Sunday, July 23, 2017

Happy Pioneer Day Tomorrow!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 16, was sunny, hot, and muggy.  We enjoyed our meetings and the good feelings in the Little Rock Ward.  Had nice phone visits with my sister, Lois, and a long 2-hour visit with Christi and her family.  We also took naps and watched the Mormon Tabernacle in the morning and the Pioneer Concert with Alex Boye’ in the evening.  Loved all the good music!
            Monday, July 17, I worked on the calendar, taught Sister Sorensen how to do Dep. Letter #3 that includes the missionaries’ itineraries.  I also worked on some iPad issues, took care of some personal business, finished and printed up and mailed the 6-month Mission History to Salt Lake City, and updated my desk calendar.  After work we ate dinner, then went to see the movie, “Spiderman.”  It was pretty good but not great.  Came home, made our lunches, and went to bed.
            Tuesday, July 18, I printed up 4 more Mission Histories to go in the “Mission Memories” binders, worked on updating the 4-year address list for the same binders, updated drivers license information, showed Sister Sorensen how to do the Mission Memories binders, putting in the copies of the letters in their files.  I also updated a lot of the papers with Sister Sorensen’ name instead of mine.  That feels strange!  Came home, exercised, talked to Lois and Brent, and was grateful that Renae took Lois to the doctor’s for her last checkup before she leaves.  She will really miss him as he has treated her so well.  Had a quiet evening.
            Wednesday, July 19, Sister Sorensen processed the 3 new missionary recommendations that came in.  Because she had to do that at my desk, I went through missionary files that were a year old and shredded them (we are only supposed to keep them for a year), and moved some of the files around.  I also worked on several iPad/Samsung tablet issues with the help of the people in Salt Lake.  After work we did some shopping at Walmart and ate dinner at a little restaurant called “Two Sisters.”  The food was delicious, but we are not used to the deep-fat cooking and I didn’t feel very good that evening.  We did two loads of laundry.  Talked to my sister who told me about cousins picking her up and taking her to see our dear Aunt Wilma and say goodbye to her.  Also tried to comfort her after a difficult evening.  My heart aches for her.  I was glad a ward sister had brought her dinner and was there to help her also. 
            Thursday, July 20, showed Sister Sorensen how to take care of mobile device issues, cleaned up one of my desk binders that had accumulated too much stuff!, and had Sis. S. do the Arrival #1 letters to the missionaries coming in September, and the Arrival #1 letters to the parents of those missionaries.  Jim and I took some things to the post office and went to Holly Lobby and Michaels looking for frames to match the ones that are on the hallway walls near our office that have photos of the past 14 mission presidents and their wives.  All 14 match, but we can’t find any more that will match, so we are trying to decide what to do.  We have even looked online, but so far no success.  Guess we will have to get something different. Also, while we were at Michaels, the lady at the counter saw our name tags and asked if we were Mormons.  She then said that she had been a Mormon once, but her father (whom she did not get along with) had her name taken off the records of the church.  We asked if she would like to talk to the missionaries and she said “yes” and gave us her card.  So we gave it to the Sherwood sisters and hope she will take the lessons.  Fun to do some actual missionary work!!  Jim: This has been a week of mostly apartment issues.  Trying to find a new one in the Memphis area and dealing with other renewals and a closings.  Some apartment managers are very responsive to renewals and others are way slow.  Exercised after work and talked to Lois.  Glad she is having some help from a physical therapist to get her more active.  Did one more load of laundry.
            Friday, July 21, Sister Sorensen and I worked on the Arrival #2 letter.  This one includes a bunch of information papers that need to be filled out and returned, so I had to update signatures of Pres & Sis Hansen and Sister Sorensen, then print up a lot of copies.  We printed up all the letters (there were 25 of them!!), and did an assembly line of all the papers that went in each envelope.  This took all day.  I also ran to the magnet store twice to pick up magnets for the Transfer Boards in the President’s Office and also his office at home.
We did our grocery shopping, got gas, dropped off mail, and had a delicious dinner of fish and veggies.  Tried to watch TV but feel asleep.  I have not been sleeping well lately L
            Saturday, July 22, did both exercises, dusted and vacuumed the apartment, recorded receipts, ran errands (still no success on finding the frames), paid some bills, visited with my brother and my sister and my neice.  In the evening we went over to the Hess’s apartment to have some delicious peach cobbler and visit with Elder and Sister Griffiths who are Self-Reliance missionaries.  They are working hard to get the program going here in the Arkansas and Memphis stakes. 
            We hope you are all doing well.   We can’t believe we have about 5 weeks left.  Hope we can stay caught up with everything!!

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

These are some of the different colors of the crepe myrtle trees that bloom here in June and July.  We love seeing all their pretty colors.  Thought we would share them with you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A New Couple is Coming in August!!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 9, was a lovely Sabbath day.  We enjoyed our church meetings and had some good questions and answers in our Gospel Essentials class.  After the block, we went to Michelle’s house where she and Lily fixed us a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings, and peach cobbler for dessert.  They are both good cooks and it was delicious!!  The Little Rock Elders were there, too, and we all enjoyed visiting together.  Jim left with the Elders to take them to a teaching appointment, but no one was home.  I stayed and answered a question that Michele had that the Sister missionaries didn’t answer for her.  The discussion went well.  Then we drove home and napped, talked to my sister, Lois, and had a good phone visit with Shelley.
            Monday, July 10, I taught Sister Sorensen how to do the 2nd Departure (Dep.) Letters, along with the three enclosures that go in it.  Worked on emails and phone calls.  We had a Staff Meeting in the afternoon and got new assignments as usual.  President Hansen is still figuring things out and it is going to take a while.  We worked late.  I assembled all the letters the missionaries had written to the Wakolos at the Meet the President meetings last week and put them in a binder.  I worked on that at home.
            Tuesday, July 11, I put together half of the Departing Miss “Mission Memories” binders with the pre-made materials.  I taught Sis. S. how to do all the stake president’s letters and the Missionary Release Certificates.  We had to do 15 so it took a while.  I also worked on making the changes in the Mission Calendar, emailing and calling various people who schedule the different buildings, so that the changes could be made.  I requested the mailbox addresses of the 24 missionaries who will enter the MTC on Wed., but also got a notice of a cancellation of one of them and a postponement of another, so now 22.  Jim and I took our two boxes to the post office and mailed them to our neighbors.  I want to take a minute and pay tribute to our wonderful neighbors, the Hunters, who have taken such good care of our home and yard!!  They are true saints and we could not have done this mission without their help!!!!  After work, we exercised, had a good visit with Brent, and he told us about the triplets receiving the priesthood.  They will pass the Sacrament for the first time today!!!  I was ready to brag about not having any mosquito bites this summer compared with the multitudes last summer, but got 3 so the itching is back! J 
            Wed., July 12, was Leadership Training in our building.  There were 48 missionaries there, plus some extra companionships who were getting cars fixed, etc.  We had Chick-fil-A for lunch, and Sister Sorensen provided the salad, cut-up melon, and ice cream floats.  Yummy!!  Sis. S. also processed the 5 new missionary recommendations that came in on Tues., including a new Office Couple!!!  Hooray!!!  They are from Idaho, he is 80 and she is 75!!  He has done Financial Secretary work in the mission office near their home for the last couple of years, so Jim won’t have to do a ton of training and is doing the dance of joy, as are we all.  Because they can’t be here until Aug. 22nd, we are extending our mission from Aug. 15th to Aug. 29th, so we can overlap for a week and do the training.  Thank you for all of your prayers to get the new couple here so that we could be here to train them. One of the extra missionaries that was in the office part of today is a real computer specialist and went through 3 of the computers to update and remove bad files and things that have been slowing them down.  That was a great help.   Came home, did laundry, and relaxed
            Thurs., July 13, I put the rest of the binders together, showed Sis. S. how to do Dep. Letter #4 to go in their binder, printed up more materials, worked on the calendar and scheduling some more, and did lots of emails.  Jim went during lunch to a Timex factory and got a couple of new watches cheap.  After work, we exercised, talked to Lois and she told us that her granddaughter Vivian was there all day boxing stuff up, cleaning, and even cleaned the refrigerator in preparation for Lois to move in two weeks.  Lois also had help from the bishop of the ward to move her daughter’s stuff out.  So grateful for family and the church to help in each situation of need.  Jim: this week I have done the usual bill paying, had some apartment issues to address, reviewed and surveyed the bicycle status, and worked more on updating the Mission Emergence Plan.  We want all the missionaries to have this available to themselves as a PDF file on their tablets for reference.  Having the information in a notebook in their apartment doesn’t do them any good except when they are in their apartment and assuming they can find it. Did I mention I am really EXCITED that the new senior elder that is coming has been a financial secretary before.  YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            Friday, July 14, we cleaned the bathrooms at the church, put information into IMOS, taught Sis. S. how to do Arrival Letter #3 that we mail to the MTC, went to the magnet shop to order more board magnets, printed up and cut and put up on the board all the June baptism photos (the missionaries love to look at these when they come in).  Had a ton of rain in the afternoon, but it let up and after work we went grocery shopping, I got my hair cut while Jim took the groceries home, he came back to pick me up and we had a sandwich at Panera Bread.  Went home, enjoyed a movie, and had a quiet evening.
            Saturday, July 15, we exercised, cleaned our bathrooms, kitchen, and our refrigerator (Lois’s granddaughter inspired us!).  Jim got a new iPhone 6 but is having trouble with the volume so worked on that for a while.  Also visited with Jim’s brother, Dean, about going to see him and his wife Deb after our mission.  Also talked to Lois, and to her daughter Carolyn who is in Chicago with her daughter at a special dance clinic that they have been planning and saving and doing fundraisers for the last 6 months.  We tried to stream her performances but had lots of breaking up issues and only saw part of one.  It was cloudy part of the day and sunny and hot a muggy the rest.
            More quotes from Pres. Wakolo:
            “A step away from the world is a step closer to Christ; a step away from Christ is a step into the world.”
             “I am perfect only on one thing—at being rebuked by the Holy Ghost.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 2, was Fast Sunday.  We enjoyed the testimonies that were given, though some of them were more like talks.  The lessons were good, too.  After church, we were invited to the Andersons’ for dinner.  They served lots of vegetables and homemade bread that had rosemary in it.  It was very tasty and good.  Sister Anderson does painting freehand designs all over her walls and furniture, she makes her own yeast, her husband is a great pianist—self-taught, and we had two other brothers from the ward there who are both into music.  So we had some fun discussions.  We got home, took naps, and had good visits with Joseph and Shelley.  We started making plans to visit Phoenix and Tucson in October. Jim: In High Priest’s meeting we had a discussion about and read from the Book of Mormon as a group and had discussions about every 5 verses of impressions.  We didn’t get very far because of the good insights and comments.  It was a great experience and I am thankful for all the efforts that have flowed from President Monson’s conference talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon and our reading it every day.  There are goals being set, reading being done, and that is a great thing.  Some individuals who have been church attenders for years are now reading the Book of Mormon which they had not done previously. We thank Thee, Oh God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days.
            Monday, July 3, I made copies of the 24 medical cards that come in for the Arriving Miss in August.  I also filed lots of papers and took care of a number of emails.  Jim and I went to Sam’s Club to pick up water, granola bars, and fruit for the Meet the President Meetings that would be held in each Zone on Tuesday, Wed., and Thursday.  I started showing Sister Sorensen how to do the Stake President Letters and Release Certificates for the August Dep. Miss, but we didn’t get very far as we ran out of day.  Baked the dessert I will be taking to a dinner Tues. night.  Had phone visits with a niece and my sister Lois as things are not going well for her and her daughter is trying to get her moved down to Phoenix before school starts.  Lots of problems there, and trying to help from a distance is limited.   It was hard to sleep because of the worry.
            Tuesday, July 4th – Independence Day!!  Hope you all had a great one!!  Ours began at the Little Rock Ward Pancake breakfast at our Otter Creek chapel.  It was outside at the pavilion.  Delicious!!  Then we went to  the Meet the President Zone Meeting, also at our Otter Creek chapel.  We were very inspired by President and Sister Hansen as they introduced themselves to the missionaries.  What a great couple—full of faith and love for the Lord.  Also, he had been a missionary here about 35 years ago under the 2nd mission president.  He loved it here and had much success!  We saw his memory book that showed converts, companions, goals, experiences.  It was quite full of obedience and hard work.  He grew up on a dairy farm and is a dairyman and has loved that for years!!  She is wonderful and raised 5 children, the youngest is on a mission Brazil and will come home next February.  Their biggest message was that we need to rely on the Spirit.  It went from 9 am to noon.  Jim: I already knew after our first meeting with President Hansen that he was called of God to lead this mission at this time, and I have had that testimony reinforced time and time again during this meeting.  I am sure that the other missionaries felt the Spirit, as did I, and the mantle that he holds now as President of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.  I was very touched by the entire meeting, brought to tears multiple times as I felt the Spirit as he taught.  His main reference talk was from Elder Sabin “Stand up Inside and Be All In”.  His focus was on feeling the Spirit and his examples from his mission and in life supported how he has listened and set goals to be all in.  Sister Hansen shared things about their family and taught the Joseph Smith First Vision.  One other thing that President taught that has become meaningful to me since the meeting, was about preparing for prayer.  He said he likes to read a hymn before he begins his morning and evening prayers to help bring the Spirit and help him focus on what he should ask and pray about.  So I have been trying that all week and it has really helped me in my prayers.  I am thankful for that comment that he shared. It is interesting to see some of differences so far in his leadership style compared to President, now Elder, Wakolo. Both have their own way of doing things, and both focus on the Spirit. 
Us with Sister Karen Hansen and President Norman Hansen
Pat:  Then we drove back to the Office and took over as the next Meet the President meeting was in our NLR chapel, and the Sorensens and Hesses went to that.  I got letters to parents finished up and sent out.  I also worked on the Mission History and printed up some copies.  Went home and wrote an email, then went to the dinner at the Sorensen’s.  Also there were the Hesses, the Rasmussens, the NLR Elders (Russell and Hall), the Office Elders, and Pres. and Sis. Hansen.  We ate well and had a great time visiting.  Pres. also shared a video from the Mission President’s Seminar by Elder Holland.  Only the mission presidents have access to that.  But then the next day I read the article in the Church News.  Watched the fireworks from Washington, DC, on the computer as our TV remote isn’t working.  Oh, dear!
            Wed., July 5th, I worked with Sis. S. to finish up the Stake President letters and Release Certificates.  There are 15 Departing Miss. so this took awhile.  Worked on emails and phone calls and showing Sis. Sorensen how to do some other things.  Went to Walmart after work to pick up some stuff, had a good phone visit with Brent, and then FaceTimed with Christi, Shawn, and family as they shared more about their great time in China and what the kids had been doing while they were gone.  Their other grandma was there but was sick some of the time, so Lucas and Abby took care of their younger siblings, cooked, and helped take care of her.  I also did 3 loads of laundry and started feeling sick so we went to bed. 
            Thurs., July 6th, woke up and felt fine.  Finished doing the first letter to the Departure Miss with information about their iPads.  Then I taught Sis. Sorensen how to process Missionary Recommendations.  There were 6 that came in on Tuesday—3 elders for Sept. and 3 sisters for Oct.  We worked on them all day between phone calls and emails, but didn’t finish them.  Jim & I exercised in the morning and in the evening, made our lunch as we do each evening (but now I can fully help instead of Jim doing it all). 
            Friday, July 7th, was sunny and muggy all day.  Because of all the cloud cover and rain, our temperatures have stayed in the 80’s, and even though the humidity was 100 %, it wasn’t bad.  However, because Friday was sunny, the temperatures got up to 95degrees and we finally felt the oppressive heat that we had experienced here in Little Rock last summer!  Thank heavens we are in a nice, air-conditioned office!  We did our office vacuuming and dusting first, then worked with Sister Sorensen on doing the Board cards for the new missionaries.  However, in doing that, I saw some mistakes I had made on the dates of the ones I had done last week (I had the sisters only being out for 6 months instead of 18 months.)  So I remade those first.  I printed up 4 more Mission Histories, redid the sample letters in my letter binder, taught Sis. Sorensen how to do the Departure Letters to the parents that includes the itineraries (these they are very anxious to get, though they also get them as emails).  I took care of medical bills that had come in the mail, faxing them to SLC.  Stayed late at the office to finish them so we could mail them on the way home.  Jim:  This has been a usual busy week for me, with lots of bills to pay the first of the week, and then lots of apartment issues.  I have been working for a while on our Mission Emergency respond guideline and adding members who live near the missionaries to call them when they receive severe weather reports on their phones, so they will call the missionaries and alert them, since that is not a feature on the missionary cell phones.  This has taken a lot of time to coordinate, but it should result in helping them be safer.  Pat: Did our grocery shopping, had a nice phone visit with one of our nieces who had some questions, and watched a movie on the computer.  Slept fine except for the thunder and rain we had most of the night!
            Saturday, July 8th, Brent’s and Becca’s triplets turned 12!  We called and sang to them.  Wish we could be there for the setting apart as they become Deacons!!  Also had a wonderful phone visit with Larry (I know, he lives right here and we can visit all the time, but this one had more substance and meaning and we loved it!), with Lois, with her daughter, Carolyn, and assorted other calls.  We vacuumed and dusted our apartment, did both kinds of exercise, packed up two boxes to ship home (one a small book box, and the other a big blanket box), plus Jim did the dishes and ironed his shirts.  Lois said that her grandson came over and worked for two hours to clean and organize her bedroom (he’s a good worker like his dad, she said).  Sure gave her a lot of comfort and relief.  We cleaned up and had a quiet evening.  So nice!
            Some more quotes from Pres. Wakolo: 
            Honoring his wife:  “She is the first counselor to the Holy Ghost to me.  She is truly a disciple in every way.  When I do not listen to the Holy Ghost or the first counselor, that is double trouble.”
            “It’s the plan of happiness, not the plan of sadness.”
            “Casualness causes or leads to casualties.:
            “I will never, no never forsake Him.”
            “Doubt not, fear not.”
            “Atonement or torment.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Farewell to the Wakolos and Welcome the Hansens

Dear family and friends,
Last week we welcomed our new Office Elders--Jennings & Maskovich
          Monday, June 26, I started showing both Sister Sorensen and Sister Hess how to do my work so that they could try to keep up until a new couple could come.  I don’t know what the mission will do to cover Jim’s desk.  I sent out some mail and answered emails.  We had our last Staff Meeting with President Wakolo.  There were tears as we sang, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”  We also sang “Happy Birthday” as his 49th birthday was the day before.  I received some new assignments including changes in the Mission Calendar, and additions to the Mission History that have to be sent to SLC.  Came home and did assorted things such as a little laundry, cleaned the freezer, ate dinner, and went to Larry’s to play games with him and the grandchildren.  Sure was fun!
            Tuesday I worked on the new assignments, prepared most of the Leadership Letters (there are a lot to do), helped with some iPad issues, and was busy all day.  President Wakolo was in the Office for a little while and continues to hand out Book of Mormons wherever he goes.  He is an awesome missionary!  He even gave one to a delivery person yesterday, and to our faithful mailman, Johnny, today.  Jim: I was busy yesterday and today working on bills to pay, tracking missionary bicycles, and dealing with apartment contracts.  At the end of both days I couldn’t believe it was 5 pm already.  Came home, exercised, had a good phone visit with Brent, and a quiet evening.  We did get notice of an “In Hush” Office Couple, which means that someone has been called but perhaps has not yet responded.  We will know as soon as they do.  It says they will go in the MTC on August 7 and we know they will be there for 2 weeks, so if we extend our mission by 2 weeks we will be able to train them.  Pres. Wakolo suggested that I train Sister Sorensen to take over my position so that she can train the new sister to do her position.  I think that is a great idea and can work to have better continuity!!  Also talked to my sister, Lois.  We are trying to get her ready to move to her daughter’s down in Phoenix, and I feel bad I cannot be there to help her.
            Wednesday was MLC.  I did a “Mission Memories” Binder for the Wakolos and presented it to them at the end.  We also had Jimmy Johns box lunches for lunch, which Jim and I went to pick up, and also mailed our next big suitcase home to our neighbors to put in our house.  Sister Wakolo made her last batch of  Cookie Salad for those missionaries who gobbled it up with grateful hearts!!  Had one missionary get sick before lunch and throw up, so he spent the afternoon resting on the couch in President’s Office.  President and Sister Jones and President and Sister Faulkner came into President’s Office after the MLC meetings to be released from their Mission Presidency assignments.  They are such wonderful people!  Jim: There was some problem with the Church’s IMOS system and the Outlook email, so it was down for several hours today.  You don’t appreciate how dependent you are on these systems until they are not there.  I was grateful to be able to catch up after they came back on line. Then we all went to Asia Buffet in Little Rock for a wonderful Farewell Dinner for the Wakolos.  We ate and talked and enjoyed each other so much!!  What wonderful servants of the Lord!!!
Our Farewell Dinner--the Hartzells, the Hesses, the Faulkners, the Sorensens, and the Wakolos
(We also found out that evening that Christi and Shawn were home safe from their trip to China—we are so grateful!)
            Thursday we cleaned the bathrooms at the church so we would have Friday free to meet with Pres. and Sis Hansen.  I then worked on checking to make sure all the missionaries’ driver’s licenses were still valid.  I do this in a program called GVM (Global Visa Management), which is the same program I use to order the Departing Missionaries’ travel home.  There were several missionaries I had to call and remind them that they need to renew their driver’s licenses now.  I also contacted parents so that they could coordinate efforts on the next Monday P-day when they could email each other.  I then processed the 3 new missionary recommendations that came in on Tuesday.  Two for September and one for October.  Pres. & Sis Wakolo went to the airport to meet and visit with Pres. and Sis. Hansen for a couple of hours, then the Wakolos flew out at 4:00.  So Sis. Hess and Sorensen went to pick up flowers and balloons.  Sis. Sorensen arranged the flowers in a beautiful bouquet, and we took them, picked up two dinners from Olive Garden, and drove to the Mission Home to welcome the Hansens.  They had only been there about 30 minutes, so we were able to visit with them for about ½ hour, then returned to the Office to finish up and go home.  Did laundry, exercised, ate, visited with my sister and her daughter again, and relaxed for awhile.
            Friday I finished up the last of the 3 new recommendations and took care of emails.  At 10:45 the Hansens and the Assistants all came into the Office and we had a big meeting to talk about what we are doing and changes that will be made.  We took a lunch break at 1:30 to go to Larry’s Pizza to eat, then continued the meeting.  The Hansens are warm, outgoing, missionary-oriented people.  They love the Lord and have some ideas of things they want to do to further the missionary work in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.  It was obvious they had thought and prayed about what they wanted to change and are following the Spirit as they lead this mission, as did the Wakolos.  He served here as a young missionary and is so excited to be back. They shared several experiences from their life, and some of the teachings from the Mission Presidents Seminar instruction with us.  It was great.  We each introduced ourselves and talked about some of the challenges of our assignments.  President Hansen is very willing to do whatever is necessary to further the work. We felt their testimonies of the work and know they are called of the Lord to serve here at this time.  We are glad to have that testimony of them, just like we did the Wakolos.   Afterwards the Hansens met with different individuals, and I went to work at my desk making the changes to the Mission Calendar and taking care of other tasks.  We left at 6:00, did our grocery shopping, and headed home to relax. We were still full from our late lunch, so only snacked in the evening.
            Saturday Christi called and we had a good phone visit as she told us more about their China trip.  We exercised, cleaned our bathrooms and the kitchen floor, I recorded receipts and worked on and finished the June budget.  It was a quiet day at home with lots of little things accomplished.  A good day of R&R. 
            One of the cute things that was done at our last Zone Conferences was a fun game called “What are President Wakolo’s most often used phrases and one-liners.”  I will share a few each week. 
            “We must do the Lord’s work every day, every day, every day.”
            “Brothers and sisters, I rejoice with you in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We thank you for what you do, but mostly we thank you for who you are.”
            As he bears his testimony about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Church, he says, “I will never doubt that, I will never question it.”
            And one of his favorite scriptures, “3 Nephi 5:35—Behold I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ (that is who I stand for); I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life, (that is what I stand for).  Because they are who and what I stand for, I am very careful to who and what I fall for.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 2017 Transfer Week

Dear family and friends,
            Monday, June 19, we got up early and drove to the temple in Memphis.  There we attended a session with the missionaries who have June birthdays, and with the Departing Missionaries.  It was so beautiful and peaceful and so good to be there.  Afterwards we drove home.  We came to a full stop and were there for at least 30 minutes.  We looked on Waze and found out that a car had hit a truck with a trailer full of horses, and they were out and running around so we would be stopped for a while.  The fellow parked next to us offered to back up so that we could get through and turn around and go up the on-ramp we had just passed.  What a great guy!!  We did that and were soon on our way to Little Rock to the Mission Home to help get dinner ready.  We prepared it at the Rodney Parham chapel as there were 16 missionaries and it would be too crowded at the mission home.  We had a delicious dinner of ham, potato casserole, chicken curry, rice, green bean casserole, tossed salad and toppings, cookie salad, lots of cut up melons, and brownies and ice cream for dessert.  The Departing dinners are served on nice china, good silverware, glass goblets and linen table cloths.  So afterwards, with no dishwasher like at the mission home, we had an assembly line to scrape, rinse, wash, rinse, and dry all the dishes.  We left for home after 8:00 p.m. very tired!
            Tuesday, June 20, Jim and I did the Transfer Board in IMOS, and trained Sisters Sorensen and Hess how to do it, too.  It takes about 2 hours to move all the missionaries around to their new areas.  I also answered emails and did some organizing.  We welcomed Elder Maskovich as a new Office Elder to join with Elder Jennings.  There were lots of new and used bikes to deal with also due to the Transfer and the new missionaries.  Jim also has several apartment changes due to the closing of some areas.  We left the Office at 3:30 to go to the Rodney Parham chapel and prepare the dinner to the new Arriving Missionaries (12) and their Trainers (15 because of some 3-somes).  We had chicken teriyaki, rice, green bean casserole, potato casserole, tossed salad, cookie salad, and fudge bars for dessert. Tuesday night’s dinner was on paper plates, bottled water, and plastic utensils.  We had to wash a lot more dishes on Monday night!!! 
            Wednesday, June 21, we drove to the chapel early for breakfast at 7:00, but we did not have to help prepare or clean up.  We were there as invited guests!  After the breakfast, we listened as the missionaries did their Recitations (3 Ne. 5:13, D&C 4, My Purpose as a Missionary, The Standard of Truth, and listing the 24 points of Preach My Gospel with associated scripture references).  It is powerful how much they have memorized!!!  Then we did our Training presentations.  I go first, then Elder Hartzell, Sister Sorensen, and Elder Sorensen.  Then we went back to the Office, put in the last of the Transfer Board changes (which Trainers will be training which new Arrivals), processed 2 new missionary recommendations, sending out lots of emails, taking care of all the paperwork the Assistants brought into the Office in the late afternoon, downloading all the photos from the camera.  Jim: I am still trying to catch up on bills to pay that came in on Monday and dealing with several apartment issues.  I also get phone calls or emails requesting used bikes from future missionaries coming.   We left the Office late, went home and ate, did 3 batches of laundry.  We also were able to see and talk to our daughter Christi and her husband Shawn, using WeChat, who is working again in China.  She joined him this time for a vacation and are having a great time.  Lots and lots of pictures and short videos.  We saw similar art and architecture that we saw in Japan.  The technology is great that we are able to see and hear them so far away with no time delays. We keep praying for word on a new couple to replace us so we can train them before we leave in August.  We are asking you to please pray for this, too!!
            Thursday, June 22, I finished processing the 2 new miss., sent a letter and photos to the parents of the 12 new Arriving missionaries, sent out the letters the new missionaries wrote to their parents along with a map of the mission, and put lots of paperwork away that I got in the mail.  Came home, exercised, and had a quiet evening.  It rained in the late afternoon and all night.
            Friday, June 23, was cleaning day at the Office, did an assortment of tasks, and was busy all day.  I sent emails to the New Arriving Miss.’s parents along with the photos of them.  I also sent photos to the Departing Missionaries.  Jim & I took some time to go to Sam’s Club and replenish the water bottles in the Office (bought 6 cases this time).  Jim: I did finally catch up on all the bills to pay but am still working on apartments to open, close, or renew, that is essentially a never ending job along with the bills.  It rained on and off all day, but when it came time to leave, it was pouring buckets and so we ran to the car and drove home.  We got several flood warnings on our phones.  We worked on a project at home and watched a couple of movies.
            Saturday, June 24, was cleaning day at home!  We also exercised, worked on projects, went to the Office to do a Departure Binder for a sister who is leaving two transfers early, did our grocery shopping, came home to eat and cut up two melons for a Linger-Longer today after church, and rested.  We also had a good phone visit with our friend Michelle who now has the other eye needing the same surgeries that the first eye needed.  So she is on our prayer list again. 
            Sunday, June 25, a nice, quiet, restful morning!  We enjoyed reading and then watching Music and the Spoken Word.  We went to church from noon to 3:00, having good talks, especially one about the Life of Christ, and good lessons, also one of which was about Jesus Christ.  Afterwards we had a potluck Linger-Longer, and then a baptism.  Then we helped our friend Michelle get home.  Had naps, read, and then had a good phone visit with Shelley. 
            We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Fathers Day!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday evening, June 11, we enjoyed good FaceTime visits with Christi and Shelley and their families.
            Monday, June 12, I got 2 new projects from Pres. Wakolo—make digital copies of all the Leaders newsletters since he came here 3 years ago (this would have been easy if they had not accidentally gotten deleted off the computerL), and make copies of all the Board Cards of the missionaries who are here now.  He wants to put all of them in a photo album along with all the ones he kept as the missionaries went home.  That took most of the day.  Jim helped me with the Leaders.  We had a quiet evening at home cutting out the Board Cards while we watched TV.
            Tuesday, June 13, I worked on the Departure Binders and Letters to the President that go inside of them.  It took all day to do 12,so I still had 4 more to do.  We exercised at home.
            Wednesday, June 14, we were the only ones in the Office as the Sorensens and Hesses drove to Memphis on Tuesday afternoon to spend the day Wed. at the Memphis Zone Conference.  It was pretty quiet in the Office and I finished up the last 4 “Mission Memories” binders, and started processing the 5 new missionary recommendations that came in—one for August, making that 24!!, two for September, one for later Sept who was ASL (they come and go at odd dates), and one for October.  I had a phone visit with my sister, went home and had a phone visit with Brent.  Brent shared their good experience attending the Tucson Temple open house, and his triplet’s first summer camp experience.  Ate dinner and went to see the movie, “Wonder Woman.”  It was really good!!
            Thursday was our Arkansas Zone Conference in our building.  Jim and I attended the whole day while Sister Sorensen watched the Office.  We were well-taught!!  Pres and Sis Wakolo and their daughter Jasmin all bore their Farewell Testimonies.  We ate a delicious lunch prepared by the sisters of the Searcy Ward.  We gave a beautiful plaque to Pres Wakolo and gifts to Sister Wakolo and Jasmin.  Jim:Probably the most important reminder that President Wakolo left us with was the counsel he received once from Elder Bednar who said that our testimonies will not save us, it is our continuing conversion to the gospel that is needed. Also, casualness leads to casualties; and Atonement or torment. Missionaries signed several different cards for them, we watched a fun video presented by the Wakolos. 
President Wakolo showing us the plaque that the Mission gave him.
Farewell Testimonies were given by the 12 missionaries in our Arkansas zones who leave on Tuesday, and no one wanted to leave.  We stayed until 6:00, then went home, exercised, and had a quiet evening.
            Friday, June 16, we cleaned the bathrooms at our corner of the church, I finished processing the 5 missionary recommendations, got pizza and salad for all the missionaries in our building—the Sherwood sisters, the Office Elders, and the NLR elders, plus the Sorensens and Hesses.  It was fun to eat together.  Even two of the Assistants and Pres. Wakolo came and had some food.  Watched a couple of movies in the evening, including “First Knight,” an oldie but goodie!!
            Saturday, June 17, we took our three grandchildren to the Little Rock Zoo.  We had a great time!!  It was overcast and had a nice breeze, so we were fine in the morning.  It was Enrichment Day at the zoo, which means that the zoo keepers would set up special food treats and cereal boxes to play with, then let the animals out to have some fun.  So we got to watch a black jaguar enjoy himself with the two hard-boiled eggs and checking out the signs they had put up.  Also, the otters loved their treats and playing in their pool, plus the girl otter next door had fun climbing a tree and watching the two boy otters play.  (They do not live together).  

We took the kids to McDonalds for lunch after being at the zoo for 2 ½ hours, then took them home.  We stopped by the Office for about an hour so that I could work on a project, then did our grocery shopping, I stopped and got my hair cut, then we went home and cleaned our own bathrooms, got cleaned up, and watched some TV.
            Today, June 18, is Fathers Day—Happy Fathers Day to everyone!!  We attended Larry’s and Holly’s ward and enjoyed our meetings.  Came home, ate lunch, and worked on the blog.  We had a rest and then drove to Larry’s house for a great dinner of steak and shrimp!!  We had a visit with Brent on the way.  Technology is great!
            We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June Begins and 44th Wedding Anniversary

Dear family and friends,
            Last Sunday evening we enjoyed our visits with Christi and her family, and with Shelley.  It’s so good to catch up with them.           
Last Monday, June 5, I sent letters and itineraries to the Departing Missionaries.  I know they were looking forward to getting those!  We had our Staff Meeting with Pres. and Sister Wakolo and covered a lot of different topics, esp. about things that were going to happen over the next 3.5 weeks as they prepare to leave.  After the meeting, we had our interview with President Wakolo and he thanked us profusely for all the good work that we have done.  It sure made us feel good.  He also prayed with us and asked for a special blessing on our families at home, which really touched our hearts.  We went home after work and had FHE, made our lunches, etc.  Jim ironed his shirts and washed the dishes.
            Tuesday I sent letters to the 20 missionaries who will be coming in August, including the 4 new missionary recommendations that came in that day.  That takes quite a while!  I also sent information to the sisters who will be serving the luncheons for the next zone conferences. Jim: yesterday was quite busy with several bills to pay and arranging for a couple MSF cards we have been waiting on to arrive.  Today was a little slower and it was a beautiful day, no rain as has been the case lately.  I am preparing to address how to help the missionaries keep safe with their combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It seems that some do not know what to do if the CO detector alarm goes off.   In the evening we exercised, talked to Brent, and had a quiet evening.
            Wednesday this morning we drive to Little Rock and I had my final follow up on my broken wrist.  It is completely healed and I can do anything I feel up to.  Hooray!!  I do need to exercise it more to get the strength and mobility back.   I got 4 more missionary recommendations, so it took me all day to process the 8 new ones, and I had to send letters to those 4 new ones.  I also had to send letters to those 24!!  Then we got word that one was going to a different mission, so 23 total!!  Still a lot.  After work we did a load of laundry, ate dinner, and went to see the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.  We laughed a lot and quite enjoyed it!!
            Thursday was our 44th Wedding Anniversary!!  What a special day!!  I am so grateful to be married to such a good man.  He has always taken good care of me and our family, and this last 2 months he has had to do so much for me as I recovered from my fractured wrist.  I cannot thank him enough!!!!  Jim: it has been a wonderful 44 years and the little extra help I have been the last little while has just helped me to appreciate her all the more.  We need to learn to appreciate all that we have, and not take things for granted.  We need to see the Lord’s hand in our lives, for it is surely there all the time.  Being on a mission together has helped us draw even closer through working together.  We have always had common things we did to keep up the house, yard, and raising the kids, but a mission has been especially nice.  We recommend it to every couple, and the Lord really needs us here in the Mission field.  To date we still have not received any notice of a replacement couple for us in mid-August.  There are needs all over the world for senior couples.   Pat:  I spent the day making multiple copies of papers that need to go in the Arrival Miss 2nd letters.  Also, Sister Wakolo and her daughter Jasmin came in the Office for a while and we had a great visit!  After work Jim took me to the Kanpai Japanese Steakhouse and we both got Katsu, which was delicious!!  We brought leftovers home to enjoy a second day.  We watched TV and went to bed.
            Friday I wrote up all the 23 letters that I prepared materials for on Thursday and sent them all out.  That took me most of the day.  I also went through the Departing Missionaries’ folders and got their papers ready to put in their “Mission Memories” binders.  The 4 Assistants, Elders James, Cowley, Taleni, and May came into the Office for a meeting with Elder Sorensen about planning for the cars and drivers for the next Transfer.  It was good to visit with them.  Some of our missionaries who are coming cannot drive and that makes it harder.  And they cannot get their licenses while on their mission.  So that has to also factor into the Transfer companionships.  We went to get groceries on our way home from work, put food away and ate dinner, and had a quiet evening of TV and movies. 
            Saturday, June 10, was beautiful and sunny and not too warm—which it has been all week!!  We love it!!!  We vacuumed, dusted, cleaned all our windows to let the sunshine in, worked on packing a large bag to ship stuff home.  We also exercised and cleaned up, then drove downtown and went through the Little Rock Visitors Center, which is a pretty restored home in the downtown area. 

  We also went to the Old State House/capital building.  It has been restored and we were given a tour of it.  It was very interesting.  
The odd shapes he starts with

We saw a display of rustic guitars and banjos that were made by an old fellow named Ed Stillery.  
The finished instruments (still  oddly shaped)
The pictures on the wall are x-rays of what is inside them  He put lots of odds and ends inside.
 Then we drove to the Little Rock Stake Center, ate a light dinner, and attended the evening session of stake conference.  President and Sister Wakolo spoke about the scriptures that tell about the Plan of Salvation, and were presented with a beautiful “Arkansas Traveler” certificate mounted in a large frame, for contributions to the state of Arkansas.  Jim:The first speaker was President Dixon, the stake president, and he spoke on the blessing of having the Book of Mormon and was very emotional as he reverenced that sacred book.  We heard from a sister who recently completed the 12 week self-reliance course on personal finance and the testimony she has of that new program and the increased testimony it has blessed her with of the Savior and the miracles that they saw occur for those in the class.  The Memphis temple matron, Sister Danielson was one of the other speakers and gave some family history stories from her personal family.  The concluding speaker was Elder Steven Thompson of the Seventy, our visiting general authority.  He spoke on several things but the one that touched me the most was also on family history and his reminder to us all that we have been blessed to have been born and received the Gospel in this last dispensation of time.  We probably made promises to our ancestors, who are still in spirit prison because their temple work has not been done yet, that we would do that work.  They are waiting on us.
            Sunday, we went to Stake Conference, sat with Larry and the kids (Holly was home sick), and enjoyed the meeting and the beautiful talks and testimonies.  Jim: Music was an important part of our worship service today.  There was prelude piano medley of several songs, one of which is a real favorite of mine, “If You Could Hie to Kolob.” It has such wonderful verses to depict the grandeur of a Loving Heavenly Father and his loving plan of us all and that there is no end to His love for us, and all of His grand attributes and the glory that we can inherit.  Then during our meeting two of our wonderful sister missionaries performed a special number, Sister Brumett sang with her angelic voice and Sister Beckstrand signed to the song ‘Love One Another’. They had a quartet of viola, violin, flute, and piano, accompany her.  It was wonderful.  The talks were wonderful also. President Dixon and the Stake RS President spoke on keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Both last night and today there were recent converts who spoke and a couple of reactivated members who shared their experiences and testimonies. Sister Wakolo spoke on asking good important questions and let that be a guide as we study and serve to be able to find the answers.  President Wakolo spoke about his conversion to the gospel through the reading of the Book of Mormon.  The book is all about God’s love for us and has so much more information about the atonement than in the Bible. 36 chapters compared to a few verses in the Bible.  Elder Thompson, our  visiting General Authority, shared some special experiences and miracles, as did others on the program.  He taught about patterns that we find in the scriptures that teach us how to act and to serve.  If we are trying to find revelations we will likely not find them while we are sitting on our couch, but rather when we are serving others.   We need to act in order to bind ourselves to the Lord.  The Lord is in the details of our lives, and he gave a couple of really great examples of that from his life.  Came home after, ate lunch, and took naps.  We then worked on our blog, chatted with both our daughters and their families which was a lot of fun.
            We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Memorial Day and the Senior Social

Dear Family and Friends,            
             Last Monday, May 29, was Memorial Day.  We spent the day in Hot Springs, AR, with the Sorensens and the Hesses.  The downtown area is a National Park celebrating the natural hot springs that are there and the bath houses that were built over them.  The Visitors Center is a restored building that we toured through and saw how they were used during the 1920’s through the 1950’s, and some are even in use today.  They were used as mineral baths. 

 It was fun walking around and looking at everything.  This was definitely for rich folks.  They were used as mineral baths for hydrotherapy and other such remedies of the day, such as massages, vibration, light, and some electric shock, claiming no one was ever electrocuted, but it looked a little scary.  

When we stopped for lunch, there were people in the restaurant who saw our name tags and stopped us to tell us they were also Mormons and wanted to know about our mission.  It really makes us feel good when people want to connect with us! 

            Tuesday in the Office I spent most of the day putting the pre-made materials in the 16 Mission Memories binders for the Departing missionaries who leave to go home in 3 weeks.  I also received a bunch of mail that had updated information for missionaries that I needed to change in IMOS.  It poured rain all afternoon and evening, but we exercised anyway.  We also enjoyed a nice phone visit with Brent.
            Wednesday, May 31, I processed the six new missionary recommendations that came in.  Two for August, three for September, and one for October—our first one.  I also sent letters to the missionaries who just entered the MTC and will come here on June 20th.  We also went to Sam’s Club to pick up lots more bottled water and granola bars for the missionaries who come to our building for meetings.  We picked up some veggies at Kroger on the way home after work. Jim: Yesterday and today the weather forecast was for only 10% chance of rain, but it rained buckets just as we were leaving both days.
            IT’S JUNE!!  Thursday we did our office and bathroom cleaning first, then I worked on various letters, made folders, and answered emails.  We visited with Larry on our way home, and spent the evening making the veggie dip and cutting up veggies for the Senior Social on Friday at the Mission Home. Jim: This has been a regular week for me of some bills to pay, MSF cards to replace, but not much on apartment issues.  I am still working on a project to have members in the different areas of the mission contact the missionaries when severe weather is alerted, as the missionaries don’t get those alerts on their phones.
            Friday, June 2, we went to the Mission Home to spend the day with the other Senior Couples and Sisters who serve in this mission with us.  This includes the couples who live here locally and serve as Apartment Inspectors/Advisors.  We ate lots of snacks brought by some of the couples, did lots of visiting, ate a wonderful lunch prepared by Sister Wakolo, and desserts brought by the rest of the couples/sisters.  President Wakolo also had interviews with most of the people who came.  We had a special treat—our cousins, Gary and Lou Colton and their granddaughter, stopped to see us at the Mission Home at about 11:30!  We fed them some of the snacks (we had plenty!!), and visited with them.  They were on their way to Alabama for a grandson’s wedding.  We do love to have visitors!!  At the end of the luncheon, all the missionaries who will be leaving before the next Social next December bore their testimonies.  That included President & Sister Wakolo and Jim and me!  It was a poignant moment for us.  Our final days are getting closer.  We helped clean up at the end of the Social, then stopped at Kroger for our weekly shopping, went home and entered receipts and did our May budget, then watched a movie.
            Saturday, June 3, we cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen floor in our apartment, exercised, cleaned up, and drove to Larry’s to pick up our grandson, Gary, and took him to David’s Burgers for his birthday lunch.  The burgers and grilled chicken there are HUGE!!  Then we stopped at Game Stop, then Barnes and Noble where we bought him two books for his birthday. 
Gary is 13 now!
  Went back to his house and visited with Larry and the family.  Larry was working on putting cleft lips in some very lifelike dolls to be able to show parents the surgery that would be done on their infant.  He and his team do impressive work.  We then headed home and took naps.  It started to pour rain which lasted for two hours.  We drove over to Burns Park while it was still raining and went to a covered pavilion there where the North Little Rock Ward was having a catfish fry.  It stopped raining as the Blessing was said, and we were able to enjoy a wonderful dinner.  A count was taken and we had 90 people in that pavilion!!  Then they had a different kind of talent show where people told us how to:  play a ukulele, box, make wood carvings with a scroll saw, have a garden, fish by hand for catfish, etc., and they each had to do it in 3 mintues!  It was fun!  We went home, watched a movie, and went to bed.
            Sunday, June 4, it rained during the night and on and off during the day.  We had a quiet morning, enjoyed our church meetings including the testimonies of the members.  Had lessons on prophets and RS and favorite scriptures.  Came home, took naps, and are looking forward to our evening visits with our daughters.           
            Special story about President Wakolo told by a general authority, Elder Condie.  When Elder Condie was serving in the South Pacific, he took a letter to President Wakolo who was president of a Fiji stake at that time.  The letter was a call to serve as an Area Seventy.  While there the elder noticed a tattoo on President Wakolo’s right hand.  The elder suggested that President Wakolo cover it up with a large band aid each time he spoke to the youth in the different places he would be assigned.  President smiled and said, “I’ll take care of it.  I want to be a good example.”  When they met again a few weeks later, the elder noticed the hand was heavily bandaged.  When he asked President Wakolo what had happened, President said, “I followed your counsel and had the tattoo removed.  Not laser surgery, but I had it surgically cut out.”  Now there is a large, unsightly scar on the back of the hand.  The elder apologized for having been the cause of such a big scar, but President Wakolo responded, “Not to worry, President Condie, this is my CTR ring.  Now the Lord knows where I stand!  I’ll do anything the Lord asks of me.” “President Wakolo has become a disciple who keeps his covenants and strives to do good continually.”   We are grateful to have had the opportunity to be taught and led by such a good, faithful man!!!
            We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Week of May 22-28

Dear family and friends, [hallelujah Pat is back doing the majority of typing the Blog!!!!!!!!]
            Monday, May 22, 2017: It was cloudy all day but no rain.  Pat worked on the letters to the stake presidents of the Departing missionaries—all 17 of them (16 elders and one sister).  It included doing all of the Release Certificates.  Also email copies were sent to their parents and their bishops.    This took all day.  Jim: I had plenty of bills to pay today, replacement of MSF cards, broken cell phones, and an apartment renewal.  We left the Office at 4:30, picked up a quick hamburger, and drove to downtown Little Rock to the Robinson Concert Center for the dance recital of our granddaughter, Harper.  We got there at 5:30 and saved seats on the eighth row which made for good viewing except for the head of the guy in front of me!  Oh well!  The performance started at 6:30, had no talking—just followed the printed program—and ended at 8:30.  They had many good dancers, and we especially enjoyed the two dances Harper was in.  We found out later is was only half the studio and the rest of the dances would be on Tuesday evening.  I am so glad we didn’t have to sit through a four-hour program!!!  It was also Gary’s 13th birthday, so we went to their house to sing, give cards and gifts, and eat cake and ice cream. 
Harper's dance costume
Gary's birthday

Tuesday, May 23, Pat worked on printing up copies of the mission history, did the first letters to the Departing missionaries which included sending email copies to their parents, sent faxes of medical bills to SLC, took care of paperwork that the future missionaries had mailed in.  Sister Wakolo was in the office for a while emailing copies of stuff to SLC.  She talked about how President Wakolo not only is doing all his mission President activities, but also had to watch 2-3 videos from SLC each week to train him on how to be a General Authority.  Jim: I worked on my financial and housing secretary handbook, updating and hoping that I have someone to train before we leave. We have also been addressing our computer needs and how to address the needs verses the available, allowable number of computers.  It is going to be extra challenging when one of the computers, which technically is excess, goes away the end of May.    After work we exercised, ate, and relaxed. 
            Wednesday, May 24, Pat finished the letters to the Departing missionaries, and also processed two new missionary recommendations for September Arriving missionaries.  Sister Hess helped with that.  Jim: I worked on an emergency contact plan for notification of the missionaries should we have a severe weather alert. We did 3 loads of laundry at home, and Jim cutup a delicious pineapple and did the dishes.
            Thursday, May 25, was MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) in our building, and we had the zone leaders and sister-training-leaders in and out of our office before and after.  It started at 9:30, breaking for lunch, and ended at 3:45.  Two missionaries were going home on Friday, so I had to get letters ready for them.  One had only been here for two weeks and refused to stay, the other left just 4 weeks short of completing his mission because of his mother’s serious condition, so I got his Mission Memories binder ready to go.  Jim and I went to pick up the box lunches from Jimmy Johns for the lunch.  Took a few minutes to talk to my sister, Lois.  We came home, exercised, watched TV, and had a quiet evening.
            Friday, May 26, was quiet and I was able to finish up the first Departure letters and get the second one out.  Those I did not need to email copies to parents so they went faster.  Jim took me shopping for more nice stationery for the missionaries to use to write their farewell testimony on.  We took them to the mailbox to get them out because of the Monday holiday.  Jim: I had another bit slower day and was able to update the missionary bicycle tracking spreadsheet. We did our weekly grocery shopping, and had fun watching movies at home.
            Saturday, May 27, we did some work in the apartment, then left to try to find a cemetery in Maumelle, which we could not find for the Million Graves project.  We will try to do some phoning next week.  So we decided to drive west on Highway 10 to the Ouachita Mountains (hills) and Forests (lots of green trees and grass).  We were out all day, with surprisingly very light traffic.  We also stopped at Petit Jean State Park to see their pretty waterfall, and to see a glorious vista overlooking the Arkansas River and a view looking east, north, and west.  We stopped in Morrilton to visit the Wieses, one of our Senior Couples, then drove home to rest and recuperate from a tiring day in the car.
Maumelle Lake

A large Razerback

Crystal Falls
Overlook from Ouachita Park to Arkansas River bottom

Pat at Crystal Falls overlook
            Sunday, May 28, this morning as we listened to Music and the Spoken Word, Lloyd Newall talked about Memorial Day, and though it celebrates our family and friends who served our country in the military, it is much more.  We celebrate our family members who have passed on before us, and we look to the future as well, not just to the past.  We are the ones that our children and grandchildren will look back to and so what kind of legacy are we leaving for them to follow.  It was a sobering thought.  I have fond memories of my parents, grandparents, and others, and some of the many things I learned from them.  I hope that I can leave something of value for my progenitors.  Probably most importantly would be our testimonies of Jesus Christ.  How have we emulated His teaching in the way we live our lives?  How have we shown the love that we have felt from God in the way we have treated others?  In our Sacrament meeting today one of the speakers used several examples from his family that tied to how he is an active member of the Church today.  Their examples and sacrifices, from the early days of the restoration, have blessed his life now.  It was a touching talk and made looking forward a more vivid experience for me and how we in our daily lives can effect generations to come. We have modern day pioneers that leave their families to serve and leave a legacy for others.  Our former bishop in the Little Rock Ward leaves on deployment with the Army tomorrow and will be gone for a year.  They and we will be blessed by his example.
            We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell