The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fix it Day

Our silverware drawer in the kitchen has been pretty shaky since we arrived.  It finally decided it would not hold the drawer up any more.  So Elder Anthony ripped everything out and figured out the problem.  The rails were worn out and when the drawer would be shut they would expand the the drawer would fall.  Elder Anthony kept saying if we were home this would be an easy fix.  So we decided to go see what we could find to fix it with.  Thank goodness Susana has tools.  But we needed some wedges cut to different sizes.  We found some wood but we didn't have a good way to anchor it in or cut it.  Then we found in some boxes that has boiler parts came in some heavy duty Styrofoam. Elder Anthony could cut it with a knife.  He could get it to the exact measurement even if it wedged funny and it glued in with Gorilla glue.  It was ingenious.  It worked perfectly and our drawer now works better than it ever has.

We spent most of the day inside working on our lessons.  Tonight as we were just getting in bed at 12:40 we got a text.  One of the interns informed us that there was no hot water for the past six hours.  The first thing you say is I wish you would have let us know 6 hours ago.  So we got up and got dressed and headed over to the Barlow to see if by chance we could get the igniter to light the flame. The guys working on the broiler either turned it off or last time it happened they got air in the lines and they had to come back and bleed the lines.  We hoped it was an easy fix and it was.  We got it lighted and got back home by 1:00.  I was amazed at the night life going on outside.  There were  groups parading around with a drum, the bar next door was going full blast, there were groups of people dressed up in Halloween costumes.    The street looked like a Monday morning at 8 accept there were a ton more people out besides the cars. We really miss a lot of night life I can see.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

SHHHH Quiet Please

Today was a recovery day.  I decided the best way to keep from talking was to stay home.  Elder Anthony went over to the Barlow with a huge tray of sugar cookies and candy for a Halloween treat. We got our neighbors treats delivered before he left.  I thought that this would be a great opportunities to get the condo clean.  The kitchen was in need of extra cleaning.

I had the nicest surprise just as I was to find something to eat this afternoon.  Elder Anthony showed up with a delicious soup and rolls that Susana had made and sent over.  It was so good and really hit the spot.  It was a nice quiet day and I haven't hardly talked.  Hopefully I can get my voice working again.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

You don't miss talking until you can't

Thursdays always signal the end of the week.  It is our last class for the week.  We make our Costco run and come home.  After our class today I couldn't even squeak anymore.  My voice is just gone.   It is a good thing we have the weekend because I am done talking and hopefully my vocal cords with settle down. It is so difficult not talk to people when you pass by. It is funny how you always take things for granted until you lose them. I finished my sugar cookies tonight.  I have felt like bakery this past week. These cookies will go to our neighbors and the Barlows.

We got some really sad news today.  A mission couple that were here at the visitor center and went home not too long ago the man died.  They were from Bountiful. He was very athletic and into playing basketball and hiking.  Brother Crandall was one year older than Elder Anthony.  So that was sad news.

Do those cookies in the middle look like Dracula's teeth?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Strange Day

I have worked so hard not to get Elder Anthony's cold.  He has a really bad cough with his cold.  Last night as I taught the longer I taught the more I lost my voice.  I have got his cold but mine has gone into my voice.  So I have tried not to talk today until I taught again tonight.  I have felt pretty ruff today.  We went to the VA today for an MRI for Elder Anthony's back.  We will be anxious to find out what is going on and we hope that we can get some answers. When we got back I stayed at home and worked on cookies and Elder Anthony went to the Barlow.

Here are the pumpkins our interns carved for family home evening.

Here are the cookies made for our class tonight.  These are our little Dracula.  

Yesterday at the temple I was just awed at the color of trees. I realized that we will not be here next year to be awed by these beautiful colors. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Some miracles take a little time.

Last Friday I reported that Susana lost her car keys.  We searched and searched. She and I and the support specialist stopped and took time to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help her find the keys.  She thought the spare was in her house so her husband picked her up from work and she spent the whole weekend looking for the spare.  She then believed she had left it in the car at work.  Susana spent the weekend worrying that someone would break into the car and find the key and steal the vehicle.  She got so anxious that she believed that she was going to get fired over this since it is a work vehicle.  Monday she came in.  A good friend had given her a ride to work which is a really big deal in this city. She had a lock smith come out and open the car and her worst nightmare was realized.  There was no key inside.  She was left with only the option of getting all the paper work out  of the car and re-locking it.  Then she took the metro home to call her boss and tell him she had lost both the keys.  She had prayed all weekend to find the keys in the house and she went through the house one more time.  Now she was shaking and she went to call her boss.  Her husband asked have you prayed and she said with Lydia and Sister Anthony and all weekend long.  As a couple they knelt and prayed.  Her husband left to pick up their little girl and she sat down to make the call and she told him it is my fault if you need to firer me I understand.  He laughed at that thought and told her she would have to call the dealer and get new keys made.  He told her not to cry that they would get this problem solved and then her boss said Susana have you prayed.  She said yes.  She hung up and was crying and she moved a little vase in the room she was in and there were the spare keys.  It had not been longer than 3 minutes from hanging up.  She called her boss back and he was glad and told her if you don't find the other key in a week we will get a duplicate made.  As she told me today what had happened she was still crying and knowing that it was a miracle.  She said I had looked in that spot before.  Lesson learned the Lord is mindful of our challenges.  Sometimes our miracles don't come as fast was we want.  There may be times that we are so anxious that the Lord can't get through to us but we are loved by our Heavenly Father.

Monday, October 26, 2015


 This is the time of year for some fun holidays.  Halloween is always a fun time.  I made cookies for our treat for class tomorrow evening.  They didn't turn out looking too great but they taste good.  For family home evening tonight they carved pumpkins.  

Fall is a wonderful time in DC.  The humidity isn't bad.  The trees are spectacular.  I know that this is my sister's favorite time of year.  But it signals to me cold weather is ahead which I don't like.  It is getting darker and I want to sleep more.  I want to hibernate.  Spring has always been my favorite time of year.  But I am trying to relish the days before the bad weather comes.  The view from our condo isn't the best view but I have been watching the trees change colors.
This is the same tree about a week and half apart.  It is all red now.

This is the tree that gives us privacy between the building behind us.  It is yellow and the leaves are starting to fall.

We ride the bus home after our class on Mondays.  I love the buildings in DC.  I think I should just carry my big camera and take pictures of buildings.  I never tire of looking at the buildings.  I always think I need my camera.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

No Time to Rest

We normally invite 6 students at a time to eat with us after church.   Today I hadn't heard back from a couple that we invited so I invited a couple more.  Then I heard back at church when I asked them if they were coming and they said yes.  So we had 9 students today. I was a little worried about food quantities but we had plenty.  Actually Elder Anthony and I are tied of waffles so we really didn't want any.  I had one young man set the record.  He ate 7 waffles.  After we got everything cleaned up we decided we were hungry and we had a hot dog.

I just finished making a casserole for our lunch class tomorrow up on capitol hill.    Then I made sugar cookie dough for our Halloween treat this coming week.  It has to be be refrigerated over night so I will have it ready when I am ready for it. We are going to make skeleton men.  These will be for our neighbors and our Barlow kids.

I worked the majority of the day yesterday trying to get my book ready to turn in.  Elder Anthony is now going through and catching things I missed.  That book has been a miracle coming from me with a whole lot of people helping along the way.  Every sentence in the book has been read and reread and edited and reedited.  I am actually really tired of it.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lost Keys

When you work at the Barlow there are always a bunch of interruptions throughout the day.  I was really trying to get my lesson done for this coming week but I had some questions I was trying to find answers to and we kept having interruptions.  Susana lost her car keys.  I walked back to the post office with her in hopes that maybe the keys fell our of her pocket and we could find them.  We help search her office but no luck.  In the meantime Kimmy our Friday Root beer friend came in for our root beer experience of the week. It was o So root beer today.  

Notice that this root beer is a butterscotch root beer. 

We tried this one the week before.  It is a caramel cream root beer.  I think we would all agree this on is the best so far but the o So was a really close 2nd.  

This route 66 was good but it didn't beat the Brownie.

I always end up spending a little more time than I should on the root beer tasting because it always leads to a gospel conversation.

I feel bad for Susana.  Her husband had to come and get her and their spare key is in the car so they will have to have a lock smith come out and open the car tomorrow.  

Hopefully I can put things together tomorrow for this lesson.  I shouldn't get caught up in my own question because it takes a long time to find answers but it endears the lesson to your heart.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

No Lunch

So there was no lunch today after class.  Our attendance was very small.  We have had as many as 16 but today we had 5.  The children where really good and the lesson went over really well so those that came were blessed.  I felt a little like the Savior when the people come the day after he fed the 5000 looking for another hand out and the Lord taught them the bread of life sermon teaching about the sacrifice of his body for them and they came no more to him after that day.  Jesus turns and asks his disciples  "Will you go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." It will be interesting to see if our class dwindles because there is no lunch or was this just an off day and they will come next week for the bread of life or the words of the Savior.

It really simplified the day and it was not nearly as stressful.  A few of the sisters brought some lunch and warmed it up and they sat and visited.  They wanted us to stay and visit with them.  We stayed for a while and talked to them.  

Elder Anthony has really been on top of this boiler replacement.  He checked and rechecked to make sure all the parts were here.  They had left some of the part at the warehouse and he got those delivered and still found a couple of missing things but the company installing said they were suppose to furnish them so we should be set to have the installers there next Tuesday at 6:00 a.m.  Elder Anthony will need to be there to let them in.  He didn't want any excuse that they didn't have what they needed and put off the job again for another couple of weeks.  So hopefully we are full steam ahead. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Boiler Arrived

These two units weighed 500 pounds each.  I was really worried that these young men would hurt themselves carrying these two units in or bang up the building or the units.  Elder Anthony found out that they didn't bring the pumps so we have more to be delivered but hopefully they can start installing.  It should take about two weeks.  An electrician has to come in and do his part.  A pipe guy the heating specialist and I don't know how many other.  The weather has started heating up so hopefully we have the time before things get really cold.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall is Coming

Fall is coming with all of the beautiful colors of the leaves changing.  Some of the trees are just starting to change colors.  This is what I saw outside our window today.

The leaves on the tree are just starting to turn yellow and red.

This is a building across from us that always has a flag us. 

Here is another tree that I caught out our car window.  Isn't that cool how they change colors in clumps.
Today we got to work at the Barlow and deal with a student that climbed on the roof to get his helicopter that was on the building next to us.  That problem is not quite over yet.  The boiler came into the bishops storehouse today.  Hey.  Then to the stake center by the temple to teach the Elders and Sister in the Washington DC Zone in their zone meeting.  Over to the temple for our weekly trip.  Out to eat because we were starving then over to teach our class.  We were so happy because we had 11 out tonight.  That was great.  We ran out of treats after class but we were happy to have everyone there.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Reunions

Some of the old interns that were here when we first got here came to family home evening tonight.  They have moved back to the area with hopes of getting a job or they have a job.  It was like an old reunion.  It was so much fun to see them.  We have grown close to some of these students and it is fun to see them again.

We have had a cold snap hit the area.  It was down to 33 last night and will get there again tonight.  Then we are suppose to warm up again.  We have some cold interns especially those on the out side walls.  We passed out some extra blankets to a few.  Our new boiler is suppose to get here tomorrow and then arrive at the Barlow on Wednesday.  It will take two weeks to install it.  Hopefully we will make it before it really gets really cold.

Elder Anthony has a cold to add to his sciatic nerve in his back and and his osteidis pubis that is driving him crazy.  Bet you have never heard of osteidis pubis? At least I hadn't. When he sleeps at night and doesn't move and then turns it is extremely painful or when walking or carrying things.  The bad part is that we walk a lot and carry things all the time.   He can't sleep at night and he feels like he is falling apart.  He has an MRI scheduled next week and hopefully we will get some answers and he will get some relief.  I feel bad he has a cold added on top of everything else that is bothering him.  It must be time for Vitamin C.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

keeping the Sabbath day Holy

It is a lot easier to keep the Sabbath day holy when going to church takes up the majority of the day.  It takes five hours to go to church and come home.  Then we had interns over for Sunday dinner so that pretty much fills the day up.

Each Sunday we attend the Welcome class at church instead of going to Sunday school.  We get to meet all the new people that move into the ward and we get to encourage them to go to institute.  I remind them of the promise from President Monson, "I Ask You to Make Institute a Priority” “Think of it. Friends will be made, the Spirit will be felt, and faith will be strengthened. I promise you that as you participate in institute and study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it. That is a promise which I leave with you” (April 21, 2009).

I remind them to receive help and direction from the Holy Ghost in ALL you do is a pretty powerful promise.  All is 100% of the things you are involved.  I get their email address in the welcome class  and then I send out reminders of institute.  Friday night I met one of our students from the University of Utah.  We missed the class she is in because of Columbus day and all the government offices were closed.  She said how much she missed coming.  I said it was like the week didn't begin right.  She then told me that she has never come to institute in the past.  She is such a great addition to a class I told her she needed to start going because she blesses the classes she is in.  I then asked her have you been blessed for going to institute.  She said I have.  Then I reminded her of Pres. Monson's promise.  It works when you go.  Your life is blessed.

Elder Anthony found when he served in a single ward bishopric in Orem that when they had to hold disciplinary courts they would ask are you going to institute.  100% of the time the person said NO. Part of a persons repentance was to attend institute.  Pres. Monson's promise is true. I promise you that as you participate in institute and study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased. What a wonderful program this is.  I have a testimony of the power of seminary and institute.  I am so blessed to be a part of this for the past 13 years.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Post from Elder Anthony

Our weeks seem to be filled with a great deal of routine work now and so when a quiet Saturday arrives we really like to take advantage of the time.  We busied ourselves with the little things that we can't seem to find time to do on the week days.  Our first act this morning was to pack a box full of things, we once considered essential for a mission, that we now know we can do without and send them home.  It is still expensive to send stuff through the US Postal Department so we have to make sure that anything we send home is far in excess of the cost of the postage.  We also sent Sherrie's passport off for renewal.  We seriously doubt that we will need it while we are our here but we were counseled to bring it with us so we were obedient. 

One of the fun things we do during the week is what is now a regular meeting with one of our former Barlows.  She comes by each Friday and we have a competition to see who can come up with the best root beer.  We have been winning lately with some real off-brands that we have been getting from TJ Max.  So after our post office experience we walked over to the store and found our favorite root beer was still available - Brownies.  This is a "carmel cream" root beer that everyone agrees is very good.  We also found a new root beer (VBC) that is also a carmel root beer.  We will give you a report on that root been next Friday when we have our tasting contest. 

Something that will be a first for us this year is that we will be spending Thanksgiving Day alone and not cooking for anyone else.  Because of the status of the CES budget we will not be doing a Thanksgiving dinner for the Barlow Interns.  So we have decided to go out for Thanksgiving dinner.  I made reservations today at Fishers, Farmers, and Bakers.  This is restaurant that was started by the same group that runs "Founding Farmers."  We went there for lunch last week.  This new restaurant they have started is right on the Potomac River and just a short distance from where we live.  I was amazed to find out that the time slot we wanted was already full.  This is good in one way because we know the food must be good but it is also bad because it appears that for a special occasion like Thanksgiving you need to make reservations well in advance.  I also made a reservation at Old Ebbits Grill.  This way when the day approaches we will have a choice for our celebration. Maybe we will go to both!

Tonight Sherrie continues to pound away on her book.  It is mandatory that we get this finished so we can enjoy the holiday season.  She is just about finished winnowing it down from 303 pages to 210 pages.  As she has gone through this process it is like cutting out one of her children.  She has invested a lot in this work.  I know you are not supposed to be proud but I am so proud of her and her determination to see this through to the end. 
Well with that I will close for the evening and we will look forward to feeding some more of our Barlow Interns after church tomorrow

Friday, October 16, 2015

Young Adult Center

I wrote the letter today informing our Sisters that we would not be providing lunch anymore.  It is a strange feeling. Yesterday I didn't have the heart to tell those that came to class except for a couple of sisters that have been with us for whole time.  The feeling is strange because I have mixed emotions. One is a relief that I don't need to worry about food for that class each week which is the hardest class to get food to because of the number.  The other feeling is I will miss seeing them eating and laughing together.

I will also not need to do Thanksgiving dinner.  That will make life simpler.  So I am down to just having a light refreshment for two of my classes and figuring out a cheap simple lunch for my Monday class.

We had work to do at the Barlow today and lessons to get ready for next week.  We stopped in the middle of the day to go to lunch with a couple of the interns our support specialist and the receptionist in public affairs. That was fun.

Tonight we had a dinner and talent show at the young adult center where we teach on Wednesday evening.  Elder and Sister McKinley are an amazing mission couple.  They run the young adult center.  They had a whole group of young adults and fed them turkey, cheesy potato, BBQ beans and a fruit salad and rolls.  Elder McKinley suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery about two months ago.  They end their mission at the end of October.  They have a family reunion scheduled. They will go home for two months and have their reunion and then they come back in January for 6 more months until Pres. Cooke finishes his mission.  This is there third mission they have served and this next 6 months will be their 4 mission.   They want them to keep running this young adult center.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Oh Dear

Tuesday and Wednesdays are our long days.  We just walked in and it is 10:10.  But when you teach the youth it has to be after work.  It just takes a long time to get places here.  We left for the metro at 5:30 so it has been almost 5 hours.  We spend probably 20 hours teaching and getting to teaching appointments each week.

Oh dear we had a mishap.  We went to Silver Springs yesterday for our long day and we got a call that one of the public affair people had a car in their parking place.  We didn't know anything about it so the decision was made to ticket the car and get it towed.  It ended up being one of our great institute students.  He had parked there in the evenings for class and left a message on Elder Anthony's phone saying he was leaving it.  But Elder Anthony didn't get the message.  That is enough to make you sick because the parking ticket alone is 250 to 300 dollars and then 150 dollar towing charge.  Elder Anthony is hoping to get the ticket forgiven but the towing there is nothing that can be done.  I think he has learned that he can not park during the day at the Barlow.

Our boiler for the heat was taken out two weeks ago and BYU still hasn't gotten the new one here.  Sunday's low is suppose to be 38, Monday is 35, and Tuesday 39.  We are getting nervous how we are going to be able to keep all these interns warm.  We are worried that we are going to have to purchase a ton of space heaters.  Oh dear.

Our coordinator came to me today to tell me that we only have 200.00 dollars left and between all our classes we have 78 classes to get treats for. I am sure I am the cause of that depletion.  We made the decision that after tomorrow our mothers class will not get lunch or treats.  So we get to break the news to them.  It will simplify my life but it is sad to see that aspect of their social time ending.  Oh dear that is going to be hard to tell them.  I guess we will see how many are coming for the doctrine and how many are coming for the food.  The coordinator is going to see if the area can give some other resources. If there are not more funds then there will not be a Thanksgiving dinner, Oh dear.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Interesting Day

We drove out of the garage at 9:00 a.m. and we just drove back in at 10:30 p.m.  Everything takes an hour to get to and I had an appointment to get my haircut at 10.  It is over by the temple so we knew we would be over in that area all day today because we teach there Tuesday evening.  After the haircut we went to Costco to buy treats for tonight and then get what we needed for our lunch on Thursday. We are going to do a baked potato bar.

We bought our dinner lunch and then we took the food items for our classes to the Stake Center where we teach and put them in the fridge.  Next we headed to the temple.  Elder Anthony had an interview with a member of the temple presidency.  He was called as a veil worker.  Since we go every week he told them he would be glad to do that on our session.  Elder Anthony was a veil worker in the Oakland Temple 41 years ago.  He had to be recommended by our Bishop at home and we had thought it was a forgotten deal but he got a call to come in for the interview.  He was called and set apart and worked at the veil today for our session.  I think he was a little nervous but he did great.

We had a few hours before our class started so we went to the high counsel room which is where our class room is and worked on the computer getting emails answered and doing last minute preparation on our lesson.  Our class went great.

The weather hear is so beautiful right now.  What a joy to see fall coming on. I dread the thought of winter but it is perfect weather at the present.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Columbus Day

i haven't really appreciated Columbus Day in Utah.  In DC the federal government is shut down, the schools are out and most of our interns had the day off.  So we didn't need to teach today.  We had our meeting in the morning but after we took care of a few responsibilities we decided to work on our bucket list.  We visited the National Postal Museum today.  It was not crowded at all and it was much better than we thought it would be and we learned all about the mail.  We saw the most valuable stamp in the world which sold for over 900,000.00 dollars.

After words we went to eat at the Founding Farms.  It is a very popular place.