April 14, 2014

Hey mom,
I loved the email. I am so glad to hear that you had an opportunity to talk with the missionaries. I am so glad to see your love for them has grown. You are very right, here, they treat us like kings and I have like fifty grandmothers here in this ward that do everything for us. The relief society gives us a bag full of groceries each week. They are such angels here. Yeah you are spelling his name right. I consider Kaique my brother. He is a lot like Levi to tell to the truth. I really hope they get to meet one another. Alaynna is just so darling. I cannot wait to play around with her and to hold her. And take her golfing and such.... hahaha jk.
Well mom, this week was great. I will share a few moments that made it so incredible. We have been teaching a family of five that has been progressing super well. They truly have a strong testimony of the restored gospel and we have seen them such huge changes in their lives. I can say that they are letting go of the fruits in the monkey traps. It’s one thing to have an investigator that wants to get baptized, but it’s a whole other thing if you have one that wants to repent. And this family is so great. We were teaching this family this week, and we were talking with the parents about marriage and about the wedding we will have to arrange in the near future. Then they started talking about a bunch of things that they like about church and what not. Then the quiet little eleven year old boy raised his hand. He is pretty shy but I love the kid, he is always reading the book of Mormon too. He started to talk and got shy and stuttered a whole lot, but then he got it out and said " Uhhhh, elder, when you came here the first time you said something that was true. You said that this book would change our lives and our family." I was so touched to see that he understood the gospel. That he was able to trust in the promises of the Lord and that the Lord is so loving as to bless them with such marvelous changes in their family.
The next night we went to visit a recent convert who was waiting to be confirmed in church, and her husband who is a member, and her mother who we are teaching now. After the lesson, the recent convert said she wanted to bear her testimony and she talked about how her life and her marriage were failing but through the gospel all of that changed and she is able to find the happiness and peace that she has always wanted. Then her mother who we are teaching started to talk about how she has felt such great changes in her daughter's life and how she wanted that same peace for her life.
Then we met with the lady after church on Sunday. We had made goals with her to stop smoking. She has always struggled and she gets really nervous which makes her smoke. And after church she came up to us crying, and said that she had only smoked two cigarettes on Saturday, and that she hadn’t smoked any on Sunday and never would smoke another cigarette in her life. She is such a wonderful lady that is truly seeking after the sanction and peace that the atonement of Jesus Christ offers.
I know that this gospel is His. And that through it we can change and become new people. I know that there is no greater joy than that which the gospel brings to us and to our families. I know that this is the work of salvation, the true work of God and I am so grateful to be able to help bring it forth. I love you all and hope you have wonderful week!
Elder Paynter

April 8, 2014

Hi Mom,
       Well this week was a blink of an eye! And what an incredible blink at that. I LOVED conference. I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear some words that were said. But I will start with the beginning of my week first so I can remember what great things have happened. 
       Monday night we took part of the family home evening with a member. The investigator he invited ended up not showing up so oh well, but it was a good moment to strengthen the faith of the member because he needs it. We played the jellybean game and it was so funny. Wow the rotten egg jellybean is disgusting and it was the first one I got. And with it all I taught about how at times we all get different beans in our lives but ultimately we are the ones that decide to be happy. I shared the scripture in psalms 118:24. And talked about the simple fact that we have one more day in our lives is enough of a blessing to make us happy. After we played Jenga with this family, and they loved it. We left with our heads high from that house because it’s a family that has almost been broken many times, and just has some scotch tape holding it together right now. 
       The rest of the week we did lots of things that I don't completely remember. We taught our beloved family of five and they are more and more converted each time we go back. The Lord is answering our prayers. The husband had gotten mad at the wife because she wasn't reading the Book of Mormon. He said, "You think these things are just a joke? They are from God" It was really cool to see his powerful testimony in the way he acts. How many times in our lives have we not read the Book of Mormon, and through that action we tell God that we think it’s just a joke. The family is happier than ever and went to conference and loved each bit of it! We challenged them to get married and baptized and they said they would look for their answer at conference. So now we get to go back tomorrow night and get things rolling! I am so excited for the future of this family. They have already received so many blessings from the Lord for their sincerity in seeking the truth. 
       This week I was able to finish reading some things that you sent in the package. I looked at the ward newsletter. It was really really good. I looked in the back and saw the missionary spot. I am proud of Taylor and not one bit surprised that he is doing so well. When I read Teagan's part, I broke down. What a great example of a true servant of the Lord in seeking to heal so many aching hearts. At times it so easy to forget just what we are supposed to do, and I had forgotten. I spent some time after reading the letter to thank my Heavenly Father for having helped me to remember those things, and asked for forgiveness of my selfishness. I love the gospel so much, and there is nothing better than seeing it being preached in its purest form of love. Thank Teagan for his example. Thank Dave and Mindy for raising such an incredible son, and for being so inspired to share his experience. 
       It was a celestial week, and I am so grateful for each moment that I had. I hope you all have great one like I just did. I love you so much mom,
       Thanks for your example of Christ-like service to everyone and for all of your loving kindness. I love you.

Elder Paynter

March 31, 2014

     My comp is Elder Batista again! We got two fridges...... ha-ha one is full of books..... Ha-ha the other is full of food! Ha-ha but that’s not important. Oh and yes I got the package! Thanks so much! I am going to do the Bean Boozled thing today for a family home evening with a member and some recent converts.

     We are teaching three big families, and yes we need to get three weddings going.... ha-ha but it will be exciting! We taught this family, and when we went back they hadn’t read the book of Mormon. So we taught them a lot of things and challenged them to read as a family together and pray together after we left. The next appointment we marked fell through with them, and I was ready to drop them, but we decided to go back and it was the best lesson ever. We showed up to the house and the son was outside sitting on the curb waiting for us. We entered in the house and without delay, the father said, "great let’s start with a prayer, can I say it?" my mouth just hung wide open. Of course and he told us how after we had left the other day, they read the chapter we marked and then they prayed, then read it again and prayed, and then read again and prayed, and again and prayed. And they had gotten their answer the next day! We are just on cloud nine right now, the family went to church and is just so excited for everything! Tomorrow we will talk to them about marriage and then Thursday we will have a family home evening with a member!

     We had a baptism here also on Sunday, and the baptism’s mother came to church, everyone came up to her and asked oh are you a member? And she said not yet but I am getting there! Ha-ha we marked an appointment with her this week and hope she will be baptized the Sunday after conference.

     Well mom, I have so much I want to say but I am running out of time already. I am happier than ever, and never felt more like a missionary in my life. I love the gospel so much. I am so grateful for the little blessings that I have already seen from my mission and the huge blessings from the gospel. Nothing is better than the comfort of knowing our family is eternal! Thanks so much for everything mom! I love you so much and hope you have the greatest week!

Elder Paynter and Elder Batista

We had to clean the baptismal font Saturday night, so we wore our
shirts that we got when we were comps in Campinas.