I'm currently sitting on the metro typing this. I spent today in DC! It's only 11:30 am but Sister Johnson and I are so tired so we're heading home. We woke up at 4 this morning, 2 your time. Ouch. We drove to the metro station to get to DC. I love the metro, it's so easy to use and very convenient.
We were told that the sun rises at 6:30 am and a lot of the sisters planned to do sunrise pictures. But unfortunately we forgot that daylight savings changes things so we got to the Lincoln memorial at 6:30 but the sun didn't rise until 7:30 which thrilled us when we came to that realization. It was cold. Not super cold, but enough that you don't want to stand outside for an hour waiting on the sun. So Sister Johnson was kind and decided to go on a run to keep me warm and I was obligated to go with. We just ran around the reflecting pool which is actually quite big so it took us a while. We also went into a bathroom and put our hands under the hand dryer for warmth. I hope the hobos weren't cold. They were asleep on the sidewalk in the city and one was sleeping on the bathroom floor which was fun.
When the sun finally rose, we missed it because it was cloudy and it set more behind the Jefferson memorial than the Washington monument where we were taking pictures but we still enjoyed ourselves and took lots of pictures. After that, we all went on a run to the Jefferson memorial which I wasn't a huge fan of but I did it. I don't mind running but I'm not a runner and I had to keep up with my companion who is. The Jefferson memorial was gorgeous. Well everything there is. The whole city is really nice and has similar architecture and is huge and has American flags everywhere and is overall awesome.
We walked/jogged to the White House next. There were lots of school groups taking pictures there. It was cool to see it in person. Honestly I probably would've never seen any of this in my life if I wasn't going on a mission here. Like I've always thought it's cool but it's not somewhere I'd plan a vacation to. Anyway, while we were walking to the White House, Sister Johnson and Sister Leben had to use the restroom so I went on ahead with the other sisters and they said they'd run to catch up. However, they did not realize we were going to the White House so they couldn't find us and didn't have a phone and they used strangers phones to call us and I kept on missing their calls but they left a message saying they would meet us at Union Station which was a few miles away so we all spent like 30 plus minute walking there. When we finally found each other, I yelled "mommy!" And we ran up to each other with our arms outstretched and hugged. It was tender. We had lunch (at 10am haha) and then we decided we were tired and headed home in the metro. We saw the Washington monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the White House, went to Union Station, and we saw the capital building from afar. We didn't go up to it but we saw it multiple times. My mission is so cool. And now I'm dead tired and need calories. We'll go again in 3 weeks when the cherry blossoms bloom and we'll go to more museums now that we've had an overview. Also everyone there dresses really nice. Lots of people in Salt Lake (Mormons) dress frumpy but in DC everyone is participating in a fashion show. It's awesome.
We had 4 investigators at church on Sunday!! Dee, Candy, and Susan came. Also, Dee's daughter is my age and was baptized 3 years ago and her boyfriend is talking about wanting to be baptized so he was there and we're gonna teach him and hopefully put him on b date tomorrow. He had one lesson from us a month ago before I came which apparently went really well but we've had a hard time contacting him so we're thrilled about tomorrow!
We were tracting on a street in Poolesville Saturday night. We have tract day bit but not a ton because it's not too effective. We knocked on a door right when these three digs started following us. The man who answered the door recognized them and said they shouldn't be out so he took them to his neighbor while Sister Johnson and I followed and herded. They belonged to a woman named Erica. We returned two but then one took off and the four of us spent 10 minutes chasing down this dog in the dark and in the mud. After we got the dog, we talked to Erica for a bit. She's catholic and she would've turned us down since we knocked on her door but since we served her she was willing to talk and we discussed the temple with her and invited her to see "Savior of the World" at the VC this month. She was really nice.
It was then that we realized what we need to do to reach these people. We need to serve them and serve along side them. Poolesville is a very small, close community with lots of churches along the roads. Their "downtown" has a McDonald's and subway and gas station and a couple small stores but in grocery store. There are a few actual neighborhoods but otherwise the houses are really far apart because there are ranches. We joined the Facebook Poolesville Community group and lots of people post multiple times a day about help or service and they're all such nice, family and service oriented people. We're thinking of advertising free family history classes at the library there and we're trying to come up with ways to get more involved in the community and organize service projects. I don't think people realize that missionaries don't just go around teaching, we serve. So if you can think of ways to serve these people or projects we can do, let me know! Big things are happening here, I'm excited. Also, it was a miracle that the three dogs escaped and then we had to chase down one. If that didn't happen, we wouldn't have met Erica or come up with the idea to serve. We were feeling frustrated that night because all of our plans fell through but God had a different plan because He's awesome.
We had a huge dinner at Sister Hancock's last night with Candy, a recent convert, two less actives, and a family of three. It was very fun and nice to talk to everyone and the lesson went well.
Funny story. We almost drove to Virginia. We're right on the edge of Maryland and Virginia. We missed a turn and arrived at a ferry that would take us across a river into Virginia. So I wasn't in Virginia but I saw it. We quickly did a U turn and left. We do lots of U turns as missionaries.
Ok that's it for the week, or at least everything I have time to write. My favorite part of being a missionary is the people. I love teaching and serving them. Even if I'm not feeling too hot, as soon as we start serving or teaching someone, I'm so happy! Also, I understand the gospel a lot better now that I'm on a mission. It always seemed so complicated at home but it's not! It's so simple! We need to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end! And then eventually go to the temple as well. That's it! And it's all because of Jesus Christ's atonement. Everything revolves around that. Yes Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are SUPER important, but what it comes down to is Jesus Christ because without Him we have nothing and we are nothing. We'd have no hope and no reason to live and we'd be condemned to live a sad, hopeless existence. But there's hope and there's a plan and it's so amazing and everyone need to know about it! The gospel of Jesus Christ is miraculous and life changing. At home, I heard of people saying that it's life changing but here I actually see it! These people go from being so sad and involved in bad stuff and going through really hard things to having this light in their eyes and a brighter countenance and they're so much happier and filled with hope and faith in Jesus Christ. I've seen it first hand with my investigators. This church is literally LIFE CHANGING. It's not something that you just do because it seems nice, you do it because it's the only way and the only chance and it makes everyone so happy! I know this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ died for us and that by praying, reading the Book of Mormon (and other scriptures), and going to church, we can experience true happiness and be so unbelievably blessed.
I love you all is much! Thank you for your emails and everything you do!