It is absolutely gorgeous here in JOYsee! Green, green, green everywhere you look! But then it should be green because it has poured here! You would think we were in a Puerto Rico rain forest the way it has been raining. Oh wait, we could be….there are Puerto Ricans everywhere, along with 105 different nationalities we have counted so far. The trees are incredibly tall and green, hydrangea bushes everywhere and spring flowers too, dot this garden state of New JOYsee. The weather is pretty nice too. Low humidity, Yay! We had two severe days of humid weather and the hair on my head frizzed into a big ball. Funny? Not!
It has also been a month to reflect on those who have passed on before us. We love Memorial Day to remember once again our family ties. We have 3 of our own little ones on the other side and have shared many a tearful moment with missionaries who have lost a parent, grandparent, sibling or friend. The Plan brings peace, comfort and JOY knowing what we know!
Our family does bring so much JOY to us. We had a visit from our son Josh and his two children, Dallen and Cali. We showed them the mission and all Dallen and Cali kept asking was “Where are the missionaries!” Love it! Our family has been very supportive while we have been in JOYsee!
We spent the month doing interviews with each missionary. We love the one on one time we get with them. I check on their physical needs, spiritual and emotional needs, give them a missionary message, feed them and then President asks them all the remaining questions that has to do with their worthiness to serve and their missionary work! It brings us JOY to be with them.
We also had the pleasure of being with Elder Paul Koelliker of the Seventy. We all enJOYed the teaching, training and spiritual enlightenment that was provided by his wisdom and great counsel. We were taught in depth about kneeling prayers, family history work and getting new converts to the temple. He told the missionaries if their converts get a family name they can come to the temple and be baptized for them within two weeks of their own baptism. The missionaries were very excited about this because they get to go with them. The new program of family history will help further missionary work and help the new converts stay active. Elder Koelliker gave the percentage that 98% of new converts will stay active if they get to the temple soon after they are baptized. So we are going to put that to the test!
Our numbers continue to increase. We are up to 200 young missionaries with 30 more to go before we reach our limit. We also have 28 senior missionaries with us. We just have to tell you that you will find JOY in this service and become a tremendous help to not only the young missionaries but the mission president and wife as well. We could not do this mission without them. They are such a blessing. Your family will be blessed too!
We have also had tremendous support with help from family and friends of missionaries in putting together 72 hour kits for the next (hopefully not) hurricane that is forecasted in the future. We are about to start the season once again. Thank you to all for your help.
We read wonderful uplifting, JOYous stories every week such as this:
Elder Reeves said, “Almost all of our appointments have been falling through. No one answers their phone or doors, and it seems not much is happening. However, yesterday helped change my attitude. As Elder Guymon and I were walking past some apartments we said hi to this group of people and this random lady. We walked by them and just before we got inside our car, this lady chased us down because she wanted to talk to us. Without knowing that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, she said she needed to be more spiritual. We talked to her and introduced ourselves. She said that Elder Guymon looked like her son who had passed away not too long ago. She started crying and asked ‘I want to know where my son is?’ We told her that God has a plan for him. We plan to visit her this week. It was truly a miracle. God does put people in our paths.”
We have missionaries tell us that they have never felt so much JOY and emotion in their hearts when they see children of our Father in Heaven join the church and change! God is in charge of this work.
A great quote: “We have discovered that a JOYful countenance has nothing to do with one’s age or one’s occupation (or lack of it) or one’s geography or education or marital status or good looks or circumstances. JOY is a choice! JOY is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God-that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen. WE know that serving in JOYsee has been pure JOY.
May you all be blessed with this overwhelming JOY as you each serve our Father’s children in your callings, your family and in your heart! We love you! Dad and Mom, Grandpa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM