Dear family and friends, [hallelujah Pat is back doing the majority of typing the Blog!!!!!!!!]
Monday, May 22, 2017: It was cloudy all day but no rain. Pat worked on the letters to the stake presidents of the Departing missionaries—all 17 of them (16 elders and one sister). It included doing all of the Release Certificates. Also email copies were sent to their parents and their bishops. This took all day. Jim: I had plenty of bills to pay today, replacement of MSF cards, broken cell phones, and an apartment renewal. We left the Office at 4:30, picked up a quick hamburger, and drove to downtown Little Rock to the Robinson Concert Center for the dance recital of our granddaughter, Harper. We got there at 5:30 and saved seats on the eighth row which made for good viewing except for the head of the guy in front of me! Oh well! The performance started at 6:30, had no talking—just followed the printed program—and ended at 8:30. They had many good dancers, and we especially enjoyed the two dances Harper was in. We found out later is was only half the studio and the rest of the dances would be on Tuesday evening. I am so glad we didn’t have to sit through a four-hour program!!! It was also Gary’s 13th birthday, so we went to their house to sing, give cards and gifts, and eat cake and ice cream.
|Harper's dance costume|
Tuesday, May 23, Pat worked on printing up copies of the mission history, did the first letters to the Departing missionaries which included sending email copies to their parents, sent faxes of medical bills to SLC, took care of paperwork that the future missionaries had mailed in. Sister Wakolo was in the office for a while emailing copies of stuff to SLC. She talked about how President Wakolo not only is doing all his mission President activities, but also had to watch 2-3 videos from SLC each week to train him on how to be a General Authority. Jim: I worked on my financial and housing secretary handbook, updating and hoping that I have someone to train before we leave. We have also been addressing our computer needs and how to address the needs verses the available, allowable number of computers. It is going to be extra challenging when one of the computers, which technically is excess, goes away the end of May. After work we exercised, ate, and relaxed.
Wednesday, May 24, Pat finished the letters to the Departing missionaries, and also processed two new missionary recommendations for September Arriving missionaries. Sister Hess helped with that. Jim: I worked on an emergency contact plan for notification of the missionaries should we have a severe weather alert. We did 3 loads of laundry at home, and Jim cutup a delicious pineapple and did the dishes.
Thursday, May 25, was MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) in our building, and we had the zone leaders and sister-training-leaders in and out of our office before and after. It started at 9:30, breaking for lunch, and ended at 3:45. Two missionaries were going home on Friday, so I had to get letters ready for them. One had only been here for two weeks and refused to stay, the other left just 4 weeks short of completing his mission because of his mother’s serious condition, so I got his Mission Memories binder ready to go. Jim and I went to pick up the box lunches from Jimmy Johns for the lunch. Took a few minutes to talk to my sister, Lois. We came home, exercised, watched TV, and had a quiet evening.
Friday, May 26, was quiet and I was able to finish up the first Departure letters and get the second one out. Those I did not need to email copies to parents so they went faster. Jim took me shopping for more nice stationery for the missionaries to use to write their farewell testimony on. We took them to the mailbox to get them out because of the Monday holiday. Jim: I had another bit slower day and was able to update the missionary bicycle tracking spreadsheet. We did our weekly grocery shopping, and had fun watching movies at home.
Saturday, May 27, we did some work in the apartment, then left to try to find a cemetery in Maumelle, which we could not find for the Million Graves project. We will try to do some phoning next week. So we decided to drive west on Highway 10 to the Ouachita Mountains (hills) and Forests (lots of green trees and grass). We were out all day, with surprisingly very light traffic. We also stopped at Petit Jean State Park to see their pretty waterfall, and to see a glorious vista overlooking the Arkansas River and a view looking east, north, and west. We stopped in Morrilton to visit the Wieses, one of our Senior Couples, then drove home to rest and recuperate from a tiring day in the car.
|A large Razerback|
|Overlook from Ouachita Park to Arkansas River bottom|
|Pat at Crystal Falls overlook|
Sunday, May 28, this morning as we listened to Music and the Spoken Word, Lloyd Newall talked about Memorial Day, and though it celebrates our family and friends who served our country in the military, it is much more. We celebrate our family members who have passed on before us, and we look to the future as well, not just to the past. We are the ones that our children and grandchildren will look back to and so what kind of legacy are we leaving for them to follow. It was a sobering thought. I have fond memories of my parents, grandparents, and others, and some of the many things I learned from them. I hope that I can leave something of value for my progenitors. Probably most importantly would be our testimonies of Jesus Christ. How have we emulated His teaching in the way we live our lives? How have we shown the love that we have felt from God in the way we have treated others? In our Sacrament meeting today one of the speakers used several examples from his family that tied to how he is an active member of the Church today. Their examples and sacrifices, from the early days of the restoration, have blessed his life now. It was a touching talk and made looking forward a more vivid experience for me and how we in our daily lives can effect generations to come. We have modern day pioneers that leave their families to serve and leave a legacy for others. Our former bishop in the Little Rock Ward leaves on deployment with the Army tomorrow and will be gone for a year. They and we will be blessed by his example.
We hope you are all doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell