Dear Family & Friends,
Monday, Dec. 19, was a chaotic, flitting kind of day. We had lots of emails, letters to Departing Missionaries to print up and send out, photos to go through, printed up the updated 4-year address list, went through mail that came in, sent out an email to get the information sent back, and had our semi-monthly staff meeting with the Wakolos, etc. I picked up a quick meal from Captain D;s for Jim & I to share while we talked to Brent, then we stayed until 7:15 working on photos. Then we came home, watched TV, ate a 2nd dinner, mended Jim’s pants, ordered Christmas gifts for each other, and had a super cold day-high of 30 and low of 16!! That is very cold for Little Rock.
Tuesday I gave cinnamon roll wreaths to the Greens and the missionaries at the District meeting. Worked on 5 Departing Mission Memories Binders. I deleted all the emails with childhood photos (probably 180 of them!!), did emails and phone calls. Had 4 new missionary recommendations come in and started processing them. Started printing up the Letters to the President for the 5 binders. Jim had lots and lots of bills to pay and new apartments to work on. We closed the Office at 4:00, dropped off cars at the apartments, and the Sorensens and Sister Hugentobler rode with us to have an Office Christmas dinner at the Asian Buffet—delicious!! And we ate too much!!. Then we drove to Sherwood where we drove very slowly through the “Trail of Lights.” Really beautiful!! Everyone really enjoyed it. Went home, Jim ironed shirts while we watched TV, and went to bed.
Wednesday I worked on sending out Thank You letters to the stake relief society presidents for gathering all the items that were in the gift bags—we had things like toothbrushes, glue sticks, nail clippers, soap, hand sanitizer, pens, colored pencils, gloves, ties, hard candy, and lots of other things. Also Thank You’s to the two wards that prepared and served the luncheons, and to the stake presidents for their support. Processed the new missionary recommendations, stopped work at 11:00 to drive to Little Rock and pick up the three grandchildren and take them to lunch at “All Aboard”, then to Toys R Us to let them pick out the toys they wanted for Christmas, and to Barnes and Noble to let Gary pick out some books that he wanted for Christmas. Then we took them home and went back to the Office, where we worked until 6:00 p.m., went grocery shopping, did the laundry, wrapped gifts, and went to bed.
Thursday I finished processing the miss recommendations, sent 1st letters to the missionaries who are coming in February and to their parents, sent out photos of each Zone to all the stake presidents and stake r.s. presidents holding their bags, took care of medical bills that came in. Learned about BYU winning the Poinsettia Bowl over Wyoming. Wish we would have watched it but we forgot!!
Friday sent out 2nd letters to the February missionaries, worked on the 2017 Calendar, making changes that the president requested. It is a hard program to work with and I struggle with it. Elder and Sister Sorensen are being trained every day. We did our cleaning at the Office in the morning, and had a real treat in the afternoon when Tommy and Elaine Tannehill stopped by on their way from Henderson to Savannah, Georgia. We had a great time visiting for about ½ an hour, then they continued on. They have been in rain ever since they left Henderson, so they brought it to us. We did some shopping on the way home, then watched TV and relaxed.
Saturday (Christmas Eve) I made the last batch of cinnamon rolls and regular dinner rolls for Christmas dinner at Larry and Holly’s. We exercised, went through papers that had been building up in piles on the table, went to see “Rogue One” and really enjoyed it, though it had a sad ending. We came home and opened our presents—I got a new coat, some candy, family slides on DVD’s, a sketch book from Shawn, Jim got a new sweater and a new tie. More gifts will come next week that we ordered late.
Sunday, CHRISTMAS!!, we went to two Sacrament meetings and enjoyed lots of musical numbers and some scriptures and talks. What a great day to celebrate the birth of the Savior. We enjoyed a few wonderful talks and some really great music to sing praises to the King of kings. How blessed it is to remember the end of His life also, the atonement in the garden and then the resurrection from the garden tomb. Without Easter no one would remember the baby born to Mary. We are so thankful to Him and the peace He offers in a troubled world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true peace. Bishop Warner also reminded us that we need to learn to hear the music of the gospel in our hearts. When we get things into our hearts then we can make the changes we need to do to become someone better. Then we went to Larry and Holly’s and got to see the things the kids received and they opened our gifts, helped them pick up a lot of the wrappings and tape, ate the salads (a tossed salad, Cookie Salad, and Holly’s Rainbow layered salad. Then Larry cooked the prime rib in his ceramic cooker and we watched “A Christmas Story.” Then ate dinner, the meat with more salad, Cheesy potatoes, rolls, etc. Then Jim and I cleaned up the kitchen while Larry and Holly started getting all the stuff ready for them to leave early Monday morning to drive to Colorado for a fun ski trip. We drove home after 5:00 and were able to visit with Brent and several of his kids, then Joseph, next Christi and her family, and last Shelley and her kids. We watched a Christmas movie and went to bed—a great Christmas Day!!
Well, Happy New Year Everyone!!
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell