our Father. Did you know that repentance ties in with progress in the Bible Dictionary?
My heart is so full. I could write so many things I have written before, and I don't know how they would sound. I have had in my scriptures, by Alma 8:1, "June 2013." :)
It is strange moving on. And inevitably, there is pain. Excitement. Remorse. Joy. Deeply learned lessons. Testimony. It's incredible. My mission is nothing like I thought it would be. I look back at this patchwork of scattered experiences, and say, "Huh! That is a mission." No one would have told me before. But I look and know that every mission has a common element--the love that comes for the children of God as we spend time, serving them.
I testify to you that that is true.
See you in a blink!
Love forever,
Your Sister in His Service, Sister Anderson

This hug will be for real soooooooooooooooooooo soon!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Hey Beautiful Family! 

I have been thinking about "time" this morning as I sat on this little library computer, and had a few minutes to reflect--and I am so grateful. I love my Heavenly Father. I feel like every so often that there is a culmination of experience in which, Heavenly Father shows you how He has indeed been tutoring you (in ways perhaps so small that we aren't refined enough to notice) and then there is a spiritual culmination, a gift! In the troughs of experience we must never look at the pinnacle and say we are not there, when the line of our experience is an ascension. (That was a lot of big words!) Anyway, things are great. I love life!
This week we have had so many miracles. When I first transferred, the ward in Niihama was doing a fast to find Priesthood holders. There wasn't a dramatic increase during my first weeks here, but this week, we have found two men who will become investigators! There were 7 people at Church, and the ward was just abuzz with the feeling and joy of the work and the result that they knew would come from faith. It's been wonderful! We are finding a lot of really great new people recently.  For example, as we were talking with a mom yesterday, she asked if her house would be ok for such an important message. It was such a natural contact and we get to share the Gospel with her this week!! Things really have just been getting big, we have just been running around and teaching so much - lately it just feels busy. This must be what the busy-ness of the last days feels like! 
I will share one more cool miracle with you! So, this week, we were walking to an appointment to meet one of the men we found housing, and someone called out after us. It was the man who had helped us with Owens Shimai's bike when she got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere when we were far out in our area! At that time, he hadn't had interest, but was nice. We invited him to come hear us sing at Church, and he came!! We were able to get contact information and will move forward this week! We also got to testify to a volunteer English group we go to every once in a while, and one of the sweet members wanted a Book of Mormon! I offered to give it, and she raised her hand, it was so cute and such a powerful teaching time. I love teaching the Gospel! Also teaching another new cute mom! So fun.
The Lord is prospering Niihama. I love the Gospel. Isn't it amazing how everything relates to the gospel?! This is truly the best experience Heavenly Father could have given us - life on earth and a way to return to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. 
I love you all, and pray for you!
See you next week!
Sister Anderson

PS Congrats to all the nieces and nephews on end-of-the-year awards and honors! You are inspiring! Way to go Mook on taking state in the 4x400 relay!  So great!

PPS Wow!  Jeni Bowman is married!  Thanks for the pic - she is beautiful!
PPPS  Thanks for sending the picture of Sister Monson's funeral.  She will be missed.
Note from Sister Jen's mom:

She will be returning home from Japan 
Wednesday, June 5th!

She will be speaking in Sacrament meeting on June 30th at 9 am.  
The ward building address is 14400 South Redwood Road, Bluffdale.

Here are a few pics of the last group of missionaries to leave her mission, 
including her cousin. Soon, these pictures will be of her!!! 
We are so grateful to her beloved mission president and his sweet wife!

 And the huge group of missionaries who came! 
The missionary count in her mission will most likely double!  
So great!!!
From Sister Zinke:
...we welcomed twenty new energetic missionaries from the Missionary Training Center.  What a crazy week it was...but what fun!  Fourteen of them come to us from right here in Japan, three are from Australia and three Americans.  We are thrilled with our new missionaries!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Did I mention that I love missionary work???

Hey Cuties!
We don't even have time to read mail this week!  We have been trying to get to computers that work all day... Whew! Things are going great though, and they are looking up. We had a few miracles this week, including an investigator coming to Church who we haven't been able to contact for a long time!! I love missionary work, my companion, our investigators, President and Sister Zinke, Japan, our whole mission, my bike, teaching and proclaiming the gospel, the Book of Mormon...I love my Savior, and did I mention that I love missionary work?? I can't believe the time is winding down. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
Note: I'm supposed to be checking my flight itinerary with you, but I keep forgetting!! Next week?
No pics today, sketchy internet cafe, and I don't want my SD card to get erased!
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! the work we are involved in is true! Funny moment of the day--on the way to our first email spot, I was singing some Nashville Tribute and came around a corner and this man was so close to me and i was singing practically in his face! He just started laughing because it was so funny, so i did, too!  Life is good here in Japan!
Sister Anderson

PS  I'll bet you never thought you would get a letter this short from me! haha!

Note from the folks: Since Sister Jen did not have time to send any pics this week, we thought you would enjoy some of her at the Provo MTC where she started her mission 
nearly eighteen months ago! 
She will be returning home from Japan 
Wednesday, June 5th!
She will be speaking in Sacrament meeting on June 30th at 9 am.  
The ward building address is 14400 South Redwood Road, Bluffdale.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!!

 hino shimai  
Dearest Family!!! 
The computers are so slow this morning, but we get to email you! Thanks for the phone call this morning! COY IS GOING TO SINGAPORE!!!!! I am so excited!! My companion and I were talking about what an incredible mission it is. My friend, Sister Becky Trottier, is on her mission there and loves it! I'm so excited for you Coy!!! And so, so proud of you and your willingness and preparation to serve!
I love you all! I am so proud of the good you are doing and pleased to be your sister in this great work. I am praying for Macy, and I am so grateful she is in good care.
I love this work and it is the Lord's! Recently one of our investigators moved and is having a hard time in her new area, we'd love prayers for her, we call her "Rose." We've picked up some old investigators and found a new family this week that we just started teaching, we are praying it will go well from here. We delivered some beautiful flowers and a note to one of our families:
It truly is the best work in the world. What could be better than gathering Heavenly Father's children? My heart is full of gratitude to be involved in this great work! Weaknesses and shortcomings will not hinder it as we depend on Him. :) Isn't it an incredible privilege to be alive, part of an eternal family, and with the greatest joy in the world: The Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!! Thanks for being you! Thanks for all your love and support - you are the best!!!
Love, Sister Anderson
 P-Day with our investigator and her husband

Healthy eating in Japan!
note from Sister Jen's folks:

We loved talking with our sweet missionary yesterday, and her laughter and spirit filled our home once again! What a perfect Mother's Day gift!!!

She doesn't want to think about it, but her mission is drawing to a close.  We got her official flight itinerary and she will be arriving home June 5th!!! She will be taking some BYU classes this summer and moving to Provo in the fall to attend BYU full-time. 

Her nephew, Coy Christensen (son of our daughter, Jana, and her husband, Jeff), will be entering the MTC on September 11th, to learn the Malay language and receive training for his mission to Singapore!   
He is our oldest grand son and such an amazing example for the others!  This summer, before he leaves, and after Sister Jen returns (and after her brother, Nate, returns from his tour to Japan and Korea), we are having a family reunion and all  of our children, their spouses, and all of our grand children will be here!  What could be better?  It may never happen again. :)

Sister Jen mentioned that she is praying for her cousin's daughter, Macy, who fell over twenty feet from a tree.  Here is the update from her Mom, Merrilea:

Macy has splints on both her arms (fractured wrists) and will be in casts next week for about 6 weeks.  She is in a neck brace for the time being.  the brace may come off but for now she is a trouper though...She has fractured her t5 and t6 vertebrae and for now remains completely flat in bed.  She will be fitted for a brace that kinda looks like a turtle shell which will protect and alleviate pressure off the the spine.  Once that is fitted, she may start to walk when she feels up to it. She is incredibly sore and her lungs are bruised, so she remains on oxygen. We are working on strengthening her lings by blowing bubbles and other breathing exercises.  Every day she is getting a little stronger. The doctors and nurses at Primary Children's hospital have been fantastic with us, and i am so grateful to them.  So for now we are taking baby steps in the right direction...Again, thanks for all your prayers, thoughts, sweet gifts, and for taking care of Parker, Brylea, and Logan.  I hope everyone has a beautiful Mother's Day!  I am so grateful I am mother to four amazing children!  All my love, Mer

Sister Jen's cousin, Quinn Lythgoe, served in the Kobe, Japan mission also - as many of you know.  Sister Jen has told us about him being a fantastic missionary, and the times they got to see each other over the course of their missions.  He spoke in his home ward sacrament meeting yesterday and gave a wonderful talk.  We loved hearing about how his mission taught him to use the atonement every day...missions do that for missionaries!!! We got to meet four more missionaries from their mission who all knew Sister Jen - what fun it was to hear them talk about her!  Here are some pics:
 Mao and Whitney
 Quinn and Rex
 Candice and Quinn's mom, Laurie, who is Scott's sister
Sister Jen and Candice when she was Sister Cheney 
and went to Nara with her ...

Monday, May 6, 2013

How great is our calling!!!

 My Sweet Family!!
We are at the internet cafe again because it is another HOLIDAY in Japan! In fact, yesterday there was this moving float with all of these kids running around it in matching clothes and there were drums being played, out of colorful!  People stopped, traffic stopped, and everyone else on the street was really quiet and acted like it wasn't a really big thing... we were wondering what was happening. And then the next road, there was another one--this one pink! It was probably for "Kids Day" yesterday. It's an actual holiday in Japan! Who knew, right? Will hopefully send pics next week, these internet cafe computers sometimes eat SD cards! guessed it, I am low on time today--but I am so grateful to be a missionary! It's been crazy with things "winding down." But our work is winding up and we are so focused on finding people ready to make commitments in the Gospel. It's been an awesome week. We've had so many neat opportunities! We met some former investigators this past week, and some are looking good to investigate again. We had a contact yesterday while  we were housing and no one was listening...and we met this woman who didn't believe in God. She told us her life story and the Spirit just testified to me (as I testified to her) of the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. In her story, at the hardest time in her life, no one would give her a hug or a handshake which is what she really needed. So, at the end of talking with her, I asked if I could hug her. She just stood there, and then said, "I'm embarrassed!" But she hugged both of us and told us good luck in everything. I looked into her eyes as we talked and could feel the Spirit touching her heart, her face softening and eyes glowing as the Spirit touched her. There are moments like that when people are prepared only to listen and not to "hear," but it was good. I love this work. I love just having the chance to give the people we talk to a chance to hear what we have to say. 

Tomorrow we have our last Zone Taikai, and I will give my "last remarks."  This is what has been on my mind: that it is an incredible opportunity to serve. That it is such a privilege to be a missionary. That it is a joy to let His children choose!  We grieve when they don't listen, but our calling is to invite. HOW GREAT IS OUR CALLING! My mission means so much to me. It is sacred ground where I have come to know Heavenly Father and to act everyday on the Atonement my Savior performed. It is a miracle. :)
Next week - Mother's Day!!! Call Japan time 9:30-10:30 (or 10 to 11 if it is easier). Let's talk, call me! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!  :)
I love you all, little schnookums. I hope you have a great day. The work is true!
Love from the other side of the world from where I was raised,
Sister Anderson


Our sweet missionary will be arriving home from Japan on Wednesday, June 5th!

She will be speaking in Sacrament meeting on June 30th at 9 am.  
The ward building address is 14400 South Redwood Road, Bluffdale.

Thanks for your continual love and support!

Tango no Sekku 

The day was originally called Tango no Sekku (端午の節句?), and was celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon in the lunar calendar or Chinese calendar. After Japan's switch to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5. It was originally for boys but has since been changed to include both boys and girls.

Sekku means a season's festival (there are five sekku per year). Tango no Sekku marks the beginning of summer or the rainy seasonTan means "edge" or "first" and go means "noon".

Children are stars. Fish fly. Schools have the day off.

Every May 5, it is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" in Japan. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp (a type of fish) for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery.

Children indulge in kashiwa-mochi, sticky rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves, and other sweets. Around the country there are many events for children and families. Children take center stage in traditional Japanese plays. Thousands of children compete in the "Kids' Olympics" held at the National Kasumigaoka Stadium in Tokyo. Children also use the day to thank and show respect for the teachers, parents, and relatives who care for them.

Until 1948, May 5 was called Tango no sekku and only honored boys. A separate holiday called Hinamatsuri or "Dolls' Day" celebrated girls on March 3. Even now, on this day girls still receive dolls that had been passed down to their grandmothers and mothers. For many families, May 5 still centers on boys. Some people say that Hinamatsuri for girls should become an equal holiday instead of combining them into one. How about you? Would you want a holiday for all kids, or one for boys and another for girls?


Monday, April 29, 2013

The work goes on and the gospel is true!!!

Dearest Family:
Another short email day because we unexpectedly are heading out.  I just want to tell you how much I love you. This week we contacted a man and spoke to him for a long time.  We explained the gospel, testified with the Spirit, and he said that he didn't want to listen and had no questions. Oh, well. Maybe another time.  Its the nature of missionary work, right? However, we then met a lady the next door who said we could come back!  Wahoo! I am so aware of the love that Heavenly Father has for His children. The other night while studying, I realized at the truths found in the Book of Mormon, and realized just how FUN it is to share this message, and to teach people what Heavenly Father's children are here to do.  It is the best, and it is true. We have the truth! How I love to share it!

This week Higashi Shimai moved, but also said that she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. It's so awesome! I love baptisms. I love the Gospel. I love you! Time is so short and so precious. Hug the ones you love today, and hug yourself for how loved you are by me - and let us rejoice forever in the Gospel!! It is true.
Love you forever!
Sister Anderson

Sister Jen's cousin (who has been serving in the same mission) returned home last Wednesday!  Here are some pics of the amazing, hard-working successful missionary Elder Lythgoe and his welcome crew at the airport in SLC!

From Sister Zinke:
Last week we welcomed twenty new energetic missionaries from the Missionary Training Center.  What a crazy week it was...but what fun!  Fourteen of them come to us from right here in Japan, three are from Australia and three Americans.  We are thrilled with our new missionaries!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

No need to doubt!

My Dear Friends and Family,
Sometimes my heart just rejoices and reflects in the depth of the help Heavenly Father gives us. I am so amazed at His mercy. His call is for each of us, no matter where we are, to come to His feet, to come to His mercy, so He CAN help us. I had another paradigm in my study this week as a I realized that commandments are to protect us, that the Lord WANTS us within the realm of His help and protection. We hear "come," "ask," "knock." I promise you my brothers and sisters, that He is here to help.
Transfer calls came and, I will finish up here in Niihama! I can't believe it. As the time is winding down, I can't figure out how I'm feeling--at all! We met a new investigator family this week, it was so neat because when we taught them about baptism and related it to Church, the husband was really interested--and they were like, "Where is this Church? We want to go." It was the first time anyone has down that in a first lesson without being invited on my mission. The Lord knows the hearts of those we teach.
Other than that, things are clicking more with Hino Shimai! Right now she is praying to Heavenly Father AND Jesus Christ, and then says respectfully, "you two people..." She is so funny. We taught about prayer before and will teach it again tonight. :)
We use activities and teach simply. She understood the Spirit more last time, and it was so fun because she said, "When I feel like I shouldn't read the Book of Mormon, that's Satan, isn't it! And when I do feel like I should, that's the Spirit!" We also did a guide activity in that one, complete with an eyes-shut Owens Shimai, to teach about how feeling the spirit works. On Sunday, we had just finished a meeting and she bustled up to the room we were in, so cute, because she knew we would want to sit and talk with her. She told us that when she met her friend, she prayed to start off their time together so that they would have a good time! Isn't that wonderful? She really has a testimony, it is just trying to put all of the pieces down for her. Her study of the Book of Mormon is really beginning to open her heart, help overcome years of other beliefs. It is so fun.
On Sunday, I got to talk in Church, and our neighbor came to the Church for the first time! They are such a cute couple, and moving so soon, we will stay in touch though and refer them. But as I started my talk, an investigator we have been trying to meet (and not able to get an appointment with) walked into the Chapel. Our branch is really small and it was a small day for the small branch, I said, "Welcome!" And then I think I skipped half of my talk! ha ha. (just a little.) Sunday was a day full of miracles.
Thanks so much for your notes, you are so great. We ask for your prayers that we can quickly find the prepared people in our area, and that we can help them come unto Christ through the ordinance of baptism.
This is the Savior's work. We have no need to doubt, for He is at the head.
I LOVE YOU! Remember that no matter where you are, what you are facing, that the Lord's love is enough. Our task on earth is to choose, and choosing Him is enough to cover all the rest. It is the best decision I have ever made, and maintain that allegiance each day. I love you all! The work is true, and people's salvation is waiting.
Love you!
Sister Anderson 

I love this mochi! ahhhh.....
 Treats from our surprise investigator at Church!