Sunday, April 24, 2016

Colds are no fun!

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week I got 6 new missionary recommendations—three are sisters who will be coming in June.  We have had several sisters leave this past 5 weeks because of health and injury, so really need more right away.  Depression is one of the problems the sister missionaries are having, and it is very hard to overcome.

Tuesday we went out to lunch for Sister Hugentobler’s birthday.  We went to Larry’s Pizza again and ate lots of good food.  Jim didn’t feel he could leave his work, so he did not go with us.  I started coming down with a cold Tuesday night, was okay at work on Wednesday but got worse during the course of the day.  By Wed. evening I wasn’t feeling good, and stayed home on Thursday feeling really yucky.  Jim was able to go and work longer than usual.  He gave me a blessing Thursday morning before he left, so I took it easy all day and by Friday felt much better and went into the Office and got everything done that I had scheduled to do both Thursday and Friday--one of the blessings of the Lord.  However, Saturday I felt awful again and laid around all day while Jim went into the Office from 9:30 to 4:30 and worked constantly without interruption and was able to accomplish quite a bit.  So far Jim hasn’t shown any sign of getting the cold, for which I am most grateful. 
It has been a good week weather-wise.  No big storms and quite a bit more sun!!

I (Jim) do like going into the office on Saturdays because it lets me get to some of the things done I never have time to do during the week with all the emergency things that popup, no phone ringing etc.  Friday was pretty stressful with lots of issues and by later afternoon I was a bit frazzled, actually really frazzled. Trish came into my office and said take a walk with me around the building, you need a break, which I did.  When we got back I did feel better and soon after that I received a call from one of the apartment managers who called to tell me how much she enjoys having the sisters in her apartment complex, was there anything they can do to make their stay more pleasant, oh and by the way if you will just renew your lease for only 3 months at a time we can save you from paying the extra $100/ month you will have to pay if you just go on paying month to month.  That totally made my day.  For me that would be equivalent to a young missionary having someone stop them on the street and ask if they could please have a copy of the Book of Mormon.  A tender mercy for sure.

Well, that’s our life this past week.  Hope you are all doing well.

We love you,

Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Zone Conferences

Dear Family & Friends,

Last Monday started off with a bang!  Literally!!  We had a thunderstorm going on and one lightning strike was right on top of us!!!  And it was pouring rain—but we were able to get to the Office just fine, and were busy all day long.  Pres. Wakolo and his Assistants were there meeting with a Brother Joe Paul from SLC.  He was there to help train the missionaries and the Car Czar, Elder Cahoon, about the new TiWi (tee-wee) that was going to be installed on all Mission Cars during the next three days of zone conferences.  It will be like having Mom or Dad in the car, telling them to slow down, put on their seatbelts, don’t stop so suddenly or corner too sharply.  Hopefully this will make our missionaries much better drivers!!  Elder Hartzell and I were both busy with the responsibilities of our jobs.

Tuesday we got three new recommendations who will be coming to our mission—one in June and two in July.  So far we have one new missionary coming next week, then 7 in June and 6 in July, but of course the latter two will change between now and then.  At noon we drove to the Little Rock Stake Center for their Zone Conference and were able to attend the last 1 ½ hours, then enjoyed a delicious lunch put on by sisters in the LR Stake (from Larry’s and Holly’s ward!), and we each gave our presentations—me about keeping contact information up to date and returning stuff to the office quickly, and also messages from the Recorder and Referral Secretaries (who were holding down the office); Jim about the various financial stuff he needed them to know, and about the new CO and smoke alarms that will be installed in all missionary apartments. Jim went into the office after we got home and worked on paying bills for a couple of hours.

Our own Zone Conference was on Wednesday in Jacksonville that also included the Searcy Stake, so we attended the whole day.  We had the Area doctor speak about good health and exercise practices, then he visited with the missionaries individually in the afternoon.  I was having an issue with my wrist (not carpel tunnel but the little bone on the outside that sticks out) so he told me, then emailed me stuff to do.  Also, Bro. Paul from SLC did his presentation about the new Tiwis, and President and Sister Wakolo and the Assistants all did presentations.  It was really good and inspiring!!  And the luncheon served by the Jacksonville sisters was delicious!!

