The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Friday, September 2, 2016

Released

We have been trying to connect with President Roberts for the past two days.  We finally talked to him today.  We have been released.  We are no longer missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is always emotional to put that name tag on and then to take it off.  We have walked away from the life we loved and the people we love to return to the family we love. I commented yesterday that I could feel that the mantel had been lifted from our shoulders even before we were released.  Elder Anthony had felt the same thing.




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The End

I feel like we have been leaving for over a month.  Our Friday root beer group got together for one last root beer tasting. We had 5 bottles left. We are getting pretty fussy.  It has been a fun event to keep things fun and interesting.

I had several things that needed to be done today. Probably the most important was to get a treat made for the incoming students. I needed to make sure they had the walk through down and we needed to call President Roberts. When I went to start on the cookies I didn't have the butter so one more trip to Trader Joes.

On the way back to the Barlow I realized we had forgotten to call Pres. Roberts.  We were about 20 min late calling. The number we had been given was his office. His secretary answered and said he had gone to Germany to the rededication of the Temple. We tried his cell phone but no answer so I think he forgot. So we will continue to were our name tags until we are released. I don't feel you can release yourself.  I had purchased box mixes so we could make the treats quickly. They were pretty good but the four boxes didn't make as many as I would have liked.

We needed to do our last little bit of laundry before hitting the road. We pretty much were on the run all day. We also oriented the AA. By 3 it was time for us to get out of the way. You come to realize that your training is done and the mantel has been lifted and people are ready for you to leave and let the new guys on the block blossom without you hovering. So we just left. The Thunells were busy and we didn't want a lot of good-byes. We hadn't been gone for 35 min. Before Elder Thunell called the front security panel had gone out. We were not very far from the Barlow so we came back. Elder Anthony tried but he couldn't get it going either.

We were able to tell the Thunells good-bye and we took off again. We went to an expensive restaurant to finish using the gift card Andy Johns had given us. We ate and walked the couple of miles back to the hotel for our last stroll through the city hand in hand. Washington we are going to miss you.

Here is a small sample of the root beers we have tried including the five today. Brownie is our favorite.







Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 5 Training

We did some final training. I am now feeling that we have given them all they can take. In fact I feel like it is time to get out of the way. We will go in tomorrow and help orient the AA, (their administrative assistant). I will make the cookies and make sure they have the walk through down then hopefully we can disappear.

Scott came in and brought his wife this time. He inspected the rooms and we we passed with no critism or nothing needing to be done. Scott invited to take us out to dinner and the Thunells as their welcome and our good-bye but we already had a dinner engagement with Lydia, Kimmey, Ben, Alex, and Kirsi.    I was glad. I feel like we are the has been and we now need to get out of the way of new progress. We  left at 6:30 because we made some room changes. We had a great time with the young adults at dinner. They were way fun.



The Thunells

Tom and Heather Thunell



Day Four of Training

We met with Mike Cottle this morning at 9 for round table. They will now start working with Mike on institute. We had a meeting with Susana to make our final preparations for Scott to come on Tuesday to inspect the apartments. He has told us he is bring his wife because she is more critical than he is. Bring it on. Everyone comes to attention when Scott comes. He will be here to welcome the students and get the semester started. We stopped today long enough to go to lunch but we stayed at it until 6:30. Which was a super long day for Elder Thunell because we had him get up and let the plumber in at 6:30 a.m.  We worked on emails, scheduling, and setting up auto reloading bus passes for them. Then there was more good-byes. Elder Anthony helped them set up the Internet and TV with Comcast. We got to visit and tell Lilly our 94 year old friend good-byu. We saw Wayne the building engineer and told him good-bye. The people in the condo are use to the missionary turn overs. Once again he said no other missionaries have been like you. He wanted our phone number in case he ever gets to Utah. In talking with Susana she started crying and said I don't want you to go.  You will be the hardest missionaries to say good-bye to.  We have worked so closely with her it is going to be hard to leave her and the Thunells knowing Susana is going to need so much help when the baby comes. Thunells also met Jeff the FM boss. He teared up when he said I don't know how we could have pulled off all these projects without Elder Anthony.  I am every uncomfortable with all these good-byes. I would much rather just disappear in the night.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Day 3 Training

We finished our 11 hour day. We met up at 9 to go to the DC 3 ward which is the ward our married interns go to. Before the meeting was over we headed to our young adult ward. We got there in time for sacrament meeting. We went to the Welcome class. New people are entering the ward in large groups. After Relief society we had a missionary committee meeting which introduced the Thunells to the missionary committee. Then the Thunells were nice enough to invite us to dinner. They used some of our left over food and brought food for open faced enchiladas. She also made strawberry short cake. We worked over at the Barlow for 45 mimutes while they got the dinner.  We really like the Thunells. We could become best friends. After we took them to meet some of our neighbors. It was a sweet moment to tell them good-bye. We have become good friends. Sally told us how much our gift of the Book of Mormon meant to her. She knew the Book of Mormon was sacred to us and she said she had started reading it. There were a few tears shed. Sally told the Thunells that they were going to have to work hard to replace us. She said no one that had been before us had reached out and become a part of them. She also told them we brought treats to them for every holiday.

We got to the hotel at 8 tonight. Susana called asked us if we could meet the plumber at the Barlow tomorrow at 6:30. Elder Anthony said we will take care of it. He called Elder Thunell to let the plumber in the building at 6:30. We are a couple of miles away from the Barlow. We no longer live across the street. It was a day filled with good-byes.

Elder and Sister Thunell. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Day 2 Training

We were in the Barlow 9 hours today. We stopped only long enough to cross the street and eat at Subway sandwich .  We split up and Elder Anthony took Tom and I took Heather and we spent the whole day going through things we do and how we do them and why. They had lots of questions and we stopped to see thing and actually to do some of the things listed. When we walked out we were all exhausted. I hope they are not feeling over whelmed but describing what we do made me realize how much we have accomplished .I turned over the credit cards today.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Training Day 1

Today we visited every place we teach. How equipment is set up what we do and a little about the class. We had a meeting  with Gary about work that is scheduled. I did some recruiting training. We got them metro pass which can only be purchased at one specific place because they are seniors. This took 12 hours, 5 miles of walking, and about 40 miles of driving. We turned over three sets of keys for different buildings that I have been carrying for 2 years. Yesterday we turned over the Barlow keys and the condo keys. Sy that is 5 sets of keys. After we dropped them off and rode the bus to the hotel I was ready for bed.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

We have turned over the keys

The Thunell arrived today at 11:45 today.  We got up really early. We both woke up this morning worrying about all the things that needed to be done. We headed over to the Barlow before 6. We got all the sheets delivered and moved some furniture into another room because we have so many girls this semester.   The deep cleaners arrived at 7 and we were ready to get out of their way. We got back home to switch laundry and do the final cleaning. We had several batches with our sheets and towels. I pulled everything together at 11:40 just 5 minutes before they arrived. The mission president came with them to see the Barlow and see what we do. We have all our days with the Thunells outline and full. Today while they moved in we made two trips on the bus to move our stuff to the hotel. It cost 50 dollars a day to park at the hotel so we are parking at the Barlow. We have to park outside now. Hopefully no one will bother our car. We are so pleased with our replacements. They are going to be perfect.

Our sparkling condo.

President and Sister Johnson our mission President.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Out of the Blue

IJust out of the blue I had two of the nicest experiences today. I recieved this special email. 
Hi Sis Anthony,
My name is Sherry Bateman from Vancouver BC, Canada and
I hope you do not mind my contacting you at this address.  I have been following your blog and wanted to send you a personal note of thanks.  Our daughter Sis Kalicia Bateman is currently serving in that mission.  She arrived in early May and is in the Glenmont area (Spanish speaking) so you have likely not run into her, but once I knew what mission she was assigned to I was so happy to find your blog.  Thank you for sharing your experiences on a daily basis. I have so enjoyed seeing the wonderful pictures and reading about your inspiring and interesting experiences.  (Sorry that it is coming to an end!) It is apparent that you have loved your mission and loved those you have served.  We are so happy that our daughter has an opportunity to serve in that mission, she loves it.
I hope that your journey home is safe and wonderful.
Again, many thanks
Sherry
That just made my day. Then to top it off our good friend and Elder Anthony work coleague Linda called us.  She has been reading our bog and wanted to tell us how much fun she has had following our adventures.  That almost made writing every night worth it to know that others found joy in our escapades. 

We rode the bus up to Elder Anthony's last doctors appointment with the pain doctor. He got one more cortisone shot today in his shoulder. We will be transferring his records home. On the way we walk through part of Friendship Heights.  They have such a nice street and beautiful flower pots. I took pictures but I can't figure out how to post them on my I-Pad. We don't have Internet tonight so I am using my data. This afternoon we had visitors. One of our old students stopped by, the Elders came and Elder Rowlee had a greenie from Timpview. I didn't teach him but I knew some of his friends and then our root beer group got together. So I didn't get much done this afternoon but play.  We did some laundry tonight and packed about everything up. We move out tomorrow.  I have been kind of sad this evening. A wonderful time of our life is about to change. There is a little sad cloud hovering over my head tonigh. After tonight things will not be the same. It won't really be our mission anymore.

  I have our Book of Mormons ready to hand out in the morning. 



Gorgeous flower pots in Friendship Heights.



Root beer tasting today.  Brownie root beer is wonderful. 
Book of Mormon ready to go to our neighbors.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Final Arrangements

Young  missionaries move every six weeks or so and stay mobile but couples live in the same place for two years and there is so many things you have to do to come and to leave. We have been changing our address and calling credit card companies. Today we had to go into the VA to change our address. They require you do it in person and not over the computer. I also got a haircut and we got our car ready for a road trip.DC is so hard on a car with all the pot holes. We have hit dozens of them. Many pot holes are unavoidable.  So the car got aligned, the tires rotated and balanced. It took the guy quite awhile to get it in alignment but it drives much better. We also turned in our Comcast equipment so we don't have Internet anymore.

We worked at the Barlow for a couple of hours after we got back. Lydia' car wouldn't start so Elder Anthony and Mike tried to start it by jumping it but Elder Anthony thinks it is her starter. She is going to have to have it towed to a shop.

Tonight we defrosted the fridge and got some more scrubbing and laundry done. I am sure we will be ready to leave the condo on Thursday morning.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lunch with Karmen

Our neighbor Karmen took us to a really nice place for lunch.  It was fun to sit and talk with her.  We spent about 3 and half hours with her. It is heart warming to be with good friend. We are working on a final gift to our closest neighbors.  We are going to give them a Book of Mormon with this note.

As we leave this beautiful area and the wonderful people we have met we want express our gratitude to you for being so accepting of us and letting us into your life.  It will be hard to leave our little world and community on the fourth floor.  There is a special peace that comes from knowing that you have people that care on the other side of the hallway.  
As we leave we want to give you a small gift.  This is not an attempt to proselyte you.  This book is a sacred text to us.  We hope you accept it as a reminder of us.  When you see it you might remember who we were, why we came, and what makes us tick.  To us this book sits hand in hand with the Holy Bible, a book we love and treasure as well.  The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ and substantiates the Bible’s truthfulness.  It encourages us to try and be more Christ like.  We hope you will accept it as a token of our friendship and love.  Dave and Sherrie Anthony

I will bring home the Book of Mormons and wrap them to give away.

We also worked on getting the new students names on doors, mailboxes, email groups, and out to those that need student list.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More Good-byes

Today they announced in church that we were leaving and thanked us for our work here.  I was a little embarrassed.  We will still be back one more time to introduce the Thunells to the ward.  A couple of the kids from the ward came over and visited us this evening.  We will miss the young people that we have had the privilege of working with but we aren't gone yet and there is still quit a bit of work to get things perfect for the arrival of the next batch of interns.

Last week at church I ran into a young man that I taught at Timpview.  This week I ran into another young man that I taught 11 years ago.  He recognized me right off.  I struggled to remember him.  I feel like I have student all over the world.  He has just graduated from Cambridge.  It was fun to talk with him. He was a freshman when I taught him.

Sam

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thunell's Mail

This has been a busy day.  We did some packing and actually started putting  some thing in the trunk. We stopped a little before noon to make a run to Safeway.  Our neighbor who is 94 had asked us to pick up a few things for her.  We needed a couple of things as well so we headed up there. There was a farmers market across the street and we got a few fresh peaches.  They are so good and reminded us of our peach trees at home.

This evening our bishopric invited us out to dinner to tell us good-bye.  They paid for our dinner.  We went to Cheesecake Factory. It was so good.  They also gave us Pres. Nelson's new book, Accomplishing the impossible. We picked up our mail today and had a letter to the Thunell's who are our replacements.  This is getting serious. I guess it is time to put in a change of address card.

Friday, August 19, 2016

We Still have 11 Days

We still have 11 days before we leave.  We still have 6 days before our replacements come.  Yet today felt like the last day.  The employees of the Barlow gave us a going away party with gifts and really nice card.  Our little get togethers are always so fun but today was suppose to be fun but it was more sad than happy.  We have loved working with the people in the Barlow and our students.  They said some really nice things about us.

Pretty table.

Lance Walker

Michael Cottle our CES coordinatior

Susana, Lydia Elder Anthony, Mauri, Michael, and Lance




After our party I decided we needed pictures of the Barlow.  With the students gone I could take pictures of the insides of the rooms.

Common Kitchen with a Freezer.  The stoves are new last semester. 


Common area with cable TV. 

Married apartment with kitchen.

Married housing with a Murphy bed. 

Single student room.  They have to share a room. They each get a desk. 

Each apartment has a fridge and microwave. 

Closets

the closets has drawers.  

Each room has there own bathroom with shower. 

Each floor has a laundry with free laundry. 




Nice wood closets. 




We have two handicap rooms one on each floor. 



Hall way with rooms coming off of each side. 

The Murphy bed in one of the apartments. 



Married rooms have a full bathroom. 

New Lobby.


Hallway to our offices.

Lydia in her office. 

Mike in his office. 

My office 



Elder Anthony's office. He loves his big window.  All the time he worked at BYU he never had a window in his office.  





BYU professors office

Susana's office. 


Back room.  We held our meetings every Monday in this back room. 


Storage Room. 

I love the old wood banisters in the hallways. The original building was built in 1912 I think.  The Building was purchased and an addition was put on it and it was named the Barlow Center in 2001. 



The freight company came and picked up all our household goods all 700 pounds.  They are headed back to Utah.