Dear family and friends,
Monday, June 19, we got up early and drove to the temple in Memphis. There we attended a session with the missionaries who have June birthdays, and with the Departing Missionaries. It was so beautiful and peaceful and so good to be there. Afterwards we drove home. We came to a full stop and were there for at least 30 minutes. We looked on Waze and found out that a car had hit a truck with a trailer full of horses, and they were out and running around so we would be stopped for a while. The fellow parked next to us offered to back up so that we could get through and turn around and go up the on-ramp we had just passed. What a great guy!! We did that and were soon on our way to Little Rock to the Mission Home to help get dinner ready. We prepared it at the Rodney Parham chapel as there were 16 missionaries and it would be too crowded at the mission home. We had a delicious dinner of ham, potato casserole, chicken curry, rice, green bean casserole, tossed salad and toppings, cookie salad, lots of cut up melons, and brownies and ice cream for dessert. The Departing dinners are served on nice china, good silverware, glass goblets and linen table cloths. So afterwards, with no dishwasher like at the mission home, we had an assembly line to scrape, rinse, wash, rinse, and dry all the dishes. We left for home after 8:00 p.m. very tired!
Tuesday, June 20, Jim and I did the Transfer Board in IMOS, and trained Sisters Sorensen and Hess how to do it, too. It takes about 2 hours to move all the missionaries around to their new areas. I also answered emails and did some organizing. We welcomed Elder Maskovich as a new Office Elder to join with Elder Jennings. There were lots of new and used bikes to deal with also due to the Transfer and the new missionaries. Jim also has several apartment changes due to the closing of some areas. We left the Office at 3:30 to go to the Rodney Parham chapel and prepare the dinner to the new Arriving Missionaries (12) and their Trainers (15 because of some 3-somes). We had chicken teriyaki, rice, green bean casserole, potato casserole, tossed salad, cookie salad, and fudge bars for dessert. Tuesday night’s dinner was on paper plates, bottled water, and plastic utensils. We had to wash a lot more dishes on Monday night!!!
Wednesday, June 21, we drove to the chapel early for breakfast at 7:00, but we did not have to help prepare or clean up. We were there as invited guests! After the breakfast, we listened as the missionaries did their Recitations (3 Ne. 5:13, D&C 4, My Purpose as a Missionary, The Standard of Truth, and listing the 24 points of Preach My Gospel with associated scripture references). It is powerful how much they have memorized!!! Then we did our Training presentations. I go first, then Elder Hartzell, Sister Sorensen, and Elder Sorensen. Then we went back to the Office, put in the last of the Transfer Board changes (which Trainers will be training which new Arrivals), processed 2 new missionary recommendations, sending out lots of emails, taking care of all the paperwork the Assistants brought into the Office in the late afternoon, downloading all the photos from the camera. Jim: I am still trying to catch up on bills to pay that came in on Monday and dealing with several apartment issues. I also get phone calls or emails requesting used bikes from future missionaries coming. We left the Office late, went home and ate, did 3 batches of laundry. We also were able to see and talk to our daughter Christi and her husband Shawn, using WeChat, who is working again in China. She joined him this time for a vacation and are having a great time. Lots and lots of pictures and short videos. We saw similar art and architecture that we saw in Japan. The technology is great that we are able to see and hear them so far away with no time delays. We keep praying for word on a new couple to replace us so we can train them before we leave in August. We are asking you to please pray for this, too!!
Thursday, June 22, I finished processing the 2 new miss., sent a letter and photos to the parents of the 12 new Arriving missionaries, sent out the letters the new missionaries wrote to their parents along with a map of the mission, and put lots of paperwork away that I got in the mail. Came home, exercised, and had a quiet evening. It rained in the late afternoon and all night.
Friday, June 23, was cleaning day at the Office, did an assortment of tasks, and was busy all day. I sent emails to the New Arriving Miss.’s parents along with the photos of them. I also sent photos to the Departing Missionaries. Jim & I took some time to go to Sam’s Club and replenish the water bottles in the Office (bought 6 cases this time). Jim: I did finally catch up on all the bills to pay but am still working on apartments to open, close, or renew, that is essentially a never ending job along with the bills. It rained on and off all day, but when it came time to leave, it was pouring buckets and so we ran to the car and drove home. We got several flood warnings on our phones. We worked on a project at home and watched a couple of movies.
Saturday, June 24, was cleaning day at home! We also exercised, worked on projects, went to the Office to do a Departure Binder for a sister who is leaving two transfers early, did our grocery shopping, came home to eat and cut up two melons for a Linger-Longer today after church, and rested. We also had a good phone visit with our friend Michelle who now has the other eye needing the same surgeries that the first eye needed. So she is on our prayer list again.
Sunday, June 25, a nice, quiet, restful morning! We enjoyed reading and then watching Music and the Spoken Word. We went to church from noon to 3:00, having good talks, especially one about the Life of Christ, and good lessons, also one of which was about Jesus Christ. Afterwards we had a potluck Linger-Longer, and then a baptism. Then we helped our friend Michelle get home. Had naps, read, and then had a good phone visit with Shelley.
We hope you are all doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell