This week has had a lot of ups and downs! Mostly ups though, so don't be worried!! The 4th of July this year was AMAZING to say the least. All the missionaries were on the Mall and there were a TON of people. We had a really fun time! Loveless and I started by getting into the city around 1 PM and just walking around, looking at all the different attractions and peeps. We ended up meeting with a group of missionaries who were in-between the Washington monument and the White House. We played football for a couple hours and then E. Loveless and I went to go find some food. We both don't know the city very well so we ate at a food truck!! Ha-ha it was sketchy but super tasty... it was a Philly cheese steak made by an Indian(not a native-american, but a dude from India!). He did a pretty dang good job.
After all that grease settled in our stomachs we headed over towards the capitol. Okay, backing up a little... So last year we had to be off the Mall by 6 PM and in our apartments by 10:30 PM. There is a concert sponsored by PBS that is right in front of the Capitol building. Last year we really wanted to go, but couldn't because of the 6 PM rule. This year however, we didn't have that rule- we just needed to be in by 10:30. So Elder Loveless and I had the goal in our minds that we would find a way to either get into the concert for the night or we would get on top of one of the buildings that overlook the Mall. So we started with "plan A" and started towards the US Capitol Building. When we got close their was an entrance to the gated area surrounding the whole building. It did not require tickets or anything, but was a check-point to make sure no one had anything crazy in their purses or bags. When we got closer to the concert we found out that you could be in the area between the stairs to the Capitol building and the grass area where the concert was. Although that was really cool, we were not satisfied... so we began plotting on how we could get into the grassy area right in front of the stage. We went up and observed those people who were entering past the guards/police and quickly realized that they were checking peoples hands to see if they were stamped. People that were walking out were being stamped by a female security guard so that they could return for their spots later. We met up with different missionaries and members as we paced back and forth through the large crowd, determined to get past the fuzzzz.(Turns out all you needed to do to get in was show up that morning and get a stamp). After many attempts at one entrance we were told by the guard to stop trying... So we got pretty discouraged. Later we went to go track down a member who was one of the police officers/security guards(idk what he really was) and try to get in through him.
He wasn't much help, but there we met Elder Arnett and Treasure. We explained the situation to them and they were stoked to get in with us. When we got to the other entrance they (Arnett & Treasure) realized that they had stamps that were similar to the ones that were needed to get in (they had gotten at a different event on the Mall earlier that day). We thought that there was no harm in trying... what were they going to do to us? Tell us to leave.. ha-ha. So they waited until a group with stamps walked in and they followed them in flashing their hands and going right through without any problems!!! We were FREAKING OUT!! Then we realized we were going to miss out and they were going to have the best 4th of July ever! So Elder Loveless and I desperately looked for something that could help us get in...(keep in mind that we had members in their saving us an area with plenty of room... and the guards just wouldn't let us in because we didn't have stamps). Anyway, we ended up find a small thing of "eye-black" in my backpack, which we smeared on our hands to shape it to look like the stamps! ha-ha I doubted we would get in but we tried anyway.... BAM!!! We totally walked right past without a problem and by the time to concert started, we were RIGHT up front!!! Best. Night. Ever.
With all the madness we thought our adventure on the fourth was over... but we still had to get in on time. Realizing half-way through the fireworks that we had to leave, we began sprinting to the metro (which was 1 mile+ away). We ran into Elder Peterson and Hansen right as we got out of the Capitol Building area and they joined us on the trek! Arnett led the way (he is a former cross-fit guy) and held a steady but fast pace! We also led us the WRONG WAY! So our mile run turned into nearly 2 miles of a sprint through a sea of people! I felt like I was in National Treasure 3 or something ha-ha. We made it to the metro and we all got to our destination safely getting to our vehicles and driving home. To say the least, it was the craziest fourth of July ever!
This upcoming week we have a lot going on and it should be really busy and fun! It is a lot of work but I am loving it and having such a great time with Elder Loveless!!! I wish I had time to explain everything! All I can say is that the church is TRUE!! I love being able to be close to President and see how the decisions are made for the mission... I truly know that all the changes and decisions are inspiration from the Lord. He gives President and the missionaries the guidance we need and then lets us go to work and experience it on our own. I am so thankful for free agency and the Atonement. The two things that, when used together, give us the ability to get through this life with the experience we need and to help us return to live with God.
I am so grateful for all you do for me and our family. Thank goodness for the gospel and for the Plan of Salvation!! I am so happy that we can be together forever!
Seriously... forever... that is the greatest thing I know. And its not just something we say in the church, but it is something that I KNOW is true. I have no doubt.
I love and miss you! Keep up the great work and stay healthy, safe and happy!
Love your boy,