The Thanksgiving holiday is always such a wonderful time of year. Extraordinary thankfulness for ordinary blessings in ordinary days keeps the sparkle in our lives. We, however, experience extraordinary blessings and extraordinary days here in New Jersey. Life is anything but ordinary. But most importantly it is a time to truly reflect how grateful we are to belong to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Having the restored gospel in our lives is such a blessing to us and to our families. It is a time to reflect upon the Savior, his atonement and all he continues to shower down upon us with His love. We hope all had a wonderful time of being together. We were so happy that our children got together and had a great day. They were all missed by us tremendously. Our Thanksgiving was extraordinarily different this year! We attended a turkey bowl of some of the missionaries. The grass was so wet and muddy they were sliding and slipping everywhere. It should have been called the Soup Bowl. I was nervous every time someone fell. We ended up the day with 5 stitches, a dislocated shoulder that an elder popped back in, aches and pains from unused muscles and two blown out knees. We are waiting for the results from MRI’s! Oh My Word!
The weather has been amazing since our record snow fall. We haven’t even had to wear jackets during the day! But we can tell snow is on the way! AHHHH! This month went by super fast! It seems like there is always so much to do and so little time. We had a wonderful time interviewing all our missionaries. It is so great to meet with each one individually and see how they are doing, their worries, concerns; their joys and successes. Jon loves his time with each one. While he interviews I give them a little message, object lesson etc. and feed them. Yes it is always feeding time! Sometimes I feel like I am a zoo keeper. It is wild and crazy and I am always feeding someone! We had our first Leadership Training this past month where we had 75 missionaries to feed lunch and snacks for two days. We taught 8 lessons for new missionaries and their trainers, zone leaders and whoever else showed up. Lots of fun, lots of food and lots of spiritual feasting. The missionaries love to be together. We played the blanket game. Remember my children, our FHE game where you drop the blanket and you have to say the other person’s name before they say yours? Well they loved it. They want to play it at every get-together. They were doing all kinds of different things to confuse people. Quite funny I must say! We then had Zone Leader Council and more Specialized Training for our newest missionaries. Like I said, not only feeding but also training like in how to eat, act, dress and stay healthy. I should apply for a zoo trainer when I get home! But don’t take this wrong…I love the zoo, animals, treats and the shows. Jon and I are right in there enjoying the entertainment and contributing to all the wild and crazy things that happen.
We were happy to have our daughter, Becky, and her husband, Blake, come in for a week. Blake was here for training for his job and Becky came along to visit us. We loved having them here. They surprised us in telling us number 14th grandchild is on the way! Yahoo! We are happy for them. It was refreshing and fun to show them the new Memorial at Port Authority for 9/ll, the Tear Drop given to New Jersey from Russia for 9/ll, the Cake Boss at Carlos Bakery and the Bascillica in Newark, a beautiful cathedral where the Pope stays when he comes to New York. By the way, thanks to Jon’s brother, Taylor, we found that an ancestor of the Jeppsons helped to settle Newark. Who knew! It helps to do family history work doesn’t it? We also had an ancestor burned at the stake.
Anyway, my epistle is long enough! That’s what happens when too much is going on and not enough time to write. We love our missionaries! They are working so hard and are so dedicated. We had 25 baptisms in November and hope to reach our goal of 400 baptisms for the end of the year…we have 39 to go!!
We finished off November to start December with a Missionary Christmas Fireside. We have three firesides where our missionaries sing, talk, give scriptures and quotes of the Savior’s birth to members and investigators. It was very touching to see them all in the choir seats in their red and green attire singing together. There was a beautiful spirit there. It is a great way to start off the season.
We look forward to our Sisters Conference, Mini Zone Conferences and our all Mission Conference coming up for Christmas. Alex and Julie Boye are coming in for a visit. That’s right we are going to feed again, train again and have Alex entertain us. It is wild and crazy out here! But we love it and look forward to sharing this wonderful Christmas season of celebrating the birth of our Savior with the world. Last thought….Love what you do and do what you love. Become lost in the love of it….missionary work! We love it and we love you! Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson