Our apartment in Nutley!

Our apartment in Nutley!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Senior Missionary Activity

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, all 24 senior missionaries (not counting President & Sister Jeppson) serving in the New Jersey Morristown Mission gathered together at one of the chapels for our bi-monthly activity.  This time it was a nice lunch followed by a "talent show."  There were piano numbers, original poems, skits, and various songs with and without original lyrics.  There was even someone with a video presentation about a one eighth scale backyard railroad that he had built on their property in Auburn, California.  There is an amazing amount of talent and experience locked up in these folks and it was a lot of fun to see some of it come out.

Sister Shaw plays "Joseph Smith's First Prayer."  Very moving.

 Elder Shaw with his video presentation.  It was moving alright.

Here is the entire cast.  These are very wonderful people.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring, Glorious Spring

Our Mission President's wife, Sister Jeppson, likes to take songs that are popular and change the words to get her message across.  She will be in the middle of a talk and all of a sudden start singing her song with the changed words.  It is really fun to hear what she comes up with.  So in light of her example, I have taken the song Food, Glorious Food! (second verse)  from the musical Oliver and changed the words to get our message across.  It goes like this:

Spring, glorious spring!
We're happy to have it.
Things are all alive
You would want to visit!

Just picture a great big tree,
White, pink or red
Oh spring,
Wonderful spring,
Marvelous Spring
Glorious Spring!

Finally we are starting to get to see the beauty that is New Jersey.  We have never seen so many flowering trees.  Since New Jersey has been around for so many years the trees have grown to be quite big.  Take a look at the pictures below so you can enjoy the scenery with us.

Early Spring in Nutley

Looking out our kitchen window.

Looking out our bathroom window.

Pink dogwood and an unknown red tree.

Unknown pink tree and a white dogwood.

Another white dogwood and unnamed red tree (and red stop sign which is occasionally obeyed).

Friday, May 9, 2014

Called To Be Tourists

This post will confirm your belief that being a senior missionary is nothing but fun.  It turns out that Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are located within the bounds of our mission and it has been a tradition to take missionaries who are going home on a day trip to visit these landmarks.  Elder & Sister Hendrickson have been responsible for organizing these excursions which take place every six week, but they are going home next week.

We find it interesting that we have been asked to take over this task because what we will be doing is very similar to the train trips we organized for our family home evening (FHE) group of empty nesters back in Auburn, CA.  We are compelled to conclude that the Lord knows how to use our experience and talents since we have not told anyone about these FHE activities.

As part of our duties we will be driving the mission van out to Liberty Park and then spending the day, together with the mission president and his wife, watching over the young missionaries as they enjoy being tourists for a day.  It's tough duty, but someone has to do it.  I am sure it will be particularly fun in January when it is 15 below!

Anyway, we went on our first trip last Monday so we could get used to the hard work.  Here are some of the photos we took.


Responsibility officially passes from the Hendricksons to the Shaws as "the book" is handed over.

Elder Hendrickson and President Jeppson discuss plans for the day.

Sister Snow was the only single sister missionary on our trip.  Sister Shaw was her companion for the day.  The Miss New Jersey was our transportation out to Ellis and Liberty Islands.

 On our way to "The Islands."   We are just happy to have hair for the wind to blow all over the place.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Let Your Light So Shine . . .

The most wonderful aspect of what we do here is service to others.  As Latter-Day Saints we are taught over and over again that service to others (starting with your own family members and working out from there) is the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is our goal to establish Zion which is a society where every man voluntarily seeks the interest of his neighbor.

Amazement is the typical reaction when people of the world occasionally become aware of members of the Church who are actually trying to love their neighbors as themselves.  We have witnessed several examples of this recently, one of which happened in a hospital in Paterson.

Sister Sheryl gained her own personal witness that the Church is true and was baptized many years ago.  However, her struggle with smoking made her feel "impure" and she stopped attending.  When she moved from New York to New Jersey the Church became unaware of her location.  About three weeks ago she was diagnosed with cancer throughout her body.  Her husband, who is not a member, called the Paterson branch president (President Bria) who called us.  Soon Sheryl was being visited by branch members, various missionaries, and members from the ward where her home is located.  President Bria and another priesthood leader gave blessings to both Sheryl and her husband.

On our first visit we met Rosemarie who is a member of the hospital staff.  A few days later our branch Relief Society President went to visit for the first time.  As she was looking for Sheryl's room she bumped into Rosemarie and asked directions.  Rosemarie said something like, "Are you another Mormon?  There have been so many and they don't even know Sheryl.  There was even a couple from California.  I think I want to join your church!"

Matthew 5:16