Friday, February 26, 2016

 February 26-Jacksonville, North Carolina

Makayla was baptized as planned this week!
I found these pictures on Meghan's Facebook...

 I appreciate the eternal nature of families. It is here that we find the greatest joys, struggles, growth, and service opportunities. And then to be able to see families turning to the Lord, preparing to reap those same blessings is a sweet experience.
Once again, I am grateful for Meghan's desire to serve the Lord as a missionary and see first hand the change that the gospel brings to families as they prepare to make and keep sacred covenants.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22-Jacksonville, North Carolina

How has everyone's week been? I hope it has been a good week for everybody!

This week was a pretty amazing week!!

On Monday, we had a combined District activity. It was Sister Alldredge's birthday, so we threw her a surprise birthday party. We played volleyball and chair soccer which were both a lot of fun!! That night, our appointment cancelled so we did some tracting and found a potential.

On Tuesday, we went over to Sister Coville's (less active) and helped her finish up her sons Valentine treat bags. We watched Stay by the Tree with her. Her husband is currently deployed and is struggling with depression. I loved getting to go over and bring a little joy and laughter into her day! Her 5 year old son was the cutest!! He told me secretly that he was a secret agent. It was so cute! That night we ate dinner with the Dance's. The Dance's are a member of the ward and their daughter and two granddaughters are currently living with them while her husband is deployed. Sister Dance's daughter and granddaughters love Disneyland! We talked a lot about the parades and the shows at Disneyland which was a lot of fun. That night, we met with Robert. Robert hasn't been coming to church and hasn't been keeping commitments so there is a possibility that we will be giving him a little space. After that, we met with Bob, Amy, Zain, Cameron, and Kira. We ended up reading from the Book of Mormon with them and talking about the importance of scripture reading.

Wednesday, we met with Krisi, Makayla, and Damien. We talked with Makayla about moving her baptism up to a week day in February since that is when she originally wanted to be baptized but they were going to be out of town every weekend. Also, Sister Alldredge wanted to be able to see her get baptized before she goes home next week. Makayla said yes!! So, this Wednesday, the 24th, Makayla is going to be baptized!! That night, we went with the Juncker's to visit our less active Falon. She told us that on Sunday we need to call and text her when we wake up until she answers. She also told us to come by that morning if we don't hear from her and get her to church.

Thursday, we had interviews with President James. I had a really good interview with President James!! That night, we visited a couple of less actives with Sister Johnson.

On Friday, since we didn't have time to weekly plan Thursday, we did weekly planning. During weekly planning, we were trying to get everything situated for Makayla's baptism. We found out that they wanted her to be interviewed before sacrament meeting on Sunday. However, there was no way we would be able to finish the lessons in just one lesson (we were meeting with them on Saturday and we had an appointment scheduled for that evening). After we got done talking to our District Leader, our appointment for that night texted and cancelled! We still weren't sure though if they would be able to meet since Makayla has dance every night. We texted Krisi anyways and she said that they were free! This experience taught me that Heavenly Father had planned for Makayla to be baptized on the 24th because everything has just been falling right into place!!

Saturday, we went and stopped by a couple of YSA less actives with Brooke. After that, we stopped by Bob and Amy's to remind them about church. That night, we had two appointments scheduled and only an hour with Makayla (which was definitely not enough time to get through what we needed to). However, our other appointment cancelled and we were able to get through all of the lessons with Makayla.

Sunday, Makayla had her interview and she passed! After church, we worked on putting the program for her baptism together and downloading Mormon Messages for the baptism. That night, we met with our less active Sharron. She has two teenagers and they are all going through a really hard time right now. We taught them the Restoration and are hoping that slowly but surely we can get them all to come back to church.

Overall this was a great week!!!! Sorry I don't have any pictures this week, but I will definitely have some next week. I love all of you so much!! Thanks for everything!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

As I was thinking of Meghan this weekend, I was reminded of an excerpt from a blog Alicia found and sent me. I am so grateful for Meghan and her love of the Lord. She has grown so much since she left high school and continues to grow into an amazing daughter of God.

"My companion's name is Sister Paynter and she is wonderful! I joke that they put us together because our names are similar. She is really sweet and has a very strong testimony and an incredible desire to serve a mission. As we ate dinner we discovered that we have a lot in common. We are both 'older' for sister missionaries and have studied elementary education in college. She also never really thought about serving a mission but felt impressed that it was what Heavenly Father wanted her to do. Her obedience and dedication are inspiring to me and I am so grateful to be able to be her companion, even for just 12 days. "

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

 February 15-Jacksonville, North Carolina

I can't believe that we are already half way through the month of February!! How was everyone's Valentine's Day?

This week has been a really good week.

Monday, we went to the BEACH!! It was so much fun! We played capture the flag and football. That night, we met with Robert. We taught him about faith and what faith requires us to do. He has really been struggling and has stopped progressing. Sadly, I think this week, we are going to give him a bit of a break.

Tuesday, we went and stopped by a few potentials and less actives. That night, we met with a new investigator named Dallas. He is moving to Florida soon, but he is really interested and receptive to our message. We taught him the Restoration and he really liked it! After Dallas's, we met with Bob, Amy, Zain, Cameron, and Kira. We had a really great lesson with them!! We extended a soft baptismal invitation to them and they for the most part said yes!

Wednesday, we had a Zone Training down in Wilmington. We had a lot of really good instructions given to us. It felt like everything that was discussed was exactly what I needed to hear.  After Zone Training, we went on exchanges and it was my first time leading an exchange with my Sister Training Leader. I was really nervous at first, but in the end things actually went really well!!  That night, we met with a new less active Hailee and her non-member husband Rance! We had a really great lesson with them and they agreed to read the Book of Mormon. After that, we met with our less active Falon. We read the Stay by the Tree article with her and she loved it. She too made the commitment to read the Book of Mormon everyday this week.

Thursday, we exchanged back and that night we did a little bit of tracting and then went out with Brooke to stop by some potentials and less actives. We also had dinner that night with the Mills family. That was the first time we had ever had dinner with them and it was a lot of fun!!

Friday, we met with Joyce and tried to address her sweet tea. Joyce LOVES sweet tea and she is having a really hard time giving it up. We invited her to fast with us this week to help her overcome the addiction and she said that she wanted to pray about it first. That night, we went out with Elder and Sister Juncker (senior couple) to visit a less active who ended up cancelling on us. Instead, we ended up contacting a referral we had received from Headquarters.

Saturday, Amy called us and asked if we could come over so that she could give us some things. We went over and ended up talking with her for an hour about different things. We told her the story of Alma the younger which she loved!! That night, we went to an appointment with another less active couple, Nolan and Kealey. The Johnson's came with us, so we got to ride in the Mustang!

Sunday, after church, we went over to Joyce's to see how her prayers had gone. She decided that she would fast with us!! We hope that goes well!! That night, we were able to stop by some more potentials and less actives with Sister Mitchell. After that, we met with Sharron, a less active who doesn't really know if she believes the church is true. We had a really good lesson with her and her two teenagers.

I hope that all of you have another fabulous week!! I love getting to hear about all the fun things that are going on back home!! I love you all and I am so grateful for all of your love and support!!

Sister Paynter


Monday, February 8, 2016

 February 8-Jacksonville, North Carolina

How is everyone doing?!? Sorry if this weeks letter isn't that great, we have a Zone Activity at the beach today so we don't have as much time to email... :( :(

Monday we played dodge ball as a district which was a lot of fun. We also played this other version of dodge ball called Zombie much fun! That night we had a meeting with Robert. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and how he can gain a testimony of it.

Tuesday, we went and stopped by a lot of houses with Sister Parker. We also had an appointment with Joyce and ended up reading 1 Nephi 10 with her since she didn't do it. That night, we met with just Bob and Amy. They are going through some struggles right now and it was a really neat experience to see how just having us over helped bring a little peace and comfort into their home.

Wednesday, we met with Krisi, Makayla, and Damien. Makayla and Damien are doing such a great job at staying on tract for their baptisms! That night, the Junckers (senior couple for our ward and the other ward in Jacksonville) had us over for dinner. Sister Juncker is from Austria and made us egg noodles which is compared to Macaroni and Cheese here. After dinner, Sister Juncker took us out to visit some less actives on base. We were able to meet one new less active and then teach a couple that we haven't taught since December.

Thursday, we had weekly planning and that night we had dinner with the Brown family. They are a really great family in the ward who is struggling with raising teenagers. When Brother and Sister Brown took us back to our car they kept thanking us for the spirit that we brought into their home. After dinner, we met with Christina. It was pretty chaotic at her house but we were able to watch the Stay by the Tree talk with her. She knows that she needs to come back to church and now we just need to get her to actually do it! After Christina's, we met with Bob, Amy, Zain, and Cameron. We taught them the Plan of Salvation, which they already believed. However, as we taught the Atonement, they didn't understand how Christ could be perfect if He was human. We were stumped on how to answer that, but the next day we read up on it and found several scriptures from the Bible to share with them!

Friday, we met with our YSA less active Ashley. She has a brother serving his mission in Texas! She is progressing really well and has such an amazing desire to change! I love working with her! That night, we met with one of our new investigators Vanessa. We taught her the Plan of Salvation as well. She had some really funny insights and analogies on the Plan of Salvation, needless to say we laughed a lot. At the end of her lesson, I invited her to be baptized on April 9th and she said yes!!

Saturday, we mainly just went and stopped by several referrals and less actives. It was a pretty slow day.

Sunday, we met with Michelle and Jeremy. Last week, we committed them to read their scriptures...and they did....almost every day this week!! They have a very big desire to be sealed in the temple and they are definitely getting back on track!

This week was a good week. We had a lot of great teaching opportunities! I look forward to seeing what this week brings!

I love you all so much!! Thank you for everything!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Surfing...

Found this amazing version of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (my favorite hymn) and "If I Could Hie to Kolob" (Meghan's favorite hymn) on Youtube tonight.  I couldn't help but listen several times, making me a little "homesick" for my missionary daughter!

Monday, February 1, 2016

 February 1-Jacksonville, North Carolina

This week has been good. We really didn't get any rain so that was good. This week we had a lot of appointments cancel again, but I think it was for the better.

Monday night, we had dinner at the Miller's. I always have fun at their house because there is always chaos and it feels like home. After dinner, all we really did was try to contact referrals.

Tuesday, we met with this sweet older lady, Diane. At first, we thought she just wanted to Bible bash, but at the end, she was very sincere and wants us to come back this week!! We also had a really good discussion with Joyce about temples!! I feel that she is getting close to baptism, she just doesn't know it yet. That night, our appointment with the Canupp's fell through so we went tracting. While we were tracting, we knocked on 5 doors and out of those 5 doors, we found 3 new people!!

Wednesday, we went on exchanges again and I was left to lead in Jacksonville for my first time. That was definitely a bit of a challenge, but it actually went really well. That night, we had an appointment with Robert and we watched the Joseph Smith movie. Robert is struggling with building a testimony of Joseph Smith so we are trying to figure out what he needs. I think he just needs to sincerely be open to the Book of Mormon and specifically pray to know if it is true.

Thursday, we went over to a less active who is being evicted and helped pack up their house. After that, we met with our friend Patrick. He is definitely a character. I don't know if we will really get anywhere with him, but we sure are going to try our hardest.

Friday, we met with two of the people we found while tracting on Tuesday night. Our first appointment was with Fletcher. He is an older gentleman who believes that if he gets any closer to God, he will be sitting on his lap. He is pretty open to our message though so we will see where we get with him. Our next appointment was with John and his wife MaryAnne sat in our lesson too! They were both really interested and loved our message that we shared! We are really excited to begin working with them!! That night, we met with a new less active named Elaina. She seems really sincere about coming back, so I hope that we can work more with her.

Saturday, we met with the other person we met while tracting. Her name is Vanessa. She seems like a solid investigator as well. She asked a lot of amazing questions during our lesson that just proved to us that she is definitely ready to hear the gospel. After Vanessa's, we stopped by the Canupp's because we hadn't heard from them in a while. They told us that it has been a hard couple of weeks but they are definitely missing the missionaries! That night, we met with two different recent converts who are both less active. Hopefully we can figure out what is really keeping them from church!!

Sunday was one of my favorite days this week! We met with Michelle and Jeremy who are the younger less active couple that we just started working with. Sadly, they are moving back to Utah in a month. That night, we met with the Donadio's! I love meeting with them! Tonight, Krisi gave us a brand new scentsy and the new scentsy scent which is fabulous!!

Everything else is going good. The weather here has been great!! Hopefully we will be able to make it to the beach while I am here. I love you all so much!! Thank you for everything!!

Sister Paynter
These are pictures from our District Meeting two weeks ago. This week we had 4 missionaries transferred out, so we have 4 new missionaries in our district. One of them is a brand new missionary, which means I am no longer the new one!! Yay!!