Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pembroke, North Carolina - 
Hello Everyone!!! Sorry if this email is shorter than others, but things have been crazy around here!! Hahaha!! Things are going really well though! I found out that a couple more of my investigators in Lumberton are getting ready to be baptized soon!! Hopefully I will be able to go back and see them get baptized!!

Things here in Pembroke are AMAZING!!! I seriously love the ward and the people here so much!!! This week, we set like 7 baptismal dates!!! We found and began teaching two amazing families and set baptismal dates the night we found them!! They are all amazing!! My favorite family though is the Oxendine's! It's a family of three, Kenneth, Layla, and their older daughter Portia! We have had some really great lessons with them this week and they are making wonderful progress! We just need to get them to church!!! Hahaha that has been the struggle of my mission hahaha!!! I am really excited for them!!!

I can't believe that next week I will only have 12 weeks left on my mission! My mission has completely changed me!! For a while, I was a little nervous that I would go home and be the exact same, but over the last several weeks, I have come to realize that I have changed! Being so close to the spirit has been amazing and I want to continue striving to have the spirit with me as much as possible when I get home! The gospel is truly amazing and has changed me so much! I am so grateful for my Savior and his Atoning sacrifice! I love learning about the Atonement and applying it in my life. It's also been amazing to watch the people I have been able to teach use the Atonement as well!! Christ's Atonement is the greatest!!!!

I love you all so much! I hope you have a fantastic week!!! Talk to you later!
Sister Paynter
Picture 1: I found a cool dolphin statue!
Picture 2: This little old man has the neatest motorized wheelchair haha! He has a little trailer hooked on the back to collect cans in! He gets money for the cans he collects hahah! Good old Pembroke!!
Picture 3: This is our cute recent convert Gail.
Picture 4: It rained the other day and there was a beautiful rainbow!!!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pembroke, North Carolina - March 6, 2017

Hello family and friends! How has everyone's week been? Things here in Pembroke are going really well!!! I absolutely love it here!!! The ward is really amazing!! I have felt at home here in this ward! Sister Olson and I are doing well! The people here in Pembroke are really neat! We have been meeting so many people that are prepared to here the message of the restored gospel!!

This week, we have been able to get up with a lot of people that we haven't been able to see in the last couple weeks. We were also able to find several new investigators!!! We were able to set 2 new baptismal dates with two of the new investigators that we found!!! We were unfortunately not able to get up with Delois and Anthony this week. Hopefully we will be able to see them this week! We have another investigator, Jessica, who is scheduled to be baptized in a few weeks. She loves what we have been teaching her!!! She is always waiting for us and gets so excited when we show up to her house. Our teaching pool is really quite amazing! I am so excited to see what continues to happen here in Pembroke over the next several weeks!

This past week in district meeting, I was in what they call "the hot seat". It's basically just a get to know you thing that our district leader likes to do. Anyways, one of the questions they asked me was what lesson was my favorite lesson to teach? I told them that my favorite lesson to teach was the Restoration because it's the one I know the best and therefor I know it the best. As I have been thinking about it though, the Restoration really is my favorite lesson to teach, but not for the reason I shared in district meeting. The reason I love the Restoration lesson is because it contains so many great and wonderful truths that have really changed my perspective in life. My most favorite truth to share is the fact that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I love the scripture in Romans 8:16-17. It says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." I love the word heir because it makes me think of a kingdom with Kings and Queens and also Princes and Princesses who are heirs to the kingdom. This verse of scripture simply outlines how much we mean to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of a loving Heavenly Father. Knowing that I am a daughter of a King has given me so much strength to continue pushing on when things get rough. I know that our Father in Heaven has a plan for each of us and that he loves each and every one of us so much!!!!!

I love you all so much!! Thank you for everything you do! Every day of my mission has been amazing! It's sad to think that the end of my mission is quickly approaching! Being able to be close to the spirit and my Heavenly Father is an experience that has been so sacred to me and I would never trade it for anything in the world!!!!!!

Sister Paynter
There is this old abandoned house in our area that looks like the Haunted Mansion.....I definitely had to take pictures!!!! I even wore my "Minnie Mouse" skirt haha!!! (Don't worry mom.....I got the skirt for free hahah)


Pembroke, North Carolina - February 27

I hope everyone had a good week!! The week here in Pembroke has gone by very quickly!! Things have been going really well and the people here are just amazing!!

Monday night we set a baptismal date with a woman named Jessica!! She loves what we have been teaching her and just soaks up the gospel like a sponge!! It's amazing!!! We also met this really amazing couple!! Their names are Delois and Anthony. We met Delois while we were walking through some town homes. She was talking with some friends and when we started to talk to her, she expressed that she was very angry with God. She told us that she was terminally ill and that she had lost basically all of her family members at a young age. The conversation was really awkward as we tried to explain the Plan of Salvation to her. It seemed that for everything that we said she would have an argument for. We set up an appointment for the following evening. The following evening, we were really late for the appointment. In fact, we were so late that we almost didn't even bother going over. When we got there, we weren't sure if we had found her house. As we sat in the car in front of their house, a car pulled up next to us and rolled down there window. We rolled down ours and sure enough, it was Delois and her husband. She told us that she was having a bad day but that we were still welcome to come in. When we first went in, Anthony was very stand offish. We told him that he could ask us any questions he had. So of course he asked us the regular anti questions...are you a cult? Do you have more than one wife? Etc. As we met with them, she told us that she had just gotten back from a blood transfusion and dialysis. We talked about how trials are given to us to build us up and help us to become who God needs us to be. We showed her two videos. We showed her "The Refiner's Fire" first and then we showed her "The Will of God". By the end of the lesson Anthony was in tears as well as Delois. Delois told us that she felt happy for the first time in a long time. Anthony told us that he hadn't seen her this happy in a long time. They told us that they felt that God had answered their prayers by sending us to them and that they wanted to learn more. It was truly an amazing experience to be a part of!!

As I have reflected on this experience, it made me think about how the Lord prepares each of us in his own time. Whether we were born into the church or not, the Lord prepares us for what he needs us to do. For me, I definitely know that the Lord prepared me to come out on my mission at the time that he needed me. There have been people that I have met on my mission that I know for a fact I was sent there to help them. If I had gone on my mission earlier, those people would not have been ready to hear what I have to share with them. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways!!!!

I love you all so much!! Thank you for everything! Don't forget....SMILE because Heavenly Father loves you!!!
Sister Paynter

Picture 1: We rode up to our Mission Leadership Council with some of the other sisters. Sister Steenhoek, one of my good mission friends, saw this barbecue place and we thought the logo looked cool so we took a picture. It reminded us of the Big Bang Theory.

Picture 2: I got to see Sister Flinders at MLC!! She took a picture with all of her companions haha!!

Picture 3: All of the sisters I came out with, except for one who is a trainer right now, are Sister Training Leaders so we took a picture all together at MLC.