Wednesday, November 20, 2013

11-15-13 Julia is in Our Arms!!! Homecoming Talk is Nov 24th at 1:00pm Come If you Can!


In memory of God's hand throughout the coarse of my mission in Washington DC - I will be speaking in church Sunday the 24th at 1:00 pm at the Boulder City Chapel (1550 Buchanan Blvd, Boulder City NV). All are welcome to come!

There will also be a Barbecue Open House Saturday night the 23rd from 6:00-9:00 pm of which all are invited. It'll be at the Jeppsen home (1541 Sunrise Circle, Boulder City NV). It would be great to see everyone. I am forever grateful for your support, prayers, and love. 


To all our Dear, Wonderful Family and Friends,
I can't express how great it was to be able to go meet many of the people Julia has been talking about for the past 18 months!  Truly MIRACLES happened to make it such a fabulous experience.   Thanks to your prayers and the grace of our God, I recovered from my head injury just in time to go. John and Emma joined me and it is an experience that can never be replaced.  The timing of so many special events was a blessing.  I'll tell the story with pictures...

Julia is in my arms!  
There is nothing like it!
Emma is Julia's New Companion at this transfer! 
Farewell to the Wonderful Mission President Riggs and his wife at the Mission Home.
We got to sit in on the Mission Transfer Meeting where all the departing missionaries bore their testimonies.  They also sang a song... "Joy to the World" and then "I'll be Home for Christmas" (cruel but too funny!)
Visiting the Ritchies.  Go Launching Leaders! 

Visit with Wonderful Jeff.
Lessons/Visits with Recent Converts: Anderson, Isaiah, Luis, Sonia.
This photo is with Amazing Anderson and Rafael.
Essential Stop... McDonalds!

Those that eat McDonald's Ice Cream Cones together, stay together FOREVER! 

We got to visit with John's Brother and his sweet family. Five beautiful Jeppsen Girls! 

We went to the Gorgeous Washington DC Temple for Baptisms with her Converts.

We got to experience Chunyu's Baptism.  We got to hear Julia speak. She was confirmed that day so she could go to the temple for baptisms that night.

At the church we got to see Jeff and Nghia sing in the Choir.  John and I both had tears falling!  
We stayed with one of her adoptive families, the wonderful Starks in Centreville.

Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers!!! Julia loved her mission and has grown so very much. It is amazing what serving the Lord 100% of their time for 18-24 months will do! I am grateful for her willingness to serve God's children and in the process become more like Him. As Julia says often, "God is good". He truly is good and good to us. I love you dearly!  
Jody Jeppsen

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11-12-13 Julia's Last Missionary Email!!! Full of Gratitude to God

DAD MOM RYAN RACHELLE LIZA EMMA and my beloved brothers and sisters
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZA LOO!!! I'm so happy and grateful you were born! We shall celebrate in real life in but a few days.

I thank my Heavenly Father for allowing these last precious moments in Virginia to be sacred and revelatory. Surely He has answered my plea. I cherish my mission. I've loved every moment.
God's timing is flawless. His mercy, wisdom, and power is beyond comprehension and I thank Him for allowing me the perfect amount of time as a 'Facebook' missionary at the precise time needed. He is the Master planner. I marvel at His grace. Our beautiful cousin Charlotte messaged me on Facebook the other day and asked if she could interview me before I returned home. She and her sweet friend are doing a semester long project about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Sister Woodbury and I were deeply impressed about how thoughtful and sincere their study of our faith has been. I had the privilege to meet them at the Temple Visitor's Center yesterday immediately after completing a sacred session in the House of the Lord. I love Charlotte. She is so beautiful. I cannot thank God enough for the privilege to share with her the sacred truths we hold dear. Charlotte is beautiful - she is so honest, sincere, kind and loving. She asks questions and is so full of faith. I'm honored to call her our cousin. 

While studying the other morning, our dear Savior led me to read Elder Oaks talk, The Challenge to Become. The Spirit carried these words to my heart:
"We should remember that our family relationships - even more than our church callings - are the setting in which the most important part of [Christlike] development can occur. The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. Being a successful church leader is not enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it."
I have been forever changed by my mission, for I have walked with our Risen Lord. I have experienced His redeeming and enabling power in such a way that has transformed and refined me. I have come to see the hand of God in all things and I praise Him for His intricate and intimate involvement in our lives. I love and thank Him with all my the energy of my soul. I've experienced countless miracles and will always remember His matchless mercy and grace.

His plan for us is perfect! Though I will love and cherish my mission forever, I thank Him for sending me home to you - my precious and priceless family. Miracles will not cease. He lives. And He is coming quickly.

Fall in Virginia

 Departing Temple Trip

 Youssef's doing great :)

Sonia was baptized!! I love her and her beautiful family. Atlas - I finally got a family photo

 Charlotte, our sweet cousin

Friday, November 8, 2013

11-4-13 Time Is Growing Short! I Cherish Every Moment

DAD MOM RYAN RACHELLE LIZA EMMA and my dearly beloved brothers and sisters

I've been at a loss for words on what to write this week. Time is growing so short and I reverently cherish every moment. Serving as a full-time representative of the Living Christ has been a privilege of which I will thank and praise Him forever. I know that He lives. And He is coming so soon.
I remember saying goodbye to you 18 months ago. I wept as I realized how long we would be apart and how little we would correspond. Just moments before entering the Mission Training Center, Mom asked me to leave a voicemail on her and Dad's phones that you could listen to throughout the mission. I could hardly speak as I tried to express my love for her, for Dad, and for our family. I went forward, for our Savior continually reassured me that this was the right decision. I love Him and trust Him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. And as I gave Him everything I had, He transformed me.
Oh how I thank and praise our Father in Heaven for sending me to serve in the DC South Mission, at this time, and with these people. I could never have imagined the miracles He has so graciously allowed me to experience and to be a part. I cherish my mission. It is so sacred to me. President Riggs, my companions, my fellow servants, and my brothers and sisters here in Virginia. I can hardly type the words to express my love for them and for my God.
I remember countless miracles wrought by His Omnipotent hand. And they have not ceased. I look forward to many more miracles ahead. They've only just begun.

Thanks be to God.


Elder Ritchie and his excellent object lessons :) 



Saturday, November 2, 2013

10-28-13 Gospel to Every people...Face to Face= Facetime, Facebook, Skype! We-re Online!

DAD MOM RYAN RACHELLE LIZA EMMA and beloved brothers and sisters
I cannot express how grateful I am to know that God is sending angels to attend to you Mom. Shirley, Heidi, Noah, our dear WARD family - how grateful I am for their Christlike compassion and outreached hands. I've plead for angels and surely He has sent them in great abundance, from both sides of the veil. Emma, you too are her angel. I'm sure of it - I'm so grateful she has you and Dad there with her to help.
I feel so confident in our Savior Jesus Christ. I love and adore Him. The time that He has granted me to serve as a full time missionary has been most precious and sacred to me and I reverently thank Him for the miracles I've experience and seen. The other day, some kind brother we met along the streets of Arlington was very curious about our lifestyle as missionaries. Shocked, he asked if we would do this for the rest of our lives. Thankfully and happily, I was able to answer "No." Our Father in Heaven called us to serve full-time for but a season. He wants us to return home, to have families of our own, and to progress in the manner He intended. My mission has changed me forever. I will always remember and cherish this time, and yet, I look forward to the unfolding miracles that lie ahead.
My friends - Christ is coming! Our Savior and King is coming quickly. I cannot but scratch the surface in words the excitement, joy, and urgency I feel coursing through my soul. In glory and power beyond our mortal comprehension our Risen Lord will come again. And it is but moments away. The leadership of the DC South mission has now been authorized to proselyte online!  We have been commissioned to proclaim the gospel via online resources. In Mosiah 16:1 Abiniadi prophesied of our day saying, "The time shall come when ALL shall see the salvation of the Lord; when EVERY nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see EYE TO EYE and shall confess before God that his judgements are just." Eye to eye, face to face: facetime, facebook, and skype. To EVERY nation, kindred, tongue and people we will proclaim the truth. Our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ have created and refined this online realm with wisdom and great power. The world is interconnected and twined in ways unimaginable than ever before. The gospel is flooding the earth and will only increase in momentum. No more backpacks and scriptures, but ipads and iphones will we carry. The fullness of times is now and its laid before our fingertips. We live in the FUTURE!! We live in those marvelous days every prophet looked forward to. The time is NOW. Regardless of location or association, we have been commissioned to invite ALL to come unto Christ. Our mission will be getting ipads and iphones in December and I'm soo excited to be a part of this unfolding miracle back home. It is most exciting.
There was a missionary in the Baltimore mission who was baptized only a few years ago. None of his family took interest in the gospel while he was home and he was the only one to join. When the Baltimore mission was authorized to go online a month or so ago, he taught his family the lessons over skype, eventually involving the missionaries and members from his hometown too. He will be returning home to baptize his entire family in 2 months time! What a miracle. This is the beginning of a whole new level of missionary work. I'm so happy

I love you all!


Sister Woodbury... Yeah McDonald's Ice Cream Cones! 

 I trained Sister Bell. Sister Bell trained Sister Herring. Sister Herring trained Sister ____

Good old Donovan! I love him. He's doing great!

Friday, October 25, 2013

10-21-13 Monson repeated three times: "Teach, Baptize.. I Am With You Always"

DAD MOM RYAN RACHELLE LIZA EMMA and my lovely brothers and sister

Tyler is BAPTIZED! Woohoo! Earlier this week we had a lesson with Tyler, in which we planned to finalize all the details for his baptism. There, to our utter surprise, we found that not only had he assigned all the speakers, prayers, and musical numbers, chosen hymns and people to perform the ordinances, selected a pianist, chorister, and conductor, but he also gave the program details to our ward mission leader, announced the baptism on the ward 'list-serve' and Facebook page, wrote out his testimony for his talk after the baptism and supplied his own white clothing for the ordinance. What a dream! The whole experience teaching him has been like that. Surely the Lord has shaped him to be quick to observe: both in sight and in action. Like the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni - he "causes" things to happen, taking no delay to make preparations. I love him. I'm so humbled to know him. He even taught us the Restoration, via chalk and stick figures for our last lesson with him. The baptism was beautiful, the Spirit was powerful. He now has the precious and saving gift of the Holy Ghost.

I have experienced a spiritual down pouring from heaven in these few short weeks spent with Sister Woodbury. Father has opened my eyes spiritually and has expanded my vision. When the prophet and apostles feel impressed to repeat and or say things more than once, I feel a sense of excitement in learning and catching vision of the divine revelation our God has instructed them to share. It is of utmost importance that we know, do, and become these things. One scriptural passage that was shared twice in General Conference was D&C 58:2-4 "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is night at hand."  If we look at the world around us with our natural eyes, we cannot see the design of our God. But as I've prayed to see things spiritually, to see and feel things as He does - my eyes have been opened. As Moses explained: "But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld" (Moses 1:11). I have beheld the workmanship of His hands.  I have seen His children as He does and felt the love and joy He has for each beloved son and daughter. Elder Bednar explained the gift of discernment as "seeing with spiritual eyes and feeling in the heart", "hearing with spiritual ears and feeling in the heart." (Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary). 

I'm grateful for Sister Crockett's example in discerning things spiritually, for surely it is a gift I was blessed to observe her utilize and practice through the grace of our Lord and Savior. My lovely companion is just one of the many people I've been able to see in a new light. As I've watched and labored beside her, the Spirit has helped me see countless strengths and gifts our Savior has enable her to develop. She is nonjudgmental, content, quick to share and to give what she has. She needs no recognition, power, or praise for the good that she does. She allows for privacy and respects sacred and personal matters. She laughs at my lame jokes (which is not an attribute easy to find hahaha..), brightens others with clever and amusing humor in a non sarcastic way, she is patient and quick to understand the why behind the behaviors of another. These are but a few of the Christ-like qualities she has been blessed with and I marvel at the workmanship of His hand. I love her. I love this work
Something reiterated THREE times now are these words, said by the mouth of our prophet President Thomas S Monson:
"The holy scriptures contain no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord as He appeared in Galilee to the eleven disciples. Said He:

'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.'

This divine command, coupled with its glorious promise, is our watchword today as it was in the meridian of time. Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be. As the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, 'After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.'"

Youssef :) 

Tyler's baptism

Tyler bought roses for all the missionaries involved in his conversion process

Sister Woodbury, my bud and companion

10-14-13 CHANGE IS Possible! We become...or are able to say I am (blank) ... because of the Great I AM! Not on our own

DAD MOM RYAN RACHELLE LIZA EMMA and my dearly beloved friends
Mom, I love you! I hope you're ok. You're in the hands of our Savior I know it. Ryan, use your excellent dentist nursing skills and take care of her for me!

We can change. We were sent here to change, to become something more than we are at present. "Now is the time to repent." (Alma 13: Now is the time to change.

Sister Woodbury and I have been blessed with an investigator/brother/friend named Donovan. He's wonderful. He works at Jerry's Subs & Pizza all day long, every day of the week so we go there often to teach him. He's developed a terrible habit throughout his lifetime of labeling himself by his weaknesses and denying the very purpose of this life - namely, change. He came with us to sacrament meeting this week and we heard several claims including: "I am not a friendly person, that's just the way I am." "I don't read the scriptures, never have, never will." "I am not a church going person." "I can't contribute anything to these people." "I'm not important." From the inmost part of my heart, I have stood firm in helping him withstand these hopeless and faithless ideas. He is a son of the Most High God. Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, has suffered in Donovan's place. He has descended bellow his sins, his pains and his sorrows, his sicknesses and his temptations. Why? Why would He, who was perfect and sinless do such a thing? Because He loves us. He's suffered for each of us. We can change because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We can progress. We can become even as He.

As I was studying one morning, I was reading the words of the apostle James E Talmage in his book Jesus the Christ. He described the definition for the name Jehovah or I AM. It means the Eternal One. Like Him, we are infinite beings. We lived with God before we came to this earth and we will live again. Death is not the end. We are eternal, infinite beings. And through the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, the great I AM, we can and will be even as He - if we choose to be so. Our weaknesses are not who we are. We can change. We were designed to change and to become like Him. His grace is sufficient. When we claim ourselves to be anything below our divine potential, we are denying ourselves the Atonement of Jesus Christ. To say: "I am not important. I am not a social, friendly person. I cannot be forgiven. I am unproductive, lazy, worthless, ugly, judgemental, harsh" or anything else bad (Or for sake of missionary work: "I am bad at missionary work. I am too afraid to invite others. I am not bold or brave enough to talk to my friends.") We deny the very purpose of His suffering, death, and resurrection. Like Lehi, who only a few days out on their 9 year (or so) long journey to the Americas said, "I HAVE obtained a land of promise," (1 Nephi 5:5) we too must have faith enough to say "I am" what we were meant to become. I am kind, I am bold, I am loving, I love reading the scriptures, I am friendly, I make a difference, I am of great worth, I am important! Through the Jesus Christ, the Jehovah and great I AM, I am like Him. I know I will be. And I love every step of the way. I love repentance "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." - Elder . Change. Repent. Through Jesus Christ, we don't have to stay the same. We can become something great.

We must allow others to change. I have changed. I am continually changing. And I thank each of you for not holding me back, for loving me enough to help me change. Ryan, Rachelle - Liza, Emma - Mom, and Dad. I love you.
NOW IS THE TIME.. His work has been hastened. He is coming quickly. Choose ye this day to be like Him. Choose to be a part of this unfolding miracle.


Honey family! Its Sister Udall :D She's an incredible missionary!!!

                   I love Sister Woodbury

Donovan. Our good friend

Our Egyptian friends - Youssef and Ramy

Monday, October 7, 2013

10-7-13 Oh How Wonderful It Is That We Have A LIVING PROPHET!

I'm loving the Langley YSA ward!! I haven't even met the entire ward yet, seeing that it was General Conference this weekend. But I've met a lot of them and they're great!  A day or two before Conference, we had a lesson with this INCREDIBLE investigator named Tyler.  We were reading in the Book of Mormon about the people who gathered to the temple to hear their beloved prophet King Benjamin speak.  We all then felt inspired to go to the temple to watch OUR beloved prophet President Monson speak.  So.. we did!  We recruited Daniel to come along, as well as some stellar members, Elza being one of them.  Oh how wonderful it is that we have a living prophet! 

 "NOW IS THE TIME!" Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, is hastening His work.  He will come again in power and great glory.  The numbers of our brothers and sisters entering into His fold will be miraculous, as long as we - missionaries and members alike, exercise our agency and faith in obedience to His instruction. I am reminded of Elder Holland's words, "Don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime by not ceasing it in the lifetime of the opportunity."  We don't have to simply watch, but we be anxiously engaged.  Miracles happen!  Constantly.  And no greater joy comes from this beautiful work.  If you don't have friends, pray for them!  I hope we all take part in this unfolding miracle by exercising the faith. I'm amazed to hear of the miracles happening back home.  It will make coming home feel like just another transfer, of which I am grateful!  Thanks for taking part in His work!  It surely brings the sweetest joy to help others experience the Atoning sacrifice of our Savior, possible only through His restored priesthood.  Oh what a thrilling time to live!  Tyler said something most inspiring after the close of this monumental conference.  It was his very first time hearing the prophet and apostles speak, and he turned to me and said (something along the lines of):  "Well wasn't that incredible!  Now it's time for us to change.  We've got to do and become all of those things before next General Conference."  Wow, he's great!  What a privilege to learn with him. 

Ok, quiz for everyone. What are the names of the missionaries in your ward?  Know them, love them, pray for them, and work WITH them!  Said by some inspired soul (who's name has escaped me): "Don't just go out with the missionaries, but take the missionaries out with you!" This is His work. He lives.


 Annandale Zone

 Sister Woodbury

This adorable Egyptian family that invited us in and fed us a delicious authentic dinner.

Tyler with YSA members at the Temple!