Dear Family and Friends,
Last Sunday was cloudy and quite warm—in the 70’s. We left early for church so we could pick up a deaf family in our ward named Bowie, father, mother, and 7 year old son. The son hears and speaks. We have a deaf branch who meet as part of our ward and we love to watch the different ward members sign for the talks and hymns and lessons and prayers including the Sacrament. We have 3 new missionaries in the Ward, two new sisters, one of whom is coming back after being away for 4 transfers, and a new elder. We came home in the evening and watched some BYU TV, ate some of the good smoked pork that we got yesterday, and had good Facetime visits with Christi and Shelley and some of their families. We also had a nice visit with my sister Lois and found out that a cousin fell and broke his femur and was having to have surgery to put in a steel rod and some pins. He is in our prayers for a good recovery.
Monday was quiet in the Office. I worked on emails, the calendar, and starting to create and send out Leadership Letters to all the missionaries who became Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and District Leaders in the Transfer last week. The President has decided to put two sets of Zone Leaders over each zone so that more of the missionaries could develop leadership abilities in advance of the new mission president coming. When I fill in the correct information in each letter, I print up two copies (one to mail out and one to go in the missionary’s file), then I “Share” as an attachment in email form to their parents, bishops, and stake presidents, depending on the assignment. I often get very special responses of thanks and love and feel so blessed to be part of the process!! Had Office Staff meeting in the afternoon, but we did it on the phone as President had to go to the dentist in the morning and was late coming home so they could not make it in. But we still got a lot done. I did NOT get any new assignments, so I am grateful for that. Had a good phone visit with Brent on the drive home, and had a quiet evening.
In a recent email from President Wakolo he shared comments from several of the missionaries. One was particularly impressive to Jim – “My studies have been great. I am coming to the end of the Book of Mormon and I absolutely love the story of the brother of Jared. I love that Jesus told him to present a plan. Christ could have just told him what to do, but he wanted to see what the brother of Jared would come up with. I think that happens a lot in life. Sometimes we ask God for help, but he leaves the choice up to us. For example, I never got definite answer to going on a mission. I prayed and prayed and I finally decided I needed to stop waiting for an answer and start acting. So I started my papers and turned them in! When I read “Arkansas Little Rock Mission” on my call letter, I knew that I had made the right choice. I’m glad I took that leap of faith instead of waiting for an answer!” We grow as we act in faith.
Tuesday I worked all day on the Leadership Letters which I was able to finish, answered a lot of emails, and worked on various things. Sister Hess came into the Office to help with both the Arriving Binders and the Phone Report. She is just learning about this and struggling a bit to understand how to do it and to try not to go cross-eyed reading all the thousands of lines of data (text messages) and information (phone calls). A sister missionary came in to spend the afternoon sleeping on the couch in President’s Office as she did not feel well. That way her two companions could still go meet with people. We came home and exercised. I was delighted to find out that the other treadmill in the Exercise Room was fixed so I have a much better chance of being able to work out on a treadmill.
Wednesday I worked on the Mission History and finished it and sent it to President Wakolo to review and make changes. I also did a bit of shredding of all paperwork, worked on the calendar, answered phone calls, and had a pretty quiet day. Did the grocery shopping on the way home, then did the laundry all evening, watched TV, etc.
Thursday we sent a copy of the Welcome Binder to our new mission president for him to review. I started going through all the missionaries’ files to be sure they each had a bio paper (many did not so I did a lot of printing), and to take out a paper that was supposed to be in their driving file. Because I did not know that when I came, I had to take out quite a few. Sister Green came in to work with Sister Hess on the Phone Report, and the three of us went out to lunch at the Mexican restaurant that is close by. It was fun to visit with Sister Green again and get to know Sister Hess better. Jim spent the day having his annual audit. I will let him tell you about that: compared to last year it was much easier. When I arrived last year none of the files were very well organized, so it was very hard to find what the auditor wanted to review. This year we found everything much easier. There were a couple reports that we couldn’t find, but we have procedures in place now that will remedy that next year. He arrived about 9:45 and we were done by noon. YIPPEE!!!
Friday Jim and I cleaned the bathrooms, then I worked on emails, continued going through the folders and am almost finished with them. It was a pretty quiet day with hardly any phone calls. Went home, ate dinner, and fell asleep watching the new MacGyver, so I missed the ending. Darn!! Hard when things are not recorded like I am used to at home. Watched some more old TV shows on Hulu Plus, then went to bed and slept well.
Saturday we got to sleep in until 7:00!! Hooray!! It was our P-day and was sunny but colder (brrr), it was in the upper 70s on Wednesday, so it cannot decide to be warm or cold. We exercised (both strength and aerobic) at different times during the day, made cookies, organized some papers and files, cleaned both bathrooms, changed our sheets and washed our bedding, cleaned up, when to Walmart to do some shopping for Jim’s birthday on Tuesday, the 28th, and also got some medicine and food, ate Subway (it is so convenient to have one in the Walmart store just like we do in Payson), went home and relaxed. At 7:30 we went over to Sorensen’s and played games and ate snacks with them and the Hesses. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of laughing. Came home and went to bed.
We hope you are all doing well.
Love, Elder and Sister Hartzell