Monday, August 29, 2016

Garner, North Carolina - August 29

How is everyone doing?? I hope "y'all" had a great first week of school!! Life here in Garner has been so amazing!! I found out yesterday that I will be getting transferred tomorrow, not sure where though. I am really sad to be leaving Garner, but excited for my next area in North Carolina. It has been really hard to say goodbye to the people here in Garner because this area has felt the most like home!! Sister Flinders will also be getting transferred and has been called to teach in Mandarin Chinese now!! Also, the Garner ward was split last night and most of our investigators will be in the new Lake Wheeler Ward where two new Elders will be taking over. I am excited to see how our investigators do with Elders!!

Overall, we have really had a great week!! We found out about Sister Flinders news last Monday and so we made the most of our last week together!! The Thorpe's committed to coming to church and then bailed on Saturday. Ruth seems very interested in learning more, but Wesley has started to receive some grief from his family and has become a bit distant. I really hope the new Elders will be really good for him. We didn't get to see Roger and Toni before we left. They are still in the boundaries of the Garner ward, so the new Sisters will continue to teach them. I forgot to mention last week, that we had started teaching a women from India who is Hindu! She speaks pretty fluent in English, but still has a hard time understanding the lessons that we teach. This week, we were able to get pamphlets in her language. For the lesson, we had her read the pamphlet in her language out loud and planned on asking questions as we went along. However, as she read, she would explain what it said and she understood it perfectly!! We didn't even have to ask her the questions we planned, because she answered them as she explained what she understood!! It was an incredible experience!! The Elders will begin teaching her this week and I really hope it goes well!!

This week I have really been reflecting on this last transfer. I truly feel that I accomplished the work that Heavenly Father had for me to do while I was in Garner. However, I am not perfect and never will be perfect, but I really look forward to continuing to improve in my new area. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of this gospel. I loved President Holland's talk from this past general conference when he said "With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." We are not always going to succeed, but we get credit for trying!! Don't you just love that! I pray that we may all continue to try a little harder and do what we know we need to do to receive eternal life!! 

"So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I love you all so much!! Thank you for everything that you have been doing for me!! Have a great week!!!

Sister Paynter


Monday, August 22, 2016

Garner, North Carolina - August 22

How has everyone's week been?! Time is really flying by fast! I can't believe that this week is the first week of school!! Life in North Carolina this last week has been great!

This week, we had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people! For the last 5 weeks, we have really been trying to find the people here in Garner that are what we call elect or in other words have been prepared to receive the gospel. We have also been finding great success not only in tracting, but in working with the members as well!! The members have been sending us to meet their friends and invite them to learn about the church!! This week, one of the members gave us a referral for their friends Roger and Toni. So, we went over to meet them and they are the sweetest couple ever!! They are an older couple and were both so welcoming to us! They had met with missionaries once before, but there was a language barrier with one of the missionaries. When we taught them about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon this week, they loved it!! Sister Flinders and I feel as if they are "already mormon" haha!! The Thorpe's are still doing really well. They have been unpacking this week so it has been a challenge to get up with them, but we will be seeing them this week and hopefully they will be able to make it to church! We haven't been able to get up with Angie yet, but we have an appointment tomorrow! We also met this couple, and the wife, Gina, is hilarious!! She talked for almost 45 minutes straight!! It was so funny! She did have some really great questions though! She told us that she does believe that the Bible has missing parts and that it seems muddled to her. We are going back this week to teach her about The Book of Mormon. I love meeting people like this!!

Something I learned this week was that weaknesses are not sins!! Mom sent me a really great article from the Ensign called "It Isn't a Sin to Be Weak." After reading it this week, it really made me think about what my weaknesses are. I hear many people in prayers asking Heavenly Father to forgive them for their weaknesses, but really we should not be apologizing for them. We should recognize that we are weak and then ask Heavenly Father to help us strengthen that weakness, but weaknesses are not things that we need to be repenting for. In the article it says, "We cannot simply repent of being weak—nor does weakness itself make us unclean. We cannot grow spiritually unless we reject sin, but we also do not grow spiritually unless we accept our state of human weakness, respond to it with humility and faith, and learn through our weakness to trust in God." We need to accept our weaknesses and do all we can to strengthen them. We are human and we will fall short! I think that is something very important to remember, but we can't let that simply be an excuse. We still need to do our part at repenting of our sins, accepting our weaknesses, and doing our very best to follow the Savior's teachings. 

I love being a missionary!! There really is no other place I would rather be than here on my mission!! The last 8 and a half months have been the best 8 and a half months of my life! I have learned so much through the many trials I have had to go through!! I have truly seen myself changing and becoming more converted to the Lord. I love being a part of this great cause!!

Thank you so much for all of your love, support, and prayers! I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am now!! I love you all so much!!

Sister Paynter

Here are some pictures of us with some of our favorite members here in Garner and a picture of our combined Zone Activity at Defy Gravity. Defy Gravity is a trampoline park! It was a lot of fun!! Apparently, she had not heard of Riley's fate at the trampoline park in Utah...


Monday, August 15, 2016

Garner, North Carolina-August15

How has everyone been? I can't believe that school is starting this week and summer vacation is coming to an end! Time is just flying by!!! This week has been a great week!

The Thorpe's are still doing great! We had a really good lesson with them this week about The Book of Mormon and the restoration of the church. We are really trying to help them strengthen their foundation of their testimonies so that as we move on to the word of wisdom and law of chastity they will already have a stronger testimony to build upon! We also went over on Saturday and helped them move some things into their new house! They are so excited and they have loved the time that we have been putting into helping them! I love their family so much!! This week we also found another really great investigator! Her name is Angie and she is very active in the two churches that she currently goes to, but she loved what we taught her and already has friends in our ward!! 

This week, I have been thinking a lot about time! Time is one of the most precious things that Heavenly Father has given to all of us! As missionaries, our time does go by extremely fast and we cannot waste our precious time!! The time that we spend in the mission field comes and goes in the blink of an eye and we need to do everything we can to use every second of our time wisely! Everyone's time here on earth is just as precious as our time as missionaries! Someone once told me that if we had a rope that went on and on for eternity, the length of time we have on earth compared to eternity could be showed by tying a string of floss to that infinite rope. I believe that Satan knows that he cannot win, but he wants to do everything he can to decrease the number of Heavenly Father's children that will be able to return to Him. Our time on earth is our time to prove to our Heavenly Father that we WANT to be with Him. This is the time that we have to prove to Him that we will do all we can to overcome Satan's traps. However, we are imperfect people and we will fall short, it's in our mortal nature. Thank goodness for Jesus Christ!! He truly has paid the price so that He can help make up the difference! We just NEED to do OUR part!! What a truly important message that is to share!!

Thank you again for everything! I am so grateful for all of the prayers that have been said in my behalf and in behalf of all the missionaries! This work is truly important!! As one of the less actives in our ward says "I want you to win!!" Thank you for all of your help, love, and support!

Sister Paynter

On Monday we went to this place called City was the best barbecue I have had on my mission so far!! It was delicious!

We also took pictures with the Thorpe's on Saturday when we helped them move.

I forgot to mention:

This week, we went to lunch with a member of the Relief Society presidency, Sister Tait. Anyways, on our way to lunch Sister Tait pointed out that Flinders is the name of the family on Saturday's Warriors!!! I did not even make the connection to Sister Flinders!!! hahaha!!!

Also, we had a missionary homecoming in the Garner ward on Sunday and he reminded me of Brady! It was really funny!! He made similar facial gestures and had the same soft spoken voice that Brady had when he first came home. It was great!


Monday, August 8, 2016

Garner, North Carolina - August 8

How has everyone been doing? I can't believe school starts in like 2 weeks! Time has gone by so fast that it really doesn't feel like school is supposed to start so soon! 

This week has been really good!! The Thorpe family has been making a lot of progress and have been asking great questions!! They are really wanting to figure out for themselves if this is the true church! On Saturday, we went over to their new house to help them clean so that Ruth (the mom) could make it to church! And guess what.....SHE CAME!!! It felt so good to have an investigator come to church and feel of the love and spirit there!! She really liked it too! Our investigator Agnes has been really hard to get a hold of. She most likely will not be getting baptized at the end of the month, but that is ok because I know that the Lord has greater things in store for her and for us! We are continuing to find and teach! We have been really trying to find the elect and strengthen all of our investigators!

The past couple weeks for me have really been a time of growing and adjusting. I love losing myself in the Lord's work every single day. I have learned a lot about relying on the Lord to strengthen me especially when I am feeling weak! The power of the Atonement is truly amazing!!! I love the scripture Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I have learned that if I truly want the Lord to strengthen my weaknesses, then I have to be humble, pray for His strength and help, and do everything that I can on my part to strengthen those weaknesses. I truly have felt the hand of the Lord on my mission. He truly has strengthened me when I have needed it! I truly love the knowledge that I have of the Atonement and ALL that it encompasses!!

I hope you all have a great week!!! Continue to stay strong to the truth that you hold! Strengthen your testimonies and come closer to Christ!! I love you all so much!!!

Sister Paynter

PS: So pictures this week...I promise that we will take more this week!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Garner, North Carolina - August 1

I hope everyone had a great week this week!! I love getting all of your updates about life! I can't believe the summer is almost over and that school will be starting soon!! Things here in Garner have been going extremely well!!! We are continuing to gain such great trust with the members and have been doing some great finding!!

This week we found a lot of success in receiving referrals from members! We have been praying about what members we should visit and we have found such great success in stopping by and asking for referrals! Agnes is still doing well. Things have been pretty busy for her the last couple weeks. Hopefully we can get back on track with her and everything will work out perfectly for her baptism!! The Thorpe family is still progressing as well. We just need to get them to come to church!! We found another little family this week! We found them by trying an old potential! The husband has learned quite a bit about our church and loves the story of Joseph Smith! We are very excited to start teaching them this week!!

This week I have been thinking a lot about consecration. Consecration is a big deal here in the mission field. As missionaries, we have got to be consecrated in order for our missions to change us. However, I believe that this can be applied to all of us in everyday life. We should be striving to consecrate all to the Lord everyday. As we are consecrated, we show the Lord that we are willing to do all that He asks. As a missionary, I am still no where near being perfect at being consecrated, but I am continuing to strive to be fully consecrated. As I have been giving all that I have to the Lord, the blessings that he has blessed me with have been overflowing!!! I truly have a testimony of the blessings that come as we choose to follow our Heavenly Father and do what He asks!!

Thank you for all of your love and support!!! I am truly grateful for this time that I have to be a consecrated missionary! There is no where else that I would rather be right now than here in Garner, North Carolina serving my Heavenly Father!!! I love all of you so much!!!

Sister Paynter

PS: Sorry I have no pictures this week!! We will definitely take more this week! Love you!!