Sister Jena Anderson

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

We are part of a wonderful work!

Dearest Family,

So! Not a lot new here--yet. Lots of wonderful learning that I want to apply so much this week! I love a new week. It's like something good and clean in a new light, still the same life, but all washed full with Tide and ready to be put on with experience. It is a wonderful work!!! Thank you so much for your prayers for those we are teaching! I really know as we continue to pray, the Lord's work is perfect--and His sheep will be gathered. I love this work - the Takamatsu Sisters will not give up on anyone!

How blessed we are! I marvel at the goodness of my Father in Heaven letting me come to this beautiful place, to serve such wonderful people. There are so many challenges, but there is no way that I could have learned the lessons He is teaching me any other way. When I am facing something hard, something that is trying, I can rejoice in the goodness of God and remember that Jesus Christ experienced EVERY trying thing--so that we could experience life, and so we can return triumphant through Him. Isn't it amazing, our Father's plan?

We had a baptism on Sunday! Isono Kyodai was baptized!
His is a really interesting case, so it wasn't a normal baptism and we actually haven't taught him a ton. But, Sunday, he entered the waters of baptism. It was neat to see him, who is always in dark dark clothes, in his beautiful white clothes--even if his smile wasn't there. I think about how Heavenly Father wants that for us--we who are sometimes scowling, in our habits and such. He looks at us and smiles because He sees what we can become. I know He loves us!

We are part of a wonderful work!! This is the final work before our very Savior and Redeemer comes to earth again. It is so precious. The missionary force is increasing!  What could be better?  In our mission next July (after I am home) there are going to be 11 new sisters coming in one transfer! President Zinke has told us that there may even be more!  All the sister missionaries who are still out will need to be trainers for the new sisters! They will be amazing!

I love you! Rejoice in our sweet Savior this week--He loves you so much. He wants you to look into the future, clothed in new-ness, prepared to go forth shaking off yesterday--one step forward to the possibilities of a rich eternity. How He loves us. And how I love you! Thank you sweet people, you are in my heart. 

The work is TRUE!
Love, a blessed Sister Anderson

PS  The new MTC program sounds incredible, the Lord is "hastening His work in the latter-days"... I think it will be so good!

 Cold weather has hit us! Gotta love it!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Isn't that doctrine beautiful?

All doors...

Dear Family,

This is the work of the Lord, and that is the reality and wonder of missionary service! It was a little bit of a traumatic week, the mom of our sweet investigator family (even though she passed her interview), mailed us on Sunday and said that she would not be baptized. We had already known we would need to move the date, but she is in a place where she has decided she will not be baptized at all. It is so sad to see someone who needs it so much, who the gospel can help, and see her turn away--that is when I thought of this concept, something that has been with me for a while--"getting sick people to take their medicine." Doctors see their patients who have physical or emotional problems, and prescribe medicine to help them.  If the medicine were taken, it would help so much! Life wouldn't be perfect, but they could live in a completely better way, function on a new level. Isn't that the gospel for our souls? I know Heavenly Father must feel this way sometimes about His children who almost come to church, almost make it to the temple, almost choose the gospel life, and how heartbreaking it must be--even our sweet Father is not exempt from the sadness of watching His children sometimes choose the wrong things as they use the gift He has given them. I see my Eternal Father in the Pearl of Great Price, weeping over the world, and saying, "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency..." And then, our Heavenly Father rejoices in the gift of His Son for us in v. 39. If we but choose, the way is prepared. Isn't that doctrine beautiful?

That might be kind of a heavy topic to start off this letter, but I love you so much. I know Heavenly Father is watching over us. We had interviews this week and President trained us straight from 2 Nephi 2--about the need for agency. It couldn't have come at a better time for us. Another sweet investigator, an older man who is just a little slow, who needs the Gospel so much, came into Church with a chicken in tow, as a peace offering telling us he wouldn't be coming to church anymore. Rachel has gone back to her island home, but should be coming back sometimes. But the work of the Lord is rich. There are so many sister missionaries coming here that they need trainers, I even thought of extending because I love it so much--which is odd because sometimes it hurts a lot. But I love it! I love my Savior. I love ministering in His kingdom. I love His sheep. What a blessing it is. My sweet friends and family...we may not have every puzzle piece in the eternal spectrum, but we have the truth. We have enough to fight for it, live it, breathe it, teach it, sanctify ourselves through it - through Him. Today I read in Hebrews about the Savior being the "author" of our faith, and I think of the way authors and publishers work (another scripture says that He is the finisher as well.) But I love that. Being someone who loves writing, I think of how a book is written, sad parts, happy parts, the author going back and working on weak parts, but all of it so special to the author, almost a part of the author. He is the perfect Author, and what He is authoring is all of us. Isn't it amazing?

I love you sweet family! I read President Uchtdorf's talk on "Regrets and Resolutions," and was impressed again with what matters most. And it's you, experience, and my Heavenly Father. We can choose to be happy. I love you! And I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior, who knelt and pled for me and each of you, who trembled and bled at every pour so that we could be together, so that my "authoring" could happen, that my character, too, could develop--and I weep with gratitude. I love Him, and I know He lives. I want to be so much better for what He has given us--what a joy.

You are so wonderful you sweet people! Heavenly Father loves you, the scriptures are true, the Plan of Salvation is our road map, the Gospel of Christ is the way we can walk it, and Jesus Christ is our Savior--so that we can return home to live with God. I love you!!

Love always,
Sister Anderson

PS  thanks for your love and support - it means so much to this missionary on the other side of the world! I love your letters - thanks for writing! Happy birthday to everyone in January!!!!!  Mom, it looks like your birthday celebration was nothing short of spectacular! are so loved!

PPS My doryo is so patient, wonderful and patient and an angel, and did I mention patient? I just love her! 
  waiting on interviews
  unagi (freshwater eels) restaurant 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Onward, upward, and outward!!!

Learning how to make mochi! 

Dearest go-kazoku,

Wow, am I so humbled whenever I receive your letters. I am reminded that everything in my life is really His, and I am just so blessed to be here on loan, it is so amazing. All of the stories about wise stewards, handlers of talents, and management are our stories. We are given a lifetime filled with experiences of learning to manage, so we can return to the Lord, and He can say, "well done thou good and faithful servant... I will make you rulers of many things." Isn't it incredible? Life is so simple. We had a training plan about eliminating the "noise" for our investigators so that they can remember the truths they learned before. I realize more and more that we create so much of that noise in huge ways in our lives, blindsided by priorities and lists. It is amazing to see that our "numbers" have become people, and it is so humbling. There are things that are scary and there are things so wonderful in the work of the Lord, and really it is about developing that faith through quiet, consistent, continuous devotion that breeds the faith we need to osorenai (not fear). One of those wonderful moments is... tonight Izumikawa San and her two sweet boys (Taketo and Ayuto... Haruto is 5 so he can't be baptized yet!!) have their baptismal interview. We felt really peaceful about pressing forward for the 20th, even though things are crazy and it seems like it might be better another week... but we will see what happens tonight! Oh...I might not have shared that we witnessed another miracle in teaching the Sabbath day (again) to Izumikawa San.  She had expressed some doubts to her member friend about her job when we challenged her to pray to find a way to keep the Sabbath day holy. We started fasting for her about three hours later after dinner that night. When we called her the next day, she said, "I meant to call you yesterday! Last night I got called and offered a new job that doesn't require me to work on Sundays... that's an answer to prayer, isn't it?" WOW! It was probably around the time we started fasting. Fasting and prayer brings MIRACLES, and she has such great faith. Let's pray for her this week! Thank you so much! 333

We had another cool experience with one of the investigators who came back, and he wants to be baptized. We had a lesson where we really had to discern, and we both received the same impressions about this investigator. The Spirit works miracles through us for the lives of our investigators when that is called for. Our God is a God of miracles, and is all-powerful. Isn't it amazing? The Lord is in charge of the work, and I feel so grateful to be his steward here. It is absolutely wondrous!

We had another cool experience yesterday.  At the beginning of the week we had set a goal to find a family this week. It was Sunday and we had an hour left of time outside, and I know I wasn't really thinking about that goal. But we went where we had scheduled, and went in the place where we felt the best about--no flashing lights, trumpets, burning, etc. -  but just that consistent missionarying. We first housed an apartment where no one listened. In the next apartment complex, we had housed some, and then two boys came up the stairs and went in the door. The timing was just right, and their mother, an English teacher, let us in. She began sharing some spiritual experiences she had on a study abroad in high school, and talked freely with us.  When we asked her, she said she would send her boys to Eikaiwa. Her boyfriend was there and was super nice. They looked really interested-ly through the pamphlet, and when we asked if we could come back, she gave us her number. Isn't that amazing???

I love this work!!! I want to continue my whole life to work consistently, dedicatedly, and never stop. I used to think about going home from my mission and resting, but I don't feel that way anymore. I want to go home and work! :)

I love you! It looks like we'll have some baptisms these next few weeks here in Takamatsu... please keep them in your prayers. It is so incredible to be teaching a family. Last Monday, the boys all ran in from playing outside, opened their Book of Mormons (copies of? ha ha), and studied together. The 5 year old said "Nan peji?," whic means "what page?" So, so so cute. It is like heaven to have them at Church, and to be progressing in such a wonderful way!

Well, this is extremely long... but I love you! The work is true, and it will not end until He comes again. What a privilege, what a joy, what a life. It is true. Onward, upward, and outward!

Your missionary, Sister Anderson

PS. I don't know if this will make you laugh or scare you, but we met with a cute American girl the other day and I thought, "She is so loud!!" ha ha. Did you ever think you would hear that from me? culture shock... ha ha. love you!

PPS.Its soooo fun being a missionary!  We decided one day to have a picnic in our apartment! We used our aprons for a picnic blanket. 

We made a "Keep the Commandments" board, sort of "Candy Land" style. We have a lot of opportunities to be creative in teaching Japanese kids! 
  "Keep your life in perspective..." our It's a Wonderful Life house complete with the broken rail-cap!

A pic of our toilet to answer my brother Spen's question...I just got done cleaning this little unit today!
  The view from our window...

Eating sushi with the district! 
On the left it is Carter Choro, Pearson Choro, and Chapman Choro. Then on the right it is DaSilvia Choro, Dobson Shimai, and me!

to my brother Nate... I ate unagi at sushi for you! It wasn't that bad... 
 After our sushi we got parfet! Yumm!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Akemashite o medeto gozaimasu! (Happy New Year!)

Tashibu fufu, one of the incredibly faithful couples in our ward

To announce... we are staying! 

Dearest, Beloved Kazoku!!!

You are so great. I sure love you. I can't believe how fast and slow time is ticking, time is so weird on your mission. We have had an incredible week. 7 of our investigators came to church this week... and did I tell you, we are sinking on our roots for transfer #4 together as the Takamatsu Sisters! ha ha. No transfer!!!! I LOVE BEING SISTER DOBSON'S COMP!!! WE LOVE IT HERE!
Things are going so well though. Izumikawa San (our beautiful, golden contact who we love so much) is moving forward to her baptismal date on the 20th, and her cute 8 year old is doing so well. One of the boys hasn't been able to come to church yet, so he can't make that date, but we are rooting for them. They are so cute. We made quiet books for them and the other kids that come to church!
We taught a "walk through" plan of salvation and the Gospel of Christ, complete with backpacks and compasses (receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost). They loved it! We had another pretty amazing miracle. The first deaf family we met, the mother has had a hard time coming to Church and really progressing. We put her name on the mission fasting list this month - praying that she would come to Church. But Heavenly Father knew what we would be praying for even before the actual prayers, and guess what?! The faith of our mission helped--after Church started, Haruka Chan (her cute 9 year old) walked in, towing her sweet mom for her first time coming to our Church. It's a miracle!!  

We have miracles every day. I can't tell you how blessed I am to be in this area, and how much I love it. I LOVE BEAUTIFUL TAKAMATSU AND I LOVE YOU.
Sunrise from our apartment window...
Sunset from our apartment window...
We are all on our quest of discipleship. We show every day how we honor our Savior. What a privilege to live! Shogatsu was this week as well, it is like the Christmas of America as far as big-ness. Everything shut down from Tuesday-Thursday and people are with their families. They go to the shrines and pray. A few members had us over for traditional food, it was so much fun!
Miracles, miracles, miracles. We think there is a way this sweet lady in our ward who is really old and probably has a little dementia can be baptized. Her son is so happy. Haruka Chan bore her testimony in Church, even though I'm not quite sure how much she understood about testimonies... most of it was about her skiing trip. haha...oh, well. Watching our beautiful investigators, sitting in that chapel...what a privilege to be a missionary!

Did I tell you I love you? I hope you all have a happy and heavenly new year!

The work is true! Onward, upward, and outward--in showing our love for Him. It is His work, and I testify with all of my heart that it is true!

Sister Anderson

 Here is Yoshiko Shimai who we taught in Akashi.  She got baptized!!!!!