Dear family and friends,
The photo of the week was the one we should have posted last week. Pat with her Mother's Day flowers.
Monday, May 15, 2017: This was bill pay day and dealing with one especially bothersome apartment rent bill. The payment check was returned to Salt Lake twice as undeliverable. I eventually paid it by local check and that was delivered okay, all using the same address. So today I gave up on the mail service to them and created an online bill paying method. There are extra fees when we have to do that, but in this case it seems necessary. We had our staff meeting this afternoon with President Wakolo. We had a good meeting and addressed some office equipment issues that we needed to finalize to be completely compliant with the guidelines from the missionary department. The mission is doing well. The doubling of the number of zones has been positive and given some additional leadership learning experiences to more missionaries. Pat had emails to work on, missionaries that needed leadership letters, and correspondence to their parents.
Tuesday: Among my usual daily tasks, this week I am spending some time reviewing the files on my computer and deleting the old un-necessary ones, moving some to the OneDrive for additional security from a hard drive failure, and generally doing some house cleaning of files. There was a bunch of old files that should have been deleted several years go. The printer in my office is now also used by the vehicle coordinator, so I moved it closer to the door so he could more easily retrieve his printouts. Pat had a Staples order to do, IPad, and more emails to reply to and more leadership letters. Her wrist is getting better but it slows up her ability to type and she is sore by the end of the day.
Wednesday: More MSF card loss issues today to deal with. One sister has lost hers AGAIN. I also had some financial reimbursements from a couple of missionaries who “forgot” to ask permission before making purchases. They bought things we already had on hand in the storage shed and could have taken to them. So sometimes there are financial consequences to pay when we are not completely obedient. During the day Pat and I went to Sam’s Club to buy some food for tomorrow’s Leadership Training meeting here. This was also the day I entered all the extra MSF payments for the areas or individuals who either live where there is not a lot of dinner appointments, or have extra travel expenses like the assistants and office elders. The Sorensens were gone today to Memphis for leadership training on vehicles. Sister Sorensen was out sick yesterday but is doing better today. Pat had four more new missionary applications to process today. That is always exciting.
Thursday: Today was the Leadership Training meeting for the District, Zone, and Sister Training leaders so we had some 52 missionaries here and enjoyed their presence as they come by to say hi. Otherwise it was a pretty normal day, not too busy. One of the elders had his MSF card compromised nearly three weeks ago and the replacement still has not come. So he wanted me to declare it lost and get another one ordered. Which I did. Then guess what came in the mail a couple hours later. You guessed it--his card. So now it will be yet another 2-3 weeks. One more day of patience was needed. Pat is working on letters to parents for missionaries that will be arriving in September now, to get their current information.
Friday: This was office cleaning day, the follow up on apartment renewals, a few bills, and work on the emergency contacts for warning of bad weather for the missionaries. Some of the areas are quite spread out and we need to find members to oversee the weather issues there. We did have some more weather alerts for the northeastern part of the state today, and possibly southwest also later. In our prayers we remember a growing large number of individuals with health challenges. For example in our mission we have 5 couples that provide apartment inspections quarterly for our missionaries. Four of the 5 couples are having health challenges, three of which will need to be released. Maybe this is just a function of getting older and knowing more people who have health issues, and maybe it is also signs of the times and pollutions that are also effecting us. Pat worked on more emails, phone calls, and printed four mission histories for the departure binders.
Saturday: This was a quiet pleasant day. We didn’t have anywhere we needed to go, it was raining all morning, so we just had a quiet day at the apartment, sleeping in a bit, cleaning, working on the computer, reading, taking a nap, and exercising. We also got in some TV time and managed to have three good meals. Pat’s wrist was hurting her, so she only did her exercises for it once today. She needs a break.
Sunday: A nice sunny day, and a little cooler. We enjoy our time in the morning to read and study. The deaf family we have been picking up fairly regularly are supposed to start attending a different ward today. We hope that works out well for them. We enjoyed our meetings today. The talks in Sacrament meeting were on the restoration of the priesthood and good reminders of the great blessing it is to have the priesthood once again upon the earth. We got back home about 3:45 and took a nap before fixing dinner. Pat is able to help more with the meals, and that really helps.
From the missionary news letter from President this past week, he shared this from one of the missionaries: “On our exchange we briefly talked to a man who is taking his trash cans to the curb. He initially said “are you Mormons? If so shame on you!” Earlier in my mission I would have been very flustered and not sure what to say, but the Spirit put the words in my mouth and I confidently reassured him that we are Christians and we read from the Bible. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only means by which we can get to heaven, and that faith in him is the most important principle of the gospel. It was so amazing to see how his attitude changed and he ended up saying goodbye to us and wishing us luck and spreading Jesus Christ to all those who need him. I am so blessed to have learned how to handle these situations on my mission.”
We hope you are all doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell