Sister Jena Anderson

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Transferred to Takamatsu!

Oh my sweetest of all families,

Time goes by so fast and so slow. It is amazing. Time has been really strange for my companion and me this week. We got a call on Wednesday from President telling us that there had been a change in the missionaries in the mission and he needed us sisters in... TAKAMATSU! (Shikoku!) He asked us to leave that weekend, we were out by Saturday and in Church on Sunday. One thing I've learned on my mission, is that even though things are not exactly as we might expect them, they are always so good. The Lord can use ANYTHING to our growth if we turn to Him and consecrate our lives to Him.

Traveling to... TAKAMATSU! I'm back on Shikoku! I have to say that I LOVE the island, it truly is such a wonderful place and it is one of my favorite places of Japanese saints. (It actually is right next to Tokushima, and was in my zone before... it is the place we ate so much ramen before! Looking forward to that ha ha.)Takamatsu is just SPECIAL. Let me tell you some of the happenings from the first day at Church. One reason I love Shikoku is because it has a different flavor, almost like the south in the U.S. On Sunday this cutest old man got up to bear his testimony and in the middle of his talk, out came these paper visuals with phrases written on them. He is so old and his voice is so droopy but so happy, and then... at the end, he said, "just two minutes," and runs to grab something from his chair.  He then  pulls down a rousing rendition of "Praise to the Man" on the harmonica!
I love Takamatsu. :)

The members have made it well-known that they have been praying to have sister missionaries here.  They are so sweet! This other elderly man was teaching nichiogakko (Sunday School) and was talking about praying in accordance with Heavenly Father's will, and used me as an example, if I hadn't wanted to come to Takamatsu. They are so funny. They treat us like queens, they are such wonderful saints in our little branch. They are so close to gold. I wish I had the time to introduce them all to you. They are so wonderful and all just wanting to take care of the new, lost sisters.

The branch has a lot of men, but the Relief Society, primary etc. aren't very strong. They are so devoted to the gospel. They WANT to do missionary work, versus it being an obligation or duty.  They are taking care of us so well. It is like I am home, and we have a wonderful new family. On top of that, on Sunday an investigator from 4 years ago came back to church and we were able to have a lesson with her... and she became a new investigator! She had wanted to come back to church, which I guess is exactly what the other investigator we are teaching had done. We have those two investigators right now and the Lord is just working with these people. I feel that this is a place of miracles. Who is to stop the Lord's hand when He has the field ready to harvest?! It is such a privilege to be a missionary. A  less-active showed up at church on Sunday and we were be able to befriend him a little bit. I love this work!!!

So! Everything is pretty new. Elders have been in Takamatsu for years, so it definitely is a change. We love Akashi and our sweet saints there. The members are so wonderful there. I love the Japanese saints.

We left Akashi on Saturday morning, and safely passed our investigators to the Elders. They will do great with them. 

My sweet family, we are so busy, the work will move forward. I thank you so much for your prayers and love, they are so felt. The Lord is marvelous and always has a plan.Thank you for your love and for your examples and closeness. You are so wonderful! I love you forever fam! The Church is true, the more we study it I think the simpler it gets. I love this message, and our message is about Jesus Christ. He died, lived, and lives again. His Church is on the earth again. We can have those blessings He wants to give us from His restored Gospel. 

I got asked to train in District Meeting before I left and I just got to talk about representing my Savior, our Savior. Our calls are from Him. We are to be His hands. I got a package from the Colorado Andersons and was able to use the quote Spen sent me in training. It was perfect! Thank you so much! I love you cuties. Choose the right--choose Jesus Christ. He will not fail you, and I know He lives.

Love,Andason Shimai, from Takamatsu

Sister Jen has been in Akashi which is near Kobe on this map, 
and is now in Takamatsu.

akamatsu (高松市 Takamatsu-shi) is a city located in central Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and is the seat of the prefectural government. It is designated a core city by the Japanese Government. It is a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea, and is the closest port to Honshu from Shikoku island. For this reason it flourished under the Daimyo (feudal lords) as a castle town in the fiefdom of Takamatsu, during the Edo Period. Takamatsu is a city with a large concentration of nationwide companies' branch offices, which play a large role in its economy, and it contains most of the national government's branch offices for Shikoku. 
The Takamatsu metropolitan region has a population of 670,000, making it the largest in Shikoku. Takamatsu Airport is located in Takamatsu. 
Altitude is 56 ft.
The castle tower formerly used as the symbol of the city was destroyed during the Meiji Period. In 2004, construction of the Symbol Tower, the new symbol of Takamatsu, was completed. The Symbol Tower is located in the Sunport area of the city.

Dear Jeni,

It is me, Seth. I wish I lived with you and Uncle Nate Dawg, but I can't. I am not old enough. I am just a little kid. I am four years old. 
And you live far away. I don't know what your mission looks like, but I see the pictures.  You are very very happy in your pictures and you are always going like this (see pic). 

I know you got some packages.  I know you like Japanese people. I want to see you speak Japanese when you get home. I don't know what your are saying.  And I want to see what Japanese is. 

Mookie had a party and I danced at it when the music was loud.  We ate marshmallows, and caramel apples and I don['t know what the rest of the stuff is.

And Jeni, I go to pre-school and we ate caramel apples at there, too. 

I love you, Jeni and this is Seth.

Love, Seth (Spiderman)

Dear Spiderman,

You. Are. So. COOL! Thanks so much for your letter. I wish you could live with me too. You are one of my best friends. I love you so much. Mookie's party sounds cool. I definitely want to see your dancing! I will talk to you in Japanese when I come home. Love you buddy. You are so great! Wow, pre-school sounds like so much fun. I love eating caramel apples too!

I love you handsome boy.
Aunt Jeni

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pray lots. Work hard. See miracles. Eat Chocolate!

Greetings from your missionary in beautiful Akashi!
You asked what a typical day is like for me. SO BUSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get up, exercise, shower, breakfast, study... seek revelation, prepare for teaching investigators, eat lunch, hit the streets on our bikes while trying to keep our skirts from flying up in the wind. haha. Teach a lesson (hopefully!) Seek revelation where to go next and go - knocking on door after door  to try to find those seeking truth...every working day. Pray lots. See miracles. Eat. Pray more. Go to bed. :) There you have it in a nutshell! And...I love it!

Wow, my sweet family. I love you so, so much. Happy birthday 誕生日おめでと to all of you who have one this month - I hope you have fun celebrating! Thank you for the letters, packages, and prayers. I could never be grateful enough for my wonderful family and friends! Thanks for the very fun package Child fam - loved it!!!
Thanks so much for everything you all do for me - I love you! I wish I could show you all of the wonderful parts of dendo (missionary work). Like the other day, walking out of the park from a lesson, seeing a PI (potential investigator) who we have been calling to come to Eikaiwa for like 2 months (who I've met once) who stopped us to talk, and was actually able to come to the baptism on Sunday!! The baptism was a man whose door we knocked on my first transfer in Akashi.  His body is partially paralyzed. We visited once more (with a different companion) just to ask if we could send the Elders to visit him. He didn't really want the Book of Mormon. We were able to pass him to the Elders, and they taught him. This week he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a neat meeting. Even Kaicho (President) came!

Other things this week... there have been so many wonderful days. Sometimes we just fall into our beds at night we are so tired. It is so great. It is so fun to be thinking and studying and seeking ways to bring Heavenly Father's children to a knowledge of His Gospel. We got a challenge from our leaders to contact all of our potential investigators before a certain day, and we were doing that. We went to this random store where this lady worked, but she wasn't working. As we were leaving, (we bought some chocolate to check out and see if she was there and... to eat!).  Eating our chocolate, we went to grab a drink. This other lady was eating ice cream by the vending machine, and we started talking. She asked us to come visit her anytime! She is a housewife and not doing anything (in her words) and asked for a paper with a map of the church on it, and said she would come to Church with her husband this week or next... have we even told her about our church yet? awesome! the Lord is preparing His children. It is so amazing that they are out there, and though we spend a lot of time talking to people who aren't interested, we hang onto hope and faith that there are people who are ready to accept the truth here, in Akashi, and it keeps us going. And we go! We've been so busy, it is the best way to be in the service of the Lord.

I started reading Jesus the Christ again this week, and it felt like going home. I love that. I love those experiences. Heaven is so close, my sweet fam. We are on the verge of miracles. That is Heavenly Father's love, just pouring through the cracks of our separation. I love you!

We taught a lesson this week about the Restoration but employed more of what President Zinke had taught about teaching the Restoration to the beautiful people of Japan. We talked about how Heavenly Father called Joseph Smith by name. Our investigator seemed so surprised when we told her that He knows her name. We who have grown up with the truth sometimes forget how precious it is. Yes, he does know each of us! And he hears every prayer, anytime we pray, in our hearts or out loud. There's not a certain time of day or time where if we miss it, when He won't listen. Isn't that amazing? I love Heavenly Father so much. I got His beautiful guidance IN a lesson to help our investigator understand. It just left me in awe of His glory. Oh, our Heavenly Father and our Savior! Oh, how this work is amazing. My sweet family. I do nothing of myself. We all cannot do it alone. I know that my Redeemer lives, how I love His majesty and glory. My sweet, sweet family, what a gift it is to know the truth. 

I got a letter from Grandma Jan this week!! I loved it so much, I put it in my journal. Thank you Grammie!! Thanks to all of you sweet people who have been writing! You are all so wonderful. Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness - it means so much to me and helps me soooooo much - you don't even know!

I felt this week a lot about trust as well. WOW I LOVE REVELATION. I love this Church! I probably forget to tell you what we've done in our weeks because I just get writing my testimony and it keeps bursting out. I love this Church. I love the SPIRIT. I love Heavenly Father. I am amazed at how the Spirit can lift us up. I know Heavenly Father blesses us with experiences so that we can help others.

I don't know what I did before I came. haha!  have all of these random, disjointed memories but the time just flows here, it goes so fast! AH! Oh, it is so great. To anyone thinking of serving a mission: DO IT. The Lord will bless you, but more than that--we are too blessed. We are way too blessed. Our brothers and sisters are starving for this Gospel. The Lord will shape you and hone you and it will hurt, but it will be the best thing you've ever done. You will learn lessons you couldn't learn any other way. He will push you, but never too much. I know you can do it, sweet missionary-thinking friends. GO! You will LOVE IT, experience a joy deeper than you've ever felt before, learn to live as you never have before. (Probably, my awesome brothers knew this when they went. Thanks for your examples Spen, Jon, Nate! Dad, thank you for your example! And all you other returned missionaries in my life...) I want to become the kind of teacher who teaches with the Holy Ghost to help my investigators REMEMBER. As President Packer says in PMG, "we are making touch with the light of Christ that is already there. The Gospel will have a familiar 'ring' to them."

We got to sing at Rekimoto San's baptism. Our Zone Leader played the pin flute and I started out singing "Praise to the Man," just us and the Zone Leaders! It was really fun. Life is so PURE, life is so rich. Heavenly Father put us on earth to learn, grow, and prepare to return. This is the best experience ever. You know those moments where you are riding a roller coaster (or... a jet stream boat in New Zealand! Yeah baby! ha ha)... things like that, and then the peaceful moments like being in a boat on a calm lake (Jon and Kristy's backyard!)...its all part of the plan for us, all for a purpose that I think is simple, really. What a blessing to experience it all! We are living it! So awesome...

I love you folks! Thank you for everything! You are so precious to me, and so eternally precious to Him. I love you all! YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL!!!

Sister Anderson

Also, yesterday we made banana bread to try to take to a dinner appointment and... we were like, why is this so moist? We keep cooking it and it is not getting any less moist... and I was telling my comp the ingredients, sugar, eggs, flour... wait. Flour? Ha ha ha ha! I will attach a pic. We decided that we would rather have the "gift of tongues" than the gift of baking. :)

my Doki (people i came with...) all serving as trainers now.
 Met at trainer/trainee training (that's a lot of train in one sentence)!
Zone conference in August

Note from Sister Jen's mom:
I thought it might be fun to include some comments from Sister Dobson:

I got assigned to be with the genki-est missionary in Kobe. Actually probably in all of Japan. Anderson Shimai is just the greatest!!! She is from Bluffdale and is the youngest of 7 kids. We are on flipped ends of the family cycle [oldest, youngest]. She was at BYU studying a conglomeration of things before the mission. She`s still not exactly sure what she wants to do.

She has been here in Japan since March, and is as courageous as a Lion when it comes to dendoing (proselyting). 

... I`m way way WAY excited to be with Anderson Shimai. I think she is just what I need to learn how to become a great missionary. 

The ward members here are great! They are all very nice and supportive. When they met me on Sunday they kept saying that Anderson Shimai and I have the same `environment` - the direct translation. We act a lot alike I guess. To me, that was a huge compliment. I want to be able to emulate some of the love and joy that Anderson Shimai has.

...Anderson Shimai is very funny. She is very good at being happy all the time. She never has anything negative to say about missionary work. She has an awesome can do attitude that can be hard to keep up with. She is good at listening when I have a hard day.  She`s really good at seeing the bright side of things. 
Pics of the two of them when they first met.

These pics are from Sister Zinke's blog of the sweet missionaries and their families who cook for some of the zone conferences  - so darling and so giving! 
So cute! Love the aprons...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spray cans, miracles, mafia, and more...

Sweet Fam!

I wrote a letter but it got deleted... this is going to be shorter ha ha. :)
I love you!

So. Miracles are happening before our eyes, which is incredible because our
investigator pool has dropped a lot. This week we finally contacted a
referral that we've been trying to contact for about a month, and she
agreed to a return appointment... and she is from Tokushima! We also
met a family housing (tracting). This sweet mom and her two kids came
to the door and we were talking to them about God. The little boy told us
that he thinks God lives, then looked a bit puzzled and asked, "Where does
He live?" I told him in heaven! Little kid's Japanese is so cute!

I am so aware that the Savior is at the helm of our boat, even the world's
boat. It amazes me. I am on a quest for simplification. My study has
become a hunger to teach simply. I really crave it, I want to teach our
investigators in a way they understand. I have realized all over again, that
the Gospel is remarkably simple. I love the Book of Mormon.
I realized this week that a lot of it is a compilation of investigator's stories.
I so love this work. I love that I get to wear the name of my Savior
over my heart. Even when others are deciding whether they need him,
even our sweet investigator who is doing everything we tell her and
still deciding what to think about Jesus Christ... I realized this the other
day sitting at our table.  And yet, somehow she is progressing. I realized
 anew that the Savior is walking with her, even in this time where she is
deciding whether she needs him and has problems in her mind that make
it hard for her to understand. I love this work. I know that in our
"Gethsemane," our rough spots, He is there, walking with us. Do we take
that hand, feel that strength? We have no need to fear, I am realizing anew.
The Savior is our helper, our keeper and guide, our Savior and Redeemer.
Do we know what that means? Jesus Christ has overcome the obstacles of sin and
death. We can live again with our families, with our Father in Heaven.
"Oh the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives."

Dad had asked about training and the zone meeting, etc. The Zone
meeting was 3 zones, and we get training from President and the
AP tachi. It was really neat. We get a training plan each month as a
mission that is a focus for us, that President Zinke gets through
revelation to help focus our study and missionary work.  It is also the
training training for new missionaries. I love it!

Also, I have another funny story. We were housing
and heard that there are some Yakuza (Japanese mafia) people
and we saw this door that had a little sign with a symbol on it. I was
thinking that it was the mafia symbol. I stopped my companion, and I
told her that we could not go in that door. We called the district leader and
asked if it was safe to "house" around that door? They informed us that it's safe
to house around it. That night they called us again for another reason
and they asked us why we thought that it was a mafia door?  I
explained the symbol I've been seeing everywhere... and it is the
symbol for Buddhism! ha ha ha ha ha. That just made my stay in Japan
so much more comfortable. We have so many funny things happen! :)

Ahhhhhhhh! we are prepared and ready to puncture this insect repellent spray can because you have to do that for recycling in Japan. Awesome, right? Hopefully I'm getting braver...hahahah!

Note from Sister Jen's mom...Click here for a fascinating description on the laws governing trash disposal in one city in Japan...amazing!

I love you so much fam!! I am on a quest to teach simply and help our
investigators understand. This is a beautiful work. The Gospel is
beautiful, and so beautifully simple. I love this work, I love my God,
I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I love the truth we have.

Before I go... we had a zone meeting this week and the last paper they
handed out was a forward about LDS people knowing what they have...
and it said Scott Anderson, and I started looking
through, and it was Gertrude Speckt's story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was so funny.
I loved reading it and could just hear dad's voice telling it. What a great
missionary and what great legacy I have from my family. Thanks for your
examples and for teaching your kids with so much love. I love you all!

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" (Joseph Smith Doctrine and Covenants 128:22)

Andason Shimai

This sweet grandpa from eikaiwa (English class) sometimes brings us berries that are
supposed to be really healthy from the mountains. These are some
rare berries that he made into jam! He made it especially for us because he says that
Japanese people don't really eat them... :)

 we dressed up in matcing clothes sunday. ha ha ha

So funny...I saw our shoes in the genkan like this, this was not on purpose!

Dear Mom, I haven't gotten the package yet, but I am so excited! Thank

you so much for all you do for me. Looks like you had fun celebrating your anniversary. 
September 3, 2012
PS Sister Jen seems to have a genetic predisposition to dress in matching yellow...hahaha!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Japanese phrases that come in handy!

Beautiful Akashi!

To my Incredible Fam,

I love you so much!! Thank you for all you've done for me and the

wonderful help you are to everyone. I love you!

This week: at basketball I knocked down a Japanese man using only my

head, we tried to make cake for a dinner appointment only to find out
the sugar I bought was salt (yes, I do know Japanese...)
and our follow up cake also failed--ending up with half solidified 
jello (oh it was so funny)! I titled our weekly report "Akashi Food!" 
Oh, well... so many adventures! And...that's the short list of what 
happened to your missionary in the last few days. Ha ha!

So, I knew I wasn't any good at basketball, but we were doing a drill

and I don't think I moved fast enough, and all of a sudden something
hit my head... and I turn and see one of the nicest Japanese guys flat
on the ground, and his head is bleeding! It was so bad... I have a
goose egg, but he got it worse... I really quickly learned an extremely 
polite phrase for "please forgive me" (moshi wake gozaimasen)... he was
really nice about it though. He is fine (I think...).

Apart from that essential update, I love you tons fam. Whatever life 

throws at you, the gospel is true. Never be too stressed to count your 
blessings. There are ALWAYS miracles in every phase of our lives, 
we just have to slow down enough, listen to the Spirit enough, 
think about eternal things enough to see them. The Gospel is the 
most important thing. I know that the Savior's love is real for our 
investigators. I don't have time to tell you every specific thing about them, 
but I feel this love that I know is not my own for them, that is so big, that 
just wants the best for them. 

I love Jesus Christ. I love my Savior. There is nothing I would not give 

to follow Him. I love that the Lord loves us enough to try us. I love that 
He takes the time to chastise us, teach us, guide us. How Heavenly Father 
loves His children!

Sister Belnap had to go home due to her illness. I will truly miss her, but we were able to accomplish so much! My prayers are with her in her recovery.  

Note from Sister Jen's mom:
This is what the mission president said about Sister Belnap in his blog:

This wonderful sister missionary arrived... [having] “survived” the MTC...She arrived exhausted and dizzy.  We thought jet lag hit her particularly hard until we discovered that she had a problem with her ears on the airplane, and she developed a case of vertigo that lasted for several weeks.  From there her health continued to deteriorate...
Her heart was completely in the work, but her emotional, physical and mental condition would not let her do what she so much wanted to do.  Frustrated, she prayed harder and put more faith in the Lord.  A bicycle crash may have been the last straw.  Her energy was sapped.  Mentally, physically, and emotionally she had given all she had to give.  She needed to return and get some attention that is not possible in such a foreign place as this is. She wanted to continue her mission more than she wanted to breathe.  

Forever Friends!
永遠の友達 (Eien no tomodachi)

This is my new companion - Sister Dobson.

She is from American Fork Utah and likes smiling, missionary work,
taking pictures of Akashi and long walks on the beach ha ha. And...she plays
the flute and studies Special Ed at USU. So great - ANOTHER
COMPANION TO LOVE! Yay. Already, she is so brave and fearless with
stopping others. I am so grateful that the Lord lets us do missionary work 
with companions. It really is His appointed plan.

I LOVE THE GOSPEL, and I love you! Our investigator that has a
baptismal date has been studying SO WELL. She will come to lessons
with her shukudai (homework) all done, parts of scriptures or
pamphlets marked... it is so amazing, even though she doesn't
understand everything she is working so hard. (ishokenmei!)
Understanding is really hard for her, but her heart wants to work. I
am so grateful for the gifts that Heavenly Father gives us. There is
nothing like this Gospel. Sometimes I just want to think about myself
even less, I want to just go and take them the word, I want to become
a teacher that teaches so simply a child can understand perfectly my
teachings about Him, most of all I just want to share my love for Him.
We were in a lesson this week and our investigator wasn't
understanding, and suddenly tears were just pouring down my face as I
taught this beautiful woman how much Heavenly Father loves her. I want
to do everything I can to become a good teacher, witness, missionary,
saint, for Him. How I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I delight in
telling others about Him. I delight in the message of the
Gospel. I delight in sacrifice. I try every day to devote another
piece of my stubborn part to Him, to give Him a little more. I know
that He has the power to heal us, and helps us endure. I have faced
things I know that I couldn't face alone. How I love my Savior Jesus

I love you Fam! You are so wonderful. あなたはとても素晴らしいです
Anata wa totemo subarashiidesu!!!

I know eternal families are a part of Heavenly Father's eternal plan, and I
know that I was meant to be one of the Anderson 7 siblings (the last and 
most spoiled one!) I am so grateful to have such beautiful nieces and 
nephews, and I am in awe at how you parents teach your kids so diligently
about Jesus Christ and His love. He really is the reason. I love Jesus Christ 
and want to put my heart, needs, desires in His hands.

This Gospel is true. Let us not rest, but carry it to every soul that
is prepared to hear the advent of His coming, His love, His life and
this: HE LIVES.

I love you all!
Sister Anderson