The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Monday, August 31, 2015

Finishing touches

We did the finishing touches to prepare the Barlow for our first students to arrive tomorrow. Name tags are in the doors, welcome packet and information has been updated and placed in the rooms.  There is a small treat an orange and granola bar for when they arrive.  Towels and hot pads and new pans are in the kitchens.  Bedding is in the rooms.  I think I know the special treat I will make to welcome them.  How does apple fritter cake sound?   Here we go.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You better watch your behavior

Friday night when we tried to go to the Marine parade and they sent us to the stand by line we passed three girls in line that yelled out, hi missionaries.  We gave a quick greeting and headed to a place to wait.  (They did get in that night.) When we had our place and I sat down on the lawn to wait Elder Anthony went back and talked to the girls.  They were all return missionaries going to BYU.  They asked him about church and he gave them directions to our ward.  They asked what would be a good Sunday activity and he suggested a visit to the National Cathedral.  Well the girls showed up today.  After the meeting they came back to talk to Elder Anthony and one girl looked so familiar.  I didn't know these where the girls he talked to on Friday night and I wondered why the one girl looked like I should know her.  She didn't seem to recognize me.  I thought I think I have taught her.  Sometimes I think that but they just look like someone I taught and you can't make the connection.  All of a sudden she said, "you are my seminary teacher".  She said, "I was your class president."  I remembered exactly who she was and what an outstanding student she was.  She said, "you wrote me a note on a sticky tab one day and I still have that note in my scriptures."  What a reunion!!!  She has served a mission in California Spanish speaking.  We had them ride with us on the bus and helped them get the right bus stop so they could go to the National Cathedral. These girls all met when they did a study aboard to London and they love going places together.  One of the girls was debating whether to go to the Jerusalem Center or the Barlow next summer.  I told her to go to the Jerusalem Center she can always get to DC even if it is not with BYU.   It was so fun to bump into an old student.  That seems to be happening quite often. Two of our new interns coming in I have taught.  I was close to both of these boys.  I guess if you teach 3000 students you are bound to run into them.  You better be watching what you are doing.  You never know who may be watching in the least expected places.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1 year

Our release date is one year from today.  I would be a little surprised if they didn't have us stay and get the student checked in for fall semester 2016 but that will not be known for quite awhile.  Our first 11 months has been amazing.  We have learned a little about our physical limitations.  That is not an easy lesson to learn and is often very frustrating.  We have learned that we have no regrets for retiring when we did.  We have learned that no matter where we are if we are together we are at home.  We have learned that our family is our most prized association.  (However, we knew that before we came.)  We have learned that it is always a joy to serve the Lord in whatever capacity we are called on.  I have had renewed again and again that I really love teaching the gospel.  We have learned a new appreciation for our government and for those that established this nation.  We have had our eyes opened to the difference of others opinions. We have learned to love and appreciate this amazing city.  There is a high energy here for education and innovation and policy making.  We love the missionary work we do and the time we have together.  Susana said to me the other day,  "I have seen many mission couple here at the Barlow but you and Elder Anthony are the first ones that I have seen that work together.  You do everything together."  I told her we do our best work when we work together and use each other's point of view to come to a decision.  That was nice.

Today was the quiet day before the chaos starts again. We walked to the Farmers Market which is a little over a mile and a half.  Walking through the Georgetown homes is always a pleasant experience.  Our neighbor told us about a senior citizen perk that Elder Anthony tried because he is the official senior citizen.   At the Farmers Market if you are a senior citizen they give you ten dollars toward fruits and vegetables.  The lowest price there is 3.00 a pound but it is fresh from the garden.  Ten dollars doesn't buy much but it was fun.  Then we took the bus to Wal-Mart to get a simple treat for the interns as they check in.  Two of the interns this semester are students that I taught in
seminary at Timpview.  

We started working on our first lesson and we made a list of things to do in Washington DC that we have not done.  We made our bucket list.  Elder Anthony wants to go to a professional football game. We got tickets very reasonable for this Thursday evening.  It is a pre-season game.  Most of the Washington Redskin games are on Sunday.  It is the only opportunity we will have before we are back into teaching.  That will be the first thing off the list.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Elder Anthony met a young Marine at church one day and befriended him.  We got to be good friends and invited him out to Home Evening and our Institute class and he came.  We asked him one night at institute if he would do the thought.  He gave a great thought and shared a verse that meant a lot to him.  He used the scripture that says greater love hath no man than this, that he is willing to lay down his life for his friend.  He said I am willing to lay down my life for you.  I know he felt the spirit.  One day he left class before it was over and went out front.  When Elder Anthony went out he was out on the porch crying.  He said a marine doesn't cry.  It wasn't to long after that he just stopped coming.  I think maybe he felt the spirit and decided he didn't want to make the commitment.  He hadn't gone to church in many years.  

Elder Anthony kept emailing him and no response when he had always been good to answer.  I thought maybe he had been deployed.  A couple of days ago he emailed us and told us that he would soon be going back to California.  He told us that the last Marine Parade was this Friday.  We asked how we could come and watch him.  He told us he would have tickets reserved for us.  

The ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. starts at 8:45 p.m., beginning with a concert by the United States Marine Band. The Evening Parade, held every Friday evening during the summer, has become a universal symbol of the professionalism, discipline, and Esprit de Corps of the United States Marines. The story of the ceremony reflects the story of Marines throughout the world. Whether they be aboard ships, in foreign embassies, at recruit depots, in divisions, or in the many positions and places where Marines project their image, the individual Marine continually tells the story of the Corps.

We got on the bus and went our almost hour ride to get there at 7:10.  No one had heard of us or reserved a ticket for us.  We stood in the stand by line until 8:20 to find out that we couldn't get in.  Then we rode our hour bus ride back.  Disappointment.  At least he made contact with us before he left.  That was the biggest disappointment of all that he chose not to stick with the church.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Try try again.

Hair cut day.  I gave Elder Anthony a hair cut and then we drove over to JC Penny's to get my hair cut.  As soon as we got home we spent the day working at the Barlow.  I have been working on getting out a directory for our new students.  So what do you do when you can't get the program to work. You switch programs and go to one you know how to use.  The moral of the story is their is more than one way to get a job done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Deep Cleaners

The deep cleaners are in.  They bring in a crew of about 6 people and they scrub and clean everything.  Elder Anthony and I cleaned out the game shelves in the basement today.  Someone had mixed all the puzzles together so I threw them out.  We started sending out texts to the people that could be in our new class.  I had one young lady send me the following message, "Please remove me from whatever list you got this number from, and please do not contact me again."  It was a text announcing our upcoming institute class.  At least we know were she stands.  We spent the day trying to finish off projects so that we would be ahead of the deep cleaners.

Jay and Char leave tomorrow.  We couldn't spend any time with them but we gave them some suggestion of things to do and they did them.  We had them for dinner tonight and enjoyed visiting with them.   They are on their way tomorrow to North Carolina for a 50th high school reunion.  Their visit was short and sweet.  Char is in a wheel chair so they stayed in the hotel across the street so she could get in and out of the bathroom.  It was a nice visit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mt. Vernon

We met Jay and Char today at about 10:30 and went to the airport with them to get a rental car and then we all went to Mt. Vernon.  George Washington is buried and lived in Mt. Vernon.  It is a beautiful area.  I was impressed with his ability to organize and develop a self supporting life style.

George Washington married a woman that was a widow with two children.  He never had any children of his own.  They were married 40 years.

Beautiful gardens raised food for the family and slaves.

There is a house for spinning and weaving.

There is a real person working in the blacksmith shop.
Slave quarters.  He could not have done what he did without his slaves.

He used the river to ship goods he produced and for fishing for their food.

He invented this barn where they would put the wheat up on the floor and horses would walk around and the wheat would fall through the floor.  They just shoveled it up and cleaned it and used it. 

This is what Washington looked like at 19.

This is what Washington looked like at 45.

This is what he looked like at 57.  When he was made president of the US he had one tooth in his mouth left. 

These are his false teeth.  They are not made from wood.

Slave rations for a day.  Corn flour and fish.

Dining Room

They caught 1.5 million fish in seven weeks and then it was salted for food.

Sworn in as President. 

Mr. Vernon Washington home.  He added on to both sides.

Martha Washington shoes and dress.

A slave got one out fit each year.

Washington could have been a king but he walked away from from the power and limited his presidency to two terms. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

10,000 Couple Missionaries NEEDED!

There are 5000 couple missionaries.  The church needs 10,000.  Elder Perkins is in our mission.  He met with the senior missionaries of our mission tonight.  We were going to have a BBQ at the mission home.  We were hoping to go there because we have not been to the mission home yet.  But it started to rain so we met at a Church close by in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is where the mission home is.  We had a potluck dinner and the President BBQ the chicken.  Then Elder Perkins talked to us.  He opened it up to questions.  It was a great evening and we really enjoyed spending the time with the other couples.  We don't see them every often.

We had a meeting this morning.  It is exciting to see the changes that are going to be made in our teaching assignment.  We will miss being at the Barlow but we are looking forward to the possibilities that are ahead.

Just as we finished that meeting our new BYU professor came in to meet us and tour the building.  He is a history professor,  Andrew Johns.  He will be here for two semesters. I think we are going to get along with him really well.  So many new things ahead.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Friends from Home

Jay and Shar our friends from home came to Washington DC for a few days.  They are headed to North Carolina for Jay's school reunion.  Elder Anthony worked with Jay for about 15 years.  We met up with them today and took them to Church.

After Church we took them to the National Cathedral.  It is was funny because the lady arranging the tour recognized Dad from being there last week with Crystal and Jake.  I stayed out last week with Amy Jayne.  Every tour you go on you see something new that you didn't look at before.

We had dinner at the condo and then took them to the visitor center to see the temple.  They knew Elder Fowler who is over the visitor center and it was a sweet reunion for them.  On the way into the visitor center I was holding a door open for Shar and a pretty lady was coming out and said I will get this door I know how it is my mother is in a wheel chair.  She looked at my name tag and said are you Dave Anthony's wife.  I said yes.  It was Melissa, Elder Anthony's secretary before Jane and Karen.  She was great.  She worked while her husband finished school.  They are in Arizona and she and her daughter that just got back from a mission were in the DC area for a short vacation.  She was so glad to see Elder Anthony. She told me that he was the best boss she ever worked for.  She said he empowered me to be creative and try new things.  That was fun running into her.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sweet is the Work

We left first thing this morning and headed to the Stake Center by the temple.  We had a big training meeting for all the seminary and some of the institute teachers from 9 to 2. At least our coordinator asked us to come.  They served a really nice lunch and the meeting was wonderful.  One of the early morning teachers, which the seminary teachers here are all early morning teachers, has been teaching continuously for 22 years.  That is remarkable.  Richard Hawks our Assistant Administrator was there and spoke for a few minutes.  He shared some great stories of visiting early morning seminary teachers all over the world.  We started off the meeting sing Sweet is the Work, my God, my King.  

I shared with one of the men who has just been called to teach how blessed he was.  I said, one thing I am jealous of is that you are a called teacher and set apart by the priesthood to do this work.  Full time teachers are not set apart.  I explained that it is a privilege to teach as a missionary because I am set apart by the priesthood to teach.  Of course I started out each school year with Elder Anthony giving me a school blessing but I feel a greater power knowing that I am separated out to do this work for the Lord.

I couldn't help thinking God's work is a sweet work.  It is such a privilege to be involved in the teaching of of the youth of this Church.  It doesn't get better than this.  This is a labor of love.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Missionary Opportunities

You never know when missionary opportunities will arise.  As you might know I have written a book that has been into Cedar Fort Publishing for a year now.  Just when I thought we were coming to a resolution one way or another (to print or not to print) they changed people that I will be working with.  A while back I looked into what it would cost me to be a self publisher.  I found a Christian Publishing Company that you pay two thousand dollars and they get your copy right, publish, help come up with a cover, and help promote your book.  They go to Christian book stores.  They have kept in contact with me because I am sure they want the money.  They are always very nice and I always tell them I am waiting to see what will happen with Cedar Fort Publishing.

Today I got another call from a lady.  We talked for a few minutes and I said I need to ask you a touchy question.  Would you even publish a book from a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly called the Mormons?  She paused and said well I don't know about that.  She said we don't publish if you can't agree to our stipulations.  She started reading through them.  The first is to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.  We immediately went to the difference in our belief in the Godhead.  They believing that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one.  I explained our belief and pointed out some scriptures in the Bible to support that belief.  We talked over some other doctrinal differences and I explained my book was written to members of my Church.  She said well if you didn't talk about the Godhead being different beings it probably wouldn't be a problem and I said, but it is full of references that only members of my Church would understand.  We talked about our belief in the priesthood being restored.  She said I have only had one book that was rejected by a Catholic Nun that had left the order and was gay.  Then she said how does your Church feel about the gays.

We ended up talked and sharing beliefs for almost an hour.  When we finished she said I will have to look into more about your religion.  She said this has been so interesting.  She asked if we believed in the Bible and I explained I was a religion teacher and I taught the Bible.  She said but you have your own Bible right.  I said we have the Book of Mormon but I study and teach from the King James version of the Bible.  She said that is the one we use also.

I said well no matter what our doctrinal difference might be I know that as Christians if we don't get over our nit-picking differences and start standing together against those that would take away our ability to worship how we feel is right we are going to be in a mess.  She agreed.  She explained some of her fears for the future.  When we were almost finished she said I have really enjoyed talking with you.  You have given me hope that there are other religions that feel like I do and that believe in the Bible and stand for moral principles.  I replied that we needed to stand together so we could continue to believe the doctrines we hold as truth.  I told her that the beliefs I had were dear to me and I knew hers were dear to her.

I hung up feeling like I had tried to explain what our religion was about and how we stood on some current issues and I felt I had left her with a good impression and a better understanding of where we stood as Mormons.  It was a polite conversation and I saw more places we agreed on than disagreed.  It was a nice ended to our physical work day.

Elder Anthony and I got a nice compliment just the other day.  Susana our lady that maintains our building and who we work closely with said I have seen lots of missionaries come here to the Barlow but I have never seen missionaries that worked together.  The woman always does her thing and the man his but you two do everything together.  You teach together you work on the building together you are a team.  I said we do our best work when we can work with each other and share ideas.  We have always been like that. With most of our projects if we work together it turns out better than if we do it alone.

Elder Anthony was working on a strange assignment today.  We had a man that came to the door and told us that he had parked in our parking lot on Tuesday night.  (That is a big NO, NO)  He had been drinking so he took a taxi home.  Between 1 and 4 in the morning someone broke into his car which was not locked and stole items from inside and wanted to know if we had it on our security cameras.  We did.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Big P-Day

I forgot to record yesterday that we were able to meet Richard Hawks one of the Assistant Administers of seminary and institutes. It was fun to see him. He was here to see Mike Cottle our coordinator.   He was so gracious to thank us for our service.  I thought at least I know the lingo which I don't know if all CES missionaries know.  I know the lingo and many of the employees.

I have mentioned before Chuck Martz.  He and Elder Anthony went to high school together.  We met him in the temple. He works there each Tuesday morning.  We had him come to lunch at our condo and showed him the Barlow.  Chuck runs and owns a Thai restaurant called, Bangkok Wok.  Chuck wasn't there when we first arrived so we ate and ran some errands and returned to visit with him.  The food was fantastic.   He is in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  It took a about 2 1/2 hours to get there but it was a very fun day.  It was actually fun to get out of the city and in the open farms.  It is a beautiful area.

Chuck Martz

He has incredible plants growing in front of his restaurant.  Everything is fresh and homemade.  He sent us home with the egg rolls he makes by hand and the homemade sauce they make.  

While we were there two elders from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania mission came in to eat lunch on Chuck.  I think missionaries tags are magnates.  As soon as you see another missionary with missionary tags on you are immediately drawn to each other,  you are immediately at easy with them, and you have a lot in common.  We worked for about an hour and a half this morning but the rest of the day was one big P-Day.  We needed the break and it was fun to be out in the country side.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Think before you speak

I sat by a Spanish lady on the bus on Sunday and she was so proud to tell me that she was retired and that she lifted weights and did zumba and climbed stairs in her home.  She criticized her friends that complained about aches and pains as if they would do the same they would be like her. I reminded her of how blessed she was.  It is important to count our blessings and not judge other.  If you don't know how they feel or what limitation they have.  So the lesson I learned was not being judgmental and to remember where our blessings come from.  As I sat by her I thought if I tried to do zumba my knees would be done for and my back would scream in pain.  We do the best we can but we are fighting some limitation.  You can't see anothers pain. I am grateful for the things I can do and I try not to complain about the things I can't.  So think before you speak. 

I call this guy the thinker man.

We talked Scott into having standard issue sheets, blanket and pillowcase.  They arrived late so we couldn't use them last semester.  So we got them all pulled out and organized today. Each of the pillowcases has a blanket in, a top sheet and bottom sheet.  Only the pillowslip are numbered and each student has to return their things back to us.  If they lose them they will be charged for them.  We finished the laundry and got these shorted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

We were up at 5:30 this morning.  We got ready for the day and rode with Crystal, Jake, and Amy on the Metro out to the airport to tell them good-buy.  I always have a hard time telling my children good-bye.  Yet I know it was a joy for them to return home and it was good for us to get back to work and work we did.  We started this morning at a little before 7:00.  We came from the Metro and went straight to the Barlow.  I kept four washing machines going all day.  We had BYU guys that stayed at the Barlow and we had extra washing from their visit.  I inspected every room and every drawer today and made a list of things needing repair before the next group comes in.  I shorted dishes and inspected pan and order some new pans.  Elder Anthony was drawing up measurements for fixing the parking lot plus we had an inservice meeting.  There was a list a mile long waiting for us to accomplish.  At 3:30 we decided to come home and start cleaning our condo and getting the laundry done here.  We had just gotten home when we got a call from a young lady that wanted Elder Anthony to give her a blessing.  We turned right around and went back to the Barlow.  Our home was not company worth.  We visited with her for a little over an hour and then we went back to working at the Barlow.  I had loads waiting to be folded and new loads of laundry waiting to start.  We finally came home at 6:00 after an eleven hour day of work there so we could start cleaning here.  It is always good to get the house organized and clean.

We did miss Amy Jayne today. The mirror in the dinning room was covered with finger prints exactly at her height. We missed her marching down the hall like she owned the joint and pushing the elevator button and then carefully getting across the two inch opening that suspends the elevator.  We missed her grabbing a leg when the elevator started to move.  We missed her meeting and telling the desk employees good-bye and they missed her today.  We missed her trying to swipe a peace of paper on the metro or the bus to pay for the ride.  We missed her singing a song from Frozen and yelling it out.  She was constant entertainment and the condo is much cleaner but it also lost a lot of life when she left.

 But it is time to put our shoulder to the wheel and push this work along.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Final Day with Jake and Crystal

Today we went to the American History Museum.  I don't know how we missed seeing this museum earlier.  We loved it.

Julia Child's Kitchen

Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz shoes

Michelle Obama's dress.

I have that Barbara.

Remember the lawn darts.  They are on the list for unsafe toys.  We loved them.

Then we went to the Ford Theater where President Lincoln was killed.

The bed Lincoln died in across the street.

Books written on Abraham Lincoln

In the theater where Lincoln was shot.