The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Family Reunion

This morning we went to the temple.  We try to be there for the first session at 8:00 a.m. The sessions are very small in the morning.  The temple workers know us and it is always a pleasure to serve.  Elder Anthony was the only male on the session today and there were only four women so we were extra glad we were there to help out. The temple presidency always comes and greets the session before we start and says a few words.  Today he looked at our small group and said that it takes 60 people to staff the temple. They are there so we can accomplish the work of the temple.  That is humbling to think of.  We need to go to the temple as often as we can.

 After we went and did a sealing session.  There was a lady there that had found some family names.  She had finally found the mother's name and found the couple had 8 sons and several daughters.  Today there was a family reunion in heaven.  I can't imagine how that mother and father must have felt to have their family sealed together.  It brought tears to my eyes.

We had granola for our treat tonight after our institute class.  I keep getting worried that the young adults will think some of my ideas are strange but I never get a complaint.  I think they are just hungry.  Our class only had 8 in but they are very consistent coming so that helps.  It is such a pleasure to teach them.

We also had an electrician at our condo today.  The plug for the microwave has been out.  It wasn't a simple repair.  It cost our landlord 319.00 dollars.  They had an open house in our building the other day for a unit that is up for sell.  We wanted to see it.  The cost 500,000.00 or to put it into words a half million dollars.  The unit was smaller than the one we live in.  It was 736 square feet.  The condo fee on it was 650.00 dollars a month.  We walked in and it was old and needed upgrades so badly.  One room and one bathroom.  It had the same terrible view ours has but it had old cabinets and counter tops and really needed some care.  I wouldn't have paid 95,000.00 for it.  That was shocking.

Adam was nice enough to go by our house and check out our sprinkler system today.  As a landlord we are going to have to pay for a sprinkler repair man to come out and do some work.  What goes around comes around.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Eyes to See

Elder Anthony reminded me that we have been out for six months.  He said I am afraid that we will stop seeing the marvelous things around us.  I was thinking how easy the newness wears off and the things that use to seem so new and exciting become the norm and not seen.  I hope we don't take for granted the uniqueness of Washington DC and forget to see the wonders all around us.

This blog entry reminded me of a part of President Uchtdorf's talk.  Maybe we get so use to seeing our own sins that we don't notice that we need to change.  He said, "none of us likes to admit when we are drifting off the right course. Often we try to avoid looking deeply into our souls and confronting our weaknesses, limitations, and fears. Consequently, when we do examine our lives, we look through the filter of biases, excuses, and stories we tell ourselves in order to justify unworthy thoughts and actions.
But being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths.12 Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture within each of us.
"So how can we shine the pure light of God’s truth into our souls and see ourselves as He sees us?
"May I suggest that the holy scriptures and the talks given at general conference are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination.
"As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?”
"We must approach our Eternal Father with broken hearts and teachable minds. We must be willing to learn and to change. And, oh, how much we gain by committing to live the life our Heavenly Father intends for us.
"Those who do not wish to learn and change probably will not and most likely will begin to wonder whether the Church has anything to offer them." Oct. Conference 2014 "Lord is it I?"
May I be able to see where I need to change. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I am a missionary

One of my very dear friends sent me an email.  When I answered her I made the statement I love being a missionary.  She wrote back and asked me what I loved most.  She got a lot longer answer than I think she probably wanted but this is what I answered.

Here were some of the balls we were trying to balance at home.

Dave's work
Sherrie's work
Work commitments for his job and mine
Financial concerns
Yard work
House upkeep, repairs, and improvements 
Taking care of our stuff i.e. cars, equipment, hassles 
Church callings i.e., Dave's calling, my calling, visiting teaching, home teaching I was Dave's partner
Taking care of mom
Grandma stuff
Family worries and obligations
Extended family stuff
Health, doctors,
Feeling like we are running on a treadmill and going no place fast.

I could go on but you are getting the picture.  You go on a mission and you drop nearly every ball you have been juggling.  You still try and stay connected with your kids and grandchildren with face-time and phone calls but you have only one or two balls. (Lisa's family and Michael's family are coming to see us for a week.)  You have one main ball and you are both working on it together.  It is fulfilling your mission assignment.  Our mission seems to have been made just for us and uses our strengths and challenges our weaknesses.  We are still challenged and growing but we set our own pace.  Sometimes we put in very long days but no one is going to fire us if we choose to slack off for a day.  All the worrying about your stewardship at home are gone because there isn't a thing you can do about it but pray.  Dave and I have been together 24/7 for the past 6 months.  It was hard for about the first 3 months and we found places in our relationship that we had let get out of hand and we had to work on be more understanding and patient with each other.  The success of a mission I think starts with the success of your relationship with your companion.  You can't really do what needs to be done unless both of you are on the same page and are willing to work as one.  The best part of a mission is discovering that you married the perfect person for you, as Dolores always told us.  Not only do you rediscover your relationship but you are able to now work for the success of God's kingdom without distractions.  We have been given the opportunity to pause our life and evaluate what we really treasure.  Every day we wake up and we are excited for the tasks of that day.  We love what we do and working with the people we work with. In our case we love working with the youth.  

I love our young adult ward.  I love singing the hymns with them because they sing them.  I love our fast and testimony meetings because you can't get close to the pulpit to bear your testimony because there is line of people waiting.  I love our classes because our teachers are well prepared and we have great gospel lessons.  

In my note book I wrote down some quotes I loved from different testimonies today.
  • General Conference is like meeting with old friends.  
  • Nephi's catch phrase was nevertheless.  Nevertheless means in spite of that.  Nevertheless I will still do the will of God.  May we have more nevertheless moments in our lives. 
  • Christ doesn't ask us to have a perfect knowledge of Him.  He just asked us to have faith and trust Him.
  • Today is anniversary of Palm Sunday.  I want to stand and praise my God.  Hosanna to the king.
  • If I can't hear His words I can still speak them.  If I can not feel his touch I can still reach out to others.  I am just one voice but so was Christ.  
  • Remember to keep God close.  No matter how far you excel always keep God close because He is the one that has gotten you there. 
  • A village depended on rain for their crops to live.  The village had a drought so the people decided to fast and pray for rain.  They gathered at church to show their faith and the minister started in on the people for having such little faith.  They were surprised because they were fasting and praying and felt that would show God their belief in Him to bring rain.  The minister said if you really had faith you would have brought your umbrellas.  
  • Charity Never Faileth.  As long as we are serving with love or charity are efforts will never fail. 
Those are such great pearls that I gathered up today at church.  They touched my heart and I was grateful to bring them home to savor and ponder upon. 

Andrea is one of our sweet friends that is moving back to Utah on Tuesday.  She has been in our institute class the last two semesters.  We are going to miss her so much and her faithfulness.  Andrea comes from the Philippians.  

We are on the welcoming committee in the ward.  This is part of our committee. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015


The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's  turning point. Union Major General George Mead's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's attempt to invade the North. Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle.
On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.

The museum is really cool.  There is so many artifacts.  The war was only 152 years ago.  It only lasted three days.  

This house was there when the fighting happened.  There is an unexplored cannon ball by the window. 

There is a code.  If a horse has all four feet on the ground the person on the horse lived.  If one foot is up he was wounded if two feet are up he died.  So this statue honoring who ever died.  

I think our tour guide said there where 1300 monument in the park.  I think about every state has a monument in the park honoring their people that fought.  

You can't see the flame but there is a constant flame honoring the dead. 

A cannon facing up shows where an officer had a command post.  If it is black it is a Union post if green like this one it is a confederate post. 

General Lee Confederate Genernal 

Actual picture taken after the battle.  The two armies suffered between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties. Union casualties were 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured or missing),] while Confederate casualties had as many as 28,000 Confederate casualties,documents 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured or missing). Nearly a third of Lee's general officers were killed, wounded, or captured.  Over 3,000 horse carcasses were burned in a series of piles south of town; townsfolk became violently ill from the stench.

General Meade Union General
There is a very sacred feeling there.  It is hard to imagine the death and suffering that occurred.  It has been a long day for us.  We got up at 6:15 so we could pick up the bagels for the student before we left this morning.  We walked down and picked them up and had them back to the Barlow at 7:15.  We got home at 6:00 ate dinner and we were back to the Barlow to set up for Women's Conference.  We had refreshment after which we just had ice cream with toppings and cheap cookies.  We left there and got home at 10:00 tonight.  The worst part of today was the cold.  In Gettysburg Pennsylvania it was 27 today and with the wind chill it felt like 19.  The last trip out of the bus I didn't go I was so cold.  I am really ready for warmer weather.  I saw the women speaking at conference in nice spring colors and I am sitting in my turtleneck sweater with three layers on. In Washington right now it is 32 with wind chill it feels like 23.