Sister Jena Anderson

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy talks and finding flocks!

Dearest Family,

Wow!! Another week. This week our sweet investigator Yuushi Kun will move away from our area. We will refer him to the Elders where he will be. We had one of the best lessons I may have had on my mission. It felt like EFY or something again. Yes! We got to talk about how Heavenly Father knows him. His mom is a member, and asked him to listen to the lessons. He said that he didn't believe in God. I was prompted that day to share a scripture from the Bible (Jeremiah 1:5) about God knowing us before we were born. Usually I don't cry a lot in lessons. It has been so incredible to teach along with his mom. I feel like I just get to be a fly on the wall that is somehow needed because I am a missionary now, on the wall of their eternal family. We have had chances where I really felt like I was just emphasizing the teachings of his mom. Seeing her testify to him and the love she has for her son, is amazing. His mom and I both cried. After, as everyone ate at the little farewell lunch for her, we stood up to say things we love about her. I am amazed at the love that comes for people as you teach. It is Heavenly Father's love, and He gives us a part so that we can teach with power of His love. I have never felt so strongly how I should have taught about Him my whole mission. I feel like I need to repent all of the time! I was so grateful. We couldn't have tied it better with a bow, it was beautiful with his mom's testimony, and testifying about the Restoration and relating it to Yuushi. The Spirit is an amazing teacher. My companion shared the First Vision and her testimony, and we talked about how the first word that Heavenly Father said in this restoration was a young boy's name. I kept asking him what he thought, and he would say, "sugoi." (great), or that he hadn't thought about it, or something like that. And he'd think, and feel. It was really hard to say good-bye to them, but I got her address so we can write--I can't wait until he is baptized!
My beloved friend, Yuushi Kun's mom, Takita Shimai!
 Yuushi Kun and his missionaries...
The Church is true! We have been running with our neighbor in the mornings who is investigating, it has been fun. I love training. My cute companion, after we contacted one of our first doors this week--it was a family whose response was kind of so-so, and she looked at me with these huge sparkling eyes and smile and said, "That's the family I'm going to baptize!!!!!!!" (probably with her hands clasped). I was like, yeah! We need to all have that faith. We are heading to Kobe for trainer/trainee training again today! 

Note: there has been a change in email policy so we can communicate with friends,  Priesthood leaders, and extended family via email from now! Yeah! :)

I love my Savior. I know Heavenly Father has direct, personal love for us, and is waiting to help us. We are so blessed to have the Restored Gospel this week. I love the Resurrection. He really is the truth, the way, and the life. What a blessing! What a blessing to testify of Him. He truly was the Man of men, and yet the Savior of our souls. I am so grateful for my Savior. This IS our message, and it is a miracle.

We had an incredible "finding" miracle this week. We got on the train and we were sitting by this mom and her two kids. They gave us some candy, we gave them some stickers. She had her iPod on so we didn't get to talk a lot, but I gave her a pass-along card. We got to our lesson 30 minutes early, and decided to pray and house even though we only had a little time. We's walked over close to our investigator's house, and then we saw a big white apartment a ways away which we decided to go to. We walked for maybe 10 minutes and found it. We didn't have very much time, so we prayed to see what floor we should go to. The first door we knocked on, this mom poked out her head and said, "Oh, I just met you on the train!" We were shocked and shared some of the experience with her, it just tumbled out, that we had a tiny bit of time before our appointment and felt we should go there. She asked if our talk was a "happy talk," and we said "YES!" She accepted an appointment to meet with us this week. Isn't the Lord amazing? It was neat because it was one of those things that we KNEW wasn't us. Seeing the Lord's POWER in missionary work is incredible!!

The Lord's work is heralded by miracles. How fun for everyone at home to get to just study and the Gospel any time you would like!! I love it! Have so much fun learning of His kingdom. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and rejoice for  the Savior will come again!

Happy birthday to everyone who celebrates in March!!! Way to go on the musicals, the competitions, and all the other fun things you are doing. I love you!

Sister Anderson 

Sometimes... they put curry in bread in Japan!  They have a lot of fun and different, varied breads. Yum, yum, yum!

Monday, March 18, 2013


My sweet Family,

I am so sorry the last two weeks have been so short! Today, I will try to make it a little longer. So! We did stay in Niihama, and my new companion straight from the MTC is named Owens Shimai. She is really great and excited to be in the field. 
We are teaching a lot of investigators, and really want to actively seek to invite them to come unto Christ. It is such a privilege. This week I really felt like this must be like motherhood. Yesterday, riding my bike, I thought of how you think it will get easier, how you are so excited to have another child coming, you do more prep, and probably some smarter prep from having the experience, but in the end--you find out you are still human, and kind of close to the same person you were --you are still mortal ha ha. It was such a realization for me as I knew I would probably feel like that with every child I have. Ha ha! Who knew what prep I would get in Japan! It is so wonderful though. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So this week, Hino Shimai read the monogatari (The Book of Mormon picture book) we gave her.  She read it 6 times, and moved forward on her own to begin reading the Book of Mormon, which she told the other sisters that she couldn't do! It's so neat because it wasn't something we really did, the spirit is just working with her. She has a very depth of knowledge about the story of the Book of Mormon, probably more than most any investigator.

Jedley and Melody, our Phillipino investigators, came to church this week. It was so special. I got to speak in Sacrament meeting, and felt Heavenly Father's love for them so strongly. I felt how happy He was that everyone was there. I shared an experience about the Sacrament, and the power I felt it had in my life when I was such a new missionary, with my first Japanese companion in Akashi. I love the Sacrament. Our other investigators we haven't met a lot, except for Yuushi, who we taught about the Spirit--I had him do a pop quiz and listed feelings of the Spirit to see if he's felt them. He had. It was so neat to see his mom just testify to him and try to teach him.

We love the work. It is interesting to me to be on this last stretch of my mission, but I am feeling the excitement and the drive to go and find the elect. They are waiting here. It is such a privilege to work in the vineyard! I wish I had hours to tell you about all of those we are teaching. They are all just so special.

We were asked to do a family home evening last night at the Branch President's, to which Yuushi kun and his family and another guy and family came. We acted out Lehi's dream, and put Liahona's in their little backpacks when they stepped on the stuff that wasn't the path. They had to find their path on their own, with both forces (the great and spacious building people used the party hats and kazoos Mom sent for my birthday!), with some Japanese treats that were white at the end, where the other team was eating and cheering. It was so cute - the girl heard the voices, even though she was blindfolded, and walked almost straight to them. The other boy struggled for maybe 10 minutes, and kept getting magazines and eventually fruit in his back pack. When he finally came to the rod, we took off his backpack at Baptism... it is empty when we are baptized (we had the path as the Gospel of Christ). It was so fun. You wouldn't believe that our Branch President knows the Abraham dance that Yoshiko Shimai taught us in Akashi. One day I will show you that video. I haven't laughed that hard on my whole mission!!!

The work is rich, and we are rich because we have it. I love to share the wealth!
Whether a person is new to the gospel or filled with the Gospel light - no matter where each of us is on that Gospel path, His help is real, and  we are not too far from His reach. "Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

That is the Savior's invitation to each of us. He loves us all so much. 

Sending my love from this blessed land,
Sister Anderson


 have to tell you about one of the most tender moments of my mission. We were going to district meeting, maybe an hour and a half away. These cute elementary kids got on the train. I always bring stickers to give out to kids on the street and start talking to families,  and I had just re-stocked. I gave one away, and for the next twenty minutes there were all of these little faces with their matching yellow hats sneaking over, all peering. They are so cute. We became friends. I gave one boy two, and there were thirty little hands saying "Choudai!" They were so precious.

You wouldn't believe it, but when we came home at one pm, they came on the same train. This time, we were on the receiving end. These cute little children, under eight, came grasping seashells and leftover candy from their lunches, a few of the precious caramels that each of them had received, a pine cone or two from a boy who liked them. Tears sprung my eyes as they told us they liked karate, asked us to speak English, asked if we'd tasted this kind of candy. They were so anxious to give from what they had. They are so Christ-like. We were even sitting by a lady who they became friends with, and they gave her candy, because we said she was our friend. I want to be like them when I grow up. It impressed me so much. I have a precious bag of seashells covered in seaweed, a beautiful little shell that a little girl gathered, and they are all so precious. Do you think I could get them through customs? :)
 The party hats came in handy at eikaiwa 
(English conversation school)! haha!
 An English Group we volunteer for --they took us on a tour of the mine for our last Preparation Day! They are so sweet. 
In the mine,,,
Nothing is impossible!!!! 
  I found Japanese Aunt Laura in Japan! ha ha 
(beautiful, sweet ward-member)

Funny story:  Mom sent two packages for my birthday in December and I only got one.  Sometime in February the other one was returned to Bluffdale.  Mom immediately re-mailed it and now I have the rest of the presents and the party hats mentioned in this letter!  haha!  Thanks Mom! 333

Monday, March 11, 2013

Onward, upward, and outward!!!


Dearest Family,

Unfortunately, time is short this week again as we have a referral who can only meet today. We got transfer calls today, and you'll never guess what I'm going to spend my last two transfers doing!! TRAINING. ha ha ha ha ha. Isn't that funny? Maybe I just keep getting a new chance to be better at it... so great. New missionaries come in on Thursday! It will be so wonderful!
Sister Lewis is training as well. :) And then we will go home together!

Things have been great this week. We visited an amazing member in a wheelchair whose health is so bad that she can't even come to church. She told us that she hasn't had a bad day since she joined the church. She told us she is not sad anymore. This beautiful woman, who needs a helper to take care of her, was serving us vegetable juice as we chatted with her.  She is so sweet and faithful.  I could feel her depth of conversion.

We taught Yuushi Kun again this week, about recognizing the Spirit and the blessings of the Holy Ghost after baptism. He moves at the end of the month but we love him and will teach him truths until we no longer can!! 

Another investigator said she would like to be baptized, and we are working toward that with her!!! Her three children are recent converts and are so strong!

So...I love the work and I love YOU!! Thank you so much for your sacrifice and love. I am so grateful for everyone's letters! Loved the packages so much, and I am wearing my new sweater! Thanks my cute mommy!

Love to you all - the gospel is TRUE! 
Onward, upward, and outward!!!
Sister Anderson

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Japan Kobe Missionaries - true disciples every one!

Mission Conference!!!


Wow - you are so special to me. I get pictures and I can't believe how everyone has grown!! It is so fun to see. Happy birthday to all of you who celebrated lately! Thanks for the letters and all the support!!!! I love you so much!

This week has been so wonderful. We have 10 investigators right now that we are working with, and they are all at such different phases--most of them, probably all, at the very, very beginning stages of learning the gospel still. It is so fun to have the chance to teach them, and still an interesting challenge to be new in this area, and working with everyone and still new as companions, but it is fun and SO GREAT!!!!!

This week was Hina Matsuri, a special celebration only for woman (especially girls) to get good health for the year. One of our investigators brought us this gift! They are so cute. They have little food for everything. I will send you the king and queen (traditional) picture! 

These are hina matsuri treats, cute right?! I love Japan!

This is Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's work. It is so wonderful to be in their service. The meeting as a mission (taikai) was more than AMAZING! Elder Tad R. Callister came and taught and inspired all of us! So wonderful! I was filled to the brim with love for each of my sweet comrades in this work.  How I love all my comps - past and present!!! It was so fun to see everyone including my awesome cousin Elder Lythgoe! We have an INCREDIBLE mission of true disciples. President Zinke and Elder Callister talked about the atonement, and about being a consecrated missionary. When we sang our mission theme song as our beloved leaders walked in, the tears could not be stopped. There was so much power in the room, evidence yet again of the presence of the Spirit and the unity of the Japan, Kobe mission in teaching of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

And what a work it is! "The standard of truth has been erected... the truth will go forward boldly, nobly, undefeated .. until the Great Jehovah shall say, 'The work is done.'"

I love you so much. I know that the Savior wants us to feel that joy in each of our lives, and the biggest joy is to SHARE HIS GOSPEL! It truly is. This life is so much about the people we help. We talked about joy in one of the talks at the conference, and it just kept coming back to me as everyone was saying what reasons WE have to rejoice, that the privilege to share the gospel and help OTHERS is the work of my Savior and yours, and it is powerfully, masterfully, undoubtedly, true.

I love you!! We also talked about the spirit as evidence of the healing process taking place in people's lives, and in being forgiven--isn't that amazing?! We are too blessed NOT to do missionary work. I used to think i wanted to just stay in bed for a week after I got home from my mission...and just think of myself - haha...but my heart is so full of love for mankind that I just want to keep up the pace, and serve in whatever place my Heavenly Father puts me. Can you believe the goodness of this work?

I love you sweeties!

Love, Sister Anderson

Chocolates from our neighbor, who we are starting to teach!
 I love my companion! Twins in matching yellow. ha ha.