Welcome to Sister Carlee Ann Painter's Mission Blog

This blog is for those who would like to keep updated with Carlee while she is serving her mission in Cincinnati. Her mom will be posting her letters and pictures.

For her address or any other information contact LaDawn at ladawn79@hotmail.com.

She'll love to read them when she gets home!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thank You!

Dearest Family and Friends!

What a blessing your love and support was/is! I have been so abundantly blessed! First of all, I had the best missionary mom ever! Thank you Mom for all of the letters, packages, love and prayers. I am so grateful for the support I felt from you thousands of miles away. Second of all, I have the best Dad EVER! ha ha. Thanks for keeping me going... always.

Thank you to everyone for all of the letters, support, and encouragement.

I had the most wonderful homecoming. It will be a cherished memory seeing so many people that I love so dearly. I would post pictures, but my mother has them all. ha ha.

I just want to share one last time (on this blog at least) that I know this church is the Kingdom of God set up once again on the earth. That it has the presiding authority to act in the name of our Heavenly Father to accomplish His divine purposes here. I have felt the Spirit witness again and again that our Father's plan is perfect! And as I choose to live the gospel principles and honor my covenants I will be able to live with my Father and my family forever!

It's true! What else matters?

Saying Good-bye

Every transfer meeting the missionaries would get up and share their departing testimonies. You look at them and think, "That will never be me thank goodness." And then... it is you! How on earth does that happen?

Coming home has been a bittersweet experience. You leave one family to return to another. I have been so blessed and will forever be grateful for my mission family.

Saying good-bye to Judy.
I was so blessed to teach wonderful people! I know the Lord places
certain people in our paths who we will learn the most from.
I was especially blessed to serve in the perfect areas among the best members! Thanks Sister Geyer for everything you taught me! I hope to be like you one day!
It was definitely hard to say good-bye to all of my sisters! I have learned (and will continue learning) so much from them. You are amazing girls!
And of course, President and Sister Jensen.
These two are the cream of the crop. I love them dearly and will always be grateful for everything they taught me.

Sisters Zone Activity

Our last preparation day Sister Sunderland and I decided to organize a Sisters Zone Activity exploring downtown Cincinnati. It was a blast!

If you look really close, on the steeple of this church is the original Angel Moroni that stood atop the Nauvoo temple. It made its way to the top of Church of Christ in Cincinnati.
Historical Fountain Square
(we really tried to get Sister Lytle to pose... ha ha)
Our last Graeter's black raspberry chip ice cream. Yum!
At the top of Carew Tower, the tallest building in Cincinnati
Sisters: Painter, Scott, Lytle, Lewis, Sunderland, Ventura, and Inkley
My dear friend, Hermana Scott and I and the Ohio River

Monday, December 6, 2010

Returning With Honor!

Good Morning Family and Friends. . .

Well this will be Carlee's Last Email!!!!!

She is coming home on Friday afternoon. We are so excited to get her home. I just wanted to thank everyone for your support during the last 18 months while she has been gone.

She has appreciated all the letters, packages, and notes of encouragement. A mission has been a wonderful experience for her and our family. I think we will certainly miss our Monday Morning Emails from her, but a hug in person will take care of that.

Just a reminder that her Homecoming is this Sunday, December 12th, at 9:00 am.

We are in the Sherwood Hills Ward. It is on the corner of Foothill Drive and Canyon Road in Provo. The address is: 4525 North Canyon Road (345 East).

The easiest way to get there is get on Center Street in OREM (Center Street Turns into Foothill Drive) and follow it all the way East until you get to Canyon Road (about five miles from I-15).

We will be having lunch at our home after the meeting if you would like to come up and visit with Carlee, she would love to see you.

Our home address is 798 Redford Drive, Provo, UT. . .#801-224-1502 if you have any questions. (Just follow Foothill Drive up the hill after you pass Canyon Road and we are the 3rd Street on the Right).

Again, Thank's for your support.

Love, LaDawn

Dear Family:

I am so full of mixed up emotions. ha ha… what do I say?

Let’s see, I’m on the brink of breaking down in tears in front of this computer screen. Scratch that, they've already started flowing. Mom, you started it! That email was way too mushy. And no worries, I’ll need a few more Monday emails to wean me off too. :)

Mom and Dad, thank you. Last Conference Elder Holland set a powerful example of gratitude to his parents for the help they gave him while he was on his mission. I wish I was as eloquent, unfortunately I’m not. And to be honest words really can’t describe the depth of gratitude and love I have for you right now. So in all of its understated simplicity, thank you for everything.

Alright, time to lighten the mood. Guess what! I tried crab this week. That’s right. Crab! I hope you’re proud. We even got a picture documentary because I knew you wouldn’t believe me. The picture is a good illustration of how I thought it tasted. Eck. Jen was a sweetheart and took us out to the Chinese Buffet. I love that lady!

We had a fabulous week! Complete with lots of snow! I heard you laughing when Jen called you to ask you to overnight my coat… but believe me… it was worth it! It’s been freezing! Welcome to December! We keep sharing our favorite winter tracting stories with Sister Lytle. I hope she’s excited. I love winter tracting! I’m not exaggerating! I really do. Ha ha.

Since the roads have been so bad, we’ve had to start saying our good-byes to people who live farther away from Wilmington. It has just about broke my heart. I had to say good-bye to Hilary Osbourn. It’s been really hard for her since she was diagnosed with breast cancer so she hasn’t made it to church for the last few weeks. While we were there, she kept thanking us and calling us “her angels” for coming when we did and helping her feel the peace of the gospel. I cried like a baby the 30 minute drive back to Wilmington. The great blessing of my mission, and I now realize this applies to life too, is the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve built. I love them!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a full time proselyting mission. It has been such a blessing! Sign me up for the next one! Sister Sunderland and I are ready to open China! I love this work! I love this gospel. I love bearing witness of Jesus Christ and showing people the way of the gospel.

President Jensen had the mission memorize this quote by Elder Bednar (I may have already quoted it to you). Every morning we repeat this together in our companionship:

You and I, today and always, are to bless all peoples in all the nations of the Earth. You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration. You and I,today and always are to invite all to receive the ordinances of salvation. Proclaiming the gospel is not a part-time priesthood obligation. It is not simply an activity in which we engage for a limited time or an assignment we must complete, rather, missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage. We were foreordained in the pre-mortal existence and born into mortality to fulfill the covenant and promise God made to Abraham. We are here upon the earth, at this time, to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are and that is why we are here, today and always.

You and I. Today and Always. That’s my goal.

I love you family! Lots and lots and lots!
Crazy enough… I’ll see you soon!

Sister Painter

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a broken heart. I heard the news yesterday at church. BYU lost. Good thing the gospel heals broken hearts… even football ones. How can I face my relatives? Sid and Jaxon already rubbed it in the Utah State win…ah well… such is life.

Hello Family!

How are you this week! We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving Week! (Well except for the stomach flu that struck Friday night… eck that was bad news!) We have so much to be thankful for! I love this branch! I love my companions! I love being a missionary. I just love this time in my life!

I promised pictures and I finally got my card-reader back! So I’ll send some we took at the temple, Sisters Conference, with the Coleman family, our district, morning studies and the picture with Mary Halpin and Elizabeth! I am SO excited Mary called you! Two of my favorite people talking on the phone! And now she’s getting baptized on Christmas Day! She has been up against a lot since I left Fairfield but her faith in trust in the Lord is inspirational. I hope I can become half the woman she is!

The gospel changes lives. It really does. I have seen it happen. I’ve felt it happen. I am so grateful to know that He works! Just know, when God does something, he does it well! :)

Sorry this is short this week. Lot’s to do… little time to do it. Oh and just so you know, Sister Sunderland has a 4 hour layover in Salt Lake before her flight to Pocatello. I invited her to come to lunch with our family. Ha ha… Okay? (I was thinking Hires would be great! And then maybe a quick walk through temple square.)

I love you family! Thanks for all you do!

Sister Painter

P.S. I’m still waiting on your “thankful” list!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Dear Family:

Happy Thanksgiving Week family! Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday! I love it! I love the food and I love the feeling. And since President Monson has counseled us to be more grateful here are some things I’m grateful for this week:

-Going to the temple on Tuesday! It was amazing!

-Parents who write me letters and emails! I love you!

-Sister Sunderland and Sister Lytle keeping me sane and who keep me laughing!

-The Spirit testifying of the Plan of Salvation to Homer and David! (two teenage boys we’re teaching!)

-Meeting Jeremy who just moved in from New Jersey. The Elders helped him pack his things and left him a Book of Mormon. He is so excited to read it!

-Of course, the Book of Mormon! It really is the pure word of God! I’m in one of those phases right now where I just can’t put it down. I love it! I’m grateful for the peace and understanding it brings me.

-President and Sister Jensen! They are wonderful! We had a leadership training with President Jensen and he made me think of Christ-like attributes in a whole different way.

-Wilmington Branch! I was sitting in church during Sacrament Meeting reflecting on how much I LOVE this branch and how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve here.

-I am especially grateful for covenants. God gives us covenants because the point us in the direction of real, lasting happiness!

I love this gospel! It makes me smile… all of the time… even when I feel miserable I always have something to smile about! This is your challenge for the week: come up with a list of all the things you are grateful for then make one copy and post it in the house somewhere and make another copy to send to me! Gratitude brings the Spirit, and the Spirit brings peace and contentment, and peace and contentment make for a happy home!

Lots of love!
Sister Painter

P.S. How funny is that, that Taylor was Sister Lytle’s zone leader in the MTC!
P.P.S. Elder Upton still has my card reader. I'll send ya pictures next week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Love Being A Missionary!

Hi everyone:

Well, I think winter has finally arrived here in Provo. We woke up to snow this morning. I guess we should just be grateful for the moisture we are receiving. It is the season to remember just how thankful we are for all we have and we are so blessed.

I had a few of you ask for the address to our chapel for Carlee's homecoming. It is on the corner of Foothill Drive and Canyon Road in Provo. The address is: 4525 North Canyon Road (345 East). The easiest way to get there is get on Center Street in OREM and follow it all the way East until you get to Canyon Road. (about five miles from I-15). We are in the Sherwood Hills Ward. We will be at our home after the meeting if you would like to come up and visit with Carlee, she would love to see you.

Our home address is 798 Redford Drive, Provo, UT. . .#801-224-1502 if you have any questions. (Just follow Foothill Drive up the hill after you pass Canyon Road and we are the 3rd Street on the Right).

Just a reminder that her Homecoming talk is on Sunday, December 12th at 9:00 am.

Have a great week and thanks for all the support.


Dear Family:

I LOVE being a missionary! I love the flow of knowledge that has come into my life over the last 18 months. I think I can officially say I’m addicted to learning! It has been such an amazing experience.

I don’t have a lot of time but I have to at least give you the highlights of the week. On Monday we took a trip with Jen down to Jungle Jims. It’s the huge international grocery store that happens to be… in Fairfield! It was crazy to be driving through my first area again. And completely unexpectedly we ran into the Fairfield Elders. Missionary party in Jungle Jims!

Of course, I asked them how Mary was doing since I hadn’t heard from her in a while and guess what! They gave me permission to go see her! It was the best day of my life! She was shocked when we knocked at her door. Ha ha. But it was wonderful to see her again! She’s doing so well! She is on her third time reading the Book of Mormon and she wants to be baptized so bad. Unfortunately, since I left she’s been in and out of the hospital and when she told her son and her brother about her intentions to get baptized they completely disowned her. So she is coping with that, but is determined to get baptized soon. I love her so much! I love the light of the gospel that just glows from her. It’s amazing to the changes of people over time! It was a very unique and special experience for me. I love that woman! I have a picture but our district leader is borrowing my card reader so I’ll be sure to include it next week.

The other highlight of the week would have to be SISTER’S CONFERENCE! We were finally able to have one! We have 23 sisters in the mission right now which is more than we’ve ever seen! It was wonderful to be able to meet some of them that we’ve heard all about and get to know them. Sister Jensen hosted it at the mission home so we all carpooled to Columbus and spent the night there. For two days we listened to presentations from each companionship and learned from each other. The Spirit was amazing! I am going to miss the fellowship of these sisters so much! Good thing for the Relief Society program. It is definitely inspired!

The other highlight, we are the defending champions of the Golden Plates Award. We won it again this month… take that Elders!

Like I said, I love being a missionary! I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

Lots of love! I wish you the best keeping up with your busy schedules (Don’t forget Pres. Uchtdorf’s counsel from last conference J).

Sister Painter

Monday, November 8, 2010

Golden Plates Award!

Dear Family:

Guess what! We got a call from President Jensen this week… and we’re training!!! Surprise! Ha ha. It was completely out of the blue since transfers were a couple of weeks ago. President told us that she just flew in and to come pick her up. So we did! Needless to say it’s been a crazy week since we didn’t anticipate her coming but we are so excited! Her name is Sister Lytle and she is the cutest thing in the world! All 4 feet and 11 inches of her! ha ha. Sister Sunderland and I look like giants now! She got delayed in the MTC because she broke her arm (she’ll have to tell you how one day…he he he). But the Spirit she has brought with her has been incredible and we are so grateful to have her here! We thought it was a dirty rotten trick for Sister Sunderland and I to stay together knowing we were leaving at the same time but now we have hope! Wahoo!

So that has been our crazy adventure for the week. It reminds me of the days in West Chester with Sister Thacker and I training Sister Gunderson. Good times. I have been blessed with WONDERFUL companions! I have loved them all, especially for the patience they have demonstrated while I’ve worked out some personality quirks. I love them all for that.

Other good news this week:

Mary told us that she finally talked to Jim and they are getting married and baptized before the end of the year! Wahoo! Since she had already been taught everything several times (we call that an eternal investigator…or an eternigator) we have been concentrating on the Atonement and the role of the Savior in our lives and it has had a powerful impact. It’s been a miracle! It just goes to show that the “enabling power of the atonement” is real! And it is a gift given to all of us if we would just accept it and do our part.

We also were able to see Judy finally, after several weeks of trying. We were able to have a heart to heart with her and she opened up about the trials she’s been facing over the last ten years in her marriage with Shawn. It was heartbreaking to hear the things she has gone through and now they are planning on getting a divorce, but it is encouraging to see her faith in the Lord and her determination to overcome it. She is a wonderful woman! She could use plenty of prayers right now though.

Oh oh oh… other good news… our car won the Ohio Columbus Mission Golden Plates award(picture included!). The way it works is they take all of the “cleanest car awards” in all of the zones and then take the top miles per gallon and award the “golden plates.” Grandpa Jim, I hope you’re proud that your granddaughter can at least wax a car. :) That better make Grandpa Boyd happy too! Ha ha.

I love you so much! And I love this work! And remember… It’s never too late to send letters! :)

Sister Painter

P.S. The other picture included is the three of us... Sister Sunderland and I are squatting. ha ha.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sacrament Meeting Talks

November 1, 2010

Mom, you are inspired! Thanks for sending those excerpts of that article. That exact thing has been on my mind a lot lately. Actually, I had an epiphany in the shower this morning (I know… odd place) that we, as missionaries, are all called to specific places to serve for specific reasons. In hindsight I realized I might be here for a different reason than I originally thought. But just like it said, “Have you dedicated your work and your mission to the Lord yet? If you have, then stop fretting. This is His work, not yours. He knows what He is doing even when you can not see the results. You put in the time, energy, belief and study and leave the results up to Him who knows and sees all.” That is something I need to do more of: just do my best and trust Him with the rest.

Oh and oddly enough, what you learned in Sacrament had the same theme of the talk I gave in Sacrament here, yesterday. Crazy huh! We got a call early in the week from the branch president who was desperate for some last minute speaking replacements for Sacrament meeting. Our assignment was to pick a general conference talk that stood out to us but to speak on how we are applying it in our lives.

Surprisingly, it was actually a tough assignment! Since there was absolutely no way I could choose just one talk I ended up with three of my favorites: Bishop Edgley’s Faith-The Choice is Yours, Elder Scott’s The Transforming Power of Faith and Character, and President Eyring’s Trust God, Then Go and Do. What powerful talks! I would highly recommend a thorough study of them.

The theme I found was the power and purpose of faith and how we need to choose to act in faith, especially when we experience trials challenging our testimonies. That is something I’ve come to realize during the duration of my mission that when my testimony gets challenged the best thing I can do is open the Book of Mormon with a prayer in my heart and read until I receive another witness of the Spirit that its true, and likewise that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet. There is so much I wish I had time to tell you but all I can do is invite you to study those talks again! They are amazing.

Mom, you are so cool. Thanks for all of your insights. And Dad, thanks for your letters. I love them! You’ll have to get your missionary journal typed up.
I love you lots!

Sister Painter

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

STILL Here In Wilmington!

Dear Family:

Hello from the Ohio! This is going to be a short one today, but there are two items of importance I have to address!

First of course, Happy 26th Anniversary to the best two people in the world!!! You both have been such a blessing! So I just have to tell you how much I love you and how grateful I am for the best parents in the world! I was thinking about you a lot yesterday since our Gospel Principles class was on Eternal Marriage and our Relief Society lesson was on Elder Ballard’s “Mothers and Daughters” talk. I think the Lord is reminding me how much I have to be grateful for! Like you two!

Second, transfers came and went and Sister Sunderland and I are STILL here in Wilmington! We really didn’t expect that since we both go home at the end of this transfer. Crazy huh! We’ll take it though! We are both really happy about it. Actually nobody in our district changed which was a first for all of us...ha ha. Good thing its one of the best districts ever! So it’s Sister Sunderland and I to the end!

This week we’ve been working with a lot of the less-actives in the area. There are so many wonderful people here who just need an extra push and lots of extra love. Honestly, I wasn’t the best visiting teacher before my mission but I have definitely repented and committed to be the most dedicated visiting teacher I can muster! There are so many people right now who are hurting and just need to feel the Spirit reassure them that Heavenly Father is still aware of them and loves them. I think the best part of having an official call as a representative of the Savior is to be able to so freely feel the love He has for His all of His children. That feeling has been the greatest experience of my whole mission… quite possibly of my whole life!

Thanks again Mom and Dad for emulating the Savior and striving to have that perfect love for everyone. I’ve had the best Christ-like examples right in my own home. How many kids can say that?

Lots and lots of love!
Sister Painter II

-ha ha… has Brittany told you how she signs all of her letters Sister Painter III?