Sunday, August 28, 2016


Our North Little Rock Zone at Zone Conference

All the Senior Couple serving in the Arkansas Zones, including us Office Couples

We are helping the Cahoons do car inspections

President and Sister Wakolo.  They are such wonderful teachers and great examples to us all.

Hodge Podge

Dear Family & Friends,
            There is a big effort in the two local stakes in the Little Rock area to go and help with the clean up after huge flood in Louisiana where thousands of homes and a few of our church buildings were flooded.  From the Little Rock Stake they had 6000 volunteers.  Our son Larry and grandson Gary went down as part of the effort.  They had to take their own tents, food and water to drink and hand tools.  The Little Rock Ward bishop went with his son and reported today that they were mostly ripping out wallboard in the homes that have lost everything. There are areas that have never seen flooding before.  They call it the 1000 year flood.  What a blessing the Church is to these devastated areas, bringing in supplies and labor. New thought, there is a sister and her grandson we have been picking up to take to church each Sunday.  It is exciting to see her growth in returning to activity after many years of non-attendance.   One of the missionaries spoke today in Sacrament meeting and talked about how important the family is in God’s plan for us.  We are so impressed with the young missionaries and their ability they have developed to speak on great topics like this one.   
Last Sunday after our church meetings, we rested and ate dinner, and we watched part of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics, and this past week, from time to time, I have watched various events on my iPad Mini.  I continue to enjoy the wonderful athletes and their hard work and dedication that has brought them together.  Most of the athletes are peaceful and helpful with each other, but sadly some countries still do not get along with other countries.  I feel that the Olympics are one place that people show that they can be above their country’s politics.  I am one of those that can cheer for the other team if they make a good play, and feel that sportsmanship means more than championship.  Ok, that’s my 1 cent worth!
            Last Sunday we also had good phone visits with Christi and Shawn and their family.  Monday Jim was busy with bed bug issues most of the day, and bill paying.  Some missionaries had to be moved out of their apartments because the bugs kept coming back.  So he is looking for new apartments.  I worked on letters to get out and some projects for Sister Wakolo and for Jim.  In the evening we had a nice phone visit with Brent on his way home from work, and later with Shelley and cute little Maxwell—he can’t talk yet but can smile and laugh and coo!!  Love it!!
            We have been praying for Senior Couple recommendations to come, so each Tuesday I eagerly look for them.  We did get two young sister missionaries’ recommends, but no couples yet.  Please pray for us!!  If we don’t get them, then the young missionaries have to come into the Office and work and can’t do their regular missionary work.  I love that we are here so that they don’t have to be.  It is fun when the missionaries tell us about their grandparents who have served, but as far as I know none of their grandparents are serving currently.  They sure appreciate us and we are glad to be here!!  I also completed three Mission Memories binders, and we had a Staff meeting in the afternoon.  We exercised in the evening and cut up fresh peaches to freeze—these are local and delicious!  I do miss our Utah peaches, but these are good, too.
            Wednesday was busy with more Office letter stuff, went to Sam’s Club for food for the Mission Leader Conference on Thursday (MLC), and in the evening the Cahoons took us to dinner at Cheddars in Little Rock to thank us for helping them with the cars last week.  The food was delicious!!  Came back to the apartment and played some “Lucky Unders” (thank you, Halversens, that is one of our favorite games) with the Cahoons, and when they left, watched some TV while doing 2 loads of laundry, and went to bed.
            Thursday was the MLC and we had the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in meetings in our building all day.  Jim and I went and picked up the Chick-fil-A chicken to go with the salad and grapes and cookies and chips we served them for lunch.  Then I sent letters to them congratulating them on their new assignments, and send email copies to their parents, bishops, and stake presidents.  So proud of these great young men and women!!  We also got a new Office Elder.  Elder Heidinger was made a ZoneLeader, and Elder Lindstrom is the new companion to Elder Boggess.
            Friday was a hodge-podge day.  I did a little of this and a little of that.  Jim reports that you can see some desk top surface, which is a good sign that he finally got caught up with missing the two days last week.  Most of my projects I had to do this week were done, so I did clean-up kinds of things.  I am trying to make a new desk manual to help the person who replaces me be able to know what to do.  I know, I have a year before that will happen, but we never know what will happen and I want to be ready just in case.  The Assistants were in the Office and working on the Transfer lists some more, especially trying to figure out rides to and from the Temple.  Because there are a lot of changes this time, a lot of missionaries are having to be moved around and it has to be all well thought out by the Assistants.  It was fun watching them go over stuff and figure out more things that needed to be done.  They are really hard workers!!  For my Japanese friends, oteskare sama des (probably misspelled it!)
Did our grocery shopping, went home, put our feet up and relaxed!
            Saturday we vacuumed, dusted, read and answered emails, napped, exercised, and did assorted other things, including watching more Olympics.  Felt we had accomplished a lot!
            The miracle I will tell you about happened to one of our Senior couples.  Two weeks ago when we had all that rain this couple and two elders had gone to teach a part-member family.  The road crosses over a small creek and has never been a problem.  When they were done teaching and driving home, they came to the creek and it was a bigger stream, but they still tried to cross it, in their SUV.  It whipped their car around and had them going down backwards for about 500 yards.  They wisely put down their windows, and when the car was stopped by a tree, they climbed out onto the roof.  Except for the sister, who went down into the water.  One of the elders grabbed on to her arm and promised he wouldn’t let go.  Her husband came to that side of the car and grabbed her other arm and together they pulled her up on the roof.  They were able to go down the other side of the car and get onto solid ground.  They walked back to the people’s house and were well-taken care of and given dry clothes and a place to sleep.  The next day the creek was small and they were driven into town and are renting a car while their old one was finally towed out of the creek and is totaled.  So now they are looking for a new car.  I asked the sister how she felt and she said that though she was afraid, she felt calm and peaceful and knew that whatever the Lord wanted was fine with her.  We are glad He helped her to live and be safe.  What a wonderful miracle!!
            We love you all and pray for miracles in your lives,
            Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rain, rain, go away!

