The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cold Rainy Day

We made a meeting and got the check out information for our students out before we met Justin's family at 10:50.  We all headed to Capitol Hill.  While we taught our Monday class Justin and family went on a tour of the Capitol.  We met them after and went to eat lunch at We the Pizza.  They have great pizza.  We then headed to the Natural History Museum.  They only made it through one floor.  We then went to the IMAX Theater to see a Dinosaur 3 D movie.  The kids loved it.

We had a funny thing happen yesterday on the bus going to Church.  A black drunk man got on the bus and came to the back where we were all sitting and set down in the middle of us.  He got talking to William and they hit it off.  William was laughing with him and giving him hi fives.  Then McKayla started playing a game with him.  He finally decided to take out a can a beer.  He asked them if they knew what that was.  I said that isn't good for you.  The kids said you shouldn't drink that.  He said don't you get involved in any addictions because you are gifted.  He started drinking his beer.  It is against the rules to eat or drink on the bus.  McKayla told him you shouldn't drink that on the bus.  The bus pulled over and a another metro vehicle pulled up and a guy got on the bus and came to the back and told the guy he had to get off of the bus.  The drunk didn't like it but he finally got up and left.  The security guy apologized to us for his behavior.  That is the first time I have seen that.  The kids got the message that you don't eat or drink on the bus.  I think he also didn't pay his fare and I think they thought he was really bothering us but he wasn't too bad.  William thought he was hilarious.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sabbath Day

We had another great day.  It was more restful and less walking.  But is was raining and chilly today. One thing I love about our ward is that everyone sings the hymns.  Today as we were singing the opening hymn, All Creatures of Our God and King,  McKay started singing with all of her heart.  She had stated just before the Hymn that she didn't like singing.  I told her it was one of my favorite parts.  After the hymn began she sang her heart out.  From then on she sang with all her heart.  Sarah commented that it was so neat to sing with a ward that sang.  Oh, how I wish the LDS congregations would sing and truly praise the Lord.  It really does change the spirit in the meeting and how receptive you are to the Spirit.  

After Church we went to the National Cathedral.  My Grandchildren just by instinct knelt when there was a bench to kneel at.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Picture is worth a 1000 words

Having fun with our grandchildren. 

Happy Times

Riding the Bus.

Jefferson Memorial

McKayla at breakfast decided to fill her pockets with link sausages.  She saw a whole group of ducks and threw them to the ducks.  They did't seem to interested until we walked away and they discovered them and loved them. 

Washington Memorial

DC War Memorial

Korean War Memorial
Korean War

World War II Memorial

Vietnam Memorial 

Trina and I went to the Kennedy Center for a free concert.  The group was The Harry Bells. They play like Harry Belafonte.  They did some Christmas Songs.  It was really good.  

We also went to the Holocaust Museum 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fun Day

Today was a full day of fun.  Before I explain our fun day I have to remember to record a funny from yesterday.  When Justin called us to tell us they had arrived we asked if everything had gone okay.  He said yes but the plane was late in leaving.  When we asked why he said it was William's fault.  William decided right at take off that he had to go to the bathroom really bad right then.  So Justin got up to take him.  The stewardess said he can't go right now we are going to take off.  Justin explained when he has to go he has to go.  The pilot came out and asked what the hold up was.  The stewardess said that a little boy had to go to the bathroom bad.  The pilot looked at Justin and said you know we can't take off until he is seat belted.  Justin said I will get him in his seat as soon as he gets out.  William when they were landing was sitting next to Justin and when they touched down he looked at Justin and said, "That was awesome."  

Today was also awesome.  We started off going to Arlington to see the changing of the guard and Pres. Kennedy's grave.

We went to National Air and Space Museum.

We came back and had Thanksgiving left overs.  We then headed to the temple.  Sarah and I did a session.  Justin and half the kids took the Metro to the temple and Elder Anthony dropped half the group off at the visitor center  and Sarah and I at the temple and then picked up Justin and the other half and got them to the visitor center.  Then he took Justin back to the metro and when we finished the session the other half of the family came back in the car.  How do you beat a great day like that.

Our Vernal Family is learning about transportation in Washington.  William is fascinated by the escalators.  They don't have escalators in Vernal.  He would be happy riding them up and down.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


We have company.  We spent this morning cooking.  That is the crazy thing about Thanksgiving.  You spend two day cooking and shopping and the meal is over in about 15 minutes. We also got the laundry done.  It was fun to go and meet Justin's family and ride with them into the city.  Our adventure will now begin.  They are staying at the Embassy Suite

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Getting Ready for Family

Today we had an appointment for Elder Anthony.  He got a hearing test.  The good news is that he has minimal lost of hearing in his left ear but his right ear is in range.  Now he can't get away with saying that he can't hear the turn signal on the car.  It is wonderful to know that a few things work great.  We got some shopping done. We live pretty simple and we needed quite a few things before we had company arrive.

We got Christmas wreaths for the Barlow building.  I got the stuffing done for dinner tomorrow.  We also got a Thanksgiving treat done for our neighbors.  They didn't turn out as well as I was hoping but it filled the bill.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vacation coming

I feel like we are going on vacation.  We have only taught two of our four classes this week and the rest are canceled because of Thanksgiving.  Justin's family comes in Thursday and we will be hanging out with them for the next week as much as we can.  We have worked hard and have our lessons ready for the next week so I feel like we have a vacation coming.

Today we went to the temple which is always a wonderful experience.  We got to meet one of the new members of the Stake presidency tonight.  We are hoping they don't boot us out of the High Council room.  That is the room we use to teach in.  He was really nice and it was great to explain what we were doing there.  We are teaching several members from his ward the DC 3rd ward.  When they organized the new stake they called two bishops that are currently serving and a high councilman.

We only have two more lessons after this week before we start checking our interns out for the Christmas break.  This time of year always goes so fast.

Monday, November 23, 2015

32 Degrees

Today was the coldest day we have had this fall.  It is down to 32 and we turned on the heat for the first time since last winter.  The day started off normal.  We headed to the gym in the building to do our stationary biking.  Then we headed over to the Barlow for our Monday meeting.  Elder Anthony started complaining about his back really bothering him again. Not that it has ever been normal but it goes from hurting, but you can get around, to hurting, and you don't want to move.  I noticed in the meeting his one eye couldn't open all the way.  After the meeting he told me that the pinched nerve in his back was giving him a migraine headache.  He took two Tylenol after the meeting and went in his office and put his head down until we had to leave to go teach.  The Tylenol helped him quite a bit but after we taught he didn't want to go back to the Barlow and work and came home to try and rest a little.  We both ended up working on our second lesson so when Justin's family comes we can spend as much time with them as possible.  I hope tomorrow he is feeling better.  I am anxious to get some resolve to this problem.  On Dec. 1st he goes to a class on how to deal with pain and that is the first step with the VA in getting help.  So I hope we soon see something happening to help him.  He has been having back problems since before Crystal came August 8.

Our class today was kind of a tough class to teach.   We talked about the Mountain Meadow Massacre.  That isn't the most uplifting topic but one we need to face.  We concentrated on a few principle to learn from this tragedy.  1) Resolve your conflicts with other in the Lord's way.  Don't let the heat of the moment fuel an unforgiving heart.  2) Don't try and hide your sins.  I like the verse in Luke 12:3 "Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."  You don't hide your sins eventually they are known and shouted from the roof tops.  3)  Follow the counsel given by your leader. 4) Don't base your testimony on people but on the Lord.  People are not the Church and people can disappoint you.   We had taco soup for lunch and hopefully everyone left with a resolve to live better.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Stake President

We got a new stake presidency today.  We didn't know any of the men but it is always a wonderful experience to see the mantel exchange from one man to another.  The new stake president James Baird shared that every church has four sacred places.  1) The Pulpit were people are taught and bear testimonies. 2) Sacrament Table where we make covenants and commit to change. 3) Baptism font where our children come into the church and new converts.  4) Bishop's office where the desk we come to repent or to settle our tithing and for interviews.  It was a great talk.

Elder Hallstrom talked about our attitude of reverence.  Our reverence is our profound respect of God.  He quoted D. Todd Christofferson with a quote I love.  D. Todd Christoffersen A sense of the Sacred  Ensign June 2006

On the other hand, those who do not appreciate holy things will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, they will grow increasingly casual in attitude and conduct. They will drift from the moorings that their covenants with God could provide. Their feelings of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, they will care only about their own comfort and satisfying their uncontrolled appetites. Finally, they will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then they will despise themselves.
From a Church Educational System satellite broadcast address given on November 7, 2004.

President Russell M. Nelson covered what we needed to teach our children.  He said our homes is our most holy sanctuary.  Help your children learn and understand what the sacrament is and what the emblems mean.  Teach them to respect the prophets.   All previous dispensations were subject to time and location and each affected a small segment on the earth and ended in apostasy.  This dispensation is not limited to time or location and it will fill the earth.  Teach them to love the scriptures especially the Book of Mormon.  Teach children about the temple.  Teach them about missionary work.  The best missionaries are the member because the name tag make the full-time missionaries are on display.  Take your children to tithing settlement. 

It was a great conference.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stake Conference

Guess who came to Stake Conference?

Elder Hallstrom and President Russell M. Nelson.  It was such a great conference.  Our stake presidency will be replaced tomorrow.  They had our mission president and his wife Sister Cooke talk.  President Colton and his wife talked, the temple president. The counselors to President Harrison, President Folger and Holmstead talked.  It was great.    This was also the 75 anniversary of our stake.  When President Nelson got up and said that he was asked to accompany Hugh B Brown to the dedication of the Washington DC temple in 1974 before he was a general authority he had the following experience. The next morning he woke Elder Brown up and he said I needed to find Joan Lee the widow of Herald B. Lee.  He said I have been with President Lee who had passed away most of the night and he wanted me to tell his wife that he was well.  President Nelson then said I have felt the presence of those that have played a pioneering part in our stake there tonight.  He said the gathering is going on in great haste on both sides of the veil.  He said that is why so many great men have left to do the work of gathering.  He said the Lord took L. Tom Perry to get them into action. He then said that Thanksgiving helped to user in Christmas.  He then read some of the Christmas story to us from Luke and defined words and customs for us.  It was great.

Elder Hallstrom told us to focus on what was most important even if we had to sacrifice some things that were good.  We must continue to refine our lives.  Hastening the work of salvation includes member missionary work, activation, temple work, teaching the gospel.   They aren't in competition.  It isn't running faster it is focusing on the what is most important.  Hasten the work is happening we have gone from 57,00 missionaries to 88,000 after the announcement of younger missionaries and is settling in at about 75,000.  One fourth of the missionaries are sister.  The work is hastening in temple work.  When he was born there were 8 temples now there is 148.  Family history work has gone from writing letters to billions of records available to us.  In a world of busyness we must not lose sight of want is most important.  Those things that are most important involve covenants. We were hoping to talk to Elder Hallstrum but no way.  We have several tie to him.  He was in the stake presidency in Hawaii when I was on my mission there. His father was the branch president of the branch I served in for 13 months.  Our good friends Art and Kathy Jo McKinley, Elder Hallstrom is Kathy Jo's brother.

We worked all day on our lessons for next week.  We have got to get two lessons so we can play with Justin's family this coming week.