Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'Til We Meet Again

Tonight, I get set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It’s incredible to me.

I feel so blessed to be part of this work. I get to dedicate a year-and-a-half of my life to serving the Lord and serving His children in Ukraine. It excites me to be able to really learn how to serve . . . and how to love. And it excites me to be able to teach others about Christ and teach them the gospel—the good news, that we can return to live with God again.

Do you know what else is cool? This prophecy by Joseph Smith. He said that the work “in that vast empire of Russia, are connected some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the Kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time.” (June 1843, History of the Church)

Guys, I am going to that former “vast empire” of Russia! And I get to be a part of the work there. Wow, it just gives me chills.

This video also gives me chills:

I hope you watched it. It is pretty amazing. 

To those who read this blog, thank you. I’m going to try to see if my sister would be interested in posting my weekly e-mails (or at least periodic updates) on this blog, but I don’t know if that will happen. So you might not hear from me for 18 months. But keep checking! Maybe you will. J

But if not, God bless! I hope to see you soon.


Sister Armknecht

"Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. [. . .] Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren, and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad." ~ Doctrine and Covenants 128:19, 22

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, I know I'm getting set apart in less than 3 hours (then I OFFICIALLY become a missionary!), but it's still Valentine's Day, and I just want to post some of my favorite love poems.

You can quote them to that special someone tonight and make him/her feel all special. And it will make you look really cultured.

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven, by William Butler Yeats 

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

i carry your heart with me, by e.e. cummings 
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or the mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

And another one by Yeats: 

Brown Penny, by William Butler Yeats 
I whispered, “I am too young,”
And then, “I am old enough”;
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
“Go and love, go and love, young man
If the lady be young and fair.”
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing.
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

Happy Valentine's Day. :) 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Things I Hate/Things I Love

Things I hate:

1. Packing. I hate it.

2. Professor Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady. Bah. What a pompous jerk.

3. Packing.

4. The ending of My Fair Lady. It's so . . . unsatisfying. Of course, what else can I expect from a Shaw play?

5. Did I mention I hate packing?

Things I love:

1. A sister who sleeps soundly so I can still listen to music while I pack.

2. Listening to Higgins' dialogue. I don't like him, but he is a fascinating (albeit very infuriating) character. Also, I like it when high school students can affect proper and rather convincing British accents.

3. Good music.

4. Technology. But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology, always and forever.

Can you tell I'm tired? I really should go to bed soon. But . . . packing.

The countdown's in hours now, folks.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cookie Monster (also, why my sister should NOT be embarrassed by me)

Hi, my name is Megan, and I'm addicted to cookies.

It's a little bit of a problem.

But do you ever have those days when you just want to make cookies? Lots and lots and lots of cookies? That was tonight. Never mind that I just had delicious crepes and that I really didn't have a reason to make cookies. I just wanted to.

Although there could be a few reasons:

1) I'm leaving soon and won't have a chance to make cookies on-the-spur-of-the-moment for a really long time.

2) I'm just really happy tonight. And being happy is a reason to make cookies, I think.

Making cookies makes Evan happy, too. (He made this face after I told him to smile.)

Look! We made two kinds of cookies: scrumptious chocolate cream cheese cookies and delicious peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

 Nom nom nom nom nom. 

Aww, look. We are so cute. And we make supercalifragilisticexpialidocious cookies. (Also, spellcheck doesn't recognize supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It wants me to say "imperialistic." Sorry, spellcheck, my cookies are not imperialistic. Not today, at least.) 

While we made cookies, Katy got ready for the high school's Sweetheart's Dance.

Look how pretty she is: 

And then we got to meet her date.

Aww, look. So cute. 

But I guess we were embarrassing them? What? Embarrass high school students getting ready to go to a dance? Who does that? 

But the thing was, we weren't even embarrassing. I mean, I was witty and helpful.

See? Look how helpful I was. I helped pin his boutonniere:

Also, photo win on my part. Look at my face. I am so intense. "I am going to pin on this boutonniere without stabbing him if it's the last thing I do!" 

But then, after all that witty banter and helpfulness and conquering evil (because boutonnieres really are evil sometimes), Katy still thought we were super-embarrassing. What did I even do? Katy, if you want embarrassing, then ask me what Dad said to my prom date senior year. Yeah. That was embarrassing. Poor kid. 

But me, embarrassing? Come on. There is no reason for my siblings to be embarrassed by me. 

Not even when I'm singing the "Total Eclipse of the Heart Literal Version" at the top of my lungs while making cookies. 

Nope, not even then. 

Sheesh. Why do my siblings think I'm embarrassing? 

I am cool, people. Cool. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Peanut, peanut butter

Guys, I've been craving peanut butter like CRAZY recently.

It's like my body knows that I'm going to Eastern Europe for 18 months or something. . . .

But seriously.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Harry Potter Love

I stumbled upon this blog post today and can't stop laughing.

Look at this brilliance:

 {photo courtesy of yenniper.blogspot.com}

And this: 
 {also from yenniper.blogspot.com}

And my personal favorite:


Valentine's Day just became much more magical. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Russian . . . is hard.

In my spare time while I've waiting to go into the MTC (only 8 days now! Eep!), I've been trying to learn some Russian.

I can now successfully say "My name is Megan," as well as count to twenty and say a handful of I'm-sure-these-will-be-helpful-somehow-words, including "cat," "blue," "apple," "horse," and "sandwich."

But something I'm still trying to get is the alphabet. Because I hear that will be the most helpful thing to know as I enter the MTC.

Can I just tell you that the Russian alphabet is HARD? It's that Cyrillic script. It messes me up. It makes everything look like it's in some funky alien language.

Take, for example, this word:


It looks like it should be "raseta" or something like that. But it's pronounced "gazeerta." Like gazette. It's the Russian word for newspaper. But it doesn't look like newspaper. It doesn't even look very much like gazette. But it is a cognate. 

And this is my name in Russian: 


It looks like it should be "Merah." But it's not. It's Megan, I promise. 

Anyway. Russian is going to be hard. It's going to kind of be like learning to read all over again. So good thing I have my Russian Sesame Street to help me learn my alphabet: 

Best part of this video? The girl in overalls who forgets her alphabet when they sing it the second time. Watch her. It is hilarious.

And yes, their Z is at the beginning of their alphabet while their F is toward the end.

And you see these two little marks?



They look small and innocent, don't they? 


They are ridiculously hard to pronounce and their names are much too long for the 1/16-inch of space they take up. 

The first one is pronounced "tvYOrdi znak" and the second one is pronounced "mYAkee znak." 


Russian's going to be so fun. 

But really. Where else can you get a language where "I love you" and "I kill you" sound basically the same? (Type it into Google Translate. Do it now.)

From Russia With Love makes so much more sense to me now. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

I just have crazy dreams, okay?

Remember how I like to post crazy dreams I’ve had on my blog? And remember how my psyche is inexplicably morbid? Well, the dream I had last night is too good to pass up. I just have to share it.  

I dreamed that the people in my neighborhood had just survived a nuclear holocaust, but all of our houses were destroyed. There was rubble everywhere, and my family was living in what used to be our kitchen, because we still had some food.

There were also thieves roaming the streets, trying to steal our food. I think I beat some people up. Because no way were they stealing food from my family. Not with me around. No, sir.

The thieves went away, and everyone in the neighborhood was starting to figure out what to do next. We were picking up the pieces, so to speak, and life was starting to look good again. The sun was shining, the grass was green, children were laughing, we were all talking, and feeling like we’d be able to move on and have normal lives. We were just really bonding. It was a like a post-apocalyptic neighborhood barbeque. Except for the part that we were all in rags and we were roasting hot dogs over piles of embers.  

Then a small child pointed up to the sky at a helicopter. At first we were like, “Oh look! A helicopter!” But then the helicopter plummeted to the earth, and we all knew we were going to die. There was an explosion, and we all started running away from the fire as fast as we could. But the explosion kept rolling toward us.

It was like this:

{picture from National Geographic}

Or this:  

{picture courtesy mfran}

I was outpacing my family, and there was—I kid you not—epic, sad, soul-stirring music going on in my dream like we were in a movie. Kind of like that music in “Return of the King” where Sam is carrying Frodo up Mount Doom. “I can’t carry it for you! But I can carry you!” So tender. 

Except the music was not as triumphant. Because we were all going to die. And there was no one to carry us up the mountain. And no eagles either, for that matter.

I kept looking back to see where my family was. My mom was just behind me, but I couldn’t see anyone else.

Then, my mom looked up at me, raised her hand in farewell, and said, “I love you.” I knew she was about to die, and that I was going to die next, because it went all dark.

. . . and then the credits started rolling.

I’m dead serious. There were movie credits in my dream.

Which makes my dream not as sad as it could otherwise be. I mean, it was only a movie, right? A movie within a dream? (ooh . . . it’s like Inception.)

And we all got to die together. Kind of like the Pevensie family in The Last Battle. (Except I don’t know if my sister Sarah was in my dream. Sarah, you could be Susan. Sorry. I still love you. And I’d carry you up Mount Doom if you had to destroy the One Ring. Dead serious. My love is that deep.)