Monday, December 29, 2014
Well, I can't fail to mention Christmas. The Waterville ward is awesome I tell you. Their ability to show love is incredible...they just showered us with love and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. Christmas Eve as I knelt down to say our companion prayer my heart was just bursting with gratitude for my life right now. The reality of my opportunity to be a missionary and testify and represent my Savior just hit me so hard. I am grateful for the memories I made this week in Waterville, ME. I am grateful to be a missionary!!!
We also went back and taught our new investigator, Darcy, the Restoration. The spirit was so strong once we actually got to the first vision. Satan always tries to keep that part from happening EVERYTIME. He tried three times with Darcy and on the last time another church literally called her phone right in the middle of it. But like I said the spirit was there when we actually got through it. She still has alot of her own beliefs but she agreed to have us come back so yahooo!!
Tuesday we saw Liz and she had kept her commitment to read the Book of Mormon too! She didn't quite understand everything she read but she read and thats better than nothing. So we were able to go over 1 Nephi 1 with her and help her understand it. After we read 1 Nephi 1:1 she was already touched. We explained that even though Nephi was highly favored of God he still had his own trials which shows that we all have trials. And she just really loved that.
Monday we visited our investigator Sister Evans. She is so awesome. She has a two year old boy and she is trying to support her and him so she is very busy working! So because of that its hard for her to always keep commitments. But when we got there she informed us that she had read 2 chapters in the Book of Mormon. Made this missionary's day I tell you!!! And she was able to tell us everything that she had read. BOOM. So now she is progressing which is AWESOME and then...
Dear people that I love,This week has been one that I will cherish forever! Christmas+ Being a missionary=THE Bomb.com
We found a new investigator this week...and the circumstances in which we met with her were pretty much God-given. Heavenly Father is so aware of His children. Turns out she was having a really hard day because it happened to be the 1 year anniverary of her husbands death. And as we testified to her that the message we have to share with her will bring her peace the spirit was so strong! So she invited us back this week...:)
Our mission has a new vision to rescue 1000 people this year and I am so excited! We have already seen miracles happening in the ward.
Well my time is short.. but as we approach this new year I pray that we can all have a stronger commitment to be disciples of Jesus Christ.. To do and say those things he would want us to do. I know that as we do that people will see a difference and miracles will happen. Don't be afraid to testify!
I love you all so much! The Savior lives and loves you personally!
Love, Sister Innes
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Hi people that I love! :)
Woweee what a week it has been! Ok, New England is officially cold. When it snows it actually gets warmer, its the weirdest thing because I am kind of learning to actually LOVE snow. I also love sunshine though but it is colder when the suns out! Weird, I know. Regardless of the bipolar weather, I have really grown to love Waterville. I thought it would be hard coming from my first area but I hit the point where I was able to look at the people in the ward and just feel complete love for each person! Its a feeling I've never felt before until my mission. It's really taught me how much service does help you to love people. When you serve someone and forget about yourself, that is when you come to have true love for them.
2 weeks ago we started doing service at a senior living center in the adult daybreak program which basically is just a program where adults who have disabilities come during the day and do activities. I love it so much!!! We go twice a week for about and hour at time and the people there are just the sweetest. Their spirits are so innocent and pure you can't help but be happy when you are there. It is the beeest to go there and maybe not be the happiest and leave with a smile from ear to ear. It's the best medicine!
We got to meet so many awesome people this week. We met an 80 year old couple who the missionaries have been visiting here and there for quite a while. They were the sweetest. The husband has a Book of Mormon that he has all the missionaries sign and he has read it all the way through! But they said that they are too old to change religions...but I know we made an eternal connection and I'm sure I'll see them on the other side! We have this thing that we started doing this week called #10410BOB where every night we plan 10 specific people that we are going to contact and invite to learn. And then we contact them during "prime time" tracting hours and if they aren't there or aren't interested we'll box their house out. So we had a goal we were going to get 2 new investigators with this technique...and.... we did!! The first lady we found, we'll call her Mary, we found trying to find a former investigator. Sister Olsen thought that he lived at a certain address but it turns out that he didn't live there so we invited the lady who lived there to learn and she was not at all interested...we knew this man lived on the street we were on though so we tried the next trailer over and asked her if she knew this certain man and she didn't either so we invited her to learn... and bam wham, she let us in right there! We showed her the "He is the Gift" video and she loved it. And she accepted our invitation to come back! So on Friday we taught her the Restoration and she really seemed to understand it and then we introduced the Book of Mormon to her and had her read the 2 last paragraphs of the intro and after she read them, she said, "Wow, I just wanted to learn more about your religion I wasn't expecting this." I know she was feeling the Holy Ghost witness to her that those words were true...she just didn't really know it. So we will be seeing her next week after Christmas :) The other one lives in a tiny apartment in a sketchy part of town, her husband just died but her Faith in God is so strong! She was a potential Sister Olsen and her companion had contacted before I got there so we stopped by and talked to her for a bit...one of the first things she said was "No, I'm not a Mormon and I don't plan on being one"..so I said, "Well, what do you have against the Mormons?" And she replied, "Don't you be doing that to me!" I've got nothing against any religion!" So I quickly apologized and asked her if she'd ever taken the time to learn about what us Mormons believed...and she said, "Well no, not really." So we asked her if she would like to and she said yes! And then she proceeded to tell us about what she believed and we didn't see eye to eye on everything but for the most part we did. She's got a lot of potential I think so I'm really grateful for that. It was cool to see the spirit work on her from the time we walked in and then til we left. Ahh! Miracles are real.
At our district meeting we set a goal to get 10 ITLS in each area per day so me and Sister Olsen really took it to heart this week being the week before Christmas and the "He is the Gift" intiative! So Saturday in order for us to be up on our ITLS we needed to get 29 that day. So, we texted the zone leaders Friday night and old them our goal and then asked them if they would hold us accountable at the end of the day. Whoo, if you want to get something done make yourself accountable, it works. So after 2 1/2 hours of tracting, name-calling, doors shut in our faces, and 22 degree weather we got our goal! And man it felt goooood. We were able to talk to some people with real potential so it was a good day!
This week I have really tried to be of service in the music area and let me tell you, Heavenly Father definitely used me this week! Saturday I got to sing at the ward party and then on Sunday I was playing prelude music for sacrament meeting and the second counselor, in the Bishopric came up and told me that the girl that was supposed to play the musical number in church was sick and then asked me if I could play something in sacrament meeting and before I could even think I said yes! And by this time there was literally 6 minutes until the meeting was supposed to start. So we raced to the Relief Society room and I came up with something that I was kind of working on weeks, before played it through 2 times and then went to sacrament meeting. Lets just say it didn't go as well as I wanted it to....but I did it!
Well, since it is Christmas I wanted to just express my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Sunday I was reminded of the fact that everything Jesus Christ did was the Father's will. From his birth to His death and everything in between. He never once did anything out of selfishness. He came here to Earth so that we might live with Heavenly Father again. He did it out of Love... Pure love for His brothers and sisters. And then I realized how much I missed my family...and how hard my mission had been up until that point...and then it all seemed like nothing compared to the Saviors life. It's because of Him I am here and it's because of Him that I can even do what He's asked me to do. And how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a personal representative of Him at this time. To proclaim his LOVE AND MERCY. And somehow through it all I am changed to become more like Him. I think one of my favorite scriptures right now is Mosiah 14:5 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." He has done it all for us. I hope this Christmas you have found ways to more fully Discover Him, Embrace Him, and Share Him. Oh, how I love my Savior. He is Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift.
I love you all so much! Merry CHRISTmas! :)
What a week it has been. I know I always say that but really. WHAT A WEEK. Also, the sun is shining today. Needless to say, its a great day!
This week I realized how much the Lord has been trying to humble me...and boy I still have a long way to go but He definitely has humbled me and through that I have been more reliant on him. As I have tried to truly seek his counsel on everything I did this week I watched miracles unfold before my eyes.
So Monday we met with an investigator that we hadn't seen in a while. We were trying to figure out what she needed and this member kept coming to my mind so we decided to call her. It ended up being perfect for her and she came with us. Well turns out the member went through the same things our investigator is going through and the spirit was so strong as the member opened up and shared with her her personal experience. At the end we were all crying and the investigator was able to open up to us.
Tuesday we met with Liz and it seemed that she didn't really get anything from our lesson. So after the lesson I was just kind of disappointed because the lesson hadn't gone anything like we planned. Well we met with her again on Thursday and that morning I asked Heavenly Father what she needed...how could we make things better this time? He told me we needed to share with her John 10:16 and 3 Nephi 15:21 where it basically explains the B of M and Bible go together. So we get to Liz's and the first question she asks.."So do you guys ever use the bible?"...and then me and Sister Olsen looked at each other..are you kidding me?! So we were able to share that with her and it was exactly what she needed.
Friday we had an hour to contact and we kept feeling that we should go see a lady in the ward, turns out she wasn't home. So we keep going and contact a few more potentials but I just couldn't figure out why Heavenly Father had prompted us to go to that lady's house if she wasn't home. And as we are walking to our car from the last potentials house there was this women walking up the street. And the spirit whispered, "There she is Sister Innes, talk to her!" So I spoke up and asked her if she would be interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ...and she said yes!! Boom. God works in His own way and in His own time.
Oh, and Sister Olsen will be staying here with me in Waterville for another transfer so thats a miracle in itself! I love her so much and have learned so many things from her already!
Well, I love you all! I hope you are find ways to #sharethegift this season. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the gift!
This ones going to be a short one and I wish I had more time!
This week I have gained a strong testimony of Heavenly Father's love. Through many people and experiences I have seen His hand in it all and it just amazes me.
Tuesday we had interviews with President Stoker. The love that man has for us missionaries is incredible. I am so grateful for his inspiration and the ability I have to feel God's love for me through him is incredible. Sometimes when an area is slow you tend to think of yourself as horrible missionary...and I'm sure its happened to every normal missionary. So I expressed to President my feelings of inadequacy and he was inspired to tell me and Sister Olsen to read through Preach My Gospel Chapter 1. And in the chapter there is a section that lists attributes and actions of a successful missionary. So we read through them and then listed off things that we had actually done that displayed those actions..and we realized we weren't horrible missionaries and actually quite successful. And that set the tone for an amazing week of miracles. My eyes were opened to the successes we were having that we hadn't noticed before.
