(pic from Sister Dobson's blog - thanks for sharing!)My Dear Family,
Konnichiwa! Wow, what a week. I love you so much. I am so grateful for
all of the love, notes, pictures, letters from nieces, nephews,
brothers, sisters, that I have been receiving. Thank you for much for
sharing your families and the "goings-on" with me in Japan! I love you so much
and can't believe how big the kids are!! And, I am always amazed by your
testimonies and your diligence. Ganbatte Kudasai!!
Do miracles ever cease? I think, so often, like President Eyring
talked of in Conference, it is we who turn away from that opportunity.
Like it says in Mormon 9:20... "And the reason why he ceaseth to do
miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in
unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom
they should trust." I have learned so much about that trust recently.
The Lord really can work to the putting away of our stumbling blocks
as we RELY ON HIM. I know that this is crucial. The well of my faith,
step by step, is getting deeper. I love Jesus Christ. Through Him, we
can return to Heavenly Father and live forever. I love this Gospel!!!
I got to speak in Church this week, and I knew my Japanese probably
wasn't the best but I got to testify of Jesus Christ. It filled my whole soul. It
is amazing as missionaries to receive messages for someone else, and
just to act as a messenger. That is what I want to be all throughout
my mission, and throughout my life. Our prophet is so great at
exemplifying this, being "on the Lord's errand." My family, I wish I
could tell you of the blessings and miracles involved in God's work. I
testify that this is His work.
This week the PI family we have been trying to teach (since we came
here) finally became investigators! She is so amazing. Their husband/dad
was a Church member who passed away... and last night we had such an
amazing lesson, unlike any first lesson we've ever had--but the Spirit led
it. Sometimes you just naturally love an investigator so much. I know
the Lord has prepared this family, I'm so grateful we get to teach. That was
an incredible miracle. The Lord has been in her life, preparing her so much
I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am realizing more and
more the security we should, and can, feel with the Holy Ghost at our
side, within us, teaching with us. We have the best third member of
our companionship! It is so true. The Holy Ghost is incredible. I
strive to constantly simplify my teaching, to understand the doctrine
more, but when it comes down to it--I know the Holy Ghost bears
witness to the hearts of those we teach. Only the Gospel can heal the
wounded world, only Jesus Christ is strong enough. I know that balm is
there. I got to testify about the healing power of the Atonement
yesterday, and just cried through the whole thing. A cute sister came
up after Church and gave me some friendly feedback...that maybe it would
be better to talk on the same tone/level... I'm not sure they are
quite used to those kind of talks and testimonies! But how I love Him.
We get to teach our two new families today. The work is so delightful,
life is so delightful. I think of the Savior's promise to draw from the well of
"living water," that doesn't have an end... and He is that. I know it is true.
Other things: we were asked to do games at the ward Halloween party,
and we flew in like witches! ha ha.
We had the members do a plastic bag fashion show and make
witch outfits - the final products were hilarious.
We had such a great time!
We also found a delicious place to eat called Santa's diner...
I didn't think I missed American food until I ate at SANTA'S! ha ha!
I LOVE YOU SWEET FAMILY AND FRIENDS! Congrats to cousins who got
mission calls, and to those who will get them soon. We are all in this together!
It is SO WONDERFUL!! This is the best time for missionary work in the history
of the world. This is the best time to be a Latter-day Saint, in these last days.
I love this work!!
Love you Fam! I know the Lord has slipped into my heart and made a
better home there, and through the Spirit has worked to help me develop
into the person He hopes I will become. I know He loves you and
watches over you and I pray for you!! Through the Spirit, we can do
whatever the Lord requires... let us rejoice and enjoy in the sanctuary
He offers us.
I love you!
Your extremely blessed Sister Anderson
Thanks so much for your GLORIOUS letter including the pic of you and your
cousin Elder Lythgoe! We are so happy that you finally met up with each other
and that he is your ZL! How fun! Two cousin missionaries from Utah serving in
Japan with all their might, mind, and strength! Who would have thought?
And you will be joined by another cousin, Emmy Anderson, who just got her call
(drum roll please...)
Sister Anderson, You are hereby called to serve a missionary of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the
France Paris Mission.
She enters the MTC on January 9, 2013. What about that????!!!! There is more.
Your cousin Lindsay Castleton (age 19) has put her papers in and will receive
her call probably this week! And...your cousin Brandon Garlick (age 18) has his
papers in and is also awaiting a call. Drew Hunt (a sort of cousin) is awaiting
his call, too!
Is it getting colder there? The rains are pouring down in abundance, I hear. I can
just picture you sitting on a back road in your rain coats, eating your cold rice while the
rain descended upon you and your bikes. What troopers! Unstoppable!!! And the Lord
led you to two families. How are they doing? We are excited to hear. How incredible that
you found a member so close by who knew Japanese sign language and could help you teach. The day of miracles has not ceased! Especially in Takamatsu. You are so right,
the Lord does know His sheep and they are numbered! You and Sister Dobson are His sheep and He knows you. He is guiding you to other sheep and you are finding them.
He is so grateful for your service, and so are we!
In case you didn't know it, our picture (taken at the Institute) is on the header for http://www.moregoodfoundation.org/ - you are famous! What an amazing organization - one that is truly doing "more good" than we can fathom.
And mormon.org is now translated to Japanese -WOW! What a blessing that will be to missionary work there, and to the saints. Quoting my daughter: "This is the most wonderful, exciting work in the history of the world. We are involved in the work of Salvation, helping invite people unto Jesus Christ, working directly leading people to access the Atonement in their lives. What a work, what a promise." Amen!!!
There is a lot of Halloween fun around these parts lately. And... happy Halloween to you next week!!! Its a crazy holiday - but the kids sure do love getting candy...and getting dressed up in costumes. We do, too! Dad and I became Mr. Darcy and Lizzy (in their later years, of course) for a YSA dance. We were stunning! And yes, Dad says he is still bewitched - body and soul! And me...I love love love him!
The BAC play was this last week-end - the Legends of Sleepy Hollow. Yes, Legends. It was not that well written, but the cast had fun and did well. The costumes were amazing, of course! I asked Seth if he liked it and he answered that the people were sort of weird. Then he said, "I want to write a play. it will be about cowboys...and cow girls. It wouldn't be a bad play it would be a good one. I will put it on at Grandma Jan's on Monday and Wednesday and Thursday...and Friday." Is he one of the clan or what???
I just returned from the YSA stake where Dad taught Sunday School for a combined block meeting of four wards. He taught from 3rd Nephi and it was powerful. I know that he is working miracles with the young adults, and that this is exactly where the Lord wants him right now. He was the only member of the stake presidency there for the meetings - the other two are out of town. But, you know Dad - he held his own and presided well on the stand by himself.
Is there anything you need? I will work on a few more family history stories. I feel so close to some of our ancestors lately. More than likely they are the ones who have been by your side so many times. I am so grateful to them. Won't the reunion be sweet when we finally are with them again, and we will know all about the connections and the great love we have for each other? The veil seems so thin sometimes. I was reading today in Moroni and had such a marvelous time contemplating the work of angels. His father, Mormon, says in chapter 7:
25 Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.
and in verse 37 - Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.
And another personal favorite reference:
3 Nephi 17:24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
2 Nephi 32:3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
Elder Holland: (Ensign October 2008):
My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.” (Moroni 7:36). On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.
May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D&C 84:88). In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.” (D&C 90:24). Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God..."
You are His emissary. Take heart in knowing you are not alone. This morning Dad spoke of standing in the circle during the setting apart a sister missionary. He was her Bishop, and had just spoken of how he felt there were unseen visitors so interested in her mission that were in the room. When she was set apart, she was told that those spirits in attendance were the ancestors of those to whom she would bring the gospel message. Wow! And this morning in Sacrament meeting, a letter from the First Presidency was read that was so much about doing temple work for OUR ancestors when we possible can. I LOVE FAMILY HISTORY AND TEMPLE WORK!!!! Remember when you attended that family history class with me? I think you were in Jr. High. I told you how grateful I was that you were my helper. You informed me that I had it wrong...I was YOUR helper! Amen! And we will always have fun doing family history work together!
Thanks for being you and for being ours. Onward and upward sweet little missionary - you are doing more good than you could possible know!
With love from your helper,
Hug Sister D. for us!
Quincy turned 12 last Wednesday, Eli will be 12 on Thursday, and Joseph will be 12 on Saturday. They will all be ordained on Sunday!!!
Marissa is now 8 and will be baptized on Saturday!
Coy is turning 18 on Friday!