Sister Jena Anderson

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

The work goes on and the gospel is true!!!

Dearest Family:
Another short email day because we unexpectedly are heading out.  I just want to tell you how much I love you. This week we contacted a man and spoke to him for a long time.  We explained the gospel, testified with the Spirit, and he said that he didn't want to listen and had no questions. Oh, well. Maybe another time.  Its the nature of missionary work, right? However, we then met a lady the next door who said we could come back!  Wahoo! I am so aware of the love that Heavenly Father has for His children. The other night while studying, I realized at the truths found in the Book of Mormon, and realized just how FUN it is to share this message, and to teach people what Heavenly Father's children are here to do.  It is the best, and it is true. We have the truth! How I love to share it!

This week Higashi Shimai moved, but also said that she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. It's so awesome! I love baptisms. I love the Gospel. I love you! Time is so short and so precious. Hug the ones you love today, and hug yourself for how loved you are by me - and let us rejoice forever in the Gospel!! It is true.
Love you forever!
Sister Anderson

Sister Jen's cousin (who has been serving in the same mission) returned home last Wednesday!  Here are some pics of the amazing, hard-working successful missionary Elder Lythgoe and his welcome crew at the airport in SLC!

From Sister Zinke:
Last week we welcomed twenty new energetic missionaries from the Missionary Training Center.  What a crazy week it was...but what fun!  Fourteen of them come to us from right here in Japan, three are from Australia and three Americans.  We are thrilled with our new missionaries!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

No need to doubt!

My Dear Friends and Family,
Sometimes my heart just rejoices and reflects in the depth of the help Heavenly Father gives us. I am so amazed at His mercy. His call is for each of us, no matter where we are, to come to His feet, to come to His mercy, so He CAN help us. I had another paradigm in my study this week as a I realized that commandments are to protect us, that the Lord WANTS us within the realm of His help and protection. We hear "come," "ask," "knock." I promise you my brothers and sisters, that He is here to help.
Transfer calls came and, I will finish up here in Niihama! I can't believe it. As the time is winding down, I can't figure out how I'm feeling--at all! We met a new investigator family this week, it was so neat because when we taught them about baptism and related it to Church, the husband was really interested--and they were like, "Where is this Church? We want to go." It was the first time anyone has down that in a first lesson without being invited on my mission. The Lord knows the hearts of those we teach.
Other than that, things are clicking more with Hino Shimai! Right now she is praying to Heavenly Father AND Jesus Christ, and then says respectfully, "you two people..." She is so funny. We taught about prayer before and will teach it again tonight. :)
We use activities and teach simply. She understood the Spirit more last time, and it was so fun because she said, "When I feel like I shouldn't read the Book of Mormon, that's Satan, isn't it! And when I do feel like I should, that's the Spirit!" We also did a guide activity in that one, complete with an eyes-shut Owens Shimai, to teach about how feeling the spirit works. On Sunday, we had just finished a meeting and she bustled up to the room we were in, so cute, because she knew we would want to sit and talk with her. She told us that when she met her friend, she prayed to start off their time together so that they would have a good time! Isn't that wonderful? She really has a testimony, it is just trying to put all of the pieces down for her. Her study of the Book of Mormon is really beginning to open her heart, help overcome years of other beliefs. It is so fun.
On Sunday, I got to talk in Church, and our neighbor came to the Church for the first time! They are such a cute couple, and moving so soon, we will stay in touch though and refer them. But as I started my talk, an investigator we have been trying to meet (and not able to get an appointment with) walked into the Chapel. Our branch is really small and it was a small day for the small branch, I said, "Welcome!" And then I think I skipped half of my talk! ha ha. (just a little.) Sunday was a day full of miracles.
Thanks so much for your notes, you are so great. We ask for your prayers that we can quickly find the prepared people in our area, and that we can help them come unto Christ through the ordinance of baptism.
This is the Savior's work. We have no need to doubt, for He is at the head.
I LOVE YOU! Remember that no matter where you are, what you are facing, that the Lord's love is enough. Our task on earth is to choose, and choosing Him is enough to cover all the rest. It is the best decision I have ever made, and maintain that allegiance each day. I love you all! The work is true, and people's salvation is waiting.
Love you!
Sister Anderson 

I love this mochi! ahhhh.....
 Treats from our surprise investigator at Church! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Earthquakes and Promises

Dearest Family,
So many amazing things in my life as a missionary! We were surprised on Saturday morning to an earthquake alarm going off on our phone, and huge megaphones saying, "This is an earthquake." I shook my companions shoulder gently and said, "We need to get up Sister, thee is an earthquake." I think that missionary work has prepared me to handle more gracefully the panics that must come with motherhood. Last night, we were riding in the poring rain for 30 minutes, and I just laughed and laughed. It was so funny and so wet! We both forgot our rain coats. It was a pretty great sight. I actually felt like for the first time in over a year, I'd gone swimming!! So great, and really foreign ha ha. (The earthquake alarms were intense but we didn't really feel the earthquake here, it was in a part of the mission that used to be in my zone while in Akashi called Sumoto... we are all safe! Thank you for your concern.)

Conference was so wonderful, wasn't it? There are two things I am really touched with. One is the fact that we are here on earth to gain experience. We will have desperately hard times, happy times, lonely times--because that is what we are here to do, so we can "prize the good." But, we do not have to face them alone. Because Jesus Christ came to earth and experienced  every joy, sadness, loneliness, we too can rejoice in experience, and really feel it, whatever feeling it is, and turn to Him. He is so amazing. I read this morning about the Savior being the only one, "from a mortal mother and immortal father... who could voluntarily lay down His life and take it up again." (Elder Nelson from this month's Liahona) Isn't that incredible? Our Savior was the only one born who didn't have to die, and yet did because it meant that we could then choose to live with God again, and our families. The second one is just about the eternal nature of families. I was so impressed at Conference at the joy that comes in family, the work it does take, and the incredible blessing my family is. I thought of you, sweet people, and the influence you have had in my life. I had a lot of individual thank you's, but this is for all of YOU. I love you so much!
Our beautiful investigators... Some of them are starting to weed out a little more, to the ones who are willing to act and meet with us, and the ones who had just been meeting with the sister missionaries before. We have been meeting Hino Shimai a lot, and had a wonderful lesson about the Spirit, one of the best we've had. She had said when we watched "Finding Faith in Christ" that she had a warm feeling inside. So for the lesson on the Spirit, we brought a big blanket, and almost put it on a few times, and then put it all around her to show what the companionship of the Holy Ghost is like and what it feels like. It was a fun lesson! She came to all of Conference, and Melody and Sayuri also came. This nice less-active walked into listen to conference and the members did not recognize him because he hasn't been to church for so long. We will make sure he comes back! I just wonder how many people there are like that in the world, who aren't thought about a lot and still want to come to Church, still love their Savior, but are staying away.  If they were just invited, given callings, hugged and invited to the second row to listen, how "at home" they would feel and how they secretly, in their hearts, want to return. Isn't that exciting! It is like the most serious treasure hunt in the world - the treasure hunt for souls, and it is precious. They need us. I've realized what a completely different member of the Church I hope to be when I get home. Missions change your membership forever. Members are NEEDED so much and they feel a role that we can't as missionaries if we want our investigators to stay. Their ties must be strongest with the ward. They need members and the service you all have to offer. Spend your time working on their salvation, going and finding those sheep! We need every lost one. (is my plea!) And it is the sweetest work in the world - bring souls to Jesus Christ who loves them.
I love this work. I feel so inadequate, but I think in the right degree, it is a component of the work. I realized again this week at interviews and training that I do NOT have the power to change a heart by myself. It doesn't matter how amazing my teaching skills might be, or if I have six flip charts and eight videos - what matters is that we find out what they need from the Spirit and teach them, with the spirit IN us. That was something we discussed in training from Ether's example.  "And he could not be restrained, for the Spirit of the Lord which was in Him." My prayers have changed this week. I want the Spirit IN me. I love the Spirit so much. I am grateful for this tool. We cannot, cannot, cannot strive to do this work alone - it will be empty. But by relying on the Lord, going slow enough to feel those promptings, with the faith of a mustard seed, as Elder Holland so beautifully taught this week, we can work miracles in bringing our brothers and sisters home. What a privilege! Every Sunday meeting is a family meeting, and who is missing there? Our less-active friends, families? Our neighbors who haven't heard? We should share the Gospel because we love it, like a life-vest in open sea, or a mask in a dangerous wind storm - it saves! We, of course, love and respect agency but do EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER with the Lord to help them.  We have a lot of power if it is with Him. He is amazing! We have all of the tools we need to be successful missionaries, spouses, friends, visiting teachers, home teachers, members, and active participants in helping others on their walk to salvation. What is needed is not a perfect understanding of all things, or even a perfect US. We need to be perfectly reliant on HIM, and He has the "being perfect" part of the equation covered. What is asked for, and I know this through my mission here in Japan, is a heart of love for the people, and to work harder we've ever worked before. It is daily repentance, devotion, picking up and always keeping going. I think that is the definition of heart, might, mind and strength to me. It depends on where our hearts are in the right place then our feet will be moving in the right direction. We will be effective instruments in His hands, for it is His work. Amen!!!!
I love you all so much, and rejoice to be having this earthly experience with you. Whether you are in pouring rain or an earthquake on the other side of the world, or the only thing quaking is a little piece of your heart, like Elder Holland encouraged -trust Him. If our whole heart can muster just that flame, ignite that. Flame that in others. We have that power.
I love you, and delight to be your fellow servant!  There is no place I would rather be in my journey through mortality than in the vineyard of my divine, resurrected Lord. I never want to leave that place. This commitment is longer than a few plane rides, or even exits and entrances to life. This is our destiny and privilege. 
Love, your missionary in Japan,
Sister Anderson

Report from the mission president:

6.0 Earthquake Near Kobe

by Richard Zinke
We were awakened by an earthquake this morning at about 5:30.  Everyone is fine and there seems to be no damage of any significance.  It was centered about 25 miles south of Kobe.
We have a couple of Japanese sister missionaries just a few miles from the epicenter serving in the Sumoto Branch.  They called within a few minutes of the quake.  They reported that they were fine and that some church members were with them already.  They were nervously laughing with the members.  A lot of things in their apartment had fallen off shelves but nothing was broken. The sisters were a little shaken and began running to the mountains in their PJs in case of a tsunami. After a bit of clean-up they dressed and went to assist some members at their homes.
Today and tomorrow the saints here gather to see General Conference broadcast at the stake centers, wards and branches.
A media report is attached below.

Strong quake in Japan but no major damage reported

April 12, 2013 05:41 PM EST | AP

TOKYO — Japan's Meteorological Agency says a magnitude-6 quake has struck near the southwestern city of Kobe, but public broadcaster NHK reports there is no major damage and no tsunami alert has been issued.
The quake hit at 5:33 a.m. Saturday and was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, the agency and NHK said. It struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).
The quake was centered near the same area where a magnitude-7.2 quake killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.


Monday, April 8, 2013

That we might live, and live more abundantly!

Beautiful cherry blossom season in Japan!
My Beloved Family,
My heart is so full today. I feel like I have learned lessons this week, or capped a few of lessons this week, that are the most precious in my mission and life. I am just so happy. I love you and testify that His work is one of service, that we are already blessed. We are TOO blessed not to share. Missions are not for US to be blessed, even though that is the ultimate result, because of Heavenly Father's infinite love. My heart brims with joy. It is true - as we forget ourselves, and go to work, He will bless us. It wasn't specific experiences as much as just finally realizing how Heavenly Father has been tutoring and helping me, and finally I see! I am so happy.
So! I know my Father lives, and loves me too. I love you, too! I don't know how I got so blessed to be in such a wonderful family. In one oses, I mentioned it last week I think, it talks about how we are perfect in Christ. Isn't that incredible? We are telling others, and even living lives, as a witness of His grace. I am so excited for Conference too! I gasped when I heard about Cedar City!! I know that the temple there will be well-used. I love Cedar City!
Our beloved investigators, are so great. Sayuri Chan (17 year old) bore her testimony in Church this week about the Savior, as did two recent converts. It was so wonderful to see them. Hino Shimai prayed in a lesson this week, even though she is still learning it. It was her birthday, and we gave her... the New Testament Picture Book!! She studies SO WELL. It's wonderful. So many good things to report. We had a fun Zone meeting in Matsuyama, where we practiced contacting. I had the chance to contact some fun people on the way there, and I am so impressed that this work is a work of love. I love it. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father giving us this chance. It is so rewarding to talk to people every day, about who they are and what they like, and testify that God loves them, how at Church they can feel His love, etc. I am so excited for all of the incredible new missionaries! Even in our mission, every area is expected to become a four-some. Isn't that awesome? The work rolls forward!
I love baptism. Sometimes in the past we would get nervous talking about it, but this is the way that our brothers and sisters can return and live with God, and get blessings NOW, in this life. People are searching for those blessings, and we have them. Precious!!! Life is so precious.
Here are a few of our investigators... I would love your FAITH and help in praying for our sweet people here! One of our investigators, Jedley San, started working and we haven't been able to meet with her. We want to teach her! Melody San and her baptismal date. Watari San, who has not had the word of wisdom lesson yet, and enjoys drinking. Hino Shimai to gain a testimony! Sayuri Chan's family! Thank you all so much!
We are so blessed. The work WILL go forward. It is so amazing to see Heavenly Father hastening the time. It is the BEST! I just want to help His children! We work on His power. I know I am a sinner, imperfect and that perfection is not expected now, but we can be perfect in Christ, now. He is my Savior and best friend. The Master and Creator is so close to our souls. His Atonement is enough. I love my Savior! And feel so blessed to be in our family and a sister in this work.
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
Love, Sister Anderson 
A few students from our volunteer English group 

It is cherry blossom season... mankai!

This is lotus! They eat it in Japan. Is that a flower? I don't really know... ha ha.

 note from Sister Jen's mom:

Lotus root is a versatile vegetable which can be thinly sliced or shredded then fried for a crispy garnish, sliced and braised until sweet and tender in soups, stir fried, or sliced, blanched and chilled for an attractive salad addition. It takes well to traditional Asian flavors such as soy, sesame, and ginger. 

A few pics of Lotus root from the web:

 Also, Sister Jen's cousin, Sister Lindsay Castleton, and her family were featured in an amazing, fun, informative, TV special which aired between conference sessions April 7th.  Sister Lindsay is serving in the Chile Vina del Mar mission.

It can be viewed by clicking this link:


Monday, April 1, 2013

On to something good...

Dear Family,

LOVES!!! I love you all so much. So glad to be your friend and servant in this work. Thanks so much for your letters and love! This week has been sweet! One of our investigators set a goal date for May 12 for her baptismal date! Her name is Melody, and she was raised Roman Catholic and really wants a confirmation of the truth of the Restoration. She will definitely feel your prayers if you pray for her!

I love my companion and I love training! She is so fun. It's been so funny this week, because we feel like satan knows we are on to something because with every lesson we had with an investigator working toward baptism the environment just goes crazy and it seems like all heck breaks loose! The devil knows Niihama is on to something good - but we are getting so much help. :) One of those moments was at the park (it is cherry blossom season here!), when our investigator talked to us for 10 minutes about what she was learning from The Book of Mormon.  during that time no one else talked to us. The minute we close our eyes to pray, this drunk man comes and talks to us because we know English, and insists we meet his family. It was just so funny, because as my eyes are closing, I see him, and i wonder what was going to happen. We met his family and invited them all to Church. This was the third time something funny like this happened during a lesson. I had to laugh inside. It was so neat though, because Hino Shimai pulled out her Book of Mormon and started testifying of Heavenly Father to his family! Heavenly Father definitely put roses on thorns and it was such a great moment as she was testifying and explaining who we were and inviting them to Church before we even could. The work will not be stopped!!

Our other investigators are coming along. It's all so great! I love the work. I have felt more ups and downs than any other time in my life, but it is such a privilege - and to be expected because when preaching the truth there will always be opposition. I love it! I have been drinking deeply from Book of Mormon study this week and LOVING it. I know I forget sometimes what a tool this is. I feel the armor on, protecting us as we prepare through study. Did you know I LOVE IT?! I had the chance to read the end of the Book of Mormon again - I LOVE IT. I know the Book of Mormon is written for our day and is a Book of power, a book of God. I am 100% confident that the 100% confirmation our investigators seek will come. I love the additional witness Moroni adds to Moroni 10:3-5 in Moroni 10:29, 
that I 全く didn't remember... "And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.” That promise is real and affirmed. Those who ask, seek, and knock, WILL come to know it is true. It is not a question. If they truly want to know, and read from this great book, they will know for 100% it is from God.

I love you too, and feel so many blessings I'VE had from God through you! We also had trainer/trainee training this week and sang in Church, some fun things like that. The bus from Niihama to Kobe took 5 hours!! I also got a plethera (I still remember that word) of cute things for Easter to spice up my "finishing the mission" wardrobe from my cute diva Mama. Thanks Mom! I love you so much.

The work is opposed. The work is true. It will not fail. It will go forth. I feel blessed to be a part of it. I want to add my testimony to my new favorite scripture, Moroni 10:32--"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." I love my Savior and I know that our commission is to love Him, serve Him, and be perfected in Him. Our perfection is even reliant and intertwined with our Redeemer. We are safe in Him.

I love you too, and pray for you!
Sister Anderson

My bus lunch

A list I found under my desk--it's true!!
Also, I got to see Elder Lythgoe at Trainer/Trainee training, and he is tearing it up! President asked his trainee when their next baptism was. He said Sunday. He asked when his last baptism was. He said last Sunday. Their next one will be in a few Sundays. Awesome right? Awesome missionary cousin! Everyone asks is we are really cousins. I'm glad we are!! 

Love you all! THE WORK IS TRUE!!

Also, this man we called from the area book stopped in the middle of our conversation and said he could tell I was a devoted missionary. Isn't that amazing? I love representing my Savior. He is our strength, song and salvation. (2 Nephi 22:2.) I've had so many great comments from funny grandpas in Japan. :)