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?|
|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