Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Fun Memphis Trip

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 23rd, was a lovely, quiet Sabbath Day.  We enjoyed our church meetings and visiting with the wonderful members of the Little Rock Ward.  The Sabbath is a rejuvenating day for us. We had a Linger-Longer Potluck after and ate lots of good food.  Went home and took naps, then had phone visits with my sister, Lois, and with our daughters, Christi and Shelley.  It’s always so fun to catch up with everyone.
            Monday, July 24th, was Pioneer Day.  We couldn’t stay home and watch the parade on BYU TV but we did see parts of it later.  And we had thoughts about the pioneers at the Office.  I took care of emails and we had our Staff Meeting from 10-1:00.  We talked about a lot of things, and President Hansen likes to use the Council process, so we discussed a lot of things that we don’t usually talk about.  It was very informative, but also takes a lot longer.  He also shared some of the miracles that he has seen in the month he has been here.  He has felt the guidance from the Spirit, as promised by Elder Anderson when he was set apart, stronger than at any other time in his life. We went to lunch at Larry’s Pizza (right around the corner), and then President continued discussions with the various individuals and the things they needed to talk about that the whole group did not need to be there for.  I worked on a few new things that the President asked me to do.  In the evening I talked to Lois and Carolyn and Glenn.  This is all to set up my sister moving to Phoenix.  Maybe then I can finally have a good night’s sleep again—I have been so worried about her as she is not in a safe place. 
Pat teaching Sister Sorensen how to do her work
            Tuesday, July 25th, was our 5-week mark until we leave.  I worked on Departure “Mission Memories” Binders all day, showing Sister Sorensen the process.  I got 10 of the 15 done and will let Sis. S. do the rest Wed.  I also had a good phone visit with Sister Hugentobler—she really misses being here and I know we will feel the same when we are gone.  We exercised both before and after work.  Jim was able to have a good phone visit with Brent during his walk.  I talked to Lois and had a quiet evening.  Was able to sleep good.
            Wednesday, July 26th, Sister Sorensen finished the last 5 binders.  We had a weird problem happen in IMOS and had SL try to help us, but it was because of some change in Google so we just have to deal with it.  Two missionary sisters came into the Office saying that someone had tried to open their door after 10:00 the night before.  They called their District Leaders and the police, then drove to the Sherwood sisters’ apartment and spent the night there.  We talked with them, they talked to President Hansen, and we determined to get them some lunch, take them to the store for a few things like pepper spray, and have them go back and collect their stuff and go stay with the sisters in Cabot.  They went back, prayed about their apartment, and just didn’t feel good about it, so did what we suggested.  Some places are just scarry!  We were invited over to dinner at a member’s home.  Their family has fixed dinner for the missionaries in their ward (the LR ward) every Wednesday night for over 30 or 40 years (I can’t remember when they started but it was a long time ago!!)  Good food and good company.  I feel so sad - my sister called and told me some bad things that happened to her this week. My heart just breaks and I will be so glad when my sister is moved.  So I didn’t sleep well that night or the next. Thank heavens there are other family members who help out with love and support.
            Thursday, July 27th, was MLC, and we got to spend a little time with some great missionary leaders.  I taught Sister Sorensen how to do the Departure and Arrival Programs, how to forward itineraries, how to print up the lists for the Departure and Arrival envelopes, and assorted other small things.  I also helped Sister Hess go through all the 22 Arrival Binders and make sure all the materials were in them.  There were several ones that had stuff missing, so it’s a good thing we did this.  We went to get the Jimmy Johns box lunches and enjoyed eating them.  Worked on the calendars (both my desk calendar and the Mission Calendar), answered emails, and other stuff.  Jim: I have been very busy this week with apartments.  Opening one new one, there are 12 renewals in process and now 5 more that we need to find due to an increase in missionaries coming to the field.  It is a good busy.  I went home with the Hesses as Jim had to stay for a Church Disciplinary Council (a young elder did something wrong and is being sent home).  I spent the evening alone as Jim did not get home until 9:15.  Jim: These councils are held to bless the individual in helping them repent and receive the blessing of the atonement in their life. It is a humbling experience for all who are involved.  I had spoken with Lois and she was trying to feel calm with all the bad stuff going on in her life.
            Friday, July 28th, was cleaning morning at the chapel and we did the bathrooms and collected the garbage.  I sent out a bunch of emails and recorded the responses as they came in.  I did some more calendaring, training, and organizing.  After work we did a quick clean at the apartment and got stuff ready for Saturday.
            Saturday, July 29th, we had a fun outing to Memphis.  We rode with Brother & Sister Green, and met up with the Sorensens and the Hesses at a place called, “The Slave Haven Museum—a stop on the Underground Railroad.”  It is a small house but the guides pack a lot of information into their presentation.  Because we had to stop and repeat a couple of times as more people joined us, it was a bit frustrating, but finally we got the rest of the tour and it took about 2 hours (including the stops and starts).  It was very interesting.  Then we went to Beale Street and got lunch at a restaurant called Jerry Lawlers (a wrestler).  Good BBQ and gumbo soup.  Then shopped at Schwab’s Drug Store and a couple of other places.  Then we went to the Cotton Museum, where all the instruction was done with displays and videos, so we could take our time and see what we wanted.  We were there about 1 ½ hours.  

Standing in front of the Slave Haven Museum/House
A little view of the famous Beale Street
Enjoying BBQ, Gumbo, etc.
 Then we said goodbye to the other car and headed home, stopping at Red Lobster for dinner.   Then came home and relaxed.  My sister and her daughter Carolyn got packed up in the morning in Orem and drove home to Phoenix, with Carolyn’s husband Kraig driving the truck home that he and his brother-in-law, Alan, packed.  My sister said as she rode south that she felt a great weight lifting off of her, and she could finally feel peace.  I felt so much better all day and slept really good last night as I was so relieved!!
            More and more people are realizing we are leaving and letting us know how sad they will be to have us gone.  And we will surely miss them, too!
            Hope you are all doing well, and may the Lord bless you.

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Happy Pioneer Day Tomorrow!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 16, was sunny, hot, and muggy.  We enjoyed our meetings and the good feelings in the Little Rock Ward.  Had nice phone visits with my sister, Lois, and a long 2-hour visit with Christi and her family.  We also took naps and watched the Mormon Tabernacle in the morning and the Pioneer Concert with Alex Boye’ in the evening.  Loved all the good music!
            Monday, July 17, I worked on the calendar, taught Sister Sorensen how to do Dep. Letter #3 that includes the missionaries’ itineraries.  I also worked on some iPad issues, took care of some personal business, finished and printed up and mailed the 6-month Mission History to Salt Lake City, and updated my desk calendar.  After work we ate dinner, then went to see the movie, “Spiderman.”  It was pretty good but not great.  Came home, made our lunches, and went to bed.
            Tuesday, July 18, I printed up 4 more Mission Histories to go in the “Mission Memories” binders, worked on updating the 4-year address list for the same binders, updated drivers license information, showed Sister Sorensen how to do the Mission Memories binders, putting in the copies of the letters in their files.  I also updated a lot of the papers with Sister Sorensen’ name instead of mine.  That feels strange!  Came home, exercised, talked to Lois and Brent, and was grateful that Renae took Lois to the doctor’s for her last checkup before she leaves.  She will really miss him as he has treated her so well.  Had a quiet evening.
            Wednesday, July 19, Sister Sorensen processed the 3 new missionary recommendations that came in.  Because she had to do that at my desk, I went through missionary files that were a year old and shredded them (we are only supposed to keep them for a year), and moved some of the files around.  I also worked on several iPad/Samsung tablet issues with the help of the people in Salt Lake.  After work we did some shopping at Walmart and ate dinner at a little restaurant called “Two Sisters.”  The food was delicious, but we are not used to the deep-fat cooking and I didn’t feel very good that evening.  We did two loads of laundry.  Talked to my sister who told me about cousins picking her up and taking her to see our dear Aunt Wilma and say goodbye to her.  Also tried to comfort her after a difficult evening.  My heart aches for her.  I was glad a ward sister had brought her dinner and was there to help her also. 
            Thursday, July 20, showed Sister Sorensen how to take care of mobile device issues, cleaned up one of my desk binders that had accumulated too much stuff!, and had Sis. S. do the Arrival #1 letters to the missionaries coming in September, and the Arrival #1 letters to the parents of those missionaries.  Jim and I took some things to the post office and went to Holly Lobby and Michaels looking for frames to match the ones that are on the hallway walls near our office that have photos of the past 14 mission presidents and their wives.  All 14 match, but we can’t find any more that will match, so we are trying to decide what to do.  We have even looked online, but so far no success.  Guess we will have to get something different. Also, while we were at Michaels, the lady at the counter saw our name tags and asked if we were Mormons.  She then said that she had been a Mormon once, but her father (whom she did not get along with) had her name taken off the records of the church.  We asked if she would like to talk to the missionaries and she said “yes” and gave us her card.  So we gave it to the Sherwood sisters and hope she will take the lessons.  Fun to do some actual missionary work!!  Jim: This has been a week of mostly apartment issues.  Trying to find a new one in the Memphis area and dealing with other renewals and a closings.  Some apartment managers are very responsive to renewals and others are way slow.  Exercised after work and talked to Lois.  Glad she is having some help from a physical therapist to get her more active.  Did one more load of laundry.
            Friday, July 21, Sister Sorensen and I worked on the Arrival #2 letter.  This one includes a bunch of information papers that need to be filled out and returned, so I had to update signatures of Pres & Sis Hansen and Sister Sorensen, then print up a lot of copies.  We printed up all the letters (there were 25 of them!!), and did an assembly line of all the papers that went in each envelope.  This took all day.  I also ran to the magnet store twice to pick up magnets for the Transfer Boards in the President’s Office and also his office at home.
We did our grocery shopping, got gas, dropped off mail, and had a delicious dinner of fish and veggies.  Tried to watch TV but feel asleep.  I have not been sleeping well lately L
            Saturday, July 22, did both exercises, dusted and vacuumed the apartment, recorded receipts, ran errands (still no success on finding the frames), paid some bills, visited with my brother and my sister and my neice.  In the evening we went over to the Hess’s apartment to have some delicious peach cobbler and visit with Elder and Sister Griffiths who are Self-Reliance missionaries.  They are working hard to get the program going here in the Arkansas and Memphis stakes. 
            We hope you are all doing well.   We can’t believe we have about 5 weeks left.  Hope we can stay caught up with everything!!

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

These are some of the different colors of the crepe myrtle trees that bloom here in June and July.  We love seeing all their pretty colors.  Thought we would share them with you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A New Couple is Coming in August!!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 9, was a lovely Sabbath day.  We enjoyed our church meetings and had some good questions and answers in our Gospel Essentials class.  After the block, we went to Michelle’s house where she and Lily fixed us a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings, and peach cobbler for dessert.  They are both good cooks and it was delicious!!  The Little Rock Elders were there, too, and we all enjoyed visiting together.  Jim left with the Elders to take them to a teaching appointment, but no one was home.  I stayed and answered a question that Michele had that the Sister missionaries didn’t answer for her.  The discussion went well.  Then we drove home and napped, talked to my sister, Lois, and had a good phone visit with Shelley.
            Monday, July 10, I taught Sister Sorensen how to do the 2nd Departure (Dep.) Letters, along with the three enclosures that go in it.  Worked on emails and phone calls.  We had a Staff Meeting in the afternoon and got new assignments as usual.  President Hansen is still figuring things out and it is going to take a while.  We worked late.  I assembled all the letters the missionaries had written to the Wakolos at the Meet the President meetings last week and put them in a binder.  I worked on that at home.
            Tuesday, July 11, I put together half of the Departing Miss “Mission Memories” binders with the pre-made materials.  I taught Sis. S. how to do all the stake president’s letters and the Missionary Release Certificates.  We had to do 15 so it took a while.  I also worked on making the changes in the Mission Calendar, emailing and calling various people who schedule the different buildings, so that the changes could be made.  I requested the mailbox addresses of the 24 missionaries who will enter the MTC on Wed., but also got a notice of a cancellation of one of them and a postponement of another, so now 22.  Jim and I took our two boxes to the post office and mailed them to our neighbors.  I want to take a minute and pay tribute to our wonderful neighbors, the Hunters, who have taken such good care of our home and yard!!  They are true saints and we could not have done this mission without their help!!!!  After work, we exercised, had a good visit with Brent, and he told us about the triplets receiving the priesthood.  They will pass the Sacrament for the first time today!!!  I was ready to brag about not having any mosquito bites this summer compared with the multitudes last summer, but got 3 so the itching is back! J 
            Wed., July 12, was Leadership Training in our building.  There were 48 missionaries there, plus some extra companionships who were getting cars fixed, etc.  We had Chick-fil-A for lunch, and Sister Sorensen provided the salad, cut-up melon, and ice cream floats.  Yummy!!  Sis. S. also processed the 5 new missionary recommendations that came in on Tues., including a new Office Couple!!!  Hooray!!!  They are from Idaho, he is 80 and she is 75!!  He has done Financial Secretary work in the mission office near their home for the last couple of years, so Jim won’t have to do a ton of training and is doing the dance of joy, as are we all.  Because they can’t be here until Aug. 22nd, we are extending our mission from Aug. 15th to Aug. 29th, so we can overlap for a week and do the training.  Thank you for all of your prayers to get the new couple here so that we could be here to train them. One of the extra missionaries that was in the office part of today is a real computer specialist and went through 3 of the computers to update and remove bad files and things that have been slowing them down.  That was a great help.   Came home, did laundry, and relaxed
            Thurs., July 13, I put the rest of the binders together, showed Sis. S. how to do Dep. Letter #4 to go in their binder, printed up more materials, worked on the calendar and scheduling some more, and did lots of emails.  Jim went during lunch to a Timex factory and got a couple of new watches cheap.  After work, we exercised, talked to Lois and she told us that her granddaughter Vivian was there all day boxing stuff up, cleaning, and even cleaned the refrigerator in preparation for Lois to move in two weeks.  Lois also had help from the bishop of the ward to move her daughter’s stuff out.  So grateful for family and the church to help in each situation of need.  Jim: this week I have done the usual bill paying, had some apartment issues to address, reviewed and surveyed the bicycle status, and worked more on updating the Mission Emergence Plan.  We want all the missionaries to have this available to themselves as a PDF file on their tablets for reference.  Having the information in a notebook in their apartment doesn’t do them any good except when they are in their apartment and assuming they can find it. Did I mention I am really EXCITED that the new senior elder that is coming has been a financial secretary before.  YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            Friday, July 14, we cleaned the bathrooms at the church, put information into IMOS, taught Sis. S. how to do Arrival Letter #3 that we mail to the MTC, went to the magnet shop to order more board magnets, printed up and cut and put up on the board all the June baptism photos (the missionaries love to look at these when they come in).  Had a ton of rain in the afternoon, but it let up and after work we went grocery shopping, I got my hair cut while Jim took the groceries home, he came back to pick me up and we had a sandwich at Panera Bread.  Went home, enjoyed a movie, and had a quiet evening.
            Saturday, July 15, we exercised, cleaned our bathrooms, kitchen, and our refrigerator (Lois’s granddaughter inspired us!).  Jim got a new iPhone 6 but is having trouble with the volume so worked on that for a while.  Also visited with Jim’s brother, Dean, about going to see him and his wife Deb after our mission.  Also talked to Lois, and to her daughter Carolyn who is in Chicago with her daughter at a special dance clinic that they have been planning and saving and doing fundraisers for the last 6 months.  We tried to stream her performances but had lots of breaking up issues and only saw part of one.  It was cloudy part of the day and sunny and hot a muggy the rest.
            More quotes from Pres. Wakolo:
            “A step away from the world is a step closer to Christ; a step away from Christ is a step into the world.”
             “I am perfect only on one thing—at being rebuked by the Holy Ghost.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Dear family and friends,
            Sunday, July 2, was Fast Sunday.  We enjoyed the testimonies that were given, though some of them were more like talks.  The lessons were good, too.  After church, we were invited to the Andersons’ for dinner.  They served lots of vegetables and homemade bread that had rosemary in it.  It was very tasty and good.  Sister Anderson does painting freehand designs all over her walls and furniture, she makes her own yeast, her husband is a great pianist—self-taught, and we had two other brothers from the ward there who are both into music.  So we had some fun discussions.  We got home, took naps, and had good visits with Joseph and Shelley.  We started making plans to visit Phoenix and Tucson in October. Jim: In High Priest’s meeting we had a discussion about and read from the Book of Mormon as a group and had discussions about every 5 verses of impressions.  We didn’t get very far because of the good insights and comments.  It was a great experience and I am thankful for all the efforts that have flowed from President Monson’s conference talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon and our reading it every day.  There are goals being set, reading being done, and that is a great thing.  Some individuals who have been church attenders for years are now reading the Book of Mormon which they had not done previously. We thank Thee, Oh God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days.
            Monday, July 3, I made copies of the 24 medical cards that come in for the Arriving Miss in August.  I also filed lots of papers and took care of a number of emails.  Jim and I went to Sam’s Club to pick up water, granola bars, and fruit for the Meet the President Meetings that would be held in each Zone on Tuesday, Wed., and Thursday.  I started showing Sister Sorensen how to do the Stake President Letters and Release Certificates for the August Dep. Miss, but we didn’t get very far as we ran out of day.  Baked the dessert I will be taking to a dinner Tues. night.  Had phone visits with a niece and my sister Lois as things are not going well for her and her daughter is trying to get her moved down to Phoenix before school starts.  Lots of problems there, and trying to help from a distance is limited.   It was hard to sleep because of the worry.
            Tuesday, July 4th – Independence Day!!  Hope you all had a great one!!  Ours began at the Little Rock Ward Pancake breakfast at our Otter Creek chapel.  It was outside at the pavilion.  Delicious!!  Then we went to  the Meet the President Zone Meeting, also at our Otter Creek chapel.  We were very inspired by President and Sister Hansen as they introduced themselves to the missionaries.  What a great couple—full of faith and love for the Lord.  Also, he had been a missionary here about 35 years ago under the 2nd mission president.  He loved it here and had much success!  We saw his memory book that showed converts, companions, goals, experiences.  It was quite full of obedience and hard work.  He grew up on a dairy farm and is a dairyman and has loved that for years!!  She is wonderful and raised 5 children, the youngest is on a mission Brazil and will come home next February.  Their biggest message was that we need to rely on the Spirit.  It went from 9 am to noon.  Jim: I already knew after our first meeting with President Hansen that he was called of God to lead this mission at this time, and I have had that testimony reinforced time and time again during this meeting.  I am sure that the other missionaries felt the Spirit, as did I, and the mantle that he holds now as President of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.  I was very touched by the entire meeting, brought to tears multiple times as I felt the Spirit as he taught.  His main reference talk was from Elder Sabin “Stand up Inside and Be All In”.  His focus was on feeling the Spirit and his examples from his mission and in life supported how he has listened and set goals to be all in.  Sister Hansen shared things about their family and taught the Joseph Smith First Vision.  One other thing that President taught that has become meaningful to me since the meeting, was about preparing for prayer.  He said he likes to read a hymn before he begins his morning and evening prayers to help bring the Spirit and help him focus on what he should ask and pray about.  So I have been trying that all week and it has really helped me in my prayers.  I am thankful for that comment that he shared. It is interesting to see some of differences so far in his leadership style compared to President, now Elder, Wakolo. Both have their own way of doing things, and both focus on the Spirit. 
Us with Sister Karen Hansen and President Norman Hansen
Pat:  Then we drove back to the Office and took over as the next Meet the President meeting was in our NLR chapel, and the Sorensens and Hesses went to that.  I got letters to parents finished up and sent out.  I also worked on the Mission History and printed up some copies.  Went home and wrote an email, then went to the dinner at the Sorensen’s.  Also there were the Hesses, the Rasmussens, the NLR Elders (Russell and Hall), the Office Elders, and Pres. and Sis. Hansen.  We ate well and had a great time visiting.  Pres. also shared a video from the Mission President’s Seminar by Elder Holland.  Only the mission presidents have access to that.  But then the next day I read the article in the Church News.  Watched the fireworks from Washington, DC, on the computer as our TV remote isn’t working.  Oh, dear!
            Wed., July 5th, I worked with Sis. S. to finish up the Stake President letters and Release Certificates.  There are 15 Departing Miss. so this took awhile.  Worked on emails and phone calls and showing Sis. Sorensen how to do some other things.  Went to Walmart after work to pick up some stuff, had a good phone visit with Brent, and then FaceTimed with Christi, Shawn, and family as they shared more about their great time in China and what the kids had been doing while they were gone.  Their other grandma was there but was sick some of the time, so Lucas and Abby took care of their younger siblings, cooked, and helped take care of her.  I also did 3 loads of laundry and started feeling sick so we went to bed. 
            Thurs., July 6th, woke up and felt fine.  Finished doing the first letter to the Departure Miss with information about their iPads.  Then I taught Sis. Sorensen how to process Missionary Recommendations.  There were 6 that came in on Tuesday—3 elders for Sept. and 3 sisters for Oct.  We worked on them all day between phone calls and emails, but didn’t finish them.  Jim & I exercised in the morning and in the evening, made our lunch as we do each evening (but now I can fully help instead of Jim doing it all). 
            Friday, July 7th, was sunny and muggy all day.  Because of all the cloud cover and rain, our temperatures have stayed in the 80’s, and even though the humidity was 100 %, it wasn’t bad.  However, because Friday was sunny, the temperatures got up to 95degrees and we finally felt the oppressive heat that we had experienced here in Little Rock last summer!  Thank heavens we are in a nice, air-conditioned office!  We did our office vacuuming and dusting first, then worked with Sister Sorensen on doing the Board cards for the new missionaries.  However, in doing that, I saw some mistakes I had made on the dates of the ones I had done last week (I had the sisters only being out for 6 months instead of 18 months.)  So I remade those first.  I printed up 4 more Mission Histories, redid the sample letters in my letter binder, taught Sis. Sorensen how to do the Departure Letters to the parents that includes the itineraries (these they are very anxious to get, though they also get them as emails).  I took care of medical bills that had come in the mail, faxing them to SLC.  Stayed late at the office to finish them so we could mail them on the way home.  Jim:  This has been a usual busy week for me, with lots of bills to pay the first of the week, and then lots of apartment issues.  I have been working for a while on our Mission Emergency respond guideline and adding members who live near the missionaries to call them when they receive severe weather reports on their phones, so they will call the missionaries and alert them, since that is not a feature on the missionary cell phones.  This has taken a lot of time to coordinate, but it should result in helping them be safer.  Pat: Did our grocery shopping, had a nice phone visit with one of our nieces who had some questions, and watched a movie on the computer.  Slept fine except for the thunder and rain we had most of the night!
            Saturday, July 8th, Brent’s and Becca’s triplets turned 12!  We called and sang to them.  Wish we could be there for the setting apart as they become Deacons!!  Also had a wonderful phone visit with Larry (I know, he lives right here and we can visit all the time, but this one had more substance and meaning and we loved it!), with Lois, with her daughter, Carolyn, and assorted other calls.  We vacuumed and dusted our apartment, did both kinds of exercise, packed up two boxes to ship home (one a small book box, and the other a big blanket box), plus Jim did the dishes and ironed his shirts.  Lois said that her grandson came over and worked for two hours to clean and organize her bedroom (he’s a good worker like his dad, she said).  Sure gave her a lot of comfort and relief.  We cleaned up and had a quiet evening.  So nice!
            Some more quotes from Pres. Wakolo: 
            Honoring his wife:  “She is the first counselor to the Holy Ghost to me.  She is truly a disciple in every way.  When I do not listen to the Holy Ghost or the first counselor, that is double trouble.”
            “It’s the plan of happiness, not the plan of sadness.”
            “Casualness causes or leads to casualties.:
            “I will never, no never forsake Him.”
            “Doubt not, fear not.”
            “Atonement or torment.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Farewell to the Wakolos and Welcome the Hansens

Dear family and friends,
Last week we welcomed our new Office Elders--Jennings & Maskovich
          Monday, June 26, I started showing both Sister Sorensen and Sister Hess how to do my work so that they could try to keep up until a new couple could come.  I don’t know what the mission will do to cover Jim’s desk.  I sent out some mail and answered emails.  We had our last Staff Meeting with President Wakolo.  There were tears as we sang, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”  We also sang “Happy Birthday” as his 49th birthday was the day before.  I received some new assignments including changes in the Mission Calendar, and additions to the Mission History that have to be sent to SLC.  Came home and did assorted things such as a little laundry, cleaned the freezer, ate dinner, and went to Larry’s to play games with him and the grandchildren.  Sure was fun!
            Tuesday I worked on the new assignments, prepared most of the Leadership Letters (there are a lot to do), helped with some iPad issues, and was busy all day.  President Wakolo was in the Office for a little while and continues to hand out Book of Mormons wherever he goes.  He is an awesome missionary!  He even gave one to a delivery person yesterday, and to our faithful mailman, Johnny, today.  Jim: I was busy yesterday and today working on bills to pay, tracking missionary bicycles, and dealing with apartment contracts.  At the end of both days I couldn’t believe it was 5 pm already.  Came home, exercised, had a good phone visit with Brent, and a quiet evening.  We did get notice of an “In Hush” Office Couple, which means that someone has been called but perhaps has not yet responded.  We will know as soon as they do.  It says they will go in the MTC on August 7 and we know they will be there for 2 weeks, so if we extend our mission by 2 weeks we will be able to train them.  Pres. Wakolo suggested that I train Sister Sorensen to take over my position so that she can train the new sister to do her position.  I think that is a great idea and can work to have better continuity!!  Also talked to my sister, Lois.  We are trying to get her ready to move to her daughter’s down in Phoenix, and I feel bad I cannot be there to help her.
            Wednesday was MLC.  I did a “Mission Memories” Binder for the Wakolos and presented it to them at the end.  We also had Jimmy Johns box lunches for lunch, which Jim and I went to pick up, and also mailed our next big suitcase home to our neighbors to put in our house.  Sister Wakolo made her last batch of  Cookie Salad for those missionaries who gobbled it up with grateful hearts!!  Had one missionary get sick before lunch and throw up, so he spent the afternoon resting on the couch in President’s Office.  President and Sister Jones and President and Sister Faulkner came into President’s Office after the MLC meetings to be released from their Mission Presidency assignments.  They are such wonderful people!  Jim: There was some problem with the Church’s IMOS system and the Outlook email, so it was down for several hours today.  You don’t appreciate how dependent you are on these systems until they are not there.  I was grateful to be able to catch up after they came back on line. Then we all went to Asia Buffet in Little Rock for a wonderful Farewell Dinner for the Wakolos.  We ate and talked and enjoyed each other so much!!  What wonderful servants of the Lord!!!
Our Farewell Dinner--the Hartzells, the Hesses, the Faulkners, the Sorensens, and the Wakolos
(We also found out that evening that Christi and Shawn were home safe from their trip to China—we are so grateful!)
            Thursday we cleaned the bathrooms at the church so we would have Friday free to meet with Pres. and Sis Hansen.  I then worked on checking to make sure all the missionaries’ driver’s licenses were still valid.  I do this in a program called GVM (Global Visa Management), which is the same program I use to order the Departing Missionaries’ travel home.  There were several missionaries I had to call and remind them that they need to renew their driver’s licenses now.  I also contacted parents so that they could coordinate efforts on the next Monday P-day when they could email each other.  I then processed the 3 new missionary recommendations that came in on Tuesday.  Two for September and one for October.  Pres. & Sis Wakolo went to the airport to meet and visit with Pres. and Sis. Hansen for a couple of hours, then the Wakolos flew out at 4:00.  So Sis. Hess and Sorensen went to pick up flowers and balloons.  Sis. Sorensen arranged the flowers in a beautiful bouquet, and we took them, picked up two dinners from Olive Garden, and drove to the Mission Home to welcome the Hansens.  They had only been there about 30 minutes, so we were able to visit with them for about ½ hour, then returned to the Office to finish up and go home.  Did laundry, exercised, ate, visited with my sister and her daughter again, and relaxed for awhile.
            Friday I finished up the last of the 3 new recommendations and took care of emails.  At 10:45 the Hansens and the Assistants all came into the Office and we had a big meeting to talk about what we are doing and changes that will be made.  We took a lunch break at 1:30 to go to Larry’s Pizza to eat, then continued the meeting.  The Hansens are warm, outgoing, missionary-oriented people.  They love the Lord and have some ideas of things they want to do to further the missionary work in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.  It was obvious they had thought and prayed about what they wanted to change and are following the Spirit as they lead this mission, as did the Wakolos.  He served here as a young missionary and is so excited to be back. They shared several experiences from their life, and some of the teachings from the Mission Presidents Seminar instruction with us.  It was great.  We each introduced ourselves and talked about some of the challenges of our assignments.  President Hansen is very willing to do whatever is necessary to further the work. We felt their testimonies of the work and know they are called of the Lord to serve here at this time.  We are glad to have that testimony of them, just like we did the Wakolos.   Afterwards the Hansens met with different individuals, and I went to work at my desk making the changes to the Mission Calendar and taking care of other tasks.  We left at 6:00, did our grocery shopping, and headed home to relax. We were still full from our late lunch, so only snacked in the evening.
            Saturday Christi called and we had a good phone visit as she told us more about their China trip.  We exercised, cleaned our bathrooms and the kitchen floor, I recorded receipts and worked on and finished the June budget.  It was a quiet day at home with lots of little things accomplished.  A good day of R&R. 
            One of the cute things that was done at our last Zone Conferences was a fun game called “What are President Wakolo’s most often used phrases and one-liners.”  I will share a few each week. 
            “We must do the Lord’s work every day, every day, every day.”
            “Brothers and sisters, I rejoice with you in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We thank you for what you do, but mostly we thank you for who you are.”
            As he bears his testimony about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Church, he says, “I will never doubt that, I will never question it.”
            And one of his favorite scriptures, “3 Nephi 5:35—Behold I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ (that is who I stand for); I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life, (that is what I stand for).  Because they are who and what I stand for, I am very careful to who and what I fall for.”
            We hope you are all doing well.   Great is the work and we are glad to be a part of it.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,

            Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell