Sister Jena Anderson

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

A lot like being a mom...

My Dearest Family,

Greetings from your missionary in the land of the rising sun!  

 Just to let you know...I am eating on onigiri right now, right right now, with salmon in it... (rice in seaweed with stuff in it) pretty sure it's raw... 
wahoo!  ha ha!!! 
Oh how I love you so much! I received some pretty sad news today... Asuka is not planning on being baptized right now. I get to call her once and talk, I really hope it goes well. know that this is the Lord's work and that He numbers His sheep. This is an incredible work.

So this weekend we dendo-ed from the apartment a little bit more... my comp was still sick, they think it is vertigo. I think she got a little better. Here she is with her BIKE! ...and look at that smile!  
This work is amazing. I know that it is the Lord's work. Today my comp and I were talking about the preparation the Lord has done for each of us to come to Japan... and that was one of the messages from the AP's this month. As my comp and I were talking, I thought about it more and more. What is the Lord preparing in our lives? What does He know about that He is preparing for you, in your life? It is amazing to me the plan that He has, how He knows things all along. He really is our perfect Father.

(Thanks for your note on work Mom! Loved that. And Dad! It sounds like the campout was so fun... I love the mountains and the peace that is there. I think about Aspen Grove still, living up there in the mountains... so fun to experience that. You are so great Dad! And Hyrum is three! Wow. You and Hyrum are under the same star - and so much alike! I love that! :))

It is funny but... I thought of an example from Harry Potter ...Hermoine Granger. (I know...I wasn't super into Harry Potter! This just fit) In the last book, Dumbledore left her a book that he knew she would read over and over, and she would know that when she needed it. We have access to "books" of all kinds through inspiration. It's just incredible!!!

I had a feeling about a kind of door we needed to knock on, and I want to find it! Maybe sometimes the Lord gives us just enough inspiration to inspire more perspiration, so we can work for others salvation. :) 

I love you so much! The Gospel is true. Being a trainer I think is a lot like what I have heard about being a mom, from what I hear from my sisters (and how I imagine it). There are all these things you vow you will never do, you decide you will be perfect, you know once YOU become the trainer, you'll know what to do and be flying on superman wings of inspiration... but then it happens and you are still just as normal as ever, and making just as many mistakes! The sweet companion you are training is probably going to end up doing the same things you do, even using the Japanese she's heard from watching you... It was so funny to me to feel that comparison, even though I haven't been a mom!  Now that i am a trainer, I feel so much more lenient on my own trainer, and just want to hug her and say thank you! thank you! thank you! It's so funny how much we think we can fix when it's our turn, but how much we all just need the Lord so  much. I love Him with all I am. I know that it is His grace we run on. Even in our darkest times, even in our best times, I know that He never leaves us. How it must grieve Him when we don't trust Him. I think Elder Holland said something like... "how it must wound the loving heart of the Savior when He hears His people do not feel confident in His care." How He loves us! How He is in our living water. I feel the weight of Salvation every once in a while, and probably just learn the same lessons again and again... hopefully sukoshi zutsu kaizen shite imasu! (little by little improving).
I love hearing of your triumphs and what each of you is doing. What a work it is. Thank you for your support. Even if everyone says no, we will proclaim the Gospel. I felt what a joy it was to actually contact when we'd been inside a long time this weekend... we left our apartment, and suddenly I wasn't feeling so apprehensive anymore. I just wanted to share, to have the chance to tell the people we meet of eternal things. We don't understand the culture perfectly. We can't speak the language perfectly. It really is His work. I know missionaries could NOT do this work without Him, no matter where they serve... it is too deep! 

I love the Book of Mormon. I love that great book. I know that through the Book of Mormon we can come to know, personally, Jesus Christ. As we read that book, we know the truthfulness, not only of the Restoration, but of Jesus Christ. It is so sad when people think there is another way. He truly is "the way, the truth, and the light." How I want to become more like Him.

Sorry a little scattered...with love though! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! You are great!

With love,
Sister Anderson

Elder Holland's talk - Ensign  APR. 1998 “COME UNTO ME”

Monday, July 23, 2012

GANBATTE! 頑張って (がんばって)

To My Fam,

What a week! Wow. Life is so amazing, and the Gospel is so amazing.
This truly is the work of the Lord, and I feel His strength every day.
He is so good to us! Thank you (family and friends!) for all of your
support, letters, packages, wedding announcements, prayers, and love. 
I really do love you all!!! You are wonderful, beautiful children of 
God with a divine purpose and are eternally loved of Him.

So this week... I sent my companion home and got a bean chan!! It was
a crazy day. Her name is Sister Belnap and she is from Lehi - so close to my 
hometown!  Can you believe it?? It is so fun!!!
Her faith is strong and it is so humbling for me to get the chance to work with her. 

It is so amazing to see the Lord's hand in so many aspects
of our lives. I am really feeling our training come to life in relying
on the Lord. This is such an incredible experience. I am asked to do
things everyday that I know I cannot do on my own. His mercy is so
immense, and I pray constantly for His guidance. What a blessing prayer
is, what a blessing the Atonement of Jesus Christ is. To know that the
Savior of the World, the Son of God, went into a garden and felt the
pains of me, of my investigators, of my family, of my companion, of
every beloved person in the world -- and not only that, every person who
has ever lived, the good and the bad, those who will accept the gift
and those who won't. Isn't this work wonderful? 

To think the effects of a prayer by a boy named Joseph Smith in a 
grove is what I am preaching and declaring in Japan, some 180 years
later, is so incredible. THIS WORK IS JESUS CHRIST'S WORK. 
Because of that prayer in that grove, we have the Gospel restored 
through which we can access the blessings of the Atonement,
including living forever as a family with our Heavenly Father again, 
to progress and become what He knows is in us. I love Jesus 
Christ. I am so grateful for the Restored Gospel.

President talked to me in my interview about the privilege of missionary 
work a little bit. (and the training plan!)
It was so fun to hear from His wisdom! I guess I have felt that a lot this 
week. Streeting, housing, the people who say no--it doesn't hurt the 
same way. It is so sad, but I am so grateful for the chance I get to 
proclaim the Gospel--no matter the consequence. Of course we want
them to listen! But I know that the Lord has numbered His sheep. 

My sweet family, and anyone who is reading this letter - Jesus Christ
loves YOU. He loves you enough that He went into that garden for YOU,
and not only that--He rose again so that we could live eternally with
Him and with our Heavenly Father, our eternal family. I am so humbled
to be the messenger of such a work. For a person so still imperfect,
with so much mortality, I am just so grateful that I get to be the
messenger for such a work. 

I also know that the power of a responsibility is real. Almost as soon 
as I met my bean chan, I felt that. I know that the Lord has entrusted 
me with the chance to work with her, and it is so fun to see her courage 
and see her courageously opening her mouth to the people of Akashi Shi.
I love this place. I love this work. I love this work! This week we passed a 
potential investigator to the Elders (He was a guy), and he became an
investigator!! So great. This work if TRUE. I know that I am
imperfect, but more than that I know of HIS goodness. I know of HIS
completeness. My testimony is burning holes in me! I just love the
work so much. I am humbled to be here, to get to bear the message. I
am so grateful for experience and hard things. 

So, here is what I was doing the night before my bean chan came -  
sewing socks in as pockets into my missionary bag to try to stay
organized,. Well, they are there but definitely didn't work... so much
for that idea. haha.

So I thought of a little game, as I was taking this picture...
Recently I am getting a very interesting, attractive tan line on my feet from my 
favorite pair of shoes. Today we polished our shoes, my companions and my 
good pair. Which one of these pairs of shoes is mine?
 (match the tan line... haha)
My companion got a little sick yesterday, so we went to the doctor's
this morning (I think she will be fine...) Yesterday we had a long day
at home, and at the end I was like twitching... what do I do in a
house that long? It is so great though. I know the Lord will help us
jump in running. We talked to a lady who is interested in another
religion while housing, but as we left, she gave us water bottles. (So
like the Japanese people... so like Him). Yesterday three of the
sweetest Relief Society sisters bustled into our house to check up on
the new Shimai who was sick, and brought food that she liked... a
brother we hadn't met till today dropped off more fruit... everyone is
giving us this beautiful expensive fruit! They are SO SWEET. These are
the people we are privileged to serve. I love these people. I love
them so much. We will work to find those who are ready to listen!

Also, at Eikaiwa a few weeks ago, this ojiisan (grandpa) had been
telling me that even though is in his 70s, he can do a handstand
(sakadachi). The other day I said something about it and he leaned
over on the table and lifted his whole body up until it was a
verticle line, totally out of the blue! I couldn't believe it!  I thought it 
was so funny, if you can just visualize it. Then after he gave the sisters 
some spearmint leaves. Maybe that's the secret of his ability to 
do that trick!  haha! 

This work is true. We are in the greatest cause in the world, the
greatest mission, to assist in the saving of the souls of men through
inviting them to Jesus Christ, whose work this is. 

I love you sweet Fam. I know the Lord is looking out for you. Sending
my love and knowing that you can always, a prayer away, feel His.

頑張って (がんばって)

Love you forever!
Andason Shimai
Oishi caki - yum!

Brother and Sister Anderson:  We thought you might enjoy reading the letter your daughter received as she was just made a trainer.

July 18, 2012

Dear Sister Anderson:

Congratulations on being called as a Trainer. This choice assignment indicates that you have performed well as a servant of the Lord, and that you have the leadership ability to inspire a new missionary to love this work and to be successful.

The Mission President's Handbook talks about the importance of a Trainer. In part, it says:

New missionaries first companions are an important influence during their entire missions. The mission president should call his most capable missionaries, those who are effective in baptizing converts and who will be able to help the new missionaries develop good skills and attributes, to serve as trainers of new missionaries. As senior companions, they need to train and motivate new missionaries so they begin their mission successfully. Senior companions should use the explain, demonstrate, practice, evaluate model as they train new missionaries. Trainers should diligently follow the daily schedule and obey mission rules. When training they should:

1. Cheerfully and patiently help new missionaries adapt and develop the basic skills and 
attributes from the Preach My Gospel.

2. Use the weekly companion-planning meeting to help new missionaries set goals and evaluate

3. Make sure their new companion participates fully as a contributing member of the missionary team.

4. Trainers help new missionaries be successful and productive from the very beginning. Senior
companions account to the district leaders and the mission president for the training of new 

As you embark on this new assignment remember that obedience is the first law of heaven. Teach this principle to your companion. Teach the importance of the Spirit by ensuring, through your words and example, that the Spirit is always a third member of your missionary team. Additionally, help your companion learn to teach by the Spirit. Moreover, give your companion a chance to pray and bear testimony as you proselyte.

I am grateful for your faith and diligence, and have every confidence that you will succeed in your vital role as one of the Lord's choice servants. I pray that he will bless you and your companion.


Richard G. Zinke
Mission President

Monday, July 16, 2012


Oh I love you Sweet Fam!!! 

Ok, so here you have it... AKASHI UPDATE!

A few things have changed in the mission. My companion goes home this
week. How crazy is that?? I will miss her. Another transfer has passed! And...the scariest
news yet... I will tell you... after.

We had Natsumatsuri (summer party) today at the ward, where one of the ward
members who has a shop put kimonos on us!! So fun!

Kimonos and missionary name tags! 

Things have been crazy in Akashi! This week we had interviews and they
were so fun. I love my mission president! He is so great. I felt so on
fire after we talked about the training plan. This month is about
relying on the Lord. I have felt that so much in my life lately. It is
not our own merit. It is His. It is His work and we are priviliged to
get to help. This week I studied a little bit about that, a little in
Jacob 5 about the laborers and the Master of the Vineyard... when it
says "our might" and when the Lord says He will do something. I am
beginning to realize more in my life that it is HIS merit and HIS
work. This takes so much stress off of us. What is required is our
might and our work. It is interesting being with a companion who is
going home, and seeing all of those feelings.
We have been working hard and feeling good about a lot of new areas.
Kana Chan didn't make it, we will keep working with her... I am amazed
at the goodness of the work. I am amazed at the goodness of my Savior.
I am starting to realize more and more that He suffered not only for
my sins, transgressions, and so that I could be resurrected, but that each
day He could, little by little, help me carry my load. I love Him so much.

We had another incredilbe miracle where a sister called the honbu in
Kobe who has been away from the Church for 20 years. She lives in our
area. They gave her our number and she called us, and I think she will
be coming back to Church. I love Jesus Christ and the truth He brings.

Yesterday I closed my eyes and felt help. I felt that Heavenly Father
was so close to me, and He told me that this transfer would be great,
no matter what happened in transfers. That is good, because...

The scariest news in the world! this morning I got a call from
President telling me that this week... I would become.... a 4th transfer trainer! 
Who me???
Whooo! ha ha. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
I meet my bean chan on Thursday when my companion leaves, and we are 
heading back here to Akashi!!!

WHOOOO! This really is His work. I love it and I love you so much. You
are so precious to me fam. There is probably a lot more I could write,
but... "this sufficeth my record." I love you! The Gospel really is
simple and so beautiful. I felt that reading the introduction this
week in the Book of Mormon.

ONWARD TO A BRAND NEW ADVENTURE!!! I know that whatever we are doing in 
our lives the Lord is there for us. I know that He knows us.

Time is running down... I love you!! The work is true.

Love always and forever!
Sister Anderson 

PS  I love the missionaries in our mission and I love this work!

This pic is inserted by Sister Jen's mom.  Her cousin, Elder Lythgoe, is also serving in the Japan, Kobe mission.  He is wearing the red tie in this pic of zone leaders.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu for dogs...and other stories

Dear Fam,

Hello from the other side of the world! Is it weird to think that I
live over here, and you live on the other side? It's so amazing to me
that we, all people, live in their own manners and cultures but we are
all children of God. It is so amazing that His love is that big. I
feel His love here and I feel it from you! Thanks for your sweet
examples and love, and updates. It is so fun to hear from you!

This week we went to Nara, see attached pics. We bought hachimaki...
headbands... mine says "KATSU" in Japanese, wich means WIN! This is
Cheney Shimai... we were the two Gaijin sisters there (foreign). 
 Mom and Dad and Mook...Remember when we fed the deer when we were in Nara? I am again!  Who knew?
My doryo bought deer antlers!
This is not allowed to happen on a mission!
All the sisters who came for Nara...
The transfer is almost over!! I can't believe it. Time is so slow and
so fast, I can't figure out WHAT time is anymore, it's so great. Kana
Chan didn't come on Sunday (she needs to come to Church one more
time), so the baptism will be moved to next Sunday.

We met a few new investigators this week, they are really funny. One
of them is a 14 year old who is so great. He always says: "ii desu
yo!" which is a really emphatic way of saying... good! He played some
video games that kind of taught something about Christianity I
think... The other was a referral, actually from his mom, that we met
with this week. He doesn't really leave his house and is practicing
another religion, but has some really good questions... that we or the
Elders will answer. :)

In other news... yesterday when I was studying I was LOVING learning
about accountability (did you know PMG says that accountabilty affects
how you endure??)... and just looking in all of these wonderful books,
and I looked down, and my desk looked like this! The life of a
missionary. :)  I love accountability! And... books. ha ha.
Ok, so this is so funny. You know how I wrote you and told you that
everyone has a dog here in Japan? In Nara, I walked by a stand up
billboard with come pictures of food, and said... oh that looks
good... and my Japanese friend pointed out to me... IT WAS A MENU FOR
DOGS! Ha ha ha. A restaurant for pets. So great. 

I know that God is aware of us, individually and with so much love. I
know that He knows our investigators. I testify He loves us! Every day
He helps me. I love prayer. I love this life. I love work! I love
Heavenly Father. I love Jesus Christ. I know that this is His work. I
testify with assurity that we are His instruments, and that He knows
and numbers His flock. It is His work, it is just how much we are
willing to be involved in it. It is such a privilege. I feel my
Savior's love. I've never known the steady, daily help that comes from
the Atonement so steadily as this time I have been on a mission. We
are accountable to God, and through Jesus Christ we are clean. Through
His redemption, we can become whole. We can be clean, we can be happy,
even in imperfection. What a joyous work it is.

I love you fam! You are so great. You are always in my thoughts and
prayers. Thanks so much for your love! See you around the corner.

Sister Anderson :)

P.S. I taught Eikaiwa (English class) this week and it was SO HARD! It seriously was rough. I know that the Lord is sustaining me so much.

Also! My doryo fell off of her bike... luckily it was in front of a
byoiin (hospital). It's not super super bad but she has some cuts and
it hurts... so our dendo has been a little weird while she has been

Other news? The Gospel is true! Katei no Yube (FHE) is this week... pray
that I will learn how to explain games in Japanese... ha ha! It is His
work and a privilege. I love you!
In my dreams!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Hey you beautiful people! 

The work is rolling forward. Today's letter will probably be short...
we are going to NARA today for P-day... woooo!

SO! Kana Chan's baptism date is July 12, which she is moving right up
towards... and keeping the Word of Wisdom! (pretty awesome in a nation
that really loves various teas... and she's 11!) Tonight we are having
a Katei no Yube (FHE) with her and probably a member on the Sabbath
day. We tried on Baptism clothes with her this week. She is such a
light for her family, and prayed straight from her heart that the
missionaries told her that she could talk to Heavenly Father about
anything, and she looked forward to talking with Him about the boys
she likes. (specifically by name). :) So pure. One of our other
investigators is progressing, Mai Chan, we are going to work a lot
with her this week... or try to invite the Spirit to work with her!

Missionary work is great! President says regularly that the work will go 
forward, we just get to decide our involvement in it.

So -  funny story... we had a lesson with two Seventh Day Adventists this
week, they were trying to teach us pretty rigorously... over some very
healthy foods. Really nice though! They weren't super interested in
listening, just a bit of testimony about the Restoration and
Joseph Smith, at the end they wanted to do a prayer circle... and
while we are praying, these ladies (who have got to be in their 60s or
70s and super thin from healthy foods haha), spouted out in little voices: "Amen!" every so often throughout our prayers (every few sentences or so). They gave us some food when we left. At the gateway, I said we didn't have many gifts but one gift... this book! And we left the Morumon Sho on their table. It left me loving the Book of Mormon so much for how it clarifies the
nature of Jesus Christ, and how we really can know Him through the
testimony of these two witnesses: The Book of Mormon and the Bible. I
love Him so much! I know that the Book of Mormon brings us closer to
Him than any other book, and how much more we know His character,
attributes, and love. I love Him! Such great memories. Truly, everyone
is doing what they can with the light they have. God loves us!

This work is true!! We are going to do a Katei no Yube for the ward...
I had this idea for all of these potential investigators we play
basketball with, to have a place they could hear a little bit of the
Gospel in a non-threatening place. So we are going to do it! I'm going
to do the games! I had no idea how the Lord was preparing me in all
these ways throughout my life with things I would need. Yesterday I
made a book with a bunch of my previous game ideas, we are using one
in our lesson today and probably a bunch for the ward! I am so
excited. I am amazed at how the Lord truly does use anything we have,
each of us, how He knows us so well. I had no idea when working with youth 
and young adults at Aspen Grove, EFY, etc. that he was preparing me in subtle ways for my mission in Japan. Probably like now when I have no idea what He is preparing me for in the future! I know that this is true for each of us. I promise that He has a greater plan, and He is working hidden miracles, blessings, joys in each of our lives. 

I know the power of the fast is real, I felt is yesterday so much for me. I know 
Jesus Christ lives. I know that Faith is not just belief, but it is a KNOWLEDGE,
commitment to Him. How I love Him! When we understand and feel the
Atonement, we want to share this knowledge. Share it!
Fukuin o wakachiamasho!! Let's share the Gospel! It is true. I know I
have had ministrations in my personal life her in Japan, and for those
we love here. He is watching over us so closely, even closer than we

We got to attend sister's training in Kobe - it was soooooooo fun!

Note from Sister Jen's mom:
In the words of Sister Zinke: Last week we had the sisters come to Kobe for some training.  We had a wonderful day being together and learning from each other.  The President and the Assistants had never heard so much giggling at a conference!  

I love you sweet Fam! Choose the Right! Proclaim that Jesus Christ
lives... and that the fullness of His Gospel has been Restored, so
that Heavenly Father can completely and fully bless us with all of the
wonderful power, love, and mercy He so wants to give. It is true!

Sister A

 Honing my baking skills in Japan!  this is a cake my companion and I put together...
 "American" food!!!
 Random really cute pink house...
 Amazing grape vine house...
black thunder ice