Monday, August 29, 2016

The Shepherd and Drunk People

Hello from Da Hood!

This week went really well! A lot of good experiences.

So First and for most there was one night we were walking home and Elder Shepherd turns to me and says "I'm positive that I could beat you in a fight". So I looked over at him and said, "Oh yeah? That's cute". He didn't like that very much so he challenged me to a wrestling match. I was gonna saw no but I had to show him who his Daddy was. So we went to the church at its already like 9:30 at night by that point. But he sets the timer and then says "we will play submission", So he comes up to me and tries to take me down but then I just grabbed his leg flipped him over my shoulder and put him in a choke hold until he tapped out. So after, I got up and I said "so who's your Daddy?" He said "Your Daddy". Then I said "That's right son now let's go home". Haha that was a good time.

Another funny thing that happened this week was we went to teach a new investigator we found and she opens the door and let's us in and just leaves for a good 5 minutes. When she's coming back into the room you could see on her face that she was drunk and she's coming in and she smacks her head so hard on the wall. She went down for the count for a few seconds. She finally got up and we actually had a really good lesson with her about the Book of Mormon. Drunk people amuse me.

More on the spiritual side, we got these investigators named Jesus, Guadalupe, and Jesus Jr who are all super cool. We've been teaching them for like 4 months but they are really flakey. But this last week was really good. We met with them twice and they straight up told us they weren't messing around anymore and that they really need our help. We had a bomb lessons about the restoration and they believed all that we were saying. The spirit filled that room. We showed them how to get General conference talks from YouTube and they watched 6 talks in one night! You could say things are picking up for them.

Also we had a super good member present lesson with Pam. The best way to do missionary work is through the members. So we brought a Member named Sister Pinkard over to Pam's house. Pam's big problem is she feels like there has to be "the right time" for her to be baptized. Sis Pinkard shared her full conversion story and how she thought that she had to have the right time as well, but then realized that God wanted her to be baptized now and she can learn all the other stuff later. That was exactly what Joan needed to hear and she set a specific day to be baptized for herself. She told us she was just going to take it on faith. She is such a good example to me! Remember that members are the key to missionary work!

That was our week! Very busy jumping place to place teaching people and fun times with The Shepherd and drunk people in the hood! 

Shoot me an email! I wanna hear what's going on in your lives. 

Love you all!

Elder Jeppson

Monday, August 22, 2016

Challenge to Study Faith

Good morning my loves,

Interesting week here in Brooklyn! I wouldn't say it was much of a work week, but more a working on my personal conversion week.

We did have a miracle with the work this week though! So we met with our boy Bret The 15 year old. He's doing so good. He is still reading the Book of Mormon consistently everyday! Wow I definitely know I wasn't doing that when I was 15! We got talking about Doctrine of Christ which is Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Anytime you talk about these steps the spirit it always so strong. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted to be on September 11th! That was a powerful moment! After the lesson I started thinking about what President Reynolds always says "Have The Doctrine of Chirst written in your hearts". If we have it written in our Hearts we will act on any spiritual prompting that we receive without delay. Now the way we apply it in our lives is by continuing to strengthen the faith that we have by the little basic things (scriptures, church, prayer, and service). We then must have "Real time Repentance", where we don't procrastinate, we repent and commit to become better. We then have the sacrament to represent Baptism, so we shouldn't be going through the motions when we partake of it. We have to recommit ourselves for the rest of the week. Then we must always be worthy of the spirit and making sure we act on the promptings that we receive. If we have the Doctrine of Christ written in our hearts there is no way we can fail!

Also I gave two trainings this week! One in District Meeting and the other in Zone conference. It's crazy now that I'm one of the older missionaries I'm getting a lot more opportunities to help other missionaries. This is another witness of Heavenly Father helping me overcome my weaknesses. Of course it was scary getting up in front of everybody with my anxiety, but I can definitely see all the help I receive from Heavenly Father. My topics were "Having the faith to find people to teach" and "Talk with Everyone". It was cool having the opportunity to share my testimony with these other missionaries. But I feel that this was more for me then them. It definitely helped me improve. It was cool because while I was studying for this I had the impression that I needed to invite the other missionaries to study the topic of faith either from the Book of Mormon, preach my gospel, or a general conference talk for 20 minutes each day. So I would like to challenge you all to study faith from the Book of Mormon or a General conference talk. And I can promise you that you'll be able to see an increase of spirit and confidence in your life.

Oh and we had interviews the President Reynolds this week! He is the best. He just has a way about him that makes you feel like the best person ever. He always says the nicest things and he makes you want to change and be better just by being in his presence. After, I hugged him and he is just a cuddly little thing. He's someone that you'll love no matter who you are.

But more work wise it's been sad because Pete, Eve, and Pam haven't been to church in awhile. :/ we met with them all and had great lessons with them but still haven't been at church. Pete ships out to the Army really soon so we're hoping that they can get baptized before he leaves. Keep them in your prays so it happens please!!

Sorry this letter was more about me personally and not about are actual week, but the week was pretty slow so his is what I got. Have a good week all! 

I love you

Elder Jeppson

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jesus Wants to Forgive

Good morning to you all on this beautiful summer day wherever you may be around the world!

This week was kind of a slow compared to past couple weeks but it was still a good one!

So this last week New York has been in what they call a "heat Dome" where it has been between 90 and 100 degrees everyday. But because of the humidity it feels like 115! It's quite unfortunate if you ask me. So within the first 5 minutes we leave our house we are already soaked in sweat! Wow it sucks. The best part about it is we pass the ocean everyday and aren't allowed to go swimming. :') it's a rough life. But it's okay I'm still having fun.

Funny story! So we got a call from Elder Garcia and Parrish Tuesday night but we were in a lesson. So I texted them asking what was up and they said "you know, just Stuck in an elevator". Ha, so we ran to the church and tried our best to open the elevator door but it wasn't even close. So we called a mechanic and an hour later he showed up but we had to go to another lesson. So the mechanic had no way to get into the building. Finally we came back and called the mechanic again and he showed up an hour later! He finally got them out! They were stuck for 2 1/2 hours overall! Haha it was the funniest ever! They made a whole video series and it's so funny. Good times.

This week we saw Pete about 5 times. All 5 times we had really good lessons that applied exactly to what he was going through. He even told us "hey it's like God is talking directly to me". Good job Pete you're getting it. But for some reason he still slept in so he didn't come to church. We even went to knock in his door and he slept right
through it. Oh Pete, he's a silly one. But we did see him Sunday night and he asked when he could get baptized, so we told him he needs to come to church twice in a row. So he promised that he Would come every week until he leaves to the military on September 9th. He's still super solid. But yesterday he invited his friend over and we had a really good discussion with her! She told us that she used to go to church, pray and all that, but for the last two years she hasn't made the best choices. So we asked her if she still prays and she said she doesn't because she feels good wouldn't answer her prays because she is doing bad things. So we testified to her that no matter what we do God loves us and will forgive us. She was still hesitant about it so we showed her the video
"Jesus wants to forgive". If you haven't seen it I would strongly recommend it. It's about a guy who was involved in drugs, alcohol, and robberies and long story short he messed up more then once but was still forgiven. It is super cool! So we could tell the video really hit her and she told us she would pray that night and it would be the first time in 2 years! Also she agreed to have the missionaries in her area visit her! Super cool!

Also we met with Pam this week. She has been under the radar the last couple weeks but we finally got her this week! She called us 30 minutes before we went to her house and asked us If there was anything that we wanted her to read before we came. So 2 Nephi 31 came to mind. We got to her house and the first thing she tells us was "God told me I'm ready". I was PUMPED!! She then went on to explain that while she was reading that chapter she had to stop in the middle of it because she was feeling the spirit so strong. She said "this is the first time I've felt like I've gotten an honest answer to my prayers". She told us she was going to start coming to church every week and we set her baptismal date for sept 18th! Wow she is getting it. It was so cool.

So that was our week! Full of Hot days, miracles here and there, a few good byes, and corky Elder Shepherd jokes. Good times! I hope you all have a great week! 


Elder Jeppson

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Lot of Good Things Are Happening

Hello everyone,
I hope all is well with all of you! Let me know what's going on in your lives!

So this was the last week of the transfer! Both Elder Shepherd and I are staying in ParkSlope for another transfer, which I'm excited about! He has really opened up to me these past couple weeks and I've really grown to love the guy! Also I'm glad I'm staying because I have grown such a great love for these people! Especially Pete! Man that kid is like my best friend. I know I still have like a year left but it is going to be hard to leave this place and these people!

Speaking of Pete, we saw him five times this week! The kid gets it! We talked about baptism and repentance this week and everything finally clicked for him. He is really excited to be baptized now! We have to push the baptism back to August 21st because he has been crazy busy with military stuff, but it'll be good so he can be completely ready. He also invited his friend to sit in on the lessons, so she was there 3 of the 5 times. She told us she was starting to get addicted to the Book of Mormon!! That's a pretty good addiction if you ask me! ;)

On Saturday we had a crazy busy day! This lady in our ward needed help setting up for a giant block party in her community, so we gathered some missionaries and went over. We come to find out that all the other volunteers she had coming bailed on her so we pretty much ran the show. We ended up grilling all the food for the party and the sister missionaries did face painting for the kids and were in charge of the inflatable slides and stuff. She also had a drum line show up! It was a group of kids from the ages of 10 to 18 and they were really good! I'll send you a video of them getting turnt up in the hood. 

Later that night we were walking home and this random guy just stopped us saying he needed help. He went on to explain the trials he was going through and said he really needs Gods help in his life. So we pulled out he Book of Mormon and testified of the peace and strength he will get from it. He promised he would read it! After, he told us it was not a coincidence and he knew it was God leading us to him! It's cool when people recognize that!

Also we have this set of project buildings that we go to pretty much everyday, and every time we are walking through them we always have this group of kids come up to us and say "hey what up homies, now Hit the whip". So then I do and all the kids get pumped up but then the teenagers start laughing at me because I look so white when I do it haha. But making kids smile and laugh is what the missions about right? Haha I love little project kids.

Yesterday Consuela and Marianne got confirmed members of the church and also received the gift of the Holy Ghost! Wow that was a special moment. They asked Elder Shepherd and I to confirm them so that was such a great spiritual experience. After, Consuela bore her testimony, telling her conversion story and saying that she knew this was the true church. I got another confirmation by the spirit that I did my job. That's always a good feeling.

So that was my week! A lot of good things are happening right now so I'm really happy right now. Shoot me an email and let me know what's going on! I love you all.

Elder Jeppson

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fourth Times the Charm

Good morning family and friends, I hope life is treating you all well! We had quite a good week ourselves so let's get into it! 

So first of all some of you may know, but we got Facebook back!! We had members from the mission department come drill is about it. So I will not be able to message or comment back sadly, but feel free to tag me in pictures and comment on things! It'll be really good in helping the work move forward in NYC!

Also, the work is going well this week! We picked up a new investigator named Brett this week and he's a 14 year old stud! He really wants to be baptized! So when we went to his house this week his dad let us in and was giving us the dirtiest look! As we were going through out the lesson his dad kept popping in and showing us how opposed he was to our teachings. He said "I don't want my son believing that". So he was super hard hearted. Then we were talking to Brett and  he told me that his dad really likes football! So I turned around in my chair and brought up football with his dad and he went on and on about anything football and he even likes John Elway so we clicked there! So we had a little bonding time and it was cute. He then brought up religion and told us how he wants his kids to be able to know Jesus Christ and live good lives so he told us he wants us to continue working with him and said we can come over whenever we want!! Wow football softens hearts I'll tell you that!! What a miracle that was. I thought for sure he was not going to let Brett get baptized, but wow I was wrong. 

Also this week we were lifting weights and Elder Shepherd was lifting and he did more this week then last week so I said "wow that was really good" then he said in his cute, nasally, nerdy voice  "Don't doubt the Shepherd". Haha I was rolling on the ground!! Maybe you just had to be there, but I thought it was funny. 

Earlier This week Consuela and Marianne got interviewed for baptism! So right before Lorraine's interview I asked if she was ready, and all she said was "Lamb to the slaughter" haha she is such a funny lady! But her and Consuela both passed so that's good! And then finally Sunday came!! Both Marianne and Consuela were super late to Church! We were so worried when they didn't show up. But then they finally came and told us that They had a lot of distractions this morning. Satan really tried to stop them from being baptized, but it DIDN'T work!!! After church They both went to change into their white jumpsuits and Lorraine comes out and says "I'm ready to go to space" (implying she looked like an astronaut) it was so funny and cute! :) But then the service happened and the relief society sisters sang "When I am Baptized" and immediately invited the spirit. Marianne asked me to baptize her so we went first and it took four times haha!! She isn't the smallest lady. So finally I had her kneel down at it worked the fourth time! I felt so bad for her but she was so willing! Then Consuela went and Elder Shepherd got to baptize her! It was so cool to see him experience that on his first transfer! After they got changed They both bore their testimonies and it was so precious! Consuela did great and talked about why she likes this church, then Marianne got up and her testimony got me! She talked about how we found her and how this is the only church that she has felt the spirit at. She then said she felt at peace and clean and at that moment I felt the spirit so strong feeling that Heavenly Father was proud of me and that I found one of those people that my patriarchal blessing said I would. Wow these experiences make all the rejection and hard times worth it. I'm so happy right now! These are definitely special special people! 

So that was our glorious week!! Please email me and let me how everything is with you guys! I love you all!

Elder Jeppson

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kidney Stones are NOT Fun

Good day family and friends,

So it has been a hectic 24 hours for me haha! So I woke up Sunday morning with some random stomach pain but I didn't think anything of it. But as we were at church and working through the day it started do hurt real bad. So we went home and it was like 9 pm and I just tried to go straight to sleep but that didn't work. I tried medicine and everything and nothing worked! So it was so much pain I lowered my pride and I finally called president Reynolds at 2 in the morning and told me what was going down. He told me to go to the emergency room and get things figured out. So we got there at 3 am and they did an ultrasound on me so that was cute. The reason they did the ultrasound was because I guess I was peeing blood. They said there is only blood in your Pee when you have an STD or a kidney stone haha. So we come to see that I peed out this kidney stone around 5:30 a.m. Fun times! We had to walk there so it was pretty scary walking in down town Brooklyn
at 3 a.m!! But all is well and I feel better.

Everything is going great right now! We actually taught the law of chastity 3 times this week and they were all to black old ladies! Haha so that was fun. So Consuela and Marianne will be interviewed this week and will be getting baptized this upcoming Sunday! Pete and Eve are going to be the following Sunday because we don't feel like they are fully ready quite yet! But  things are still going well with them. We have some others on baptismal date for August so we'll see how that goes. So good work is going on here.

We also met a super cool lady named Nina while we were knocking in the projects! It's always fun knocking in project buildings. So much weed and fun things like that. But we talked to her at her door and she let us right in! As we got through the discussion she told us that she never answers the door for strangers, but something kept telling her to let us in. She kept on telling us how happy she was that we came by and says that she wants us to teach her husband as well! She even has a co worker who is Mormon and has talked to her before but she never gave her a Book of Mormon! She was so happy when we gave her a copy! So moral of the story, share the gospel with your friends and don't be afraid to give them a Book of Mormon.
So last story has to deal with "The Great Elder Shepherd". We were at a members for lunch yesterday and the member was asking us where we were all from. She asked Elder Shepherd and he said vernal and then she said "oh I went to the vernal temple open house a long time ago". Then he said "oh I wasn't even there yet" (implying that it was a long time ago). And she took it as that he was calling her old and she didn't like that very much. So he reached out and touched her shoulder and said "sorry I didn't mean it that way, I'm just socially awkward". Hahaha it was the funniest thing ever! You just had to be there.

So it was quite the week for me! Kidney stones are not fun, Elder Shepherd is socially awkward, and we have two baptisms next week!! I'm so excited. I'll send pictures next week! Have a great week all! Much love

Elder Jeppson

Monday, July 18, 2016

Giving it Your All

Hello Family and Friends,

I hope all is well wherever you may be! Things are going good here in the Heart of Brooklyn!

So we started of the week with a zone conference given by President Reynolds and the assistants! It was definitely the best zone conference I have been to on my mission!! It was 8 hours long but it didn't feel that long and I enjoyed the whole thing! President Reynolds is such an inspired man! The whole conference was about giving it your all and personal conversion! 

Elder Young (one of the assistants) gave the work shop on giving it your all. He showed a little clip out of the movie  "Facing the Giants". It was the part where the coach has one of the football players bear crawl with another kid on his back and then blind folds him. He tells him he needs to give it his best effort and not give up until he doesn't have anything left. So while in the middle of the crawl he's getting super tired, but the coach keeps yelling at him to keep going and to give it his all. So finally when he runs out of juice he takes of the blind fold expecting to only be at the 50 yard line, but then finds out he made it all the way to the end zone! Super motivational so you should watch it. But it really made me think about if I have been giving it my all, and how at the end of my mission I want to feel like I've given it my all and have nothing left. So that was a great experience for me. Then it was Presidents turn and his whole talk was on personal conversion. He told us that your most important convert out here is yourself. He brought up the scripture D&C 18:15 where it says  "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" That one soul is each of us! I liked this conference because they didn't grill us saying we are bad missionaries and that we need to do better, they made it so personal and showed us what personal conversion is. Honestly if i didn't go on this mission I would have know idea what it means to be truly converted to Jesus Christ, but Because of this experience, I'm figuring it out.

The work is going great this week!! Marianne told us she was so thankful to us for stopping and talking to her that day, "because without it, I would still be looking for a church I feel comfortable at" super cool! Consuela is great! She is so ready to be baptized! She literally has no hesitation! See has been to church now 7 weeks in a row! Pete is solid! We had a lesson with him where he was hesitant at first about committing to follow every commandment, but by the end of the lesson he said "you know what, I've already changed my life this much, I might as well go all the way". Dang this kid is my inspiration!

We met with Bridget again (she was the one who has the son that had that crazy conversion experience). But we met with her 3 times this week and really hammered down on the restoration and the Book of Mormon. She finally understands the importance of the restoration and said she would pray to know if he was a prophet. And then yesterday she came to church!! Miracles are happening all over this place.

Interesting experiences:

Oh we also got in a bible bash with a Jehovah Witness! Haha I decided that I would let Elder Shepherd do his first bash on his own. This guy was testing him at first seeing what the Shepherd knew about the bible then out of no where this guy starts roasting Elder Shepherd on the bible. So I felt bad and stepped in a just bore testimony about the Book of Mormon and the guy was super hard hearted so we left haha. Elder Shepherd was so proud of himself though so that's good.

We ran into another dude this week who looked like he was homeless and asked us if he could share a bible scripture with us. So we go on to find out that he sold all his stuff and became homeless because that's what Jesus told us to do. He went on for a little bit telling us that the has become perfect, and then finally he let us talk and Elder Shepherd brought up the Book of Mormon. It was funny because he used some preacher voice and was using words like "thee" and "Nay". It was the cutest little thing. After, we were walking away and he turned over to me and said "That Man was a fool" haha. Good times with new missionaries in Brooklyn.

So that was the week! Pretty good but not as good as July 31st will be! Only two more weeks until they enter the waters of baptism. I love you all, have a good week!

Elder Jeppson