Sunday, March 19, 2017

Zone Conference Week and St. Patrick's Day

Dear Family and Friends,
            Last Sunday in church Brother Bellarose was confirmed.  In the evening we enjoyed good visits with Christi and her family, and with Shelley.  They are all doing well.
            Monday I forwarded the President’s emails to the Seniors as I do every Monday.  I updated the 4-year address list for the missionaries, then started a new 4-year address list that includes a column for email addresses.  Those have not been regularly included in the past.  This took me time over 4 days, finally finishing up on Friday.  Also on Monday we had missionaries in and out of the Office all morning, there for P-day and emailing their families.  After work, we came home, grabbed the chicken salad we had made Sunday evening, and went over to the theater room at the club house.  Jim: This was a really busy day, three compromised or lost MSF cards by 10am and then lots of bills to pay.  The Sorensens and Hesses brought their salads to share, too, and we also brought snacks to eat afterwards during the movie.  The salads were all delicious, and we had a great time watching an old Disney movie called, “The North Avenue Irregulars.”  It was really cute and funny!  And we snacked on popcorn, carmel corn, and M&M’s.  It was a great FHE.
            Tuesday continued work on the 4-year address list, plus working on other emails and phone calls that came in.  Elder and Sister Hess came in and worked all day.  The Sorensens left at 1:00 to drive to Memphis, go to the temple, and be ready for Zone Conference over there on Wednesday.  We stayed at the Office until 6:00, and were also able to enjoy phone visits with Larry and Brent.  We drove down to Little Rock Ward for the RS Birthday dinner party and celebration.  We had Hawaiian Haystacks (that were delicious), and then shared testimonies of what Relief Society meant to several of the sisters.  I have a strong testimony of RS.  It means so much to me.  I have learned and shared so many things that have made a difference in my life.  I am so grateful the Lord gave us this wonderful organization.  Jim drove me there and waited for me, eating a sandwich he had fixed.  I wished I could have shared the dinner with him, but he wouldn’t come in. 
            Wednesday was real quiet.  It was also cold outside, only 30 degrees this morning.  Both the Sorensens and Hesses were at the Zone Conf in Memphis, so we were in the Office alone.  The Office Elders came in a couple of times, and the Spanish Zone had a Zone Meeting—it’s first!  They loved being together and doing their role-plays in Spanish.  We got two new Missionary Recommendations in—one for May and one for June—so I processed those which took me all day because I also did their first letters.  Went shopping after work, made and ate dinner, did three loads of laundry, Jim washed the dishes and ironed his shirts, and watched TV and went to bed.
            Thursday was our Arkansas Zone Conference.  Lots of missionaries in the building from the three zones.  We went all day and loved the presentations and talks and activities.  There was such a beautiful Spirit there.  We had a great presentation from the two mental health specialists who help the missionaries in some of their struggles.  They talked about Companionship Relations and how to get along better and make changes in how they talk to each other and to themselves.  One phrase we should never use is “makes me” as in “that makes me be angry,” or “you make me upset.”  Instead we should use the phrase “I feel.”  It’s also good to do a Companionship Inventory every week, not only on your mission but in your marriages.  We had a delicious BBQ Beef lunch (there were about 140 people there), and also a presentation of yellow roses was given to Sister Thompson, our Mission Nurse.  She has just been released from her mission, and now Elder Hess is fully in charge as Mission Nurse.  The meetings ended at 3:45 with the final testimonies of those missionaries who are going home in two weeks.  Very sad and sweet!!  Then for an hour we had lots of missionaries in and out of the Office to ask questions and pick up media.  It was chaotic!  Sister Hugentobler came for her last visit.  She left on Saturday to drive with her family back to her home in Moab, Utah.  Sorry to see her go!!  Came home, made and ate Chicken Curry for dinner, chopped up two heads of cabbage and two onions for cooking on Friday.
            Friday was St. Patrick’s Day, and my sister, Lois’s birthday.  It was so quiet.  All the calls went to the Sorensens.  I sent out Letter 2 to the missionaries whose Recommends I just processed, then spent the rest of the day on the new 4-year address list and got it done by 4:45!!  Hooray!!  Now I just need to check it and print it up and put them in the “Mission Memories” binders.  Came home and sautéed the cabbage and onions, then went to the North Little Rock building for an Irish dinner.  We thought we might just drop off the food and go to Gary’s soccer game, but I was too worried about the rain that was supposed to come.  The dinner was a lot of fun—good food and entertainment (quite a few good singers, pianists, and guitar players in the ward) and silly Irish jokes and activities.  Lots of fun!  We helped clean up after and went home and collapsed!!
            Saturday--it warmed up nicely the latter part of the week and was in the mid-70s today.  We exercised, dusted and vacuumed, read and deleted lots of emails that we were behind on, recorded receipts, ate lunch, then changed and went over the new Broadway Street Bridge (finished a month ahead of schedule!), and then to the Big Dam Bridge 

where we took a nice walk to the top to look over the Murray Lock, Dam, and Arkansas River.  

Then we did a fast walk down and back to the car, grabbed a quick bite at Wendy’s, then met Larry and his family at the theater to see “Beauty and the Beast.”  It was wonderful!!  They had some new songs, plus the usual ones, and it was so beautiful!!  Loved it!!  I laughed in parts and cried in others.  (I know, I’m an old softie!)  Came home, Jim did the dishes, and we watched a western movie. 
            Today is Sunday.  The weather is warming up more and we are enjoying it very much.  We had a quiet morning, watched “Music and the Spoken Word,” went to church and enjoyed the talks and lessons, drove home, took naps, and watched a BYU Devotional where President and Sister Nelson gave talks.  It has been a lovely day!
            Some quotes to share from the missionaries:  “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” 
            “This week we were able to visit a member.  He has not been able to make it to church in a few years.  We have been over regularly to visit, share a spiritual thought, and assist him in making plans to return to church.  Recently he was promoted to Sergeant and got his weekends off.  Well, he came to church yesterday!  He was really excited!  And in priesthood he shared his experience with the brethren.  He said that since the missionaries have visited him constantly, he has felt like he wasn’t forgotten and that he was still loved, and that gave him the motivation necessary to keep looking for ways to get back to church!  Now he plans on coming every Sunday!  We are really excited!!”
            We love you and pray you are all doing well,

            Elder & Sister Hartzell

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