Dear family and friends,
Monday, August 14, I got up and made a crab salad for the Senior Potluck and FHE for in the evening. Then went to work where I worked on a variety of things with Sister S: letters to send to parents for information about the December Departure Missionaries, letters to send to stake presidents of the September Departure Missionaries, calendar changes for the mission, answering phone calls and a lot of emails. It was a busy day! Then we drove to the Mission Home for a delicious potluck dinner—no assignments were made and we had a good variety of good food!! Then the Griffiths gave a FHE lesson on D&C 4:5-6. It was very creative and based on a book about the D&C by David Ridges. Afterwards I helped wash dishes, had fun visiting, and went home to bed.
Tuesday, August 15 was our 18-month anniversary of the start of our mission—the day we entered the MTC. I did a lot of work with Sister Sorensen, going over the desk manual I had to help her put everything together. After I leave, she plans to have my number on speed dial!! I printed up 4 Mission Histories, updated the calendar, took care of emails, cleaned up the Mission Secretary file in the computer. At 11:30 Jim & I took some packages to the post office (sending old iPads to SLC), then went to Kroger for salad and to Little Caesars for pizza and served our District missionaries lunch after their District Meeting. It was fun and nice to visit. It included our Office Elders, Maskovich and Lochlan Smith, Elders Russell and Sagle, and Sister Andrews and Shumway. Was busy all afternoon doing a variety of things. Jim: yesterday and today were very busy with catching up on bills to pay that I didn’t have time to do last week and working on new apartments to find for this next transfer in September. I have never had 5 new apartments at one time to find and set up. I also annually have to calculate the senior missionary living expenses, so that took a while also. Pat: Talked to Lois on the way home and she is doing so well. Also exercised, Jim talked to Brent while he went for his walk. Brent was able to be in one of the sealing rooms for the dedication of the Tucson Temple and said it was a wonderful, spiritual experience. Ate dinner, washed a load of towels, did some gift-wrapping, looked at a bunch of photos that Brent linked us to in order to see pictures of the Cultural Celebration that the triplets were in. We did spot Isaiah and James, but not Noah.
Wednesday, I worked with Sis. S all day. While she processed three new missionary recommendations, I put together 4 Mission Memories binders. Took a short nap in the afternoon, went home after work and did 2 loads of laundry, recorded our receipts and did the July budget, organized a lot of papers, and went through the desk drawers. Finally relaxed from 9-10, then went to bed and slept great!
Thursday, August 17, I did a variety of things: letters to Sept Dep Miss, letters to their parents, printed up more Mission Histories (I try to not do more than 4 a day as it ties up the printer and also the printer gets quite hot), talked to SL for a while about some problems with the printer, updated our calendars, etc. Got a fun email from Sister Wakolo updating us on the things they are doing. Elder Wakolo is going on trips with General Authorities every weekend, and this weekend Sister Wakolo will go with him. Came home, exercised, and packed our suitcases and boxes, but not the final packing yet. Mostly just gathered and organized stuff. Watched some TV while Jim washed dishes and ironed shirts.
Friday, August 18, sent out more Departure Letters (we end up doing these two times as we have 4 missionaries leaving early on Sept 1st, and the other 13 leave on Sept. 12th, the normal Transfer Day. We updated lists, calendars, answered phone calls, I took a nap, etc. Jim: I finally by today made some good progress on 4 of the 5 apartments to open. One has been especially hard to communicate with the manager, who is too busy. Went home to do more packing. The Hesses came over to take a few things that they wanted, including the Gazelle that I have used for exercising, and a couple of plants. We watched a movie and went to bed.
Saturday, August 19, we exercised, packed, washed all the sheets, the mattress pads, the towels, and the bathroom floor rugs. We were super busy all day, except for a couple of ½ hour breaks. Jim took three loads of trash to the dumpster. We finally loaded the car at 3:30—it was sunny and HOT—and then drove to the Mission Home, where we unloaded the car with the help of Pres. Hansen and Elder Cowley. Elder May was installing President Hansen’s new computer. They put everything in the LR, and Jim & I carried everything upstairs to one of the bedrooms. We sure have a mess of stuff!! So glad we didn’t have to carry it all into a hotel. The Hansens have been so welcoming—Sister Hansen giving me several hugs and telling us how glad she was to have us there. Then they left for a baptism, we ate some of our left-over food that we brought with us, then just watched TV all evening and tried to recover from the day!! New bed meant we didn’t sleep the greatest, but it was nice.
Sunday, August 20, was a lovely day. We had a quiet morning, went to our regular Little Rock Ward meetings, had many people tell us how much they will miss us and thanked us for our friendship, ate a delicious Mexican dinner at Michelle’s that she and her daughter, Danielle, prepared, with Lily providing the yummy chocolate silk pie for dessert. Went home, napped, and enjoyed talking to Christi and Shawn, Lucas and Abby, as they told us about their week in China. It was an incredible experience!! Also visited with Shelley as she told us of losing her cell phone in the lake, and someone finding it and turning it in to the AT&T store and it still works. Shelley went from sorrow and depression to joy and exhilaration in 24 hours!! She said she had learned at least three things, 1) don’t get so upset over material things 2) believe in miracles 3) have more compassion for others when they are struggle with things.
Hope you are all doing well, and may the Lord bless you.
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell