The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Friday, September 2, 2016


We have been trying to connect with President Roberts for the past two days.  We finally talked to him today.  We have been released.  We are no longer missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is always emotional to put that name tag on and then to take it off.  We have walked away from the life we loved and the people we love to return to the family we love. I commented yesterday that I could feel that the mantel had been lifted from our shoulders even before we were released.  Elder Anthony had felt the same thing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The End

I feel like we have been leaving for over a month.  Our Friday root beer group got together for one last root beer tasting. We had 5 bottles left. We are getting pretty fussy.  It has been a fun event to keep things fun and interesting.

I had several things that needed to be done today. Probably the most important was to get a treat made for the incoming students. I needed to make sure they had the walk through down and we needed to call President Roberts. When I went to start on the cookies I didn't have the butter so one more trip to Trader Joes.

On the way back to the Barlow I realized we had forgotten to call Pres. Roberts.  We were about 20 min late calling. The number we had been given was his office. His secretary answered and said he had gone to Germany to the rededication of the Temple. We tried his cell phone but no answer so I think he forgot. So we will continue to were our name tags until we are released. I don't feel you can release yourself.  I had purchased box mixes so we could make the treats quickly. They were pretty good but the four boxes didn't make as many as I would have liked.

We needed to do our last little bit of laundry before hitting the road. We pretty much were on the run all day. We also oriented the AA. By 3 it was time for us to get out of the way. You come to realize that your training is done and the mantel has been lifted and people are ready for you to leave and let the new guys on the block blossom without you hovering. So we just left. The Thunells were busy and we didn't want a lot of good-byes. We hadn't been gone for 35 min. Before Elder Thunell called the front security panel had gone out. We were not very far from the Barlow so we came back. Elder Anthony tried but he couldn't get it going either.

We were able to tell the Thunells good-bye and we took off again. We went to an expensive restaurant to finish using the gift card Andy Johns had given us. We ate and walked the couple of miles back to the hotel for our last stroll through the city hand in hand. Washington we are going to miss you.

Here is a small sample of the root beers we have tried including the five today. Brownie is our favorite.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 5 Training

We did some final training. I am now feeling that we have given them all they can take. In fact I feel like it is time to get out of the way. We will go in tomorrow and help orient the AA, (their administrative assistant). I will make the cookies and make sure they have the walk through down then hopefully we can disappear.

Scott came in and brought his wife this time. He inspected the rooms and we we passed with no critism or nothing needing to be done. Scott invited to take us out to dinner and the Thunells as their welcome and our good-bye but we already had a dinner engagement with Lydia, Kimmey, Ben, Alex, and Kirsi.    I was glad. I feel like we are the has been and we now need to get out of the way of new progress. We  left at 6:30 because we made some room changes. We had a great time with the young adults at dinner. They were way fun.

The Thunells

Tom and Heather Thunell

Day Four of Training

We met with Mike Cottle this morning at 9 for round table. They will now start working with Mike on institute. We had a meeting with Susana to make our final preparations for Scott to come on Tuesday to inspect the apartments. He has told us he is bring his wife because she is more critical than he is. Bring it on. Everyone comes to attention when Scott comes. He will be here to welcome the students and get the semester started. We stopped today long enough to go to lunch but we stayed at it until 6:30. Which was a super long day for Elder Thunell because we had him get up and let the plumber in at 6:30 a.m.  We worked on emails, scheduling, and setting up auto reloading bus passes for them. Then there was more good-byes. Elder Anthony helped them set up the Internet and TV with Comcast. We got to visit and tell Lilly our 94 year old friend good-byu. We saw Wayne the building engineer and told him good-bye. The people in the condo are use to the missionary turn overs. Once again he said no other missionaries have been like you. He wanted our phone number in case he ever gets to Utah. In talking with Susana she started crying and said I don't want you to go.  You will be the hardest missionaries to say good-bye to.  We have worked so closely with her it is going to be hard to leave her and the Thunells knowing Susana is going to need so much help when the baby comes. Thunells also met Jeff the FM boss. He teared up when he said I don't know how we could have pulled off all these projects without Elder Anthony.  I am every uncomfortable with all these good-byes. I would much rather just disappear in the night.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Day 3 Training

We finished our 11 hour day. We met up at 9 to go to the DC 3 ward which is the ward our married interns go to. Before the meeting was over we headed to our young adult ward. We got there in time for sacrament meeting. We went to the Welcome class. New people are entering the ward in large groups. After Relief society we had a missionary committee meeting which introduced the Thunells to the missionary committee. Then the Thunells were nice enough to invite us to dinner. They used some of our left over food and brought food for open faced enchiladas. She also made strawberry short cake. We worked over at the Barlow for 45 mimutes while they got the dinner.  We really like the Thunells. We could become best friends. After we took them to meet some of our neighbors. It was a sweet moment to tell them good-bye. We have become good friends. Sally told us how much our gift of the Book of Mormon meant to her. She knew the Book of Mormon was sacred to us and she said she had started reading it. There were a few tears shed. Sally told the Thunells that they were going to have to work hard to replace us. She said no one that had been before us had reached out and become a part of them. She also told them we brought treats to them for every holiday.

We got to the hotel at 8 tonight. Susana called asked us if we could meet the plumber at the Barlow tomorrow at 6:30. Elder Anthony said we will take care of it. He called Elder Thunell to let the plumber in the building at 6:30. We are a couple of miles away from the Barlow. We no longer live across the street. It was a day filled with good-byes.

Elder and Sister Thunell. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 2 Training

We were in the Barlow 9 hours today. We stopped only long enough to cross the street and eat at Subway sandwich .  We split up and Elder Anthony took Tom and I took Heather and we spent the whole day going through things we do and how we do them and why. They had lots of questions and we stopped to see thing and actually to do some of the things listed. When we walked out we were all exhausted. I hope they are not feeling over whelmed but describing what we do made me realize how much we have accomplished .I turned over the credit cards today.