Monday, September 15, 2014
This week it has been chilly! I wore sweats to workout this morning...in the middle of September! The weather literally just changed overnight. We woke up on Tuesday and it was just cold! I've been sleeping with 2 blankets all week. I'm sure in for a treat these next months :)
Well this week was definitely one for learning and growth as well! Sister Aeschbacher was sick with a nasty virus that actually started last Sunday. She toughed her way through Sunday and Monday but when she woke up Tuesday she was not doing good...so we stayed in all day..Bittersweet I'll tell ya. My natural instincts were to stay in bed and sleep with her but nonetheless, I woke up at 6:30 and worked out, studied and all that stuff all by myself! So Tuesday I made calls and did as much as I could without Sister Aeschbacher and then got some good studying in. I was asked to sing at our next zone conference this Thursday and Elder Wilson from the Seventy is actually coming to speak to us so I'm a bit nervous! But, we have some members who live right behind our apartment and they have a GRAND PIANO that never gets played. So Sister Aeschbacher was kind enough to camp out on their couch while I practiced on their piano. I am going to sing and play "Come Thou Fount". I will try and get a video of it and send it next week!
Wednesday we had district meeting and Sister Aeschbacher toughed it out for that as well as the rest of the day. After district meeting we went to go see 95 year old Ida Valley and she told us she was not interested and gave us our B of M back as well as a restoration pamphlet we had left with her. So that was a little discouraging but...A miracle that I witnessed afterwards was really cool. We were boxing out in Ida's apt complex and the third door we knocked on there was another sweet lady that opened the door. So I took the lead and I told the lady, "We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we are going around sharing a message of our Savior Jesus Christ and ultimately helping people to be baptized just like He was. And she looked at me and said, "I've never been baptized, do I need too?" And i said "Weeeell we would love to teach you, may we come in?" And she let us in! The first time that has happened for me. The spirit prompted me to be bold and it really worked. And the spirit was super duper strong during our lesson. Before we left she said "Let me read this book and I'll give you a call...I don't know what it is but there's definitely something different about what you taught me and I think I kinda like it!" Aww! So Hopefully we get a call from sweet Edithe. :) Then we went to dinner with Sister Chiaradonna at this chinese place...east coast chinese is not the same as chinese in the west I'll just tell you that! But we were waiting for her by this pond that had real life lily pads as you can see in the picture! Sister Aeschbacher probably thought I was so weird..but I was so excited!
Thursday Sister Aeschbacher woke up not feeling any better, probably worse so we stayed home again and I got some more good studies and practicing in. It was defintiely a faith-trying week because our faith was so strong that Sister Aeschbacher would be healed and I prayed every night that she would get better so we could get back to work! But it just wasn't happening...and then I realized that the Lord was preparing me for next transfer when I won't have Sister Aeschbacher anymore. I was able to look back and see how much I have grown and how much I am capable of even though I feel so inadequate. I will be responsible in helping my new companion get to know the area and I won't be a greenie anymore and I feel so much more confident in moving forward and I know that that is why Sister Aeschbacher was sick so I could see that in myself. The Lord is so aware of His children. I literally can feel him watching over me. It's a feeling I've never felt in my life and I have no idea how he does it but I know he is so aware of each and everyone of his children. It just blows my mind!
Friday we did weekly planning..something I am still coming to love. And then we got to go out and see Brother Preney and Grace! I was so worried about them because we hadn't really heard from them or seen them all week...Satan has been working very hard on Grace and sadly he is winning with her right now. She came to church yesterday and then after we got a call from her telling us that she didn't want to meet with us anymore and that she did not want us to contact her anymore...I was so devastated. I have been trying to be so patient with her and through that I have come to love her so much. I know that it just isn't the right time for her though and I have to have faith in that...But I'm still not giving up on her!
Brother Preney went out and bought himself a new white shirt and tie and he looked so good at church! Him and his fiance, Sister Farrell have now been to church four times! I have really come to love them.
Yesterday, we taught Herb. I think I have told you about him. He came to church again as well as Sister Harlow! So amazing to see. Anyways we taught Herb the restoration and the spirit was so strong. I am amazed by how strong the spirit is everytime I teach it no matter how many times I already have! I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.
President Stoker gave the whole mission a challenge to read the book of Mormon by our next zone conference on October 21st. It comes out to 12 pages a day! He gave us promise that we would be able to bear stronger testimonies of the Book of Mormon as we contact people. We also have a mission-wide challenge to try and get 10 "Invitations to learn" a day and the district that gets the most will get pizza from President Stoker. The purpose is that we will hopefully find more investigators to teach and I know they are both inspired. My testimony of the book of Mormon has already grown so much!
I know this gospel is true and I know like it says in 2 Nephi 2: 8, " How great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth!" Be urgent and pray for ways to share the gospel, not just to be examples but to baptize people! We are so blessed with what we have and the thought of someone not having the same blessings breaks my heart.
I love you all and hope your week is great!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Family and Friends!
Wowwyy! So I never really understood why missionaries don't want to go home but now I do and I'm never coming home! I'll tell you why :)
Last week we had 3 investigators at church! My heart was very happy on Sunday. :)
Monday we got a car to use while ours is getting fixed! Its finally getting fixed and it will probably be in the shop longer then expected because the week before somebody backed in to our driver side door while we were parked and they drove off without leaving anything so we have no idea who hit us! When I got here they said that I was bound to get in at least one accident on my mission so I think I have had my fair share so hopefully I'll be good for the rest of the mish! haha
Tuesday we did some service at the historical center which is a couple miles down route 1 from where we live so we rode the trolley! They have a trolley system that runs from June to September for all the tourists because we are in tourist city! Mom and dad you will love coming to visit here :) But what an adventure it was..it took us an hour and a half to get to the historical society! But it was sooo fun! We walked to the closest stop by our apartment and waited for the trolley and it didn't come after 10 minutes of waiting so we continued walking on the other side of the road. By the time we had walked what felt like a mile the trolley comes driving down the road and passes us. Heavenly Father was testing my patience for sure. So we stopped at the next stop and waited until the next one came and we FINALLY got there! We talked to some pretty cool people though and now I laugh but at the time I wasn't very happy.
Wednesday we had some amazing lessons! We went to district meeting and then afterwards we went to the nearby library and studied. Well while we were there we happened to see a brother from the ward with his 8 year old son who is slightly autistic. He is such a fun boy though and super smart. We felt like we should share a message with them so we taught what we could of the restoration before they had to leave. But while we were teaching I was talking to him about prophets and he stopped me and said, "I'm just so excited to see you I could cry!" And then I wanted to cry! We have talked to this boy maybe 2 times but he is just so close to the spirit that he could just feel it when we taught him. Something I'll never forget :) So our new investigator, Angie, is such a doll! She is a little slow so we have met with her probably about 3 times and I think she finally understands. It is definitely helping me to be more simple in my teaching which has been very good. She is so eager to do what we tell her and she has started reading the Book of Mormon.We almost met with Brother Preney and he is just soaking it all in! He has some word of wisdom issues to work through but its nothing he can't do without the Lord. :) We met with Grace a couple times this week and we were just feeling very uneasy about her being baptized in a couple weeks..so after some major praying and pondering we decided we should wait on baptism but didn't know quite why. Well..it turns out she wasn't being too honest with us and she is still smoking. BUT she is still making amazing changes. We have used Alma 34: 15-17 alot this week. It really explains how we have to repent in order to receive mercy. Heavenly Father is a just God and he want so badly to be merciful which is why he sent his son. It would be dumb for us to not repent! I hate having to be bold and telling people what they are doing wrong especially Grace because I love her so much! But Heavenly Father gave us the ability to be bold and loving and help her see that we truly are here to help her and that she can make these changes. So please continue to pray for Grace. :)
Thursday we had a MIRACLE! We went back and visited Anne and she hadn't read the B of M...but I felt very strongly that we were going to teach her the restoration and I had told Sister Aeschbacher we needed to. So we were kind of disappointed she hadn't read..but then we ended up teaching her the restoration and we will teach her again this week! I am so happy for her, she is so amazing and I feel like she is truly prepared.
