The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Waffle Sunday

One of the best parts of being a missionary is watching lives change.  We have a young man in our Tuesday class that has been a member of the church for four months.  Today he received the Aaronic priesthood.  He asked Elder Anthony to stand in.  It is so wonderful to see how his life is changing.  What a happy day.  The gospel is so amazing.  When we act and turn to the Lord we see how the Lord can work in our lives.

We were late getting home because we stayed to see Bruno ordained. Elder Anthony and I have got this waffle Sunday down to a science.  We had the meal ready to go in 30 minutes.  What a team.

I think our weather is schizophrenic.  We got up to 53 today.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday's Tender Mercy

I all most forgot to blog tonight.  This has been a busy week.  Today was no different.  We were up early this morning to go to the temple for a service project.  They were working outside taking down lights and rolling them up.  I knew I couldn't do the yard work but I volunteered to help with the lunch.  We took Barlow interns with us to the service project.  Elder Anthony spent most of the day driving back and forth from the metro to bring kid to the temple. I made corn bread at the stake center and then we both hid away to try and work on our lessons for the week.  We didn't get much done.  I helped serve and get the lunch ready.  The bishopric wives made soup or chili.  We had about 40 come out.  Poor Sister Barlow had a huge heavy cast iron pot full of soup and just as she got to the kitchen it was too heavy for her and she dropped it.  We lost about a quart of the soup.  After the project we got the interns rides to the metro so we just took one intern back with us.  The rest of our interns metro over to the Renwick Art Museum.

We only had a short time before our next function for the day.  We hosted the senior missionaries tonight for our social activity.  We went to the Kennedy center for a free concert and then came back to the Barlow for appetizers and a tour of our building.  Everyone that made it really enjoyed it.  I decided that Elder Anthony and I are two of the more mobile.  I am pretty humbled to see couples that have come out with several health problem and are here to work and give the Lord all they have to offer.  It was difficult for some of them to walk a half a mile.  It is great to associate with these dedicated missionaries.

The concert was the flute, horn, and pianist from the National Symphony orchestra. It was wonderful.

We witnessed a tender mercy of the Lord today.  Our couples where meeting and one older sister was without her companion who was already at the Kennedy Center with her daughter. Sister Farnsworth has directions like I do.  She felt she could find the Barlow center but she was totally lost.  The shuttle driver from the Kennedy Center tried to help her and got her on the road headed our way but the streets of L and Pennsylvania cross and the Barlow sits at the end of L Street and is less than an a block long in from of our building.  We walked out the Barlow to go to the Kennedy Center and we had a couple of other missionaries with us.  I was talking with them and Elder Anthony looked up and noticed this nice looking older sister with a name tag trying to get directions from a couple who were pointing to L street across the street.  She was looking so confused and Elder Anthony ran over and said I think I know were you want to go.  She was within 3 business of the Barlow and just about to be directed to L Street that leads back into town.  She was so relieved to see us.  If she had come 5 minutes later we would have been gone and the building is locked down and there would have been no one there to get her food in the fridge and help her find the Kennedy center again. I know it was a tender mercy that Elder Anthony saw her and that we left at the exact same time she was on the corner.  I have never seen someone so grateful to see another set of missionaries.  She just kept saying I am so grateful you saw me.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Book will be released in July 2016

We worked at the Barlow all day today.  We are trying to get our lessons done because we are busy all weekend.  It was the first day in a week everyone in the office was all together and we had a lot of interruptions.

I wrote a book that is going to be published.   I got the cover design and a web page.  It will be released in July of this year.  This is the Web Address

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Thursdays always signal that the end of the week is near and that we are done teaching for the week.  Our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays are always long long day.  Thursdays our class is at 10:30.  We are usually finished at about 1:00.  We normally leave at 9:30 to get to the class.  We left early today for fear that that we would be caught in traffic.  We were a little slower and traffic is still horrible but we were going the opposite way.  We had a really good class.  I love teaching our Mom's.  We had 15 in class today and I never know how many children.  There is always a lot of noise.  But there is also a lot of the spirit.  This is our day to take in dry cleaning and make our stop at Costco to get what we need for the coming week.  I didn't even go into the Barlow during the day today.  Elder Anthony went over for a few minutes when we got home and it ended up being about 2 hours.  I was able to get some laundry done, dinner made and things straighten up.  It felt good to be home and get some things done.  This evening we went over to the Barlow to give a young lady a blessing.  This is a part of our mission that we did not foresee.  Elder Anthony has given over 20 blessings since we have been here.  This is one of the sweetest part of our mission.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clean up

There is a massive clean up underway after our storm.  The temperatures have been above freezing so that helps but there is major work going on to remove snow. We drove out today to go to the temple. It is the first time we have left our little corner since last Friday.  The roads were horrible.  Instead of taking 45 minutes to get to the temple it took 1 1/2 hours and lots of patience.  The session was so nice and I didn't really want to go back out to the rush.  This was the first day the temple was open and the government offices were open.  Life is returning to normal slowly.  The traffic was HORRIBLE all day.  We stopped in the store to get a treat for class tonight and I have never seen a store so ravished.  The metro was jammed packed to get to our class tonight but our class was larger than normal and it was great to be back to teaching.

These huge trucks are all over in the city to pick up snow. 

We passed over five blocks of big trucks parked in a line as close as they could park ready to go to work. 

The traffic was snarled behind these trackers picking up snow.  It left one lane to travel in and tons of delays. 

You can see them shooting snow into the dump truck.  

There are mountains of snow like this every where. 

Trucks are filled with snow.  In Washington, D.C., the parking lot at Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Memorial Stadium has become a mountain of snow. The stadium, next to the Anacostia River, has seen an endless flow of dump trucks from around the city. D.C. doesn’t own any snow melters, so for now the snow is deposited, compacted, and left to melt naturally.

We went into Safeway to get our treat for tonight and the shelves were devastated.  

There was NO milk. 

Trying to get to our class tonight was an adventure.  It isn't unusual to have packed metro cars but this one kept stopping and it was jammed so full you couldn't move.  

Tonight when we came home they were working close to our home loading up mountains of snow.  
  Today as Elder Anthony was crossing through the lobby of our building to go to the Barlow, the building engineer, Wayne (who is Elder Anthony's buddy) said that a lady on the 7th floor had approached him yesterday and asked if I was the "preacher" that was shoveling show in front of the building across the street yesterday.  Wayne said, "Yes, he probably was the one that was shoveling snow."  She said, "Well, he's an old man. He's going to have a heart attack."  Wayne answered, "No, mam, he won't have a heart attack, he's crazy.  Crazy people don't have heart attacks."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Warmer temperatures.

Elder Anthony decided today with the temperature going up to 45 that we should try and get some of the students to help him clear the back parking spots.  We are still waiting for the city to clear the alley.  You don't dare ask for help before about noon because those that are not working are sleeping in.  But he got about 6 helpers.  I couldn't believe that he shoveled along with them. One of the young men said,  "I am getting tired.  Elder Anthony I am impressed that you are able to keep up with us."  What Elder Anthony didn't tell him is that he was shoveling a good hour before they came out.  They had to make a big mountain of snow because there is no place to put it.  They ran into a city guy that said that he would be back tomorrow to haul it out.  We will see if he comes.

Our Tuesday class was cancelled because the church parking lots have not been plowed.  So we told Bro. Cottle instead of him driving in for an hour that we would do his class at the Barlow.  It was fun to be back teaching our interns again.  Two guys came in just before we started and said they were stuck and asked if they could borrow a shovel.  Elder Anthony let them take two of our shovels and they said they would bring them back.  When we finished teaching they hadn't brought back our shovels and they were gone.  Boy that is nervy especially when he let them take two and they said they would bring them back.  They thought we had a shovel because our front was so nicely cleared.

Monday, January 25, 2016


This storm is being called all kinds of names snowpocalypse, snowmagedon, snowzilla, and the official name winter storm Jonas.  We didn't break the record for most snow but Baltimore our neighbor did set a record.

Washington, D.C.
1) 28.0 inches (Jan. 27-29, 1922)
2) 20 inches (Feb. 12-14, 1899)
3) 18.7 inches (Feb. 18-19, 1979)
4) 17.8 inches (Feb. 5-6, 2010)
5) 17.8 inches (Winter Storm Jonas)
The trouble now is the clean up.  Where to put the snow.  It got up to 42 today which started the melting but it didn't solve the problem.  

Two workers at the Condo trying to clear a path for the drive way.

The city plowed but they left mountains of snow on the side of the road which takes a lane of traffic out. 

We tried to get to the Barlow this morning and I fell twice wading through the snow.  The good thing is you don't fall very far because the snow in up to knees.  So you just stand back up.  

That is a horrible task.  

The business next to us brought in a snow blower to try and clean the alley so cars can come in to park.  He was not successful.  Those that have cleared parking have piled it up so others can't get out.  We will need a truck to clear out our lot. 

The now pile of snow on the right is where cars park at the Barlow. 
I hadn't noticed the flower in the foyer of our condo.  I don't know how long they have been there.  But they brought in a ray of sunshine inside.

We just got word that government offices are closed again tomorrow.  Montgomery government offices are closed and that is where we teach tomorrow evening.  We are trying to get a hold of Brother Cottle to see if we will be going to teach.  I kind of hope not because we don't want to drive in this mess.  Traffic is picking up but the buses are not running yet.  So far I haven't been a fan of Washington DC winters.  We have tied for the fourth larges snow fall in record and last winter we broke  a 120 year old record for cold.

This was the report for last year.  "We talk about record highs a lot in Washington, but the recently unfathomable was accomplished this morning. We broke a record low. A temperature of 5 degrees was enough to smash a 120-year-old record for the date — a moment worthy of meteorological reflection. When the city — often the warmest location in the region — is breaking record lows, you know it’s a cold one. Much of the area saw one of the most truly frigid nights in recent memory last night, made more amazing because of how late in the season it happened."

We worked at the Barlow all day today.  Scott felt bad for the student and he (BYU) bought pizza for the interns tonight for FHE. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016


The effects of snowmagedon continue.  There were no church meetings held today but we had a devotional at the Barlow.  It made it feel like Sunday.  It was a time to share a favorite scripture and why you liked it and to sing a couple of hymns.  After we had homemade bread and peanut butter.  The students really like homemade bread.

We got some more shoveling done in the front with help.  The back door to the parking lot won't open because of the amount of snow built up.  No one can get to our parking lot to park.  There is so much snow that we can't dig it out.  In the past we have but we can't this time.  It was so great to see the sun and blue sky today.  It is still cold but beautiful.  I really don't know how they are going to get rid of the mountains of snow.  Where do you put it.  They had Pennsylvania Avenue clear but not the side roads.  They are still asking people to stay home.  Government offices are closed tomorrow so we won't be teaching and our employees that work at the Barlow can't get to their parking spaces so I don't think they will be in.

We had six more students come and eat this afternoon.  We enjoy being with the students.  

We awoke to a sunny day.  The snow had stopped. 

The final snow totals can be measured on the garbage can.

Snow stack on the ledge or one the hanging baskets below us tell the story of the past couple of days. 

How would you like to try and dig that car out.  Of coarse when you do you can't get down the alley to get to the street without plowing the alley and the back path.  

I noticed that our neighbor dug out around his car but he didn't dig out the cars.  The mountain behind the cars he will never get through.  Then there is the alley. 

Pennsylvania Ave. is plowed but there still are not cars out on the road.  People are walking on the road. 

How would you get through this snow mountain to get to the bus stop to catch the bus?

Second round of shoveling out the front of the Barlow. 

We got one of the four doors to the garbage so you can get into the dumpster.  You can see how deep the snow is.  

This is the parking area by the Barlow. 

How will you get a car back here to park?  

Someone on our floor put these fresh flowers out.  It made my day.  They smelled fantastic and they are gorgeous and remind you that spring will come.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Locked inside with my love.

Today was Elder Anthony's and my 40th wedding anniversary. Where has the 40 years gone?  How many are ahead?  What do we have to show for 40 years?  Today was a time of reflection.  It was not a time for celebration as we were locked away in our condo while the storm continues to rage outside.  The first meal I ever made for Elder Anthony was meatloaf.  We went to the Sweetwater Condos on Bear Lake. We had meatloaf tonight for dinner.  But we didn't have candle light nor did we have candle light on that every first meal.

We went out about ten this morning to go check on the Barlow.  We drafted a group of people to come and help remove the first foot of snow.  I don't think it has done a lot of good because I think there is another foot but maybe it will make it easier to remove the next layer.

Washington DC is completely shut down.  We are standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Ave. with not a car insight.  It is a ghost town.  No business are open.  

This storm is being called snowmageddon. It is still snowing.  It started yesterday at 1:30 and it hopefully will stop about 10 or 11 tonight.  

Church services are all cancelled tomorrow because there is no public transportation.  We are having a devotional at the Barlow tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.  I decided to make homemade bread tonight and tomorrow after church we will have peanut butter and jam sandwiches on home made bread.