Well it has been a bowl of Super exciting things happening in Jersey. Yes, as in the first Super Bowl in New Jersey, an historic event. Also super storms, as in the 3rd snowiest winters recorded in the state! We are frozen here! And I am not talkin the movie! We have felt like we have been working in the freezer! Our neighbor built a super snowman, the biggest I have ever seen because we have a super amount of snow. It was truly beautiful when it first snowed, but then the exhaust and dirt got to it and now it’s kind of ugly and it’s very cold! We have all put on the thermals again and layered up. There is so much snow that front end loaders pick up the snow and put it in dump trucks and they haul it to the ocean. Too bad they can’t haul it across the country to the west! But hope is on the horizon. Spring will be starting to show its blossoms and flowers once again and we can thaw out! It actually got into the upper 40’s and we thought it was Spring. It was soooo warm!!
This was the month we interviewed 250 missionaries. We love this even though it is grueling on the bodies. Having one on one time with each of them is really special. You can see how each missionary is progressing and growing in the gospel. Jon takes them for 15 minutes and, of course, asks them all the in depth questions, etc., and I have their companion checking on health, family, companion and giving them a 5 minute Missionary Message. Then out in the hall they have bagels and cream cheese, fruit, yogurt, granola bars, treats, etc., to munch on while they wait their turn. The missionaries love this time with their president!
As usual every 6 weeks we have incoming and outgoing missionaries. As of today we have 259 and we love each of them. Trying to keep them all focused, humble, healthy and happy is certainly one of our goals. We tell them, “There is a way to be in Jersey – ‘HEALTHY, HUMBLE and HAPPY!’”
This month we had a senior FHE at the Mission Ranch Home. They were all “Wanted” by the Mission Sheriff (President Jeppson) to quit ‘horsin around’ and come for a Chuck Wagon Dinner and share Cowboy Wisdom and Stories (Missionary experiences). In the Chinese New Year we found it to be the Year of the Horse. The horse is the New Jersey state animal so thus we told them to saddle up and ride on over where we had a delightful time with great food and even better company. One of our sisters made “Wanted” posters on each senior missionary. The elders and sisters gave perfect descriptions of each senior missionary. Our seniors are so loved and admired by our young missionaries. We can’t thank the seniors enough for all they do to help us care for and love the elders and sisters. We closed with this cowboy wisdom, but it applies to us all in whatever calling we have.
“May we sit tall in the saddle, hold our heads up high, keep our eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like we ain’t afraid. Don’t be scared just enjoy the ride.” We added, “ Our heavenly Father is there for us to do His work. So put on your chaps, take hold of the reins and head out”. We can “Do it!” (Spencer W. Kimble).
Our focus this month has been to read with more intensity the Book of Mormon. In our trusty Preach My Gospel, pg. 108 we read: “Those who have read the Book of Mormon prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power….Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (Gordon B. Hinckley). To all our children, we hope you will do this and your life will be blessed!!!
Being in the service of God 24/7 has been a unique and fulfilling experience. To quote one of our sweet sister missionaries, “I love stake conference. I felt extremely lucky that I could be there. I felt the spirit so strongly in every talk that was given. More than anything I loved standing and singing ‘Come, Come, ye Saints’. I am so proud to be a Mormon. Also the ending Hymn, ‘I Believe in Christ’, when the song came to the conclusion with the words, ‘come what may’, I just felt the Spirit as what seemed to be a moving wave. I watched as the wave reached the Chorister and watched as she began to cry. What it felt like to me is that we were all proud to be there, all proud to be sharing and singing our love for Christ.” I just love what she had to say because we can all feel that way each week at church.
We love serving in this super garden state! (For those of you who don’t know, New Jersey is also called the “Garden State”) However, the garden is now deep below this Snow State! But we know those little seeds are just waiting to burst through. A little like our faith isn’t it? We have faith that Spring will come with all its beautiful flowers and we must have faith in ourselves and trust in the Lord that He will continue to bless our lives and help us serve the best we can. From the historic event of the Super Bowl in Jersey to the historic event of Hastening the Work of Salvation, we are doing our best here in Jersey! We may be frozen but we are melting hearts everyday as we open our mouths to open others hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ!Warmer weather is coming! We can feel it as we feel our love for all of you! Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Bon Bon, Jon and Bonnie