Missouri

After Kansas we drove through Missouri. I never thought Missouri sounded like a very interesting place, but there's actually a lot more to it than you might expect. We passed Kansas City at night, but it was much bigger than I expected, at least from what I could see from the freeway. It felt wonderful to be back near a big city and not isolated in the middle of nowhere (Kansas, cough cough).
In the Independence area, just outside of Kansas City, there are some very historic church (LDS) history sites that we had never seen so we made time to stop and visit those places. We didn't make it up to Far West, but we did visit Liberty Jail and Independence.

According to the church's website: Joseph Smith was unjustly confined in Liberty Jail from December 1838 to April 1839 along with several other Church leaders. Joseph suffered helplessly, knowing that the Latter-day Saints were being driven from Missouri under an "extermination order" from the governor. The Prophet and his companions were imprisoned in a rough stone dungeon measuring 14 by 14 feet, with a ceiling just over 6 feet high. Only two small barred windows allowed light and air into the cell. The six prisoners suffered from winter weather, filthy conditions, hunger, and sickness. The original jail was torn down, but they have reconstructed part of it inside of the visitor's center so that visitors can see what it was like when Joseph and his companions were imprisoned here. What an awful experience to go through, I can't even begin to imagine how hard that must have been. Our guide was the sweetest lady who dressed up in period clothing and told us stories as if she were Lyman Wight's wife. In real life though she was a baptist for something like 56 years and then converted to our church. She was very active in her previous church and it was said that whenever the church doors were open, she was there. She was such a sweet woman with a very strong testimony and heavy southern accent.
Squirrel!
We also saw the saw the house that President Truman lived in.
When Mom and I were first driving into Independence we saw this building from a distance and we were completely taken back. A spaceship? Upside down ice cream cone? An ice palace? Turns out it is the Community of Christ's temple. Just so you know, they are not affiliated with our church. We actually had seen a picture of it in one of our guide books, but had thought nothing of it. Even here it doesn't seem too bizarre, but trust us, in real life it is the craziest, strangest looking building I've ever seen and just not fit in with the surrounding area.
Then just across the street is the LDS visitor's center where we were warmly greeted by young and senior missionaries. We learned more about what happened here to the Saints in Missouri and were able to visit and ask questions.
In front of the Christus at the visitor's center.
A few small historic houses around the area.
Mom!
The temple lot.
One of the highlights of the roadtrip was being able to stop and visit Josh and Diana and their two adorable children. I have known Diana since freshman year and she is just absolutely amazing, I will always consider one of my closest friends. While we were roommates she married Josh, who is also amazing and now they have two children! Love them!
These were in our hotel and I love the idea of taking black and white pictures and hanging them like this. I want to do this one day with my own pictures that I've taken.
I think the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is actually prettier at night than during than day.
View from our hotel room.
Missouri was a fun state to drive through and I'm glad that we were able to do so much in the short amount of time we had there.

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