TRANSFER NEWS: I'm leaving Rexburg. I repeat: I am leaving Rexburg. They're transferring me down to Idaho Falls to serve in the Idaho Falls West Stake. I don't know much about the area - just that there's less than 10 wards (SO PUMPED about that) and a lot of work (ALSO so pumped about that). I'm going to continue as STL and I'm going to be training again!! I'd been kind of hoping for that, to be honest. I just really like training new missionaries, I guess... keeps me humble and on my toes. It's definitely going to be sad to be leaving Rexburg, just because I've been here for so long and it's so familiar... But I'm also excited to go to a bigger city with more people, where there's a lower percentage of members but STILL a strong church network, for lack of a better word (I'm sure there's a better word, but I'm too tired to think of it).
Christmas was... wonderful. It was so fun to meet Sister Ganbold's family and speak some broken Mongolian to them. They nodded politely at whatever I said, which helped kindle the Christmas spirit. We skyped our family and spent Christmas eve/day with one of our Bishops and his family, who also happen to be my favorite people. We read the Christmas story, played games, bore testimony, took a nap, opened presents, ate food... It was great. Regardless of anything that is happening back home, this Christmas has been one of the happiest that I've had in a long time, which is saying something. There could maybe be a slight correlation between serving others, charity, focusing on Christ, and happiness.. just maybe. ;)
On Christmas, my companion and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. My topic was reverence. I focused on how 90% of the time, the word is used to get primary kids to be quiet - "fold your arms! Be reverent!" That's the desired result, anyways. I focused on how being quiet doesn't mean being reverent. In high school, going to seminary at
eyes-open Rachel McIntosh (Sorry Brother McEntyre, Brother Ball, Sister Keeler, Sister Ball, Sister Speers, Brother Brown, and Brother Black). Was I quiet in seminary? Yes. I was also sleeping. Do I regret that? Yes. My talk focused on how opening didn't always result in a happy, bubbly, peppy, insightful Rachel McIntosh. It usually resulted in a head-nodding-trying-to-keep-our mouth, speaking up, and having a voice is much more reverent. THAT is how we can truly REVERE our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Singing praises, complimenting others, showing love, sharing the gospel, bearing testimony, teaching others. Reverence can be, but should not always be, quiet. Let's each be more AMBITIOUS and ENTHUSIASTIC in revering the Savior.