Yes, Jon and I arrived back in the mission field on Sunday, March 11, 2012. We adjusted to Mountain Standard time, just in time to go back to Eastern Standard time, losing an hour with Daylight Savings time. We are tired all the time. But so glad to be back in time to interview our departing missionaries and give hugs and well wishes as they begin a new phase in their lives. We literally hate to see the missionaries leave for home, even though we know it must happen. It is bitter sweet for us. We grow to love each of them so much, as if they are our own. They leave and we feel a hole in our hearts for them. We know we will never see some of them again during our earthly lives. But time marches on! The new missionaries arrive and it begins anew. This most recent time, however, dates were mixed up at Church Travel and arriving missionaries had to take a red-eye flight to make it to New Jersey on time to meet their new companions. Upon arrival they were a tired bunch of missionaries. But they pressed forward and are now spending time in their new areas preaching the gospel and learning as fast as possible.
We are now in the process of getting back at it and having Jon finish recuperating here at the mission home. He felt he could lay here on the couch just as he was back home! I just need to make sure that’s where he stays for the next 2 weeks. (As if that is going to happen) But he is trying. The missionaries have been very good at not calling unless there is an emergency and they have allowed him to rest. We had two very capable seniors shepherd the mission while we were away. They did a remarkable job in taking care of everything that needed to be done. We also had a nurse that just arrived 3 weeks before we left to go to SLC, so she took over medical. She wondered why she had been called to New Jersey and after this discovery with Jon realized why she was here. She is amazing and has helped our missionaries with several medical issues. We also have 2 mission attendants who completely took care of feeding the missionaries at meetings and trainings. They told me “No missionary will go hungry on our watch!” Plus very willing, capable, talented assistants who took charge as well. And since we have the best, most obedient missionaries in the church, who we trust completely, we had no worries. We had tremendous work done and the baptisms still went forward. So you can see, while we spent time away, the mission was run in a timely manner. We had no worries! The Lord took care of everything.
We wanted to thank all our family, friends, members of our stake at home, members of the stakes/district and temple district in New Jersey and Manhattan and all the mission presidents and missionaries in the North America Northeast Area, the missionary department in Salt Lake, our IFR, our area authorities, all the doctors and our wonderful missionaries for their love, fasting and prayers in our behalf. We so appreciate all you have done. We felt your love and prayers.
It’s time to look forward to upcoming district and zone council meetings, General conference, zone conferences, mission tours with visiting authorities, interviews, and time spent with our missionaries.
Leaving New Jersey with a sick president, a daughter high on morphine with kidney stones, a daughter who was grieving from the loss of a stillborn baby and arriving to a grandson with severely burned hands in Utah, we knew we were in for quite a time! But the Lord’s tender mercies were upon us. We know things happen for a reason! For us, there was never a week in time like that!
And today, once again in New Jersey, witness a baptism of a husband baptizing his wife to unite their family in the gospel. They had a tender embrace in the font. It’s good to be back. Looking to more great times ahead, love to all….Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson, New Jersey Morristown Mission