We’re Chillin in Jersey!
The snow finally hit! After last years dribblin of snow we were hopin for the same! Not to be! We have had several snow storms and it is beautiful with all the trees here, but it has a chill to it that we were warned about. My bones do ache with that chilly wind and air. I really have to layer my clothes and for sure wear scarfs and gloves. Otherwise my fingers can’t move and my ears freeze off. Does that sound a little chilly?
Speakin of chilly, I have cooked a lot of chili since the season started. I have also prepared a lot of meals for celebrations. President Jeppson and I had each zone over for a “Jingle with the Jeppsons”. We had what seemed like a full eight course breakfast of French toast, waffles, yogurt, bagels, sausage, bacon, fruit of every kind, whipping cream and then eggnog, chocolate milk, OJ, apple juice and milk! I think President cooked around 300 or so French toast! Then when the missionaries were stuffed we jingled with the bells singing Christmas carols, read missionary Christmas stories and studied from the scriptures of the Savior’s birth. President Jeppson and I ended with a song from Whitney Houston, who grew up in New Jersey, “Who Would Imagine a King”. We played a game where the missionaries had to guess a character from the Book of Mormon. Upon guessing the right one they picked a pair of socks which were so generously donated from brothers and sisters, cousins and children back home. Each elder had a new pair of either, dress socks, athletic socks, hiking socks and the sisters also could choose softies too. These new socks should keep the chill from their footsies! Not only that, we as a mission, want to “Rock their socks off”; the people of New Jersey that is! President was given a tie by every missionary with their name on it and I was given a personalized ornament by every sister. They are real keepsakes!
Besides new socks, our dentist, Dr. Craig Proctor sent out dental hygiene kits to go in stockings for all the missionaries. His Stake youth committee wrote personal Christmas cards to each elder, sister and senior missionary along with a scarf and candy for all. And to top it off, our niece, Hannah Rich, made a beautiful warm hat for each missionary for her Gold Award for Girl Scouts. Now that was a labor of love. She called this project “Warm Heads, Warm Hearts”. Hannah hoped that if the missionaries were warm then her heart would be warm! From their heads to their feet the chill of the weather has been taken away.
These New Jersey missionaries have been given a lot this year by many generous people. They have been so very nice and never naughty this season so that is why they have been spoiled. Many gift cards, money donations, clothing and such have been received with thankfulness and appreciation. We even received a box of little fleece scarfs from primary girls in Florida to help victims of Sandy for Christmas. It is enough to give you chills of warmth and tenderness to your heart!
Speakin of chills, we had two wonderful mission firesides with investigators and members of the stakes here in New Jersey. The missionaries spoke, and sang so beautifully. Everyone felt the spirit strongly. But, sadly to say, I blew it trying to speak Spanish. I am learning to bear my testimony in Spanish and I got up to say “Buenas Noches” and for whatever possessed me to say “Buenas Nachos” is beyond me! But when that came out, the house came down. I tried to compose myself and chill so my face would stop blushing! I have been teased ever since!
The highlight of the month was our All Mission Christmas Conference. Everyone came together to have a fantastic devotional with speakers on the Savior, Joseph Smith by the Assistants and missionary experiences related by all the Stake Presidents and their wives. We had a delicious dinner served by the Morristown Sisters, senior sisters and helpers, then Alex Boye’ entertained us and delivered a spiritual Christmas message for us all. He then spoke at two more firesides Friday and Saturday nights so our missionaries could bring their investigators. We had a great time celebratin and chillin together. It was a great stress reliever.
But our wonderful missionaries don’t chill very long. They worked very hard this year bringing children of our Heavenly Father into the waters of baptism. We will have over 325 baptisms this year! There are 325 more individuals who have changed their lives and accepted the doctrines of Christ. We see baptisms every week and believe me it NEVER GETS OLD! The chills run through your body every time!
And as each transfer goes, our departing missionaries had a great time seeing sights of New Jersey and culminating it all with a trip to the Manhattan Temple. It always puts a chill in your heart when they leave because you love them so much and you may never see some again!
But life happens you know and that is why you make the most of everyday with who you are and who you are with. We are lookin forward to an exciting New Year! We hope family wise it will be a better 2013 for us. We added a new grandbaby and lost two grandbabies so we are looking forward to an exciting New Year of more grandbabies!
We are also havin an exciting New Year about to begin with 100 more missionaries comin to our mission! Our first big installment is comin up! The first twelve of seventy sisters are about to make their move on Jersey! It just gives you the chills doesn’t it!
Love to all, We miss you! Chillin in Jersey but lovin it! Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson..New Jersey Morristown Mission