Dear Family and Friends,
Last Monday, May 29, was Memorial Day. We spent the day in Hot Springs, AR, with the Sorensens and the Hesses. The downtown area is a National Park celebrating the natural hot springs that are there and the bath houses that were built over them. The Visitors Center is a restored building that we toured through and saw how they were used during the 1920’s through the 1950’s, and some are even in use today. They were used as mineral baths.
It was fun walking around and looking at everything. This was definitely for rich folks. They were used as mineral baths for hydrotherapy and other such remedies of the day, such as massages, vibration, light, and some electric shock, claiming no one was ever electrocuted, but it looked a little scary.
When we stopped for lunch, there were people in the restaurant who saw our name tags and stopped us to tell us they were also Mormons and wanted to know about our mission. It really makes us feel good when people want to connect with us!
Tuesday in the Office I spent most of the day putting the pre-made materials in the 16 Mission Memories binders for the Departing missionaries who leave to go home in 3 weeks. I also received a bunch of mail that had updated information for missionaries that I needed to change in IMOS. It poured rain all afternoon and evening, but we exercised anyway. We also enjoyed a nice phone visit with Brent.
Wednesday, May 31, I processed the six new missionary recommendations that came in. Two for August, three for September, and one for October—our first one. I also sent letters to the missionaries who just entered the MTC and will come here on June 20th. We also went to Sam’s Club to pick up lots more bottled water and granola bars for the missionaries who come to our building for meetings. We picked up some veggies at Kroger on the way home after work. Jim: Yesterday and today the weather forecast was for only 10% chance of rain, but it rained buckets just as we were leaving both days.
IT’S JUNE!! Thursday we did our office and bathroom cleaning first, then I worked on various letters, made folders, and answered emails. We visited with Larry on our way home, and spent the evening making the veggie dip and cutting up veggies for the Senior Social on Friday at the Mission Home. Jim: This has been a regular week for me of some bills to pay, MSF cards to replace, but not much on apartment issues. I am still working on a project to have members in the different areas of the mission contact the missionaries when severe weather is alerted, as the missionaries don’t get those alerts on their phones.
Friday, June 2, we went to the Mission Home to spend the day with the other Senior Couples and Sisters who serve in this mission with us. This includes the couples who live here locally and serve as Apartment Inspectors/Advisors. We ate lots of snacks brought by some of the couples, did lots of visiting, ate a wonderful lunch prepared by Sister Wakolo, and desserts brought by the rest of the couples/sisters. President Wakolo also had interviews with most of the people who came. We had a special treat—our cousins, Gary and Lou Colton and their granddaughter, stopped to see us at the Mission Home at about 11:30! We fed them some of the snacks (we had plenty!!), and visited with them. They were on their way to Alabama for a grandson’s wedding. We do love to have visitors!! At the end of the luncheon, all the missionaries who will be leaving before the next Social next December bore their testimonies. That included President & Sister Wakolo and Jim and me! It was a poignant moment for us. Our final days are getting closer. We helped clean up at the end of the Social, then stopped at Kroger for our weekly shopping, went home and entered receipts and did our May budget, then watched a movie.
Saturday, June 3, we cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen floor in our apartment, exercised, cleaned up, and drove to Larry’s to pick up our grandson, Gary, and took him to David’s Burgers for his birthday lunch. The burgers and grilled chicken there are HUGE!! Then we stopped at Game Stop, then Barnes and Noble where we bought him two books for his birthday.
|Gary is 13 now!|
Went back to his house and visited with Larry and the family. Larry was working on putting cleft lips in some very lifelike dolls to be able to show parents the surgery that would be done on their infant. He and his team do impressive work. We then headed home and took naps. It started to pour rain which lasted for two hours. We drove over to Burns Park while it was still raining and went to a covered pavilion there where the North Little Rock Ward was having a catfish fry. It stopped raining as the Blessing was said, and we were able to enjoy a wonderful dinner. A count was taken and we had 90 people in that pavilion!! Then they had a different kind of talent show where people told us how to: play a ukulele, box, make wood carvings with a scroll saw, have a garden, fish by hand for catfish, etc., and they each had to do it in 3 mintues! It was fun! We went home, watched a movie, and went to bed.
Sunday, June 4, it rained during the night and on and off during the day. We had a quiet morning, enjoyed our church meetings including the testimonies of the members. Had lessons on prophets and RS and favorite scriptures. Came home, took naps, and are looking forward to our evening visits with our daughters.
Special story about President Wakolo told by a general authority, Elder Condie. When Elder Condie was serving in the South Pacific, he took a letter to President Wakolo who was president of a Fiji stake at that time. The letter was a call to serve as an Area Seventy. While there the elder noticed a tattoo on President Wakolo’s right hand. The elder suggested that President Wakolo cover it up with a large band aid each time he spoke to the youth in the different places he would be assigned. President smiled and said, “I’ll take care of it. I want to be a good example.” When they met again a few weeks later, the elder noticed the hand was heavily bandaged. When he asked President Wakolo what had happened, President said, “I followed your counsel and had the tattoo removed. Not laser surgery, but I had it surgically cut out.” Now there is a large, unsightly scar on the back of the hand. The elder apologized for having been the cause of such a big scar, but President Wakolo responded, “Not to worry, President Condie, this is my CTR ring. Now the Lord knows where I stand! I’ll do anything the Lord asks of me.” “President Wakolo has become a disciple who keeps his covenants and strives to do good continually.” We are grateful to have had the opportunity to be taught and led by such a good, faithful man!!!
We hope you are all doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell