Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cool October

Dear Family and Friends,
            Monday I spent several hours on Leadership Letters—congratulating those missionaries who have new assignments as either District Leaders or Trainers (some were both).  I also email copies to their parents, who are so appreciative about knowing about the new responsibilities given to their children.  Also had some iPad issues I had to call SLC about. 
            Tuesday I worked on both the 2016 calendar that needed some changes, and the 2017 calendar.  I also helped with the mail.  We had Staff Meeting in the afternoon and talked over some of the stuff that is coming up.  Exercised and ate dinner and watched TV.
            Wednesday I spent a long time requesting the missionary travel for those missionaries leaving in January.  It is a pretty big group and I have to be careful to check several things and be sure that it is all correct.  I also worked on letter templates that needed updating, took a lot of orders for media as Sister H has a real croaky cough and can’t talk very well.  She ended up leaving early on Monday and Wednesday, and didn’t come in on Thursday and Friday.  She did go to Urgent Care and found out she has pneumonia!!  So now she is on an antibiotic and trying to recover and get better.  We left early on Wed. to go east to Brinkley, about half way to Memphis, to meet some young sisters who needed to go to Conway.  The two Senior Sisters who serve in Memphis brought them to meet us.  After we took them to Conway, a 2 hour trip, we did our grocery shopping and went home and watched TV.
            Thursday I did letters to the November Departing Missionaries and their parents.  Had information to give them.  I also took lots of media orders (missionaries need more Books of Mormon, Bibles, pamphlets, pass-along cards, etc.), took care of the mail, vacuumed the Office floor and collected the garbage, and had a nice phone visit with my sister Lois.  Exercised in the evening and did the laundry.
            Friday we cleaned the bathrooms and dusted and vacuumed.  I sent letters to the parents of those missionaries who are leaving in February.  I have to order their travel 10 weeks before they leave, so I have to send out the forms to get them back before I need them.  I helped Jim with a project, and took care of the mail.  We left the Office at 2:00 to go to the Mission Home and take photos of the yards, outside of the house, and all the rooms inside the house.  We will have to download them on Monday and send them to SLC to look at.  This is in preparation of a new mission president who will come next July 1.  They want to see if updating needs to be done.  It took about an hour, then we went to Cheddars Scratch Kitchen (because all their food is made fresh from scratch) and enjoyed a delicious dinner.  Then we went to the Fall Carnival at Bram’s and Harper’s elementary school and had a fun time there!!  Then to Larry’s and Holly’s to watch a movie picked out by Bram (Star Wars—The Force Awakens, of course!!). 
            Saturday we exercised, dusted and vacuumed, and I watch movies on Feelin’ while Jim prepared a talk for Sacrament meeting today.  At 2:30 we drove to Maumelle to watch Gary’s soccer game.  He played well and assisted in a couple of scores and his team won 6-1!!  Then we went to the church to print up Jim’s talk, came home and exercised, ate dinner, and watched TV.
            Today was lovely.  We picked up Michelle and Caleb and went to church.  Jim gave a wonderful talk and we enjoyed our classes.  The two Sacrament meeting talks and the RS/Priesthood lessons all seemed to go together about praying, reading the scriptures, and serving to give a person a good foundation in the Gospel. Jim: We too had a good discussion in Priesthood and were asked what is the difference between believing and knowing?  I have since thought of the example from 1 Nephi about interpretation of Lehi’s dream of the tree of life in Ch 15.  Laman and Lemuel are arguing about the analogy of the olive tree, and Nephi says to them “have ye enquired of the Lord?  They respond “We have not, for the Lord maketh no such thing know unto us.” Nephi responds by saying “If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me [the Lord] in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made know unto you.”  We can know by the power of the Holy Ghost that something is true if we are keeping the commandments and are asking.  If we don’t seek, knock, study, ponder and pray then we will not know. To gain a knowledge it takes righteous action.
            The weather has turned cooler, had rain on Thursday morning, but other than that it has been sunny and nice.  Sure do love it!!
            Quote from a missionary:  “This week we got anti-ed (opposed) harder than any other single week of my mission.  We decided to respond with unrelenting Christ-like love.  The results were interesting.  Although none of the people changed their viewpoint toward the church, you could see their hearts being softened.  When someone starts rattling off all the reasons they hate your church, and you reply with ‘you have a lovely home!’ they typically do not know how to respond.  In today’s world it’s so rare to be kind to someone that is being rude to you.  Following the Savior’s teaching of ‘love thine enemies’ has so much power in it.”
            Love to you all,

            Elder and Sister Hartzell

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