Monday, July 27, 2015

Covenants are of God 7/27/15

Hellooo!! :)

It has been a greeeeeat week! Aw, so many miracles.

We met with Sister Sanborn this week, she was looking at the church before we got here but had to take a little break and is now back in for the win! Really though, this lady is awesome :) We had asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 before we came but she read the wrong chapter so we read it with her and oh, I just love that chapter. As we were reading the verses where Jesus Christ came and allowed the people to feel his wounds we asked her how she would have felt if she was there. And she said I think I would be in shock but I would know it was him! And then we asked her if she thought it could happen today which was a perfect segway to the first vision. The spirit was so in control, it was amazing! We read through the first vision in Joseph Smith History and asked her if she knew it was true. She said well I don't know, but I guess I better find out! Me and Sister Hallam were able to bear our testimonies about the first vision and the restoration of the gospel and she has committed to pray to know if it is true! I know she will receive an answer. It's a big promise but Heavenly Father always keeps it when we do our part. 

We also had an amazing lesson with Brother Ishihara. We read through Alma 36 about the conversion story of Alma the younger. We talked about how when we repent that our pain will be replaced with true joy!! He told us that as he has been meeting with us that He has felt more happiness. He said I know who I am now, and it has changed me. The spirit was so strong as he told us that and more. But my heart was just bursting with joy! The gospel really does change people. I see more light in Him and more hope! Hope that he can change. We ended our lesson with an invitation to be baptized and he accepted!! He also came to church for the first time and the members just took in him and made him feel loved. It made me so happy! He is just awesome. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed us to meet him and teach him. I've learned so much from him.

I was thinking alot about covenants this week....specifically why do we have to make them in order to have salvation. As I was pondering this morning the spirit helped me to understand it a little bit better. In the world we have different type of covenants, some written, some unwritten. So when you go to the store you know that you have to pay a certain amount of money to buy certain things. If you don't have the money then you cannot buy it right? Well its the same with Exaltation. There is a price set. I picture myself going to the checkout line and trying to buy a ticket to the Celestial Kingdom...and as the cashier tells me the price I realize that I don't have enough I look at the cashier with tears in my eyes...I hear a voice say, "I've got it." I can choose to let Jesus Christ help me or I can reject his help. I realized that when we make covenants we are basically telling Jesus Christ, I need your help, I can't do this on my own! He has already paid the price and when we make covenants we allow him to help us. As we keep our covenants and repent when we mess up that is showing him our faith in Him and His atonement. Rejecting His help in all reality is a form of pride because we cannot do it on our own. As we humbly acknowledge him by making and keeping covenants we are able to truly access the power and the right to have eternal life!

I am so grateful to be a has changed my life. I could never do this on my own and I am so grateful for the covenants I have made that give me access to the saving and enabling power of the atonement! I love my Savior and I know He loves me...and you. :)

Have a great day!!!

Love, Sister Innes

Monday, July 20, 2015

Trust in Him! 7/20/2015

To whoever is still reading these things:

First of all, I love you!! 
Second of all, Sister Hallam hit her 2 month mark today which means I am getting really old. I am what you would consider a senior citizen in missionary age...its pretty sad. 

This week was a really good one for many reasons. The first being that we got to do alot of walking!! Our car had to get repaired due to some damage done by previous missionaries so we got to walk all over South Portland. It was great! I am no longer pasty but I have really great tan lines. Missionary tan lines are THE BEST! The weather has been amazing this week as well, so I'm grateful for that. 

We also got to meet with Sister Crawford this week. We have been working with her to get a strong tesimony of the Book of Mormon so that we can help her set a date for baptism. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and she said, "If not everyone knows about this book, I don't know why Heavenly Father chose me to read it." And we talked about Moroni 10:3-5. in verse 3 it says, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."  We talked about how Heavenly Father had chosen her at this time to read the Book of Mormon because he knew she was ready! The spirit was so strong and its been amazing to see her faith grow. I was reminded this week of how blessed I am personally to have the Book of Mormon, it has changed my life. I am forever grateful for parents who instilled in me a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the things that I have learned by reading, pondering, and praying about it. And I know it will change YOUR life if it hasn't already! Give it a try. :)

We also met with the man I mentioned last week. He is so prepared! He has been reading in the Book of Mormon every night since we met him and he said that he has felt a literal increase of light in his life. His character is changing..he is more forgiving, patient, and kind. He said he feels it is all right and knows that this is what He needs to start again. He is amazing and I'm so grateful Heavenly Father allowed us to teach him at this time. I know that as he continues to learn that His life will change and he will continue to feel more peace, light, and hope! Thats what this gospel is all about! Second chances, change, hope, peace, love, and JOY!! 

As I sat in sacrament meeting yesterday during the passing of the sacrament, I was reminded of the love God has for me personally. Every night I pray for something I can be better at. Lately I continue to receive the answer "prayer"..I couldn't figure out why so I was praying to Heavenly Father about it and the words came into my head.."let me take it." And I realized that I had been praying but I wasn't praying as I should. I was trying to do it all on my own. And he reminded me that I didn't have to! And I know that is true! We never have to do it alone. He is always there, we must trust in Him!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Love, Sister Innes

"I met Mimi Knowles Dad today!" So nice. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Draw Closer to God. 7/13/2015

People who I love:

How is everyone doing?! It is nice and hot here and I love it :)

I love being a missionary, just in case you didn't know! This week I have learned alot and really just grown closer to Heavenly Father. 

So I mentioned recently that i have been learning alot about repentance, well this week Heavenly Father really taught me more. Ok, being a missionary is very hard. Its not easy. It never gets easier, I'm starting to realize! But this week we met with a couple of our investigators and the lessons were just not what they should have been. Nothing went the way we had planned. We were there for too long, we didn't teach what we had planned to and I just felt awful and that I had let Heavenly Father down. Well, as the week went on I began to be harder on myself, and that is never good. My faith began to weaken and I began to wonder a little bit if Heavenly Father was still there because He was being pretty silent. 

So are main topic this week was prayer. We were studying prayer in our 12-week training program for Sister Hallam and we were also trying to instill good prayer habits with our investigators as well which is improving. But, I think I learned more about prayer than they did. It always happens that way right? Well, while in the midst of this trial I was just praying that Heavenly Father would just send something to let me know that He cared and that He was still proud of me. I felt prompted to read "Living the Gospel Joyful" by Deiter f Uchtdorf, and there was a specific section that just always gets me, he says,"My dear sisters in the gospel, whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know: You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents.The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always.He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own.He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!" And as I read this I just felt His love envelop me and I knew He was there and that He did love me know matter how weak and imperfect I felt. 

So the week went on and me and Sister Hallam have been learning how to teach the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" which means we have been doing lots of role-playing which most of the time is awkward but on Saturday we were practicing teaching it and wow, it was like just what I needed! As we were teaching Sister Hallam seemed to say exaclty what I needed to hear and it just went straight to my heart.  She was teaching me of repentance and she said something along the lines of, "Sometimes it hurts to remember our mistakes but they help us to know how we can be better." And then as I taught her about baptism the spirit confirmed to me that baptism truly does cleanse us of our sins and it really does work. As we take the sacrament we truly can be forgiven and He remembers them no more. I knew that He knew my heart, that I was sincerely sorry for the mistakes I had made and that I was forgiven! What a neat experience it was. 

So...I kept thinking about what Sister Hallam had told me and I knew that Heavenly Father was helping me to learn how I could be better and that was one of the reasons that I was having such a hard time. My weaknesses were becoming clear..but only so that i could become stronger and better.

And the reason He was doing this is so that I could be prepared for this perfectly prepared human who we taught last night. This man referred himself on and has some pretty awful things going on in his life. He just wants a new start and peace. As we taught him the Restoration I knew that what I had learned this week was just what I needed to know so that I could be able to help this man and assure him that even though he felt bad about past mistakes there is hope and that Heavenly Father still loves him.

So in case this doesn't all make sense, basically Heavenly Father knows what He is doing!! He is in control and His ways are higher than ours. Never doubt. A quote that just summed it up for me today is this, "But here is the point—rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work."

The Lord allows us to go through trials so that we can feel His love more fully and in turn help others as well. Thats my story and I'm stickin to it!

Well, I love you and hope you all have a great week :)

Love, Sister Innes

Monday, July 6, 2015

God is Good!! 7/6/15

Dear family and friends!!

I'm apologizing in advance for the short email but you'll be ok ;) What another amazing week it was!! 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders and I got to be reunited with Sister Blume again! What a treat. I love her so much!! I felt like a mom though leaving Sister Hallam. Mom I know how you feel a little bit :) She did great though and it was cool to see her growth when I came back. I was able to see how much I have grown as well though! Training has been the best thing for me. Its exactly what I needed. While being in Yarmouth with Sister Blume I realized that my confidence and Trust in HEavenly Father has grown immensely. Missionary work is the same no matter where you're at. If you follow the spirit you can do whatever he needs you to. We went and taught a man who was recently baptized but since then has gone less-active. We had a goal to listen to eachother and the spirit and as we did the lesson went exactly how it needed to. Even though I didn't know him or his wife we were able to follow the spirit and bring the spirit into their home. It was amazing! Heavenly Father will never let us down if we only trust in Him.

We met with Sister Crawford quite a bit this week and oh she is just an amazing woman. I am so grateful to have met her. This week we talked about faith. We read and discussed Matthew 14: 22-33 when Peter walks on water but when he fears and doubts he falls into the sea and begins to drown. But then Christ immediately picks him up and says, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" This is one of my favroite stories because it rings true for me! But, I loved how Chirst was right there to pick him up when he fell and I know he does the same thing for us. We have no need to fear though. If we keep our eyes on him and TRUST in him we can do all things! It was amazing to see Sister Crawford's faith grow this week...she came to church! My heart was just filled with happiness :)

We also met with our investigator couple who are just awesome as well. They had a lot of questions so we talked about how the only way they can know that it is all true is if they pray and through the Holy ghost they will receive an answer. An answer that they will know and cannot deny. We discussed 3 Nephi 14:7-11 "Ask , and it shall be given unto you; seek , and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" We testified to them that if they prayed they would receive an answer and it would be one they would know recognize because God knows them perfectly! The spirit was there and they said it was really deep but they agreed to pray! I know and have a firm testimony that He will answer us and it will be in a way that we cannot deny because He knows us. And he loves us.

I hope you all have a great week and don't forget to trust and have faith in God and Jesus Christ! They love us. and I love you!!!!!

Sister Innes

Meant to Repent 6/30/15

Dearest family and friends!!

How is everyone doing? Sorry if you were confused when I didn't email
yesterday! We went to the temple today. :) It was a different
experience today, but really cool. When we got there they told us it
was closed for cleaning! My heart broke a little bit because I was so
excited to go! I hadn't been for about 11 months... So they told us
that we could help clean if we wanted to and we thought we might as
well if we came all this way! So guess where I got to clean for 2
whole hours? The Celestial room!! It was really neat. While I was
there I was trying to ponder on what Heavenly Father wanted me to
learn because obviously it was His will. So I kept praying and
pondering...and this is what I learned from the spirit was - no act of
service or calling is better than another in the Kingdom of God. We
all have different things we are called to do and sometimes that
requires our actions and choices to be seen by others. But there is a
lot of service that is done that never gets seen. Like no one that
goes to that Celestial Room will know that I cleaned the chair they're
sitting on...but it doesn't matter. Heavenly Father sees it all and He
loves us and is grateful for the service we give no matter how great
we feel it may be! has been a good good week! Last Tuesday we had Zone
Conference. It was probably my favorite by far! Most zone conferences
we receive great trainings on the technical parts of being a
missionary like teaching, finding, etc. This one was really for us as
missionaries and it was one that I needed! The biggest thing I came
away with from the whole day has to do with my cheesy Subject line.
Life is all about learning, repenting, changing, and becoming fit for
the Kingdom of God. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said something along
these lines, " Repent is one of the most hopeful and encouraging words
in the Christian vocabulary." For a long time I looked at repentance
as a bad thing but it isn't! Because of Jesus Christ we can truly be
forgiven of any mistake or sin and we can change! We all were given
weaknesses, we all make mistakes and Heavenly Father knows that. He
knew we would sin. Jesus Christ did what he did so we could repent and
become like our Heavenly Father. D&C 19:16 "For behold, I, God, have
suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they
would repent."

A talk that really had an impact on me was "Lord, Is It I?" By Deiter
F. Uchtdorf. It talks about seeing ourselves clearly and being totally
and completely aware of our weaknesses. Two quotes that I love are,
"Brethren, none of us likes to admit when we are drifting off the
right course. Often we try to avoid looking deeply into our souls and
confronting our weaknesses, limitations, and fears. Consequently, when
we do examine our lives, we look through the filter of biases,
excuses, and stories we tell ourselves in order to justify unworthy
thoughts and actions. But being able to see ourselves clearly is
essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses
and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming
power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths.
Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make
us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture
within each of us," And then going on speaking of the gospel He says,
"It is the good news, and it helps us to become good." Our Heavenly
Father sees us for who we can become even though He is also fully
aware of our weaknesses. Our Savior sees us that same way...and
because of Him we are never ever alone. When we turn to Him and allow
him to make our weaknesses strong (with some work on our part) we
become who He wants us to become and one day if we continue on His
path we will become perfect like Him.

We met with Sister Crawford this week and oh, she is so prepared! We
talked about the plan of salvation and how she really can find true
happiness...and she said that we really could not have come at a
better time in her life because the past months have been real hard
for her and she really needs happiness. We talked about the fall of
Adam and Eve and how if we didn't have to go through the pain we
wouldn't be able to know joy. Ans THAT really touched her. All things
are a compound in one. There will always be bad as long as there's
good and there will always be chaos as long as there is peace. :)

In the past week Heavenly Father has blessed us with 3 new people to
teach. I talked a little bit about one of them the other week...he has
2 children and a sweet wife! We met with him and his wife and taught
them the Restoration. It was probably Sister Hallam and I's best
lesson yet. Up until we met with them our day had been pretty
unsuccessful but we felt like we were being led by Heavenly Father, I
really think he was just humbling and making sure we were listening.
So when we taught them the spirit was definitely there and really
guiding us. And at the end He said he would love to keep meeting with
us because he always felt happy when he was talking to us. So we were
able to teach him about the spirit and how it testifies of truth
through feelings of joy, peace, and love. It was a neat experience. So
last we checked he has read the Book of Mormon and he has questions!!
So good.

Also, we did service for a sweet lady who is 101 years old and she
still teaches piano!! That's going to be you mom. :) she let me play
and sing her a song and then she played for us! She is so good for a
101 year old. Hopefully we can start teaching her. :)

Sorry this is so long, these iPads are really convenient, I had a
whole car ride to write! So, I hope you all have a beautiful week.
Never cease to think about the big picture, Gods plan for you, and
what you need to change to be fit for the Kingdom of God. You are all
brilliant and I'm grateful to know each of you! I LOVE YOU.