Monday, March 30, 2015

#happybirthdaytome 3/30/15

Hello friends and family!!

Thank you for all of the Birthday Wishes, it has been an awesome week! Definitely a Birthday I will remember. I also was happy to hear of some of the experiences you had with sharing the gospel. Thank you :)

Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with the two men from the Veterans Home I mentioned last week. We taught the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. These men are so humble and very open-minded. It was amazing to see the change that took place within them as the spirit found its way into their hearts. I was just reminded of the love Heavenly Father has for each of His children. I could feel His love for these men...The Plan of Salvation is for each of us given by a LOVING Heavenly Father.

I had a cool study this week on Ether 6, specifically verses 5-12. I loved how it talks about how the Lord sent fierce winds to lead them to the promised land. And those fierce winds caused many waves and tempest which even buried them in the sea at times. But it was all for a purpose to get them to the promised land...just like the challenges and trials in our lives. Its easy sometimes to murmur and complain about the things we are going through but when we look back we realize that they were leading us to eternal life...shaping us into who we need to be so that we will be fit for the celestial kingdom. 

Friday we had zone conference and I got to train for the first time! Scariest thing of my life. I still feel like a new missionary, so training missionaries was just a whole new ball-game for me. But with the Lord's help it went well. Also, our who conference was on Chapter 8 in Preach My Gospel, "Using Time Wisely" and it was just awesome! I learned alot of things. Before I went I asked Heavenly Father how I could more fully show my love for him. During zone Conference I was prompted to read through "The Fourth Missionary." In the talk it talks about how the "fourth missionary" gives his will to Heavenly Father and because of that He is changed. Heavenly Father chastened me a bit as I read but my heart was changed and I am now fully committed to Heavenly Father. I am doing His will...He asked me to be here so I am going to give everything that I have. I know He will bless me and if I trust Him, He will make of me what He wants me to be. 

I am really excited for this week because Easter is coming! I love the initiative the church has going on about Jesus Christ and the reality of His resurrection. #becausehelives we will live again! I am so so so excited to bare my testimony to everyone about this simple truth and I hope you all will as well. I would encourage you to watch the video at and share it. In Mosiah 16:7-9 it says, "And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." In Sacrament meeting an Elder that I serve with in the Montpelier ward shared this scripture and shared a very personal testimony about how he knew this was true..his dad died after one year of being on his mission. And as he bore his testimony that he knew he would see his dad again..the spirit confirmed to me that it was true. As a representative of Jesus Christ I testify that He lives and I know that we will all live again too. I know that He is our Savior. And because He still lives today we have access to His grace, love, mercy, hope and joy at any moment! He is here!...Find Him #becausehelives.

I hope you have a great week and gain some awesome revelation from General conference this week! Happy Easter :)

Love, Sister Innes

Monday, March 23, 2015

9 months!! 3/23/15

Hello people :)

As, dad would say I'm over the hill! Yep, I'm a middle-aged missionary, its pretty ridiculous. I love being a missionary.

Well, some highlights of my week: 
Tuesday we had a lesson with a Brother Yakowich who's got lots of potential. He's great! He is friends with a boy in the ward! We met with him at his friends house and taught the Plan of Salvation. It was so cool to see this 18 year old kid, Brother Lajeunesse, bear his testimony to his Brother Yakowich and the spirit was very strong. He did most of the teaching, which is awesome. Members are so crucial in missionary work. We are meeting again with him this week! :)

Thursday we met with a sweet sister who we will now be teaching. Sister Hooks is so great! She let me sing a song for her and then she sang one for me :) She said that God had given in to her. So we decided we would write a song together! haha it will be great.

Friday I got to go the Joseph Smith Memorial for the first time. We took a recent convert, Sister Hill! The spirit there is incredible, almost the same as on the temple grounds. We watched "The Restoration" while there and man there is no doubt in my mind that the gospel has truly been restored. Before we watched the video I prayed that Heavenly Father would have me learn what He wanted me to. There were a couple things that stood out to me but the biggest was just a reconfirmation of the truthfulness of the restoration. There is no way Joseph Smith would have went through what he did if He hadn't been visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. A testimony of the restoration is so crucial. We all have questions and we may not ever get answers. I have questions everyday, but there is one things I do know and that is that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God just like the prophets of old. He indeed did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know the power and authority of God that Jesus held when He was on the earth is restored and it  is through this power we can be with our families for eternity.And that is what I hold on to when the questions and the doubts come. 

Friday we met with a man who hasn't been to church in over 10 years because of some personal choices but he wants to come back! He as given us a date in early April to come back and so we felt we should go through, "Come, Join With Us" by Deiter f. Uchtdorf.The talk is addressed to nonmembers and returning members but I think everyone could benefit from reading it. There was a scripture that I have really loved, 3 Nephi 24:7 "Return unto me, and I will return unto you saith the Lord of hosts." I have found this to be so true. We are never too far, we are never too deep. As soon as we re-turn to Jesus Christ He is always there with loving and merciful arms. He loves us and wants us to find happiness. There is nothing we could ever do that would make him not love us.  

On Tuesday we went and toured a Veterans home which is basically a place for recovering verterans to come  and get help to get back on their feet. While there we met 2 young men and they asked us about the church and we gave them where and when church was going to be. And they said they would come but we weren't too sure they would. Well Sunday came around and I had totally forgot about meeting them. 5 minutes before church started, guess who walks in? Yep, they totally came to church! And we are meeting with them on Tuesday :)

My birthday is in 3 days...and all I want from you is to share the gospel with one person this week! Just for me. You can do it however you choose, but THATS what would make my birthday. If you could write me of your experience I would love you even more. :) This gospel is for everyone! We are all God's children. <3 And if you aren't a member, I would challenge you to meet with missionaries, or read the book of mormon! #happybirthdaytome

I love you all! Have a lovely week! :)

Love, Sister Innes

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Montpelier, Vermont 3/16/15

Temporary address:
2 Bedform Farms Ste 208 
Bedford, NH 03110

Hello people! 

So, guess where in the world I am? Yep, you guessed it! Montpelier, VT. And, I love it! My new companion is Sister May from Grantsville, UT. She goes home at the end of this transfer so she is pretty much legit! I am learning so much from her..I already love her.

I have so much I want to write and I know I won't have enough time to write all of it. But, wow the church is true!! Being transferred is a very humbling experience...and then being a new Sister Training Leader just makes it even more humbling. I felt like new missionary all over again and I have prayed ALOT this week. But I have seen some pretty cool miracles from it. 

Monday I had to say goodbye to Sister Mckinley...and let me tell you that was hard! I have come to love her so much. Her and Brother Mckinley through me an early birthday party because I wouldn't be there for my birthday..are you kidding me?! Yep, they're awesome. Sister Mckinley is solid. She is on her way to happiness! I couldn't be happier. 

Tuesday was transfer meeting and some of my favorite missionaries went home...which was sad. But hearing their testimonies was amazing. Transfer meeting is probably my favorite. My last Sister Training Leader, Sister Smedley, went home and something that she shared has really struck me this week..."In order to be an instrument in God's hands you have to learn to let Him hold you. Let God love you the most." And what I got from that was in order to help and love other people we first have to let God love us and help us....that is something I am still learning but that is something I've really been focusing on. After I got to Montpelier we went contacting in downtown Montpelier, the people here in Vermont are very honest to say the least. Which can be awesome and discouraging all at the same time! But, we talked to lots of people which is why I love it here!!

Wednesday was great and I got to meet more people in the area, and most of our investigators! They are all awesome!...after we planned Wednesday night I was so tired I fell asleep during Sister May's prayer at the end of nightly planning haha. #missionarylife

Friday we had a pretty low key day with not much to do until the evening. We stopped by our investigator's Robin and Mike who just became new investigators before I got here. We had planned to teach the Plan of Salvation to them and we ran through teaching it that morning and I was just not on my teaching game. When we got there I was kind of nervous that I was going to screw it all up so I was praying so hard. The lesson went amazing! Robin has so much potential and is very interested. She asked us what made us different from other churches and I was able to summarize the restoration and the spirit was so strong. She said she was very curious to learn more...and I know the spirit was working on her. She said she would be baptized if she came to know what we had taught was true and she feels her kids should be baptized too! Boom. Miracles.

I am still getting used to the area and getting to know the people. I have been praying alot to know how I can help them... Sunday I went to church seeking for answers on how we could help them progress and I was able to receive some awesome revelation. A man gave a talk on conversion...and what I got out of it was that basically in order for us to be converted we must first have a testimony, in order for us to have a testimony we have receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost of the truth we are seeking. And the key word is order for us to be visited by the Holy Ghost we have to be seeking. Our hearts must be open...Bishop Norris shared a scripture in Ward Council yesterday and it was Mosiah 12:27. "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people?" And I thought it applied perfectly. That's why we teach people who will receive us, people who are seeking. They are those who will be more apt to being converted because they are humble and open to the promptings of the spirit. That's why we are told to have a broken heart and contrite spirit. The spirit changes hearts...but only if you let it!

Well, my time is up! I sure love you all and hope your week is a good one! Keep smiling :) It's a beautiful life!

Love, Sister Innes

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sunny skies and Bittersweet Goodbyes 3/9/2015

Hello people I love!

So yes, it is true...I am being transferred who knows where! I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader which I was not expecting at all... I feel very inadequate and humbled for the opportunity to serve in this capacity but I know this is the Lords will for me...although I am going to miss the people in Waterville. Just when I think my heart isn't big enough  the Lord shows me that you can never have too much love...and you can never love too many people! Oh it's been a hard couple days having to say goodbye. But I can't stop thinking of this quote by Deiter f. Uchtdorf..."In His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." I know I will see these people again whether it be on Earth or in Heaven!

Wow, what a week it was!! We had an amazing mission conference on Saturday with Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy, Bishop Coze from the presiding bishopric and Elder Bennett who is an area seventy for our mission. They all gave amazing talks and I wish I could share everything I learned.. but I was just very overwhelmed by the love the Brethren have for the missionaries and for me in general. Elder Hallstrom focused on us which was really cool....usually conferences are focused on how we can be better missionaries and how we can help our areas, which they should be, but he really made an impression on me personally about how amazing and unique this time in my life really is. I came away motivated to be better and to give my 100% to the Lord right now. Missions will change you...if you let them. They will set a pattern for the rest of your life..if you let them! I am so grateful to have this time to give everything I have to serving the Lord. There is nowhere else I'd rather be. 

I also had the opportunity to do a musical number for the conference and I was asked about a month prior. I prayed to know what I should sing and I felt I should do, "I'll Go Where You want Me To Go" and so I began working on it but I soon realized that it was kind of a difficult song to arrange..and then I started worrying because I had already told President what I was singing and I couldn't change it. So I continued to work at it when I had time...which wasn't much! But I still wasn't really Tuesday it so happened that everything fell through and we had an hour open with nothing to do...and the spirit told me that I needed to go sit down and practice and that Heavenly Father gave me that time to practice so I could stop we went to the church and I sat down at the piano and just plead with Heavenly Father that He would help me because I obviously wasn't getting anywhere through my own efforts. And as I started to play it was an amazing experience...the song just came and came and the spirit testified to me that this was it. This was just what He wanted...and so Saturday came and I was really nervous but He helped me again and it was a neat experience! Little did I know that I would be holding on to those words today, "So trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing Thou lovest me, I'll do thy will with a heart sincere, I'll be what You want me to be!"

What I have come to know this week more than ever...The Lord knows us personally, He is in the details of our lives. He wants the best for us...because He loves us. I have found so much joy in serving Him. I have come to know Him better...more clearly, more powerfully, and more personally. This is His gospel , His only true gospel that was established in the beginning of time. It has been restored for us so we can BE HAPPY. In this world there is so much confusion, there is so much strife...but there is safety in following the Lord and his chosen servants...I sustain President Thomas S. Monson as a Prophet of God. I know that if we heed and follow His counsel we will find peace and joy even in times of despair and sorrow. The way to happiness is here and it is for you, and you, and you, and me...from a loving Heavenly Father who wants His children to come back home. Pray hard, study harder, and obey even harder. 

Moroni 7:48 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

I love you all and hope your week is a good one! :)

Love, Sister Innes

He is the light. 3/2/2015

Dearest Family and Friends! :)

It's March!! Time just keeps flying and I don't like it. I turn 21 in 24 days!!! Not that I'm counting or anything :)

This week though I have really come to know my Savior so much better... Here are some memories that I never want to forget:

Monday we met with the Mckinley's and Sister Mckinley had prayed about a baptismal date and it is...drum roll please.....April 2nd!! When she told us I was as happy as a fat kid with chocolate cake. And she was like, "I knew you were going to smile like that!" But it was so happy..and a little shocking. I wasn't expecting it that quick but she is so prepared. I sometimes feel like I was sent to Waterville just for her. :)

Wednesday we had Interviews with President and Zone meeting! One word: AMAZING. I went in that day having prayed that I would be directed and prompted by the spirit on how I could be better and get some answers to things I was struggling with. My interview with President was everthing I needed and I sat there and just spilled my soul out to him he listened and spoke to me with so much love and mercy. The next day I was reading in 3 Nephi 8 & 9. and in verse 14 it says, "Yea, verily say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal lifeBehold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." And then in verse 22 it says, "Therefore, whoso repentethand cometh unto me as a little child, him will receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." And those verses just hit home. I truly felt the mercy and love of my Savior. I think that day as I sat there with President I came to know my Savior a little bit more. He is so kind, so loving, and SO merciful. More than I ever thought He could be. He loves us and wants us to come unto Him, and as we do we are blessed with the most precious gifts we could ever imagine.

Our zone leaders also gave an amazing lesson and in it they showed us a video of the talk by Jeffrey R Holland, "Missionary Work and the Atonement." The day before I had been asking myself, "Why is this so hard?" And I loved what he said in response to that exact question. 
"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least step or two toward the summit of Calvary... If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone lot greater and lot grander asked long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made hiss and byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life." And I realized that as a Representative of Jesus Christ I have to go through a little bit of what He went through...if I didn't I wouldn't know Him. Salvation was never easy!

Thursday we taught Sister Mckinley the Word of Wisdom and she is so on board...we are working hard on getting her off of cigarettes. She knows its what she needs to do though...and I know that Heavenly Father will help her. 

Friday we met with Sister Arlington, a woman in the ward who I've come to love! We were talking about prayer and how we are told to always have a prayer in our heart and to have sincere prayers. And she went on to talk about how she has conversations with Heavenly Father about everything...she had a 2 hour conversation with Him about the woodpeckers in her front yard she told us. But the spirit bore witness to me that we should talk to Heavenly Father about everything. He is our father, and when we talk to him about everything than we build trust and we come to know him so much better. So I challenge you to talk to Heavenly Father not just about the hard times but the good times and the things that make you happy or a really funny joke you heard that day! I know he wants to hear :)

Saturday we did some good ol' raking and shoveling of horse manure! And guess what, I could do it! I found this gem today: D&C 84: 80 "And any man that shall go and preach this gospelof the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst." And I'll tell you it's true! My back does not hurt at all after doing that labor. It truly is a miracle. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.. Heavenly Father has sure blessed me. I know that as I strive to be faithful that He will continue to help me.

Sunday Sister Mckinley came to church! And so did our other investigator Megan. :) It was a great day! And Liz's little sister ended up still being baptized after church...and it was so sweet. It made me remember the feelings I had when I was baptized..that was the first time I can actually remember feeling the Holy Ghost! Sister Mckinley loved it...she is so excited to be baptized! It makes my heart happy :)

Well this week I have also been studying alot on Jesus Christ and how hHe is the "light of the world" 3 Nephi 12: 14-16 and 3 Nephi 18:24. As we come unto Jesus Christ, as we embrace and live His gospel and strive to be like him we are filled with his a spiritual sense... But also in a literal sense...we have a tangible light that people can see. What are your thoughts? I'm obsessed with the subject right now! 

Well I love you all. Thanks for your love and support!  Have an awesome week! :)

Love, Sister Innes

P.S.  old pictures and new pictures :)