Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mud, Muck and Missionaries

One Saturday afternnoon a few months ago, a 6 year boy named Mikey was hit by a car while fishing with his dad.  A woman had lost control of her car, slid off the bridge and hit Mikey at the rate of 50 mph. His grandpa came to the hospital and asked Mikey what happened.  "Well, papaw, I was fishin and some lady runned me over.  I flew into a mud puddle and broke my fishin pole and didn't get to catch no fish."  As it turned out, the impact propelled Mikey 500 feet, over a few trees and an embankment and in to the middle of a mud puddle. Only his right femur bone was broken and with surgery pins in his leg would hea.  His grandpa bought him another fishing pole and talked about fishing.  Mikey said "Papw, did you know Jesus is real?"  "Well, yes, Mickey, for all those who believe in Him and love Him in their hearts."  "No, Jesus is really real.  I know because I saw Him.  When that lady runned me over and broke my pole, Jesus caught me in His arms and laid me down in the mud puddle!"  The New Jersey Morristown missionaries have seen Jesus with the mud.  We have seen Him with the mucky flood water, with the devastation and we have seen Him in the hearts of all of us.  All of the wonderful members and missionaries from all over the world have helped lift burdens, sorrows; have healed, encouraged and given hope and countless hours of service to hundreds wearing their yellow "Momon Helping Hands" yellow t-shirts.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints know how to help people who have had their lives completely overturned and devastated.  At several church buildings, where command centers have been established, huge trucks have brought in supplies of food, cleaning kits, hygiene kits, tools of every kind, generators, pumps, masks, gloves, goggles.  Then there are all the computers and networks that are orgainized to list all those who are in need.  The tasks force have been all of our missionaries, members of the stakes and this past week several busloads of missionaries from the South New York mission joined us to continue hauling wet, muddy, mucky, smelly, moldy belongings of these people out to the sidewalk to be picked up with dump trucks.  Jon and I have been so proud of our missionaries.  They have loved serving and have been humbled by what they have seen and felt.  I was talking to a man that I stopped to see if he needed help and he showed me his basement that still had 2 feet of water in it.  I told him we would get a pump and generator within the hour and sure enough one call and a car with a generator and pump showed up, the missionaries set it up started pumping, then tore apart the sheet rock completely taking care of his basement.  They spent the entire day helping this man and his family.  The man started crying.  We have all seen tears of appreciation and gratitude in this effort of helping our Father in Heavens children.  We have all gone to bed completely exhausted, but so humbled and greatful for what we have experienced and how we have seen the church in action of helping their brothers and sisters.  Another man came up to me and said, "The Mormon folk are good people.  I will never forget what they have done for me."  These are just a miniscule experience of what we have been experiencing the last 3 weeks.  One more...we went to help a member and all the yellow shirted missionaries were carrying out her yucking belongings from the basement. Neighbors standing around watching with faces of despair.  So what did our missionaries do?  Went into several more homes to help. The member went to the city council the next day and told them they should be ashamed of themselves.  If it hadn't been for the Mormon Missionaries and their church none of us would have been helped.  We would have still been suffering and in a diaster."  One of the neighbors threw up her hands, praised the Lord and said Thank you, thank you!  This is what we have been doing.  Thankfully, many missionaries have been able to teach, testify and baptize.  But right now helping and serving is what we are about right now.  Hey and we have even found some fish swimming in the water in the basements of some homes!  After all we are fishers of men!  Love you all and miss you tons...Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson

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