Monday, January 16, 2017

 January 9, 2017 - Lumberton, North Carolina

Happy Monday everyone!! I hope everyone is staying safe and warm in the weather! Well, I officially got to see snow in North Carolina!! Even though in Lumberton we only got a super small amount and it was more ice than snow, I was still quite excited! It's been over a year since I got to see and touch snow. I even made a cute little snow ball and threw it.......just because I could! Sunday church was cancelled through out our entire stake. It was cancelled as a precaution, but Sunday came around and the roads were cleared and the sun was in the sky. It was a really strange day to say the least haha.

This week has been really good!! We've really started off our third transfer together with a running head start!! We have been able to do quite a bit of tracting and have found several new investigators. We have also been able to set more baptismal dates!! I truly believe that as we continue to invite as many people as possible to baptism early and often, we will be able to find many wonderful people who are ready to be baptized! It's really amazing to watch the Lord bless us as we strive to find ways to be more obedient and lose ourselves in the work.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to be able to accomplish in the last 6 months of my mission. I've really reflected on the last year and thought of goals that I want to be able to accomplish. I decided to set goals that would really push me and motivate me to really lose my self in this work. Although the goals I have set may seem like a really hard thing to accomplish, I know that Heavenly Father will bless me in my efforts to try even harder to succeed. I was reading Elder Cornish's talk from this past General Conference which talked about people who wonder if they are good enough to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. In his talk, he says, "Let me be direct and clear. The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes! You are going to be good enough” and “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.” The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life! Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory." I truly believe that if we repent daily and strive to do what our Heavenly Father wants us to do, we can make it. Through God all things are possible!! No matter where we are in life, we can do hard things, but we really have to try!! Elder Cornish goes on to say, "I love the way President Gordon B. Hinckley used to teach this principle. I heard him say on several occasions, “Brothers and sisters, all the Lord expects of us is to try, but you have to really try!” “Really trying” means doing the best we can, recognizing where we need to improve, and then trying again. By repeatedly doing this, we come closer and closer to the Lord, we feel His Spirit more and more,4 and we receive more of His grace, or help." I hope that you will all try a little harder this week. Recognize where you are falling short and keep trying...over and over. I know that God loves us and that all He wants is for us to be happy!! And living the gospel is what makes us happy!

I love you all so much!! Thank you for all of your wonderful prayers and letters! I love hearing from everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Stay warm and safe!!

Sister Paynter

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