Thursday, March 16, 2017

23 January 2017 - spiritual hiiiiiighs

Greetings from the arid and frozen tundra of the northlands~~

Tyson got baptized!!  I don't remember if I told you all about Tyson... but he's this cute 9 year old boy who we got to teach.  We have become SO CLOSE with the whole family and I love them.  He was so happy and cute at his baptism and his father was able to baptize him, which was so, so powerful for all of us to witness.  For the opening song, we sang a primary song (I think..? a new one, perhaps"  called "Gethsemane".  Nobody really knew it or sung out, but it's a great song to teach children about the Atonement.

We're also teaching Cody (less-active member trying to quit smoking) and his wife, Ericka (not a member, but LOVES the gospel and wants Cody to baptize her).  They had a HUGE breakthrough this week.  Ericka loves the gospel. I seriously wish that each of you could see her face when she sits in sacrament meeting listening to the speakers and the testimonies.  Her eyes GLOW with happiness and you can tell that she's just captivated by the love & hope that she feels.  Cody has been having a hard time quitting smoking, due to... well... multiple things.  I can't even imagine how hard it would be to give up something that's so addicting that I'd been doing for so long, so I can't sympathize super super well with him, but we did what we could to help him.  We had the ward mission leader come to give him a blessing, we got him set up with the Addiction Recovery Program classes and books to get him going, we pray with him.... but he's still super struggling with it.  We felt prompted to show him THIS VIDEO (which you should watch after reading this) at our last lesson with them.  After it finished, Cody ponders on his own for a bit.... then says "I feel differently about this than I ever have before.  Fasting will work.  I'm going to start my fast tonight at 8pm when I go to work and I'm going to overcome this.  I'm going to go to church tomorrow, and that will help, too."  It was AWESOME and I'm so happy especially that he was able to come up with that on his OWN without us being all "will you blah-blah-blah".  HE made a plan.  HE decided to take action.  He didn't have to be compelled.  THAT is faith, my friends.  THAT is the gospel in action.

Heather, I KNOW I've told y'all about.  She is the one recently out of prison who came to church 4 sundays ago on her own holding her dog.  Her questions are AMAZING and I've literally never taught anyone who was so enthused and thirsty for the gospel in his or her life.  She expressed a desire to get baptized!!!  The lessons we have with her are so powerful and spirit-filled and make my week/day/life better.

This past WEDNESDAY, the Idaho Falls Temple Visitors' Center called me and asked if I could fill in and host a musical fireside at the visitor's center on Sunday (yesterday) since the person that was supposed to do it had to cancel.  I almost said no.  But I said yes, and I'm glad I did, because it was a humbling and vulnerable experience that I needed.  I recruited some help from other missionaries, and together we taught the message of the Restoration of the Gospel through song.  Some things didn't go as well as practiced, but some things went MUCH better than practiced.  And the spirit was felt, so I feel good about it.  

This morning I read through my favorite talk from the mast recent general conference.  Read/watch/listen to it here asap.  It was exactly what I needed today.  I especially enjoyed the reminders I got about how insignificant philosophies of the natural man are.  Truth can be found everywhere, in many faiths, religions, ideas, books, people etc.  We should always seek truth and embrace eternal truths, regardless of where they're found.  We need to beware, however, of half-truths, lies, and prideful rationalizations that the world will gladly feed us every day, if we allow it to.  Check out what Paul said:

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”10
Need he or I say more?  Please please please strive to have your faith in the spirit you feel rather than the things you hear from the worldly world.
Love you all.  Be good.
Sister McIntosh

This is Hermana Grosdidier, the sister that I taught the spanish lesson with last week that I told you about.
Also I saw some deer when I was in the Ammon Foothills for exchanges.  I felt like I was driving through magnolia, tx but with snow everywhere.


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