Sunday, October 30, 2011

From Shakin, to Swirlin, to Swimmin, now Shiverin!

Wow what a ride we have been on.  Earthquake, Hurricane, Flooding and now record snow fall for October.  The storm came in with a vengeance.  We were interviewing missionaries in the Princeton area and we crawled home with down power lines and trees.  The beautiful trees that were turning all colors were so full of snow you could hear the limbs crack as they fell. They haven’t had this in October for 50 years.  We were told it never snows in October. HA! They never have earthquakes or hurricanes either! A state of emergency was declared in the metropolitan area.  Many of the missionaries had to find shelter with members because they were without power and heat.  Several members have gone to hotels.  Does that sound familiar, family?  As in many years ago when the power was off for a week on Alta Loma? Our front lawn at the mission home has deformed looking trees because several limbs have broken.  Streets to our home are blocked off.  Many areas look like a war zone.  Today, however is beautiful, clear blue ski and sun but windy and chilly.  Weird!  Such unique happenings in this state for sure.  But we love it!  Interviewing missionaries is the best.  Long hours, but being with them is wonderful.  They are each unique and have so much to offer. Jon, of course, does the detailed, involved interview, while I talk about a Christ like attribute or some gospel topic for a few minutes, give them food and treats and just enjoy them.  We also had specialized training this week and Zone Leader Council.  Specialized training is when we have the new missionaries come to the stake house and train them with stuff and more stuff.  There is a lot of STUFF to teach them.  No wonder they are a little (a lot) stressed! It is always great to be with all the zone leaders.  To go from new missionaries to seasoned missionaries is quite amazing.  To see them change and grow, mature and blossom is great. We love it.  It is very involved, very demanding, but very rewarding.  We went to two baptisms today.  One was a Spanish man and another young woman of 13.  It is very tender to see the missionaries in action.  They work so hard and seeing them dressed in white performing this ordinance, feelings inside you swell and you feel a very sweet, wonderful feeling. Hmmmm, could that be the Holy Ghost confirming what we just witnessed?  We heard a wonderful story about a young 16 year old young man named Orange Calvacanti. His brother was named Yellow and the other Blue.  Go figure!  Anyway, he was investigating the church.  His friend was a pastor and told him not to join.  But he read the Book of Mormon and prayed finding it to be true. He went to Brazil.  He told no one he joined the church.  He went with the missionaries to church then to his family’s church so no one would suspect.  When he was 19 he decided to go on a mission.  He forged his parents name on his application, received his papers and called a taxi.  On the way to the airport he called and told his parents who immediately called the police to stop him. Luckily then were unable to catch him. Despite no support at all, he was a very strong, successful missionary.  Despite obstacles trying to pull him away he knew the Lord would help him through.  Today he is a Bishop in Brazil!  So great!  We are having wonderful experiences, growing immensely, deeply tired, but continue to shiver, swim, swirl and shake things up in Jersey.  Love to all and missing you a lot, Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson  

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