Dear Family and Friends,
            Because I ended last week’s blogpost with what happened last Monday, I will start this week’s with Tuesday.  Got a few mosquito bites on Monday and woke up during the night itching away.  I put Aloe Vera on them, but it didn’t help.  So got out some Benadryl cream and that was a little better.  Poor Lily also got a lot of mosquito bites while she was here, all over her legs and arms.  No fun!!
            We received two Missionary Recommendations in our mission email and I processed both of those.  Also worked on the Departure Books, but I am going to change the name of them because of a letter I send out to them before they come that tells them they will receive a “Mission Memories” book at the end of their mission.  I like that much better!  Had a good phone visit with a senior couple who will be the next Mission Nurse.  He is the one who will do it, and she will serve with him.  They had lots of questions and I was happy to answer them.  They won’t be here until next January.  Got my hair cut, we went to Sam’s Club for Gatorade for the two Zone Conferences, watched the Olympics, and went to bed at 10:15 (early for us).
            Wednesday was the Zone Conference for the 3 Arkansas Zones.  We had a group photo taken and will send out a copy when we get it.  We would have gone in for the meetings, but we had told the Cahoons we would help them examine and evaluate cars, so we spent the morning doing that.  We look for cleanliness inside and out, for dings and scratches and dents, and we check all the paperwork in their glovebox to make sure they have the car registration, insurance papers, accident report papers, their gas record book, and the owner’s manual.  Most had everything, but not all.  One was even missing their car registration which is a big no-no!  Also checked the fluid levels in the engine and left their hoods up if they needed to add more windshield washer fluid or radiator coolant.  Our Little Rock Ward provided a delicious pulled-pork lunch with beans, salad, apples, and brownies.  So Good!!!  After lunch we had informational meetings about the care of cars, the need for the Emergency contact information to be in each apartment and current (that is where the missionaries go in case of an emergency), and assorted other stuff.  Elder and Sister Thompson talked about bed bugs—so many missionaries have them and are sharing them with each other.  We have professionals come in and spray, the Office Elders also go spray, and the missionaries have to do a lot of work to wash and double drying clothes and bedding, and vacuuming, and clean really good.  Some keep getting reinfected.  I feel so bad for them as the bed bug bites itch and look bad.  I was also able to get letters out to new missionaries (and their parents) who will be coming in October.  We ended up not leaving the office until 7:00 p.m., had a quick dinner, and watched Olympics.
            Thursday we drove a mission car from a dealership right by our apartment to Memphis for the Zone Conference that was held for the two zones in Tennessee.  We helped check cars there, too, had a delicious lunch of burritos and taco salad, and similar meetings to what we had on Wed.  Because the Cahoons needed to talk to a lot of the missionaries about their cars and give them the fluids for their engines, so we finally left about 5:30 and got home about 8:00.  We rode back with the Cahoons and had a lot of laughs from the nonstop stories he tells. The Cahoons’ apartment kitchen, part of their living room, and one bedroom flooded the night before because the apartment upstairs had a flooding from their washer hose, but don’t know if it was the dishwasher or clothes washer.  So they have had fans going, and a dehumidifier constantly since then.  After we got home, we ate a light dinner and fell asleep watching the Olympics.
            This whole week we have had rain everyday most of the day.  Friday was overcast all day but not much rain.  The nice thing is the temperatures have been in the high 70’s and mid 80’s, so that is much nicer, but with tons of humidity.  Dusted the Office, sent out more letters, worked on Mission Memories binders, updated the calendar with changes the president wanted made, and sent it out to everyone.  I am learning how to take care of iPads.  Sister Cahoon usually does it, but she and her husband are leaving the end of September.  We also have the Cheneys leaving in September, and 3 other couples leaving in October!!  And no new senior couple recommendations coming in!!  We are desperate.  We will have to take full-time young missionaries out of the field to work in the office, and wards that need senior couples will just not have them.  Please, if any of you are considering a mission, please send in your application/recommendation and request Arkansas Little Rock.  We would love to have you!!!!  Jim was really busy in the office today due to missing the last two days, and would have stayed later, but IMOS financial went down at 6pm so we left about 5:45.  Got Arby’s for dinner and ate at the Office, then went to the store for food and home to watch the Olympics
            Saturday we cleaned our bathrooms and kitchen, I recorded receipts for our budget, sent out the blogpost from last week, Jim stopped at a farmer’s market for fresh food and went to the Office for an hour to get caught up on stuff from being gone two days this week, it poured rain all day (some Little Rock natives have said this is the most they have had at one time ever!!).  Good day for staying inside and watching-----the Olympics!!!! 
            Sunday, we enjoyed church and good talks, lessons, and seeing good people.  Took Michelle and her grandson Caleb with us.  They really enjoy going to church and meet with the sister missionaries once a week.  Her daughter, Caleb’s mom, isn’t interested.  School started on Monday so Caleb told us all about it.  Our own Gary, Bram and Harper started and they sent out fun first-day-of-school photos.  We have seen a lot from friends on Facebook, too.  Sure is a good time of the year.  The unusual thing that happened today was this bright object appeared in the eastern sky and tracked across the skyline all day, people call it the Sun.  We had almost forgotten what it looked and felt like.
            We are including photos today that I forgot to post last week.  Oops!!
            Have a great week and we love you all!!

