Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21 - Lumberton, North Carolina

Greetings from good ol' Lumberton! I hope you all had another great week!! We received transfer news this weekend.......drum roll........Sister Smith and I will be staying in Lumberton another transfer! I am actually really excited to be staying because we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas together!!! Also, the work we have been doing the last couple weeks has been incredible and it would have been really hard to leave some of our amazing investigators!! We also found out that they are taking the elders out of Lumberton. From now on it will be us and the Brown's. That also means that most likely we will be full time more biking!!!!! It's truly a Christmas miracle!!! We are also apparently moving into the elders apartment which is new and really nice!

Well, this week has been really incredible!! We have been working so hard and have been seeing some really amazing miracles take place here in Lumberton!! In the last couple of weeks, Elder Brown referred us to a woman that they helped during the storm. Her name is Lisa and she is amazing!! She is the kindest and most loving person! We have been teaching her for about two weeks now and she is finding it all truly fascinating! Every time we meet with her, I feel the spirit so strongly! Saturday night we gave her a tour of  the church and she loved it. On Sunday, she came to Sacrament Meeting!! This week, we had 4 investigators at church!!! I have never had that many investigators come to church! Miracles are truly happening all over Lumberton!!

This week, I just wanted to bare my testimony with all of you. I am truly grateful for this time that I have to be serving the Lord. It has been the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life! My testimony has grown and I can say that I have truly become converted to the Lord! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church once again restored to the earth. I know that this is the one true church and that Heavenly Father desires for all of His children to be worthy members of His church! I am so grateful for the many blessings that my Heavenly Father has given me! The greatest blessing He has given me was to be born into the gospel! Christ's church is not a part of me, it is who I am! I am so grateful for the principles, doctrines, and standards that have shaped me into the person I am today! I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God! I truly know that it is the only book that can bring us closest to our Heavenly Father! I know that the Joseph Smith was truly a prophet and called to restore Christ's Church!! I know these things to be true with all of my heart!!!

I love you all so much!!! Thank you for all of your prayers and words of encouragement! I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I love you!!!

Sister Paynter

#1: Sister Smith and I

#2: We made Fajitas in honor of Sister Smith's family tradition of having enchiladas the Sunday before Thanksgiving....Fajitas were the closest thing we had to enchiladas

#3: We celebrated Sister Smith's Birthday today by getting 4 for $4 at Wendy's...they are her favorite

#4: Us, the Elders, and the Brown's at Family Home Evening with the Burmese People

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 14 - Lumberton

Hello Family and Friends!! It's so good to hear from all of you and see how things are going!! Sister Smith and I have been doing some really great work this week! We have definitely been continuing to see the fruits of our labors from the storm!!

Things here in Lumberton are continuing to improve.  The students here have been back in school now. They went back to school on Halloween. They basically had a month long fall break!! The service opportunities are starting to become slim. This weekend we showed up to help with Helping Hands, but there weren't as many people and not a lot of work orders left to do. Sunday, we finally went back to regular church!! We even had a couple of investigators come to church this week!! It has been quite a while since I was able to have an investigator come to church and yesterday was just wonderful. Also, we were able to set 7 baptismal dates this week!! I am truly grateful for this amazing work I am a part of.

This transfer, Sister Smith and I have really been working hard to have the spirit with us more. We've made changes in our day to day lives to be more obedient and align ourselves more with our Savior. One thing we have done is we have made a change to the music we listen to. We have made the decision to listen to music that is either a hymn, put out by the church, or simply that which invites the spirit. Before, we listened to music that talked about Christ but didn't necessarily invite the spirit the way music on your mission should...if that makes any sense at all? Anyways, we have been able to see and feel an abundance in the spirit we have had this transfer. For me, it has helped me to become more in tune with the spirit. I have been able to better understand and recognize the promptings that the spirit has given me. For example, one prompting that we felt came from this abundance in spirit was to always have baptism on our minds when teaching and finding. This week we acted on that prompting and do you know what?? We were able to set those 7 baptismal dates!! I truly have a testimony of constantly finding ways to become more obedient!! As we become more obedient, we are able to be more in tune with the spirit. I also have a testimony of the influence that music and other types of entertainment can have on our lives. I came on my mission to be one with the spirit and our Savior. In life, we are here to align ourselves with the spirit and our Savior. I truly believe that the music we listen to, the books we read, and the movies or TV shows we watch have a very strong impact on the spirit that we are able to have in our lives. For me, the times that I am happiest are when I feel the spirit the most and I know that it is and will be the same for all of you!!

I hope you all have a great week!! Keep me updated with life and so forth!! I love you all so much!!
Sister Paynter

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 7 - Lumberton, North Carolina

I hope everyone has had a good week this week!! This week for Sister Smith and I has been a really great one!! We have continued to provide service on the weekends and have met a lot of great people!! On Saturday, members of the Jacksonville and Garner ward came to Lumberton to help with work orders!! It was really great getting to see some of the members again!!

This week, we have really begun to see the fruits of our labors this week from all of our service opportunities! We stopped by a lot of the people that other work groups referred us to and they have all been more than willing to listen to our message of the restored gospel!! On Saturday, we helped a man clean out his house. While we were working, the lady who rents the house to him came and was so grateful for our service!! She ended up taking all of us to lunch to Cici's Pizza! At lunch, Elder Brown, our senior missionary here, invited her to come to church on Sunday and she came!! It was really neat!! She really seemed to enjoy sacrament meeting and said that it was very refreshing! We will hopefully get to go see her this week and begin teaching her the lessons!

In my studies this week, I finished The Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission. It has been such a rewarding experience on my mission to have an hour to study from the scriptures. Before my mission, I don't think I truly understood how rewarding it really was to prayerfully study the scriptures. If I could suggest one thing for all of you to do is to make more time to study!! The Book of Mormon is by far the best tool that Heavenly Father has given us today!! There is always such an incredible spirit to The Book of Mormon. Each time I read it, I can't help but lose myself in the stories and the teachings of the prophets. It truly is the word of God!! I know that as we take the time to study the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon, a greater sense of peace and happiness will come into our lives. Things go smoother as we study The Book of Mormon!! I know with all of my heart that The Book of Mormon is true!! I testify to what Joseph Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” As I read The Book of Mormon every day, I can feel myself coming closer to my Heavenly Father!! 

I hope you all have a great week this week!! Thank you for all of your love and support!! My mission has been the best decision I ever made! I love you all!!

Sister Paynter