Saturday, November 26, 2011

Faith and Vulnerability

-These could be some deep thoughts coming up. I feel like I'm really putting myself out there. But I just need to get these thoughts down, and I wouldn't mind feedback . . . or at least, I don't mind letting others know what I've been feeling the past few days. Hopefully this message is helpful to someone. So, for love of him/her, sweet blogger friends, judge tenderly of me!- (brownie points if you can get the reference)

But, as I'm sure many of you know, I got my mission call this Wednesday!

I'm going to the Ukraine Donetsk Mission, Russian speaking, going into the Missionary Training Center March 14th, 2012.

*For those of you who aren't LDS, both men and women serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Men go at 19 and serve for 24 months, women go at 21 and serve for 18 months. Men are supposed to go on missions; it is a duty for every worthy LDS man. Women are not required to go, but our service is heartily welcomed.
We don't choose where we go. Rather, we believe that God assigns us where to go, and that He reveals where we're supposed to go to His called and ordained prophets and apostles, who are worthy and authorized to receive that revelation. Each call is personalized and individual. Missionaries are not just assigned at random, but where the Lord needs them to go, and where the missionary him/herself needs to go.*

But even though I don't have to go, I chose to go. And it was probably the hardest decision I've made in my life so far. I didn't know it would be so hard. But I fasted and prayed and thought deeply about serving a mission. And God has answered/is answering my prayers, line upon line, precept on precept. I step out into the dark, with faith that He'll hold my hand.

Ukraine! Wow. And speaking RUSSIAN?!

I'm excited. And scared. And mostly overwhelmed right now, to be completely honest. I've been bouncing back and forth between feeling excited and ready-to-leave-right-now to fearful and unsure about my abilities. I've looked up to missionaries--especially sister missionaries--my entire life, and I now I almost am one. Now I'm supposed to be that kind of hero, and I don't feel brave enough.

Maybe I don't have to be right now. I sure hope I don't have to be brave right now, because I'm not. I honestly have no idea how I'm going to do it. It scares me: Ukraine is so far away, Russian will be formidably hard to learn, and eighteen months is a long, long time. That time scares me the most.

But I'll put my confidence in God. He's never let me down before, and He fulfills His promises to me even when I worry they will never be. I don't know exactly how my life will turn out, but isn't that what faith is? Faith isn't a perfect knowledge of things. But it is trusting in God. It is believing that He knows what is best for you--even those moments when you suffer, even those moments when life doesn't turn out the way you thought. Faith is putting your trust in His timing and learning to accept and even love His timing. Faith isn't easy. But faith is a choice.

"The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life." That was the line in my mission call that made me start sobbing. And I believe that the Lord will bless me for the good I do, but the only reason I'm able to be good is because of Him. And I believe that He will use me to bless others' lives. One of the greatest desires of my heart is to bring others to Christ, and show them that He is the way to happiness; He is the healer of the nations. And going on a mission will change hearts and lives. I'm looking forward to that. So, so much.

But faith still isn't easy. Worthwhile things never are.

I'm sorry that this post is so incredibly angsty. It's a big change for me; one of the biggest, if not THE biggest in my life. And I'm still trying to make sense of it all.

But for now, I'll move forward with faith. There is no reason to let fear paralyze me.

(Oh! And here are pictures. Because they are fun to look at and tell the story that I know you wanted to hear. But instead you got Megan's "deep-dark-fears-of-my-heart" spiel.)

 The call! 

 It is SO exciting to hold a mission call in your hands. Electricity surges through the envelope. 

 Sarah is weighing the options, trying to figure out where I'm going to go. Her guesses were wrong. 
But I really feel like this picture defines many aspects of our relationship. And our personalities. 

 Oh what can you do with a mission call? 

 About to open it . . .

 "Dear Sister Armknecht . . ." 

 Ukraine Donestk Mission! 
plus, the press conference surrounding me. 
also, it was not long after this that I started sobbing. Uncontrollably. For many reasons, but mostly because I really did feel God's love for me as I read my mission call.  
also, my hair is long. 
 This is Sharisa. She's my best friend. She's also going to Ukraine. But to the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission. But we're both leaving March 14th and we're both speaking Russian! We could be MTC companions! So, so crazy.

Is very far away.

If you got this far, thanks for reading. I hope you have a lovely day. :) 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So . . .

. . . my wonderful, artsy, classy friend Camille asked me to write a guest post for her blog. You should go check it out. :)

In other news, I still need to blog about my NYC/Princeton trip. But by that time I'll be posting about my MISSION CALL which has now been assigned and is coming on WEDNESDAY!!!!!! So, my apologies for the lack of blogging. School is a beast.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting me through the week--

This scripture:

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Waiting on the Lord. It's not a passive waiting. It requires more faith and diligence than I ever thought possible.

But His promises are sure.

It's in these moments of stillness that I hear the voice of God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I hope they call me on a mission

Guys! My mission papers are officially IN!

It has been a long process getting here. It's definitely been a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept thing. It's a matured decision, which I like.

I feel like I've been waiting for this a long time. Ever since I was five-years-old and telling my dad that I wanted to go to Sweden on my mission because "they don't eat people there."

And it feels right. I'm so excited. And terrified. And most of all, humbled.

But . . . guesses to where I'm going? You each get one stateside and one foreign guess. A prize may be awarded. Maybe. If you're in the area.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yes, it is 2:31 in the morning

. . . and yes, I am still awake. Maybe not wide awake, but awake enough.

I'm writing a paper and this is my study break.

There was a group of us in the living room for a little while. It was just my roommates and I, having a study party.

Only my roommates went to bed about two-and-a-half hours ago.

But I'm not alone.
I have my music, and I run around the kitchen every thirty minutes or so.
And I have peanut butter and chocolate. (Don't judge; it keeps me awake.)
And I have my papers and books scattered around the floor.

And I have my pride. There is something just a bit cool about pulling an all-nighter. (Okay, I'm crazy. I admit that. But it's 2:37 in the morning.) I've never done one before, except for that time I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows all night, refusing to go to sleep because then my sister would have taken the book from me.

But this is a kind of co-ed pride. I mean, every college student pulls an all-nighter at least once, right?

. . . and I'm still up, writing this paper.

And realizing that I want to change my entire focus. This should be fun.

On a happier note, I'm autumn makes me deliriously happy. I had a Marianne Dashwood moment today . . . I have a passion for dead leaves.

So, yes, I am drunk on autumn. . . . or maybe just drunk on lack of sleep.

Time to go back to my paper.