Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Begins

Dear Family & Friends,
            Monday was a busy day.  I worked on contacting all the Senior missionaries and Apartment Advisors about the Senior Social on Friday.  I did Leadership Letters, emails, took care of the information that Sister Wakolo brought into the office from the new missionaries, had photos to upload and email to parents of Departing Missionaries and New Missionaries.  The local missionaries had their P-day at a different building so it was pretty quiet, just me and Elder Hartzell and Sister Hugentobler.  Went to see the movie “Dr. Strange” in the evening and liked it.  It is quite different.
            Tuesday had a lot of the same kinds of stuff to do.  I have to be sure I had added all the new missionaries and their parents to our email address contact list.  Jim and I cleaned the car after lunch at a nearby car wash—it was looking pretty dirty inside, and we tell the missionaries that they need to have a clean car so we need to set the example.  We exercised after work, then took the regular church music off the iPhone 4s and put Christmas music in my iPad to listen to at the Office.  (We tried to put it in the iPhone but it kept trying to put ALL the music in instead of just Christmas music—very frustrating!!) 
            Wednesday was MLC—Mission Leadership Conference.  This is where the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders are trained about their responsibilities and given some inspiring messages.  Sister Wakolo fixed a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch with all the trimmings—sure was delicious!!  She even had a friend make pumpkin cheesecake—Yum!!  I also helped Sister Wakolo with a project for Christmas—she had me ask all the missionary parents (of 190 missionaries) to send photos of their child taken between kindergarten and fifth grade.  As I get them in, I record them and forward them to Sister Wakolo.  That has kept me real busy!!!  I also ordered the travel for the missionaries who are leaving during the February Transfer.  Mid-afternoon we had a mock emergency drill to test the missionary communications channels.  It went well. We went grocery shopping after work, and I did 3 loads of laundry.  I have been having some pain in my right elbow, upper arm, shoulder and neck.  I think I clenched it too many times on the hike a week ago, plus all the computer mouse stuff that I do. Also on Wednesday I had a “catch in my get-along” but it was gone on Thursday—go figure!?!
            Thursday was a “flitting” day where I flit from one thing to another.  I had all those photos to take care of, paperwork to prepare for a missionary who was leaving early for mental health issues (many missionaries suffer from depression and other things), letters to send to parents of missionaries leaving in just four weeks, and other odds and ends.  We headed home and exercised, ate leftovers for dinner, and tried not to think about all the things I wasn’t able to get to that day.
            Friday was a welcome break—it was our Senior Social day at the Mission Home.  Everyone brought either a snack/appetizer or a dessert.  We ate and talked and took turns having interviews with President Wakolo.  Sister Wakolo fixed Hawaiian Haystacks and Beef Curry for lunch and it was delicious!!  Then we ate the pecan pie/sweet potato pie/cherry cobbler/apple tart/cookies, etc. that everyone brought.  Wow—we really ate well!!!  The best part was the concluding meeting where the senior missionaries that will leave before next June shared their testimonies.  We stayed until the end to help clean up.  We even dropped off part of our dessert at Larry and Holly’s.  They were putting up Christmas decorations and it was very festive!  Had a quiet evening at home.S
            Saturday was a rainy day after a nice sunny day yesterday.  We cleaned, worked on the budget, exercised, Jim organized photos on his computer (an on-going project), got mine and Jim’s hair cut and mine colored, cleaned up, and went to the North Little Rock ward’s Christmas in Bethlehem party.  We thought there would be dinner but there was only snacks so we came home and ate pot pies, watched some TV and went to bed.  The weather has cooled off and this next week it gets down to 19 degrees on Thursday! What happened to the warm south?!  Of course, last summer we complained about the warm south!
            We enjoyed a lovely Sabbath today, with some great testimonies in our Sacrament meeting, a good lesson in Gospel Essentials about families, and a good lesson in RS about the tender mercies of the Lord.  Lots of rain yesterday and some this morning.
            The Church has started a challenge:  Light the World in 25 Ways Over 25 Days.  We are trying to follow it and share the light of our testimony with others through many different kinds of service.
            We want to welcome our friends, the Halversens, home from their successful and rewarding 23-month mission to Cape Town, South Africa.
            We hope you all have a great week.

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

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