Monday, December 28, 2015

<3 12/28/2015 (Sister Innes last letter:)

Hello! :)
Well, we finally got some snow last night. Maybe about 1/16 of an inch…but it is mighty cold today! I can’t believe this day has come though. It has gone way too fast for me! This week was filled with many “lasts” accompanied by lots of tears as the realization set in that soon this would all be over… I love being a missionary for my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I knocked my last door and the woman who answered was nothing short of rude to us…as I told her we were representatives of Jesus Christ she immediately slammed the door in my face. It’s kind of funny because the first door I knocked was slammed in my face too…you would think I would have gotten over the crying thing but needless to say I was crying as we left her house. But this time it wasn’t because she had shut the door on me, I could care less about that, but the fact that she had shut the door on Jesus Christ. As I pondered on what had just happened as we drove away my heart was filled with gratitude for all that He went through to do what He did. It made me think of this scriptures in John 15, “Remember the word I that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” I got a little teeny tiny glimpse of what Jesus went through for me, and I would do it again for Him.
We were referred by a member to a sweet 87 year old man who is suffering from cancer. The first time we met him I just instantly loved him. He has the innocence of a child and his love for Jesus Christ is so sweet. He asked us if Heavenly Father would think He was too old to be baptized, we told him that He would need to be baptized sooner or later so better to do it now! He said he would!!! :) He asked us if he would get to see Jesus Christ if he died before he came….and His eyes lit up as we told him, “Of Course!” He loves music so we sang a lot of hymns to him. The spirit was very strong in his hospital room...I’m grateful I got the chance to meet him before I left. When I think of Charles I think of this scripture: 3 Nephi 9:22 , “Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.” He has such a childlike faith even though he is 87, I hope to be like that when I’m his age.

We had a lesson with a less-active who has recently agreed to work on getting back to church…so we taught him the first lesson. Oh my, tears were flowing as I shared the first vision. I KNOW that Joseph Smith truly saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I know it with all my heart. I love and honor Joseph Smith…serving at the Memorial has really strengthened my testimony of not only the restoration but specifically of Joseph Smith. I was privileged to bear my testimony to a family of members who came in to the memorial. As I did the spirit entered my heart and just filled me with so much love for Joseph Smith, I love Him and know that He was a man of God. He went through so many things to defend His beliefs and to stay true to His Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. His life is an example to me. I am grateful for what He did and His faith to press forward which has BLESSED my life immensely.

 I had the privilege of talking to another family who were nonmembers and taught them about the restoration of the priesthood, as I did he kept rubbing his arms and saying, “I’ve got the chills!” I told him that those chills was the spirit testifying to him that the things I was sharing with him were true! And he answered back, “I know!” So, guess who’s going to be meeting with missionaries? That man! And then, another lady came in and I just felt prompted to talk to her. I didn’t know what to say to her so I prayed that Heavenly Father to know what I should say to her. Her and her husband were the first to come in for the night and so I was reading the Book of Mormon as they walked in because I was really stressed and a little anxious so I went to the thing that always brings me peace  I was prompted to ask her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon before and she hadn’t so I introduced it to her and went on to tell her that I loved reading with it because I deal with anxiety and it helps me to feel peace when I read it….she then told me that she dealt with severe anxiety as well and she needed peace in her life and a new church! She agreed to read the book and to meet with missionaries…I know that Heavenly Father led me to her so that I could share that with her. And this is just a little bit of what this week has been filled with. I am so honored that Heavenly Father gave me the opportunity to be here. We had around 3,000 guests here at the memorial this week! I have seen so many miracles whether it be just singing a song for someone who needed it so much they were moved to tears or having a member bring a friend and being so excited because she accepted a Book of Mormon and is reading it! 

I just want to sing at the top of my lungs songs of praise and gratitude to my Heavenly Father. My heart is so full with gratitude for my mission. It has literally saved my life. I have been changed. I know that Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally. He will always love me. He wants me home and has given me the perfect plan to do that. I know that it is only in and through my Savior that I will ever be able to do that. I know He suffered for me personally and that through His atonement I can be forgiven of my sins and I can change and become the person who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I know that it is only by giving our will to Heavenly Father that we can become that person He wants us to be and knows we can be. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that it truly is the word of God and that as we read it brings a new found power and peace that nothing else can. I know that as we serve others and share the gospel we are blessed with an abundance of the spirit. I love this gospel…I will continue to share it for the rest of my life. Once a missionary, ALWAYS a missionary! 

“Members who share the gospel experience joy and have the spirit more abundantly. As we share the gospel, we appreciate how precious and meaningful it is to us, and we feel a greater love for God and others.” PMG Pg 84

Love to you all, I’ll see you soon! :)

Sister Innes

Monday, December 21, 2015


*Jillian is busy busy at the Joseph Smith Memorial, so she didn't write a letter.  But she did send this awesome picture! 

Caption: " So many neat miracles this week. I am in love and so happy."

Oh, how I love my Savior!! 12/21/15

Hello, people who I love!! 
First off I just want to apologize for being a slacker and not emailing. Our last couple preparation days have just been packed with things to do, they keep us busy here at the JSM! ;) I sure love it though!!
Well, these last couple weeks have just been AMAZING. We have dropped all our investigators except for one who is just so sweet. Sister Newman, is actually our literal next door neighbor. It has been so sweet to teach her. She is a cute little lady in her 70’s who has gone through A LOT in her life. There was a couple weeks when we first got here that we weren’t able to meet with her and it turns out she had been reading the Book of Mormon the whole time! She believes it is true, so this week we committed her to pray to know if it’s true because she is still hesitant about baptism. She said she would be baptized but she wants to know FOR SURE it is the right thing to do. The spirit is very strong in her lessons, it’s amazing how much of desire she has to know the truth, and her questions are really good! Some of the best! I feel like Heavenly Father made a perfect match with us and her. I don’t even really know her still but I love her so much. With the things she has gone through I am so amazed by her strength and faith…this last lesson she shared with us that her mom died when she was 6. We felt prompted to show her the “What we need a Savior” video from this year’s Christmas initiative found at and she just loved it. The spirit was strong as my companion testified of the atonement of Jesus Christ and the reality that one day she would see her mom and that she could find hope and happiness in the midst of her trials.
 I absolutely love that video as well as the “A Savior is Born” video. We share it constantly here at the Memorial. I think I have them memorized by now ;) I love how it says, “He understands you.” As I was taking the sacrament this week that came to my mind and the spirit testified to me of the reality of that simple statement…simple but huge in meaning. The Savior of the world understands me? Yes, he does. This week I was studying Alma 7: 11-13, one of my favorites. The thing that stood out to me this week was in verse 12 when it says, “And he will take upon Him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that He may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” I am so full of gratitude for my Savior, I know that he took upon him my personal weaknesses and shortcoming. He knows exactly how I’m feeling at any time of the day. On my mission my weaknesses have been magnified and it seems as I get close to going home that they are just right in my face all the time! You return missionaries know what I mean?? Well, we had zone conference this week and President Stoker taught us about the atonement, specifically how the atonement helps us to overcome sin and weakness. One thing that he said that really impacted me was that our goal here on Earth is to reject sin and ACCEPT weakness. Heavenly Father will accept us with our weakness...but He can’t accept us with sin. Weakness is not sin unless we our prideful and choose not to use the enabling power. Heavenly Father gave us weakness that we might be humble. This was just what I needed, at times I forget that I don’t have to do it on my own. I let pride get in the way…these past couple weeks I kept wondering if I had done enough and if I had changed enough. I read this scripture: Ether 12: 37, “And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.” As I read this the spirit touched me and I know it was Heavenly Fathers way of letting me know that He knew I was aware of my weaknesses but that He was proud of me for being faithful and striving to serve Him to the best of my ability despite my weaknesses. 
I am so grateful to be serving here at the JSM! I think I have met as many people this month as I have the other 17 months of my mission combined. The Lord has taught me many things here. I get a lot of opportunities to sing and play the piano and I have met some pretty amazing people through that. One being a lady I call Sister Susan. One night she came up and sang with me and then a week later she came back and I invited her to sing with me again. After we sang she said that the spirit had touched her and she wanted us to come teach her and she wanted to come to church! So we met with her and it was a great meeting. Me and Sister Petersen are singing at church this Sunday and she is going to come  We have really really been trying to get referrals here. We haven’t reached our goal but we sure are seeing many miracles here! I know the church is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and he restored the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ back to the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. His love is free and He can help us make it back home IF we let him. I can’t wait for the day when I get to see him again and thank Him. I love my Savior. 
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and share the Love of Christ with all you meet! HE is the reason for the season. 
Love you ALL!!
Sister Innes

Monday, December 14, 2015



How is everyone doing?? Well it has been a very good/crazy week!  I love the simplicity of life here in Vermont. The people are just great. And it hasn't snowed yet! (knock on wood) Its the weirdest thing!

Sister Petersen and I have been doing a lot of driving (on muddy roads) this week trying to find people who will listen to us! And let me tell you...there is nothing like Vermont dirt roads. They are THE BESTTTT!  Especially in a Chevy Cruze...I am confident that if I tried driving these roads not being a missionary that I would be dead by now. We've got angels on our side!

Well, these past two weeks here have been so different from the rest of my mission! Sister Petersen and I spend the majority of our time at the Joseph Smith Memorial. I absolutely love it here. The weekdays are pretty slow but this weekend we had quite a bit of people come visit. I am still learning how to be a visitors center missionary. We have been counselled to basically just teach the restoration as we give people tours. So, you would think I would know how to do it! Its much different though then sitting down with someone one on one and teaching a lesson. And me and Sister Petersen are allowed to split up if we have to, so on top of doing these new tours I am doing them alone!! Haha A little out of my comfort zone but that's what makes us grow right? ;) We have been showing videos for the #asaviorisborn initiative though and that has been really neat!

We had a mother and her young son come in. I showed the videos to her and she really loved the second one about what the world would be like if we didn't have a Savior. I just love that video, it really touched my heart. My heart has been so full this past week with just gratitude for the birth of Jesus Christ. Please watch the videos here if you haven't:
After I showed them the videos her son was asking alot of questions so I thought them the restoration. While we were talking I asked her if she attended church and she said she used to but she hadn't in a while due to some health problems her son was having that made her embarrassed to take him to church. The spirit prompted me to tell her about how we are all together for sacrament meeting including the babies so her son would fit right in. She really loved that. As I taught her the spirit was so strong and my testimony, once again was confirmed of the reality of the Restoration...well She asked where she could go to church after the tour! And she took a Book of Mormon :) I'm so grateful for the help of the spirit. I could not do it without it. Before we went home that night I witnessed my companion receive a priesthood blessing and it was so powerful to see that be done on this sacred property. The next day she still wasn't feeling too well and we had to go to the JSM late and my spirit just longed to be there. We only missed an hour but...I just am so eternally grateful to be here. I want to just soak in every minute! I am grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing me to spend Christmas here. What a special place!

As for teaching me and Sister Petersen are not currently teaching anyone...we are on the hunt for a family and praying to find one we can teach! Any prayers would be appreciated :) I am so grateful to be apart of this sacred work. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ! He is the reason for the season. <3

Have a beautiful week! I love you all :)

Sister Innes

Hello!! 11/23/2015

Hello Family and Friends :)

What a beautiful day it is here at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial! Yes, you heard right, I am now in South Royalton, VT!! Half of my time here will be spent serving at the JSBM, which I am so excited for! Me and my new companion, Sister Petersen, will start officially this Friday after Thanksgiving. :)

Speaking of Sister Petersen, man I just love her. She is such a unique individual whom I admire so much. She is very wise and I have already learned a lot from her. Heavenly Father sure knows what He is doing!

Wednesday we met with a man from the missionary department and he trained us on what we would be doing, lets just say I am very excited! We will be doing a lot with the Christmas Initiative which starts this coming Sunday. All the info will be here: . We are having the lighting ceremony for the Christmas lights here on Friday and Saturday at 7 PM as well as a live nativity! Then after that me and Sister Petersen will be involved in helping with tours every night from 5-9  until the end of December! We also have been asked to use our musical talents so, if you come you might here a song or two from us :) We also will be proselyting in our area during the day. SO We have got our hands full but, I know this is where both of us are supposed to be. Did I say I'm excited?! 

Sister Petersen and I shotgunned the area so it has been an interesting week and I honestly I still feel like I don't know much but we have had some sweet miracles. We met with a less than active member who is dealing with alot of sickness. We taught about the enabling power of the atonement and promised her she could do it with the help of the atonement. It was a sweet moment when she told us she would come to church! We also met with another less than active member who can't come to church because of work who committed to go to the temple by the end of the year!! We have some great members and already have some awesome referrals. I am so grateful to be here. 

A quote I have really loved this week, "Some may think they have failed too many times and feel too weak to change sinful acts or worldly desires of the heart. However, as covenant Israel, we don’t just try and try on our own to change. If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are—and makes us more than we ever imagined." I had a sweet experience this weekend...I have been a little overwhelmed with all the changes and I've been trying to do everything on my own..(typical)..well the Lord humbled me and reminded me that I CANNOT do it on my own and that He loves me. As we yield our hearts to God like Neill F Marriott said, "It will all work out!" THAT is what I am trusting in. He loves us and will take care of us as we trust in Him. 

I love you all and hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!! 

Sister Innes

See ya latah, Bangah!!! 11/16/2015


So, I have some very sad news....I am being transferred. But I also
have some really exciting news!!!...but I can't tell you quite yet.
Let's just say that where I'm going is going to be amazing and I'm
beyond excited! I am really going to miss Bangor though...I've made
some pretty sweet connections here that I like to call "eternal
connections". I was really expecting Sister Eddington to get
transferred so when president called and told me I would be leaving I
was so shocked!! Yesterday was an emotionally draining day having to
say good bye to so many people I've grown to love in such a SHORT
time...but I know this is where the Lord needs me. I can't think of
any other way I would want to spend my last think I
almost came home a little it early for school. I would have missed out
on this opportunity Heavenly Father has given me. I am so grateful!!

So I just wanted to share a couple things with you that I didn't have
time to last week...mostly from our meetings with Elder Nielson.
First, the thing that really stood out to me came from a talk from
Elder Bednar titled, "The Atonement and our journey in mortality."
Such a great talk! But in it he talks about the enabling power of the
atonement... And he mentions the story of the people of Alma who have
heavy burdens laid on their Mosiah 24: 15 it tells of how
the Lord lightened the burdens which were put upon their backs and
gave them strength to bear up their burdens with ease after they
poured out their hearts to Him...and as this happens it says they did
,"submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."
Now let's look at Alma 3:19. In it it says, "For the natural man is an
enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever
and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and
putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement
of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble,
patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord
seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his
father." As we compare these two scriptures it seems that the people
of Alma our given these trials to access the enabling power and as
they access this enabling power of the atonement they are changed! And
that's what really hit home for me...the fact that we are given very
specific trials and challenges in our life which make us rely on the
atonement...and as we do we our changed to become better people....and
so it's through these trials that we not only come to know Jesus
Christ but we become more like him with everyone as we access His
Elder Nielson also mentioned the things that have been going on in the
church with the statement and handbook changes that I'm sure you know
what I'm talking about...He compared it to the Prophets and apostles
standing on the wall with Samuel the Lamanite...they are having many
arrows shot at them but they will never fall!! Gods laws never
change...I want you to know that I stand with these men, they are men
of God and I'm taking my place on the wall with them, are you? The
Lord needs strong men and women who don't change their mind with the
waves of the world. As a representative of Jesus Christ I testify that
Thomas S Monson is His prophet on the earth today...he receives direct
instructions from Him.

So like I was saying last week, there's been some pretty cool things
going on here in our area! Elder Nielson challenged us to be more
proactive in teaching our members who are not as active and asking
them to invite people to be taught with them. So we started this this
past week and oh my gosh, we saw some sweet miracles! We taught a
couple who are just amazing...we started teaching the restoration and
we didn't even get past prophets and they committed to us that they
would Come to church every Sunday...well they were both there on
Sunday and he blessed the sacrament!! Oh how I love them.

We also taught Sister White this week who is working towards
baptism...we were reading in 3 Nephi 27 and we discussed how our
church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ. In verse 10 Christ is
talking about His church and says, "And if it so be that the church is
built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in
it." We asked Her if she believed their was just one church and she
said she wasn't sure...I had a neat opportunity to testify of this
scripture and the fact that this is Christ's church and it is His
gospel because Heavenly Father has and is showing forth His works in
this church. I've seen too many miracles on my mission to not believe!
The spirit testified to me again that this church is so true, it's ALL

We also had an amazing musical fireside this week centered on Jesus
Christ that me and Sister Eddington put together. It was a bit of a
stressful week but it turned out so great! The spirit is always so
strong in firesides like that and the Bangor ward is super
talented...everyone helped to make it what it needed to be and we
received so many co member said that she hasn't felt the
spirit that strong for a long time. We feel like it's going to be like
an "Abinadi situation"...the Lord allowed us to be instruments to
start an amazing tradition in the Bangor ward, I'm so grateful!!! We
had 4 nonmembers there and 2 very sweet members who we hadn't seen in
a while. My heart is full!!

I had the sweet opportunity yesterday to talk in church before I leave
and it was a cool experience to reminisce on my mission and things
I've learned. There was too much it was hard for me to pick just one
thing! But the thing I talked about was HOW MUCH Heavenly Father loves
his children. A scripture that I shared was John 15:10, it says, "10
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have
kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love." As we keep the
commandments and do the Lords will we will abide in His love. I have
so felt that on my mission as I have strived to do what He has asked
me to do...He loves us and will never ever stop loving us. But we show
him how much we love Him through our actions..and it's through our
actions that we let ourselves "feel" of His love.

I love you all so very much!!! Thank you for all the love and support,
it means a lot to me! Have a fabulous week and share the gospel! :)

Love, Sister Innes