Monday, August 31, 2015

Bangor is the name! <3 8/31/15

Hello lovely people! :) how is everyone?!

I am doing greeaaat! I got transferred to Bangor, ME this week and I just absolutely love it. The people here are amazing! I am serving as a sister training leader again which is probably my favorite calling. We are over 6 sets of sisters which was a little daunting at first but I love it because it gives me very little room to worry about myself. I go to bed just exhausted every night but I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!!

My daughter, Sister Hallam, has flown the coop. It was so bittersweet to leave her but I am so excited for her. I think I kind of had a little glimpse of what it will be like to be a parent! I wanted to cry but I had to be strong for her, I know she will do great. Mom and dad I now understand why you cried when I left for college and my mission. :)

My new companion, Sister Eddington, is just an angel. I am so grateful to be with her! I am just overwhelmed by love from everyone. Sister Eddington, the Bangor Ward, and Heavenly Father. I know that He puts people in our lives exactly when we need them...and I just feel that so much right now. I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be!

Yesterday at church, I was asked to bear my testimony in church and introduce myself. Everyone keeps asking me how old I am lately, as if I'm too young to be a missionary, so I assured them I was in fact 21 and old enough to be a missionary! But I was just praying that Heavenly Father would help me to know what to say, and as I stood up I was just overwhelmed with complete love. Love from Heavenly Father, love for this ward, and the love I could feel they had for me even though I barely know them! The Bangor ward loves their missionaries, and I am so grateful for the missionaries who came before me who left such a great legacy. I hope I can feel their shoes! But also, I really felt a sincere love for my Savior as I stood up there, He is who has gotten me this far, I could not have done it without Him. He is my rock. I love him!

What has been on my mind this week is Mosiah 18:8-10. When we are baptized we enter into a covenant to, "bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light and to "mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort!" What a task that can be at times. But I have really come to feel what that means here in Bangor. The people here are so willing to just help and lift and love their brothers and sisters! I am trying to be better at that and keep my covenants so I can better help others keep their covenants. We are in a real war with Satan and Sin, we must stand together and not against each other! I challenge you to pray to Heavenly Father and tell him that you are available to help his children in any way He may need you to,and when the promptings come, because they will, follow them! I promise you will feel more happiness and peace come into your life as you focus more on others and less on yourself. :) I 'm so grateful for all of you and your amazing examples to me and serving me, loving me, and supporting me through it all!

Sure love you!!! :)

Love, Sister Innes


I need Him Every Hour 8/24/2015

 Dear family and friends,

Sorry for not emailing last week! Things have been busy busy, but greaaaat!

So, if you didn't know...last week Brother Ishihara got baptized! It was awesome! The previous Sunday I mentioned he had wanted to get baptized earlier. We committed him to pray about it and later that day he texted us and told us that He definitely needed to get baptized sooner!  So we looked at our calendars, prayed, and we felt like he would be ready on August 22nd. We asked him if he felt good about that day and he told us he was going to Hawaii and wanted to be baptized before then the heat was really turned up! We had taught him some of the commandments but none of the laws and ordinances and the only day that was doable was Sunday, August 16th...yes, a whole week! So, we prayed about it and felt we should talk to President Stoker but it was too late by then so, we couldn't talk to him until Monday. We explained the situation and he told us to tell him how we felt after we met with him that night. So, we went in to his lesson just praying that the spirit would help us to discern whether Brother Ishihara was ready or not....and as we taught him I was just overcome with complete peace! He was doing everything we had asked him to do and he just was so eager to start his new life and to make this commitment! So we told president how we had felt and we got the okay to go through with it! Well then, the opposition came on and it came full force from many different angles! But, we made it through....we were able to teach him everything and he just was so ready to be baptized, he had no reservations. After he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost he bore his testimony and it was just so sweet, he said,"It's amazing how a book (the book of Mormon) can bring so much clarity into ones life and that he was so grateful to have a new start in life! After we were talking to him and he said, "It was weird, I started getting all emotional and stuff, I have never felt that way in my life!" And I said,"Thats the spirit!" :) It was such an awesome day!

As I have been able to reflect on Gregs baptism this week, I came upon some verses in Alma 29 that I just loved..verses 9-10, " I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me." I just loved these because this has been my experience, my love for my Savior has grown this week. I have so many weaknesses but he is so merciful...if He could forgive others than I know He can forgive me. Being a missionary has changed my life! It truly is a refining process...And it is never easy but it is so worth it being able to help others to come to know their Savior. My heart if filled with joy! 

I have loved serving here in Portland...I found out I will be getting transferred tomorrow :( I have really come to love the people here....yesterday at church we were able to see some fruit from our labors these past three months and it was sweeet! We had an amazing woman we have been working with come to church and in her words, "She was back to stay." Aw!

I have loved being able to train Sister Hallam. She is a special person to me and I know that we were friends in Heaven and we looked forward to these months we would have together...I have learned so much from her: how to have faith, how to be diligent, and most of all how to love others! Me and Sister Hallam sing to anyone who will let us...we got to sing to some awesome people this week. No one invited us to come back but, we know we done our best!! ;)

I love serving the Lord, I am grateful for where he has placed me at this time in my life and for the places I will go! I know He has a plan for me and even though I may not fully understand it at times, He does...He really does love us! 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you :)

Love, Sister Innes

Photos from Higgins Beach in Scarborough

Monday, August 17, 2015

iMessage chat! 8/17/2015

Jill got to have an iMessage chat with all her siblings and parents this morning! It was great! Unfortunately, she ran out of time to write a letter. So she'll say more about next week. But here are some pictures from this week, with her captions. The highlight of her week was the baptism of Greg Ishihara. Love you jillybean!

We had zone interviews this week! Sister Hallam was meeting with President so she's not in the picture. 

Brother Ishihara passed his baptismal interview! So naturally we got ice cream.

Filling the font. :)

Brother Ishihara and his son Jaxson. :)

It's been such a stressful week with lots of tears but it was all worth it :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Best Friend. 8/10/15

To those who I love:

How in the Heavens are ya?! It has been an AMAZING week with so many miracles!!

Brother Ishihara has made so much progress this week!! We met with him on Tuesday and we read through 3 Nephi 11 with him. In verse 19 and 20 it says, "And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet.  And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him."We talked about how Jesus was so humble and He saw everyone as His friend. He did not want the praise. It made me think of these verses in John 15:13-15. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Jesus Christ immediately went on to expound upon the matter of baptism and tell the people what they needed to do to return to Heavenly Father. Everything he did was to fulfill his purpose in fulfilling Heavenly Father's purpose for us. He is our friend , our brother. He loves us so much....After we met with Brohter Ishihara he texted us and said that 3 Nephi was now his favorite chapter! 

Sister Hallam and I organized a Musical Fireside for the ward so we spent alot of time on that this week as much as time allowed...haha..but I got the opportunity to play for a couple of the msuical numbers and one of them was for this lady named Aziza from Africa! She is so awesome. Her and her husband were famous musicians in Africa. So we went on Wednesday to figure out a song and  I got to sing for them and Maisha informed me that we are going to record something together before I leave! haha so excited :) 

So after some practicing and other technical things the Fireside finally happened and it was perfect. The spirit was so incredibly strong and it was a memorable night for everyone involved. I was pretty stressed about it but it all turned out. Sister Hallam and I sang and then some other ward members sang and did some fantastic instrumentals...and Aziza sang! Aziza hasn't been able to come to church for awhile because of work but then she came to church on Sunday!! I was so happy :) and then we had this amazing African dinner with her last night. It was so good. :)

Brother Ishihara came to church on Sunday and stayed for all 3 hours. We met with him last night and taught him the Word of Wisdom and he informed us that he had already quit coffee haha! The guy is legit. We talked about church and he said that he would go to church 3 times a week if he could. He said its a good start for his week and keeps him in the right mind set. He also mentioned that he might want to get baptized earlier! He said I know that everything is true and know that this is the way we are intended to live so I don't see why I would need to hold off any as of now we don't quite know when he will be getting baptized but probably in the next couple weeks :) He has been prepare and its amazing to see his faith and desire to be baptized! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to teach him.

Friday me and Sister were doing role plays, which like I said are usually really awkward but once and a while they are really awesome. Well this time was one of those. We were practicing the Restoration in preparation for a lesson we were teaching that day. Usually we will teach with the person in mind that we are planning to teach but this time it was cool because we ended up teaching each other. On the front of the Restoration pamphlet it has a picture of Jesus holding a lamb and Sister Hallam asked me how I felt when I looked at the picture. I have seen it a million times and been asked and asked that question a million times, it seems, but as I said, "love," I literally just felt this overwhelming feeling of love and she went on to ask me how I though He felt about that lamb and if He felt that way about me..once again I said he loved the lamb but answering in all honesty I told her that I don't always feel like he feels that way about me. And I think that we all feel that way sometimes...and it just happened to be one of those days. But as we continued to teach each other I continued to feel an increased amount of love from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. By the end we were both bawling because the spirit was just so strong! And, so I am here to tell you again that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. I know that Jesus Christ is our friend. He has already paid the price and laid the path for Salvation through example and sacrifice. All he asks is that we follow Him...He has given us all that we need to return to live with our Father again. Oh how I love My Savior, Jesus Christ, He is my Best Friend.

I hope that you all have a fantastic week...if you ever get down do something for someone else it will literally change your life. Trust me ;)

I love you alll!!! 

Love, Sister Innes

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hello! 8/3/15

Hello Family!

This week has been really great. I don't have much time so I will just give you some highlights!! 

Brother Ishihara texted us this week after coming to church wondering how he could join the church and what the process was with doing that. We informed him that when he gets baptized he will be the newest member! That was a bright spot in the day. But then we taught him an actual lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ and Baptism and it was so awesome! It was amazing how the spirit testified to him that when he is baptized his sins will truly be washed away and he literally will have a new start! Its exaclty what he wants and he says he feels that it is all true...he has a sincere desire to change his life and he knows and has already seen how joining the church will help him to do that. So amazing!

We also stopped by a woman house who's a member but her husband is not. They live off the coast close to a private beach. Well, she took us on an adventure to see the beach and it is just beautiful! It is covered with rocks which are actually huge pieces of petrified wood. So we decided to sit down and we sang "For The Beauty of The Earth" to her and the spirit was just so strong! I  said to myself, "I love being a missionary" and I do. I love it here! I'm never coming home. But, I am so grateful for the beautiful creations God has given us. My favorite is the ocean though I think:) I always feel so close to my heavenly home when I'm there.

We ataught Lisa about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it in coming to know the truth. As we bore testimony of its truthfulness she said, I just love the light in your eyes! She felt the spirit and I felt it too. My testimony was once again reconfirmed of the truthfulness of the book. It truly is from God. When I come upon questions or things that I don't quite understand, I remember my testimony of the Book of Mormon and know that it is all true. Lisa still has a ways to go but she is getting there. She said she has always been drawn to the church and she is going to do what she needs to to find the truth! And the Lord only gives us answers if we truly desire to know and do all we can to find them!

We went on exchanges this week and I went with Sister Kimball! She is just so enthusiastic and excited to be a missionary and I really learned alot from her! I have really loved the song, "Come, Come Ye Saints and the example of the pioneers who were happy no matter what circumstances they were in. "Come, Come ye saints, no toil, no labor fear! But with joy wend your way!" I am trying to acquire this attitude and it isn't always easy but I've realized happiness is a choice and the gospel is what gives us true happiness! I love being a servant of the Lord and I will be forever! There is nothing better!

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

Sister Innes