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 that...so 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