ANGELS all over the place!
You have all heard the song “ANGELS Among Us”? Well they are! This month has been such a delight. ANGELS, elves, brownies, fairies, whatever you prefer to call them did their little Christmas deeds all over the mission! We started with our traditional “Jingle with the Jeppsons”. Jon and I cooked 12 breakfasts, one for each zone plus the seniors consisting of 500 pieces of bacon, 960 sausages, 780 eggs, 600 pieces of French toast, waffles, yogurt, a lot of muffins, cut up fruit, plus Orange Juice, Egg Nog, Chocolate Milk, Hot Chocolate and Hot Wassail Cider. We fixed it all, but my two assistants would come and clean it up every day and get it ready for the next day while Jon and I were in the other room having a devotional with the missionaries . ANGELS I tell you. And we didn’t use paper plates either. We wanted it to be nice and invite them to the mission home to feel the spirit that resides (they all were very appreciative) and enjoy a hearty breakfast. So many commented that they haven’t had a breakfast like this since they left home! They ate and ate and ate!!! After breakfast we gathered in the living room and played a Book of Mormon game with questions ranking from easy to very hard to receive a tie or scarf that our ANGEL family and ANGEL friends sent out. The missionaries loved them and asked that we send you all a big thank you. They thought the ties and scarves were the best! We then sang Christmas carols and played the bells. However it would have helped to have a few professional ANGELS play bells. Some of the zones struggled a bit, but, all in all, they had great fun singing the carols of the season. Jon had a great discussion with them on the Savior’s Birth from Mary and Joseph’s using Matthew 1 and Luke 2. view point. We took pictures and each missionary put a wish on the front door for family, friends, investigators or the mission. It was a nice time to be with our missionaries one on one or should I say zone on one. We also had two other trainings where we fed 40 missionaries each time, and again, ANGELS were there cooking and cleaning.
We had several highlights this month. The missionaries put on a Spanish fireside and an English/Korean fireside, for recent converts, investigators and members. Listening to them sing you would have thought ANGELS were surrounding us. They spoke, acted out depictions of the Savior’s birth and sang their hearts out. It was very tender. Two ANGEL senior couples took on the task of organizing and practicing with the missionaries. They were an ANGELic performances.
Our biggest event was our All Mission Christmas Conference. We had a huge group of ANGELS transform the cultural hall into a beautiful Christmas scene with a false ceiling, trees, garlands and lights sparkling everywhere (it didn’t hurt to have a huge Morristown Community Creche there before and that’s why we were the beneficiaries of the decorations!!) The missionaries thought we had decorated it for them. But we did have Alex Boye’, Julie’s husband, come and entertain them. He was an ANGEL for flying all day, performing for us and flying all day back the next day. We had a miracle on the day he flew out of Salt Lake. The winter storm had closed the airport and we were all panicking( I was panicking). At one of the Jingles we prayed that the airport would open to give Alex a chance to fly out and Lo and Behold! – it did and his flight was one of the few that got out that day! An ANGEL was looking out for us! Our Area 70, and Stake Presidents and their wives came and talked to us. Jon and I said a few words, Alex sang and then into the cultural hall for dinner. The sisters in the Morristown Ward Relief Society performed ANGELIC duties by helping to provide this beautiful Christmas dinner along with the senior missionary sisters. Alex then performed for us. After his performance we went back in the chapel for a devotional with him. On completion, the missionaries divided into 3 rooms where packages, Christmas letters and a stocking filled with items were given to each one. The stockings were made by Relief Society Sisters and Young Women throughout the stakes of New Jersey. We started in September because of our 245 missionaries plus 30 senior missionaries who all received a stocking made by these ANGELS. An ANGEL dentist, Dr. Craig Proctor (who is our dentist back home) donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss for each missionary. We had many, many, many ANGELS donate so many things for these great missionaries for Christmas. Thank you, Thank you! It was wild and crazy in the stake center with so many missionaries, but when we heard them all sing “This Is the Christ” by James Faust, it didn’t matter. Hearing a total of 278 missionaries sing that beautiful song to the Stake Presidents as a gift to them made our hearts melt. The Spirit was strong and they did sound like an ANGELIC choir. Powerful! It was a beautiful day filled with fun, food, faith, friends and the Spirit in abundance.
As Jeffery Holland said it so well, “When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all ANGELS are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with-here, now, every day. I testify of ANGLELS, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. On occasions, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places…..but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those ANGELS who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.”
We hope you all had a glorious Christmas abundant in God’s blessings. We hope you felt His peace, His comfort, His presence and His love. Yes, ANGELS are among us… several from the other that we miss and love and here with us….our family, friends and missionaries. We love you! Dad and Mom, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM
PS On a special Baptismal entry: Two of our sisters said to their convert who had just been baptized. “It is time to leave the water now and he said, “I don’t want to”! Oh how we all would love to stay in those healing, cleansing waters!!! All our love!!!