Sunday, September 25, 2016

Variety of Activities

Dear Family & Friends,
            Last Sunday evening we had the Cahoons over for dinner and really enjoyed eating, visiting, and playing games.  We will surely miss them when they leave this next Friday!!  We also visited with Joseph and his children, Christi and her kids, and Shelley. 
            Monday I ordered iPads for the missionaries due to come in October 11th and got them late in the week—boy!  That was fast!!  Also worked on phone numbers in our email/text-to-phone address book.  That took most of the day.  We visited with Brent on his way home from work, ate a quick dinner at home, then went to see the movie, “Sully.”  It was a great movie and so glad we took the time to see it.
            Tuesday, Wed., and Thurs. the Cahoons were gone to Memphis so it was quieter than usual.  Sister H was with us Tuesday but left Wed. at noon to fly to SLC for a granddaughter’s wedding on Friday.  I got letters out to the October missionaries who are in the MTC now, worked on Mission Memories binders.  The best news was we hit the jackpot—3 Senior couples came in our email!!!  Hooray!!!  One come in October and will be here for 6 months, one will be our new Office Couple.  They will come the middle of December and be here for 18 months.  One comes in February and will stay a year.  We are so thrilled!!!!! 
            So Wednesday I processed the recommends, finishing them on Thursday.  Lots to do to get them all done.  I took some packages to the post office to be mailed, then went to get my hair cut.  Sent out some letters, took care of some phone calls and emails.  In the evening did the laundry.
            Thursday was weird with everyone gone except Jim and me.  We worked all day on a variety of things.  I did a lot of printing of things like our Mission History that goes in the binders.  We have been a mission for 41 years.  Last year President Wakolo was in charge of a big mission anniversary party and several previous mission presidents and missionaries came to celebrate, too.  It is fun to look at those photos.  Also had a good visit with a cousin who just found out she has breast cancer and will have a “new normal” for the next year of varying treatments.  Our prayers go out to her that she will make it through with as little discomfort as possible.
            Friday the Cahoons were back and it was good to have them back in the Office.   I cleaned the women’s restroom and dusted, and Jim cleaned the men’s restroom as he does every Friday.  I took a lot of media orders for Sister H, typed up the Departure letters that are to be put in their binders, and worked on my calendar for the next two months.  At 10:30 Jim & I drove to our grandkids’ elementary school and had lunch with Harper at 11:15 and Bram at 12:15.  We also went with them to the Book Fair where we bought some books for them and for Gary (they got to choose theirs).  We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, did our grocery shopping, and went home to relax.  I started sucking on Coldeze as I felt a cold coming on.

            Saturday I continued with the Coldeze and still felt good enough to attend Bram’s game (he played well but they still lost), did vacuuming and dusting at home, did budget stuff, took naps, cleaned up, and left at 4:30 to pick up Michelle and take her out to dinner.  We went to Applebees and enjoyed good food.  Then we went to the church to eat some cheesecake (lots of different kinds), and watch the broadcast of Women’s Session of General Conference.  I had to leave early to go pick up Sister Hugentobler.  Her plane was late coming in, but we got home fine.  She is suffering from laryngitis!!
            Today I did not feel good so stayed home from church.  Jim went.  I took naps and read and watched some BYUTV (thank heavens for that!!).  It made me sad not to partake of the sacrament and join in the fellowship of the Saints, and also sad because I wasn’t up to going to Bram’s 10th birthday celebration.  I am glad I got to give him a big hug on Friday! 

            Hope you are all well and happy!

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Ides of September

Dear Family and Friends,
            Last Monday was a “butterfly” day—I flitted from one project to another.  I did finish a couple of them, but others are ongoing.  Sister Wakolo came into the Office in the afternoon for a little while to do some of her own work.  Had some mosquito bites that kept me awake at night until not only put the anti-itch medicine on them but also put a band aid over them and that made a big difference!!  Heard that Julie had a successful surgery.  Also learned that some cousins had a son who committed suicide.  Our hearts ache for them!!
            Tuesday no new Recommendations came in.  I typed up a bunch of Release Certificates and the accompanying Stake President’s letters for the missionaries leaving in October.  Put them in envelopes and got them in the mail.  We also got our flu shots to get ready for the coming winter.
            Wednesday I did more letters in the morning, then spent the afternoon trying to update several different things.  The Assistants came in at 4:00 to work on stuff.  This week are Specialized Zone Trainings, and each zone has its own day.  So this week is Tuesday, Wed., and Thursday.  And next week will be Tuesday and Wed.  The Cahoons are gone on those days inspecting cars and giving some training.  We are grateful the senior couples in each of those zones pitch in to help.  It goes so much faster that way, especially with the heat and humidity that even in the mornings is almost unbearable!  We went to Sam’s Club after work and bought a lot of water and granola bars for the Office.  Did our laundry at home.
            Thursday I worked on the Mission History, put together a Departure “Mission Memories” binder for a sister who is leaving early.  They don’t tell us why and we don’t ask, but I only had an hour to get it done and ready for the elders to take with them to Memphis.  I only went 10 minutes over!  Had a couple of phone calls from parents about different things and was able to help them out, plus some emails.  When I type up the stake president letters, I “share” them with the parents and bishops, and often get sweet responses of appreciation from them.  Said a final “goodbye” to Elder and Sister Cheney.  They have been some of the workhorses of the mission—taking lots of photos, inspecting apartments and teaching Apartment Advisors how to do it correctly, helping with the dinners at the Mission Home, etc.  They were here for 18 months and really made a difference.  Now they go home and visit their children and grandchildren.  Exercised in the evening.
            Friday, we did cleaning, worked on more letters, Sister Wakolo came in and worked on some of her own projects, I went and got pizza and root beer for the Office and it was fun to sit and eat and talk and laugh at Elder Cahoon’s and others’ stories.  I love the companionship of the other people in the Office.  I also did some filing for Jim, and learned more about taking care of iPads.  They are such an important part of the mission now.  Did some shopping on the way home and fell asleep watching a movie.  Woke up, backed it up, finished it, and went to bed!
            From Jim: This has been a very busy week for me.  Usually Monday is the busiest day of the week, well this week I had three Mondays.  There is a lot going on with apartments, opening, closing, and renewing. On Wednesday I realized that half of the month was gone and I still had 5 apartments that I hadn’t addressed yet that are due for renewal by the 30th.  I also receive monthly a financial statement of operations for the mission and there were several line items that we were well over budget, so I had to do an analysis and make recommendations on some reallocation from other accounts that we are doing very well in.  I am really going to miss the Cheneys, besides being great folks, they have been helping me keep up with the apartment issues.  There is no one to replace them, so that means I get to take over the coordination with the 5 couples that do the inspections in the 5 stakes here, and the coordination with the office elders to do the assignments.  Elder Cheney did some of the repairs on vacuum cleaners also, and they did the inspections for one of the zones.  We have been waiting for another couple to be called from the Little Rock Stake to replace the work done by the Cheneys.  I just heard they called a couple so I will need meet and train them. I cannot believe how quickly the weeks run by.  We are looking forward to general conference in a couple of weeks, really it has been 6 months already since the last, wow.  What a blessing it is to have the scriptures we do, and to hear from living prophets and apostles that live today.  Their insight and “seership” is such a blessing to us as we live in a very troubled world with shifting values and leaders with questionable values.
            Saturday was the usual cleaning, budgeting, taking care of a potted mum we bought for Fall, going to a soccer game for Gary, exercising, having Holly and the kids over for dinner (they picked up Chick-fil-A on their way), and then swimming in our apartment pool.  We all had such a good time!!
            Today was a wonderful Sabbath Day and we got to attend Larry and Holly’s ward and watch the Primary program.  It was great and we are so proud of our grandchildren!  Enjoyed the other meetings, too.  Had a good discussion in RS about honesty and being kind.  Lots of different examples and experiences.  There were many different situations that required the guidance of the Holy Ghost in how to handle them.  So grateful we have the gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives.

            Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,
            Today is 9/11, a significant day in our memory of pain, sorrow, loss, and sadness in a world where hate runs so rampant with so many people who are Muslim jihadists.  It has been hard to see the Middle East have so many wars and so much killing.  You would think that we could show more love for each other, but even in this country there is more hate shown than love, at least by the media.  There is a lot of love out there, like all the help in Louisiana but is it on the news?  Nope!! We pray for peace and love. For God is love and without God there is no love.
            Last Monday, Labor Day, we still worked in the Office.  But we left for work early and met the Cahoons at The Waffle House for breakfast.  It is a tiny place and they served big breakfasts but had a limited menu—only 4 choices for waffles.  It was good but not quite good enough to go back.  Then we went to the Office where I wrote letters, answered emails, worked on the calendar, talked with the missionaries who were there for their P-day, and assorted other things.  Jim: I thought that maybe because there was no mail and the Salt Lake finance office was closed, that this might be a lighter Monday.  Well so much for thinking.  It was just as busy as ever, and I didn’t get caught up like I had hoped.   Pat:  We left at 5:00 to pick up dessert and drive to Larry and Holly’s for a wonderful sloppy Joe dinner, talked with the kids about school, and played games.  After Holly put Harper to bed, the rest of us watched “Star Trek—Into Darkness” on a projector TV system that Larry had borrowed.  It was good!  Best was that we could have it up loud and not bother the neighbors!!
            Tuesday worked on Leadership Letters all day and finally got them all done.  Got one missionary recommend in the mail for a young missionary coming in January.  We had Staff Meeting but Pres. and Sis. Wakolo weren’t there because he had had an injection and didn’t feel well at all and she stayed home to care for him.  So he asked Jim to conduct the meeting and it was short and sweet.  Sister Cahoon spent time teaching Jim how to take care of phones and me how to take care of iPads—both jobs that she is doing now and we will do when she leaves.  I don’t know how we will have time for them, but the Lord will provide.  We all went to dinner at the New Asian Buffet in Maumelle to honor Elder and Sister Cheney who will leave our mission next Friday.  We enjoyed lots of good food (too much!!) and enjoyed visiting.  
Farewell dinner at the New Asian Buffet for the Cheneys
We took turns talking to Brent on his way home from work.  Went home and finished a movie and tried to exercise a little walking in place, but I shouldn’t have as it didn’t leave me feeling good.  Talked to Shelley and Stewart, and Stew told us about his baptism!!  He was so excited and said he felt so good!!!
            Wednesday I processed the one missionary recommend, send out letters to the parents of missionaries departing in October, made lots of copies of pages that go in various things, came home and did laundry, and even watched an old movie called “Phenomenon” starring John Travolta.  It is a food movie and I cried at the end.  Jim: I have apartment folders all over my desk.  Some opening, some closing, some some renewing.
            Thursday I started working on the Mission Memories books of both the Cheneys and Cahoons, plus sending letters and certificates to their stake presidents.  I also ordered the travel for the missionaries who will be leaving in November, got another set of letters printed, envelopes made, stamped and ready for pickup.  We have a great mailman named Johnny who is very active in his own church and loves to do stuff with his one grandson whom he talks about all the time.  He is so sweet and we love to visit with him when he comes in.  Helped Jim go through lots of apartment contracts and file other things in his office.  Did a quick run for some Pineapple Whip that is in a tiny stand near us and is soooooo good!!  After work I ate while Jim went for his walk, then he ate, we watched TV, and I exercised walking in place.  Not as good but I get to watch my dance show that gets me going.
            Friday Pres. & Sister Wakolo are doing so much better and came into the Office to spend the day with us.  They sat and read and visited and answered questions and ate lunch with us and it was great!!  We were supposed to clean the bathrooms, and sweet Sister Cahoon and Elder Cahoon got there early and took care of our jobs and theirs, too.  We love them!!  The Wakolos left at 3:00 and Sister H left at 3:30 to drive to Hot Springs, and we all left at 3:50 to go to a 4:00 movie called “Greater” about a University of Arkansas football player named Branden Burlsworth, who was not a natural at playing football but wanted to so badly that he did everything they asked him to do that he went from a walk-on to a scholarship player his Freshman year.  And he did it while staying true to his faith in God and studying his scriptures and not drinking, etc.  It was an inspiring, uplifting story and we all cried at the end!!  Please go see it if you get the chance.  It is an inspiring as “Rudy.”
            One funny story—so about two weeks ago Sister Cahoon lost her keys.  We all looked everywhere, they looked all over their car and apartment, the keys were nowhere to be found.  On Friday all of a sudden Sister Cahoon says loudly, “I found my keys!!” (holding them up from her purse).  She says over and over how she had been through her purse at least 3 times, taking everything out, dumping it out upside down and no keys, and now, suddenly they were in her purse. Boy, was she doing the dance of joy!!  When she told Elder Cahoon, his response was a little subdued and then she remembered a previous time of lost keys—he had lost his truck keys and was sure she had them in her purse, but she didn’t and they looked for several days.  Then one day he asks her to check her purse AGAIN and see if they were there—and this time they were!!  She couldn’t believe it and kept shaking her head and denying that they had been there.  Then she realized that he must have put them there!!  Sure enough, he had found them in another pair of his pants and put them in her purse to “blame” her!!  She was furious with him then, and now she realized he had done it to her again!!!  Turns out he had found them in a cup holder of a car they had taken to the body shop to prepare it to sell.  When he went to pick it up on Friday, he saw them, snuck them into her purse, and waited for her to “find” them there.  Oh, she was furious again and kept hitting his arm (it looked worse than it was!!)  They love to “get” each other.  I am glad that Elder Hartzell and I don’t do that to each other—I don’t think I could take the strain!!  Elder Cahoon has Elder Hartzell laughing a lot at his funny stories, and he will be greatly missed.  They will often talk together for awhile, then they will take a “work break.”  After we got home Elder Hartzell had a phone message about an apartment issue and went back to the office for about an hour.
            Saturday we went to the Farmers Market at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, bought some fresh produce, and took a tour of the old orphanage.  It is a huge building built in 1908, 3-stories and a full basement, mostly empty now.  They also had Elder care.  
It has a beautiful old chapel with stained glass windows (painted really),
and even has beds in a number of the rooms for summer camps and retreats. 

One guy lives there in one of the simple rooms—it is the CEO of Heifer International!! 
They try to do things simply and he decided to live a simple life.  Most impressive!!  When you think about what those nuns did for all those years to help kids, and some elder care also, living a very simple, but very busy life it is very inspiring.   Afterwards, we went to the Office for about a hour, then Arbys for lunch, then shopped at Kroger, went home and did the vacuuming and dusting, paid bills, exercised and cleaned up, and met Larry and Holly and kids at the movie to see “Pete’s Dragon.”  It was good and we all enjoyed it.  Found out that our grandson, Gary, is having problems with his feet, growth related we think, and we are praying for him.  Got home in time to watch the last 10 minutes of the BYU/UofU football game.  What a heartbreaker for us!!  And nailbiter celebration for them!!  19-20!!
            Today has been a beautiful day—so cool this morning I almost put a sweater on.  Picked up Michelle and Caleb, enjoyed church, heard a homecoming talk of an Elder Smith who just got home from the Utah Ogden/Logan mission.  Gave a wonderful talk!!  Enjoyed the classes especially RS about President Hunter’s messages about families and couples working together to teach their children.  So glad I had such a wonderful husband to lead the way. Jim: actually I was just trying to keep up with my amazing wife.
            Got word that a dear cousin, Julie, has breast cancer and will have surgery tomorrow (Monday) and treatments to start in October.  We have her in our prayers along with other members of our family and friends who have lots of different struggles.  We have quite the list when we pray and all are important to us.
            We love you all and pray you will have a great week!!
            Elder and Sister Hartzell

Sunday, September 4, 2016

August 2016 Transfer Week

Dear Family and Friends,
            Transfer Week was a success!!  And we have lived to tell the tale!!
            Last Sunday several ward members came back from helping in Louisiana at about 2:00 a.m. and still came to church.  Other members are still there.  They reported that there was great destruction and lots of stuff that had to be gathered and put out to the curbs for trucks to pick up and haul away.  It is considered a 1,000 year flood!  Our son Larry and his son Gary went down and participated in the relief effort.  They often had to cut out wallboard up to the floodline, leaving just the studs to hopefully dry out so the studs can continue to be used and new wallboard put up.  They posted photos on Facebook and we are very proud of the work they did!!
            And last Sunday evening we were able to have good phone visits with Joseph, Christi, and Shelley.  It is fun to keep up on things that they are doing. 
            Monday was Stewart’s 8th birthday.  I got to the Office and had to get another “Mission Memories” book together for a missionary who was going home one transfer early.  Worked on emails, helped missionaries who came into the office to email their parents, and lots were around to play basketball.  The Cahoons were gone to the temple in Memphis, so Sister H and Elder Hartzell and I held the office together.  We worked until 3:00, then we drove to the Mission Home to start working on dinner.  We put in the ham and the potato casserole (already prepared) to cook, then made the green bean casserole, cut up melons, made and cooked brownies, made a spinach salad, set the tables, and got stuff ready to eat.  Sister Wakolo finished the Cookie Salad when she arrived, and the Cheneys, Cahoons, and Sister H arrived about 5:30 to help finish things up.  Sister Wakolo buys all the food and prepares it for us cook and finish up.  We don’t know when she ever sleeps.  Brent called during dinner, so Jim and I took turns talking to him.  After dinner, we cleaned up the kitchen, put away food, and left about 7:50.  Came home, put our feet up, watched TV and went to bed.
            Tuesday we had no new missionary recommendations come in—not for new or Senior missionaries.  I worked on emails, plus got photos of the Departing Missionaries from Elder Cheney so sent those with letters to the missionaries themselves and their families.  It feels so good to do those!!  Jim & I spent two hours in his office entering all the transfer changes, which we saved and will submit on Wed.  We left at 4:00 to go to the church to help with the dinner for the Arriving Missionaries.  We had 21 come in (one was a missionary who came back after going home to heal from an injury), and had at least one or two trainers for each of them, so we had 78 for dinner!!  We ate Chicken Teriyaki, rice, tossed salad, cookie salad, rolls and water.  All delicious!!  We cleaned up and left by 7:50, and put our feet up at home to relax and recover.
From left to right--The Cheneys, Sister Hartzell, Pres. Wakolo, Elder Cahoon, and Sister Wakolo at the Senior Table
            Wed. we got up early (5 a.m.) and left by 6:00 to go to the chapel and help with breakfast.  We cooked sausage, Sister Wakolo brought scrambled eggs that she had made (don’t know what time she got up—4:00?!!), and had bagels, cream cheese, cereal, and milk.  After we ate and cleaned up, we gave our presentations to the new missionaries and their companions.  Mine was about keeping the Office informed of changes in the contacts at home, sending stuff back in promptly, turning in their baptism paperwork completely filled out (and readable) and signed, checking on referrals promptly, etc.  Then Jim gave his presentation, and we headed back for the office while the Cahoons gave theirs.  We submitted the Transfer in IMOS, then I worked on entering a lot of data in other places.  After the Transfer info was processed, I started printing up a lot of reports for people to use:  The Organization Chart with photos, the same without, the phone roster, and Companionship Roster, etc.  Some of those things I also send out in emails for the missionaries to use on their phones.  We left at 3:30 to go to the chapel and help with dinner—Sister Cahoon cleaned and we wrapped potatoes to bake, Sister Cheney did Stroganoff, Elder Cheney cut up fruit, and we all helped put stuff out on the tables.  Had the last of the Cookie salad.  Then we cleaned up.  We saw Larry and Gary in the building and gave them hugs—the youth of the Pinnacle Mountain Ward were there as one of the young men was opening up his mission call.  He will be going to the California Los Angeles Mission.  After their ward youth celebrated with him, he and his mother and brother and Larry were invited into our meeting and the missionaries sang the mission song to him and cheered for him!!  It was great!!!!  We left afterwards.
            Thursday we got up early again to help with the breakfast at the chapel, but it was a simpler breakfast.  We ate cold cereal (all different kinds), had bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, Nutella, jam, muffins, apples, fruit, and juice.  Much of this that they didn’t eat at the time they carried with them later as they left for their assigned areas.  Our cleanup went quicker and we headed for the Office at 8:00 and got to work doing more stuff as soon as we got there.  I had to send out Arrival emails to parents with the photos of their missionary with Pres and Sis Wakolo, with their new companion, with the new group, and with the new group and their Trainers.  They all looked happy and ready to go!!  I put a lot of paperwork that they filled out in their files and gave some to Elder Cahoon, entered more information into the computer, visited with Sister Thompson, the Mission Nurse, about things she needed me to send her that I was not doing (so I will have to go back to February to bring that up to date), and she told me she appreciated all I did and that Sister Nicosia and I had been the most responsive in helping get the information she needed.  In fairness, secretarial work is what I love but it is not everyone’s forte.  I am just glad for the wonderful people before me who did what they could.  We left the Office at 5:00, ate dinner at Panera Bread Co, got home and did some stuff, Jim went to walk at 6:00 and I exercised at 8:00, just walking in place in the apartment (it’s getting too dark at that time to go outside and one of the treadmills is broken).  Had some mosquito bites that itched during the night and, of course, I was worried that they were bed bug bites but found no evidence of bed bugs—thank heavens!!)
            Friday we cleaned at the Office—Jim did the bathrooms, I dusted, Elder Cahoon vacuumed the entry and hall, and Sister Cahoon vacuumed the office as Sister H was home sick with a sinus infection.  She didn’t feel great on Thursday so we are glad she stayed home to rest.  I entered more stuff into the computer (I have about 4 different places to put the information about the new missionaries), went through their paperwork and sent to their parents the letters they themselves had written along with a mission map that they could use to track where their child/missionary was working.  I went to the store with Elder Hartzell to get a couple of things, then to the bank where we waited in a long line of cars to deposit some money he had received for the mission (note to self--don’t go on the Friday before a holiday weekend!!), finally got back to the Office and finished up, leaving about 5:30 to go do our weekly shopping, made and ate dinner, watched TV and went to bed.
            Saturday we cleaned our own bathrooms and kitchen floor, ate, and headed out with the Cahoons and the Rasmussens to go to Scott, Arkansas.  The weather was perfect, cooler and clear all day.  There we visited a state park called the Toltec Mounds, which had Indian ceremonial mounds from 2,000 years ago (not the actual Toltec Indians of Mexico but other Indians),
The Rasmussens, Cahoons, and us at Toltec Mounds
Elders enjoying the view of the lake

Cyprus trees in the water surrounded by roots or other trees?
  had lunch at the Cotham’s Mercantile—an old store built in 1912 that looks like it is ready to fall down but had great hamburgers, including one called The Hubcap that is huge!!, 

Lots of old stuff inside the mercantile
then went to the Scott Plantation Museum where we learned about the processing of cotton and the cotton gin and how they took care of the seeds.  It was all really interesting!! 
Sister Rasmussen working the cotton gin model
 Got home about 4:00 and took naps, then finished the cleaning we didn’t get done in the morning, and watched a movie.  We know that Stewart was baptized yesterday and want to say CONGRATUL-TIONS to him!!  We also started listening to the BYU-Arizona game but couldn’t stay up until the end.  We found out this morning that they won in a squeaker—16-18!!  Hooray!!  Go Cougs!!!
            Today we took Michelle and Caleb to church and enjoyed some wonderful testimonies and lessons.  Came home and just woke up from 2 hour (me) and 3 hour (Jim) naps!!  Much needed and loved!!
            We hope you are all well and enjoying cooler weather as we had this week (lows in the 60’s and highs in the 80’s) and we finally think we have turned the corner from the summer excessive heat.  Woo Hoo!!
            Love you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell