The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Elder Anthony

Today was Elder Anthony's birthday.  It was nice to have it on a Saturday so we could step back and take it easy.  We even slept in today.  Check - in week is a busy hectic week.

We had a young man in our singles ward that graduated from BYU in engineering. He recently got married.  Elder Anthony asked him if he could barrow some surveying equipment so he could survey the slope around the building before they get ready to pour cement in our parking area.  David M. helped do the surveying. He brought his wife and we went to lunch after.  It was fun to visit with them.

We start teaching on Monday and I didn't have anything prepared for lunch on Monday so we went to Costco to get something easy to make.  We took the Metro over.

I spent the rest of the day going over edits for the book I have written.  It is suppose to go to press in just a couple of weeks.  I can't tell you how many times I have gone over that book.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Today finished off the final introduction of the new interns.  We are a part of those meetings so we are in and out all day long.  All interns are in and they know what is expected.  Monday most of them start their internships and we go back to our teaching schedule.

We had a short meeting with the new professor.  Each teacher has been very different.  I like this guy.  He has a lot of great ideas and it should be a really fun semester.  He is going to use us a little more than the other teachers did.  We are excited for the fun things that are ahead.  This group is really big they seems to be jellying really well.   I will be glad when I get all their names learned.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Final Group

After working at the Barlow checking in students all day 12+ hours we came home to eat and left our student assistant to get the final students in.  The last one will fly in at 12:00 tonight which means 1 in the morning before they arrive at the Barlow.  I have walked up and down the back stairs so many time that my poor knees started to complain.  Each student gets a tour of the building.

Each group comes with its own personalities.  This looks like a fun cohesive group.  They are already in each others room laughing and talking.  It seemed good to hear their laughing and talking from the hall instead of the dead silence that happens when they are all gone.  We will probably have an extra soft spot for this group because they are our last group.  There will be a lot of fun times ahead/

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Living Funeral

Today we left early to take the bus to the pain doctor.  Elder Anthony's appointment was for 8:30.  We had the leadership counsel meeting at 10:00.  At 9:15 the doctor hadn't come in so we decided I would go to the meeting and Elder Anthony would come when he was done.  On the agenda was an item, Thank you to the Anthony's.  We don't leave for 4 months but this is our last EOCC meeting.  I wasn't planning on this.  I figured we would just leave two days before the next meeting.

The tributes we were given felt more like a funeral service.  Elder Hardy said we had gone way beyond the call of duty.  He said he pulled up one day and found Elder Anthony out behind the building sweeping.  He thought this is way beyond his call.  His respect for Elder Anthony grew immensely.  He said we had excelled in every aspect of our responsibilities. Jeff B.  told how he is responsible for 27 buildings.  He said working at the Barlow has been his greatest joy because Elder Anthony took over the building and was the one that called him.  He said Elder Anthony will call and say I don't want to step on your toes but what if we did this or I will call and arrange that.  He said I would love to have them extend another 2 years.  Scott said, I have no doubt that is was an inspired calling.  We could not have accomplished what we have accomplished if we had not been here. Pres. Baird talked about our teaching.  He said I don't want to insult you but to have two older people teach young adults with such energy and enthusiasm is amazing.  He said the young people love you.  He loves to come into our class and he said the class has grown from 5 to 20.  He said even when you leave the work you have done will not be forgotten and it will continue to ripple through the area.  Scott asked us to go home for 18 months and then to reapply to come back for another 2 years.  It was pretty humbling listening to all these nice things being said.  Especial when you know we are not done for several more months.  I sure hope we don't burst anyone's bubble.

We have about half of our new batch of students in.  Later in the afternoon the public affairs floor celebrated Ashley, Mari, and Elder Anthony's April birthdays.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Holding Hands

The steroid they gave Elder Anthony yesterday did have an effect today.  He was able to get some things done and walk without as much pain.  I think they are short lived pills but we will see.  We went to the temple this morning.  We normally sit and hold hands.  A man came up to me in the celestial room and said I want you to know watching you and your husband hold hands today made my day.  He is the fourth person to talk to us about holding hands.  Our postman was teasing us and said I saw you two holding hands.  You didn't seem me but I saw you.  We had a lady walk up to us in the street and say wow it looks so good to see people walking together holding hands.  Our neighbor across the hall said I saw you two holding hands.  It is so wonderful that you are such good friends.  So holding hands makes a statement.  I hope it shows how devoted we are to one another.  I hope it shows how much we love each other and that marriages after 40 years still work.

