Monday, November 24, 2014

A Happy Suriname Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving week you guys! we had a thanksgiving dinner at a members house earlier today and because she used to live in America we even got a real turkey and everything! hahah All the other missionaries were saying that it was really good, I was super grateful we were able to do something for thanksgiving, it's Suriname independence day this week so even though they don't celebrate thanksgiving there's still lots of celebrations going on which is pretty cool, they have tons of those crazy chinese fireworks that sound like cannons. With any luck I can get my hands on some of them through a member or maybe some other means yet to be determined... hahah the work continues to move forward here in Suriname we had a really cool activity just this saturday, we set up tables outside the church in the city and also around a couple shops members of the church owned and did a lot of contacting working together with the members, it was really successful and together we contacted over a hundred something people for all the different areas, our area in specific got 12 new people to see! hahah provided they all accept a follow up appointment, but at least a couple should turn into decent new investigators I hope! My favorite part of the activity was when someone had the idea to draw a diagram of the plan of salvation on the sidewalk, but they needed someone to draw it. My name was immediately suggested, hahah and so we bought some chalk and I drew a cool diagram on the ground! people were really interested by it and I was able to explain what it meant to a lot of people! It was a very effective and creative way of contacting! I'll attach a couple pictures of it. I continue to be impressed how warm it can be here this time of year but whatever, hahah at least im slightly more tan proportionately, so that's nice. I really miss the fall time over there, it's just endless summer here and it's beginning to make me feel a little out of place, I have no idea how my body's going to adjust for the winter, hahah but I can cross that bridge when I get there. Thank you all so much for your love and support! It wouldn't be possible without all of you. and have a great thanksgiving!
Love, Elder Carpenter

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's a jungle out there! No. Really. It's seriously a jungle.

hey guys! this week marks a month in suriname already and a lot has
happened this week! we had a great lesson with one of our
investigators named 'b h' over the restoration and he's
been progressing pretty well in my eyes, our investigator 'J',
with a baptismal date, has been out of town and so we haven't been
able to see her recently unfortunately :( It is still super hot here
hahah, I don't think I have yet to be cold once so far and from what I
hear that's not going to change the entire time! we've had a few rain
storms, we're beginning to enter the small rainy season, and we had a
pretty big thunderstorm last night which was pretty cool. A few funny
things have happened this week, the funniest of which was probably as
follows: During the middle of sacrament meeting yesterday, a lady
walked in and sat down, she immediately raised her hand and told the
speaker she couldn't hear, a few moments later she got up and sat in
the front row, we were all trying to find out if it was someone else's
investigator but none of us knew who she was! in the middle of
sacrament meeting again she got up and handed elder W a 90s
house phone with a cord she was carrying around and asked him to pay
her phone bill... hahahah but the funniest part was definitely as
follows, at the conclusion of sacrament meeting she came over to us
and shook our hands, when she shook my hand, she immediately started
going off and telling me her life story. She told me she didn't have a
relationship and didn't know anybody, and asked if i'd be her friend.
Or at least that was what I picked out from the conversation, she was
speaking fast and her accent was tough to understand. But when she
asked, "zult u mijn vriend zijn" (will you be my friend) I said,
uhh... ja (yes) and a little boy next to me started laughing, I asked
him what was so funny and he told me I'd just agreed to be her
boyfriend..! hahah according to the context she was asking me to be
her boyfriend and I agreed! hahah hopefully this lady won't remember 
it the following week if she comes back...
Something really cool I also want to share with everyone happened just
today! For p-day we went up to one of the tallest mountains in
Suriname! It was a long and humid hike but we found a beautiful view
and ran into some amazing waterfalls! It was literally in the middle
of the jungle! I can't describe how pretty it was in their so I'll
just show you all the pictures! hahah and we saw a pretty big snake
too! It's literally a jungle out there the second you leave the coast
and it was pretty crazy to be out there in the middle of it. Things
are so different here and im still getting used to it, and missing a
lot of the things in america, hahah but its starting to fade out. Its
like a whole different world out here but I'm thankful for the chance
I have to be here and the awesome work I've been called to do! until
next week! Love you guys

Elder Carpenter
 Literally a jungle
 Tunnel?  Well?  IDK
 He must've been exhausted! haha
 Blurry but cool
 Elder Carpenter!!! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov. 10

Another week has gone by and it was very successful! I finally got a
new bike! It's bright red with white tires, I guess they thought I
wasn't already sticking out enough as is, the good news is it matches
my helmet so when I attract attention at least I won't clash. When I
got here our teaching pool wasn't very large so that was our first
goal, so far we've picked up five new investigators! Which has been
great to see, our favorite is a fifteen year old girl named Jelissa,
she's the friend of a less active and during one of our visits we
asked her if she wanted to come and sit with us, we scheduled a return
appointment where she accepted an invitation to be baptized! We were
super happy for her and i'm really hoping it goes through and she
sticks with it! I also wanted to talk about some of the service
projects we've been doing! last week we got together with all the
members and helped raise awareness about chikungunya and how people
can stay safe from it, we had pamphlets and showed people safe ways to
store water and protect themselves from mosquitoes. The members were
also super helpful with getting referrals at the same time and the
missionaries in the area of the project got about 22 new people to
see! hahah so that was cool, but the service project this last week
was even better, we got to go to an orphanage and help construct
furniture to refurbish it, the owners of it are a wealthy dutch couple
and I could tell they were super grateful to have us all there, it was
a really cool project to be apart of! It's hard to believe how long
i've been gone already the time certainly does go by quick, i'm
technically almost done with my second transfer! Elder Dom said that
there's a pretty good chance we're not going to move our next transfer
and that he'll probably train me the whole 12 weeks but that's fine
with me, I like my area a lot and elder Dom's an awesome companion to
work with. In other news I still search diligently for a sloth but so
far to no avail... Lizards and huge bugs and crazy fruit are
everywhere though. One member always gives us mangos from her tree in
the backyard which I think is pretty cool, we also saw what was
probably the largest spider i've ever seen in person, I have no idea
what kind it was but its legs were only a little smaller than my
hand.... oh and also a truck hit me! hahah he backed right into me
while leaving his parking space it was a little sketchy but hey im
alive :p I love what it feels like to be a missionary so far, there's
no greater feeling than being led somewhere or to someone you just
know youre supposed to teach. I almost count it as a small miracle
every time. i'm certain it was for people like that I was called here
for! I love hearing from all of you, i'm so glad you've all been doing
well and I miss you guys always, don't take for granted everything you
have! I know that you hear that all the time but to experience it...
its almost a lesson you can't learn any other way. Love you guys and
talk to you again soon!!

Elder Carpenter
 New bike!! Mom and Dad can sleep now! ;)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nov 3

Hey everyone! Another successful week of surviving out here, but first
off happy halloween! I missed it terribly this year, they don't do
ANYTHING for it here so it was just a regular day, it is HOT out here
as well hahah I could really go for some snow right now I have no
doubt we're both envying each other a lot. I still dont have a good
bike, they havent caught the guy who stole our bike money hahah so
it's been a bit of a patience trial getting along with a broken bike,
but other than that I don't think I can really complain! These people
are so different from me, I'm such an obvious minority people just
stare at us. Less than 1% of Suriname is white! Despite these obvious
differences the people here are also a bit more relaxed and love to
just do and say whatever comes to their mind, its not offensive to
call someone fat here, we were asking for someone yesterday and a man said,
 "Oh yeah, the fat one, she lives downstairs." he didn't sense the slightest
 thing wrong about that. I guess theyre not huge about building
each others self esteem here hahah, another funny story that happened
this week was with an investigator we met on the street. We were
biking home and it was getting dark when a man called out to us,
sometimes we don't stop if it looks sketchy (this guy was the
sketchiest) but we felt like we should this time. His name was Herbie
and he wanted us to teach him a couple days later. A couple days went
by and we went to his address, at the gate was a man who we greeted
and said his name was herbie, and for the most part he really did look
like the herbie we met the other day, especially since it was dark, we
told him we were here for an appointment and he seemed like he
remembered and invited us in. Immediately he seemed different, he
seemed... a little slower... than the herbie we talked to before, we
taught a short lesson than decided it was probably best to leave, no
sooner had we gotten on our bikes when the Herbie WE KNEW came biking
from down the street yelling "Ik kom!!!" or I'm Coming!!
hahah turns out we had just taught an entire lesson to Herbie's
younger brother with special needs, and he didn't say a single thing the
whole time, hahahah so we ended up teaching the REAL herbie and it was
a great lesson! I thought that was a pretty funny experience. In other
exciting news I GOT TO PET A MONKEY! hahah it was someone's pet and
they let me play with it it was the cutest thing ive ever seen! they
have such a personality and love jumping and climbing on you it was
hilarious. The way they do everything just makes you smile it was
awesome, I cant wait to see more of them! I hear theyre pretty common.
When I pictured my mission, I never could have imagined what it's like
here, but the longer ive been here, I can definitely see why I was
called here. I think these are some of the best people on the planet,
and i've never seen a group of people better at fellowshipping,
especially when it comes to people in church, they've all been nothing
but nice to me and from what I can tell just everybody in general!
Although it has its own challenges, like heat and the fact people find
white people so strange here, I'm convinced im going to keep having
some great experiences. I know that this church is true no matter
where you go and our message is simple and easy to understand. These
people are not all educated and sometimes I try to over explain when what
they really need is a simple testimony. I'm grateful for this humbling
experience and for these awesome people. I miss you all and love you a

Elder Carpenter
this is a super old cemetary

cool graffiti

Elder Carpenter's new pet monkey ;)