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).

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