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