Sister Jena Anderson

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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Letter #9 from the MTC...I love this work!!!!

note from Sister Anderson's parents:  Only a few weeks to use for free!  She does love to get letters!!!

Click here ...when the site opens up, click "Provo MTC (free)" on the left. Fill in the following info:

Sister Jenali Anderson  MTC Box #157  Mission code JPN-KOB  estimated MTC departure date 03-13-2012

then write your letter (she would love even a paragraph!) and click send!  She will get it the same day!

Hey Fam!
This week has been wonderful! And so up and down and crazy. Feelings are so strong at the MTC.
So on Sunday, something great happened. Every week we prepare a talk in Japanese and someone is  randomly called from the audience during Sacrament meeting to speak. Somehow, I felt like it was going to me. (Walking to Sacrament meeting I told my companion that I just had this feeling...) And... it was! It was really fun to speak. I'd had this feeling that I should hone my talk because it was a little sloppy, but my companion and I had done something else we needed to do right before the meeting... ha ha. It was amazing though because the Spirit helped me so much. It was on the gift of the Holy Ghost! I realized when I'd finished that I had not been thinking in English really, it felt like a blank page... and I didn't know some of what I'd said! It was really fun for me, probably about average for the audience, but I love Japanese. I love it!
This week we had mensetsu (interviews) with our Sensei (teacher).These coaching interviews were done in ENGLISH and it was the FIRST TIME we'd heard him speak English! It was so, so fun; and he was very complimentary of our companionship. It is so wonderful to have someone so on your side. He really loves our lessons. Our district is so close, and our teacher is so great. I have more great motivation to go forward! Today I was thinking... why do we limit our dreams and worry about them? Why do we not just go about "anxiously engaged" in doing good? I'm loving that. I just finished 1 Nephi in my Morumon Sho (my Japanese Book of Mormon) and my goal is to finish 2nd Nephi before we leave!! I love it. I love learning about goals and the Lord. He is so good at helping me with everything... especially when things are hard for me.
In addition.... our Kohai and Nihonjin Senkyoshitachi came from Japan this week!!! They are SO AMAZING! I really just love Japanese people. The sisters going to Kobe are SO WONDERFUL! One of the Japanese sisters truly just glows, she is so cute. We had about 60 new missionaries all together, and the program has been changed from a 12 week to a 10 week program (isn't that crazy?). Because Sister Facer is the coordinating sister, we got to sit in on their testimony meeting last night... and they are ALL so great. The song "Army of Helamen" came into my head again - I so loved this song when I was an EFY counselor. I got to thinking... what if we realized the potential of everyone we interact with? How would it change how we look at them? I want to look at others more like the Savior does.
I know I have talked a lot about myself, but I do want to say that I can't believe the sculpting that is going on. Life is beautiful and progressive. I think I am naturally a bit of an extremist, but the Lord comes into my soul and harbors change there.... I am finding a peace in slow consistency. We just grow little bits, "line upon line," our whole lives... and I am ok with that! It is a wonderful process, and can be hard when you hit a low... but I'm constantly amazed at how the Spirit brings up our lows. I'm realizing that learning this is line upon line as well... and how Heavenly Father is ALWAYS with and in us with the Spirit!
Also,my comp and I got invited to teach for the incoming missionaries this week! It was really neat. It´s weird, you go in with mics on in front of somewhere around 40 - 60 elders and sisters and set the stage for them to teach their "investigators." We were worried about teaching in English, it´s been a while! went well ( I think!). So fun!!!
Also, we had the chance to HOST the past two weeks and I forgot to include that in the last letter! It has been really fun welcoming the new missionaries. I also was asked to sing in Church this week... (I must just sing openly a lot?)... I feel so grateful that the Lord is giving me these chances to glorify Him and bear my testimony through music. I love it and I love Him so, so much.
What else... I am sure that there is more, time flies SO FAST! I love getting letters from my nephews and neices, thank you so much you wonderful cute people! What a privilege. I want to live to the standard you are. :)  I love getting letters from ALL my people!!!!! Thank you so much for all your love and support.  It helps me more than you know to hear from you.
SO! It´s been a super busy week, a lot of logistics... I just love Japanese and I am so excited. I honestly think in down times, I didn´t SEE myself in Japan or even getting there... the Lord has come in, in His mercy, and is helping me have HOPE. He teaches me so much! I testify of the Master Teacher and His power to heal and cleanse us. It is true!  I LOVE THIS WORK!!! We are on the winning team! I got to share a scripture this week from Alma 25 16 in our district study, and I love this... I love the relationship between faith, hope, obedience, and relying on the Savior. I KNOW that it is through His grace that we can do all things! The Lord loves us and puts us in places where we can strengthen and help each other. I love this place, I love the MTC, I love my Savior. I love Him! I would seek to sing praises to Him all of my days. The work is so, so good. It is amazing that the Lord takes ordinary people, and as we turn our lives to Him... He shapes us into something extraordinary. I´ve been learning so much about the principle in Ether 12 27 that talks about how we are strengthened even THROUGH weakness... (like the JST footnote in the end of it) I LOVE THIS GOSPEL! I testify that this is the right path. If there is anyone within the sound of my words who is wondering, IT IS TRUE. God has a perfect plan for you and He loves you. He can make more out of your life than you can ever imagine and I promise that it is true!!
I love you forever sweet fam. Thanks again for your notes and encouragement! Onward and upward, the Savior is truly with us and the work is true.
Love Always,
Sister Anderson

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MTC Letter #8 Livin' the Dream!

Hey Family!

WOW! What a whirlwind of a week. I'm just sitting here in the laundry room, livin' the dream. We just got sack lunches, and my district is eating in plain clothes making the most of  our P-day.

SO! This week I didn't prepare a wonderful list... so we'll see what pops out in this letter!

First off....our "investigator" YOSHI SAN DECIDED TO BE BAPTIZED! I stumbled through the invitation, we hadn't anticipated asking him but we had just felt prompted in so many lessons. We can't BELIEVE this, and we are so excited to teach him. Even though he is our sensei (teacher), when we walk in that room our "investigators" are different to us. From slaving over lesson plans and pouring our hearts our to Heavenly Father over our investigators, we begin to feel a lot of charity for them... it's amazing.WeI love the people I will teach - and we haven't even gone to Japan. :) HOWEVER! The new group of Nihonjin senkyoshi (Japanese missionaries) come with our Kohai this week (the new missionaries)... and we leave with them! I've felt some anxiety this week just worrying and realizing we are leaving, and I guess that comes to my next story.

I LOVE THE TEMPLE. We went this morning, and it is so hard for sleepy missionaries even when we love the temple so much! Even then, I was sitting in the temple today and Heavenly Father truly comforted me. We had the opportunity to fast yesterday (for someone in our district's family member... and I fasted for myself, too!. I love fasting. I love it! I love my branch, I love the Gospel. I've never had such a deep testimony that the Lord is with us through EVERYTHING. So, at the temple, I just received PEACE and HOPE anew. I can testify to you that we find peace, hope, and revelation at the temple. I know that the work we do there for the deceased is so greatly valued by them, and our Heavenly Father. I'm amazed at His love!

This week for our Sunday movie, they replayed the talk that Elder Bednar gave when he came to the MTC on Christmas day. IT WAS AMAZING, probably life changing. You wouldn't believe all of the wonderful, inspirational talks we receive here at the MTC! He talked about the character of Christ, and his main point was that the Savior turned OUTWARD when the rest of us might turn inward. He told the story about a woman in his ward who knew her daughter and two others had been in a car crash, and called him (the stake president). She was simultaneously on the phone with the doctor. They knew one of the girls had died and two were in the hospital. He was on the phone with her as she found out it was her daughter that had died. As devastated as she was, she immediately told him the other mothers needed to be notified to tell them that their daughters were alive. Among other things this sweet sister did, the day of the funeral a woman in the ward called her (she was the Relief Society president). She had not heard about the death, and was complaining that no one had brought her food since she had a small cold (Elder Bednar's terms about her!). This woman immediately took her a meal on the way to the funeral.  I wish I had time to tell you more, but this was used as an example of the Savior ALWAYS turning outward. Another example is the JST footnote that clarifies that in the Savior's pain, He sent angels to John the Baptist to strengthen him. How I love Jesus Christ! He is the heart of our work and I never doubt for a moment that we are not alone. This has kept me going. When I naturally want to turn in, I think of the Savior's example and Elder Bednar's words.... How I want to shape my whole life to be more like the Savior. What a blessing He is! I testify that Jesus Christ lives. The MTC has been hard on a lot of our Elders and Sisters. It is AMAZING how He has been here though. We are not alone.

I keep getting these sweet reminders that Japan is closer than we think.
We've just had so much preparation, and even though my Japanese is so flawed - how I want to go and share the Savior's love with the sweet people in Kobe!! As scary as it is, it is all swallowed up in the joy of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I feel SO PEACEFUL about it, and sometimes so nervous! But most of all, "I know that I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us." (Phil. 4:13)

I found this sweet scripture this week in Alma 58:13:  "Yes, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us..." (and the rest of it is great too!) I've just been so impressed at how TRUE this has been for me. My life is full of assurances. Every day, every hard time, I get so many answers to my prayers... I attest that a loving Father, who gives perfect gifts, hears our prayers and loves us.
Another thing: I LOVE THE SCRIPTURES! Every time I sit down to study, revelation POURS out. Sweet family and friends, I love this gift. I don't think I took advantage of the power of the word enough before the MTC. It works and it is true! If you have a question, you can turn to prayer and your scriptures. Heavenly Father is anxious to minister to you and these are two ways He can touch our "kokoro." (heart!)

My two favorite bunpo (grammar) usages in Japanese include... NI YOTTE (or o toshite) "through" and DEKIRU. Dekiru makes verbs into "can" form! I love testifying about the Gospel in this way! SO GREAT!
The Lord wants us to be happy. I know this is through. Through Jesus Christ we can do all things. I LOVE THIS WORK. It is true! My sweet neices and nephews, Jesus Christ loves you and died for you. He wants you to return to Him.

Anderson Shimai (going to JAPAN sooooon!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Letter # 7 from the MTC...Planting Cheerios

To my Family!

Oh how I love you! Thank you for your sweet notes and encouragement! The MTC is so fun, and such a growing experience. This week I had a thought that if life is typically a Religion 103 class, this is like the 508-1023 level, or higher - depending on the day. It is so wonderful! I don't want to be anywhere else.  I can't imagine learning Japanese any place else! I feel the quickening of the Spirit as I study and deeply immerse myself in Gospel principles. I love it!  I've really been trying to craft my study around our investigators and learning the Preach My Gospel lessons. It is amazing, the Lord is so with us.

This week I envisioned walking into a train and seeing people of Japan, sitting, not knowing the potential they carry as spirits of infinite worth, souls with loving Heavenly Parentage.... and my heart swelled with love. I was overwhelmed at the love I felt for these people I don't even know yet! Unfortunately I will not see any of our Nihonjin sisters who came here to the MTC for three weeks. They are all going to other missions - not Kobe.

This week we taught our lesson to Yoshi San with the cup of dirt and... we planted cheerios! ha ha. He really enjoyed it. We put little tags on the pen He used it to push the cheerios down with... including prayer, reading the scriptures, going to church, and faith. We read Alma 32:28 and 33:23... and the Spirit was truly with us. He prayed this week and it was a WONDERFUL experience. HE PRAYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so happy, our district has been working so hard on that with him. I testify that the Spirit helps us. We were so excited. Our lessons get quite elaborate sometimes, but simply elaborate. :) We love making our lessons personal to our investigators. I love it! This week I tried to explain the Great Apostasy in the context of a baseball game for Sasaki San.  hmmmmmmm.... it is a lot easier in English! ha ha :)

Funnies: I was counting the tabs on our pen in our lesson with Yoshi San, and I said: "Ichi... Ni... San... HAI!" He was laughing so hard. Instead of saying "four," I said: "Yes!" I guess I take too many know, "look at the, two three yes!"  As we were leaving our lesson yesterday with one of our investigators (teachers) Sasaki San, I bowed to him and instead of saying "Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu," which means I look forward to our friendship, I said, "Yakusoku Shimasu" which means " I look forward to our promise."  haha.  I also prayed in front of our district about how grateful I was for expectations.... instead of "opportunity." (kikai and kitai). These things happen and all we can do is laugh - which we did for...for like 2 minutes. The MTC is so fun and funny! Last night the four roommates, got off on something and laughed like crazy. Stress (studying) relief syndrome????
Can I just tell you how much I love writing you. :) At night in bed I think about all the things I want to tell you, and I usually only remember a fourth of them and usually that fourth will switch a little bit... but i want to say it all! It used to seem like 2 or 3 days between P-days, now it seems like 1 day. Also, this week we went to instructor led P90X for the first time! It was awful!!! Ha ha. I am STILL SORE. It seriously worked us!
This work is true. I think I came on my mission expecting to be the perfect missionary, subconsciously thinking how much I wanted to employ all of the advice I'd been given. I think it surprised me when I was still just... me! Just one daughter of God who really loves the Gospel. But I am amazed at how good He is to us. I've realized how completely mortal I am, and I think learning to embrace our "weakness" (like it says in Ether 12:27) is fundamental.  I've realized that Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be perfect NOW. Part of the process is learning to laugh with ourselves and grow! This Gospel is not for perfect people, it is for imperfect people involved in a perfect work. I am amazed at how the Savior changes us and makes up the difference--even IN our imperfection! I am still learning so much, but I am also feeling so relieved in a way. The Gospel is SO WONDERFUL. This is the ONLY WAY! I testify that as you kneel to pray you are heard by a loving Heavenly Father. He is always there. We got to teach our district about repentance this week (I love repentance!), and tears came to my eyes as I testified that the Savior will come wherever we are to bring us to Him. How He loves us! The church is true. The Book of Mormon is the WORD OF GOD, and can shape our testimonies and build our faith. 

I got to bear my testimony in Japanese this week in fast and testimony meeting!! I LOVED IT. I know that the Spirit speaks every language. How the Lord loves us, my sweet friends and family! I promise you He knows the end and the beginning for all of us.

We leave the MTC 4 weeks from Sunday! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!

Love Always,

Your very blessed, and learning more all the time Anderson Shimai :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Letter #6...Almost half way - Japan...I am on my way!!!

Hello to the Sweetest Kazoku in the World!

First off, I want to THANK YOU for all of your love and support. Thank you for your sweet uplifting letters, for filling me in on your children's lives, and for all you do for me. Sometimes I just think about how blessed I am. Sometimes I get a little discouraged, and then one of your letters arrives!!! I truly feel like I have ministering angels around me in my life--and they are from you! THANK YOU SO MUCH my family and friends for your sweet letters. How I love and appreciate you and who you are - I feel blessed to associate with you! :)

Second, I hope this letter gets to you before the ER bill. ha ha. I'm really sorry about the cost, I don't know if I told you that I was having a lot of ear pain last week. I went to the health clinic twice and they said it wasn't infected, but finally on Saturday night it woke me up at 2 in the morning, and I went crying to my roommate sister who is in the nursing program. We went to the counter, and since it was now Sunday, the only option was the ER and they wanted to get me on antibiotics. So! We had an exciting weekend... FYI - the ER beds are remarkably more comfortable than the beds here at the MTC... It turns out, it still doesn't look like it's infected but they have me on antibiotics and I was on ear drops for a while and they have helped. I'm feeling a lot better. I got a blessing from my sweet district Elders where I was promised health throughout my mission, and I know that the Lord is with me. I was blessed with faith and I feel Heavenly Father so close to me. I feel so blessed to have experiences that bring me closer to Him and help build my faith and my reliance on Him. **overall, it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. As great of a story it is, don't worry too much!  I thought I should keep you in the loop. ;) Also, I got to the pharmacy and they said I don't have insurance... ha ha. What a night. I really hope that gets worked out, I had my card and enough on it to cover it. But guess what! - we almost got into a missionary discussion with the lady next to us at 4 am on a Sunday morning in the pharmacy line. It's too bad her prescription came when it did or we might have had a great referral!  ha ha! :)

Another experience: This week on Saturday the Elders in my district found out I was a little when I came into the room they all stood and sang "There is Sunshine in the Soul" to me.  Whoa! The district leader commenced to announce the meeting, and it was all about me. What????? Everyone in our district went around and told me why they loved me. It was during what was supposed to be weekly planning time, so even our Sensei said some very nice and thoughtful things. At first this was very hard for me to deal with. I am pretty proud and I don't like people to know when I struggle, and I felt very exposed. I don't like attention like this when I am not in control.... despite what my older siblings may think about being in the spotlight... ha ha ;) I was mortified! But at the same time, I felt very blessed. Our district has bonded SO MUCH, and this was SO HUMBLING for me. I know that the Lord only gives us experiences we need to bring us higher! I am so grateful for such a caring district! For all of the Elders to make this much effort made me feel so loved. They truly are wonderful, and the Lord keeps giving me these sweet experiences where I am shown very directly of His love. I am so grateful for Him and for all of these wonderful people!
Our district is like family. I feel so close with them, and it is so fun. We really are all so close now. It is amazing to watch people be buoyed up and minister to each other. I love them, and we truly are all in this together. We have gotten SO CLOSE, and I am so grateful to have the district I do. I truly want the best welfare for all of my district brothers and sisters. What great missionaries they will be!

Elder Nelson and Elder Holland came this week to commemorate the MTC being open for 50 years! The renovations were dedicated by Elder Nelson and it was a really amazing meeting. I got to sing for Apostles of the Lord!!! We sang "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer," and apparently the camera panned us 3 times. One of my goals even since my younger years was to find ways to glorify the Lord with music. I've been studying the role of our desires, and the effects of our "heart's desires" - and the Lord taught me so much about worthy desires through this experience.

Also, on Sunday it was the Senpai (older group) and Nihonjin senkyoshitachi's last day at the MTC. In the middle of the week last week, one of the sweet sisters came and asked me if I would teach her the "kansha" (lyrics) to "Come Thou Fount." She loves it. Maybe I got carried away, but all of the Shimaitachi (Sisters) ended up with a musical number in church. This was mostly for the Japanese sisters... I hope this was a nice good-bye present for them!! They are so sweet.

For our "maze investigator," we added paper flaps that represent the Gospel of Christ on his "maze of life." For our lesson tomorrow, we are planning to bring a cup of dirt and physically plant a seed, pushing it down with a stick that has flags of "prayer" and "scriptures" and "going to church." He's "coming to church" this week! We love getting commitments, but most of all we are just beginning to LOVE our investigators. The days we get to teach it's a little bit like Christmas! It is just so fun to begin to be led by the Spirit, and we have had wonderful opportunities...and it is wonderful. :)

In other news... the other day I wrote "sanbiga" on the board instead of "sanbika" (hymn)... which was just funny... (just believe me...) When we first came, one of the Elders was blessing all of the pirates instead of his family (kizoku v. kazoku), and we had an Elder praying for about a week for the "tongue of food" instead of "the gift of tonges" (tamemono v. tabemono). Life is a little on the wild side! We got up at five this morning to do our P-day laundry, and there I was wearing my autographed sharpie shirt (with all your names and scary art work on it) thinking of how great you all are. I LOVE THIS WORK, and I am loving learning Japanese... the Lord is SO WITH US! We have been testifying like crazy as a companionship goal (in Japanese), and we stop people all the time to let them hear us. Yesterday our goal was 5 and we met it! Woo woo! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT and the Lord loves you! I love the scriptures and get personal revelation whenever I read. Really. I love them! I love prayer! Through prayer, Heavenly Father ministers to our needs. Apparently I smile a lot when I pray...just who had their eyes open watching...huh???
Have a wonderful week, and know how much you are loved!! The MTC is becoming more and more WONDERFUL, the Lord truly is with us and I am feeling a peace grow in my life I haven't felt before. I know that He is polishing me for this work.

With all the love I can muster!
Anderson Shimai, the very blessed!

Iesu Kirisuto wa ikirimasu!!!!!!!!


are they like this while in Japan, too???