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

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