It SHORE is great to be in Jersey in the summer. People are out in the streets, parks, beaches, shopping malls, sports courts, porches and everywhere to hang out in the warm weather. But as summer winds down they also start to leave the outdoors and the Jersey SHORE and go inside. So it makes our missionaries finding a little more challenging. But it is nice to have the weather feel a little like fall in the evening because it SHORE has been hot and humid. It’s great for the skin, but hard on the hair!
It was SHORE nice to be with all our missionaries this month as we interviewed 230 of them. President takes them in one room to ask all the spiritual and personal questions and I take them in another room and ask them how they are doing physically and emotionally and then give them a little gospel message to help them with their missionary work. Then they eat bagels with cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, fruit snacks, string cheese and whatever else I find. It is a great time to be with them one on one, but it took 15 days of the month to complete them all. Needless to say, we were tired, but that is a common occurrence here in Joysee!
The Senior missionaries had a great experience at their Senior Activity going to the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. They were able to go inside his home to see where history was made with the invention of the light bulb. Kudos to Tom for countless hours of stick-to-it-ness! He is an example to all to never give up! Then they went to the new Newark Chapel for a delicious BBQ. It SHORE was delicious. They felt just like they were in Brazil! Actually, depending on which city you are in, you would feel like you could be in a different country. That is what is so fascinating about New Jersey. It is the most foreign mission you could be in and still be in the US of A!
One of the highlights this month was having our All Sister Specialized Training. We brought in 75 young sisters and 17 of our senior sisters and had a day together. We did an hour of yoga to help unwind and learn some de-stressing skills. It was massive bodies all over the gym floor! Our 78 year old senior sister was right down on the floor doing yoga! It was incredible. We discussed sister missionary dress and grooming with fun role plays on how not to dress or act, then ate a delicious lunch provided by our senior sisters. We proceeded into the chapel for instruction on using and developing your talents, being happy and positive, enhancing your self-esteem and ending with President Jeppson lifting all of them up with encouragement and love. Our theme was “Butter-fly to Greatness”. We had butterflies everywhere and of course a cute little favor to go with it! It SHORELY was a nice day.
We had our departing trip with the missionaries going home to the Statue of Liberty. It has reopened, so everyone is SHORE happy that we get to go once more and enjoy visiting this amazing symbol of freedom, plus we get to see and visit with people all over the world. We also go to the “Empty Sky Memorial” for 9-ll by Liberty State Park and then to the “Tear-drop” which the Russians gave to America for the 9-11 tragedy. We go to the Sacred Heart of the Bascillica Catholic church to see the awesome architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. This cathedral is the 5th highest, as in the ceiling, church in the world. It looks like the cathedral where Julie Andrews gets married in the Sound of Music. It is quite something to see! The Pope comes here when he comes to New York. This time our 17 departing missionaries sang beautiful hymns in the huge chapel. Their voices echoed and they sounded like angels. It was very touching. Their singing brought a beautiful Spirit even in the Catholic Church. We took a lot of pictures and had a great time being together before they departed.
Our Sister missionaries have the wonderful opportunity to help in the Family History booth on Liberty Island. They used to help on the Family History floor at Ellis Island. The church helped fund a beautiful family history center there and the woman who runs it wants the LDS sister missionaries to help her run it. But since Superstorm Sandy completely destroyed it, they haven’t been able to serve there. Two months ago they put a booth up on Liberty Island right below the Statue of Liberty. Kathryn, who runs the Family History Booth, said she loves the sisters and especially likes to watch them work the crowds of people from all over the world. We have Spanish, French and Portuguese speaking sisters and it’s SHORELY amazing to watch them.
This month was fantastic! We had 43 baptisms this month! Our best month since June of 2011! President Jeppson was SHORE proud. Our missionaries are working so hard. One sister said “President Jeppson, they notice the light of Christ. It’s real! We ARE different and they can see it. We had one man walk past us this week, turn right around, walk right up to us and say, ‘Man! You two are turning heads everywhere on this street. You have something different about you that all these people can see’.” We also had our three Korean missionaries baptize their first Korean convert.
The fall season is just about upon us! May you enjoy the change of color that will surround you soon. With all these gorgeous trees here in the Garden State we know WE will be surrounded by dazzling color. Be blessed with love, hope and peace of mind that the Lord is in charge and will be with each of you. We love you so and miss you terribly! Love, Dad and Mom, Grandpa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM
Sister Specialized Training!