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 

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