Monday, December 28, 2015

Dec 28 party pants, a panda, and a president present!

Hello Friends and Family I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas!
It was definitely a cool one for me and we have a lot to show for our
efforts this week. We picked up two really cool new investigators
named 'J' and another named 'G,' Who goes  often by his street
name, hahah. But they're both cool guys pumped to learn about
the gospel and we had a blast this week finding and teaching them. I
was reading a story on a little bit ago about one of Elder
Holland's favorite Christmas memories that really struck me, he stated
that one of his favorite christmas memories was on his mission in
england where he and his companion spent all of christmas eve and
christmas day knocking on doors, without even a single person letting
them in or listening. The fact he looked back on that as one of his
favorite memories struck me in a funny way, and it motivated me to
work extra hard this christmas season, mainly so that when I look
back, who knows how many years from now, I can feel the same way about
this Christmas, knowing I did what was expected of me and to the best
of my ability. I now know I'll be able to do that and it's a good
feeling. I hope that all of you continue to have a great holiday
season and a wonderful New Year's! I'm attaching a couple pictures
from our pday activity last week where we celebrated christmas by
playing some games with the other missionaries, we did a white
elephant gift exchange and I brought the giant stuffed panda you see
in the middle. Unfortunately i didn't have anything to wrap it with so
i just tied a plastic bag around it's head, hahah it was pretty funny,
anyways, I love and miss you guys, and happy birthday to Bailey! Who
turns 17 tomorrow!!!
Elder Carpenter
With his party pants on, Elder Carpenter was on his way to the gift exchange. His present to give was the big panda. Good luck getting it home!!
Elder Carpenter's "gingerbread mission house"
Missionary gift exchange
He traded a fish for a cinch bag

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dec 21 Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Christmas is getting into full swing here in
Suriname, we had a great Christmas devotional for the Wanica Branch
this past Saturday, and our branch mission leader organized a musical
number with all the missionaries and it turned out really good! The
primary also sang and some people gave talks so it was pretty nice, we
had a couple investigators there who really seemed to enjoy it. Today
for pday all the missionaries are getting together to do a little gift
exchange, I bought a giant stuffed panda, hahah so i'm pretty excited
to see who ends up with it. This week has been kind of slow with
finding new people to teach, a lot of people seem like they don't want
to be disturbed this time of year. But fortunately we've been able to
see a lot of members, and I think we collected at least 5 referrals
that people had for us so in a way it kind of balanced out. I'm
continuing to enjoy mission life and am especially grateful for the
chance I have to serve around this time of year where we remember the
Savior, I love and miss you guys and I hope you all have a wonderful
Elder Carpenter

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dec 14 staying put

Hey guys, some good news, i found out that I'll be staying another
transfer here in Wanica South with Elder Van Den Herik! We're excited
to stay companions since we get along really well, I've made some
really cool friends with a lot of the members and so I'm glad I get to
spend more time with them. A couple of them are returned missionaries
or about to become missionaries who we work with and so they are super
helpful with coming out to teach with us. Some other interesting news,
Suriname will be getting 4 new missionaries next transfer! 3 elders
and 1 sister. Most of them aren't technically new, in fact I think
they just finished their training already, but due to visa problems
we've only just been able to get them in this transfer. They should be
coming in wednesday morning and so I'm excited about that! We had a
district activity last night where all of suriname got together to
watch the Christmas devotional the church puts on and that was pretty
cool. Normally they have a tv in the back where there isn't a
translation so missionaries can watch in english but it wasn't working
yesterday so everybody had to watch it in dutch which people were
complaining about, hahah. The dutch speakers they choose sound so
weird, they all have extremely nasally accents its ridiculous. But
despite that I really enjoyed it and it was kind of the first time it
hit me that christmas is here! Nothing down here has even much of a
semblance of christmas time and so most of the christmas you
experience is what you bring with you, hahah. But last night, it felt
nice to feel like it was so close. Me and Elder Van Den Herik have
some good goals set for this transfer that we're excited about, and
I'm looking forward to building on the work we've started in this
area. Love you guys a ton and I hope you all have a great week and a
great Christmas season!
Elder Carpenter
P.S. Happy Birthday Marley!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dec 7

Hello and greetings from Wanica! This coming week will be the last of
the transfer and saturday I'll find out what's happening to me! I've
only been here for one but we're thinking that things could
potentially be kind of crazy this transfer since we're expecting some
new people to come in, so who knows what will happen? :p I feel
completely over my Dengue Fever now so that's a big plus, I had one
more little episode of it this week, around thursday but to be honest
I hadn't really fully recovered before I started going out again and
so I took some more time to rest and now I definitely feel better.
It's actually turned into a little bit of an epidemic... I think that
there have been at least 5 missionaries who have gone down with it and
the recovery time for everyone seems to be about two weeks, needless
to say it's not pretty. But despite that I still had a great week, we
were still able to get some solid lessons in and my favorite was
probably with the 'D' Family, they have a son on a mini mission here
in Suriname and their testimonies have really started to grow. Sister
'D' and her husband aren't technically married yet but we had a
really cool lesson about families and how they can be together forever
and I think that we drove a little motivation into their hearts. Will
definitely let you know if there are updates! In other news one of our
missionaries, elder Bowen, underwent toe surgery today hahah so that
was pretty crazy, I was surprised they let him have an operation here
to begin with but now he's got a zombie toe for the next few days and
my heart goes out to him. Today for pday we just got done playing
soccer, and ultimate football and it was a blast. we have some cool
plans this week and quite a few appointments set up since everyone
misses us since i was sick. Hahah so we're looking forward to a great
week, I hope you all are having a great december so far and you'll
hear from me again next week!
Lobi, Elder Carpenter

Monday, November 30, 2015

Nov 30 sick part twee

Oh man what a crazy week, I guess I'll just try to start off on a
positive note and say that i've done it! I've successfully managed to
contract both of Suriname's indigenous jungle viruses. Denghue Fever
struck me pretty hard this week and I've had it since Wednesday
afternoon. The symptoms were flu like for the most part and left me
mostly too tired to leave my bed. Needless to say it was not the BEST
of weeks out here but I survived and I'm recovering quite well at this
point. Today's the first day that I haven't had a headache and so I'm
feeling substantially better. Luckily I got well enough just in time
to go on one of our cooler pday activities today, which was golf!
Hahah we went to Paramaribo's golf club with all the elders from south
zone and had a great time, It was definitely a good turnaround from
such a tough week. I played surprisingly well for not having held a
club in so long. I could still drive all right but the rest of my game
was out of the question. All of the missionaries there had a sweet
time though and the place was beautiful! That's pretty much all that
happened this week due to me being sick :( But fear not I think that
by tomorrow everything will be business as usual again, we had 3
investigators in church which was awesome! Some of them are
progressing really well and I'm hoping that we can put some of them on
date this week. Love you all and have a great week!
Especially my littlest sister Sydney who is turning 13!! Crazy!!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nov 23 Thanksgiving came early

Hello and happy thanksgiving! So great to hear from all of you and i'm
glad you're all doing so well. This week has definitely marked the
transition into our rainy season. Me and Elder Van Den Herik got
pretty soaked on a few occasions but it's all good. We had a couple
cool lessons this week, a group of priesthood holders went by one of
the less actives, brother 'A', in our area, and we asked if we
could come along. It was a little like a home teaching visit but with
a lot more people because he thought he needed help. The lesson
actually ended up going great and I could tell the visit from so many
members of the ward really touched him and he expressed a desire to
come back. Lo and behold we saw him in church this sunday for the
first time in forever! I was so glad to see the members in our area
working together like that it was a sight to behold. If members did
something like that every week I have no doubt we'd already have a
temple in this country. We are also involved in an ongoing service
project with our district mission leader to help rebuild his house! We
spent time on the roof this week and it was pretty freaky i'm not
going to lie! I'm learning a lot about construction though and house
building so i think it's pretty sweet. Last but not least we
celebrated thanksgiving at the 'S's' today! Every year this family
feeds the missionaries at thanksgiving even though they don't really
celebrate it here but it is the nicest thing of them to do and they
are always so nice to missionaries. Anyways that's about it from this
guy but I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nov 16 Meet Alex

Hey guys I don't have a ton of time this week and so i'm going to have
to keep it a little shorter but we had a really good week! One of our
investigators, M, was in church with her less active husband.
We're trying to help them get married so that they can be baptized and
I think we're beginning to make progress with them! Her husband is
actually a returned missionary, but he went a little astray and now
we're trying to help him get back on track. In other news, we met a
new less active named sister 'mal.' It was a funny visit and the
first thing she told us was that she stopped believing because no one
could explain why we have twelve cows in our baptismal fonts at the
temple... hahah we didn't focus on that though we just shared a
message about the book of mormon and told her we would study about the
oxen and give her a good answer next time. Hopefully we can put her
concerns to rest. Last but not least we saw a spider monkey up close!
I held hands with it and everything it was CRAZY. I'll send some
pictures in a second. But yeah I hope you're all doing awesome and
I'll see you all next week!
Elder Carpenter
Elder Carpenter's new friend Alex
Just chillin' with Alex. Like usual. 
South Zone Conference 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nov 9

 Hey everyone! I can't believe the first week here in wanica went by so
fast! Me and Elder Van Den Herik have been having a pretty good time
blanking this new area. Luckily the sisters here before us were VERY
descriptive in their teaching records and so we were very thankful to
them for that! It's made our transition quite a bit easier. Other than
that things have been pretty laid back, I found out something cool, in
that our area actually goes all the way to Brazil! :O Hahah but we'd
never bike that far it would take literally all day and half of
tomorrow. The farthest south we ever go or would go is zanderij and
thats a couple hours on the bike so we would only go with VERY good
reason. In other news I'm soaked sitting here at the computer place
which I take as a solid sign that our rainy season is underway. Some
missionaries look forward to it but I just think they're crazy.
Getting drenched can be a pretty big downer some days if you're just
not in the mood for it. What was cool though this week was that I got
to know everyone in the ward really well by a giant service project we
did for a retirement home! It was for the International Day of
Service, not sure if that's sponsored by the church or suriname or
what but it was a great time and the project was definitely a success.
They were all super grateful, although I did witness an argument
between two really old people as one lady was telling me to rake the
garden while an old man said that he was planting flowers. Then the
old lady said he was lying and that he's too lazy to rake it himself
and I quietly slipped away as they continued to babble... I certainly
do love old people however they are super sweet and loved talking to
us. In other news tomorrow is zone conference! We are excited about
that and it should be a great time. I love and miss you all and hope
that you have a great week!
Elder Carpenter
He likes his new camera. The best one he has had. And he has had three!
The fun children of one of the families in their area. 
Elder Carpenter's new apartment and the "iron" he pumps nowadays. 
The International Day of Service in Suriname. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nov 2 first a puppy, now a kitten

Crazy news! We received our transfer calls a couple days ago, and I'm
moving again! I'll be headed out of Kwatta and head south into the
area Wanica South! Still an established and somewhat organized branch,
but it will be the smallest one I've served in so far at least. Wanica
South shares some borders with the jungle and is one of the furthest
south areas that we have and so I'm pretty excited to check it out.
The craziest thing though, is that I'll be serving AGAIN with Elder
Van Den Herik! Apparently we just can't get enough of each other. I'm
actually very excited though, me and Elder Van Den Herik had an
awesome transfer together a few months ago and I know we're going to
accomplish some great things in this new area together. Wanica south
was actually just turned into a sisters area a few months ago. But due
to a general feeling that the area was unsafe for the sisters there,
we are being sent instead! Missionaries have been there forever, but
ever since the sisters got sent in they had a couple things that made
them nervous about leaving them there, and so they turned my old area,
kwatta, into a new sister area! It's substantially safer and so they
thought it would be better suited for sisters. In other news, me and
Elder James had a cool experience yesterday while we were contacting.
We were driving looking for a place to park the car and the second we
got out to start talking to people, a lady from 3 streets down started
to wave and shout out to us, turns out she is a long time member who
really wanted to get back in contact with missionaries! We were so
excited and felt really blessed to have run into her the way we did.
We could have contacted or parked anywhere, but we were led to someone
who was specifically trying to find us and I know that we were led
there. Besides that we also had a stray kitten walk in our yard and he
may have imprinted on me because he didn't leave for like 3 days, but
he finally left a couple days ago I'm just hoping he's not dead... We
had a puppy given to us last week and a Kitten this week so at this
rate maybe I'll have pictures of a baby parrot or something next week
I have no clue what's going on. But anyways, have a great week and
I'll let you all know how Wanica is!
Elder Carpenter
His kitten
A cellphone company advertisement 
Most of the missionaries in suriname. All but 4 he thinks. (Elder James is hidden in the shadows under the canopy)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Oct 26 spaghetti milkshakes

 Hey everybody! I hope that everyone's weeks have been fabulous. I had
a great time this week and have a couple of pretty funny experiences.
I met with the Head of Suriname's foreign affairs department yesterday
(you could say it was kind of a big deal) and talked about a lot of
missionaries' visas and how we can avoid sending people in on tourist
visas so that they don't become illegal when they expire and their MKV
isn't done yet. The meeting went fairly well and we had a good chat
and learned some important things about the process. In other news I
learned how to make "spaghetti" this week... I know what you're all
thinking this how is this scrub just now learning how to make
spaghetti BUT what I actually mean is a crazy new hatian recipe I
learned where you use spaghetti to make a milkshake! Hahah it's so
crazy, and you can also use potatoes instead but it tastes SUPER good
despite how weird you feel at first when you set a bunch of spaghetti
in your blender... As far as the missionary work in our area we were
really busy with meetings and senior couple responsibilities but we
were still able to go and see a less active named brother 'a'. Fun
fact: Brother 'a' is the FIRST missionary from Suriname! The first
ever from an entire country I thought that was so cool, definitely a
pioneer in his own right. He has a super strong testimony and is a
magnificent man I think that it's just a personal choice that keeps
him from coming to church every week instead of off and on. And last
but not least to keep all of you on your toes I totally saw a dead guy
on the side of the road on the way here :( Not to worry though the
police had already arrived and handled everything it was just pretty
creepy o_o  On a brighter note we had a cool pday activity at a place
called Cola Creek (so named due to the black water) It was a really
cool place to hang out and we played some volleyball in the middle of
the jungle it was pretty sweet! Anyways I think that's about all from
this guy but I love you all and I hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oct 19 a President, a puppy, a pizza, oh my! ;)

Hey everybody!! Great stuff continues to happen here in Suriname, we had
the baptism of one of my former investigators in south! 'O,' who I had
been teaching for almost 6 months, was finally baptized just this saturday!
I was so excited about it and looking back am humbled by how much progress
he has made. Me and Elder James had a lot of success as well, just mostly
in other departments, namely visa things. Hahah, we got two missionaries
their MKV's which means their visas are just around the corner. And we just
processed a couple missionaries short procedure letters with the "Foreign
affairs department" which means that either this transfer or the next new
missionaries can come into suriname! Needless to say it's different than
the normal baptism or reactivation stories but they are successes
nonetheless! Hahah, we also spent this week driving our mission president
around while he was here in suriname to do interviews and give temple
recommends! It was cool to get a chance to spend some time with him since
it's always a long time in between his visits. Maybe my favorite happening
of this week was when me and elder james saved a puppy! Someone had tried
to throw this poor guy in their trash :'O but me and elder james came to
the rescue and found him a new home with some owners more responsible. He
was so dang adorable. We also had to drive to the airport in zanderij to
pick up new water filters for all the missionaries, it required about 3
hours worth of driving to get all of the documents from different
departments and then down to the airport which is in the heart of suriname,
quite a distance from the coast where we normally are. But anyways it's a
great feeling to serve others even in this capacity and I continue to have
a lot of faith in our less actives who are beginning to return to church! I
think that's about it this week but I love and miss you all and I'll talk
to you again next week!
Elder Carpenter

O's baptism
Saved puppy!! (Makes up for the wild dog he had to kick to keep from getting rabies, right?!)
Scenery from driving around Suriname
More scenery
Elder Carpenter can cook!! His specialty is pizza!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct. 12 and pictures!!!

Hey guys! This week was a really great success in my eyes, Elder James
and I were able to get a lot done, and even had time to do missionary
work! :O hahah I say that only because our senior couple
responsibilities sometimes limit our ability to teach as much as we
like but we really managed our time well and had some cool
experiences. One of the families we visited was a
couple from Guyana named 'H' they are super funny
and we had a great lesson with them. Guyanese people have great
hearts, and I was super excited to see them come to church this sunday
for the first time in a long time! I am loving the tammenga branch and
the members that live here are so great to work with. We get more
member referrals here than I've ever received on my mission and that
has been awesome! We had a funny experience with one of our referrals
in that upon arriving they thought that we were professional marriage
counselors...? and proceeded to tell us about their marriage problems
hahah. Upon telling them our actual purpose and introducing the Book
of Mormon, the wife just went off and got her bible. She put it in my
hands and asked "is this a real bible?" hahah i guess she thought that
we didn't believe in it but after some convincing and A LOT of
patience on my part, I was able to convince her that the book of
mormon is a book of scripture written by prophets just like the bible
and got her to agree that she has to try reading a little before she
can know its bad, so we'll see how that goes! Funny story of the week,
we got called to pick up some art for the church and got lost with our
first counselor as he kept yelling out our window asking people for
directions. Upon finally finding it they unload a pallet of boxes on
our truck about 7 feet high weighing over 500 pounds! Hahah needless
to say it was a slow moving ride back to the church to unload it all.
The ability of these people to plan ineffectively never ceases to
amaze me. But yeah other than that it was an awesome week I hope that
you all have another great one as well!!! Lobi!! Elder Carpenter
Elder Carpenter meets "Mothra"
His 'bucket' bike helmet

Studying with Elder James
Outside his apartment
Attack of the pants eating parrot!
Elder Carpenter's new ride. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oct 5: the mattress situation

Hello Americans! This week was pretty crazy, the amount of stuff me
and Elder James have to do as our country's senior couple is still
pretty intense. We had to take everybody new to a police station this
week to get them fingerprinted so that they could get the rest of
their paperwork sent in from America. The man we were working with
there told me I must come from the mountains because i'm apparently
short. His name is Mr. Cedarboom (which means cedar tree)
((Appropriately named because he is as tall as a tree)) He said that
short people live in the mountains and tall people live in the flat
lands. And used that as the excuse why he isn't very fast while
climbing stairs. hahah needless to say he was an interesting guy. we proceeded to get there fingerprints
and everything seems to be in order for our newest missionaries which
is great news! Conference this week was also fantastic, I learned a
ton and it was a great chance to take a breather and listen to the
messages of the prophet and apostles, I especially enjoyed the
testimonies of the newest apostles and know of their sincerity and
drive to serve God. We had a couple missionaries stay at our apartment
on saturday night in between sessions, just so that they wouldn't have
to go all the way home to come all the way back the next morning. One
of them is just a temporary missionary, meaning he is actually just a
surinamese local they found to work with one of the other missionaries
for a transfer. I offered him my bed for the night, a choice I would
later come to regret... As I settled in for bed the following night,
something became apparent to me quite quickly. This surinamese temp
had peed in my bed... needless to say I was not super excited about it
and am currently on couch cushions until further notice... certainly a
character builder to say the least hahah. But anyways the baptism of
the 'K' couple went through!! They are so awesome It's been a
privilege to teach them the past couple weeks, they were so excited
for this and have a super strong testimony. Definitely some people I
won't forget! I hope you all have a great week I'll talk to you again
Love, Elder Carpenter

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept. 28

Hey everybody!! I'm happy to report that everything in this area has
been running fairly smoothly despite the lack of experience and
knowledge of the area exhibited both by me and my companion Elder
James, who has only been here one transfer more than me. Our "senior
couple" responsibilities are pretty crazy and we find ourselves
running around A LOT doing stuff for the other missionaries and making
sure everybody stays legal in this country! We have to visit the visa
offices of suriname which can be pretty intimidating to speak dutch
with them sometimes, along with driving people to the airports, and
looking after people with presidency callings every time they come to
visit Suriname, which is pretty crazy. To make it simple there's a
veryyyyy long list of responsibilities that we have that pretty much
just let missionary work in this country keep on running. hahah it's
crazy to think of it that way but in this area and with this
assignment that's pretty much exactly how it is. We take care of
everything for everybody else so they don't have to and can focus on
doing missionary work and teaching people. We do still get a chance to
do teaching of our own, however, and have a really cool couple we are
teaching with a baptismal date for next week! I'm super excited about
them, they have two little kids who are adorable and both of the
parents are super prepared and love what we teach them. Being one of
the only missionaries in a car has been stellar as well. Not only do
we get everywhere faster but it takes one of the most annoying parts
of my job away which is biking around in the sun :p This week a cool
experience we had was when we were looking for something to do around
8 and decided to pray and asked to be sent where we were needed most.
We decided to go to a member's house but she wasn't home and so we
decided to walk the dark street and talk to a couple people. Both of
the people we talked to were super interested in what we had to say,
and one of the ladies was so thankful she told us to sit down while
she cooked us food! Hahah they were so nice and I can't wait to go
back and see them again. It was great proof to me that God hears and
answers prayers. I hope you all have a great week I love and miss you
guys and I'll talk to you again soon!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sept 21 early transfer! Senior couple!...??? ;)

Crazy news!! I'm finally getting transferred! After spending over half
my mission in Paramaribo, I am finally getting sent somewhere else! I
found out two days ago that I would be sent to Kwatta! It's one of the
areas that belongs to our main church, where you see the baptismal
photos, and I'm super excited about it! I will be companions with our
current zone leader Elder James which means I am one of only two sets
of missionaries with a car! The reason why is because my new position
is technically to be a senior couple! Hahah we will still be doing
normal missionary work but as the acting senior couple for suriname I
now have the responsibility to deal with bikes, visas, passports,
transportation, packages, and a whole long list of other things. It's
going to be a lot different than what I'm used to probably but I'm
really excited for the change. I've been working really hard in
Paramaribo and so maybe that's why they chose me for the job. Or they
just really need to humble my rampant sense of pride-I haven't decided which,
but I will give you an update after this transfer. In other news Elder
Prestera left already!! We dropped him off at the airport at 3:45
this morning :O He's going to Guyana and he will be missed!  I've gotten like 3 hours of sleep today but am somehow miraculously still functioning. I'm
currently with my new companion right now along with his companion
since we haven't technically switched off yet. The reason im here early is because Elder Prestera had to leave so unexpectedly to his next area, we barely even had time to pack with how much of a heads up they gave us. (We knew he was leaving about 5 hours in advance) 
In other news, 'I' came
to church again this week! It looks like the next elders who come in
after us are going to have a quick reactivation and so I'm excited
about that, he's such a nice kid. The new branch i'm going to be in is
the biggest in Suriname with about 100 people in Sacrament meeting
each week. I'm really excited to work in a more developed branch where
I have a lot of member support I think that's going to be a really
useful tool I plan on taking advantage of. I know a lot of the members
already and so with any luck I can start this week off on the right
foot with everybody and start making some new friends!! I'm super
excited to be with elder james as well, he was in my MTC group and
this will be his second transfer as a zone leader, he's a great guy
and a hard worker and I have a lot of respect for him, I know we're
going to get a lot of good stuff done. They did something different
this transfer in that they split the zone leaders and so now there's
actually going to be a zone leader in my old area, it will be a little
weird at first I think, but I'm sure it's going to work out just fine.
I can't wait to start this week in this new area! It's going to be
great and I can't wait to tell you all how it goes next week! Until
Elder Carpenter

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept 14

Hello World! What a crazy week this was! I'll start off with a pretty crazy experience I had this week that probably caused my parents quite a headache. We were biking and found a cool lady to contact, upon taking a book of mormon out of my bag to give to her, I completely forgot to rezip my bag before we biked off... (slaps forehead) It wasn't until our last appointment at 8 o clock fell through that I realized my pocket was open and my wallet was missing.  The next hour was spent biking a good 5 miles or so backtracking and praying we would find it but to no avail. The story does have a good side, however, in that upon speaking with the senior couple about my lost debit and credit cards, they told me I had to call home as soon as possible to tell my parents to cancel them! Hahah and so getting to have that conversation with them over the phone was pretty funny and turned a terrible situation into an alright one. In terms of missionary work, the coolest success story I have for you guys this week is a kid we found named 'I,' or "Rush" if he's on the streets apparently, hahaha we had never met him before our first visit and were referred to him by the elders in the area next to us. We heard he was a member who was 17 but hadn't been to church in years since his mother died. We called and scheduled an appointment and I felt like I really clicked with him. He was so excited to meet with us, and comes from very humble circumstances. To illustrate for you with what he has to live with, a fight broke out about 40 feet from us between these two guys over a parking space, hahah that's how you know you're in the hood apparently. But moral of the story we had a great lesson and guess who came to church this week for the first time in years??? 'I'!!! I was so glad to see him there and I set him up with some of the other young men his age so he had some people to fellowship him. He seemed really happy and I can't wait to meet with him more! Last but not least our pday activity was a hike to Brownsberg! We had to get up at 4:30 hahah but it was worth it to see the view and crazy jungle waterfalls :O I'll attach some pictures so you guys can see but it was amazing!! This week couldn't have gone better and I feel very blessed to be a missionary here right now. Miss you guys a ton and talk to you next week!
Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept 7

What's up everyone, our normal cyber cafe was closed today and so we've resorted to plan B which is a sketchy little chinese place and so I'm just hoping that this email goes through. Me and elder Prestera had a really good week and worked really hard, our greatest success was probably with 'K V,' who committed to get married sometime in October! This is what she's been waiting on to be baptized and so we were super excited for her when she told us she felt like she had waited long enough and wanted to be baptized! We are currently in the process of finding a person to marry them and will most likely hold the wedding by the Tammenga church you guys see my baptism photos at. More details will probably follow later, we played soccer today for P day and had a good time, I am ashamed to announce, however, that the north zone finally lost to the south zone 2-0. But we have plans to regroup and take it to them next time. In other news I rode a unicycle for the first time in my life, totally goofed and didn't have my camera with me though, I'll try pretty hard to get a picture for you guys. I can take about two pedals before it slips out from under me, not really sure how to fix that but it's alright. I feel like it's cooler to just say you tried than to show everyone you took the time to actually learn how. A funny story we were walking into a store when a ten dollar surinamese bill fell out of my pocket. I turned around and picked it up and started walking back inside when a guy yelled "Hey! That was mine!" hahah I just looked him right in the eye and veryyyyy slowly closed the door. Luckily he didn't try to pursue us inside because I didn't really feel like dealing with that scenario. The work in our area has been going really well and we have been putting up some real solid numbers the past few weeks, we've been blessed with a lot of referrals from members and other missionaries and so we always have some cool people to teach. I love and miss you guys and I hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31

Hey everybody! This week was quite hectic, we were finally graced with
the presence of our mission president, President Egbert, and had an
awesome zone conference! What made it even cooler was that Elder
Martinez of the 70 was also there! I was super excited to hear him
teach and he said some really cool stuff. One of the things he said
that I liked the best was that we should never teach the same lesson
twice. Every person is different and needs different things at
different times in their life and that means that the spirit needs to
teach them a different lesson every time. Sometimes I get in the habit
with new investigators where I just teach what's in the book and I
feel like it could really help my teaching by listening to the spirit
for clues about what they need to hear. We don't have to know them to
receive that inspiration, if we're paying attention and listening to
what they have to say, along with obeying promptings we receive from
the spirit, we can ask the right questions at the right times and
teach what's really on the minds of those we find. In other news, I
was able to attend the baptism of a man named 'r' who I taught just a
number of weeks ago, the man is huge but inside just a total teddy
bear. In the picture I'll attach, there's a lady named Sister 'K,'
who actually found him. 'R' was actually debating on robbing sister
'k' one night, but upon being confronted by sister 'k' on what
he was doing, he broke down and began to cry, asking her to forgive
him! She did, but only on the condition he came to church the next
week. That was where we came in and immediately began to give him the
lessons, he was obviously prepared and we brought sister 'K' to
every lesson. Unfortunately, however, he ended up moving! His home
situation was not very good and he found a better place in another
elder's area. But he was still super excited to see us again and I
know he's going to make a strong member!! We had one of the Assistants
with us on exchanges as well, his name was Elder Rowley, and despite
not speaking dutch, he was still able to teach us a lot in our lessons
and I really enjoyed having him with us for the day! It was a great
week overall and has really motivated me to keep doing my best, I know
I've seen the blessings of the Lord in this work and that he himself
guides and directs it. I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk
to you all again soon! Until then.
Elder Carpenter

Aug 24

Hey everybody! I hope this email finds you all well, we're not up to too horribly much this pday, we had plans to do something but it looks like they're going to fall through at the moment so not positive what lies in store for us today. The Paramaribo district is continuing to flourish, and all three of our trainees continue to adapt surprisingly well to the missionary lifestyle! We had a couple of cool things happen to us this week, we've been focusing on increasing our teaching pool and finding new people and I believe we were really blessed to be led to some awesome people. My favorite story from this week was probably while we were biking to an appointment and saw a lady walking down the road with a BYU shirt! Hahah it was so random we just had to stop her and ask her about it. Unfortunately she had no idea what byu actually was but seemed pretty interested when I explained that it's a university from our church! Afterwards she accepted an invitation to sit with us and we have a return appointment later this week! Her name is 'M' and she seems really cool. Another cool person we met actually contacted us on the way to lunch, he stopped us in our tracks and wanted to say a prayer with us on the spot. apparently he wants to change some things in his life right now which is pretty much right up our alley and so I'll keep you guys posted with how it goes with them this next week! One of my investigators who got taken to a new area in paramaribo, 'O,' came to church this last week! He's technically not my investigator since elder whetten and lewis are teaching him but it was still great to see him and apparently he has a new baptismal date for september 19th which i'm super stoked about! This next week is going to be zone conference with president egbert and so i'm excited to see how his first zone conference with us goes! He seems like a really cool guy and so my expectations are high. Elder prestera gave his first talk this sunday in sacrament meeting and did a great job! He only asked me to translate a few sentences for him the rest was all him and I was impressed with how well it went! Our branch has been seeing some real growth lately and I've been feeling super grateful to be apart of it! I love and miss  you guys and you'll hear from me again soon!
Elder Carpenter
 Elder Carpenter said it is a rare sight to see people doing actual WORK in Suriname.
 The type of buses they ride in from time to time.
 This guy was drunk and yelling at someone who had sprayed water on him while he was sleeping on the ground.
 street art
 street art
 view of the street from the church
 more street from church