Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!! 12/29/14

Dear people that I love,

This week has been one that I will cherish forever! Christmas+ Being a missionary=THE

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...

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. 

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!! 

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 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

He is the gift. 12/22/14

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 of the first things she said was "No, I'm not a Mormon and I don't plan on being one" 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! :)
Love, Sister Innes

Miracles. Snow. Miracles. Snow. 12/15/14

Hola familia! 

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 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!

Sister Innes

GOD IS GOOD 12/8/14


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 :)

Sister Innes

Monday, December 1, 2014

GRATITUDE 11/24/14

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

Snow!! 12/01/14


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 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 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" 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 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 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!

Sister Innes