Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Treats in Jersey!

Well, what a TREAT to be a New Jersey Morristown Missionary!  We are having one of the best experiences of our lives!  It certainly has not been the easiest, in fact, one of the hardest things we have ever done, but next to being with our children and family, being surrounded by these wonderful, hardworking Elders and Sisters has certainly been a highlight of our lives. 
We are enjoying the beautiful fall weather.  The days are delightful with mild temperatures, crisp air and colorful leaves in abundance falling all around us.  The hills are covered with dazzling colors!  We will miss this part of Jersey when we leave.  Last year at this time we were having a scary Halloween with Hurricane Sandy upon us.  We drove down to a baptism in the south part of the mission and stopped along the Jersey Shore to see the progress.  Several people have tee shirts that say “Restore the Shore”. It still has a long way to go, however.  Many of our missionaries think it would be a TREAT if another hurricane came so they could don their yellow helping hand shirts and go to work serving and cleaning up again.  Yes, that was an experience, but we do not want a hurricane like that ever again.  It took its toll not only on the shore, but on the work!  It took months to recover.  So we are happy with the weather we have now.
We had zone conferences this month. It is always a TREAT to be with the zones sharing “Mission Moments”. We always feel a warm spirit in each conference, teaching, eating and having fun together.
We always leave feeling good, having our spirits lifted and feeling joy.  A lot of teaching is directed upon “The Work of Salvation”.  These missionaries are a huge part of this hastening. Jon, President Jeppson is a masterful teacher.  The missionaries love being taught by him and of course when he sings it always brings the spirit in greater abundance.  It was time to discuss nutrition again as well, so I donned a hotdog costume (hey, it's Halloween) sang a little ditty about East Coast HAWT DAWGS! (Get the accent right) and tried to help them find easy, inexpensive meals to keep them well fed to have the energy to serve to their fullest capacity. This part was the stress reducer. We always have a terrific lunch prepared by the Relief Society, play a game, sing a Birthday Song to whoever had a birthday, deliver the “Way to Be in Jersey Bag” to a deserving Missionary, sing Call to Serve as a thank you and have more meetings! A full day of tricks and TREATS!

Speaking of the best TREAT! We had 47 baptisms again this month!  What a TREAT for these converts to have the gospel of Christ in their lives and the precious doctrines in their hearts.  We have the best, most hardworking missionaries!  We will put them up against anyone!!! 
Here are the stories we get weekly”
We met a man named Aidan in our less actives parking lot after all our plans fell through. We shared a message with him and set up an appointment for tonight.  We were ready and had a team up who cancelled a few minutes before the appointment and said she was in bed. Well, we said a prayer asking that she would randomly show up no matter what because we couldn’t teach out in the dark.  We knocked on Aidan’s door and we were asking random women outside to help us so we could go in but they said no, so we were about to do a small spiritual thought when our team up showed up in her pajamas! We taught Aidan and he said, “this is the truest testimony I have ever heard and read.  This book is true and if it means I need to change religions I will”. Aidan is set for November 24!  God answers prayers!”  Were these two sisters ever on cloud nine!
We continue to have senior couples join us.  We have had several extend 3 months over their departure date because they love it so much.  We are still recruiting!  Time is running out for you to come and help us.  It would be an honor and a TREAT for us if you would come! You would not be sorry! 

Jon and I attended the Mission President’s Seminar in Pennsylvania where we joined 24 other mission presidents and their wives in the Northeast Area.  The biggest treat was having Elder and Sister Russell M. Nelson with us the entire 3 days. We were spiritually fed every day. Some of my favorite comments were “Wear out our lives in this work”, “Cement your heart to the Lord” “Face the morning unafraid”, “Feel joy every day.  It is tough not to feel great when you are doing the Lord’s work” “Avoid guilt like the plague”. Sister Wendy W. Nelson told of going to Africa where she met with 125 women. She asked what tribes they were from and they shouted out which tribe they were from….Asher, Gad, Napthali, etc.  Eleven of the tribes were mentioned.  All but Levi were represented.  She was amazed and later in Armenia found a member from the Tribe of Levi. So, all ten tribes were accounted for.  She said, The ten tribes are no longer lost.  The gathering is happening.  The time is running out.  We are hastening the work for the Lord.” It was exciting to know that we are all part of this historic moment.  We were also told that within the next 6 to 8 months every missionary would be receiving an ipad to help do their missionary work.  We have certainly stepped into the 21st century.  The missionaries were very excited to hear this great news except for the ones that are leaving soon! Just think the missionaries can teach the restoration of the gospel all over the world.  There is an elder in New York who is now teaching his mom who lives in California on his ipad the lessons and doctrines of the gospel.  Pretty amazing and very exciting!!!
We had an excursion to Independence hall where the Constitution of the United States was created, designed and signed.  It was spiritual ground knowing the Lord’s Spirit had influenced the minds of our forefathers to keep this land free to choose to worship how, where and what they may! Our forefathers diligently sought for inspiration accompanied by prayer and faith.  We too, must do the same.  We will be blessed for our efforts and feel joy in our hearts!  What a TREAT!

All our love! Dad and Mom, Grampa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM 

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