The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Sabbath Day

I forgot to mention yesterday that while we were working at the Barlow Center we heard a lot of commotion and yelling.  We went to the front of the building in time to see a huge rally of protesters.  They were protesting the shooting of Michael Brown the young man that was shot.  It closed down the traffic in the street and the police were following behind them making sure that they would be safe.  It is nice to live in a country were people can make their opinions heard.  They were not being destructive just making sure they were seen.

Today was a wonderful day.  We got to speak in church today on gratitude.  Our talks went over really well.  There is a non-member young man that has been coming to church and he was the first to run up and tell us how much he enjoyed our talks and how he really needed to hear them.  We got a lot of compliments.  One young lady that works in the public affairs office upstairs of the Barlow Center said I wish everyone in our office could have heard you both speak then we could get to know you. One of my favorite definitions of happiness is not having what you like but liking what you have.

When we got our mission call a young man in our ward Phil Thurston had been an intern at the Barlow Center.  The missionaries that were here at the time were the Sowby.  He really wanted us to meet them and find out about the mission from them.  The next thing we knew they had left to go on a mission to New York doing a public affairs mission.  Elder Anthony went to New York on work business in September and called on a BYU graduate to see if they wanted to donate to the new building and guess who it was?  The Sowbys.  Well to our surprise at church today a nice couple came up to meet us and it was the Sowbys in town over Thanksgiving.  In fact they are coming back at Christmas to work at the visitor center during the Christmas season because it is so busy.  They came by tonight to see the Barlow Center and the apartment.  They had purchased several items in the apartment and it was fun for them to see how many things were the same and what had changed.  We had fun visiting with them.  Because they are serving a Public Affairs mission they know Jeff and Karen.  They had inquired about coming to the Barlow Center when they found out the position was already taken.  This is their fourth mission.

After Church today we had a baptism we went to.  Tamar was baptized.  There was such a sweet spirit there.  Tamar is in a wheelchair.  He only has one leg.  It was so neat when he said how happy he was and he said I feel like I have a new life now.  It was so great to be a part of his baptism.

This was the first Sunday we didn't have Barlow kids over for Sunday dinner.  We have gone through the group and I needed a break from cooking.  The Sowbys bought all the dishes and silverware so there would be enough to feed the interns.   We have taking advantage of her generous gift.

On the way to Church today we got off the bus and a lady came running toward us and said are you Mormons.  We said yes and she wanted to know where there was a Church.  We told her to just walk up the street two blocks and she would see it.  She has been here a couple of weeks and could not find a ward house.

Tonight at 7:00 we went over to the Barlow Center to play Farkle with some of the interns.  They heard about the fun game we played after Thanksgiving dinner and wanted us to come over and play with them.  We had a blast until the Sowbys came.  It looks like tomorrow night they want to get us back for Family Home evening.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ho Ho Ho Christmas Cards

Today we worked at the Barlow Center for the majority of the day.  We both have talks tomorrow and a lesson on Monday that we needed to get finished up.  It was deadly quiet.  Most of the students are gone.  There is only two weeks left before these interns go home.  We posted the instructions of things that the interns need to do before they check out.

We went for a walk to Walgreens to get our Christmas cards for this year.  We also went to Radio Shack and Ace True Value store.  We needed a battery and a light bulb.  As we were walking Elder Anthony kept saying I love our walks why didn't we walk more at home.  That was an easy answer, we didn't have time.  We always were in such a hurry.  It is great to do your shopping on your feet.  You have to remember to take a bag or they charge you five cents for every bag.  We made our one five cent bag do for all our stops.

We came home and we worked the rest of the evening to get  all our Christmas letters ready to go out.  Good Day.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Day Off

Yesterday was a very tiring day.  Maybe the day wasn't so hard, maybe it is age catching up with us.  We decided we needed a day off today.  We had a package that needed to be mailed back so we walked up to the post office to mail it.  Then we stopped at  George Town Cupcake for our free cupcake.  I think I explained that each day at 9:50 they post a flavor of the day on their facebook.  If you are one of the first 100 there you get a free cupcake if you ask for it by name.  The deal goes one hour.  The post office is just a little ways from DC cupcake so we stopped in for the featured cupcake, chocolate dipped cookies and cream.  They are very good but I would not pay $3.25 for a cupcake ever.  We took the bus to Macy's Department store to check out their black Friday deals.  We got a new bed spread for our bed that matches the chair we got.  It was a great deal $19.99.  That was 70% off.  I also got a roasting pan cheap that I will leave at the Barlow Center.  We had nothing to cook the turkey in yesterday and had to go to Walmart for a tin foil pan.  I bought two tin foil pans so I could save one for another occasion.  They are so cheap that  the one that we were using got a small hole in it and it was leaking in the oven so I had to use the second one to keep it from leaking and so I could lift out the turkey without the pan falling apart.  We had fun just looking at the great deals.  We rode the bus home and decided to see where it turned around so we could be let off across the street from our condo instead of getting out sooner and walking a couple of blocks.  It was a fun ride.

Yesterday we got to talk to Lisa, Crystal and Michael's family.  Today we talked to Justin and David.  I am so glad we got to catch up on everyone's activities.  It was cold outside today so  we were happy to come home and eat left overs.  My knee has bursitis and it just keeps getting worse.  I have an appointment Jan 19th to see a doctor but I have been wondering how I am going to make it until then.  Believe it or not when I lay down at night it is hurts so bad.  The mission doctor gave me  three names.  I called the first doctor because she looked like the same kind of doctor as my doctor in Provo.  But she could not get me in until Jan 19th.  I decided today to just try the second doctor who is an orthopedic joint specialist and see if he could see me sooner.  I really need a cortisone shot.  He can see me next Thursday.  I took the appointment but we teach at that time but I really need to get the shot so I will see if the S&I coordinator will let me cancel the class.

We have some students coming over in a minute so I will close this off for tonight.  

Who would think cupcakes would be such a big business? 

There are so many unusual buildings in DC.  Elder Anthony likes this building. 

There are signs of the Christmas season everywhere. 

Our new bedspread.  See how well it matches the chair. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Today, Thanksgiving Day 2014, carried all the challenges that the toughest Thanksgiving Days in the past have carried – especially for Mom.  She worked out a plan more than two weeks ago to have the students at the Barlow Center sign up for food assignments for Thanksgiving dinner.  When it all boiled down to the final minutes before the dinner only two students from the Barlow Center attended the dinner.  We did have a student from the University of Pennsylvania, one from George Washington University, two from Mexico who are doing internships (One was a member the other was not a member), the father of one of our Barlow students, and a transient who is a member of the church.  So in total, with Sherrie and myself, we had 10 people for dinner.  See our pictures.
 The dinner turned out great as you would expect of any dinner that Mom handles.  Mom did the turkey and the ham.  The turkey was perfect!  She used timers in the thigh and in the breast and found that the timer in the thigh gave us the most accurate reading as to when the turkey was done.  In addition, she did orange roles (for Michael who could not make it), string bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  One of our Mexican guests had never experienced an American Thanksgiving before.  He was very impressed with the food (as was everyone else).
Following dinner we played Farkle.  Everyone got involved.  We, also, watched the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles football game.  We had something for everyone including desert that Mom and I furnished – apple pie with vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  Mom made some Banana bread that was served while we played games.  A good time was had by all. 
When we returned home and were putting things away and washing dishes, I said to Sherrie, “I think you worked harder today that you ever have for any dinner we have ever done.  Sherrie said, “I know I did.  I couldn’t rely on anyone.”  She never really knew how many to plan for and whether they would follow through with their assignments. 
Well, the day was a tremendous success and I know Mom will sleep well tonight.  We will take some time off tomorrow and get rested up as we prepare our talks for Sunday. 

I have always wanted double ovens for Thanksgiving so you could bake different items at the same time.  Well I had double ovens but they were across the street from each other.  I made a least a half dozen trips across the street to our condo and back caring food back and forth.  Elder Anthony and I had to divide up so he could keep the oven going at the Barlow Center and I could at the condo.  While I was waiting for the turkey to cook I got the laundry started and cleaned the condo.  One trip I made was to make sure the man working in the foyer got something to eat today.  I ran him over a plate of food.  Elder Anthony is right I will sleep well tonight.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Today it snowed

It was cold rainy and it snowed for awhile today but it did not stick.

We spent all day at the Barlow Center waiting on heating guys. We had the heater man there for a couple of hours in the morning.  Then after a couple of hours the guy that needed to work on the boiler came and spent three hours. Elder Anthony was in and out with them all day.  I got some work done and then I worked at posting some histories on familysearch.  

Elder Anthony has a cold. But we needed to get out because I did not have a pan big enough to cook the turkey in.  It seems like we have had people adding to our dinner and dropping out of dinner all day today.  I don't think I will know exactly how many we will feed for Thanksgiving dinner until I see them show up. The ones that are dropping out had food assignments that I am needing to pick up. It could be an interesting day tomorrow. It will be our first Thanksgiving without family. We have not spent a Thanksgiving without some of our children. David was born before our first Thanksgiving and Grandma Larsen came to help us move into our apartment in Bakersfield. She cooked our turkey in a cold pack canner. It will be interesting to see how  tomorrow goes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


We just got word that Michael and Diana and their kids can not come for Thanksgiving. We are so disappointed.  We will really miss having family here.  We have been working really hard trying to get ahead so we would have time to play around. We know have fruit and milk and bread in the house that we don't normally have.  Oh well, we still have about 12 coming for Thanksgiving dinner.  But we were really looking forward to their visit.

We worked this morning waiting for the air conditioning and heating man to come out. He never showed up. Our building maintenance lady is on vacation so we will have to do some light cleaning this week to keep up on things. We have a lot of people leaving so it shouldn't need as much cleaning as usual.  We are the stable ones. 

Elder Anthony had an appointment for a blood draw at the VA. It is always fun to explain to people what we are doing here.  The doctor that is going to oversees his monthly blood draws said I see you are wearing name tags what is that about.  I explained we were missionaries for our Church and explained our work.  She was very gracious.  

We headed to the temple to do a sessionafter. There is hardly anyone at the temple during the day. I really love the Washington DC temple.  Then we headed to Walmart for the last shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.  We made it home just in time to eat and then go teach our class.  I thought for sure no one would come tonight and we had the biggest class we have had so far. It is a lot more fun when more come. They loved the taco soup after. 

Elder Anthony has come down with a cold so he is not feeling on top of his game. Lisa called today and shared some of the tender mercies the Lord is blessing her with as she begins this new calling as Stake Primary President.  You can so plainly see the Lord inspiring her and directing her. When they talk about the mantel falling upon a person she is a living testimony that that is occurring.  

It is interesting to read the scriptures as an ordained minister.  You see things you have never seen before. I found such a cool scripture today. D&C 64:29 " Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord's business."  The simple labors I have been assigned to do is the Lord business.  I am grateful to be on His errand.

Two students I use to teach are currently on missions.  I am on their email distribution list.  I read today such a great story about the Lord dirctioning a set of missionaries. Here is his story:  Something interesting happened this week: 
We were on our way to visit an investigator, and we had a LONG way to go to get there, also we were late. All of a sudden, Brother Humberto shows up and offers a ride in his truck. We get in and start driving, and after about 5 seconds, the car turns off and dies. He can't get it started again.
Next, a random lady comes running out of her house to the right and tells us, "I have been looking for missionaries for weeks! Come inside and talk to me." So we were like... "├ľkay." Anyway we told Humberto to skee-daddle, and that we were going to talk to the lady in her house. As soon as we get out of the car, the truck starts up like nothing.
Divine Intervention.
Her name is Hilda Castillo, we hope she will progress.

The missionaries are surely on the Lords business.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Warm before the storm

Today was an interesting day.  The past week has been one where the cold humid weather seems to permeate every bone and joint in your body.  Then you have a day like today where the temperature starts out in the mid 40's and by the mid day the temperatures are in the high 60's and the low 70's.  It was a beautiful day to walk and appreciate the out-of-doors.  Well, because the past few days have been so cold, Mom decided that the best thing to do for our class today was to take a pot of soup.  So she spent quite a bit of time last week fixing Taco Soup.  It was wonderful and the Sisters that we teach on Thursday loved the soup as did their children.  The students we taught today on Capitol Hill loved the soup also but I am sure they wondered why we were having soup during a heat wave - if it had only been tomorrow when we served the soup to them - tomorrow it is supposed to snow.

Mom won't share this in the blogs that she composes but her bursitis in her knee is really giving her a bad time.  It has been difficult finding a doctor who has the kind of skills she would like so that she can get treatment.  She finally found one and, as luck would have it, she can't get into that doctor until mid January.  The bursitis makes it difficult to walk but almost impossible to climb stairs - all of which we have to do extensively in our work. We have talked about having her see one of the orthopedic specialists at Georgetown Medical Center and get a shot to keep her going until she sees her new doctor.  Georgetown Orthopedics comes highly recommended.

Sister Fulkerson just called and one of our intern's parents are in panic the parents cannot contact her.  Apparently, the intern's phone has been disconnected.  This is one example of the type of problems that we handle on a fairly regular basis.  The variety of problems that we deal with keeps us constantly energized.  It is such a pleasure dealing with these young people.  I can't believe how great they are.  All of our young women except one are returned missionaries and all of our young men are returned missionaries except one.  That young man has a mission call and will leave in February.

Well, we just contacted our intern whose parents are worried and they will be calling home in the next few minutes.  Problem solved.  Likewise our next problem is to head to bed ourselves.  So, I will say goodnight for now.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quiet Sunday

We had stake conference today.  It was a great conference.  Our mission president spoke and told his conversion story.  It took him 6 years to join the church.  Last night a member of our stake presidency spoke and shared some words of President Hinckley's that he showed that they were prophetic. Right after 9/11 President Hinckley in October conference said, "As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son.

"Great are the promises concerning this land of America. We are told unequivocally that it “is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12). This is the crux of the entire matter—obedience to the commandments of God. ...
"I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.
"I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn. I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew." Then member of the stake presidency went on to say that after 9/11 we had exactly 7 years of plenty.  People did not listen to the prophets about getting out of debt.  We have been in the worst recession since the great depression for the past six years.  He went on to admonish the members to follow the prophet and stop ignoring their counsel.  I have not ever noticed this prophecy and realized that we are in the midst of living it.  
We had our last three students over for dinner.  We have only missed one of our single student.  We didn't try to get our married students because we knew we didn't have time but we will get to meet all of our next group.  These students leave on December 13th.  It will be our first group to check out.  This has been a special group.  I will miss them when they leave.  Even our Bishop has remarked what a great group this has been.  
This coming Sunday we will be speaking in Church on gratitude.    

Different Day

We decided to do a Thanksgiving treat today for our neighbors. I made orange rolls since that was a Thangiving tradition in our family. 

Elder spent the day preparing for our class on Monday.  This evening we went to Stake Conference.  Elder Anthony said at the end that was the best conference he had ever attended. We had three people that speak that had joined the church in May 2014. Their talks were really good.  They also had a man that was Taiwan that joined the church in 2008. I will write more about the stake 2nd counselor's talk.  We had students with us. We made a quick run to Walmart to get a couple of ingredients for our taco soup for classes next week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday the day everyone looks forward to.

Everyone loves Fridays.  To a mission Friday is just like any other day.  Our schedule is about the same everyday.  We don't really have a diversion day.  When I worked I would always hope for a Friday so I could sleep in the next day and get some things done that I couldn't get done on a regular day.  Sunday I would be discourage to think we were back to getting up at 4:30 and living a schedule that was so stressful and demanding.  It is fun to see people looking forward to the weekend and be able to smile and know that every day is a great day.  For the first time in my life I am not wishing away my life.

 We had a group in today that were using the Barlow Center for a meeting.  We got over to the Center a little before 8:30.  We are having problems with the heat in that room and the heating guy is waiting for a part so we had some room heaters that needed to be started before they got there.  Most of those that came were non-members.  We were there to greet the visitors and direct them to the back room.  We tried to get ahead on our lessons.  If we get company for Thanksgiving we will need to get a little ahead so we can enjoy having family here.

We went on an exciting date tonight.  We rode the bus back to the World Market in hopes we could find some inexpensive spices.  Then we stopped at McDonalds for their dollar menu and rode the bus home.  Elder Anthony said did you ever think we would have a date on a bus.  He reminded me how different our lives are in the city.  Elder Anthony asked me would we every walk to the University Mall.  I said no we would never walk to the mall. Here we wouldn't consider driving a car.  It would take longer than walking to drive and you wouldn't find a place to park when you got there. It is probably better for us to walk anyway.    

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mothers Class

I have mentioned our mothers class.  These sisters inspire me each week.  There is a strong spirit there in spite of all the interruptions.   One of our sisters was up solving a dispute between children today and she said I was surprised that I could feel the spirit when Elder Anthony was  bearing his testimony even though I was with the children.  The are a great strength to each other.  It is one of the highlights of our day week.

We had 10 children 4 and under there today.  

Every once in a while you see a license plates that says Diplomat. Does this mean that don't have to obey the rules?  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Elder Anthony held staff meeting with me and Susana.  Susana is our building mechanic and maitenance person.  We all work together to keep the Barlow Center going.  After our meeting we were talking and Susana shared with me that the missionaries before us had wanted to extend and when they contacted BYU they were told that the position had already been filled and the call had already been issued.  If we had not gotten our call early we would not be serving this mission.  That is now four other couples that were trying to get this opportunity to be here that we know of.  I feel once again that this call was inspired.

After our meeting we tried to complete some of our assignments.  At noon we decided to try a new way of going to a different Walmart.  Someone told us we could get there on a bus.  That would cost us 1.50 round trip.  I am making taco soup for our classes this coming week and for our class tomorrow.  So we ventured in the cold Washington air and caught our bus.  Sure enough it let us off just a half of a block from a Walmart.  We went and made our purchases for the taco soup.  The groceries were a little heavier than we wanted but we caught the returning bus and got home and had some lunch.

I worked at finishing off our lesson for tomorrow morning.  We came home and made the soup for our mothers class tomorrow.  I have been thinking of something to make for the 4th floor people that live in our condo for a Thanksgiving treat.  Our cookies for Halloween made a good impression and we have had several people respond to us.

One of the notes we got said Dear Neighors, Thank you for the delicious treats.  That was very sweet of you.  Stan lives in Florida and raely comes to DC.  I took his cookies fully intending to give them back to you, but temptation prevailed and I ate them!

Another note said David and Sherrie: The goodies I had on my door was a wonderful surprise. Thanks so much-- great to have wonderful neighbores.  Cheers.  (I am not sure how she found out our names.)

One note looked like a check.  It said thanks a million.  We have had a few of our neighbors talk to us in the hall.  So now the question,  what can I make for everyone for Thanksgiving?  I will let you know when I figure it out.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Living the Dream

We tried to get to the temple earlier this morning so we could get back and get some work done before we taught this evening.  Washington temple only has sessions on the hour until after five and then they are every half hour.  We got there just after the hour so we went and did sealings today.  As we were sitting in the temple and we were reflecting on our good friends the Loveless' Elder Anthony said, I am sure they had dreams and ambitions that will not happen for them since Randy died.  Then he looked at me and said you know we are living our dream right now.  Our mission is something we dreamed about happening, something we prepared to do and now it has come to pass.  We are living a dream we have had for over 40 years.

I haven't driven the car since we sold the Subaru.  We are always together.  So I said you know I can't go for two year and not drive or I will lose the ability to drive.  It has been two months since I last drove.  So last week on the way to the temple I drove from our class to the temple which took me right through down town.  I haven't forgotten how to drive.  But it is crazy driving.

Our class tonight went really well.  We never have as many as I would like to see come but it was a good class. We are getting close to some of our students.  When I worked I had about 180 students per semester.  Now we teach together about 25.  That is really different but we don't have any discipline problems.  You also spend as much time preparing a lesson for 5 as you do for 105.  We feel blessed to be a part of this work.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cold rainy day

I never know what to expect at our Monday class on the hill.  You never know how many will be able to come.  We decided to just buy Subway sandwiches for the class today.  On the way up we ran into four Elders that were on their P-day.  One of the Elders had been in our class before.  He asked if we were teaching today.  He talked all the Elders into going to our class today.  Good thing we had not yet bought the sandwiches because two sandwiches would not fee four hungry Elders.  We only had two of our regular class members come but one brought a friend that was a non-member so the Elders were a great addition to the class and we had a great class today.

We came back and worked all afternoon on the business for the Barlow Center.  Elder Anthony was trying to get the keys for the room lined up with the right room number.  I know this doesn't make sense but in the past the code number didn't match the room number and Elder Anthony has figured out how to fix that.  We had a meeting over the phone with the director of the center at BYU.  I have a group that is using the center on Friday.  A group that wants to use the center in the spring and a young lady that wants us to store some of her things until she comes to the Barlow Center in January.  I also want to change our pacing guide for our classes.

We headed over to the Barlow Center for family home evening but we had forgotten that Bishop was coming in to do tithing settlement. Instead we had a nice visit with his wife.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday are pretty consistent.

Our Sundays don't change much.  Not even the food we eat.  We have basically the same crockpot dinner every Sunday because it can cook while we are gone.  We not only had the next four interns over for dinner but we invited the missionaries also.  I am amazed at the sweet spirit that accompanies them.  I would hope the same spirit exists with us but I am not sure it does.  The young missionaries are the army on the front lines.  I feel more like we are keeping the fires burning but they are fighting the war.  It was nice to have them in our home.

 Our schedule on Sundays doesn't really vary much.  We leave at 10 for church and get home at 3:30 to 4 depending on if we have our meetings after church.  We feed the interns and have the evening to work at home on varies projects.  We were asked to talk in two weeks in Church.  We have stake conference next week.  I think a lot of single adults will be gone for Thanksgiving so we should have a smaller than normal attendance.  I love our young adult ward.  It is fun to be with them and they are good to us.

Michael and Diana have got us excited.  They are going to drive here for Thanksgiving.  I think they are going to rent a car drop it off and then rent another car at the end of their visit and drop it off back in Atlanta.  I don't think they can come until early Thursday morning and they are going to leave Sunday morning but we will take them for how ever long they have.  Things should be quiet around here with Thanksgiving holiday.  We will be doing Thanksgiving dinner at the Barlow Center for those young adults in the area that have no place to go that day.

We called to wish David a happy birthday.  It is hard to believe that our oldest son is 38 years old.  Where is the time going.  The years just melt away.  Thank you David for letting us practice parenting on you.  It is hard to express how much we love each of our children and in law children and our grandchildren.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quiet Day for Thanksgiving

We had a quiet day to catch up on things.  It has been a cold day.  The kids all started texting how cold it was in their area.  Rexburg, Idaho won.  It was 3 degrees and snowing. Bountiful was 34 degrees and snowing.  Vernal was 13 degrees.  Atlanta was 36 degrees.  Las Vegas was 57 degrees.  It is 34 in Washington DC right now.  It has been a cold day for everyone.  Our ward had a Thanksgiving potluck tonight.  It was wonderful.  There are some great cooks in our ward.  They did a service project after but we had to get back we had another outside door that was not locking.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday's Adventures

We left this morning to join the interns in the Cannon Building.  We met with Congressman Jim Matheson.  It was a a fascinating meeting.  I loved listening to him.  He said a few things that impressed me.  He followed right along with the Church counsel when he said don't vote party lines.  Vote for people not parties.  He said don't rush into judgement think for yourself.  He said that 40% of the Twitter message you get are bots.  That is man made response based on words that you may have written.  He said we are getting spun all the time by the news media.  It is very hard to get good information.  He ended this question and answer period with this statement.  It would be great if every American could spend sometime in Washington DC.  I felt so grateful that we are able to serve a mission in this area of the world. It makes you appreciate what this  country has been built upon.
Jim Matheson and Elder Anthony.  Elder Anthony had a picture taken years ago with  his father who was the governor of Utah.  

Once again hall after hall has the United States Flag and the congressman's State flag outside their office doors.

Our interns with Jim Matheson

We found a Utah Congressman's office. 
A man said he would take our picture by Rob Bishops door plaque.  
The BYU professor told us about the United States Botanic Gardens that were close by. They have plants from all over the world.  We made a stop and toured the Gardens after the meeting.

We came back and work at the center for a half a day and then decided to go out to eat at the Cheesecake factory.  It was great.  It has been really cold today.  So I was grateful for a nice warm coat.  We took the bus to the restaurant and walked around the mall after dinner.  We found a cool store called the World Market.  I wanted to stay longer and look but our bus was coming so I need to return and finish looking around.  They have things from different parts of the world.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It takes a long time to do things in Washington.

We have shed tears today for our good friend Randy Loveless and Marie.  I know the Lord is hastening his work on both sides of the veil.  I am sure Randy is going to lead that work in the spirit world.  But we are sure going to miss him here.

We taught our mothers today on King Street.  We taught D&C 42:48 "And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed."  We had this quote from Elder Oaks "As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust.  I felt that trust in a talk my cousin gave at the funeral of a teenage girl who had died of a serious illness. He spoke these words, which first astonished me and then edified me: 'I know it was the will of the Lord that she die.  She had good medical care.  She was given priesthood blessings.  Her name was on the prayer roll in the temple.  She was the subject of hundreds of prayers for her health.  And I know that there is enough faith in this family that she would have been healed unless it was the will of the Lord to take her home at this times.'   I felt that same trust in the words of the father of another choice girl whose life was taken by cancer in her teen years.   He declared, 'Our family's faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.'  Those teachings ring true to me. We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome." (Healing the Sick." 50.)

We will miss our friend, Randy Loveless.

Everything takes so long in Washington.  We left the condo at 8:15 so we wouldn't wake up our intern that was sleeping here.  We did our studying and worked on door locks until 10:00.  We left at 10:00 to teach our class at 10:30.  We left our class and cleaned up the food at 1:00.  We got to the temple and got on the 2:00 session.  We got out of the temple at 4:00.  We got to Walmart at 4:30.  We got home at 6:30.  I got dinner going and laundry.  Elder Anthony had to go back over to the Barlow center to make a new key.  Traffic can add so much time.  Depending on the time traffic can be brutal.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Little Rain Cloud

There has been a little rain cloud over my head today since I read the Loveless blog and learned that they were taking the ventilator off of our friend Randy.  Not that we disagree but we know it will not be long now before he passes away.  Our families have been tied together for many years.  Marie and Randy were second parents to Lisa.  We have served with them and we love them.  We can't give Marie a hug and tell Randy good-bye.  But the tears have flowed easily today as we mourn for our friends.

We knew today that nothing could happen until the lock guys came to fix the locks.  One of the interns told us that every day DC cupcakes offers one featured cupcake for one hour each day for free.  So we walked down to the Georgetown DC cupcake place and got a strawberry chocolate cupcake for free.  These little cupcakes cost 3:25 each.

Two key guy showed up just after 9 today.  They had thought they would be done around 1.  They left at 5:00.  We were stuck there all day long.  Elder Anthony over saw the project and worked on next Monday's lesson. I got my office and all the files cleaned up and organized how I wanted them.  Elder Anthony wanted to go through the building and try every door before they left.  The FM guy said I am sure they have done the work okay.  We had 6 students whose keys no longer worked and Elder Anthony got those reissued. I came home and got some dinner and took him over something to eat.  But we had one young lady that could not get in her room and our keys that open all the doors couldn't get her in so she is sleeping at our condo tonight because she is homeless you could say.  The lock guys promised to be out by 9 tomorrow.

We had a senior missionary fireside tonight with Elder Katcher of the 70.  We were thirty minutes late getting there because we couldn't get out.  Just as we were driving out the student that  oversee things got locked out so I ran in while Elder Anthony waited in the car to open his door.  He wasn't there so I opened his door and grabbed a book so the door would not lock again.  I ran down and called to tell Avram his door was opened and he was locked the stair wells.  So I ran back in to get him out.  We didn't hear our mission president speak but Elder Katcher was inspiring. He used a verse from 3 Nephi 5:13.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I am called to declare this word. He said if you are doing your best you are acceptable to the Lord.  I am surprised at how many missionaries are on repeat missions.   I didn't know but one of the mission couple in our mission had their son die today.  Elder and Sister Gallespe.  My heart was already heavy thinking about Randy Loveless and I could help crying for these people I didn't really know.  What a roller coaster day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

They call the two and a half mile stretch from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial the mall.  Tonight at the mall they are prepared for 800,000 people to come to a concert with different arts performing for Veteran Day. Because Veterans Day is a federal holiday many of the interns didn't have to work today. We should have cancelled class for tonight because we had one person come. The rest of the interns went to the free concert. We spent a fair share of today getting ready for class. I guess we will be a ready for next week. We sat and visited with our one student and she got to eat the potatoe bar we had planned. We will also do the same food for next weeks class. 

The most productive thing we did today was to walk to the hair cuttery to invite the girl that cut my hair to go with us on Saturday to the Ward Thanksgiving pot luck dinner. I took an envelope with me with an invitation in case she was working. She was so I just left the invite. I hope she will call me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Worth of Souls is Great

We teach one New Testament class on Monday afternoons up on the hill. A lesson typically takes six hour or more for the person responsible to organize and get it ready. If you do a lot of back ground reading which is normal you can add on a couple more hours.  Elder Anthony is the main preparer for the New Testament lessons. I am the main prepare for the Doctrine and Covenant lessons. We team teach so the other person is assigned part of the lesson so they will invest about three hours on their portion. You are not ready to teach until you own the lesson. What I mean by that is that you can not just teach scriptures. You have to invest the time to be able to feel what you are teaching and become passionate about what you have studied. So combined each lesson takes about nine to ten hours. Add on the time to plan  and preparie something to eat. On Mondays we leave about 10:40 and return about two. We have two to six students. I commented today we put in a lot of time for the four students that came today.  We had a good discussion today and I left feeling deified. I know the Lord loves us. Why would any one put in that kind of time if the worth of the souls was not priceless which I know it is. I learned a long time ago that each person is worth the time it takes. When I was doing family history work you think how much time money and effort is spent to find one person and then to do their temple work. Each person each name is worth our effort to reach, build up and edifying. Our time is well spent if one persons life is strengthened and their testimony is deepened. 

We took the bus home today instead of the metro and a man struck up a conversation with us. He has lived in DC for over 25 years. He spoke loudly. He needed to clean up his language. He stereotyped races into group and was a racists for sure which was offensive. I tried to get him off from the topic of people and asked him about good resurants hoping that was a safe topic. I was glad to get off of the bus and leave him.  I am sure those around him could hear him putting down different races. He told us that we were way to over dressed unless we were some part of lobbing on Capititol hill. We made sure he knew we were on a mission for the Church. He asked if we wanted Mitt Romney to win and we said sure. Then he went after Pres. Oboma  with his prejudice remarks.  When we left the bus he said I think you are very polite people and well educated.  I felt bad for those around us that I know he offended. I know I was offened.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Sundays are busy but good.  We ride the bus to Church. We are getting the hang of the public transportation.  We got our passes set up so they automatically renew when the totally on the card drops under ten dollars. We have our 3 hour block and then our missionary meeting after.  We have 4 Barlow students for dinner every Sunday.  We have now had 16 students to dinner. We are developing some special bonds with our interns.  They really are a dynamic group.  All the young women are return missionaries but one.  All the boys are return missionaries but one and he got his mission call since being here.  He told us tonight that he is going to Paris France.  We feel honored to work with them.  We have worked on our lesson for Monday at noon. I finally feel ready to teach.  We have a meeting in the morning so it doesn't give us any time to look at the material before we head to Capitol Hill for our noon class.   For the Sunday school hour we go to the new member meeting.  Each week they have new young adults moving into the area.  The committee talks to them and sets them up with information they need to fit into the ward.  We are there to encourage them to take an institute class.  After Church we meet with the missionary committee in the ward.  So we are gone about 6 hours every Sunday from the time we leave to go to church and we get home.  The gospel is great.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Barlow Center

The Barlow Center is in need of some drastic up dates.  We are having problems with the heating and air conditioner. They sent out a specialist and he couldn't fix it.  He has to send out someone else.  The locking system is malfunctioning. Elder Anthony spent the whole morning Friday trying to have them help him fix the problem over the phone. They are sending out a specialist on Wednesday. In the meantime if anyone loses their key they are going to be without a key but I am not sure the specialist can fix it.  Today the wireless internet went down.  Elder Anthony was on the phone for over three hours with Salt Lake and they couldn't get it up and working.  They will have an engineer on Monday try to get it to work.  We have another monitor malfunctioning.  The building mechanic is suppose to get it up and going.  That really makes for a non productive day waiting around thinking you are getting something solved and instead the problems keep mounting.

Our friends, the Andrus' left this morning at 8:00.  They are planning on getting to their mission field  today. They want to visits Ruth's brother who is serving a mission in Rawlie about three hours away from their mission in Charlotesville.  They report in on Monday.

I went to get my hair cut today.  We found a place that is kind of like Fantastic Sams in Utah.  There price were very reasonable but you get what you pay for. Maybe I am just spoiled.   My hair is okay but I don't like the back of it.  The good part is the girl that cut my hair was a really sweet young lady.  I told her about the church and I think she will come to some of our activities.  She wants to meet boys with  higher values.  She asked what we believed in.  We talked about families, our relationship to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and family history work. I told her that young adults in our Church don't drink, smoke, do drugs, or have sex before marriage. She is a Baptist but she liked that we don't drink and smoke.  So we will see if she will come.  She gave me her work schedule.  She tried really hard to make my hair cut perfect.

I hope we can start solving some problems.

Friday, November 7, 2014


We were going with the students this morning to the state department until last night when we got a call at 8:30 that one of our interns had lost her electronic key to get into the building and her room. So we headed back over to get a new key made. After two hours and a call to the old missionaries that were just released we still didn't have a working key. Something is very wrong with the computer system. She found the key while we're there but the concern over the software was still very frustrating. We told the BYU professor Dr. Fry we wouldn't to going with the students this morning while we tried to work out the problem.  Elder Anthony was on the phone with the locking specialist most of the morning. They will be out on Wednesday. In the meantime our lock and keys for them are in a sticky situation. 

Elder Anthony's mission companion from the Gulf States came in town to say hi and spend the night. They just finished a two year mission to Charottesville, South Carolina. They went for 18 months then they were asked to extend for 6 months. After two years they went home to Brigham City for four months and are returning to the same mission for another year. Their mission president wanted them back and got his wish.  They served as executive secretary for their mission. They about killed over working extremely long hours. They were serving when the serge in missionaries occurred and the demand for more housing and furniture was a hugh problem.  They ran the mission so their mission president could be out with the missionaries. This next mission they are going to be MLS missionaries. MLS stands for member leadership support. It is the new work for prosilighting missionaries. They wanted to see Kirthland on their way out so they are staying over night with us and going to North Carolina tomorrow.  They got in about 1 this afternoon. They are leaving early tomorrow morning. They have never been to DC so we took them on a fast trip around the city. We walked about four plus miles. We rode the metro to the Capitol. We walked by the Libray of Congress, the Supreme Court Building, and the congressional offices. We walked from there to the Wasington Momument, the World Ward II Monuments, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam memorial. Then we walked back home. I think we walked them and us out. It has been fun to compare missions and our different assignments. Don Andrus is very close to Elder Anthony.  Elder Anthony didn't have any siblings and a couple of his companions filled that void. It was fun to be with them for a half a day. It has been cold this afternoon and very windy. I think winter is on its way. 

Don and Ruth Andrus

Washington Momument 

Capititol. This is the side that the president elect comes to be sworn in and talk to the people.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Little Children

Is possible to have a spiritual thought with 9 children under five playing, fighting, needing potty breaks or diapers changed?  Is it possible to sit in the nursery room with toys everywhere and children wanting each others toys, and crying?  The answer is YES IT IS!  So how is it possible?  You have four women that are hungry for the gospel, that can do two things at once and are mature in the gospel and it works.  One of our mothers was not there today but we got another lady that joined our class today and she says she will be back.  We talked about the gather today in D&C 38.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "The Book of Mormon is central to this work.  It declares the doctrine of the gathering.  It causes people to learn about Jesus Christ, to believe His gospel, and to join His Church.  In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur." Ensign Nov. 2006

It is interesting to realize that the greatest tool we have for gathering righteous individuals is the Book of Mormon.  D&C 38 gives several reasons why the Lord is asking the Saints to gather.  We also listed reasons that we thought were important.  What is the opposite of gathering???? Scattering!  Do you realize that righteous individuals gather.  They gather to temples, to the sacrament table to help each other out.  Those that sin scatter.  They don't want to be with family, or with those that are gathered to worship the Lord.  They want to be with those that are doing the same thing they are doing but the wicked will turn on each other.  The Book of Mormon talks about the Jaredites that eventual destroy their whole society. Gangs are a good example of the wicked destroying the wicked.  I love teaching the scriptures.  I love teaching those that gather on a Thursday morning who want to learn the gospel.  What a sweet gathering.  Even the children come running in excited to be with each other.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Elder Anthony entry

Today was one of those days that all missionaries have.  Each day when we arise we intend to accomplish a great work.  Today was no different.  We left for the temple early this morning (9:25).  We made it in time for the 10:00 session and enjoyed the quiet and peaceful session.  
Our next stop was at Walmart where we were doing shopping for the coming week.  It is our usual procedure to go to Walmart after the Temple since they are in the same area.  
Following the trip to Walmart we went to Washington DC Veterans Hospital.  I had an appointment there at 1:30.  Even though they were very prompt (which was a nice surprise) we didn't leave there until a few minutes before 4:00.  The bottom line is that our day was gone.  Our trip home put us into early rush hour traffic so by the time we got home it was time for dinner.  
6:30 rolled around and we found ourselves at the Barlow Center preparing our lessons for next week.  So we were not a productive as we would normally like to be but we are happy and healthy and glad to be together. Elder Anthony

This picture makes the VA look great.  It isn't that nice.