Dear family and friends,
Jim: Last Sunday evening we had our weekly visits with our two daughters and then just before we were ready to go to bed, I noticed a text from President Wakolo that had come in 30 minutes before. There was some paper work that he needed for one of the missionaries that was leaving for medical reasons the next morning. So off to the office we went, got that ready quickly, and then drove to the mission home and dropped it off. That made for a little later evening than we had planned.
Monday: Pat received help again today from Sister Green to do some of the typing for departing letters to missionaries, parents, and stake presidents. Mine was a typical busy Monday with lots of bills to pay and I analyzed the monthly financial statement to later review with President, which we do after a staff meeting. I had a few things to fix with journal entries to correct the errors. It was raining quite hard when we left the office.
Tuesday: We had a lighter day today--no real emergencies. Pat did some shredding and computer work. We did our weekly grocery shopping after work and a good phone visit with one of our sons. This evening was laundry, fix dinner, do the dishes and fix lunch for tomorrow, exciting stuff eh. I have been listening to Jesus the Christ and have been enjoying that a great deal.
Wednesday: So on the weather report this morning it said zero chance of rain, but the humidity is 97%, glad it isn’t hot yet! In Utah I don’t think it is ever 97% even when it is raining. In Arizona during the monsoon season it might have gotten up to 30%. Today Pat got her fiberglass cast off and put into a removable rigid splint for the next three weeks. That will make showering a lot easier. Her arm is healing fine, which is a great blessing. Today I had three different apartments that needed specific liability insurance documents prepared of them, which is more work. Most can just use the generic report. Pat did a few more letters to parents and processed two new missionary applications for August with Sister Hesses help.
Thursday: We attended our zone conference today at the Little Rock Stake center where we attend church. It was a great meeting and we got to hear from President Wakolo a couple of times. The main focus was on how to improve in finding people to teach. He shared some of his experiences from last week and his calling as a General Authority Seventy. He has served as a mission president now for nearly 3 years, was an Area Authority Seventy for 8 years, and was a stake president before that. He said he thought he understood church government and operations from those experiences, but now he said that he really only understood a very little as he had meetings with the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presidency of the Seventy. I have several goals I need to work on to improve myself. One thing I cannot do much about is my hearing. I use hearing aids but when I am in a cultural hall, with no microphone in use, I have a very difficult time hearing. Ambient noise is amplified just as much as speech and I miss a great deal. In the resurrection, besides getting all the hairs back that I have lost, I am looking forward to having good hearing. In our ward that we attend we have several deaf members. I have always been touched as I see people signing for them and the expression they put into their signing which emphasizes the expressions they are conveying. I can appreciate somewhat the challenges they face without hearing well.
Friday: We had a semi-annual health checkup this morning and then a normal day at the office. Pat has not had a lot of extra things to do, so she hasn’t needed the extra typing assistance, beyond what Sister Hess has provided from time to time since Tuesday. She had Sister Hess help her send out three stake president’s letters for medical release missionaries going home on Monday. It has been nice to have a lighter work load this week.
Saturday: I had to do some grocery shopping and then go into the office for a little while to deal with an apartment we need to open in Memphis for a new couple that is coming the end of the month. We did some cleaning and laundry at the apartment, Pat was able to help quite a little with that, even one-winging it. At 5:30 we met Larry and his family at “Larry’s Pizza” and had a fun time and lots of good pizza for dinner, followed by coloring Easter eggs back at their house after dropping off three more departure letter for sick missionaries leaving. I am so surprised how many missionaries leave early due to medical reasons of one kind or another. Often we don’t know any particulars. After the egg decorating they had a little party for Pat.
Sunday: A wonderful Easter Sabbath. We attended Larry’s ward with them. The Primary kids sang “Gethsemane” that we learned in 2015 when we taught Primary. It is such a special song and beautifully done by the children. There were three speakers, concluding with President Wakolo, who spoke about the atonement. What he shared was in part that the atonement is all about love, love, love. Love of Heavenly Father for all of us, love of the Savior for his Father to do all that was asked of him, and His love for us. We show our love for them by loving and caring for all our brothers and sisters here. We share the gospel with them, we do our family history for them, and we serve wherever we are called. It is the atonement or torment. Casualness leads to casualty. President Wakolo no longer sees trials, tribulations or weaknesses, but rather chooses to see them as training for him and through the atonement are helping to perfect him. A step towards the Savior is a step away from the world. When doctrine and principles overcome personality we progress. The question he left with us to consider was “what will the resurrection of Jesus Christ really mean to us each day?”
In Sunday School the teacher is a converted Muslim. Our lesson was on what we gained from Joseph Smith. She shared that when she grew up she saw Allah as God, but not as her Father. That was a very significant doctrine for her. And as I think about it, I never thought about God as my Father either. When you do, your relationship with Him changes, and he becomes more real to you and the hope of your future life with him.
We went over to Larry’s about 5:30 and had a lovely dinner and evening with them. Later we talked to both of our daughters for our weekly visit. Where would we be without our modern communication means.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell