Sunday, May 7, 2017

Week of May the 4th be with you

Dear family and friends,
            Monday: Wow, May already, where does the time go.  I was busy all day getting the contract in place for the new missionary couple in Memphis.  It is challenging getting all the agreement issues and funding in place, especially when dealing with very busy people.  I also received a big stack of bills to pay, but was not able to get to any of them.  We had our staff meeting today with President Wakolo.  As often happens, there are changes to be made.  He shared the following a couple of weeks ago: “Our call: We have yet to announce our area of service and assignment. It will be by the end of the month (April). Owing to my age at 49, I have been told by the First Presidency that my service is for 21 years or my release date is in 2037 when I turn 70. On all our meetings that we attended in Salt Lake on Sunday (General Conference session),Tuesday (all General Authorities and wives meeting) and Wednesday (6 new General Authorities and wives meeting with the Twelve Apostles and Presidency of the Seventy) last week, it was exciting to sing hymn number 85 versus 1,2,3, and 7 as closing hymn.”
There is another apartment to close.  I also got the go-ahead to call 10 couples to help with phone contacting missionaries when we have bad weather alerts.  Pat worked on the departure and arrival programs, answered emails, and updated the calendar. This evening after work we had the Sorensens, Hesses, and the sister missionaries, Burke and Stringam, over for dinner.  We shared food and had a really nice visit.  The sisters gave a nice message at the end and left.  We then watched a movie that the Hesses brought that was a bit different and told of a supposed meeting of Porter Rockwell, J Golden Kimball, and Samuel Clemens and their swapping tales.  It was sort of centered on getting Samuel Clemens straight on his knowledge of the Mormons.
Tuesday: This was another super busy day, with all those bills I didn’t get to pay yesterday.  We also had three different apartments that had their rent payment checks returned to Salt Lake as undeliverable.  I checked the addresses for all three and they were correct, so will be re-sent. This will now result in some late fees. I also set up the utilities for the new apartment in Memphis, which had its own challenges. Pat had four missionary memory binders to do and print up the associated letters they have written to the mission president while on their mission. The letters President has sent each week to all the missionaries are now being copied to a jump drive and greatly reduced the size of the binders.
            Wednesday: This morning we drove to Little Rock and had a follow up visit with Trish’s ortho doctor to check her wrist.  It is doing fine and she can now begin some therapy of mild exercises to get her range of motion back.  No heavy lifting or pushing yet.  That is going to take a while.  At the office she processed five more missionary applications with help from Sister Hess. At the office we also had a church employee from the Facilities Management Group in the office, checking the building and we visited about the mission home, which they may sell and buy a newer one.  This one has been owned since the 70s.  We also visited with him about our printer situation in the office and got some help to make things more efficient and functional. It rained all afternoon, and we had flood warnings.
            Thursday: “May the Fourth be with you” was our greeting this morning for Star Wars Day.  I had another supposed non-payment of rent for an apartment, but this time it was an account entry error by the apartment complex.  Today was less busy compared to the beginning of the week.  Less bills to pay.  The new apartment in Memphis was set up today and the couple got moved in okay.    I need to buy a chair for them, but okay on everything else. I got the new apartment all set up in IMOS and the files in order.  I am thankful we have office elders that take care of all the moving in and out. Pat worked on the programs, the envelopes, emails, and other things.  It rained again nearly all day long, stopped about 5 pm so I could go for my exercise walk before dinner. 
            Friday: We did our cleaning at the office today and then had a fairly easy day.  It is nice to not be super busy every day.  Pat did an envelope to collect the missionary medical cards, car cards, and MSF cards from the missionaries who are leaving. The assistants were in and picked up the departure and arrival binders and some other materials for next week’s transfer.  We also had President Wakolo in the office for a little while doing an interview with the religion editor for the Little Rock newspaper.  Sister Hartzell and the public affairs specialist who accompanied her took the lady on a tour of the building and answered questions she had.  This turned out to be a lovely day, sunny all day and felt great when we were out.  Bad weather helps you appreciate the good all the more.  There must needs be opposition in all things, even the weather.  I have been studying Ether in the Book of Mormon and some of that opposition that lead to good things when they repented, and lead to sorrow when they didn’t.  The Lord gives us, or allows us, to have challenges to face, some of which he tells us how to solve, but many He expects us to figure it out and then seek his confirmation that we have chosen correctly.  All of us will have our oceans to cross and the need for light for our journey, Jesus is that light.  As we follow Him we will never be lead astray by the shifting values of our day so long as we pray, study, and listen to the Spirit and to our leaders. After work we met a couple, Roger and Sally Burrup, from our Little Rock Ward who invited us to dinner at Outback Steak House, and we had a lovely time visiting and having dinner with them.
            Saturday: Today was beautiful sunny day to do some cleaning at the apartment and then enjoy a soccer game for one of our grandsons, and then drove to Conway, Arkansas, for their annual “Toad Suck Daze”.  (We wrote about this last year so check there for more information and pictures.)  We enjoyed the toad races by the little kids, watching some dance performances, walking around and just enjoying being out.  We then had a nice potluck dinner with all the senior missionaries in the area at the home of Brother and Sister Green that served in the mission office.  We had good food and visiting. 
In Conway AR there is a nice monument to 9.11

            Sunday: Today was another lovely, sunny day.  We enjoyed fast and testimony meeting and the meetings that followed.  We didn’t pick up the Bowies on the way to church, but took them home afterwards.  A pretty quiet day to read, rest, and enjoy the spirit. We feel the heat and humidity are going to be upon us soon. It was in the low 80s yesterday. 
            Some quotes from missionaries: 
            “My calling gives me authority; keeping my covenants gives me power.”
            “Tell a story—so Tuesday we had some unfortunate happenings.  Our car was in the shop and it was raining.  To make it even better, we didn’t have our rain jackets ‘cause they were in the car.  We said ok we will just ride our bikes fast and hope we don’t get that wet.  Well my bike popped a tire—ha ha!  So we ended up walking 7 miles in the rain.  I thought it would really suck but it wasn’t that bad!!!  Me and my companion made the best of it.  We remembered council given this conference, we looked up to heaven, opened our mouths, and drank the rain ha ha.  We just shared stories while we walked, and we just had a good time.  So actually that was my favorite day this week.”
We hope you are all doing well.   Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

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