Monday, October 27, 2014

I feel like the weather/ 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 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. ;) 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!!!

Sister Innes

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 :)

Heavenly Father trusts us. /October 20, 2014

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.

Sister Innes

This 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

The ups and downs of being a missionary/Oct 13, '14

Hello my beautiful people of real life!


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. 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 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 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

I love General Conference!/Oct 6, '14


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 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 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! 

Sister Innes

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 :)

Learning and growing(not in height) /September 29, '14


What a week it has of much growth. I'm not going to sugar coat anything, this week has been HARD. I felt like I was 18 again leaving for college for the first time. I was so nervous for what lay ahead. Transfer meeting was so LONG! There were 150 missionaries alot of changes this transfer. We had 19 missionaries go home and 27 come in to the mission! 

My new companion is Sister Blume, she is from Clinton, Utah. She is actually younger than me but has been out for 6 months so definitely different but she is so amazing! She is very obedient and very wise when it comes to decision pertaining to missionary work. Also, she entered the MTC on my birthday. Coincidence? I think not. It has been a little overwhelming area training and not having Sister Aeschbacher here. I feel like I am starting to see who I am as missionary which is really cool though.

This week has been a little different with all the changes. Things have been a little slow but we taught some awesome lessons one of which was such a miracle! Brother Preney READ THE B OF M! We met with him on Wednesday and it had been almost 2 weeks since we had seen him and I didn't believe him at first but nonetheless he had read all the way to 2 Nephi 31! So we read through that chapter and he said he knows he needs to be baptized. So we asked him if he would be baptized on December 6 and he was a little hesitant at first but finally agreed it would be a good goal to work towards. He is willing to change but not sure if he can be ready in time but I think he will be. He is so open and loves everything we teach him. We told him about President Monson and he was super interested in that fact that we still have living prophets today...I guess we had forgot to mention that before! haha

Thursday we had plans to visit a bunch of people and no one was home. I was having a very hard time so Sister Blume suggested we get priesthood blessings...So we called Brother and Sister Drew who were the closest members to us at the time. They are SO SWEET. We called them and Brother Drew said to come right over. While we were  there I was crying uncontrollably and I felt so embarrassed but I was just having such a hard time...they were so comforting and the blessing he gave me was just what I needed. One thing he said in my blessing was that I understood the atonement completely. And I've been thinking about that alot lately and it has really given me strength. Neal A. Maxwell gave a talk on the atonement and in it he said the Savior was mentally prepared for the sacrifice he had to make but when he was actually going through it the pain was so much more than he had even imagined. And I think sometimes we can relate (a little bit) to him in the sense that we chose to come hear to earth and we knew that it was going to be hard...but when we're actually going through life sometimes its so much harder than we ever imagined. But the fact that my Savior knows exactly what I'm going through is something that I have held on to this week and helped me to literally get through this week. He's been places with me no one else could ever go! And I am better because of it.

Friday we were given a referral for a lady in Kennebunk and we couldn't find her home..turns out she actually lives in Kennebunk port which is not in our area but we were literally right by the coast...So we went and talked to people on the beach...probably one of my favorite days. 2 of my favorite things in one...the beach and sharing the gospel! We have also been getting so many referrals from the ward which has been SO AWESOME. Sanford ward is so awesome!!

Saturday we visited a LA who I love SO MUCH, Sister Hubbard! We read 1 Nephi 1 and the spirit was really strong and she is now committed to read the B of M after a long time of not :)

Sunday the phone at the church rang during Sacrament meeting and long story short, we have a new investigator! Heavenly Father is blessing us because of our work...more to come about Sister Straffin next week! :)

Well I don't have much time and I wish I did....I love you all!

Share the gospel :)
Love, Sister Innes

Last picture with Sister Aeschbacher 

Staying in Stanford/September 22, '14

Hii! :)

How is everyone doing? Well I just received word that I will be staying in Sanford for the next transfer and I will be getting a new senior companion on Tuesday...I will be killing Sister Aeschbacher tomorrow...and I don't wanna do it! She has been such an amazing trainer and so PATIENT with me and my weaknesses. I totally believe those who said that missions train you for marriage..I have so many weaknesses that have seemed to be magnified while I have been out. How grateful I am for my savior who has been helping me to overcome them and become stronger, but also for Sister Aeschbacher who has truly been a representation of my Savior and helping me to see the patience that He has with me. I don't think I could have asked for a more perfect trainer and I am so grateful for the impact that she has left on me and the rest of my life! 

Some highlights from this week:
Tuesday we had lobstah (lobster) and it actually was not bad! I kinda enjoyed it :) It was Sister Aeschbacher's brithday so Sister Paquin in the ward, who is an angel, made it special with fresh corn on the cob and steamers! I wasn't too fond of the clam but the lobster and corn were sooo good! 

This week we really did alot of work with Less-actives and we sure had a miracle! On Tuesdays we have " time" where we get to search all of the church websites and find stuff for our investigators as well as get updated with the recent videos, talks, etc. Well we were at the library browsing and in came Sister Royal. I don't know if I told you about our experience with her.. about a month ago we were sitting here just like we are now emailing and she came and sat down right next to me and she made a comment on how fast we were typing and I explained to her that we were missionaries and so we only had 2 hours to talk to our family for the week ..and she asked us what church we were with and I explained and she said, "Hey, I was baptized in that church!" and I said, "You were? Well whats your name?" And she told us her name and she just happened to be a LA we had been trying to get in contact with for quite a while! So we had a good conversation with her and then tried visiting her after that and we could never catch her when we saw her again we knew that it wasn't we got her attention and shared a video with her online and then we set up a time to see her...well we finally visited with her on Wednesday!!...and then on FRiday as well! Friday we brought a member who is just a sweetie! She really clicked with Sister Royal and it was perfect. Well we got talking and she just continued to tell us all the things that were going on in her life and how she just was really sad and just not happy with her life. She struggled to know if God even loved her and we just helped her to really understand how much God loves her and also the love of her savior, Jesus Christ. Somehow it came up that I was a singer and Sister Aeaschbacher requested I sing, "How Great Thou Art." So I did....and wow, I don't think I have ever felt the spirit working through me so strong. It felt as if my spirit was going to jump out of my body! The ability Heavenly Father gave me to testify of my Savior was unlike anything I had ever felt before. After I sang Sister Royal said she just wanted to capture that moment and live in it forever. She said that she felt like a sense of peace had came and just sat right on her heart! 

Thursday we had zone conference and Elder Wilson and his wife, they gave amazing training! It was all about the B of M. There was so much I got out of it and not enough time to share.. but they really stressed how important the B of M is in our conversion. It truly is the cornerstone of our religion! We studied the correspondence of 1 Nephi 1 and the Restoration..MIND BLOWN! I challenge you to try and find the 8 principles mentioned in the 1st lesson of PMG in 1 Nephi 1! I want to hear what you have found next week, k? They really encouraged us to read with our investigators and help them gain a testimony of the book of mormon so once they are baptized they will not fall away. :) So we are really working on being better with that this week!

On Sunday Sister Aeschbacher spoke and I sang in sacament meeting. I was a mess..I probably cried all day and night..probably. But I know that it is all going to work out! The hymn I sang is called "Does the Journey Seem Long" and it was one I have never heard before but Bishop Shaw requested I sing it and, wow, the lyrics are so good! Check it out:)

We had zone interviews about 2 weeks ago and President challenged us to work on one Christlike Attribute and I chose Charity and Love... it is so important in our journey to being like Jesus Christ. I look back on my life and see times where I was so judgemental and I don't even think I knew what charity was...I have repented but also made a commitment to never be that way again. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of His children just the same and no one person is better than the other. "Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?"   As a representative of Jesus Christ I am here to tell you that as disciples of Jesus Christ WE NEED TO LOVE. And when we do this others will see Christ through us! I know this with all my heart. I'm still working on it and I have a long way to go..but I know that as we pray for charity Heavenly Father will help us. 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and I know the gospel is the true and only way to return back to our Heavenly Father. Bishop Shaw said to me yesterday that the only word that sums up a mission is..overwhelming. and he is exactly right! This week I was overwhelmed with the realization that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. And not only that but that he had intrusted me to be a witness of Him at this time. I am humbled at this time to be a missionary and I am grateful mostly for this chance I have to represent the man I am trying to become like. I love being a missionary! 

I love you all sooo much and hope your week is amazing! 

Sister Innes