Sunday, October 2, 2016

Conference Weekend!!

Dear Family and Friends,
Because I had a cold last weekend, I wanted to stay home on Monday, but had too much I had to get done.  So I didn’t interact much with everyone and give “elbow bumps” to the missionaries as they came in.  Still sucked on the Coldeze and seem to be getting over the symptoms.  Dear Sister Hugentobler is still quite sick so she did not come in and stayed home both Sunday and Monday to rest and recuperate.  I worked on letters, including wedding letters to Returned Missionaries (RM’s) that include a picture drawn by one of our RM’s that have been duplicated on nice photo paper to give as wedding gifts.  I have to track down the address that we need to mail them to, plus the name of the person they are marrying.  Sister Wakolo gives me the invitations that come to her, but others we find out by Sister Cahoon checking Facebook.  I also worked on my desk calendar.  Jim and I left the Office about 4:50 to drive to west Little Rock.  We had dinner at a nice Asian restaurant there, then attending the One-night-only showing of “Singing With Angels.”  It is a beautiful movie and we both were teary-eyed the last ½ hour of the film.  We were able to have a good visit with Brent and he told us about the incredible weekend they had had—he got a new calling—from being Assistant Stake Executive Secretary to being Stake Executive Secretary, and their stake was totally realigned with new ward boundaries and new bishoprics.  So he has so many phone calls to make and appointments to set up—he feels overwhelmed but also excited to help with all the changes that need to be made.  We are very proud of him and know that he is capable and hard-working.  Finished the day with listening to the end of the Presidential debate.  It was a let-down after the wonderful movie about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!!
Tuesday I felt a lot better, but kept sucking on the Coldeze, just not as often.  The weather has finally cooled off and is now wonderful—highs in the 80’s and lows in the low 60’s. Brother and Sister Green from Conway who were our Trainers when we arrived came back into the Office to be trained by Elder and Sister Cahoon to take over for them when the Cahoons leave.  It was so great to have them back!!  I worked on letters in the morning, saw that we had three new young missionary Recommendations in Outlook so added them to the Arrival/Departure list, and we had Staff Meeting in the afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00.  Lots of things going on and that we need to get ready for.  Then we left the Office at 5:00 to go to an Asian Buffet in west Little Rock.  Lots of good food!!  All the Office Staff were there including the Greens, and also the Assistants, and the Thompsons (Mission Nurse and spouse), and Jasmin.  It was lots of fun!!
Wednesday we had Sister-Training-Leader meeting in our building.  It was fun to see the 12 STLs there!  Jim and I went and picked up Jimmy-John boxed lunches for them and bought some for the Office, too.  The owner and manager are LDS and give the lunches to us at ½ price.  And they are good!!  I worked on processing the three new Recommendations, updated our 4-year Address List and printed them up to go in the Miss. Mem. Binders.  No more Coldeze—the cold is pretty well gone and no cough or drainage!!  Hooray!!  Lasted only 4 days!!  Did three loads of laundry in the evening.
Thursday was MLC—Missionary Leadership Conference—that included the STL’s and the Zone Leaders.  Got Jimmy-John’s for lunch again.  I worked on the Mission Memories binders, sent out letters to the November missionaries and a separate letter for their parents.  Busy all day.  Exercised in the evening.  Elder Hartzell has been busy all week with lots of apartment issues.
Friday did two Mission Memories for two Senior couples who will be leaving before the end of October and I didn’t want to miss getting theirs ready so did it early.  The Cahoons took us and Sis. H. out to lunch at Larry’s Pizza—a favorite place.  I worked on more letters and a label page for Jim that had 10 different labels or variations of the label.  It took awhile.  Went grocery shopping, ate a light dinner, visited with the Cahoons when they brought over some food out of their fridge.  Watched a movie before bed.
Saturday morning the Cahoons came by at 8:00 a.m. to give us their apartment keys, we said our last goodbye, and they left.  We will miss them a lot!!  We read, exercised, ate breakfast, cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, and were ready to start Conference by 11:00 a.m.  Really enjoyed the sessions, started a batch of cinnamon rolls during the two hour break, and finished them by the evening.  Jim felt a little off so didn’t try to go to the Priesthood Session with Larry and Gary, just went to our chapel close by and did a couple of financial entries he didn’t get finished yesterday.  I also got our budget done and relaxed in the evening.
Today has been wonderful!!  Picked up Michelle and attended both sessions of Conference at our Little Rock Ward building.  We had an International Potluck lunch between sessions and ate a ton of good food.  My contribution was the cinnamon rolls, which were gone in no time.  We just got home.
Pat’s highlights to share that had meaning to me are:  The Plan of Happiness was mentioned numerous times in several talks—it is so important that we know and understand it; prayer was also mentioned a lot; if we loved the Savior more, would we suffer less?; what things can be stumbling blocks in our lives can be stepping stones to others; we need to read the Book of Mormon at least 10 minutes a day; be ambitious for Christ; yes, you are going to be good enough, and yes you are going to make it; repentance is important in our lives; share the Gospel and be missionaries; Joy comes FROM Jesus Christ and BECAUSE of Him; make the Sacrament more significant; experiences with the Spirit come more from what is happening in our hearts than what is happening around us; be actively involved in Sacrament meeting—be an active listener and participant; know the Doctrine of Christ; know and build on the Savior; we can be sorrowful and still be joyful; our children need to know our testimony of Christ; as you repent of sin, you feel more joy.
Jim: Highlights for me from conference: with respect to the atonement, don’t compete or compare, don’t rationalize or rebel, the atonement is for sinner and for saints.  Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, share the plan of happiness in the Book of Mormon, be a witness.  Some things can only be learned by faith.  From Elder Yamashita some challenges we have are for the benefit of others.  Pray for inspiration of what we can do individually to share the gospel. Be a better friend and caring home teacher. Find joy in the gospel despite our challenges.  The restoration is not an event but a process.  And over and over again the testimonies that Jesus Christ is the key to every good thing that can ever happen for us and everyone else. We need to truly worship Him and not just serve. Submit our will to Him, our hearts and souls. God holds the keys to unlock the prison we have put ourselves in.  We need to express our great gratitude to the Savior for all He has done for us through prayers of thanks. Record your feelings. What a blessing that repentance brings us peace.
What a wonderful way to finish the week!!

Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

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