Friday, August 12, 2011

This was a first!

Hello to all,
     We had our first zone conferences and had a blast!  Jon, of course, gave great training on working with the bishops and stake presidencies, I talked on their eating habits etc.,  showed a few church training videos, lunch, played a game with mini balls.  One ball had the word "trust" on it.  The missionary who caught that ball got a prize.  We are doing a "Way to Be Bag", way to be happy, way to be healthy, way to be humble.  The bag was filled with a bunch of stuff and we had them stand while we had statements like:  All those missionaries who brushed their teeth every day for the past 7 days remaining standing.  All those missionaries who laughed at least once a day in the past seven days remain standing.  All those missionaries who taught an investigator this past week remain standing, etc. etc. until one missionary was left and won the prize.  We sang a song to Be it (Beat it from Michael Jackson)  just changed the words of course.  The mssionaries got a kick out of that.  Then the remaining time in the afternoon was devoted to more training.  We have changed a rule for this mission and have asked if any missionary wants to use his musical instrument for the purpose of missionary work may do so. They were thrilled with that also.  Thursday I left zone conference to take 2 missionaries into New York to see a psychiatrist.  We crossed the George Washington Bridge.  It is huge!  Then traveled by the Manhatten temple.  It was all fascinating and a first for me.  Saturday we had dinner with the mission presidency.  The second counselor is from Cuba and his wife from Ecuador.  We had a lovely dinner with foods from all over and saw Elder and Sister Harlan Clark.  They had just been released  and reassigned to serve in our mission as member leadership support missionaries.  They are loving missionary work.  Sunday we went to a baptism of a Spanish brother who 2 of our sister missionaries have been teaching.  They asked if we would help sing a hymn at the baptism.  Well, little did we know that the hymn was in Spanish.  So the two missionaries and Jon and I sang I know that my Redeember Lives in Spanish!!!  Did we know what we were doing?  NO!  We were very entertaining however.  The two missionaries were all over the place with their pitch and I tried to sing Alto.  Jon just kept singing away.  I told him when we were home at the Spanish branches he should have been learning spanish!!  Now we are both trying to learn it.  We looked at the program and saw Beniveida a la Iglesia -- Presidente Jeppson, or something like that.  I showed it to Jon and he said, "What the heck is that"  After asking around we found that he was to welcome this new member into the church!  A first for sure!  We slaughtered the song and I laughed so hard on the way home I was crying.  That night we spoke at the YSA for a fireside.  Jon told his story, (that is what they wanted) and I told them some of our missionary stories.  After a man came up to Jon and said that he was told that President Jeppson could look into someone's eyes and feel of their spirits.  We think they got the wroooong impression and information because he asked Jon to look in his eyes and tell him what is spirit was like!!!!  Jon was baffled.  He then brought his wife up and asked Jon to do the same witih her! I wanted to say, wait we are having a seance tomorrow and I'm bringing the candles.  Oh my word!  I think they think that Jon is a psychic.  Hilarious!  A first.  Two classic stories this week..One of our sister went into the bathroom at an investigators home.  She came running out of the bathroom with a horrified look on her face.  Her companion asked her what was wrong?  She had flushed the keys down the toilet and was panicking.  They were far from their apartment and no other keys.  What did they do?  Started praying.  The investigator ran and got her plastic gloves, reached as far as she could down the toilet and walla!  The keys were there, sparkling clean no doubt.  THe other....Jon and I were having a very short date night Friday at Applebees and who I thought was the manager came over and asked if I had enjoyed the service today.  I replied, "Yes, it was very good"  He said, It was good with a question and I replied again, "yes it was good."  He then said, "Well I saw your tag and noticed you were from the Church of Jesus Christ and hoped you had enjoyed your service today!"  Ha! It dawned on me what he was trying to say!  So funny.  Tonight we are having all the senior couples over for dinner and FHE.  18 will be here to get to know each other better.  Tomorrow I go with an Elder to have some surgery at a hospital and then Wednesday take the departing missionaries to the Manhattan Temple and then to Central park for a picnic.  A first for both of us.  We keep laughing so we don't cry from an overwhelming schedule.  But we are lovin it and learnin so much.  Thanks for all your prayers.  We need them especially if we are asked to pray in Spanish!!!
Love to all, Jon and Bonnie

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