Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28-Jacksonville, North Carolina

Hello Utah! (And everyone else who may be reading this)

How is everything going? I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Christmas in North Carolina was pretty great!

This week was very interesting. Many of our appointments fell through which was no fun. Monday was my first P-day in the mission field. It really enjoyed getting to email everyone. So all my companion's mom wanted for Christmas was a picture of Sister Alldredge with Santa Claus! So we went to the mall and she took a picture with was super awkward!! We waited in line with all of the little kids. That night we had dinner with a family in the ward and they made us Cafe Rio!!

Tuesday was a lot of fun because we went out to lunch with Sister Parker (a ward member who goes out with us each week) and Joyce. Afterwards we went back to Joyce's house and taught her about the Ten Commandments. Our lesson ended up turning into a discussion on covenant making and we were able to help Joyce figure out what has been keeping her from being baptized! We really hope that this week we will be able to help her get over what's holding her back and hopefully set a baptismal date. That night we had dinner with Sister Diaz who actually converted to the church a little over a year ago. Her conversion story is amazing!!

Wednesday, we had our weekly District Meeting. We learned how to teach the lesson on Priesthood better. It was really great because we were able to find several new scriptures that will hopefully help us to teach it in a clearer way. That night we had dinner with Brooke Lopshire! Brooke and I went to junior high together so it was really nice to see a familiar face! After dinner, we met with Robert. The Brooks (Senior Missionaries in our Ward) came with us. When the Brooks come they always bring a different Spirit into our lessons. We ended up discussing baptism with Robert and he wants to be baptized! He is just hesitant because he wants to make sure the Bishop is ok with it and this Sunday he is meeting with the Bishop so we can't wait!!

Christmas Eve was very interesting. In the morning, I still had not received any of my Christmas packages because they had been sent to the mission home. Sister Alldredge was not happy about it and had prayed for a Christmas Miracle. I was just really excited to Skype so I knew that it would be ok! That morning our District leader asked if we could meet up with him. Guess What?? He had my packages!! It was so exciting!! That evening, we definitely had a redneck Christmas Eve. A member in our ward took us to her non-member daughter's house. They served us pizza and oyster soup. The whole night was really awkward. Luckily, the member took us home just as they began to pull out the alcohol. So, when we got home, we needed to get into the Christmas spirit. We put on the Joy to the world movie, made hot chocolate, put up Christmas lights, and made Christmas Cards.

Christmas in the mission field was very exciting!! After studies, we opened our presents!! For lunch, the Mitchell's had us over and made delicious waffles. After lunch, we got to Skype home!! Skyping with the family was really fun! I was so grateful for the time that we had. It really helped give me a much needed boost. That night, we had dinner at the Miller's (Bishopric Counselor's Family). They fed us ham, rolls, stuffing, pies, and FUNERAL POTATOES!! It was delicious! Brooke was there as well and for Christmas she gave me and Sister Alldredge flashlights because we had been talking with her about how it can be scary tracting in the dark!! After that we went over to a lonely lady's house in our ward. She was really happy that we came and gave her some company on Christmas. I am so glad we were able to serve her. It really made me feel like I was losing myself in the service of others!

Saturday, all of our appointments cancelled and we were out of miles to drive. It was a rough day. However, that night, Brooke was really kind and took us to and from our dinner appointment! After dinner, we stayed in the member's neighborhood and did some tracting. We were able to find 4 new potentials so everything worked out in the end!

Well that is about it for this week! I hope all is well for everyone!! I am so grateful for all of the love and support that I have felt. It's crazy to think that after this week, I have been gone for a whole month!!! I love you all so much!!

Sister Paynter  

 Merry Christmas! (mission-style)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Friday, December 25-Springville, UT

Despite the excitement of food, family parties, and presents, we all inwardly looked forward to two special Christmas calls. 

Meghan's came first...
Meghan is serving with Sister Alldredge from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She seems very happy. She says it like it is...tracting-not on the top of her list for fun and exciting missionary activities. The area that she is serving in is very transient. There is a military base in their ward boundaries, so they have people coming and going all the time. A friend of hers from high school is in her ward. She was pleasantly surprised. Her greatest lesson so far has been understanding the important nature of baptism. That in order to be perfected, we need to take the name of a perfect being upon us and that can only be done by the covenant of baptism. 

Then came Jordan's...
 Jordan smiled and laughed for about the first 10-15 minutes or so (once we could actually hold a connection for more than a minute). This was the first call that he struggled on and off with English words. I shared with him Meghan's feelings about tracting, especially when it is dark outside and I asked him his experiences with people when they were tracting (he calls it contacting) at night. He said they were often "molested"!! Then quickly said, "That's not the right word, is it?" I guess "bugged" in Spanish is  "me molestó", so naturally he thought the English word was similar. I had to chuckle! He loves studying the gospel. He said it is his favorite time of the day. His most recent lesson has been on obedience. He shared a cute story that taught the lesson that all the Lord requires is simple obedience. It is He that will move the mountains if it is His will.  He closed with a song in Spanish. I can't figure out how to transfer it from my phone. Needless to say, it was a tender moment.

Jordan's Story:

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing it with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. “You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These troubling thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.
And that is what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, When I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is simple obedience and Faith in Him…
By all means exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves them.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jacksonville, North Carolina-December 21

How is Everyone?? Are you guys excited for Christmas! I can't believe that Christmas is this week. 
The mission field is really weird but amazing. President James and his wife are really the sweetest people ever. My first area here in North Carolina is Jacksonville. My trainer and companion is Sister Alldredge. She is from Colorado Springs, CO. She really has been helping me to grow as a missionary. She always tells me she keeps forgetting that I am a new missionary. So all packages and letters need to come directly to me!! Yay! I don't have to wait for transfers and such! The address is 118 Arabian LN. Richlands, NC 28574. 
So the very first night that I got here we went tracting..... Uh ok! It's so hard for me because we go at like 8:00 at night and it's pitch black outside... We have some of the greatest investigators. We have Joyce who is the sweetest little old lady!! And she LOVES to talk. When we ask her a question, she will go on and on for about 10 minutes. She did have a baptismal date back in October but backed out because she is scared of committing. We are really working hard with her to understand that it isn't scary, we are just taking necessary steps to return to our Heavenly Father. We then have Robert (he is actually Joyce's husband but they are separated) and he is just as sweet and talkative as Joyce. He too backed out of his baptism date but he loves family history and we have set a date for him to do baptisms for his ancestors so we just have to get him baptized before! We have already had a couple of investigators who have backed out but that is ok. Last night, we went and stopped by some houses with the Relief Society President Sister Mitchell. One of the houses was a part member, less active family the Winkler's. Amber is a member but fell away from the church a while ago and her husband Chase is not a member. They invited us back for dinner next Sunday! I really hope that we can make some great progress with them!! The members here in the ward are amazing! They really are so kind and welcoming. It was hard though because sitting in sacrament yesterday really was the first major time that I have realized that I won't be home for 18 months... Mission life really does take quite a while to get used to. I'm really glad that I get to Skype home on Friday!! I was really bummed that I wasn't able to call home on Monday... The Elder who was in charge of our traveling group was not very good and he didn't tell us that we had to call home in Salt Lake until it was time to board. By that time all of the phones were in use and it was time to get on the plane....I was not too happy about that. At least we get to Skype on Friday!! Well that is about it for this week. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!! Love You!!!
Sister Paynter 
*** Hey so in our mission they ask us to have all letters and packages mailed directly to us. My address is 118 Arabian LN. Richlands, NC 28574. If you have already sent stuff to the Mission office then I probably won't get it for a while unless it was sent through the United States Postal Services because that can be forwarded. If you sent stuff through UPS or FedEx, let me know. There is a member going up to Raleigh this week who said they could pick my mail up. I just have to know! Thanks I love you!!
Sister Paynter
President and Sister James

Sister Alldredge my trainer
This is Sister Silvan. Her mom is best friends with Martha!! One day at dinner in the MTC she asked me if my name Paynter was from Minneapolis, Minnesota....CRAZY!!

This is for Heather.....I packed my bag just like she taught me when I left the MTC!!

<b>Jacksonville, North Carolina</b> 10 Reviews | Leave a Comment 

Monday, December 14, 2015

North Carolina Airport-December 14, 2015

 Hey! I made it safe! Sorry I didn't get to call! 
Love you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

PROVO MTC - Day 9: December 11, 2015

HOW ARE YOU GUYS!!! Life here in the MTC is going so well!! I've really adjusted which has definitely been an amazing blessing!! I can't believe that on Monday I will be leaving Utah to got to North Carolina for the next 18 months!! How is everyone? How's School going? How is Jordan?
This last Sunday we had a devotional with the Young Women's General President, Sister Oscarson. Her talk was really amazing. She showed us a video from Elder D. Todd Christofferson telling a story that was told by Hugh B. Brown. The story was about this current bush that was producing no flowers so the gardener cut its branches off. The current bush didn't understand why he had cut them off. The next year when the current bush had grown its branches back with fruit and flowers, the bush said, "thanks for loving me enough to cut me down." I really loved this story. In our family, we all have had some pretty hard trials to go through, but its important to remember that Heavenly Father has put those trials in our life because He loves us so much and He knows that from those trials we will be stronger and more beautiful!! that CTR ring was totally cutting off my circulation so I put it on my bag with my hand sanitizer so I see it all the time!!!
Kyle....I hope all is going well at work. I hope that life is going well as well. Remember that you are an amazing kid, so don't settle for less. Surround yourself with the people who truly love you and try to help you be the man Heavenly Father wants you to be. have you started basketball yet? How's the junior high going? Continue to be the happy little young man that I know!!
Mom....thank you so much for all you have given us. You truly are an amazing mom and we all love you so much!!
Well keep me updated!! I love you all so much!!!

Sister Paynter

Current Bush...MUST WATCH



Sister Pyper and I at the Temple walk.

Oh and thank goodness we bought a giant laundry bag because I filled it full!!!

Cheesy Map Pictures...but everyone's gotta do it!

        Oh and the vending machines have GRAHAM         CANYON!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

PROVO MTC - Day 2: December 4, 2015

How are you guys? I wish I had known that my p-days were going to be on Fridays because I have no idea what Dad's emails are....oops. Well things here are good. The MTC is very different then I thought it would be. Don't ask me to explain because I really can't, but its just different but good different. I saw Sister Hall yesterday. I was really happy to see a familiar face! I'm still trying to get into the swing of things. My stress and anxiety have definitely begun to settle, which is good. My companions name is Sister Pyper. She is pretty great. She is from Seattle, which is awesome because I love Washington!! There are two sets of Sister Missionaries in my district and we are all going to Raleigh. The two sets of Elders in our district are going to Richmond, VA. My teachers are awesome! Sister Dodds is probably my favorite though. In the past day and a half she has really helped us to expand and deepen our knowledge of the gospel. She is constantly asking us why, why, why. Yesterday we learned about the importance of baptism and why it so essential to making it back to our Heavenly Father. We learned that Heavenly Father has said that no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why we must take the name of a perfect being upon us so that we can be cleansed. Thus, when we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ because He is a perfect being and even though He is perfect He still came to this earth and was also baptized. Our other teacher's name is Sister Bowen. I really like her too. She has really done a great job at making us feel welcomed and comfortable. Here at the MTC they have all of the lights set up which I absolutely love!! I took pictures but I have to buy one of those SD card usb cables in the I'll have pictures next week. Well. I am so grateful for all of your love and support. Remember to continue to talk to your Heavenly Father because He is real and wants to hear from all of us. I love you all so much!!

Sister Paynter
Goodbyes... - December 2, 2015

As true "Brown's", we lunched at Chuck-a-Rama's before we dropped Meghan off at the MTC. Needless to say, she was not overly hungry. It had been apparent all morning that her nerves were getting the best of her. Nonetheless, she continued to smile.
Such a bitter-sweet experience and yet I would have it no other way!
One last hug at the MTC...nothing but smiles!


 All too familiar...

Off to Raleigh in 12 short days...
Setting Apart - December 1, 2015

Our visit with President Pope was reminiscent of our visit a little over a  year ago with Jordan. Though most of his stories were the same, I felt the same love and admiration that he has for these young men and women that choose to serve the Lord. Meghan's desire to serve the Lord came of her own will and in her own timing, or should I say the Lord's timing. She continues to amaze me with her strength and courage. I am certain that her growth and testimony will be a strength to those of us left at home.

Couldn't be more proud...
Lindsey has played a key role in Meghan's desire to serve. Though the decision was all her own, Lindsey shared many stories and testimonies of the power of missionary work in the lives of our Father in Heaven's children.
Farewell -November 22, 2015

Meghan has many family members and friends who have supported her in many different ways throughout her life. It is evident by the numbers of people that came to her farewell, that she is greatly loved! She gave a fabulous talk on faith and bore a sweet testimony of prayer and scripture study. I will miss her terribly but know that she is in much better hands...serving her Father in Heaven.

Love these girls. Love that they value their familial relationship! Love the great example they are to all those around them!