Friday we visited a sweet LA in the ward that we have really come to love.. She has been through some hard hard things in her life and somehow she manages to have a smile on her face. Her husband is a big man and he used to be a very grumpy and mean man she said but he has been nicer since the beginning of the summer due to an injury that has really been humbling him. She said tat before me and sister Aeschbacher he hated the missionaries and wouldn't be anywhere near them but he has actually talked and sat down with us a couple times. I have sang to them a couple times and its amazing to see how it softens his heart as well. We feel he is truly being humbled and prepared and hope we can start teaching him soon :)
Saturday we taught Tim, our other newest investigator! He had read to 1 Nephi 3 since the first time we'd taught him...that rarely happens! I was so excited I wanted to scream but I contained myself. We taught him the restoration and committed him to come to church...
Well guess who came to church on Sunday?
Angie, Tim, and Brother Preney ALL came to church! I don't think I have ever felt so much joy in my life! As Grace would say, "My heart was too big for my body!" And that's why I am never coming home. Getting to see people make changes and keep commitments that you know are truly going to bring them happiness in their life is a feeling unlike anything else. I love being a missionary! Yes I have hard days and yes sometimes I want to cry but its all worth it. I am a much different Sister Innes then I was 2 months ago and for that I am so grateful!
Love you all sooooo much!
Love, Sister Innes
Sister Kotter and the beach(below)
People that I love oh so much!!
Can you believe its been 2 months?! I cannot. I still remember being dropped off at the MTC and crying like a little girl like it was yesterday! Anyways, its been another greaaaat week!
Today we went to the Boston temple! Such a gorgeous place and the spirit there is just so incredible! Anyways, that's why I am writing you today. :)
Me and Sister Aeschbacher have had a goal for the past 3 weeks to find two new investigators and we have never been able to reach our goal until this week! We received three new investigators this week! Three!! That rarely happens in New England people, so we are very excited and hope that we can continue to teach these people that Heavenly Father has placed in our path. And then yesterday night we found one more new investigator who we will be visiting tonight!
But, I just wanted to do my email a little bit differently this week and share some things that I learned that I will cherish for the rest of my life!
D&C 45: 3-5
When I read these verses I think of how our Savior is literally our advocate with Heavenly Father. When we make a mistake and ask for forgiveness, or when we plead for help or strength I see Jesus Christ right there pleading with Father and telling him why we should be forgiven, why we are sad, why we need a certain blessing because HE KNOWS US PERFECTLY. He has felt our pain, our guilt, and our sufferings. He literally pleads with the father in our behalf. And the way we have access to the grace and love our Heavenly Father is literally through our Savior, Jesus Christ. We can only receive grace by showing faith in Jesus Christ by believing in his atonement and believing that he can heal us.
The Book of Mormon combined with the spirit is the most powerful resource in our conversion.
The Book of Mormon is the word of Jesus Christ and the word of God. You combine that with the spirit and it is literally the Godhead working together in full force! Full force people! You want a better testimony of Joseph Smith, read the B of M! As you come to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon you will gain a testimony that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet and that the the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth for YOU!
If there is anything I have learned on my mission it is that Jesus Christ is my literal Savior. He is the only way to receive Salvation. He is the only way to receive HAPPINESS in this life and the life after!! He is waiting for us to only ask for his help. His arms are opened wide continually! He doesn't expect us to be perfect but he expects us to try. And when we fall short he will be right there to pick us up!
Love you all, and am so grateful for the love and support! :)
On the way to the temple with our investigator, Grace! :)