The Fourth of July was so so fun! At 9am we went to the ward
breakfast. We brought our investigator, Pulla, and his two kids. Then
we came home and took a nap then went to the city at 2:30. Every year,
they have the "folk life festival" where they have two countries set
up a bunch of booths and displays and performance about their culture
on the Washington mall. This year it was China and Kenya. It was super
cool and I got to use a bit of my Chinese. Not a lot, but it made me
happy. China was closer to the Washington monument and Kenya was
closer to the capital. We wandered around for a few hours and are some
Chinese food and bought some souvenirs. I got a shirt that says China
and I think the character � on it. I don't read Chinese cursive very
well. Ironically, it was made in Honduras. I also got zebra chopsticks
and a bracelet made in Kenya. Some of the stuff there was pretty
expensive but it was super cool.
When it turned to evening, we met up with the ASL sisters. A woman ran
up to us and told us that her daughter is currently serving in
Santiago, Chile. She said that she has a good spot close to the
monument to watch fireworks. So we followed her and sat with her.
While she watched our stuff, we ran to get dinner. Sister Lewis and I
decided to be adventurous and we went to Kenya and got some goat stew.
Not my favorite. And not my normal Independence Day meal. But it was
interesting. When the sun finally set, we got to watch the fireworks!
It was so surreal being there, it was like I was living another life.
We had to leave to get home before they ended since we had to be in by
10:30. We headed towards the metro and so did tons of other people. It
was so crowded and crazy and each stop took forever. But it was a
really fun day and I'm glad I got to see the fireworks. A year ago I
never would've imagined that I'd be watching fireworks in Washington,
D.C. I know that Tyler was there somewhere but I didn't see him and
didn't have time to search him out. It's weird that my cousin is so
close but I can't see him. We've messaged on Facebook but we're both
really busy so it will be a miracle if we can ever find a time to meet.
Although the 4th was fun, I was ready to get back to work. I felt a
little weird the whole day because I was just in P day clothes having
fun and not really doing missionary work. Now I'm starting to
understand why new RMs struggle with coming home.
Also, President Eyring's brother, who is the president of the
Visitors Center, shared my picture of Sister Lewis and me teaching the
Kenyan guy about the Book of Mormon on Facebook. Score! A lot of you
guys are already doing it, but when I post something could you all
"like" it so that it stays high up in the news feed so more people
will see it? That would be helpful and help the cause.
We had two investigators at church yesterday! And a couple guys that
we gave Book of Mormons to at metro bus stops this past week have
texted us asking to learn more. And a guy Sister Lewis met at cvs a
couple weeks ago came to church for the last thirty minutes then met
us at the vc for a restoration lesson. Also, yesterday at the vc a
couple came in who weren't members and I was able to teach them for 30
minutes about the church and get their email to stay in contact with
them. They were so nice and polite and interested.
Monday night we had dinner with a family and the mom is really good at
making cupcakes. She made Maryland crab cup cakes. So I technically
had my first Maryland crab! She took a picture of Sister Lewis and I
with our cup cakes and posted it on her blog. I think it's
julijacklincupcakes.blogspot.com or something along the lines of that.
I'll attach the picture.
The shirts mom sent me are super cute, thanks so much!! I'm wearing
the blue one today. They are perfect.
I think that's about it. I love my companion, area, and investigators.
I'm happy but not it's not a big outward happiness like I expected.
It's like this deep, inner contentment and happiness with bursts of
outward happiness as exciting things happen like really good lessons
or having investigators at church. I can tell my body is stressed but
I don't really feel stressed because I'm too busy being a missionary.
It's the best. I have spiritually grown so much on my mission, I love
it. Before I could not tell you where anything is in the Book of
Mormon but now I'm like, "oh you want to know about why Adam and Eve
were important well let's turn to 2 Nephi 2" or "If you want to know
where you go when you die you can read Alma 40." It's fun gaining all
this spiritual knowledge. Now I can't imagine how I was planning on
living my life without it. I don't really know if I'm more mature. I
like to think I am... But I am a pretty immature person when it comes
to poking my sisters/companions and making weird sounds and singing
mission parodies to songs. I guess I can't have it all.
I finished reading the Book of Mormon again on Saturday. So read
Moroni 10:32-33 if you will. And 34 if you're feeling ambitious. I
love the book of Moroni. He's basically rambling and writing the last
few things that he finds important because he knows that any day he's
going to die so it's his final testimony and it tells a lot about him.
What a beast.
P.S. I have more pictures of the fourth but they're on my camera.
Actually I have a ton of pictures throughout my mission on my camera
that I haven't shown you because I'm too lazy to upload them to the
computer. So be excited for those either in a month or two or a year.