Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hot, Humid and Hazy!

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

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