Thursday, September 15, 2016

12 September 2016 - "Thanks, guys! Or, girls. Uh, ladies, I mean, SISTERS!"

The pronoun struggle for people talking to sister missionaries is amusing.  I've been conditioned to respond to any of the above.

This'll be a short email, but a lot has happened!  The most exciting is Eva's baptism!  She looked SO cute and so happy.  Me and sister Dodd sang a medley of "I Need Thee Every Hour", "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "Come, Thou Fount" while I played guitar.  I warned her that my eyes might get "sweaty" while we sang (we'd always joke about "sweaty eyes") and they totally did.  She was just so happy.  "Jesus told me I need to follow Him so that's what I'm doing today." -direct quote.  

We've also been preparing for TODAY, also known as the day that fall semester starts at BYUI.  I've been so excited to reconnect with some of our investigators from the previous semester that I was here and I have high hopes.

Public service announcement: next monday will not be p-day, meaning I will not be able to send or read any emails.  Elder Brent H. Nielson of the seventy will be coming for a couple days to do some zone conferences, interviews, inspections, and whatever else.  I'm very excited!!! He's currently the executive director of the entire missionary department.  He'll be here next monday and tuesday... so our pday will be Wednesday, but some of the missionaries have planned a trip up to Yellowstone, so I'm not sure when or if I will be able to email that day.  

Thank you all for your prayers.  Sorry this is a short email.  I love this work and I love the people of Rexburg!  

Sister McIntosh

1.  We had a masquerade to celebrate my half birthday and her 2 month mark and my 8 month mark
2.  I got to go on exchanges with Hna Alvarez and speak spanish all day!!!!!  (PS this past week marked the half-anniversary of the Alamo...(the only reason I know this is because the battle at the Alamo took place on my birthday) which took place in San Antonio, TX.  In order to commemorate, how cool is it that I spent the day speaking spanish in St. Anthony (aka San Antonio) Idaho?)
3.  Us with Eva <3
4.  Us with Eva <3

5 September 2016 - ... It happend...

Well.  I knew the day was coming.  I just didn't know that it would come so soon.  I am saddened to announce to you all that it has officially started being "chilly" in Idaho.  Most days are fine, but it's only a matter of time before my nose hairs are frozen, my bum is bruised from falling ALWAYS, and my hair starts greying from the stress of driving on iced roads.  

But good things are in the future of Rexburg!  We're teaching a cute little girl, Eva (9) who is getting baptized this weekend.  She's the funniest little girl.  And so smart.  Oh my heck.  
And the fall semester starts in a WEEK!  I am anxious for that day.  For many, many reasons, but one of the most significant is that we will have MUCH more people to teach!  I love working with the YSA and everyone else on campus.  Sister Dodd and I have some good ideas to really get the work rolling on campus - stay tuned.

We have a new YSA investigator named Willy - he's really cool and very receptive to everything we teach.  We taught him the Plan of Happiness and at the end, since we had gone over a lot with him, I asked what in the lesson particularly stood out to him or meant a lot to him.  "Well... no matter what we do, we can be forgiven and it will be okay. If we do what's right, anyways.  I didn't know that there was that much hope." 
That was a really needed answer for me particular.  
I know a decent amount of things.  I'm aware of things, at least (except between 10:30pm and 6:30am).  But do I really UNDERSTAND what these things mean?  Do any of us?  It was a good reminder and it made me think of the great missionary Amulek who said:
I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear
therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know  
Profound much?
In our prayers, in our studies, in our everyday activities, let's try to remember and to KNOW the things we know about.  Let's pray for increased perspective and understanding of the things we take for granted.

Love you all!!!!!!

Sister McIntosh

1.  Me and Kolo both pretending like we weren't crying.  This was shortly before she left
2.  Us with Eva!  And her cousin! (turquoise hair)
3.  Eating at the legendary Big Judd's restaurant outside of Rexburg while on exchanges with some of the other sisters in Rexburg :)
4.  The beautiful temple

Saturday, September 10, 2016

29 August 2016 - Goodbye, Tong! Hello, Samoa!


On Wednesday, I got me a new companion!  Her name is Sister Tiane Fa'afofoga Saumanuia Dodd.  Aka Sister Dodd. She is most recently from Montana, a couple hours outside of Billings (in the northern Cheyenne Reservation).  She is 1/16 native american, and 1/2 Samoan!  Her mom is from the islands.  Remember the first missionary I trained, Sister Reupena??  She is from Samoa, and actually served in Samoa for a couple months on a visa wait before I got her here in Idaho.  Sister Dodd, ALSO is a visa waiter.  She was not called to Idaho, but TO SAMOA.  So, I'm not sure how long I'll get to keep her, but I hope it's awhile because she is STELLAR.  Her Samoan is already super great because her grandma and mom speak samoan with her a lot.    I love all of these poly companions I have!  SO FUN.  Sister Dodd likes to play the guitar, uke, and piano by ear (she asked me to teach her how to read notes on pdays!) and loves to braid hair.  We get along great and she's such a hard worker.  I LOVE THE GREENIE FIRE.

On a sadder note, Sister Kolo went home today.  She finished up her 18 months and about an hour ago drove off to be in the mission home.  Tomorrow she flies from Pocatello to Salt Lake to LAX (13hr layover) to Tahiti to New Zealand to Tonga.  All.  By.  Herself.  I can't even imagine.  When we were saying goodbye, we were both sobbing.  It was the first time she'd seen me cry and I don't think she realized how much I was going to miss her! I've known her my whole mission!! But she will be happy in Tonga, and I'm trying to convince her to come back to BYUI haha.

In one of the wards we went to this past Sunday there was a musical number of 3 brothers (2 cellos, 1 violin) and their mom (piano) playing "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."  While the boys were getting set up and tuned up, the mom introduced them and read the lyrics of this hymn, which I love.  She started the first verse.......

Come thou fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet Sung by flaming tongues above
I'll praise the mount I'm fixed upon it Mount of thy redeeming love.

.....And I was contently humming the melody in my head along with these familiar words.  Then she read the second verse.......

Here I raise my Ebenezer Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger Interposed His precious blood.

.....and I happily listened to these incredible words.  Such a wonderful hymn, and I was excited to hear their instrumental arrangement.  She read the third verse........

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

...and I absolutely lost it.  
As my chin trembled and as I ungracefully pretended to cough to cover my blowing my nose, I thought.... What a reminder this was to me of the power a relationship with Christ can bring into our heart and into our life.  I am honestly at a loss for words, in a way.  Her reading that verse, and even me pondering it now, makes me realize how humble we all ought to be.  Do not all of us have a wandering heart?  Are we not all prone to leave?  There may be people closer to perfection than that, but I don't even hang out with those kinds of people, if they exist in the first place.  I need Christ's goodness to fetter my heart to His.  I can't do it alone. None of us can.
He just needs our heart.

Love you all,
Sister McIntosh

Here's us all right before we said goodbye to Sister Kolo and started sobbing.  It's me, Sister Kolo, Sister Crandall (my STL comp), Sister Dodd (my REAL comp), Sister Cottrell (from KS, also fresh from the MTC), Sister Naitoko, and Zuster Baker (also here on a visa wait, she was called to the Trinidad Port of Spain mission, Dutch Speaking).

22 August 2016 - *AHEM* Drumroll, please...

Hello, everyone.

This weekend, we found out what's going to be happening with this next transfer that will start on Wednesday.  I'm staying in the same area.  Kind of.  Here's what's going down:
**Currently my area is all of BYU-I and the Rexburg Center Stake.  It will NOW be all of BYU-I and the Rexburg East Stake.  They're working on opening up some new areas, so there's a LOT of rearranging and whitewashing going on throughout the whole mission.  ALSO, fun fact: The Rexburg East stake is statistically the most active stake in the entire world.  Literally. In terms of the # of baptized members living in the boundary and in terms of church attendance of those baptized members.  The most active stake. 
**Sister Kolo is going home back to Tonga, but her plane doesn't leave until next week, so UNTIL then, she'll be in a trio with me and my new companion.
**I'M GOING TO BE A TRAINER AGAIN!!! My new companion will be a wonderful sister fresh from the MTC.  There's 4 sisters total coming in this transfer, two of which are VISA waiters waiting to go serve outside of America.  I'm SO EXCITED!!!  
**I'm going to be a Sister Training Leader still, but I won't have an STL companion... So it will just be me for the sisters that Sister Kolo and I together were working with up until this transfer. 

So that's that!  It will be totally crazy and busy all the time, but that's how I like it.  

Anthony got baptized this weekend!!  I told you about Anthony last email, I believe.  We call him cat daddy.  His baptism was wonderful.  I wish you all could have been there to see how happy and smiley he was the whole time.  He just glowed.  His friends gave talks, me and the other sisters sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" while I played guitar which was SO fun.  His confirmation the next Sunday was just as wonderful.  Let me tell you, hearing about this guy's whole past story, and then seeing him come into church wearing slacks and a CTR tie tack.... The gospel changes everything.

This has been a wonderful week, and things will only get better, methinks.

Keep on keepin' on, everyone.  "Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."

Love always,
Sister McIntosh

I had to run and play prelude music right before the took this epic picture.

But I was here for this one <3

ALSO  I taught these cuties back when I worked in Sugar City.  They live in Teton and they got baptized this weekend and I got to go see them and have a lunch with their family afterwards <3
Parker (11) and Reo (9) Cash.

Last monday we had dinner with this awesome family from Tonga who lives in the East stake, the one I'm starting to cover this week!!!

One of our BFFs who comes teaching with us took us to get Cold Stone because she's the best.