Well, what a surprise! As if we haven’t had enough since we got to New Jersey.
Jon and I chose a certain district meeting to attend in January and the district leader talked of setting goals and had everyone do a wall sit (an exercise sitting against the wall as if you are in a chair) and see who could do it the longest. The winner would get a new tie for the elder or new scarf for the sister who won. Well, we decided we should join in the fun and participate. I needed to answer the phone but Jon continued to compete. Afterwards he mentioned how sore his leg and back were and I thought for sure he had re-injured his back from 15 years ago. He had to get an MRI which did tell us he had problems with discs but also showed he had a mass in his kidney which should not be there. After many tests we found that, yes, he needed to have surgery to remove a tumor in his kidney. Had he not done the wall sit we would never have found the tumor and upon returning home in 2 and half years he would have been in big trouble. So we consider the wall sit a miracle for Jon’s health. Elder L. Tom Perry came to visit us and said, “Well, Jon I thought we sent you on a mission to convert the people of New Jersey. We didn’t know we were sending you on a mission to save your life!” So we are very grateful for everything that took place except for the pain and recovery which has not been great. We are anxious to return to Jersey and be with our missionaries as soon as we can. It is amazing how much we love and miss them.
We had a wonderful day, however, just before we left. Elder Jay Jensen our area authority came and did a one day mission conference with our missionaries. Elder Jeff Olsen (who I dated in high school) also attended. We had a great morning of instruction and teaching. We told the missionaries about Jon’s upcoming surgery and they all were very tender, loving and supportive. Then Elder Jensen and Elder Olsen gave Jon a wonderful blessing following the meeting. We felt calm and peaceful. Afterwards he talked to our girls for a while and let them ask questions. Our girls had flown in for my 60th birthday. It was a complete surprise. It was wonderful to have them in Jersey! We had some time together and it lifted spirits after the not so good news we had received and went through the week before. But it was a surprise and that is what we are getting used to as we serve. There are always surprises. One day an elder called and said our investigator wants to be baptized today! After many years she decided that, that day was the day she wanted. Jon needed to interview her, drove an hour and had a sweet interview and they baptized her right after. It was an unexpected, happy surprise.
So we are here in Salt Lake recuperating and continue to have surprises. Life is full of them isn’t it?!? Thank you all for you love and prayers. Now that is not a surprise. We have such great, supportive family and friends we know will always be there! We love you, Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson