Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dec 29, 2014

Hey everyone it was great to hear about all of your awesome christmas
experiences! I had a great time on christmas, was able to talk with my
family, and went to a branch christmas party at one of our favorite
member's houses. She has a really cool upper floor on her roof with
glass ceilings and there were a decent amount of people shooting
fireworks, it was a good night overall. Just a couple days after we
went with the young adults of our branch to visit a bunch of less
actives in our area, and then after went to the center of paramaribo
to look at the giant christmas tree, i'll include pictures but i was
impressed by the size of it, it was obviously fake, but if you squint,
and mabye tilt your head just a little bit, it actually looked quite
nice. (That actually goes for pretty much like all of Suriname) there
was also a cool view of the giant bridge they have here in suriname,
i'll actually be going over it today so i'll take some cool pictures
to send next week. We're going to a place called new amsterdam that's
supposed to be pretty nice. I think I might be a little sick today,
but hopefully it's nothing that bad, although coming down with dengue
fever would probably make for a cool story im not really that excited
about the actually catching it part... it's crazy to see (there is an
old man on the computer next to me singing and i feel uncomfortable)
time flying by back home i miss you guys and hope everything keeps
going as well as it has. And last of all happy birthday to Bailey! I
hope you have an awesome birthday today sixteen is an awesome age to
turn! Oh and best of luck trying to see over the steering wheel :)


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

1st Christmas in Suriname!

Hi and merry christmas everyone!!! I hope everything is going great
for you all and that youre having a great holiday season. We have
plans today with the other missionaries to meet at a members for lunch
and play some games and then once every year we're allowed to see a
movie! hahah i won't lie that's going to feel so weird as a
missionary. But it's legit i promise im not just going rogue out here.
In other news our branch had a big christmas party this past week, it
went great and we had a couple investigators who came and they got to
meet people which is always great. Along with that i was also dragged
into helping a few other missionaries sing a musical number, they knew
i sang in general conference and i guess that just somehow made me
qualified enough to help them with their musical number here, it was a
pretty intense song we did, its from a vocal group called pentatonix,
and while we certainly didn't sing of the same caliber the people
definitely loved it and we got lots of compliments surprisingly! hahah
Elder Dom has been trying to open his gifts early but i keep telling
him he's going to ruin christmas so he seems content to wait these
last three days. 
As a missionary you spend a lot of time just studying, (3-4 hours a day) 
and it's quite easy for someone with an
attention span as short as mine to get bored, despite my best efforts
i will admit that on occasion i get distracted, the good news is i am
now a lethal card thrower. and can throw a regular playing card
probably about 30 yards. it's a feat im quite proud of. Im so jealous
of all the new stuff coming out im going to miss out on! You guys will
have to let me know what's worth and not worth getting! In other news
'R' now has a baptismal date for the middle of january!
unfortunately he has a conflict with work and church so it's been a
struggle trying to get him to come. We have another investigator named
'M' who was in church this last week and i like him a lot. he has
word of wisdom trouble but is a great guy and im hoping we can
continue to make progress with him! 
This christmas is going to be a
bizarre experience for me on thursday but luckily as a missionary i've
taught the true meaning of christmas more than suriname doesn't have
snow (a lot) so comforted by that im certain i can look past the
things im missing out on. there are so many here with so little and i
think thats helped me gain a much greater love and desire to serve
these people. I hope all of you can find someone to serve or help
someone who needs it this christmas! it makes it much more enjoyable.
I love you guys and once again i hope you all have an awesome
Elder Carpenter

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15

hey everyone! So great to hear how you all are doing! I had a great week and especially one funny day in particular. That was when me and elder B went on exchanges, we were both in the mtc together and so we're both relatively new missionaries to go on exchanges, but we figured we could handle it. First thing in the morning we get ready to leave and elder b locks his apartment and bike keys inside xD We had no idea what to do since his other companion with the only other set of keys was so far away. Luckily me and elder B are a creative couple of missionaries, we found the keys on the kitchen table, here in suriname all the windows have bars so people dont break in so it wasnt as easy as going through their window, we looked around and i found a broom to use to try to reach in, but it was so far in the middle of the room we couldn't reach it. We find ANOTHER broom, but have no idea how to stick them together until it dawned on me to use our ties, we roped them around and made a super broom with our ties, problem was, we still couldnt grab the keys... about after 5 minutes of brainstorming i found a dustpan with a really long handle by some trash out back, and using that we were able to stick both through the bars of the window and meticulously sweep the keys into the dustpan. An epic celebration followed, and we taught a bunch of great people that day. I also fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to school foreign kids in basketball while serving a mission. Not going to lie i put some moves on these kids. And their friends videotaped it so you guys may or may not want to look for me starring in a famous youtube video. Other than that this week has been pretty good 'R' continues to progress and we met an awesome previous investigator named 'J', if she comes to church this sunday I think she has awesome potential. Another announcement is that theyre splitting our mission! Starting July our mission will include just trinidad, guyana, suriname, curasou, aruba, and the bahamas! since i speak dutch i was told that almost for 100% certainty i'll be sent to either curasou or aruba! so that was really exciting news! Our christmas plans aren't anything too crazy, they let you watch a movie with all the other missionaries, and im sure we'll have a big dinner at one of the members houses, so that'll be cool, anyways i love and miss you guys and love hearing from you! I hope everyone is enjoying their time as christmas is getting closer and closer! And happy birthday shoutout to my big sister tomorrow! I hope you have a great day Marley!
Love, Elder Carpenter

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dec 8

Hey Americans, I'm still alive and hope youre all doing well! it's
been a good week and some cool things happened! I met the vice
president of suriname the other night! He came to our church to make a
public speech about health care, apparently theyre modeling their
health care system after what America has been doing, but it was
pretty cool to be able to see and meet him. The meeting itself was
boring but we got a couple contacts from other people who weren't
members who came to see him so it was cool, the highlight was probably
me drawing pictures for people. hahah the other elders figured out i
can draw so it's a pretty constant stream of people asking me to draw
various things for them, I don't mind though its pretty funny. What
else was cool was we went to a tailor this week and I got a pair of
custom pants made, thats one of the things missionaries do here
sometimes, you can choose a fabric and have him measure you and get a
brand new pair of pants for the equivalent of about 25 us dollars! So
its a pretty good deal, we have a couple new investigators, namely
e, m, and r. They've all received two lessons now and if
all goes as planned they should all be in church on this coming
sunday. (But with surinamers things rarely go as planned) hahah but
i'm holding out hope. We're trying to get our other investigators
M and S married, but its a slow process to get them motivated,
one thing about suriname is that almost NO ONE is married! So when we
teach couples and families that almost always seems to be a priority.
I've come to realize that this *slaps mosquito with dangerous jungle
virus* is a tough area to serve in sometimes! Many investigators are
very lazy, and to get someone to try to come to church is proving to
be a big challenge, but I know that there are people out there who
will be willing and I won't stop looking until I find them! Me and
Elder Dom are making an increased effort this week to get people to
church and put them on date so hopefully with our support we can help
some of these people make a lot of real progress this week! I hope
you're all having a great holiday season so far! It's been a
completely different experience for me to be out here during it but
i'm grateful for it nonetheless. Love you guys and talk to you next
Elder Carpenter

 There WILL be Christmas in Suriname this year!
 New pants!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Three months!

Hey guys! The three month mark has come already and time is flying by!
Thank you all for the happy Thanksgiving wishes it was a tough time to
be away from everyone but it was still a great time. And it was also
filled with a couple of cool experiences! I was on exchanges with our
zone leader the other day and we weren't having a ton of success and
it was a pretty boring day. But we both decided to change our moods,
and in between appointments decided that we were going to find someone
prepared to teach today! Our very next contact was an amazing lesson
on the restoration, definitely the best one i've taught so far, and he
received it very well, I have hopes that he turns into a promising
investigator, and I also discovered that attitude makes a huge
difference! Staying upbeat and positive is by far the best way to go.
Our transfer also ended and im staying another transfer with elder
Dom! I know that Christmas is just around the corner but it really
doesnt feel like it, but thats probably a good thing so I don't miss
anything too much. My dutch is continuing to grow and i learn new
things about the gospel everyday ive already read the book of mormon
twice and the doctrine and covenants again! :O hahah i'm extremely
grateful ive begun the habit of scripture study out here. I know it's
helped in every aspect of my mission so far. Right after this i have
an appointment to meet a potential investigator to play some
basketball this p day! hahah these people are terrible at everything
except soccer so i anticipate a good time xD And before the end of the
letter this week i'd like to wish my youngest sister Sydney happy
birthday!! I'm so excited for you and hope you have an awesome day
tomorrow Syd!
Love, Elder Carpenter