FROOOOZEEEEN! That’s right! It’s frosty, cold and everybody’s freezin plus we have had a lot more colds and sneezin!
FROZEN is our game and I’m not talkin about the movie! My goodness! It has been a very, very cold winter season. The thermals appeared along with the scarves, earmuffs, boots, gloves, sweaters, hot and toe warmers and whatever else it takes to stay warm and dry. Even with all the layers, the cold wind penetrates through and the bones feel the chill! We have had a few lockdown days where missionaries have stayed in their apartments until the chill in the air has subsided and the snow has been cleared off the roads to drive. Yes, winter storm Janus has played havoc with us, but no worries. We can handle it! These great missionaries do not like to be inside when there is work to do. Many go out bundled up and continue to talk to everyone they can about the gospel of Christ. We think people feel sorry for them because they have bright red cheeks from the cold, icicles frozen from their noses and they stutter when they talk because they can’t stop their lips from quivering . So people invite them in! Pretty smart eh? The only problem is when they do go into homes they have so many layers on that they start to perspire and can hardly breathe from the heat in the homes!
Because of the cold we had a little miracle happen to one of our missionaries. He said “On one of our very cold nights my hands were freezing even though I was wearing nice gloves. I also had the 2 sealed hand warmers with me that the mission gave to all of the missionaries at Christmas. But I chose not to open it because they work for 8 straight hours and we didn’t have that much more time of proselyting left. Then a woman with a baby came p to us and asked for some money. She needed to take the bus, she was going through a hard time and wasn’t sure where she was going to sleep that night. We talked to her for a little bit, shared a little of who we are and how we can help her. All I had with me was 1 dollar so I gave that to her. When she took the money I noticed she wasn’t wearing gloves, then I remembered I still had those hand warmers. I gave them to her and she instantly opened them and stated shaking them. She was very cold and very thankful. Once we were done talking to her and saying goodbye, something amazing happened. My hands started getting warmer and warmer to the point that they were sweating! And they weren’t cold for the rest of that night. The Lord put a little miracle on my path to remind me that He really is watching everything and He will help me with everything I need while I put others before me. I love missionary work!” The great scripture, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God”. What a sweet, tender mercy. We may have cold hands and feet, but after our hearts become open and loving to others we don’t feel the cold anymore! Only warmth and love!
Another group of special missionaries departed and like always a brand new group arrived. It is a great experience watching them come off the plane with enthusiasm and excitement. We now have several who come in from the Mexican MTC. So we have to make a mad dash to the other terminal to welcome them to Jersey. Coming from the hot, sunny climate of Mexico to FROZEN Jersey is quite a shock to their system for a few days. They all adjust somehow!
We loved our zone conferences this month because we got to be with our missionaries. It is one of our favorite parts of this mission experience. We were taught principles of the gospel and emphasized how to teach repentance more clearly, health and well-being issues, had great food provided by the Relief Society and games. We had some great talent at lunch time. Two of our sisters explained how they perform as barrel riders at rodeos and an elder displayed his beautiful pen artwork. Another elder from the Philippines showed us the art of spear fishing in the ocean and how he has to hold his breath for at least 3 minutes. A sister tapped danced, an elder rode a unicycle, an elder played a beautiful sax (sounded like Kenny G). We all left with a great spirit and motivated to do better at opening our mouths and overcoming our fears.
Due to the FROZEN weather we had to cancel and reschedule, cancel and reschedule zone conferences and interviews which made everyone have to adjust their schedules from day to day. It’s amazing how the weather can throw a wrench into your plans! But the missionaries are great and they do whatever you tell them! They are awesome.
We started interviews which is also a highlight where President and I get to spend one on one time with each of them and just talk to see how they are doing, give them some counsel and advice and of course feed them. We have 11 (soon to be 12) zones so interviews take half the month visiting with 252 of them. But it is all good and we love it.
One of our sisters said, “We got to sit down with a man that we met on one of the snow storm days. As we talked to him he was just soaking it all in. He agreed with everything and said, ‘this is what I’ve been telling people all along.’ He told us that he is on a search for truth and light and he feels like he will find it in the church. We invited him to be baptized and he said sincerely that he would think about it then he left the church building. We were talking to our team up about him and we were startled by this same man knocking on the church door and said, ‘I want to be baptized!’”
Little did we realize when we were called to Jersey that we would be baptizing people from all over the world. From Hispanics to Chinese and today witnessing, Junhyok Jeoung, from Korea be baptized, it certainly brings “all of God’s children” to be baptized into perspective . The service was all in Korean. We can fake singing with Spanish because the hymns are readable, but the characters in Korean are far beyond our ability. We were praying for the gift of tongues!! A sweet spirit, none the less, was very present. We can now say, ‘Chuka-hum-ne-da” (wrong spelling I am sure) which means congratulations. We don’t get to see that in Utah too often I am sure!
Well, It may be FROZEN here in the state of Jersey and we may feel we are working in a freezer but people’s hearts are melting as they feel the Holy Ghost testify of truth and their minds become enlightened with knowledge of the gospel.
Spread the word of the gospel and warm everyone up this wintry season by opening your mouth and sharing the truth! It will take the chill off as you feel the warmth of God’s love surround you!
All our love, Dad and Mom, Grandpa Jon and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie, President and Sister Jeppson NJMM