Wednesday we had exchanges and our Sister Training Leader, Sister Bowns, came to Waterville with me. That girl is so AMAZING!! A couple days before she was prompted to give me a scripture to study in Enos 1:17 which says," And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest." And she challenged me to read it and think about how covenants can help us rest. But after she gave it to me I couldn't remember it..but then I found it that morning in my personal study and I centered my studies on that one scripture. It goes on to say, "And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine." So I was pondering on how faith can help in leading to covenants and by those covenants how we can rest. I'm still learning and trying to better understand it but I realized that as we make and keep covenants we show our faith in Heavenly Father and through that we have a promise that He will keep his side of the bargain. And when we keep those covenants we can be at complete rest knowing that He will help us and give us full access to the blessings of the atonement. Sorry if that doesn't make sense but it does in my head...Think about it though and let me know your thoughts :)
Well my time is up..I will share more next week. I just know though that God is so aware of each His children. I have felt His love as I develop pure love for his children here in New England. I am continually amazed at his power and wisdom! He is an awesome father.
Hope you all have a greaat week! And #sharethegift of Christmas!!
Love you :)
Monday, December 1, 2014
Hello family and friends!!
Holy wow this week has gone by sooo quick! This week I have been reminded of how blessed I am to be on a mission. I am so grateful!
Well just some highlights and lessons learned this week:
Tuesday we met with Liz, the 16 year old girl we just started teaching and we taught her the restoration. The Spirit was SO strong as we extended a baptismal invitation and she accepted! :) We brought along a member in the ward who's in the young women's presidency and it turns out she got baptized when she was around Liz's age and was able to bear a powerful testimony of how the gospel has changed her life. It's awesome to see the change that has already taken place in this girl. She also informed us that she has been praying and because of it she has noticed more peace in her life. AMEN. So then Thursday we met with her and helped her understand the Book of Mormon more and committed her to read it and come to church. Guess who came to church...LIZ!! :) The ward welcomed her so well and we could tell she felt comfortable by the 3rd hour. The members here are so awesome!
So I upgraded from scooping cat poop to scooping horse poop. Yep, you better believe it! And I even learned a lesson while doing it this week. So we do about 6 horse stalls and we just rake the poop into a pile and then scoop it in to a wheel barrow and haul it to be dumped. Well we were trying to put alot of poop in the wheel barrow at one time so that we wouldn't have to make as many trips to dump it and Sheila, the lady we were helping told us to make the loads smaller and to "make it easy on yourself." So here I am raking poop in the freezing cold with literally 4 layers of clothing on and then it hits me. "Make it easy on yourself Sister Innes! How can I make it easy on myself?" And I realized that lately I had been trying to haul too much "poop" all by myself and I wasn't really leaning on my Savior. I was actually making it very hard for myself. So, if you get anything out of my email today I would like you to look and see if you are making things easy or hard on myself. Are you letting Jesus Christ help you with the load?
Our car was making really weird and annoying noises so we decided to get get it looked at and it turns out our front breaks were nonexistent. Yep, we could have died. The spirit had been telling me we needed to do something about it but I kept ignoring it because no time. But I'm glad I finally did, how grateful I am that we already got it fixed within two days! The church takes care of us so well.
I also was reading in 2 Nephi 5 this week and in verse 27 Nephi says: "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." I thought about Laman and Lemuel who had the same blessings available to them as Nephi and they were anything but happy with their lives. What was the difference? Laman and Lemuel had never prayed to know the will and mind of the Lord and had no desire to follow him. Nephi did ALL he could to follow the Lord and because of that he was happy. I know that if we pray to know the will of the Lord that he will show it to us and give us the means to do what he has commanded us to do and by doing that we can find happiness!!
I am so grateful for the people Heavenly Father puts in our lives and the experiences we have to help us grow, learn and BECOME. Every day is a new opportunity to change and be better. I am eternally grateful for this time in my life to grow. I love being a missionary!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for each one of you and love you sooo much!
Love, Sister Innes
How are my people? Guess who got to drive in a snow storm this week?? THIS SISTER! Yep, I don't know how much snow we actually got but it was around 1 ft! The snow is so beautiful though. I actually kind of like it...weird, I know! So needless to say it was an interesting week.
Our Stake is doing an event called "The Creche" this weekend where they will have all different sorts of Nativity scenes displayed and then they are doing a musical production as well as a musical program. Stake President, President Martin, asked me to be apart of the musical program and I will be singing three songs! I am so excited and humbled for the opportunity...so I have been trying to fit in practice time when I can. I'll be singing O holy Night, O Come o Come Emmanuel, and Hark The Herald Angels Sing! It was really neat because the day before i had asked Heavenly Father to help me discover my strengths as a missionary and then find ways to better strengthen them and share them...and that day I was prompted to sing "How Great Thou Art" for a recent convert and it really touched her. And as we left her place I realized how much I had been hiding my talent since I had been in Waterville and I wasn't trying to share it like I did in Sanford. But, as soon as I shared it Heavenly Father immediately the next day gave me another opportunity to share it more! It's amazing what He will do with us if we only show him that we are available and willing. So I have made it a goal focus on my strengths and let Heavenly Father use me for His purposes and not my own selfish desires.
It snowed on Wednesday and you bet your life we were out there tracting! We had plans to stop by one of our investigators who we haven't seen in a couple weeks and she wasn't home...so you know what we did. We went door knocking! It's amazing what a positive attitude can do. I actually enjoyed tracting in the snow! Yep, you heard it. And then the miracle came. the last door we knocked on we actually got the door opened but the man was home alone so we couldn't go in. But, we briefly explained the restoration to him and he agreed to have us come back and bring him a Book of Mormon. So fingers crossed we will see him soon!
We only Saw Liz once this week because of Thanksgiving and all that good stuff..Black Friday...everything I forgot about. But when we did it was awesome. The change in her is incredible...physically, emotionally, and spiritually! Oh how I love her so. She told us as we were talking that she has also seen a change in herself...she said, "All I needed was Jesus." Boom! Please pray for Liz. :)
We spent Thanksgiving at the Jackson's house and it was so delicious! They are such an awesome family. I actually didn't stuff myself because that morning I wasn't feeling too hot. The thought of food was sickening...hard to believe I know. I got a blessing because I was just feeling exhausted spiritually, physically, and emotionally...and in my blessing I was reminded of the atonement three times. Three times I tell you...I think Heavenly Father wanted me to know something. That morning I just couldn't understand why I was feeling so horrible and it was really discouraging to me...But Heavenly Father was trying to teach me a lesson. And it was lesson learned indeed. I need the enabling power of the atonement. I need the redeeming power of the atonement. Like Liz I needed Jesus and I just wasn't letting him help me. I'm really stubborn sometimes (wonder who I get that from) and Heavenly Father has really been humbling me lately. I am being refined... And even though I can't see the change that is really taking place within me it is there and I am always changing.
Last night we met with a women who hasn't been to church in a while...and she just lost her job. She told us that if she didn't get a job real soon her house would foreclose in January. My heart ached for her! We have been practicing the lessons on her and last night we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we really emphasized the "enduring to the end" part...as the spirit worked through me I asked her what we could do to help her get to church..and I preceded to promise her that Heavenly Father would bless her and help her as she strived to make church a priority in her life. I had no idea where it came from because it was very bold! But she took it with love...as we drove home I was just overwhelmed by how easy and how hard the gospel is. If we do what Heavenly Father has asked us to do we will be blessed...its that simple! But oh so hard at the same time. But I know that if we do what He has asked we will be blessed temporally and eternally. He never goes back on His word. NEVER!
Checkout the "He is the Gift" video on christmas.mormon.org if you haven't! Share it with everyone you know! We have these sweet pass along cards that the church has asked us to pass out to 10 people a day. Wooo! It's so awesome to talk to people about Jesus Christ during this season. I think Christmas is going to be my favorite as a missionary. Discover the gift. Embrace the Gift. SHARE the Gift!
Well enough rambling from me...I love each and every one of you so much. I hope you have a great week!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Have I got alot to tell you! Man, this week has been awesome.
Ok I'm just going to get right in to the nitty gritty. :)
So Monday night we had no set plans so we had some plans to contact a potential investigator and then tract her street. Oh, btw the sun sets here at 4:30 PM ;) So we are tracting at 6:30 and it feels like its already 10:30. So we knock on this potentials door and she lets us right in! We taught her the Restoration and she agreed to have us come back! So Wednesday rolls around and when we got to her house she had made cookies for us and beanies! This woman has a 2 year old boy and she is a single mom and somehow she found the time to do that for us. I was speechless...and then she asked if we could maybe read the B of M together..are you kidding me? So we shared our favorite verses and then gave her a good intro of the book. And she said she would read it and pray about it! :) So we will see her again on Wednesday!
Tuesday night we visited a 16 year old girl whose mom just recently got baptized! She agreed to be taught and so we decided we would start off with the Plan of Salvation due to her needs at this time. Shes got some hard trials in her life and so we testified to her of the Saviors sacrifice and love for her. We also taught her about prayer on Thursday and she said she would pray! Before we taught her she said that she didn't like talking to God, she said He was up there and she was down here and that's how she wanted it to stay. But by the end of the lesson she knew she needed to pray. It was amazing to see the spirit working on her. We talked to her mom and she said that she can already see a change in her. She still has a long ways to go but oh, how I love her so much already!
Thursday we did splits and I went visiting teaching with an awesome lady in the ward, Sister Wagner and we visit taught Sister Jackson and her family. We were talking about some things that were happening in their life that were really hard for them as parents and Brother Jackson said something that has really stuck with me this week. He said, "Do all that you can and not be attached to the outcome. Have faith in Heavenly Father and know that it will all work out the way it should!" How I needed to hear that. As a missionary it gets so easy sometimes to just want what you know should happen and when it doesn't happen its sooo hard! So I have been trying to focus on doing my best and then having faith in the results and knowing it will work out how it should!
Friday we went to go see a woman who we don't see at church much because of health issues and so we went and read the Book of Mormon with her. We read 1st Nephi 1 & 2 and something in chapter 2 really stood out to me this time. So Lehi has seen this vision and is commanded to preach to the people in Jerusalem of there wickedness and tell them to repent. When he does this he is almost killed. And then he is commanded to leave all of his belongings, his gold, his inheritance, and take his family and depart into the wilderness. So they travel for THREE days in the wilderness and then set up camp and you know what Lehi does he immediately offers up a sacrifice in showing Heavenly Father gratitude! So here he has almost lost his life and then left pretty much left his whole life and he is praising and thanking God! I was just really touched by Lehi's faith and how he knew that what he had been asked to do was of God and it in the end was going to be the best for him. And he was grateful even though it probably wasn't easy for him! So after we saw her we decided to stop by another member we hadn't see in a while and we caught her home and shared a message and then as we are getting ready to leave her friend comes. I asked her if she maybe know of anyone that could use a message from us and she points to her friend and says Maggie could! So we asked Maggie if we could stop by this week and she said yes! Ahh! :)
Saturday we had planned to visit a former investigator who was taught about a year ago but the missionaries stopped teaching her because they just couldn't get ahold of her. So we stopped by her house and she agreed to let us come in. We taught her the Restoration and the spirit was so strong!! As I recited the first vision to her I got choked up, thats a first for me, and we invited her to be baptized and after a VERY long pause, which me and Sister Olsen managed to not say anything in, she said she would like to be baptized! So we are super excited to see her again this week :)
Sunday, Bishop Crouse surprised me and asked me to introduce myself and bear my testimony. Oh how I love to bear my testimony! I have already grown to love the Waterville ward even though its only been 2 weeks. I will have been out 5 months tomorrow! Time is just flying. This week as I prayed with the most sincerity I have ever prayed with I saw miracles right before my eyes. I know that if we have faith that we will be able to accomplish those things are Heavenly Father has in store for us.
Keep on keepin' on! Love you all so much <3
P.S. My new address is:
We're the coolest ;)
And enjoy my eskimo pictures and willy the one eyed cat!!
So the news on the street is that I have been transferred to good ol' Waterville Maine where the livin' is hard and the investigators are few ;) But really. And I wouldn't have it any other way! My new companion's name is Sister Olsen and she is from Sandy, Utah. She is freshly trained. I don't know what Heavenly Father was thinking when he put us together. We're still brand spankin' new except without the spank! It is always a party with Sister Olsen. I already love her so much!
So Waterville, like I said, we have no investigators...yet. So this week has been full of some good old-fashioned tracting! I think my favorite person we talked to was this cute little old man. We stopped to talk to him and after we gave him a Book of Mormon he told us that we made his whole day and then he preceded to hug both of us even though I tried to just give him a hand shake..the man was 90 years old though so I think we're good. Later that night we talked to a man who told us that organized religion is destroying the world. He went off on how it was separating the world and causing wars and before he walked off told us we'd better think about what we were doing to the world...and then I was just awakened at how deceitful Satan is. Little did that man know and most people know that the message we have to share would bring the world together and make it a better world if they would just listen. But regardless, I know that Heavenly Father still loves that man and so do I and I will continue to pray for him.
So, this week I have learned a couple things.
1. Heavenly Father is in charge. I know that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I haven't quite figured out why but I know I will soon find out. A couple days before I found out I was getting transferred I could just feel it coming. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father what was going to happen not really expecting much of an answer. But He told me that things were going to change but that everything was going to be okay... And he has continued to reassure me of that throughout this week. I know He has a plan for me here...and that it will all be okay.
2. Heavenly Father answers prayers. This weekend we had Stake Conference. I prayed before the meetings that I might know how to help the Waterville ward..specifically in helping them with missionary work. And I prayed that the speakers who spoke would also help them be more motivated to help us out as missionaries. And then in the Saturday night session and the general session of stake conference it was specifically talked by Sister Stoker, President Stoker and the Stake Presidency about how the members needed to help us missionaries who were out here ready to work.
I have been praying, and praying... and praying that we might be able to find those who are being prepared to receive the gospel and also how we might do it. Yesterday I was reading in 1st Nephi 17 about how Nephi is commanded to build a ship. At this time they have just come to the land Bountiful which was full of much fruit and honey and life is GOOOD. Then Nephi is commanded to go up the mountain to pray. While there he is told he should build a ship which will, "carry thy people across these waters." And so Nephi asks the Lord how he is going to make tools to build this ship and the Lord tells him he will use fire. And Nephi tells us that he has never really used fire in the course of his journey so far. But in verse 15 he did "strive to keep the commandments of the Lord. I thought about how I could apply this to myself and realized that just like Nephi and his family my life was really good before my mission just like the land bountiful but then I was called to go on a mission just as Nephi was commanded to build a ship to carry his people to the promised land or in my case the gospel. And just like Nephi needed to use fire to make his tools to build a ship, which was something he hadn't really had to do before, maybe there was some "fire" I needed to use that I maybe didn't really like to use or hadn't had to use much on my mission so far...and I asked Heavenly Father what it was and he told me "Tracting Sister Innes!" How could I have been so dumb? I kind of hate door-knocking, it isn't one of my favorite things to do and I am not afraid to admit it. But the spirit bore testimony to me that that is what I need to do. So that is my plan and I'm sticking to it. And I know by that act of faith and diligence then will Heavenly Father place those who are being prepared in our path.
I love this gospel. The simple fact that my Savior lives and loves me is something that has made all the difference in my life these past 5 months (what?). I love y'all and am so grateful for the love and support that is continually sent my way! Every member a missionary. Share the gospel :)
Hello people I love!
First off it snowed yesterday. And....
I am being transferred and going Senior Companion!! Are you kidding me?! And Sister Blume will be staying here and training in Sanford. I can't really think right now, I'm in this weird in between stage. I have grown to love the people here so much. I got up and bore my testimony yesterday and probably sobbed at the pulpit for a good 2 minutes before I could even say anything. I could feel it this week though....I feel like I have reached a point where I have gotten so comfortable here in Sanford and in order to keep growing and learning I needed to be uncomfortable again...Bring it on Heavenly Father! I am a bit nervous and sad, but I am mostly excited.
I didn't have time to share this but the week before last I finished the B of M like President Stoker had challenged us to do and I prayed before I read the last couple chapters in Moroni and I asked Heavenly Father that if the Book of Mormon was not true that he would let me know. As I read I came upon a couple verses in Moroni 7: 12-13
And the spirit bore witness to me as I pondered on my reading of the Book of Mormon that the book is inspired of God because it has made me want to be better. It has strengthened my knowledge of Christ. I have come to know Him better as I have read. I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. As I read it this time I was just so struck by the love our Savior has for us. And how simple the gospel is. Heavenly Father loves us so He sent His son. Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation. We must have faith in Him and his atonement and act upon our faith everyday by repenting and trying to be better. I know that because of him we can be healed and we can find peace!
Brother Ness felt the spirit this week!! On Wednesday we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he told us it was exactly what he needed. Before we started the lesson I sang, "I Know My Father Lives" and I looked over at Brother Ness as tears ran down his face. He felt the love of Heavenly Father for one of the first times in his life. The elders had a baptism in the ward this week and Brother Ness got to come to that also. Afterwards, he told us he was ready to be baptized! Me and Sister Blume were asked to do reverence time and we had one of the cute girls in the ward sing "Baptism." As I sat there and listened to her sing I was reminded of my baptism and how I felt the Holy Ghost for one of the first times in my life. And it was so amazing to watch Brother Ness feel the spirit again as she sang. After Brother Ness left the church that night, I yelled down the hall, "I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!" And I do. I have never done anything so satisfying in my life.
I hope y'all have an awesome week. I know I will :)
Monday, October 27, 2014
Hello people I love!!! :)
Can I just say thank you for all of the uplifting and encouraging emails I received this week. I don't have time to write everyone back but I read each and every one of them and I wanted to say THANK YOU and I will try and write back as soon as I can! Letters and emails make me happy :)
Anyways, what a week it has been! I've been feeling a little like the weather this week here in Maine...all over the place! One day it's pouring and then the next day its nice and sunny! And sometimes I feel the same way ha!
So last Monday was a little rough and mainly all of the week before because my back was killing me and I couldn't figure out why....Well the week before last we did some wood stacking and something I did tweaked the weak spot of my back and then caused me a lot of pain and inflammation. I thought that maybe I had just pulled something but I couldn't tell and the pain wasn't going away so I asked Heavenly Father what I should do and he told me I needed to talk to a brother in the ward who is a chiropractor who lives behind us...so I did and he got me right in to his office. He did some x-rays and found that I have a lumbar segmental disfunction in my lower-back called spondylolistess. Basically, my bottom vertebrae is not the shape it should be and so because of that my lower-back is a little out of place.He said it is probably from all of my years of Gymnastics :) So I have been going to see him twice a week and he wants me to do that for about a month to get it back to normal so it won't bother me anymore at least while on my mission. So that lifted a huge weight off my shoulder this past week and the pain is mostly gone. Miracles!
Tuesday we had Zone conference, which rocked my face off! President taught us alot about the atonement and how it overcomes the Fall of Adam. I have come to really love Alma 7:11-13 this week and we have taught it to alot of people. Jesus Christ can succor us because he suffered all things in the flesh. He will run to our aid if we just ask! I have seen it in action and I know it is true. Read it and study it! We also watched Meet the Mormons. SO GOOD. I don't know if y'all have watched it but if you haven't you need to! And tell everyone you know :) I may have shed a few tears when they showed the missionary. ;) Anyways...so after zone conference we had planned to go to Kennebunk and do some work and try and contact people. Before we left Sister Blume was in the bathroom and I just said a little prayer and asked Heavenly Father if that was where He wanted us to go. And then we left...and we were 2 miles down the road and I just kept thinking of this man we had talked to in North Berwick which is like 20 minutes the OTHER way and I couldn't stop thinking about him. So I asked Sister Blume to pull over and we said a prayer and both felt we should go to North Berwick. Turns out an investigator in the area really needed to hear about the atonement and we taught her pretty much everything we had learned at zone conference. coincidence? I think not!
I wish I had more time. But all in all things have been pretty slow this week with our investigators and just people in general due to the weather. I was feeling a little discouraged with no one wanting to talk to us and things continuing to fall through due to agency. That darn agency, sometimes as a missionary I also forget that people have LIVES unlike me. :) But after having a good talk with Heavenly Father he assured me that he is proud of me and that he knows I am trying my hardest. So this week I have made a goal to try and really only focus on making Heavenly Father proud and him being happy with me and not worry about everything else.
I am grateful to be a missionary. Its cool to look back and see how much I have changed. I feel my confidence has grown in all aspects. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have gained this far. This is the hardest thing I have done but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Love you all so much!!!
P.S. We talked to a man on the Street who has a blog called Portraits of America. He is going to be doing a post on me and Sister Blume with our picture and everything and possibly me singing... Check it out because we won't be able to :) Search for Portraits of America on facebook and you should find it! I don't have the info with me :(
Oh, pictures of Kennebunk and Zone conference :)
Hello familia!I have no idear (mainer talk) what is up with the weather here, one day its rainy and the next day is sunny and warm. But, anyways its still been a pretty good week!This week has been very different. We had planned and scheduled to see all of our investigators and all of them fell through except for two that we had with Brother Ness. Let me just talk about Brother Ness. He is so prepared! We have been really trying to get him to pray and come to church. He finally prayed for the first time this week and said that night he actually slept better than he usually does. He has trouble with big crowds so we are still working on the who church thing. He knows its what he needs to do and said he will get there. We assured him that baby steps are just fine right now. He is trying to read the B of M which is huge though for someone who has no religious background! He just takes everything in and is so receptive to everything we teach him. He is probably the most sincere person I've ever taught!Saturday I was feeling really discouraged due to a number of things and we needed to finish weekly planning and I just could not do it. I know I sound pathetic..I just have this love/hate relationship with weekly planning. So we start planning and we get talking about Brother Ness and decided we needed to see him on Sunday and then decided to call a couple in the ward to come with us. So we got it all set up and they were able to come with us. The lesson was so perfect! Brother Ness needed them there that night. He really connected with Brother Paquin, the husband and is actually going through alot of the same things he was when he joined the church. After the lesson was over Brother Paquin asked me why we had asked them to come with us and I said, "It was Heavenly Father!" and he looked at Brother Ness and said, "You see Brother Ness?" It definitely was a miracle. So awesome! Brother Ness was crying as Sister Paquin testified to him about the blessings of baptism and the spirit really touched him. He is solid!I'm grateful for that experience because my confidence was strengthened and Heavenly Father was able to show me that He does trust me even when I don't feel worthy of it. He does trust us to make the right choices but will help us when we don't feel confident in those choices sometimes. My heart if full with the love he has for me. I have been able to kind of look back on the person I was before my mission and the person I am now...and if anything I have been able to realize what is really important in life. I have also come to have greater confidence in myself by having a greater knowledge of the love my Heavenly Father has for me as I am able to feel His love for his Children as I serve them here in New England.Well, I'm sorry this is so short but I hope you all have a great week! I love you oh so much.Love,Sister InnesThis picture was taken off the coast of Maine in Kennebunk, ME only a couple miles from our new apartment that we will be moving in to on November 1st! I told Sister Blume that I literally felt like I was in Heaven standing by the water. Once again another tender mercy from Heavenly Father when I really needed it. It is so gorgeous out here!!!!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Hello my beautiful people of real life!
HOW IS EVERYONE?
What a week it has been!
Tuesday we had exchanges again and I got to go to Exeter with Sister Kotter, I just love her so much. I hope to stay in touch with her at BYU! We didn't have anything too exciting, but we did get to contacting in a neighboring town, Newport, which is so cute. Nobody wanted to hear what we had to say but the scenery was beautiful and I got some great advice from Sister Kotter so all in all it was a great day!
Wednesday was a rollercoaster.We had district meeting in Somersworth and while there we got a text from our ward mission leader telling us he needed to speak with us that night about a "very important issue concerning our future in the Sanford ward".. and so of course my mind goes to every possible thing I may have done wrong and I though of every possible outcome. So.. I'm sitting in district meeting try to concentrate on the amazing lesson we were having but I couldn't! Turns out we are....moving to Kennebunk! It's been in the works for a couple weeks and bishop has received inspiration that we need to be in Kennebunk to help build up the area there. So yay! I am really excited, Kennebunk is an awesome town and we had some really awesome members there as well. And...it is the only town with the name Kennebunk in the U.S. :) Anyways, Wednesday we had plans to see Angie, Becky and Brother Preney but we couldn't get in contact with anyone and due to the exchange the day before nothing was set up. So we couldn't see Angie and Becky but we decided to stop by Brother Preney's and his fiance Sister Farrell since we hadn't been able to see them for a couple weeks because they were sick. So we stopped by and they were home and let us in..and gratefully they were feeling better! But then..they proceeded to tell us they didn't want us to keep meeting with them. And my heart just broke! They said they didn't think they could and didn't want to make changes in their life that were required for Brother Preney to get baptized. And after just bearing my testimony to them and pouring out my heart with love to them we left....and then the tears came. I have never felt that way in my life! I have grown to love them so much and I know that they can change and I know how...but they have their agency. So then I'm wondering what Heavenly Father has up his sleeves...the day had turned out to be really sad. So we tried stopping by a LA that I had never met because we couldn't ever find her home when Sister Aeschbacher was here. Well we found her home and come to find out, she had prayed for us to visit her two nights before. What?? It was crazy to see how the Lord had truly shaped our day to where we were led to her house. The Lord is mindful of each and everyone of His children!
Thursday we went to Kennebunk and tried to contact referrals, LA, and potentials but had little luck although we got some good invitations to learn on the beach :)
Friday, we met with a referral from an awesome member in the ward and her name is Sister Kimball. She is so prepared! She has agreed to keep meeting with us and be baptized if she comes to know the gospel is true! Miracles I tell you and it doesn't stop there. :)
Saturday we met wit a referral who actually referred himself from mormon.org. The guy is solid! We brought Bishop Shaw with us and the lesson was so awesome and the spirit very strong. Brother Ness has no religious background but due to life he knows that this is what he needs! He accepted the invitation to be baptized on December 27th! He is so cool, he listens to MoTab and is on mormonchannel.org all the time asking us for things to watch. He will be 60 on his baptismal day and he is so prepared. Me and Sister Blume have been praying and working hard to try and find new investigators and they sure came in ways we didn't think were possible! I am so grateful to be a missionary and for the ups and downs that make me stronger and help me learn and grow!
This gospel is the truest thing I've come to know! I love y'all and hope your week is a great one!
Love, Sister Innes
What a week it has been :)
Let me just say that conference rocked my face off!! I don't think I have ever loved General Conference so much in my life. The fact that we have prophets who speak to us today and hold the same power as those in the times of the Bible and B of M was so real to me this weekend. We are so blessed, this gospel is the truest thing I've come to know and it is led by a man of God who is instructed by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to do and say those things that will be most beneficial for us in returning back to him! I am excited to go back and study the talks in depth. There was so much I needed and loved that It's hard for me to even say which one was my favorite. This weekend felt like Christmas to say the least.
We had goals and plans to see each of our investigators this week and all of them fell threw...but it was still a week of miracles so I will share a few!
Tuesday we spent the day in Wells where we live which is actually 20 minutes from Sanford. We cover 5 different towns in our area: A part of Sanford, Wells. Kennebunk, North Berwick, and Lyman. So we try to spend atleast a whole day in each town depending on things we have scheduled during the week. So Tuesday we were in Wells and it just so happens we have no investigators in Wells. They are all in Sanford, specifically the part of Sanford that is the elders area..So we are trying to find investigators that are in our actual area! That has been our focus this week. Tuesday did alot of contacting in Wells but no one wanted to hear what we had to say.
Wednesday we we had plans to go to Sanford and see all our investigators but one by one they all fell through...and at first I was sad but then it was okay because we got to contact some awesome LAs. We rocked this week in visiting LA and even got a couple to watch conference which was awesome! We have this really awesome lady who we are teaching, she came in contact with the church when her son started coming to the scout troop at the church in Sanford, and she is really seeking to know if this church is right for her. It has been tricky trying to get in contact with her but we got to talk to her for like 10 minutes after scouts on Wednesday night and she told us after they left the church last week her son said, " When I come to the church I feel like my heart is wrapped in a warm blanket!"..are you kidding me? I said, "Well there's your answer!" And she said she asked her sister if she wanted to come with her when she became a mormon! SO we are really trying to pin her down and get a lesson with her this week, she is so solid it just takes time as does all things. :)
Thursday we spent most of the day doing service at this cute assisted-living center in Kennebunk as well as trying to contact people on the street. We also taught a recent-convert lesson to a sweet lady who was just baptized this year. She deals with a husband who doesn't really agree with her involvement in church and it breaks my heart to hear how he criticizes her beliefs. And the only thing she wants is a eternal family...it made me realize how blessed I truly am. I pray everyone can have the same blessings I enjoy but nonetheless, we all have different challenges. It all works out some day though and she will have an eternal family! Anyways, so we had about 30 minutes before we needed to head home and we weren't sure where to go because we'd already walked up and down the street we'd planned to contact on so we went down a road and knocked on a couple doors and then a cute cafe caught my eye (of course it was the baked goods) and so I walked in and Sister Blume just followed me...and we walk up to the counter and the girl looks at our name tags and then got super excited! Which was really weird because every person before her that we had talked to wanted nothing to do with us. Turns out she has been studying all different kinds of religions but hasn't found the one she wants yet and she said she'd heard of her church but had never really been taught much about it so..we gave her a book of mormon and restoration pamphlet and explained to her the restoration in a very short time which is actually really hard but Heavenly Father helped us say what she needed to hear and it was so evident that we were supposed to meet her and share what we had with her. Unfortunately she is 15 and her parents our Atheist so we can't teach her or even contact her but I know we planted a very good seed! Such a miracle! (sorry for the run-on sentences:/)
Friday, we finally for the first time on my mission got through weekly planning! That was miracle in itself. Then we headed to North Berwick to try and contact a referral and we did and have a return appointment tomorrow! And we also were able to contact 2 LA that we never really see and one fed us dinner and the other wants to feed us dinner soon..so that was really cool. But a miracle I experienced was really cool..we were driving to North Berwick and I don't drive so I'm usually the one that makes all the phone calls. So one of our investigators who is also 15 and has atheist parents called us and we haven't spoke to him in a long time because he hasn't told his parents that he wants to meet with us so we can't..but we still keep in contact with him. Anyways he calls us and I had no idea what I was going to say to him and I literally have no idear (mainer talk) what I said but I know that Heavenly Father once again worked through me to say exactly what he needed to hear. After I hung up I was literally exhausted spiritually and physically. It was such a COOL experience. I know Heavenly Father is mindful of each and everyone of his children and he works through us to accomplish what needs to be done to help his children.
I have a testimony of this gospel, I know it is the only way to happiness and peace in this life and the life after. I know that by following the commandments God has given us and striving to be like our Savior that we can be with our Heavenly Father again. Take time to do the important things in life and you will always be safe (read,study and pray) I love you all so much!
Pic 1. They have Taco Bell in New England!!
Pic 2. Our view when exercising in the morning!
Pic 3. You never know what you're going to find in New England ;)
Pic 4. Mine and Sister Blume's first picture together! WE just took it because we're horrible :)