We finally had winter in New Jersey, or should I say a winter day because the next day it was sunny, then it rained and melted all the snow, then cooler air, then warmer air, cooler, then warmer. Today on the 29th of January people are wearing jackets and some of the spring flowers are trying to come up. STRANGE!!! But we will take it. We love the weather. One day of winter so far and the rest cold and even warm, balmy days! We are grateful there is no ice to slip on so far. Now maybe we will be pummeled in February, but it will still be a shorter winter in the long run. Yeah!!!
It has been quite a month in the New Jersey, Morristown Mission. We started off with Zone Conferences. We always love being together as a mission. We had great instruction from President Jeppson on the Plan of Salvation and focused on becoming Master Planners using the phone, Area Books and their individual planners. The missionaries told us it really helped them be better organized and have more appointments during the week. Sister Jeppson talked about their apartments and keeping them clean. We enjoyed music, talents from the missionaries, great food by the Relief Society, games and teaching from 9 to 4 everyday for 3 days. They were long days, but great, rewarding ones.
Jon and I went to the Manhattan Temple with 2 missionaries going home. It is a great way to finish their missions. We have a member of the temple presidency come and talk to them after the session where they can ask questions and bear testimony. The temple it is so quiet inside and then you step outside to the noise of taxis, cars and a ton of people in New York. It is quite a contrast. We had our trip planned to the Statue of Liberty where we take a ferry to the island with the departing missionaries, but this past week Jon exercised and apparently aggravated an old injury in his back and laid him up good. He can barely walk! It has been quite painful and he is going to have an MRI this week. He has had some physical therapy and it is going to take some time. He is anxious and wants to be out working. It is ironic too, because we have a lot of stairs to get in the house, stairs to get in the office and a lot of steep stairs to get to the bedroom. More stairs than we have ever had! Ha! I told him I would get a sled and send him down each morning and haul him up each night! Enough of that. We could not go to Lady Liberty and this time we had the film crew go who is following Elder Long who is going home from our mission. They have been doing a documentary on this particular elder. I told Jon we missed our chance to be a star and have our 5 minutes of fame. The documentary comes out in October.
We have been to district meetings, zone meetings, correlation meetings and specialized training meeting for new missionaries, trainers meetings and zone leader council meetings. Aren’t you jealous? But these meeting help run the mission so we do them!
We have 6 new missionaries coming in on Monday, Transfer conferences of around 100 missionaries changing all over the mission on Tuesdays and then we are going to start interviewing missionaries during the next 4 weeks with many more meetings to come! But we are loving it and back on schedule with a great month of 28 baptisms. That means 28 more wonderful souls were brought into the Kingdom. In one of the baptisms, the person was petrified of the water. No one knew she was petrified! She kept struggling to keep from going all the way under and after 5 attempts Jon had to finally tell the Elder to push her down which he then did and she made it but came up coughing !! One baptism, particularly touched us. A mom with 2 daughters stepped into the font. I watched her face. She was breathing very deeply with her eyes closed and a big smile on her face. They pronounced the prayer and laid her back into the water. Arising from the water she became very emotional and later told us she felt this heaviness leave her body as she arose from the water. It was very touching!
A great love month is ahead of us. We love our missionaries, friends and family. We found out besides Becky having a baby in May that Melissa will be having a baby in June. More future missionaries! YaHoo! I might add a big month for Sister Jeppson who will be reaching the grand age of 30 + 30. I can’t say it…it hurts me! But as long as I can walk and especially talk…I am good to go. Keep Jon in your prayers….he needs them. Love and miss you all…..Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson