Sunday, March 13, 2016

Transfer Week

March 13, 2016
Dear Family & Friends,
This past week was Transfer Week.  It happens every 6 weeks.  It actually started last Thursday when the missionaries who will stay here are moved around to different companions.  The Departing Missionaries, seven of them this time, have their last day in the mission on Monday.  They attended the temple in Memphis that morning, then came to Little Rock for a wonderful Farewell Dinner at the elegant Mission Home.  They were served with china, silver, crystal and delicious food!!  So Elder Hartzell and I went to work that morning as usual, and my morning went fine, but poor Elder Hartzell got an emergency call about a notice on one of the missionary apartments that the rent was NOT paid and the missionaries would be evicted the next day!!  It took him probably 4 hours to figure out the problem and get the rent paid.  Then the Office Staff left to drive to the Mission Home and help in preparing the Farewell Dinner, which we also got to eat.  Then we cleaned up and left as the Departing Missionaries had a Farewell Testimony meeting.  We went home exhausted and full and enjoying the great spirit of those experienced missionaries.
On Tuesday they are taken to the airport and sent home to their waiting families.  That same afternoon, the three New Missionaries arrive and are brought back to the Mission Home.  We were at the office all morning and early afternoon, and Jim had another emergency eviction notice to deal with!!  Plus bills that needed to be paid and lots of financial stuff that needed to be figured out.  I continued learning about all the letters and reports that I needed to deal with.  Then we all left at 3:30 to go to the Mission Home and prepare the dinner for the New Missionaries.  They also got delicious food, but it was served on paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils.  And again, we got to share it, too.  Clean up was much faster and easier!  We headed home to rest.
Wednesday, the New Missionaries had a day of training.  We went over that morning for a quick introduction to things they needed to know about finance, mail, phones, cars, etc.  Then went to the office where Jim & I worked on the computer in a program called IMOS where the online Transfer Board is.  There we moved around the photos of all the missionaries so that they were in their new areas with their new companions.  Some did stay where they were, but it still took us about two hours to go through all the changes of place, companion, assignment, etc.  We then submitted the information and hoped it was all correct.  In the next couple of days we found out about some problems, so I called Salt Lake City to find out how to fix things.  Thank heavens, they are just a phone call away!!!  Worked all day at the office, then did some shopping on the way home. 
Thursday was pretty quiet.  Jim had two more potential evictions to deal with, and I sent home emails and photos to all the parents of the New Missionaries so they would know their child arrived safely, and had photos of their child with their new companions and with the Mission President and his wife.
Friday I typed up letters to all the missionaries who had received new Leadership responsibilities.  These letters are called Leadership Letters.  I emailed them to the parents, and in some cases, to their bishops and stake presidents.  I mailed the originals to the missionaries themselves.
It rained like crazy Tuesday until today (Sunday).  We had flooding around the area on Tuesday night, but the quantity of rain and flooding lessened each succeeding day.  Friday night we went out to dinner at a good Mexican restaurant, then did some more food shopping, came home and watched TV.
Saturday we cleaned a new/very old desk that the Office Missionaries had found for us.  Then Jim headed back to the office to pay bills for 4 hours, while I stayed home and worked on our budget.  Fun, Fun!!  We were able to exercise, clean up, and attend a wonderful Fireside broadcast with Elder and Sister Renlund, and Elder and Sister Kapischke, which was broadcast from their meeting in Memphis.  We enjoyed the beautiful spirit and great stories and messages we heard.
The Sake President in his remarks commented that recently the First Presidency prayed about the question of “what can we do to strengthen the members”. The answer was focus on the Sabbath day.  It would be good for all of us to consider how we keep the Sabbath day. He used the story of David and Goliath, and how David chose 5 smooth stones as he went to meet Goliath.  What stones will we choose?
Sister Renlund shared some touching stories about the saints in Africa and the challenges they have and do face.                                                                                                                         
Elder Renlund’s message was about what is our foundation built upon, rock or sand?  The winds will come, and the rain will fall (especially in Arkansas lately) how will we weather those storms of life?  He shared a story of a man with a very bad heart condition who had 4 transplants and should have died several times, after the final transplant, which was successful, he then was upset over cold oatmeal in the hospital.  We need to look and acknowledges the miracles around us and be thankful for them and not get upset over the “cold oatmeal.”  His closing remarks were about the atonement and what a blessing that is to us all.  When we repent, no matter what we may have done, it is over as far as the Lord is concerned and we should accept that and not keep asking am I really forgiven.  Elder Packer in his last conference address, at the end of his prepared remarks then talked about the blessing of the atonement, which fixes it all if we repent. 
 We took Sister Womack with us as Sister Hugentobler always spends the weekends in Hot Springs with her son and his family.  We remembered to set all our clocks forward and lose that precious hour’s sleep.
This morning we attended the Pinnacle Mountain Ward.  That is the ward that Larry and Holly are in.  Larry has not returned from Ecuador yet, but we got big hugs from Holly and the children!!  Came back to our apartment, had lunch, took naps, and are ready for another week.
We love you all,

Elder and Sister Hartzell

Elder Hartzell in his Financial Office
The Front of our Chapel/Mission Office

The Office Secretary Trainer, Sister Kathleen Green, at the desk where Sister Hartzell will do all her work.  Sister Hannah Hugentobler is the Mission Recorder Secretary.

Sister Patsy Womack, the Referral Secretary

Elder Brooks Green, Vehicle Coordinator

President Wakolo's Office

The Transfer Board in President Wakolo's Office

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