Wednesday, February 1, 2017

An Apostle Visits

Dear Family and Friends,
            Sorry this is late, but we had a busy weekend and couldn’t get to it. 
            Last Sunday, the 22nd, since church didn’t start until noon, we had a nice slow start and were able to do a lot of reading.  Church was nice—we had talks on self-reliance and tithing, and had good classes and discussions.  We took a girl home who is a new investigator, then went to the Office for a while to work on photos.  Went home for dinner and visits with Christi and Shelley.
            Monday I got some Departure letters out, took care of phone calls and emails, and we had a good Staff Meeting with, of course, lots of new assignments.  We talked about preparing for the visit of an apostle, Elder Neil L. Andersen, who was coming on Saturday, and all the things that each of us needed to do to be ready.  Talked to Brent on the way home and learned that their youngest, little Hannah, has been sick and they are doing tests to determine what is wrong.  Also, Michelle has blood in her eye and will probably need some procedures done.  Because of all the stuff I needed to do, I don’t go to sleep quickly and wake up early, so I averaged about 5 hours a night. The rain has stopped and the sun is out and beautiful.
            Tuesday I worked on the calendar, took care of paperwork that came in, had to work on ordering lunches for STL (Sister Training Leader) meeting on Wed., MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) on Thursday, and dinners for the missionaries on Saturday night.  Our new Mission Nurse, Elder Hess, and his wife arrived at 3:30.  We showed them around the chapel, then took them to their new apartment and left them with the Office Elders, who helped them move furniture around and get things set up.  Then we did our shopping for mission food at Sam’s Club, went back to the Office for an hour, then met the Sorensens and Hesses at Chili’s for dinner. 
            Wednesday, during STL meeting, they stopped and we all went into the chapel for a special broadcast from SLC about changes in the missionary schedule, and special things they want the missionaries to emphasize.  The focus needs to be on the Plan and on the Doctrine of Christ—that all things need to be taught in that framework.  It was really powerful.  As soon as it was over, we went to Chick-fil-A to get lunch for the sisters, we all ate, then I cleaned up and put stuff away.  I printed up the Mission Histories, put together the premade material in the “Mission Memories” binders, took Sister Hess to the shed in the parking lot to get stuff for her apartment, went shopping with Jim, and headed home to do laundry. Jim has been busy setting up a new apartment this week and paying bills as usual, plus all the surprises each day to addresss. There is no end to apartment renewals, opening or closing apartments, and the utilities. 
            Thursday was MLC.  I worked on making copies of the bio information on all the missionaries who will be here when our new mission president arrives, did the 4th Departure letter that goes in their binders, left at noon to get the Subway sandwich for the lunch, cleaned up after, left early to go to Larry and Holly’s and babysit the grandchildren while Larry and Holly went to Napa Valley, CA, for a conference and to have fun.  We made spaghetti for dinner, watched a family DVD, had Tim Tam Slams, and watched a fun “Goofy”movie.
We put Harper to bed, then later the boys and us.
            Friday we got up and fixed French Toast, then Jim went to work and I did stuff with the kids.  I watched Gary and Harper jump and do tricks on the tramp, then did puzzles and games with Harper.  When she left for a birthday party, the boys just did video games and I watched movies.  We stopped for lunch at 12:30, they got all their stuff together for a sleepover, and their friends picked all of them up to go have fun and stay at their houses.  Jim had to do the weekly cleaning at the building, including both bathrooms as I wasn’t there to do my job, and had a lot of other interruptions.  I called Jim to come pick me up, and we took all our stuff with us, went to the Office, ate dinner there and kept working until 7:00 p.m.  Went home, changed the stuff in our suitcases, watched TV and relaxed.
            Saturday we got cleaning done and exercised at the apartment, went to the church at 1:30 and made sure things were ready for the missionaries to come.  And they all came from all over the mission.  We had 190 there!!  It took 40 minutes to get everyone in place for a big group photo, so that when Elder Andersen came in with Elder Klebingat, Bishop Waddell, Elder Beheshti, and Pres & Sister Wakolo, everyone got real quiet and were so respectful.  The brother took the photos, then we followed Elder Andersen into the chapel one zone at a time and shook everyone’s hands.  Then we had a wonderful meeting!!  We heard great testimonies about missionary work and how important it is to teach the Doctrine of Christ, and memorize scriptures that touch our hearts and sink deep into our souls, and help us feel the Spirit. Jim--Elder Anderson emphasized the importance to keep on the covenant path all of our lives, and being converted to the Lord, not the church.  He also quoted Elder Oaks who said that a testimony is to know and conversion is to become. We need to become and the atonement allows us to repent, which is how we change.   Bishop Waddell talked about the power in the Book of Mormon to convert, and then mentioned the difference between serving on a mission and going on a mission.  We need to be looking outward and not inward.  Elder Klebingat used Acts 5:11-12 to address what we might not be laying on the altar of God, and what we might be holding back in our service.  Afterwards I hurried outside to make sure that each missionary going back on the bus to Memphis had a box dinner until all were handed out, and Jim gave out hard-cover Book of Mormons to the missionaries for their personal study.  We had Bram meet us there while Gary stayed for a youth meeting with Elder Andersen.  We picked up Harper on our way home, then got home to Larry and Holly’s and had them get out their Sunday clothes and take baths and showers.  Then all went to bed.
            I awoke at 2:00 a.m. with terrible stomach cramps—oh, I was in such pain!! I had diarrhea and was soooooo sick.  I kept having cramps all night and all the next day, just not as bad as at first.  I am pretty sure it was food poisoning.
            Sunday Gary woke up with a runny nose, sore throat, and feeling miserable, so we both stayed home and Jim took Bram and Harper to church.  Then we had a quiet day watching some good movies like “Finding Dory” and “Snowball Express.”  We had pizza for dinner, then Larry and Holly got home having had a great time in Napa Valley and in San Francisco.  We headed home, talked to Christi and then Shelley, then went to bed.  I still didn’t feel great but was able to get some anti-diarrheal medicine Monday morning and finally stop the cramping.
            I will stop there and talk about this week next Sunday.
            Sure hope you are all doing well.

            Love,  Elder and Sister Hartzell

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