We have started checking students in.  I made cookies and banana bread tonight for a treat.  I woke up at 3:30 last night and I couldn't go back to sleep thinking about all the things that had to still be done.  I sent Susana a list of 6 things that needed to be done before Scott made his inspection tonight.  She got them all done.  We got home from the Barlow at 11:00 p.m. tonight. I am tired.  Our saying is that if you don't sleep well one night you will the next.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hoping and Praying

Today Elder Anthony was so miserable.  We worked this morning distributing sheets and having a meeting.  We had an appointment with a physician assistant to the specialist for spin surgery.  We have exhausted the VA and he is as bad no he is worse than he was in August 2015 when he went into the VA.  The Physician Assistant looked at the VA MRI.  He said, that he had major disc bulge and disc protrusion smashing the nerves in his back.  He ordered new x-rays and MRI.  He could see that Elder Anthony was in major pain.  He gave him a oral steroid prescription to try and reign in the pain. He is sending him to a pain doctor. On May 12 he will see the back specialist. We went to get the x-ray and by a miracle they had an opening for the MRI so we have those two test done and we will had another miracle and got an appointment to see the doctor to manage the pain on Wednesday morning.  This is a bad week for doctors but we have got to get some help.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mixed emotions

This morning we got the word that Jordan Romney's husband died.  He has been fighting brain cancer since 2014.  He leaves a little family of four his oldest being just 8.  I have felt so over whelmed with grief for this sweet young lady.  The Romney's are close friends and we have known Jordan as a young girl.  I guess this what the Lord meant when He said we should mourn with those that mourn.

Dara left this afternoon.  We went to just sacrament meeting today. She stayed home and packed.  She didn't bring her c-pack sleeping breathing machine and has not slept well since she came.  We were worried that she would be even more confused than normal so Elder Anthony called the airlines to see if I could escort her to the gate and make sure she got to where she needed to go.  They gave us that permission.  It is fun to have company but it was also fun to be back lone tonight.

Elder Anthony decided that even though his back is still hurting that it was so beautiful out that we would go for a walk.  We didn't go fast but we went about three miles round trip.  I hope it will not cause him extra pain.  It is difficult to processes what is ahead in the next four months.  We have become very comfortable meeting the demands of our mission.  The city has become home.  We now get ready for the the last group of interns to arrive this week. What is ahead after the next four month?

These are the beautiful things we saw on our walk tonight.  I have never seen curly pansies. 

These two ducks are just sleeping away by a fountain.  

I love the beautiful flowering bushes in DC.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

End of the Week

Dara's sister Diana went home today.  She was a delight to have here.  Diana is a very sweet and loving sister.  After Diana left we went over to the Barlow and got some things done in preparation for our student to start arriving next week.  After we took Dara over to see the temple and then there is a fun place called Antique Village near the temple.  The book store there closed early to get ready for a huge book sale that will close the whole street on Sunday.  That didn't help us out but we had fun going through the antique shops.  Dara found some turtles figurines to add to her collection.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quiet Day

They were cleaning the rugs in the Barlow so everyone had to be out.  Michael and I walked Dara to death last night so she was sleeping a good share of the day and not interested in sight seeing.  Elder Anthony and I went to the VA to pick up some MRI results.  I have talked him into going to a private back doctor at John Hopkins.  He can't get in until the 12th of May but the doctor will want new MRI images and will compare them to the first set.  We will see a physician assistant on Monday to get the tests ordered so when we see the doctor we hopefully will get some help.  We also stopped at Walmart to get the welcome treats for our new interns that start arriving next week.

I worked on my lesson for our first class of the new semester in a week.  Tonight we took Dara on a missionary experience.  We went to the young adult center for their annual BBQ and talent show.  It was great.  Elder Anthony really misses eating BBQ anything.  We had hot dogs tonight.  The talent show was great.  It was fun to show her a little piece of our world.

Sister Ete is one of our full time missionaries that did a Polynesian dance for the talent show. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Company always changes your schedule.  But it is fun to have the diversion.  Michael came for dinner and then he and Dara and I took the bus to go around the memorials.  We got on the bus at 7:45 and found out the bus only ran around the National Mall until 8:00 p.m. So we got dropped off at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and we walked all the way back home which is about 2 miles seeing memorials along the way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Michael's Visit

Michael arrived today to work.  He came over to the condo a little after 7:00.  It was fun seeing pictures of the girls and talking to him.  He went over with me to the Barlow to see all the improvements we have been involved in.  Then he got upset with the fire maintenance.  He wants his dad to pull the fire reports so he can inspect them.  He works tomorrow and will have dinner with us in the evening.
We spent the day getting the kitchens resupplied for the next group.  That always means a trip to IKEA. While you are at IKEA you have to have Swedish meatballs for lunch.  We purchased pans, and towels and new dishes and drinking glasses. After spending 300.00 dollars I think we are ready.  Elder Anthony's back is still bothering him.

Dara and her sister Diana went to Arlington today for the changing of the guard and to the Air and Space Museum.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


We went to the temple this morning.  It was so much fun to see all of our old Tuesday morning friends. We spent all afternoon at the Barlow working.  We met Dara and her sister in the evening and we had dinner a the condo and walked down into Georgetown.

Dara and Diana

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tax Day / Michael's Birthday

I have always had the hardest time remembering Michael's birthday.  I always think that it is on the 15th of April instead of the 18th.  I have remembered by saying it isn't on tax day so it is the 18th.  Well this year it is on tax day.  Mika is the one born on tax day.

We got the rest of the students out of the Barlow today but for the Administrative Assistant who leaves tomorrow morning.  I gave him a whole list of jobs today to help us out.  They were all carrying jobs to save elder Anthony from having to lift things.  It was wonderful to have a young energetic young man with a good back.  We got the girls floor ready for the cleaners tomorrow.  We will work on the boys floor tomorrow.

Dara and her sister Diana arrived this evening.  They are excited to have an adventure in Washington, DC.  There are a lot of things happening this week.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why I Believe?

We just got home from the fireside that is held once a month called Why I Believe.  It is done by new members of the Church.  They have a slide show showing those that were baptized this past month as well as talks and a musical number.  We don't normally go out to them but one of our students was baptized in November and gave one of the talks about his conversion story.  He invited us to come.  We brought with us one of the young men the Elders are teaching.  Bruno spoke and another lady named Lisa, and then Senator Larry Pressler.  The thing all three of them had in common was the whispering of the Spirit to them preparing them for the missionaries.  Senator Pressler stayed at a Marriott and asked if he could have the Book of Mormon that was in the drawer.  There were things in each of their lives and some not good that slowly brought them to the point of listening to the missionaries.  That is a good question to ask ourselves.  How would you address a person that asked you, Why do you believe?

Larry Lee Pressler is a U.S. politician from South Dakota. He served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and three terms in the U.S. Senate, losing re-election to Tim Johnson. He was the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the Senate. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and previously was a Rhodes Scholar of Oxford University.  He was baptized on April 19, 2015.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Friday and Saturday

The last two days we have been checking out our students.  Last night one of our old interns from two semesters ago called and offered us two tickets to the White House Garden tour. Elder Anthony has been miserable with his back but they only take people on the tour of the gardens three times a year.  We decided we didn't want to miss the opportunity.  As we were waiting in line for the tour we got a call that one of our interns was locked out and her suitcase was in her room and her plane would leave in a couple of hours.  So Elder Anthony left the line and came back to let her in and missed the gardens.  That separated us and left me to come home alone but that was okay the White House is only about 10 blocks from the Barlow.

Tonight we had another lock out.  I got a message on messenger from Facebook.  I rarely look at the messages on Facebook.  My phone  dinged a message.  I saw that there was a message.  But to get to it I had to set up messenger on my phone.  Then I answered and told the young woman that I would be right over.  Then I started thinking maybe this message is really old.  So I was going to text her and she answered the message and said, Thank you.  She had locked her key in her room and her phone was in there charging so it was kind of a miracle that I got the message.

It was fun going through the gardens but I wish Elder Anthony had been with me.  It was also so crowded that it was no as enjoyable as it could have been if you could stop and get better pictures.