Sister Jena Anderson

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wow! What a life!

Dearest Kazoku,

Wow, what a work, what a life! I just finished emailing my President about my wonderful investigators!! It is such a privilege to be involved in the work of the Lord.

So, the work goes on. Time goes so quickly, I don't even know if there is anything else sometimes--missionary work is so intense and absorbing when you are really living it. It is easy to live it in this wonderful place. We have been teaching our beautiful investigators this week, and it has been so fun to see them progressing little bit by little bit. We had a district (like a stake) conference, so we couldn't meet as many of our investigators on Sunday... but Hino Shimai came! She is a Buddhist lady that it sounds like has been really prepared, we are trying to figure out how to help her. We gave her a huge magnifying glass and the Book of Mormon picture stuff, because the Book of Mormon has been hard for her. She is so neat though. The investigators here just love the sisters, they have a really good relationship with everyone. Still no progress with the mom of the cute girl that wants to be baptized that we've seen with our eyes, but we keep praying... we passed cookies for her mom ha ha.

The work is rich. I sat in a lesson this week with an incredibly learned university professor. The member taught most of it, it is hard for him to hear from younger aged people, but it was so neat--he finally read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and it touched him. He asked for one in Japanese, he'd only been studying it in English. He talked about how he wanted to make things right from his sins, and asked about redemption, and then from the last verse of 2 Nephi 2 (he was quite entranced by this verse), it says "by the words of the prophets," he said "I want to follow the words of the prophets!...My only question is, what are the words of the prophets??" It was one of those moments you just want to stand up and talk like they do in Acts and say, "Brethren, go down into the waters of baptism!" The question was answered a little differently with everyone there though we talked about it a little bit, but even the member thought we should teach together about baptism next week. He's really, really interesting, so we will see how he progresses, but it was so neat to be there, seeing the Book of Mormon--even a chapter--truly touch that man's heart. THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT!! It's hard to have someone who doesn't want to hear as much from us, but what matters is that he HEARS, that he comes to the Savior. (Mom, you would love his house of books haha !)

I love Jesus Christ. We are going to meet one less-active woman with nonmember children tonight that we are so excited to work with. The work is rich. There are just all of these beautiful SOULS here in Niihama, I don't see numbers as much as these beautiful people--who we have to help! It fills you up. We love them so much.

On Sunday, I felt quite like a mom as I pulled out my quiet book and stickers for roudy kids in Church... it's just so fun. I love teaching the Gospel and finding simple ways to explain it to our little loved ones, and our bigger loved ones. I love the Gospel so much, it hurts! This week Elder Callister is touring our mission, we are meeting as a whole mission (which is pretty rare, this is like once in a mission experience) to hear him this week. What a joy!

There are people prepared to hear the Gospel right now in Niihama. Isn't that awesome! And we will find them, because of Jesus Christ, through the Spirit and our Savior's power and help, because of Heavenly Father's love for His children.

Did I tell you I love you? I do, so much. This Gospel is a gospel for families, and I love it so much. And I love YOU!!! What a joy to be enlisted in His service together. We are just messengers, receiving joy as our feet DO trod the mountains, and we love it.

Love you!
One Blessed Little Missionary,
Sister Anderson

Our neighbor was talking to us and said, when people think of Mormons, they think that they need to put on helmets and ride their bikes very fast!! ha ha.

We ate Korean Food! (this pic is in tribute and for my brother!)
 Sayuri Chan's "Putting on the Armor of God" lesson about scripture study... she said, "I will so I can fight the temptations of Satan!" 
She was quite fired up ha ha, it was so great!
Missionary bags...Oh yea!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Full speed ahead!

My new companion - Sister Lewis!
Dearest Family,

I feel eternally blessed to have all of you as my family!! I cannot begin to tell you the miracles in our mission. My body is getting so broken down, but it is such a privilege to be laboring in the vineyard that is my very Savior's. I love Him so much! I love my new area!!!

Last Wednesday, Dobson Shimai and I had quite the adventure heading for the train station to go to Okayama. That was the checkpoint for meeting up with seven other sisters to do the switching of companions. We hoped to do missionary work along the way and planned plenty of time. A short visit to a PI turned into a long one and we ended up in light speed home to gather all my luggage and various grocery bags of stray stuff and then biking full speed ahead to the train station. Anyone watching us would have had their laugh for the day as we whizzed by with my auxiliary bags flying out like sails in the wind. haha! We were a sight! With  seconds to spare we saw the sweetest sight - our branch president was at the eiki waiting for us to say goodbye. I am sure he got a kick out of our frantic arrival complete with me in my helmet and both of us surrounded by luggage and grocery bags! People on the train started talking to us (no wonder!) and it was so fun and so crazy! This man peeped over a train chair and said, "I was going to eat these bentos (Japanese lunches) , but I will give them to you!" :) Miracles!

Soooooooo.....I love my new area (did I say that already?). I still haven't met all of the investigators but I think we'll meet most of them this week... mmm... it's incredible! The work is wonderful. It's really fun to be companions with Sister Lewis, she is a really good worker and is wonderful at receiving revelation. I know I have a lot to learn from her this transfer!

There is an investigator here who has been investigating for 3 years and desires so much to be baptized, but her mom is against it. She has a date right after she turns 20, but it was such a delight to meet her and teach her on Sunday, she is so special. We have another investigator named Yuushi kun who is 12, and the son of a member. HE IS SO WONDERFUL  My heart just popped out teaching him, his dad doesn't believe in God so he has two really strong influences in his life. I asked him to close his eyes and put a pen in his hands, and asked him what it was. He felt it and clicked it, and said specifically that it was a ball-point pen. (He is also a very smart guy who wants to be a scientist!) We got into how we can know that God lives through a kind of "evidence", and to talk about the Book of Mormon. This ward is really interesting, the biggest group is the young women. They bring their friends a lot, and it seems like the only investigators here are pretty much families and teenagers! It's so wonderful. Did I tell you how much I love working with the youth? The ward is super special. A lot of people hug here, which is unusual in Japan - and it is so small that they are on the consolidated schedule, Church is only two hours. They are so on board with missionary work, it's like stepping into a little family. It seems like there are about... 20 people, but they said it was kind of a low week. They are doing a "fasting" really to find a Shinkensha (a priesthood holder), where someone fasts for 24 hours, calls the next person, and they begin fasting. They were in the middle of this when I came. Isn't that amazing?

As I study the Gospel, I am so impressed with it - again, and again, and again. I hope that some of it sticks and I am not just getting blown over by the same thing again, or maybe it's becoming a little deeper - but, I just love it. I was studying "Effective Study" to help a few of our investigators, and just getting so much revelation - and I was feeling so much how there is meat in everything! It's incredible! The Lord blesses us as we strive to serve His children. Time has felt so different, I feel like the last 3 days have been 3 weeks and I'm shocked to figure out that they are days, but--the work is amazing. This is a 4 week transfer, it's so short!

Thanks to everyone for your sweet letters and pictures!! Georgia Andersons - so glad you got to have the Jellos visit! Dad, sounds like your talk to the YSAs went super - no surprise there!

I love you all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x3!

Sending you love and happiness in a dish of seaweed soup from Japan, 
Sister Anderson

(the picture says happiness in katakana... so great)

 Zone Conference


With my great comp Dobson Shimai - forever friends and sisters!   
Takamatsu is in good hands!

Hey aunt Jeni!
I've looked at your mission blog and it's awesome! You're doing a great job on your mission.  Thanks for your example. Soccer season started and its so fun. Keep up the good work!
Love, Tyler

Hello Aunt Jena!
     Thank you for setting a great example for me. I have about two years until I leave, and I like reading your blog and emails and learning about what missions are really like and about all the different experiences you've had. You're doing a great job! Keep up all the great work, and I can't wait to see you.

Hi Aunt Jeni!
I have been looking at your mission Blog, it seems like you are really loving your mission! I am glad to know that you are taking time out of your life to serve the Lord! Our Family is doing great out in Georgia, soccer just started and it is going great so far! We have played 1 real game, we tied 3-3 with Paulding County, we really should have won. My Chocolate lab, Aggie is doing great, she weighs around 60 pounds, she loves to fetch and swim in the lake! I got braces on Valentines day! They are hurting right now, but they should stop hurting soon! I hope that you enjoy the rest of your mission!

Dear Aunt Jeni!

This is Natalie.  Grandma Jello is here in Georgia!
I hope you are having a nice time on your mission so far.  I hope that you teach a lot of people and that they will believe you and will want to choose the right.  All of us are excited to see you when you come back from your mission.  We are coming to UTAH!!!!!!!!!!
Grandma and I have been playing dress ups and using our imaginations. We are going to do our nails.
We love your blog! You are always smiling!!!!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Niihama here I come!

 Thanks for the new scarf, Mom!  This is my "talk in church" outfit!

Oh, my beloved family!

Time is so short and it is flying by here in Japan. This news could be like so many of the other transfer calls Dobson Shimai and I have received together - but alas, it is not! I am heading to Niihama this weekIsn't that crazy? I will really miss Sister twin! But missionary life goes on and we are eternal friends!! I will become companions with a girl I came with (my doki) named Lewis Shimai. It will be so fun, too! 
Cute Rachel came from the island yesterday to attend Church and hear me talk. She was convinced, certain, that I was transferring. That's when I realized it might really happen, and as she walked away, she waited longer than usual, looking at me, and I could almost see it in retrospect then, "That was the last time I saw Rachel." She is so special. We will miss her so, so much. She is studying English in her 70's and is set on coming to America, and then living in England because they drive on the side of the street she is used to. The only thing she doesn't like is the Word of Wisdom (and she doesn't like hot chocolate...). We had so much fun visiting her on her beautiful island. She was so disappointed that it rained that she bought tourist pictures and brought them to us on Sunday! She said her husband bought them. :) She is so prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was driving around for a while, saying things like, "It's been so long since I drove! I love driving!" ...half-way through her daughter switched her. She is so amazing. I can't wait to get that baptismal picture of her! Keep her in your prayers...

Here I am, sitting in my chair, with tights in which I am sewing up holes - convinced (I really am) that they will last... and it's crazy! Heading to Niihama this week and it seems like a dream, but it is the work of the Lord. There are so many amazing miracles going on in our mission right now. It's incredible. We are having miracles in Japan as a mission. KOBE, JAPAN. Ahh. I love it.
Dear loved ones...we have a treasure. Change can be hard, I empathize with all of you who are changing school, getting married, leaving some things for others, making changes even in your heart. It can be hard, but Heavenly Father knows us and any change that brings us closer to Him is worth making. 
愛する家族、皆さん!人生は贈り物です。(My beloved family, everyone... life is a present!) I hope you all have wonderful days and remember the power of the Atonement. It was pretty amazing, I accompanied Dobson Shimai on the piano (I got a little sick this week)--so I was sick and had a talk and she had no accompanist, so we simplified it--and I prayed mightily. I had so much help. Isn't that amazing? Jesus Christ qualifies us. The power of the Atonement is real in our own lives and in our missionary work. What a blessing.
Goodbye, Takamatsu, hello Niihama! Niihama is a beautiful countryside place, still on Shikoku, a little bit more south. It sounds like it is wonderful. I will miss the ward, I love them, but the Lord always has a plan. I am thrilled to be living it.
I LOVE YOU! Mailing you from another place on the other side of the world!
Thanks for the Valentines package!!!!  It came through ok...just a little torn up!

 Loved the big hug - thanks everyone!

Dear Aunt Jeni,

This is Ryan!  How are you doing?  Grandma Jello is here and she showed me your letters 
on your blog. I loved seeing it - it is soooooo cool!  You are always smiling so big and you are
so happy.  I get to see you in the summer and we are having a huge party!  I am so excited.
You are a really good missionary!!!!!!!! I wonder where I will go on my mission and if I will
learn a different language.  Is Japanese hard? How long did it take you to learn it?  I will 
get to hear you speak Japanese soon.  That will be cool.  
Have a super day. Write back soon.

Love, Ryan

Dear Aunt Jeni,

This is Trevor!  how are you doing on your mission?  I saw pictures of you on your blog.  
They are cool. You are so happy.  Is the food good or weird? I love having Grandma at 
my house.  She will be here for Valentines day.  I love you, too.

Love from Trevor Jon

Dear Aunt Jeni,
Hey! I love seeing all your letters and pics on your blog - especially the foooood! yum!
You are such a great example to me and to all the cousins. Thanks for all your hard 
work in Japan! I can't wait to see you this summer!
Love, Ellie

Ryan, I can't wait to see where you serve!! You are awesome! Missionary work is great! 
Ellie, I can't wait to see you too, thank you I love you! Japanese is hard, but with the Lord 
we can do it! Trevor, the food is good and sometimes weird. :) love you!

Squid soup...yum!

Now this looks American, right?

I can get a hot bean drink from a vending machine!  Who knew???

Pics from our trip to Shodoshima last week to see our investigator Rachel

 Niihama - Sister Jen's new area
click here for interactive map

Monday, February 4, 2013

Isn't the work amazing?

Dearest Beautiful Family,

This may be short today my beloved ones, at 9:30 our time we are jumping on a boat to spend the day with Rachel, one of our beloved investigators who lives on an island just off of Takamatsu that is still in our area.  It is called "Shodo Shima" (shodo island). We are going to teach her to make wonderful homemade American chocolate treats to replace the coffee she loves so much. Party!!! I rejoice to be alive and serving in the kingdom. We have such hope for her to progress. The Gospel truly is the best gift and I love it.

I have learned incredibly poignant lessons this week and still feel like I am just starting to comprehend some things. It is incredible. I testify that our leaders are called from God. The Priesthood is amazing. I read something from Elder Ballard in "Our Search for Happiness" about the priesthood being what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would do for us on earth, and my whole perspective changed. Heavenly Father would want to give ME my blessings. Jesus Christ would want to go to the temple with me. They would want to be in our meetings, watching over our family on earth. The priesthood really is the big, overseeing factor for God's family--isn't that amazing?

I wish I had hours to write you. We had an incredible meeting about humility, and I understood so many things for the first time, or again that I have forgotten. My life has been changed from this week. A few lessons: everything we have, every talent, ability, gift, is only for the blessing of others (like the priesthood - to be used to bless them). Satan's voice is incredibly tricky. Every thought that is in our head, can be tested by putting it into one of two "baskets." If it invites us to do good and follow the Savior, it is from Him. Anything else is not. Discouragement, feelings of "I can't" for things that have been asked of us are the antithesis of faith. I feel so new and grateful to be learning humility again. I am grateful for the Atonement that covers my weaknesses and allows me to move on. I love the Sacrament. I make a promise to each of you that we can increase the role of this sacred ordinance in our lives! I thought it was so important to me and it grew again in significance this week. I keep we know what we have and why? Everything we have is for others, to bless those we love. We have what is needed to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. Our work is for those who have yet to make promises leading to exaltation. Wow, I am so amazed. And we have training again this week! I am so grateful for leaders who train me on what I need to become--but all for the purpose of serving others. Isn't the gospel amazing?

Our investigator pool is still down, but I think it will start increasing with amazing people we've been finding. Do you know just how intricately He numbers His sheep? We have been led to amazing people almost every day this week. It is a wonderful work, and I am just so grateful to be a part of it. It does not matter what our neighbors have, we need to worry about their SUCCESS. Isn't it amazing? I am filled with love anew for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it happens again, and again, and again. I understand a little more how we can always be progressing, because He teaches mercifully of our capacity and the application. Oh, how I love them - my Savior, and my Heavenly Father! I am so grateful for the Spirit to help me realize that peace always. It really works, if you begin to look a little harder and distinguish the fruits of your thoughts. Heavenly Father has given us what we need, He is so wonderful.

How precious you are my sweet, beloved friends and loved ones. Isn't the work amazing! It is true. Let us go on in this cause.

Isono Kyodai is doing well, and is beginning his new life as a member of the true and living church. We taught an amazing woman with Alzheimer's this week who may still be able to get baptized. Her heart is changing though her memory cannot hold. We'll see how it works out this week! Did I tell you how grateful I am? (I also love the "Beware of Pride" talk we got this week!)

And, I love you. It is true. Let's work!

Love you!
Sister Anderson, blessed to be learning anew

Added by Sister Jen's mom:
Shōdo Island 
is an island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. 
The name means literally "Island of Small Beans."
There are two towns on the island: 
Tonoshō and Shōdoshima, 
comprising the district of Shōzu. 




 Olive trees on the island