Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Week of July 24 to July 31

Dear Family and Friends,
            Can’t believe it is the last day of July—how time flies when you are having fun doing the work of the Lord!!
            Last Sunday evening was quiet and we got to have some phone visits with family.
            Monday was crazy busy with lots of different projects going, mostly letters to missionaries either in-field, coming soon, or departing.  So much information to get out to so many people!!  We are dealing with bed bugs in several of the missionary apartments and this was recurring theme all week.  We didn’t leave the Office until 6:00 and talked with Brent all the way home.  We also watched the Summer Pioneer Concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  We forgot to watch it over the weekend, so are glad the church shows it on  It was spectacular!!  The King Singers from England gave a wonderful performance and we were so impressed that the standing ovation came from their singing of the medley of primary songs.
            Tuesday more letters and updating my checklists that I use to get everything done.  Also had Staff Meeting with Pres. and Sister Wakolo.  They are such terrific people and really love the Lord and the missionaries.  The Assistants and Office Elders were in the Office for a while to take care of their responsibilities, and it was quiet after they left.  About 5:30 a young woman from the North Little Rock Ward brought pizza in for all of us and that was so sweet!  We missionaries love to be fed!!
            Wednesday and Thursday the Cahoons were in Memphis at missionary meetings there, so the Office only had three of us—Elder Hartzell, Sister Hugentobler, and me.  So not a lot of phone calls and missionaries coming in.  I had Leadership letters to get out, and also travel for departing missionaries in October to request.  I went both Wed. and Fri. to Larry’s to help take care of Sammie.  Also found out that Shelley is planning a Hartzell Family Reunion for just our family July of 2018.  We didn’t know anything about it and are so glad that our kids want to get together and hang out for 3 days.  We are very excited about it!!
            Thursday was slower and I didn’t have as much to do so caught up on some “clean-up-the-desk” stuff.  Also working on learning how to update a calendar that I have never used before, so I practiced some on it both Thursday and Friday.  Jim: Mondays are usually really crazy busy for me, but every day I have a lot to do.  I am appreciative when it isn’t so crazy that I can finish a task before starting the next one.
            Friday the Cahoons were back in the Office so the phone rang a lot more.  We did the cleaning of the bathrooms in the morning, Sister Cahoon dusted the Office and hallway, Elder Cahoon vacuumed the hallway, and Sister Hugentobler collected the garbage, vacuumed the Office, and cleaned the front doors (they always get handprints all over them!!).  Our Friday mornings are always cleaning!  Got more letters out and information coming back in that needs to be taken care of.  And for Jim, more bed bug issues, lost MSF card, and apartment renewals.  We all went out to dinner at a fast-food fish place called Captain D’s.  It’s pretty good and was fun to visit and also have the trio of sisters who are missionaries in this area there with us.  Then we did our grocery shopping, went home and put stuff away, and took it easy.
            Saturday we went to a Farmers Market at the grounds of an old Catholic orphanage and picked up a few things.  Then we went to Larry’s and did yard work with him for 2 hours.  We were tired and hot when we were done, but it felt good to do some good service.  He served us lunch and we visited for a while, then went home, cleaned up and took naps.  After we dusted and vacuumed our apartment, I worked on the budget, we did some more laundry, and just took it easy.  It really rained hard about 5:00 in the afternoon for about an hour—a big downpour.  We even lost our power for a few minutes, but thank heavens it didn’t stay off.
            Today has been a beautiful day.  We were able to take Michelle with us to church and I think she really enjoyed it.  The Sabbath always feels so good and peaceful to me, I love to partake of the Sacrament, and RS was about Visiting Teaching.  That is one of my favorite topics and I am so grateful for it in my life. Jim:  The new stake president, President Dixon was visiting today to reorganize the Elders Quorum and ended up taking time in Sacrament meeting due to an ill speaker, and then in priesthood meeting he gave an impromptu lesson because no one was assigned to teach.  Several of the brethren were helping in Primary so the sisters could attend the special RS meeting.  He has a very humble spirit about him and gave a wonderful lesson in priesthood meeting.
            Hope you are all doing well and having a great summer!!

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July Transfer Week

Dear Family & Friends,
            Happy Pioneer Day to y’all!!
Last Sunday night we had Larry over for dinner as his family is out of town.  He stayed afterwards to play a fun card game called “Lucky Unders” that our friends the Halversens taught us—it always makes us laugh!  After Larry left we went over to the Cahoons for some delicious watermelon and good visiting.  It’s really nice to live close to the other Senior missionaries in the Office.
            Monday we woke up early and drove to the Memphis Temple, taking Sister Hugentobler with us.  While everyone else was in the Endowment session, Jim and I did baptisms, confirmations, and initiatory for some of Jim’s family members and some other names that the temple had.  I hadn’t done baptisms and confirmations myself for a long time, even though I worked in the Provo Temple Baptistry for 5 years.  There is always such a wonderful feeling in the temples and we are so glad when we have the opportunity to go there.  Then we left to drive back to Little Rock to the Mission Home to help with the dinner for the Departing Missionaries.  Twelve great young people who have worked hard and done much to further the work here in our mission.  We worked from 3:30 until 8:00, made ham, chicken curry and rice, green bean casserole, tossed salad, lots of cut-up melon, cookie salad, chips, and dip, and brownies for dessert, and went home tired and ready to rest!
            Tuesday Jim & I worked on the IMOS Transfer Board moving missionaries all over to their new assignments and changing the assignments on their photos.  This took about 2 hours.  After lunch I went to Larry’s and took care of Sammie, back to the Office for a little while, then over to the Rodney Parham chapel to help fix, serve and cleanup dinner for the new Arriving Missionaries.  Since there were 20 of them, plus their trainers, it was too many to feed at the Mission Home, so were able to do it at the chapel.  The schedule was the same—work from 3:30 until 8:00 and go home exhausted!!  We served beef stroganoff, baked potatoes, tossed salad, cookie salad, ice cream bars, etc.
            Wednesday we went over to the chapel for the Training of the new missionaries.  I teach them the Office, Referral, and Recorder stuff, and Jim talks to them about the Financial and Apartment stuff.  They also get car, iPad, and lots of other training.  Went back to the Office to finish up the IMOS Transfer Board and submit all the changes, then I went in the President’s office to change the information on the Board cards of each missionary.  Thank heavens the Office Elders had already moved everybody around.  I went over to Larry’s to take care of Sammie again, then back to the Office for an hour, then back to the chapel to help with dinner again.  This time we served Teriyaki Chicken with rice, two salads, fruit, rolls, and dessert.  We do get to eat all of the dinners, which are wonderfully delicious, so that helps a lot!!  And the missionaries sing to us the Mission Song as a way of saying “Thank You.”  It’s a fun song and I will try to record it sometime to post on the blog. 
            Thursday morning we got up early and drove to the church by 6:30 to help with breakfast.  Sister Wakolo does this herself when she has smaller numbers, but this is just way too many!!  So she brought a huge batch of scrambled eggs, and we cooked up sausage and bacon, plus lots of cut up melon and grapes, bagels, cream cheese, and cereal.  They ate plenty!  Then we said goodbye to them and they left for their new assignments!!  I spent the day in the Office sending out letters and emails, and dealing with incoming mail and emails.  Worked until 5:00, went home to do laundry, rest, and watch TV.
             Friday I sent out all the photos of the Departing missionaries to their families and all the photos of the Arriving missionaries to their families—all by emails.  Brother Cheney takes all the photos and does a really good job.  He and Sister Cheney will be leaving in the middle of September and the Cahoons are leaving the end of September.  We really need at least one couple to come and replace them!!  Anyone interested?!!!  I also worked on updating the Calendar, updating information in the computer, and lots of other things.  We ate dinner at Arby’s, went shopping for groceries on our way home, cleaned one of the bathrooms, watched TV or read all evening. One of the sisters’ apartments has bed bugs, which has been treated once already when the elders lived there, but since they are just moving in, it needed to be treated again.  So we have had to put them in a motel until that gets done the first of the week.
            Saturday Jim cleaned the kitchen floor, then we met the Cahoons and Rasmussens (the new couple that came a month ago to be the Military Relations missionaries) at the church and rode together to a very interesting place called Heifer Village.  This is a wonderful volunteer organization that helps people in third world countries improve their water, farming, education, health, etc.  If you want to go online, you can read about Heifer International—it is a great organization!!  We met the Cheneys there and all enjoyed seeing what the organization did.  Then we went to a cute burger joint called “All Aboard” where they deliver your order on a little train that goes on tracks overhead and puts your order on a tray that lowers down to your table.  Really fun!!  Then we went back to the church, and Jim & I went to shop at Walmart and went home to finish cleaning, exercise, and take it easy.
Pig in the gift shop--don't know why it wasn't a heifer!
They use stair-steppers for pumping the water
And they use this plastic water-wheel for carting the water to where they need it.  Much better than carrying it!!
  This morning I gave a talk in church about Seminary and Institute, but I was only given about 5 minutes so pretty much just bore my testimony about how important they both are.  We enjoyed our meetings, met with the Missionary Correlation meeting for the Ward, then came home, ate, and just got up from naps.  Oh, wonderful Sunday naps!!
They have flowering trees all summer in different shades of white, light pink,and dark pink.  Three samples are in this photo out front of our Mission Office/chapel
            We love you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sure had fun watching the train go around to deliver the meals!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A stormy week

Dear Family & Friends,
            We had two big storms this week, one last Sunday and one on Thursday.  The one on Sunday was heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning.  We got thunderstorm warnings from the emergency weather service.  The wind drove the rain under our doors and through my window, but not Jim’s.  The one Thursday night included a tornado warning and the wind really swirled around.  We even went in our little bathroom/tornado shelter for ½ an hour just in case.  We keep emergency water and backpack in there.  It sure made a big mess everywhere!!
Just one of many trees that were downed!
            Monday I worked on a letter with lots of enclosures to send to the missionaries who are coming in August.  I started them last week and finished them Monday.  Also went over Monday and Wednesday afternoons to take care of our son, Larry’s, dog so he could stay late at work those days.  His wife and kids are having a great trip and will be gone several weeks.  On Monday I ran into bad traffic on the freeway, so took the longer but faster way home on Wednesday.  For FHE Jim and I went to see “Tarzan.”  It was good but some parts were hard to watch.
            Tuesday through Friday I printed up letters that the Departing missionaries had written to the President over the course of their missions, and put them in the Departing Binders.  I worked on a 3 or 4 each day, and they were all done by Friday morning. 
            We got a new Assistant to the President, and the three were working together to finish off the Transfer information, and to set up the President’s interview schedule for this next Transfer.  He interviews each missionary every three months (oftener if they need it).  We also had a good Staff Meeting Tuesday afternoon.  It is great to get together and bring each other up-to-date on what everyone is doing.  I always get a few new assignments out of them. 
            Wed. was laundry and we signed up for the Indexing blitz for the weekend, plus shopping at Sam’s Club.  Since Arkansas is the home of Walmart and Sam’s Club, there are no Costcos here.  In the evening Jim worked on Family History for a while and now has a couple names to take to the temple next Monday.  It is always special to take our own family names to the temple and makes the experience all the more special.  All of the activity in the Church is to lead us to the temple where “heaven and earth meet” as we were reminded in Church recently.
            Thursday we got a new Office Elder, Elder Boggess, who will replace Elder Phillips, who has a new assignment.  We will miss Elder Phillips, just like we did Elder Lundell before him, who help so much, especially with the apartments. 
Elder Heidinger & new Elder Boggess
Elder Heidinger and Elder Phillips who is leaving
Jim & I worked in IMOS to update all the Leadership changes (Assistant, Zone Leaders, and Sister-Training-Leaders).  Then I wrote each one a congratulations letter and emailed copies of them to their parents, bishops, and stake presidents.  That evening we survived the terrible storm I mentioned above, getting home about ½ hour before it started.
            Friday the Assistants were in the Office again all day, so the Cahoons bought pizza for everyone.  I went and got my hair cut in the afternoon, and we went grocery shopping that evening on our way home.  It rained again coming down pretty good, but wasn’t as hard or as long as the day before and no warnings came out. 
            Yesterday was a quiet day at home—no big travels.  We exercised, cleaned, worked a little on our budget (we are doing good), and I did some Indexing, but then we had trouble logging on again and couldn’t do any more.  This made us very sad as we had hoped to help do a whole lot. 
            Today is beautiful and sunny.  Because of the storm on Thursday, power was knocked out to a number of neighborhoods including the one where Larry’s chapel is, so their Ward came to our building and we all met together.  It was fun!!  They are two wards that were one for many years, so lots of old friends sitting together.  We were glad to be in our own ward and have Larry with us, too.  Five sister missionaries sang a beautiful song today in Sacrament meeting, as a special musical number.  It was very touching, as was the talk afterwards about the importance of temples.
            We love you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Fourth of July and a Capital Weekend

Dear Family & Friends,
            Last Sunday evening we went to dinner at another Senior missionary couple’s apartment and had Hawaiian Haystacks.  Yummy!!  Had fun Facetiming with a couple of our children and grandchildren.   
Our apartment complex really decorates nice for the holidays.  It is all decorated for the 4th!!
Our apartment looks better in the summer with the banner.
The view out our window of the back of the clubhouse.
Monday was a fun 4th of July.  We were happy to celebrate the birth of our Nation and the freedoms we enjoy compared to much of the world.  We are thankful for that freedom to provide an environment that the Gospel could be restored.  We are thankful for those who have preserved our freedom in the things they did or in their service to provide and protect.  
We started off with a great pancake breakfast at the Little Rock Ward pavilion—lots of people and good food!  Had a pretty quiet afternoon, listened to a patriotic talk by Elder Christofferson about our freedom, how it is under attack, and how we need to protect it by our civic duties, and even took naps.  Went for a drive on our way to Conway where we ate a good barbecue dinner with Brother and Sister Green and two other couples who were their friends in their ward.  He is adjusting to being a new Patriarch and learning his responsibilities.  We had a great visit and ate well (too well!!)!!  Then we went to watch the fireworks for the City of Maumelle at a Senior Couple’s whose apartment backs up to the lake where the fireworks were set off.  It was lots of fun!!

This is a beautiful Pentacostal church all decorated with flags.  They do this every patriotic holiday.  You can see the flags even down the road where the parking lot is.

 Tuesday received 5 new missionary recommends in Outlook, all were sisters, 4 coming in August and one in November.  Also worked on finishing up a Departing Binder for a missionary who left yesterday. 
            Wednesday I worked on a project for Pres. and Sister Wakolo, who wanted information on returned missionaries who had gotten married.  They want to send the new couples wedding gifts and so I had fun tracking them down and talking with their parents who were so happy for their child.  Went to dinner at the Whole Hog—a wonderful barbecue restaurant here in North Little Rock (but they have them all over).  Sure was good!!  Did the laundry and watched a sweet movie on BYUTV.  Jim: One of the additional challenges of working with young missionaries is the lack of practical experience with keeping up with the needs of an apartment. We had one companionship that apparently had a toilet leaking, and rather than do anything about it they just ignored the water running that they could hear.  I got the water bill last week--$600 for using 74,000 gallons of water in one month.  I eventually had the water company go and shut off the water until they got around to having the apartment maintenance man fix it.  That did initiate some action on their part.
            Thursday I spent the whole day creating and mailing letters to the 20 missionaries who will be coming in August, and another to their parents.  Lots of information to be shared.
            Friday I updated charts and the calendar to make sure things were not forgotten.  Did more phoning.  Left the office at 5:30 to go to a Mexican restaurant nearby for dinner, then did the shopping for the week.  Came home and did some of the cleaning which we finished on Saturday. 
            Saturday was fun!  We drove to the Arkansas State Capital building and it was actually pleasant outside, so we walked around the grounds first looking at different memorials.  Then we toured the building.  It was very similar to the Utah State Capital, so was familiar, but its exhibits were all about Arkansas.  What a beautiful state with some really nice state parks and an interesting history.  In the Civil War, most Arkansans fought for the south, but maybe a tenth fought for the north.  Then we went to a small restaurant downtown for lunch, then took a cable car tour of down town Little Rock and North Little Rock.  Came home, did more cleaning, and exercised, and cleaned up and relaxed.
Memorial to Firemen
The Little Rock Nine--brave young people
Jim being carried away by an Eagle

Memorial for all the Arkansas servicemen

The Arkansas State Capital
The chandelier in the center dome

              Also, got word that two of our sister missionaries were in a car accident and are in quite a bit of pain.  They went to the emergency room to be checked over and were released to go home and recover there.  So glad they did not need to be hospitalized for very long.  Pres. and Sister Wakolo were there with them, so that was good.  They are in our prayers, as are all the missionaries.
            Today church was really nice and we picked up Michelle and her grandson that we have been trying to friendship.  She is coming back to the church after many years and much life experience.  We are glad to help her out. She has started to take the lessons and attend church again on a regular basis.
            Love to you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!

Dear Family & Friends,
            Happy 4th of July, everyone!!  Can’t believe that tomorrow is the Fourth!!!  How time is flying by!!!!
            Ok, enough with the exclamation marks.  Last Monday I was busy all day with sending letters and information to missionaries who will be leaving the next Transfer, which is now in 2 weeks.  We also have one missionary who leaves next Saturday, but I got his stuff out last week.  We got some interesting news—a member of the Mission Presidency, Pres. Busbea, was just made a Bishop so Pres. Wakolo will have to get a new Counselor.  Also, Elder Green, who was one of our Trainers when we came, just got called to be the Stake Patriarch in his stake.  He said he and his wife were stunned when their stake president called him and they just sat there with their mouths hanging open—yeah, that would be us, too. Just not a call you expect.  That evening we had FHE together with the other Senior Missionaries in the Office and the Cheneys and watched “The Cokeville Miracle,” such a sad and yet uplifting movie.
            Tuesday we got in two new Missionary Recommends so I processed those.  Also did the letter that goes in the binders for the Departing Missionaries and put it in their folders.  Also shipped a box for one of the missionaries, got one of our printers fixed (hallelujah!), and took care of the usual phone calls and emails.
            Wed. I put all the premade materials in the 13 binders for the Departing Missionaries, worked on assorted other things, but the binders took most of the day.  Did our grocery shopping on the way home, but had to leave an hour early to do it.  Then I made up a batch of chili and a tossed salad, and we had all the Office Senior Missionaries plus the Cheneys over for dinner and visiting.  It was really fun!!  Also had the CO/smoke detectors put in our apartment and they installed them in the other two apartments here, too.  Nice to feel a little safer. 
            Thursday, I helped collect information for “The Leader,” our mission newsletter that comes out at the end of each month, and sent it to the sister who is putting it together.  I am so glad it is not me as I am not good at that stuff and the young sister missionaries are so much better at it!  I worked on several other projects, including going through file drawers and getting rid of old materials that we only need maybe 4 or 5 copies of and have like 20 to 30 copies.  It felt good to clean those out. Jim: Every once in a while I miss-file something and then need to find it later.  Well that happened today.  I searched for an hour looking for this report, and it just wasn’t there, and I had basically given up finding it.  Sister Hartzell seeing my frustration asked if I had prayed about it.  Well I am embarrassed to say that hadn’t even occurred to me. So I humbled myself, had a prayer, and searched one more time, and I found it.  Prayer works, even for office paper work.
            Friday I worked on a variety of projects for both myself and Jim, plus cleaning the women’s bathroom.  I trade off with Sister Cahoon each Friday—so it was her week to dust.  Elder Cahoon’s back has been bothering him for awhile, so Jim and the Office Elders, Elder Phillips and Elder Heidinger, gave him a blessing.  We hope he will feel better as he is crazy busy all day long with car stuff.  We picked up a quick dinner on our way home, then took Sister Cahoon and Hugentobler with us to see the movie, “Independence Day—Resurgence.”  Boy, that was a ton of action and a number of times during the movie when we would think they were basically done and they weren’t.  We had a workout just sitting there!!
            Saturday was a dusting and vacuuming day, exercise (which we also do on Tuesdays and Thursdays), napping, worked on our June budget and it looks good, cleaned up, and met Larry’s family at the movie theater to watch “The BFG.”  It was pretty good with some gooey stuff, some mild rude humor, and some good belly laughs.  We enjoyed it quite well. We said goodbye to Larry, Holly, and the kids as they are leaving for an awesome trip to Utah for 6 weeks stopping at a lot of places along the way there and back.  Larry will be gone for the first part, then come home to work and do other things, then join them again later in the month.  Sounds like they will have a great time but we will miss them!!  Got some dinner on the way home and chilled for the rest of the evening.
            Sunday (today) has been wonderful—enjoyed fasting, Fast and Testimony meeting, our classes, and our wonderful Sunday naps!  We are going to the Cheney’s for dinner, and will talk to the kids and grandkids later.
In RS we talked about the Holy Ghost and how He influences our lives.  Some wonderful stories were told about revelations received when needed, and the feelings the sisters had in various situations.  I am so glad we have felt the power and guidance of the Holy Ghost so many times throughout our lives.  Jim: Today in Priesthood meeting the Elders Quorum President gave the lesson (the Elders and HP meet together each Sunday) and first reminded us of the Conference talk that Pres. Eyring gave last fall about the EQ President who had such success reactivating quorum members because he knew where they washed their trucks.  So we had a discussion about who is regularly missing from the quorums, why, and what should or could be done.  It was a great discussion about “where they wash their truck”. 
            Love you all—

            Elder & Sister Hartzell
Our Senior Missionary Social with President and Sister Wakolo front and center.  She is wearing traditional Fijian dress.