Thursday was the Memphis and Memphis North Zone Conferences.  Since we didn’t need to be there until 1:00, we picked up boxes for them at the Office, then drove the 2 ½ hours to Memphis, drove around only a few minutes, then headed to the Stake Center which is right by the Memphis Temple (our mission temple).  It’s only open during limited hours in the evenings and on Saturdays, but we will be able to attend a week from Monday and will tell you about it then.  The luncheon was again delicious and I know Elder Hartzell and I are gaining weight!!  “Oh, dear!” For me and “It’s about time!” for Jim.  (He doesn’t think that, I do).  Our presentations went fine and this gives all our 200+ missionaries a chance to meet us.  We drove home in a bad rainstorm, made worse by all the road spray from the trucks on the freeway that are almost a constant stream.  On the way there Jim counted 60 semis driving west in a two mile stretch of the freeway.  It is a major trucking thoroughfare!! I was also able to visit a classmate from LVHS who was a year behind me in school.  He and his wife, Elder Dennis and Sister Karen Milk, are missionaries in Memphis.  He was not a member when we were in school, but hung out with LDS kids and joined later, in his 20’s, with his wife.  It was fun to catch up about people we both knew.

Friday morning is church/office cleaning for us.  Jim always cleans the men’s bathroom near our office, and I alternate between cleaning the women’s bathroom and doing the dusting with Sister Womack and Sister Cahoon.  Elder Cahoon always vacuums the hallway and foyer and sweeps the front porch.  Then I found out that I had made a big mistake.  The letters I needed to send the Departing missionaries who are leaving in a week and a half I accidently sent to the Departing missionaries who are leaving in June—so I just made them trunkey and the April missionaries anxious about getting the information quickly.  OOOOOPPPPPSSSSS!!!!!

Well I worked quickly and got the letters and information out Friday afternoon and hopefully all will go well!!

The Office Senior missionaries all went out to lunch at Olive Garden to celebrate Elder/Brother Green’s birthday on Friday.  They came back just for that and it was fun to be with them again. 

Saturday we went to Gary’s and Bram’s soccer games in the rain/mist.  It wasn’t too bad until the wind started blowing a little and the day got colder.  Both boys played well, and Bram got a goal.  Came home to do some cleaning and Jim went back to Larry’s to help work on Bram’s Pinewood Derby car.  We exercised when he got back, cleaned up, and went out for Japanese food—always a treat!!  Watched a movie and went to bed.


Today was my (Pat’s) birthday!  We went to church at Larry’s ward, went home and ate lunch and took naps, then went to Larry’s where he and Holly had made a wonderful, delicious meal of grilled steak, smashed potatoes, corn on the cob, tomato and cucumber and feta cheese salad, rolls, watermelon, and pineapple and then a lemon cake with a lemon glaze for dessert!!  It was wonderful!!!  Got to have phone visits with most of our children and birthday songs from their families.  So much fun!!!

We love you all and “have a blessed day” (which is what they say here all the time)

Elder and Sister Hartzell

These beautiful azalea bushes are in front of a house near the church.  Aren't they gorgeous!?!

This is a grove of trees that is part of our church landscaping.  There are trees everywhere here!
This is the front of our Memphis Temple with beautiful tulips in bloom.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Elder and Sister Cahoon

Bram attacking the ball

Gary is in white shirt left of middle in the back  (sorry I forgot to zoom)


New Office Couple

Dear Family & Friends,

Last Monday a new couple arrived in our office.  Rich and Eunice Cahoon are from Oregon.  They actually left this mission a year ago after having served here for a year, so they already know the ins and outs of the mission.  They have settled in well and are a lot of fun to be around!  He will take care of cars as he did before, and she will take care of cell phones, iPads, bikes, and assorted other stuff.

Tuesday was our Office staff meeting to go over things that are coming up and need to be done.  That evening we went to Larry and Holly’s and enjoyed babysitting our grandchildren and spending the evening with them.  They are such great kids!

Our mission just got new carbon monoxide/smoke detectors for each apartment in the mission.  These have their own self-contained battery that will last for 10 years.  Just another way to keep our missionaries safe.

Sister Womack had a daughter and son-in-law visit from Utah and so she spent Thursday with them.  The Office Elders needed a ride to a teaching appointment and so we got to go with them and teach—our first investigator lesson on our mission!  We had a good visit and hoped the lady would attend church on Sunday.  Then we took the Elders home with us and fed them dinner.  While there, they looked at our bed to see why it was squeaking and sagging so badly.  We found out that there were only 3 1x3’s holding up the bed that had been nailed in, and the nails were coming out and the boards were bowed.  No wonder we had squeaking and sagging?!!  So we took out the boards and just put the box springs on the floor inside the bed frame.  With such a high mattress, it is almost as high as a regular bed!!  So that will work fine for now—no more sagging!!  No more squeaking!!

This week we did date night on Friday—going out to dinner at Red Lobster and to see the movie, “Batman vs. Superman.”  We really enjoyed the non-stop action and thought it was a good movie.

Saturday was great!!  We got to go to Gary’s soccer game in a town 40 miles south of us called Sheridan.  His team played well against an older and taller team but the final score was a loss of 2-0.  Gary did great!!  Then we followed Larry and Holly’s family to a town near Benton, about 40 miles northwest, where we grabbed a quick lunch then cheered for Bram and his soccer team!!  He also did great, and his team won their game 8-0, with Bram scoring one of the goals.  Very proud of our grandsons and their soccer skills.  Wish we could attend all our grandchildren’s activities and hope we will be able to go to some after our mission.

Came home, cleaned, worked on and finished the March budget (it’s going well), exercised, and had a quiet evening.

Today, Sunday, we attended the Little Rock Ward.  Our Mission President asked if we would attend our son’s ward just once a month, and the other three weeks attend a smaller ward that could use some extra support.  We are happy to serve wherever the Lord wants us, so we said, “of course,” and enjoyed attending there today.  We actually knew some of the people in the Ward because they are friends of Larry’s and Holly’s and we used to see them when they were part of Larry and Holly’s ward.  Nice to meet good people all over.

We hope you are all doing well.

We love and miss you,

Elder and Sister Hartzell

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Storms and Conference

Dear Family & Friends,

Well, we have just finished the wonderful weekend of Conference!!  So glad for the wonderful messages and feelings of love that were expressed.  Now we look forward to reading them over again and again, getting new insights and remembering thoughts that touched our hearts.  We were especially buoyed up by Elder Holland’s final talk, reminding us not to let the world/Satan get us down after being on such a wonderful high of spiritual impressions.  We are all doing all we can, and we are so glad to know that the Lord loves us all so much, that the Prophet and Apostles pray for us and want us to succeed.  We need to not be down on ourselves, but instead give ourselves some credit for being on the Path! 

We were also touched by Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk about how we are known by the Good Shepard when we are lost, as he felt as a 4 year old refugee in WWII, and then the talk by Elder Kearon about the plight of the 60 million refugees worldwide that suffer due to no fault of their own, other than being from a war torn country.  How blessed we are, and what great need others have for assistance and help.

This past week was busy.  We were able to get things done each day.  Elder Hartzell did go back on Friday night (since Wed. was our date night) and got a lot more done in 2 hours than he does in 4 hours during the day because of having NO interruptions!!  There was a Mission Leaders Conference (MLC) on Thursday for all the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders.  We brought in the food for it and were able to say “hi” to many of our great ALRM missionaries.  We did have to get together a Departure Book for a sister who had to leave her mission early because of a torn ACL.  She would have been done in June so got an honorable medical release.

We had some severe weather this week on Wednesday. It rained hard all day and the emergency warnings for flooding were going off.  We received a special emergency weather radio Tuesday and set it up after we got home on Wednesday.  All evening it kept going off.  We didn’t have any flooding near us, but there was in other areas.  The Greens in our office live in Conway and they had a hard time getting home for the downpour. There was one tornado watch, but all the rest was about flooding.  I took the radio in the other bedroom and slept with the doors closed so at least one of us got some good sleep.  I was awakened three times during the night and was pretty tired by morning.  Thankfully it has been quiet since.

We had a fun dinner out on Friday night with Pres. & Sis. Wakolo and their daughter Jasmin, Sisters Hugentobler and Womack, the office elders, Elders Lundell and Phillips, and the Assistants, Elders Crane and Cunningham, in honor of Elder and Sister Green, our Trainers.  Next week will be their last week in our mission.  They have served 17 months of a 6-month mission!!  That’s correct!  They live here locally and started out October of 2014 as Service missionaries, had to leave from January to April to help a daughter with a difficult pregnancy.  Then they came back in May and served until September, when they thought they were done.  They went on a super vacation to Spain for a month.  Came back last October and Pres. asked them to please stay on as what Sister Green calls “Part-time Temps.”  They thought they would be done when we came, but had to jump in to help when the couple that were in charge of Secretary and Finance had to leave suddenly because of a medical emergency.  So now the Greens are planning to leave for good (or until the next crises comes up!).  What good faithful people they are!!!  So glad to know them!!

We hope you are all doing well.

We love and miss you,

Elder and Sister Hartzell

Elder Brooks and Sister Kathleen Green