Monday, January 25, 2016

 January 25-Jacksonville, North Carolina

How are things in Utah? I seriously miss the snow so much! I personally believe that if it is going to be 30 degrees in Jacksonville, it needs to snow. However, when anyone in North Carolina hears the word snow, they go crazy!! There was a possibility Thursday night of snow in Jacksonville on Friday so the schools shut down and do you know what? There was no snow, just rain, and there was no ice.

This week has been a pretty slow week. At the beginning of the week, we had a full schedule. However, as the week went on, all of our appointments except for 3 cancelled.

Monday was a good day. For dinner, we ate with Sister Diaz which is always fun. She teaches Spanish at the local High School and so she taught us a little bit of Spanish this week. After dinner, we stopped by the Brooks family. This week, we actually learned that their last name is really Cannup. Amy has never had her member records changed so the name in the roster says Brooks but it is really Cannup so that was awkward. We had a really good meeting with them that night. The only ones home were the parents and their oldest son. For the most part, we answered most of their questions that they had about the restoration.
Tuesday, was our deep cleaning day so we stayed in and cleaned our apartment for most of the day. We did see a less active in the afternoon and then that night, we met with the Adkins family. They are always fun to visit with because their two kids always make me laugh.

Wednesday, we had a worldwide missionary broadcast from Salt Lake. We received a lot of great instructions from several of the general authorities. That night, we stopped by a less active named Patrick Libby. We knocked on his door and the man that answered told us that Patrick Libby had moved across town. He told us that missionaries had been to his house before and so naturally we talked to him about what they taught and how long ago he was taught. He invited us back this week and when we asked what his name was he said "I'm going to tell you what I told the other sisters, I am Patrick Libby." So yeah...that was really weird and awkward. We will have to see what happens with him.

Thursday, we had weekly planning in the afternoon. After dinner, we received a text message from the Zone Leaders informing everyone of the ice storm. They told us that if we did not have food to last us for at least the next 5 days to go and get some. Since we hadn't gone shopping since Monday, we ran to Walmart and got some food just in case.

Friday, we had an appointment with a less active named Ashley. She is a lot of fun. She is around the same age as us which is always fun. We watched The Testaments with her and talked a little bit about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. That night, it was raining so hard that we couldn't see the roads. After about a half hour, we decided that it was unsafe for us to be on the roads. We ended up staying in and getting a lot of administrative work done.

Saturday, the weather started to get a lot better. We had an appointment with Joyce and actually watched The Testaments with her too. Joyce loved it! She said that she had never felt the spirit so strong before. We talked to her about recognizing the spirit and she said that she is pretty sure that she is on the path that she is supposed to be on. That night, we met with the Donadio's and both of the kids decided to be baptized on March 27!

Sunday night, we had a really great lesson with Robert. We talked with him about the restoration using Bible verses. We stumped him a couple of times which was great. He is coming along slowly but surely.

Hopefully this week, we don't have as many appointments cancel. As always, thank you so much for all of your love and support.

Sister Paynter

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18-Jacksonville, North Carolina

Hey y'all!! I hope everything has been going well for everyone!! This week has been a pretty good week.

Monday, at our Zone Activity, we played volleyball and dodge ball. Yeah dodge ball was scary because number one we played with the rubber kick balls and number two, the Elders would throw them so hard!! I ended up sitting out for that one. Volleyball was a lot of fun though!! That night, we ate dinner with Sister Diaz who is a recent convert. I love going to her house and hearing her stories about conversion and missionary work! That night we stopped by Joyce's and read a little bit out of the Book of Mormon which was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, we stopped by a couple of headquarters referrals. One of them invited us into her house, let us teach her the Restoration and invited us to come back next week! I can't wait to see how that goes! That night, we had dinner with Sister Parker and her husband who is not a member. Her husband though was so funny!! He is a 6 year old child in a 60 year old man's body! He has a remote control helicopter and tinker toys sitting in their living room! That night, we went to an appointment with the Brooks family. We ended up watching the Restoration DVD with them again because their kids were not there during our last visit. It was great though because they all found things that they really liked or hadn't noticed the first time we met with them. They are making a lot of progress!!

Wednesday, we had Zone training in the morning. At zone training, we had several really good instructions. My favorite though was probably the last one because he talked about the motivators of missionary work, love being the motivator that should be pushing us to be better missionaries every single day. That night, we had dinner with a member family in our ward, the Brown's. Their son was getting baptized this week so they wanted us to come and teach him a little bit about baptism! After dinner, we met with Robert. We had a really good visit with him, but learned that he has not developed a testimony of the Book of Mormon yet. So we are going to be starting pretty much at the beginning with him now.

Thursday was weekly planning which means we didn't do much but plan until after dinner. Sister Mitchell came out with us that night to go to an appointment and stop by some potentials and less actives. When we went to our appointment (which was an appointment we made with them after knocking on their door), they completely ignored us at the door and their son kept looking out the window and yelling go that was a lot of fun.

Friday, we had first transfer meeting in Fayetteville which is about 2 to 3 hours away! (We had to wake up really early!) At firs transfer meeting, President James gave us an exceptional instruction on the Book of Mormon. The assistants gave also gave an amazing instruction on the Restoration and how to tie every part of the lesson to baptism. By doing so, it makes it a lot easier to invite the investigator to be baptized and it also makes them expect the invitation to be made. That night, we stopped by one of our potentials that we met my first night here. She let us in and we were able to teach the Restoration using the instructions we were given at our meeting! I was able to invite her to be baptized! However, she did say that she didn't know if she could accept yet but that she did want to continue to learn!! After that, we did a lot of tracting....yay!

Saturday was a pretty slow day. We had a lesson with a recent convert who is less active but is trying really hard to come back because she wants to go to the temple! After that, we did a lot more tracting. For dinner, we ate with the Valentine family! I had so much fun there! Brother Valentine reminded me of uncle Michael!! That night we just made a lot of stop-byes with Brooke.

Sunday, we had a multi-stake broadcast from Salt Lake City! We got to hear from L. Whitney Clayton, Linda S. Reeves, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, and Elder Robert D. Hales. It was a great meeting! It was really neat to hear Elder Ronald A. Rasband speak as an apostle. Elder Robert D. Hales is getting so old...which is really quite sad. Elder Hales though gave a really great talk and also expressed to the members how important member missionary work is! I read a story from President Eyring about when he was a missionary in the air force and out of the 40 hour weeks of missionary work he did for two years, he didn't have to knock on a single door because the members kept finding so many investigators for them to teach! That night, we had dinner at Sister Mitchell's with Joyce! It was so much fun! We talked to Joyce about the Book of Mormon to see where she is at with her testimony and she said that she believes it!!

I am so grateful for everyone who has supported me in my decision to serve a mission! I thank Heavenly Father every single time I pray for the opportunity I have to be serving!! I hope everything goes well for everyone this week!

Sister Paynter

This is my Gryffindor outfit...hahaha (I'm wearing golden yellow, maroon, and black)

Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11-Jacksonville, North Carolina (Post #2 !!!!)

I love you so much! I am so grateful for your letters!!! I love being able to see what all of you are doing!! I am so glad that you are making an effort to be a member missionary!! They truly are the best kinds of missionaries!! I am so grateful for our family! We truly have an amazing one! I continue to think of the example you have been to me of hard work as I go about my mission. I love and miss you so much mom!!
Sister Paynter
PS go ahead and send that GPS my companion leaves in 8 weeks and I have to put all of our contacts into it so that it is up to date when she leaves and I get my next companion!! I love you!! Thanks for the rain jacket! It smells like you and our home!! I love it and the CDs!!!!
 January 11-Jacksonville, North Carolina
How is everyone!?! I love getting everybody's weekly updates! It sounds like Christmas Break was a lot of fun!!
On Monday, for P-day, we were not able to go to the beach for our District activity so we went bowling instead which was a lot of fun!!! One of the Elders gave us all of our "bowling names". Mine was artist because my last name is Paynter......ok? Haha! After bowling we had dinner with the McCarty's! They are a family in the ward and they have the cutest little boy who is about Carson's age and acts a lot like Carson! It was great!! That night we had an appointment with Joyce. The appointment went really well. I really hope that we continue to help her break the habits she needs to break before being baptized!
On Tuesday, we went on several stop-bys with Sister Parker. After that, we went to Lester's and taught her the Plan of Salvation. That was really great because I got to lead in that lesson! That night we had an appointment with the Brooks family! I really enjoy meeting with them! They have a lot of potential and I can't wait to see what their futures hold! Bob, the father, is so funny! We end up laughing for most of the lesson because he is always telling jokes!
On Wednesday, we made an effort to contact several of the Headquarters referrals that we received this week. Unfortunately, we did not make a lot of progress with any of them. After that, we had an appointment with Christina who is one of our recent converts. We have really been trying to get her excited about attending the temple and she is, but she isn't making the effort that she needs to be able to go to the temple. That night, we had a feeling that we needed to stop by Robert's. Luckily Elder and Sister Brooks were able to come with us and we had a really great lesson with him about baptism again. We've all been praying really hard for him, so we can't wait to see how our next appointment goes.
On Thursday, we had weekly planning so we didn't get out until after dinner. That night we visited the Adkins family who is a less active family in the ward. We had a really great time meeting with them. We taught them about temples and they got really excited about being able to be sealed together. Hopefully we can make more progress with them in the next couple of weeks.
On Friday, we went to my very first Zone Conference. President James, gave several good instructions! My favorite was when we talked about how important it is to help investigators see that baptism is not the end. We need to help them get to the temple soon after they are baptized! We have been trying to make an effort to get all of our investigators to see the joy that comes from attending the temple! We haven't seen much progress in our investigators yet, but we are not giving up!
After Zone Conference, we went on exchanges again! So on Saturday, I was in Hampstead again! While on exchanges I got to practice teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a recent convert. At first it was a little difficult, but once I got the flow of things it went really well!! After we exchanged back, Sister Alldredge and I met with the Donadio family. We taught them about baptism and Mckayla and Damian both began to decide what day they want to get baptized!! Next time we meet with them, they should have dates chosen out!!
Yesterday, we really just made a lot of stop bys with Sister Mitchell. Today, we have a Zone Activity in Wilmington which will be a lot of fun!
I hope all is well!! Again, thank you all for all of the love and support that you have given me! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be serving a mission. I truly have learned so much! I know that this church is true! Every member is a missionary! Do not forget that! Members cooperation really is an essential part to the work that all of us are trying to accomplish!! Continue to spread the gospel whenever possible. And if possible, help out the local missionaries in ANY way possible! It truly is a blessing when the members go out of their way to help us!! I love you all!!!
Sister Paynter

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 4-Jacksonville, North Carolina

 Happy New Year!! I hope all y'all had a pretty great New Year!

Monday we met with the Donadio family. Krisi, the mom, is a member but fell away from the church a long time ago. She has a 10 year old and an 8 year old who are both investigating the church. This family is so great! I love working with them. The two kids are so smart and remember everything!

Tuesday we had exchanges! This was my first time exchanging! I was sent to Hampstead with Sister Macrum. It was a lot of fun. Hampstead is a little bit nicer than Jacksonville and it is right by the beach. In fact Sister Macrum and I went to find a less active who lives on the beach so I got to see the beach. It looked just like the beaches in the Nicholas Sparks movies (he bases all of his books in North Carolina). I have yet to see a lighthouse though! (North Carolina is famous for their light houses) That night, we taught one of their investigators who accepted to be baptized. I got to teach the first vision for my first time which was pretty great! I also taught about the Book of Mormon. It was a pretty great experience.

Wednesday, after we exchanged back, we just made a lot of stop bys with Brooke. The last house we stopped by was the Brooks. The Brooks family is amazing! The mom, Amy, is a less active and her husband and 3 kids are some of our newest investigators. We were able to sit down and talk with Amy and Bob (husband) for quite a while and teach them about the importance of teaching their children about Christ. We set up a return appointment with them this week so we look forward to that!

Thursday, we had an amazing lesson with Joyce. Elder and Sister Brooks came with us. Joyce talked for about an hour and a half! We didn't really have any time to teach a real lesson. Joyce has really been struggling with trying to quit drinking sweet tea so before the lesson, we asked Elder Brooks if he might be able to give her a blessing of comfort and guidance. After Joyce had finished talking, Elder Brooks talked about her problem and asked if he could give her a blessing and she said yes. The blessing was truly amazing. It addressed so many of her concerns! In the end, our meeting with her went exactly the way that it needed to.

Friday was one of my most favorite days this week. Elder and Sister Brooks invited us over for dinner that day. We had a lot of fun over at their house. I am really sad that they will be leaving us in just two weeks! After dinner, Sister Alldredge and I decided to go to the nursing home in Jacksonville. While we were there, we had the opportunity to go to every room and wish all of them a Happy New Year! It was so much fun! In one of the rooms, we found these two old men and one of them was a member! He was so kind! He talked about how he was trying to get the other one to go to church. He even told him while we were there that he needed to go so that he could see beautiful women like us! It was so funny and definitely a great way to begin 2016!

Saturday we gave our investigator Lester a church tour. At the end of the tour, we ended at the baptismal font and invited her to be baptized on March 26 and she said yes!! That was the first time that I had met her but she was the sweetest lady!! On Tuesday, while we were on exchanges, Sister Alldredge and Sister Golden went over to teach Lester and her husband Ricky answered! Lester wasn't there, so they asked if he would like to be taught and he said yes! It turned out that he was a former investigator and still remembered a lot about what the other missionaries taught him. In the end, he agreed to take the lessons again! I can't wait to meet with them again this week!

Sunday, we had a really great lesson with Robert that night. He was able to meet with the bishop and overcome a few of the fears that he had about being baptized. We also helped him to make the conclusion that no one is every perfectly ready to be baptized and that after baptism, the Lord will continue to help him to become perfect.

Overall, we ended the week on a great note! I miss all of you so much! I really have loved the work here in Jacksonville! Thank you all for your love and support!!

Sister Paynter

Sorry I have no pictures this week! I will try to get some for next week!