            Elder & Sister Hartzell
Harper and Lily have fun together
Larry and Christi enjoying games with their girls
Shawn enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap
Our Senior missionary dinner group:  The Rasmussens, the Cahoons, Sister Hugentobler, the Cheneys, and us

Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 15, 2016 Boyles came to visit!!

Dear Family & Friends,
            Last Sunday night Larry, Holly, and the children came over to dinner.  They were late because they had found that a leak in the roof that was supposed to be fixed wasn’t so they had some water to clean up.  It rained all day.  I served Beef Stroganoff and salad and rolls, and Holly brought a chocolate cookie pie and ice cream for dessert.  It was very cozy and fun to all be together.  After dinner, Jim showed the family how to do some Family History on the computer.  They also told us about their big trip—they had a great time visiting many places in South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, including lots of family, and then home.  We watched some Olympics, had good visits with Christi and her family, and with Shelley.  It’s a Sunday night tradition that we love.
            Monday was a busy day with an assortment of letters to write, emails to take care of, stuff to print up, Departure Books to start to assemble, etc.  In the evening we went out to dinner with the Cahoons, Sister Hugentobler, the Cheneys, and the Rasmussens.  We went to a delicious Chinese buffet in Maumelle, then home to watch more Olympics.  They have lots of commercials, so I look up some of the lesser known venues and watch them on my iPad.  Quite fun actually!  Also Monday was our oldest grandchild’s birthday—Lucas Boyles turned 14!!  Can’t believe we have been grandparents for 14 years!!
            Tuesday was also busy with various projects, and in the afternoon we had our Office Staff meeting.  Sister Wakolo wasn’t feeling well so she didn’t come.  Jim had a special meeting after the staff meeting with the new stake housing specialist and President Wakolo to discuss our bed bug challenges.  There Went home at 4:30 to fix leftovers of the Beef Stroganoff for our Office Elders—Heidinger and Boggess.  We had plenty!!  It was nice to get to know them a little better.  Elder Heidinger is from Alberta, Canada, but I can’t remember where Elder Boggess is from.  They left to go work at the Office some more, and we had a nice evening.
            Wednesday was my mom’s 111th birthday and it was good to think about her during the day.  I dropped Jim off at the Office and went to my annual physical at Dr. Riley’s, which is only about a mile or so from the Office.  I think everything is fine—but don’t have the bloodwork results back yet.  Another busy day with lots to do.
            Thursday we reversed and Jim dropped me off and went for his physical.  We cleaned our bathrooms at the church because we didn’t want to come in on Friday.  Our daughter Christi and her husband Shawn and their family traveled from Austin, TX, up to Little Rock.  We tracked their progress on Waze!!  Isn’t it wonderful!!  We don’t have to wonder where they are.  They came directly to the Office where we showed them around and they met all the Office Missionaries, Senior and Junior.  It was fun to show them around.  Then we all left to drive to Larry & Holly’s for dinner and visiting and fun being together.
            Friday I did not feel well so had to stay home and take it easy.  Jim got to go to the waterpark in Hot Springs with both families, except for Larry who was doing surgeries.  It was a hot day so the water and two rain storms helped keep them cooled off. They had a wonderful time and ate dinner at Larry’s Pizza.  He didn’t get home until 10:00.  I had a nice quiet day of napping and watching TV (Olympics) and reading.  Didn’t eat hardly anything.

            Saturday I felt much better and we cleaned the apartment, went shopping at Walmart, and the families brought over pulled pork and corn on the cob which we heated up and ate in shifts.  Then we all went over to the big TV room in the Clubhouse (there are 20 recliners, some of which have massages that work.  So we watched an old movie called “Fievel Goes West” (very cute) and ate chips, popcorn, soda, and had a fun time.  Then we packed everything up and went to Larry & Holly’s and played games, got fried chicken at Slim Chickens (delicious), more TV, games, and played Disney Charade which was hilarious!! 
            Sunday we all went to Pinnacle Mountain Ward and heard some good talks.  My favorite was the young man who spoke about being with friends and trying to decide which movie to go see, but they were all R rated.  In his head he heard his mother’s voice, “Remember who you are.”  So he and a friend went and did something else.  So proud of him to stay true to his values. 
Afterwards we came home and took naps, then went back to Larry and Holly’s for games and for dinner—fajitas and lots of sides.  We sure have eaten well!!!!! 

Then we watched Ameicas Funniest Videos, Olympics, children’s Bible video, had FHE, put the young ones to bed, also Gary and Bram as they started school the next day, and we played Phase 10, a family favorite.  Then we said goodbye to everyone, especially Christi & Shawn and family as they were leaving the next morning, and we headed home.
            Monday worked on Departing Books again, the calendar, talked to my sister Lois, fell asleep on the couch where I was talking to her, then was able to visit with Sister Wakolo who stopped by for awhile, and we had a surprise visit from Sister Green.  They are doing well and have a couple of trips coming up.  Always fun to see them.  Tracked Christi and Shawn’s progress home and they got there about 5:30.  It rained all day, and looks like that will continue every day this week and next.  No wonder it’s so green here!!  We left the Office and went to see the latest Bourne movie, “Jason Bourne.”  Lots of action.  Came home to rest up and watch all the action on the Olympics. 
            Some thoughts from the missionaries:  Talking about the wars in Alma and how it hardened some people and made others humble he said, “It’s like boiling an egg and a potato together.  They’re both boiled in the same water but the egg gets harder and the potato gets softer.  I want to be a potato”
            Another missionary said, “As we were walking to a less-actives home, a woman in a car that was parked rolled down her window and asked if we were Mormons.  When we said yes she proceeded to tell us that the Elders are teaching her cousin.  Then something miraculous happened.  She asked if we could come by and teach her and her children because ‘they need it.’  It’s my understanding that these things don’t just happen.  This woman is ready to hear it.  We can’t wait to meet with her!”
            It so great to hear about the missionaries and their experiences.
            It was a great week!!
            Love to you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

Monday, August 8, 2016

August Begins

Dear Family & Friends,
            Monday, August 1, was another busy day at the Office.  Started work on a new project, asking the stake Relief Societies to collect some things to put in gift bags for the missionaries for Christmas.  They did this two years ago so we should get some good stuff.  Had phone visits with some of the children, which is always fun!  Went to a movie, “Star Trek Beyond” and really enjoyed it!!
            Tuesday was a pretty quiet day and worked on letters all day.  Was able to exercise in the evening.
            Wednesday started putting Departure Books together.  We have 4 missionaries who are leaving early because of school starting, so I have to get those done.  Also went to Larry’s to take care of their dog, talked to my sister Lois, and in the evening was able to get all the laundry done.  Some of our missionaries are dealing with bed bugs and we are trying to help them do the right things to get rid of them.  We have had to put some in hotels until their apartments can be sprayed and the missionaries go in and do all the cleanup and then try to spray as soon as they see anything.  Jim: There seems to be several issues going on that contribute to the problem: some missionaries don’t report the problem until it gets really bad; some don’t do all they are asked to do to get rid of the bugs; some bugs have a lot of places to hide and are hard to get rid of; and some get transmitted unwittingly from exchanges.  We are trying to address all these issues.  By the end of the week things seemed to be getting better, at least no new reports.  There are 7 apartments right now that have had or have problems we are dealing with.
            Thursday we had a nice visit in the Office with Sister Wakolo.  She is such a sweetheart and love us and the missionaries so much.  We were able to eat Chicken Teriyaki for lunch, which she provided for the young missionaries and there was enough for all of us Office staff, too.  I worked on the calendar to make sure I was putting in all the stuff for the next Transfer without duplicating things that were only needed for this Transfer.  I usually check it over several days to make sure I don’t miss anything.  Because it goes over a 6-week period, I often will compare the wrong weeks of the Transfers and then have to fix it!!  I sent out letters to the missionaries who won’t be here until October but going into the MTC the end of this month because they will learn Spanish.  If I don’t get their letters out now, they won’t have time to send stuff back before they go in the MTC.  Jim: About once a week I have to go to the bank and make a deposit, an easy 2 mile drive, usually for a refund check for one thing or another.  This is so different than in Tokyo where I had to go daily to the local bank and several times a week by train to the main bank.  This is much easier. One of the highlights for me spiritually each day is our morning office staff meeting, with a spiritual thought and a prayer. One of the things that is different for this mission is the extra meeting we attend.  In Tokyo we had weekly district meetings to attend and every 6 weeks a couple of zone meetings we attended.  They were wonderful times to really feel the spirit and to enjoy hearing from our Mission president and his wife. Here we just attend the quarterly single zone meeting for our zone, which has just been one so far, the next is in a couple weeks.  I miss that spiritual lift.  But then I don’t miss staying at the office the next few days in Tokyo until 9:30 or 10 pm catching up.  So be careful what you wish for.
            Friday did all the dusting, then had to put together a Departure Book for a missionary who is leaving after only two Transfers.  Don’t know the circumstances but we are sad to lose her so quickly!  Went over to take care of Sammie, finished up some projects, went shopping at the store, went home, and enjoyed very much the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.  I admit it—I am an Olympicaholic!!!  It is wonderful to see the world come together to participate in so many different athletic events.  Such hope for a better world!!
            Saturday was a cleaning day here at the apartment, watching Olympics, watching the rain pour down most of the day, watching more Olympics, going shopping, eating, and watching more Olympics!!
            Today I am fasting from food and the Olympics (until after dinner!!)J  Really enjoyed testimony meeting—such a variety of testimonies and so much love being expressed and felt.  SS & RS were both good, too.  We are in such a nice ward.  Now to have a nice Sunday nap, and Holly and the kids got back Friday night so we are having them to dinner!!  It will be crowded at our little table, but so fun!!
            Love to you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell