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...


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