Mission memories

Today there was a special broadcast about missionary work. I enjoyed it but I also felt very, very jealous of current missionaries. I don't know exactly why I was so upset that I can't be a missionary but I think it might be because the mission is the one time in my life that I was 100% sure I was in the right place and that I was doing something more meaningful that anything I can think of. That's not to say the rest of my life was a waste of anything, just that my mission to Germany remains my best moment.

Which is interesting because I didn't see a lot of people come into the church and I was super stressed (unnecessarily so) most of the time. But I do believe I made some great connections with companions and with some members and Germany is a wonderful country that I miss so much it hurts.

I was looking at my photo album and here are some of my favorites in particular order. 

Doing dishes at the Outreach center in Duesseldorf

Frankfurt temple, in Friedrichsdorf, where I did tours. Here I'm with Sis. Kennard and I'm on the right (this was taken with a film camera). 

With Sister Kymalainen - shed a tear or two or eight! when we got split up

Schloss Braunfels with Sis Kymalainen

Nadja was baptized by her friend (and the real missionary) Florian. Lots of missionaries is this situation including Sis Bonke, Fuchs, Bradford, and moi.

Lovely Carolin, so glad we've been able to keep contact. Members rocks. 

Feelin' 22. Sis Kymalainen made me a special Finnish cake.

Schwester Winter - no idea what she was saying but she made me feel so calm and loved in a very foreign country

Street preach - my favorite thing to do. And this was neat because it was by what we called the "Dirty Bird" which is really the Lebensretter (Life Saver) but is oh so wrong

General Conference and Sis Bradford's first day. Sis Fuchs, me, Sis Turley, and Sis Bradford.  At one time or another each was my companion and we're all still friends. I mean, I was with Sis Fuchs on a trip when I found out my dad died. That's friendship.

All of my companions that were in the mission at the time. 
Fasching (or Carnival). Helau!

German national anthem and written out by Sis Reiter. It's catchy and gets stuck in your head easily.


Highs and Lows

So what do you think of life so far?

A high point of my life was going on a mission. It was also a low point, but mostly a high point. As of today, June 17, 2013, pretty sure this is the most worthwhile thing I've done with my almost 30 years. Although it was really stressful (low point) it was the period of my life where I've been the most sure that I was doing exactly the right thing (high point). 

A high point in my life has been traveling. I've been to 11 countries and 35 states which I think is a goodly number. 

Low point, I failed my AP History test in high school which was embarrassing because I was so sure I'd pass and everyone else apparently did. (I also didn't get into a PhD program, but this ended up being a high point because I have no friends in doctorate programs that are happy.) (Also, I passed the AP English test which was fine. Note to high school Megan, AP is a big waste of time. Let's talk about the semester's worth of credit you got through concurrent enrollment. Spend a semester memorizing anatomy and physiology, watching your teacher smoke, and learning from the Simpsons - high point.)

High point, graduating from grad school and having a job that I feel is meaningful, even if I sometimes want to punch people in the throat. Normally I love telling people what I do and I'm happy with myself. 

Low point, being a "late bloomer." Ok, not in the traditional sense but it's taken me a cool minute to do things that other people seem to do a lot sooner, like know what "tweak" is slang for and talk to boys. 

High point, learning to whistle. Probably also the moment when I made a joke in German and people laughed. I had a personality again.

Low point, when my dad got really sick and then stayed really sick. But it was also in a way a high point because I think our relationship for his last years kind of clarified my view of him so when he died it was ok. Had he died sooner I think I would have held a lot of resentment toward him for a long time. 

High point, buying a house and paying off my car. And painting a wall pink. And having everything exactly my way because, hey, it's my house. 

Low point, realizing how many hours have been spent watching movies and TV and reading people.com. And I still do it. I'm disgusting. 

High point I have rad friends. In fact, I was in Walmart today (this is going to be good) and I thought, maybe some people are ok living like this. I'm glad I don't have to. 

Low point, when I was eating Ramen again, because I'm alone and I don't want to cook. I don't think diabetes will look good on me. 

High point, figuring out that I can come up with high points a lot fast than low points. I think things are going pretty well. I feel really blessed. 

Life on the whole is a really good thing. M. Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled, says that once you accept that life is hard, it ceases to be hard. When you accept it on its terms, you don't feel so put out when it doesn't go your way. And you'll appreciate the good so much more because you'll see it as a blessing, not a right. I just don't want to die before I've seen all the really neat things the world has to offer, cuz, you know, YOLO.

FYI - I've been to: USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Jamaica, Grand Cayman.


Music Download

Let's talk about what I'm listening to  and you should probably listen to as well. Some are relatively new discoveries and some I've love foreva. 

Fun. Everyone else is doing it. Their lyrics are complex and the music is actually musical, like someone took a class once at least, which is not something many can say, or don't act like they could say. I also really love running to their tunes. Some are just, excuse the pun, fun, but some are actually inspiring whilst you run. Like this one.

I love myself some Dolly. If you know me at all you will know of my worship. I like basically everything she touches but this song is great and kind of personifies the Dolly message.

Justin Timberlake. This represents everyone that is great about him. Falsetto, great beat, good lyrics, and dancing. 

I don't really get into Miley as a general rule, but this Bob Dylan cover I listen to on repeat.

And I'll always be listening to my Dashboard Confessional. 

I'll end this post with Mumford and Sons. Lyrics are tight and the musicality is off the chain. Plus I just about die of bliss whenever they harmonize. Carey Mulligan is a lucky lady. 

Too busy to blog

Well this is slightly out of character. I've been so fantastically occupied that I haven't blogged. (Ok, that's not the truth, but who said we are working with truth?) Although all of April was consumed with work and May was about catching up from April, I managed to have some rad things in my life as follows.
I visited Los Angeles for work and I was alone so I went to the Getty.  Pretty amazing. I was a little star struck in the  Impressionist room, cuz Imma major fan. 
In Los Angeles I found a Kate Spade store, which is not something  I've seen in the real. I wanted something designer and this was in my price range. Also, it completely expresses me.
And I went to the Symphony... quite a bit. 
This one featured John Williams' music. Pretty dope. 
And I hit up an opera. 
And a little more symphony.
Again for work I hit up San Diego. Why did no one explain how awesome Balboa Park is?
We started the Ladies' Dinner Club, where fine women and fine dining combine. 
And I took a hike.

And this kid came back from the mission. Photo bombs add a human quality.

And I cut bangs. So you can see a lot of great things happened. Thanks to Instagram for the documentation.