Well, “Hawt Dawg”! Now if you didn’t say it like a Jersian or New Yorker with the accent it isn’t near as cool! It certainly was “HAWT” with temps in the 90’s and humidity even higher. We are drinking lots of “wadduh” to combat the heat! Then we had cooler days which made for very pleasant summer evenings. And, we are loving the fireflies. They are awesome as they flit around. Since we must have opposition in all things we are also dealing with pesky knats and mosquitoes! They have wicked bites that swell! And for the cicadas, well, we didn’t think they were all that bad. Ugly yes! But, by the way people described them, every step we took would crunch, we would smash them flat and they would be stuck on our shoes! A plague of them would be everywhere! We suppose in another 17 years they will be back!
This month we celebrated the birth of this great nation! John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States, had the following to say concerning this country: “Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly lined with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensations?” What a blessing to know that our country was founded upon religious precepts set forth by our Father in Heaven. Because of our religious freedoms we have had the privilege to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ restored upon the earth and the Book of Mormon to be available to all who will receive it! Our missionaries are out preaching and even though they are “Hawt” they are working hard to bring souls to Christ. On the Fourth we all went in our various areas to see the fireworks. We watched, from the Hudson Front, the Macey’s barges light off a spectacular display of color and awe! The Empire State Building changed colors and had quite the light show on the King Kong tower! We also gave out pass along cards. There is such a diversity of nationalities here it never ceases to amaze us how different God’s children are and yet the same when it comes to family!
Speaking of family, we have been blessed to have our children come and visit this summer. We have really enjoyed being with them and showing some of the sights of Jersey from the 9-11 Memorials to the Jersey Shore. We had a great time. They were not quite use to the “hawt”, humid weather. But they loved the trees. One daughter expressed how it looked like we were in Hawaii as we drove down the highway. We love our family and it was a great boost to see them, especially two babies Jon hadn’t seen yet.
We had zone conferences this month which is always a highlight for us! We love being with our missionaries any chance we get. Jon was “hawt” and on a roll when he taught about the apostasy and the restoration. He is such a great teacher and the missionaries wanted more! We just ran out of time! Bonnie was “hawt” and heavy on keeping their apartments clean and tidy and making sure all outside influences were outside, to keep the Spirit of the Lord inside to inspire them in their missionary work.
Great food by Relief Societies, fun games and activities and best of all great teaching, training and being uplifted by the Spirit!
Twenty five new missionaries came in! Our first from Korea, Elder Kang (Kong) arrived. We took him to get Mexican food and he had his first Taco! He loved it! He also wanted to know if he was going to sleep on a bed. He is used to sleeping on a mat on the floor! He needs to buy a big bag of rice because he is used to eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! He loves it! What an experience for us! We now know how to say, “Onions I say Yo!” Hello in Korea! We now have 79 sisters and up to 250 total including seniors as well. It is exciting! Exhausting and wild, but exhilarating and fun! They are all working so very hard. We had 31 baptisms this month! To see the faces of these individuals as they come up out of those cleansing waters is something you never forget and it never gets old. Some are so overwhelmed!
Sometimes our missionaries have people come up on the street and ask about their work. One man stopped his car as he was driving down the street just to talk to two of them. He crossed the street and told them he was done with all these different religions and the only one he hadn’t tried was Mormon. He told us he needed a change in his life and greater peace. They assured him that this was the place. He told us that he had friends that were Mormons before and they had set a good example for him. Had they not he would not know the joy this brings people. See what you at home can do all by your example!!!
Plus, we had 10 wonderful missionaries return home. It is always so sad to see them go. But happy because as one expressed “As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am His disciple. I must go til he comes, give til I drop, preach til all know and work until He stops me. When He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear! In closing, I want you to know that I have done everything that I was asked to do. I honestly tried to give my best! Be Jersey Strong.” What a terrific last statement from an Elder who did give it his all. I hope we all can endure to the end, to continue to be strong and faithful and work til we drop, so that when the Savior does come, He will have no problem recognizing any of us, His children!
So “Hawt” Diggity Dog! Hope you enjoy the Blog! We love you, Dad and Mom, Grandpa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM
Get out the umbrellas, no wait, get out the fans, no the umbrellas, how about the misty spray bottles? No, umbrellas! Would you make up your mind? The weather here has been crazy, but then its Jersey! It was raining every day and we mean rain like in flash flooding. Then we got hot, hazy, humid days where you feel like you are walking in a steam room. The trees and shrubs and flowers are loving it. This state is as green as it gets! The trees are beautiful! But we have drenched missionaries, wet shoes and ruined phones from too much rain! But that doesn’t stop us! The New Jersey Morristown Missionaries are anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of their own free will, bringing to pass much righteousness (D&D 58:27) - our monthly scripture. We are also dealing with the scourge of creepy looking cicadas! Every 17 years they get a lot, like in millions of these little red beady eyed bugs that creep out of the ground, and crawl up trees to mature and then they go out hunting for food each night. I am happy one way because they eat the mosquitoes and they get pretty pesky! They have days here called the 3 H’s…Hot, Humid and Hazy! And that is just what they are. But then we hear the west is having heat waves!
We have had a great summer so far! June is the month our missionaries go to the temple in Manhattan which is a treat for all. Now, they also get to go to the temple with their converts and do baptisms for the dead so long as they do it within six weeks of the baptism date. But the convert must have their own family names. President Jeppson was asked by Elder Schrader (one of our zone leaders) to be baptized for his father who had died when Elder Schrader was a very young boy. It was a very tender experience. We are taught from our Preach My Gospel manuals, “In the temple we make sacred covenants and are endowed with, or are given, a gift of power and knowledge from on high. The power helps us in our daily lives and enables us to build God’s kingdom.” Hey family, go to the temple often.
We had 4 huge days of leadership training which is all day training from 8 to 4 with breaks for snacks, then lunch food, more snacks and a lot of training. Sounds like the zoo doesn’t it? Feed, train, entertain, feed, train, entertain over and over! It’s wild here in Joyssee! But we are enjoying it even though it is very demanding.
We had another large group of 30 missionaries arrive. Our first Korean missionary is here! He already has a baptism scheduled. The Korean branch has been waiting a long time for Korean Missionaries and we get four of them in the next couple of months! Next month we will have all of our 75 sisters here as well! We love all these wonderful, excited, homesick (a few) and talented young men and women coming to Jersey! They become Jersey Girls quickly and I must say Jersey Boys as well! But they act much better than the Jersey Shore Girls and the Jersey Boys from the Broadway Play. Plus they are amazing missionaries ready to conquer this state! Look out Jersey they are here and more coming!
The Senior Missionaries had a great outing. We went to the Red Barn Mill, an old mill that ground flour, created electricity etc in the olden days. We also went to an Amish Market that was fascinating. We get together with the more mature missionaries every six weeks for FHE and then in between go and see the sights of New Jersey. Good to be together and great to broaden our circle of associates and friendships.
We had our “All Mission Summer Chill!” We all came together for a stress-reducing activity of Volleyball, Kickball, Beach Hockey, Dodge ball, Football, Soccer and Softball at Central Park in Parsippany. 220 missionaries converged on the park and played hard for 3 hours. Elder and Sister Mortensen, shot off rockets of soda/Mentos mixture in celebration of the coming of the 4th of July. At noon we departed to the church for lunch and zone skits. We fed the masses (255) had a delightful time watching everyone perform their skits. Then we judged “The New Jersey Morristown Mission Cake Boss”. Each zone made a cake representing their zone. Carlos from Hoboken’s Cake Boss would have been proud. They were pretty clever we must say but some were quite scary as well. Following that we filed into the chapel, where President Blair Garff and his wife, of the Manhattan Temple, spoke to us. It was superb! Hearing 220 missionaries sing is very powerful and seeing them all together is quite a sight as well! We sang the Mission Song, put on our Mission T-Shirts and took a Mission Picture! Do you think we love our Mission? YES! We were missing 2 of our elders, however, because they were in the hospital after being involved in a terrible car accident. Elder Bell from Bountiful, Utah and Elder Hafoka from Tonga are both home from the hospital and recovering well. We are grateful for everyone’s prayers and priesthood blessings! We pray every day to keep these missionaries safe and out of harms way.
We had 32 baptisms this month! Every missionary is working very hard even in the pouring rain, the heat and the humidity! As Jeffrey Holland told us in the broadcast, “The Work of Salvation”, “He is calling us to do far more” and we are trying to do just that. May you all at home do the same! OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SHARE THE GOSPEL. You will be blessed, we promise!
We love you and miss you all! Dad and Mom, Grandpa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM