Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jim's Birthday, the Memphis Zoo, and Bob

Dear Family and Friends,
            Last Sunday was sunny and cold.  We picked up the Bowies on our way to church.  The talks in Sacrament meeting and Prsthd/RS were all about Family History and Temple Work, including Indexing.  Michelle was there, and asked for a blessing after church because she was having her eye surgery on Tuesday.  Came home, napped, and watched some BYU TV while I fixed a nice spaghetti dinner.  At 5:45 there was a knock on the door and Larry and Holly and family were here!!  I set it up to surprise Jim as an early birthday present.  We enjoyed a nice dinner together, had lemon meringue pie and oatmeal chocolate chip or raisin cookies for dessert, then played some fun rounds of “Head Bands.”  

They left and we had good phone visits with Christi and Shelley.
            Monday I got a lot done at the Office.  One of our missionaries who was released last October has not been able to use his IPad.  I kept working with SLC to get the problem resolved.  Finally, it is done and he can use it!!  Hooray!!  I got all the first Departure Letters and iPad information out to the missionaries who leave the end of March.  Also, letters to all the parents of the 20 missionaries who will leave in June sent out asking for their latest contact information.  Sister Hess was in the Office all day working on different things.  We also discussed the need to comply with the instruction that we are only to have 4 computers in the Office (we have 5) and only 3 copiers in the Office (we have 4).  We will gradually get rid of the extras.  I had to do a “Mission Memories” Departure Binder and stake president letter for a sister who is leaving 1 ½ transfers early for health reasons.  Ran errands on the way home, enjoyed our leftovers, and had a quiet evening.
            Tuesday was Jim’s un-birthday!!  He is 17 ¼ years old!!  Jim opened his cards, and we exercised before work, went into the Office, and were surprised with lots of decorations in Jim’s Office.  The Office Elders and NLR elders went all out and put up balloons and streamers and a nice sign, plus birthday glasses and a pin to wear, etc.  It was all so fun!!!!!  

I brought in Oatmeal Cookies to share with whoever came into the Office.  I worked on a variety of stuff, including helping Sister Wakolo who came into the Office to take care of some things.  I wrote up all the Stake President letters and certificates for the missionaries leaving March 28th.  I had put all of the elder’s letters in envelopes to mail, but had to stop when one of the sisters came in with her companions.  I didn’t want her to see the letters so I put them aside to do later.  This was a tender mercy because the letter-template had been saved after the last “health” release letter, so they all said it was a “health” release.  I found this out because I started getting emails back asking why that word was included.  So on Wednesday I redid all the sisters’ letters and sent out the emails again and printed the correct letters up to put in the envelopes.  It was a tender mercy that I was stopped before I could insert the wrong letters in the envelopes.  Little things like that make such a big difference in how things go doing the Lord’s work!!  After work I went shopping while Jim had a nice phone visit with Brent.  Went home and had a quiet evening.  We had some tornado warnings but the storm passed north of us.  There was some bad wind and rain and hail in the storm that we missed.  So sorry for the folks who got hit bad.  Some missionaries were out of power for several hours.
            Wednesday I finished the stake president letters as I said above, finished my project of going through all the missionaries’ files to make sure they had the needed information and looked for the paper that belonged in the Vehicle Coordinator’s files.  Nice to get that done!  Had some problems with the fax machine and called it in to SLC.  They will send a technician on Friday.  We went to dinner at the Dixie Café for Jim’s birthday and were joined by the Sorensens, and Hesses, the Rasmussens, and the Greens.  We had such good food and a great time visiting and enjoying all these wonderful Senior Couples.  We are glad the Greens, who are not missionaries any more, still come by to see us and keep a good friendship going.  Went home and did two loads of laundry.  Jim opened his birthday gifts and I fell asleep watching TV (I often do).  The Office Elders brought over a memory foam mattress for Jim’s bed that came from a Senior Couple that had to return home.  Said it was nice. Jim: today I studied James 5: verses 14 &15 where anointings are spoken of and in addition to healing the sick it speaks of forgiveness of their sins.  Both of which are predicated upon the faith of the one receiving the blessing, as was taught by President Kimball “Faith is essential for healing by the powers of heaven” Ether 12:12 “The need for faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power for the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administrating brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed…”  President Kimball Oct 1981New Era p. 47.  I was impressed with the blessing that the brother gave to the sister on Sunday prior to her eye surgery.  He discussed this concept from James and then blessed her with forgiveness prior to a blessing of health.  I had not remembered hearing that before and I was impressed by it.
            Thursday was very slow and quiet.  The missionaries had individual Zone Meetings all morning.  I made copies of letters to send to our new mission president to review.  I also finished up the Mission History that I put in a big envelope and mailed to the Church History Department.  Then I did a lot of shredding of old papers and got rid of old stuff we weren’t using.  Was able to exercise both before and after work.  Also did two more loads of laundry, and Jim had a good phone visit with his brother, Dean.
            Friday was another quiet day as it is a day that the missionaries all do planning for the next week.  I did more shredding, plus started printing up the 40-year Mission Histories that go in the “Mission Memories” binders.  Also sent out letters to the missionary and parents who will be going into the Mexico MTC the beginning of May.  He should have lots of time to complete the paperwork that we are sending him.  Also worked on materials to go in the White Binder for the new mission president.  Did more shredding, and assorted other stuff.  The technician came in and finally got the fax machine working again!!  Hooray!!  Quiet evening at home, too.
            Saturday we got up and drove to Memphis to go to the zoo.  It is a really nice zoo and we had a great time.  They had Lego creatures all over the children’s area and places close by.  

As we were leaving, we got a call from the Dotans in Israel—her birthday is also on Leap Year day, so she and Jim wished each other a Happy Birthday and talked about their birthday activities.  Then we went to visit a dear friend, Bob Ziegler, who was visiting his daughter Marlowe and her family who have lived in Memphis for the past year.  We had a nice visit with the family, then Bob took us out to lunch and we ate great Memphis barbecue and talked and talked for over 2 hours!!  Sure is great to keep up with dear friends.  We drove back home, stopped at Walmart for a couple of things (nice that it’s close to the apartment), and went home to eat dinner and watch a movie.
            Sunday (today) it is raining outside and about 50 degrees. 
            We love you all,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

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