Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Life here in New Jersey has been SUPER! Let’s see: Super Storm Sandy, Super hard clean up, Super tired, but amazing missionaries, Super neat experiences, Super great Red Cross and other Relief Agencies and Super awesome Mormon Helping Hands moments! What a month it has been. SUPER man President Jeppson has organized this yellow-shirted army into work teams and sent them out to help the massive destruction along the Jersey Shore, Emerson City, Paterson City, Jersey City, NJ and Staten Island, Coney Island NY. You have to see it to feel the loss and devastation that has hit these two states! The pictures don’t quite visualize what we have witnessed here. Estimated costs are up to $50 Billion dollars. Gov. Christie has said it will take at least $30 Billion dollars just to fix the shore and all the businesses and infra-structures that were damaged. On the other hand, people are super amazing! So many have stepped up and donated everything from money to anything you might need to survive. The Red Cross is everywhere as are many relief groups. Food, clothing, everything…are at centers that people can come and help themselves to whatever is needed. Our missionaries, of course, are super themselves. They don their shirts and vests and go where ever they are called or sent to serve. People are asking for the yellow shirt people to come and help them! The comments we have received from others would make you proud. In a good way of course! “They are God sent”. “They are angels”. “They are the nicest, most polite, gracious, kind young men and women”. After helping one household, we sang Called to Serve and the family started crying and hugged many of us. Our missionaries go with chain saws, picks, sledge hammers and crow bars in hand as they go from house to house hauling out everything, and we mean everything people own to the front sidewalk and make piles up and down the street to await pickup from huge dump trucks. Not only Elders are involved but Sisters as well. They are tearing up carpet, hauling supplies out of trucks, wrapping up a few belongings that might be spared and consoling many along the way. At the end of the day these super NJ missionaries are exhausted, dirty, muddy, covered with contaminated ocean water and who knows what else. Many have stepped on nails, received blistered hands and lots of scraps to body and face, but they are loving what they are doing and feel great joy and warmth in their hearts because they know that ‘when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God’ (Mosiah 2:17).
Hopefully, our missionaries have shared many stories with family and friends because they have been super! One, 80 year old couple, would not leave to evacuate. The missionaries arrived and told them their house is no longer livable, but they refused to leave. It was all they had so the missionaries took everything out to the gutter, cleaned what they could, gave them hugs and the people cried saying, “We couldn’t have done this without you.” Another family stayed in their home and when the water got neck high they held their 1 month old baby above their head for 2 hours until the water receded. Wow! We tore out drywall, the floor and the cabinets. In fact, we did that at so many houses we lost count. 700,000 cars were damaged, boats were piled on top of each other, foundations were completely washed away. Several homes had 4 feet of sand in their front room. At the end of the street, piles of appliances, piles of people’s belongings, piles of wood, fences, trees, insulations etc. are everywhere. Well, we could go on and on with the super destruction this mini tidal wave created. People from all over have come to help Jersey and New York recover. It has been SUPER to see what happens when people come together and love each other. Christ-like service, comforting hugs and gentle handshakes and especially the condolences of sorrow for their loss continues to show who we are and the enormous amount of good being done by the missionaries. Goodness me, I think we have a gospel lesson that could be taught here! Yes, we are Mormons! We love it and we live it! President and I have SUPER smiles on our faces when we see what has happened here with the devotion of the missionaries to serve others. We all will be affected for the rest of our lives. It truly has been a life changing experience!
Even with all the time our missionaries have put into helping others, they continue to do super missionary work. Many have entered the waters of baptism this month and hearts are being open and receptive because of the service rendered from Hurricane Sandy.
We had super interviews with our missionaries this month. We love having one on one time with them because we get to feel of their amazing spirits. We are looking forward to next month’s holiday season. We will be having “Jingle with the Jeppsons” and everyone is super excited!
We just finished our Christmas Missionary Fireside tonight. The missionaries sang their hearts out and the Spirit was super strong. The message was beautiful and all about the Savior.
Well, this is super long, I am super tired and I am going to bed! But we will be ready to start again tomorrow to have another super day here in the New Jersey Morristown Mission! We love and miss you! Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson