Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30

Hey everybody, last week of March and also the last week of this
transfer! We played an intense game of soccer north zone (mine)
against the south zone. We chose the activity specifically because one
of the missionaries, elder Beckstrand, goes home in just 7 days!! He's
an awesome missionary and i'm certainly going to miss him! North zone
won it in overtime 5-4, me and elder james put elder Beckstrand on our
shoulders after the game and it was a pretty good time hahah. I'm also
looking forward to general conference next week! When you're a
missionary it's almost like a holiday, we don't go out and teach we
get to just relax and listen so it's a nice change of pace from the
norm. We picked up a couple new investigators this week, me and elder
Orton have turned into contacting machines recently so our
investigator pool is really big, which is nice because it makes it
easier for us to fill our schedule. Other than 'O' no one has
been superrrr good at progressing this week, a couple people didn't
come to church who promised but that's pretty much the story of every
missionary's life out here hahah so I try not to get too worked up
about it. We also had interviews with President Mehr on saturday, they
went great though I was hoping he would tell me my next transfer call,
It looks like i'll probably have to wait until next week to let you
guys know what's happening with me! We also had exchanges with our
zone leaders, elder Pulsipher and elder Helm, Elder Pulsipher loves me
so I went in his area and was also in the truck the whole day (yes!)
Having a day off from biking was pretty nice i'm not going to lie.
Something crazy that did happen this week though was that their
apartment got robbed! Someone came around 7 or 8 before they got home
and tore their whole apartment apart! Nothing personal was stolen, not
even their cameras it seems like he was looking for just money,
probably so he couldn't get caught with anything on him, but it was
crazy! Anyways I think that's about everything this week, miss you
guys and have a great week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23

Hey everyone!! This week was awesome and we had a lot of cool success,
we have an awesome new investigator named 'O.' We were teaching
two teenagers and 'O' was there as one of their friends. As we
were teaching 'O' mentioned that he used to go to church all the
time! We were surprised to hear that and asked if we could come by
again, upon arrival a couple days later we discovered that his dad is
an extremely old member of the church, he was baptized over 25 years
ago! He told us that he would come to church the next day and we set a
baptismal date with 'O,' both of them were in church yesterday!
It was great and it seems with any luck his baptism will hopefully be
a couple weeks from now. We also had a couple of cool service
opportunities, my favorite was for our 80 year old investigator
'T,' we always offer to help her with things but she's always
very stubborn about being self sufficient. A couple of days ago we saw
her trimming her yard and garden and wouldn't take no for an answer,
she let us help her trim and clean everything and it definitely helped
us strengthen her trust in us. She told us that she's going to be in
the church this week 100% this next week, and invited us to her 81st
birthday party! Hahah she's a cool old lady and I was happy we were
able to help her out for once. In other news we also had a super
lengthy debate with a muslim guy while we were contacting, hahah I
really wanted to trade him a book of mormon for a dutch quran because
i think thatd be an awesome souvenir, an update on how that goes will
follow later. Anyways zone conference this week was awesome! Elder
Cornisch from the 70 gave us a really cool lesson! That guy was
pulling out scripture references from thin air he probably referenced
like 50 just during his lesson it was nuts! He let us ask questions
about things during lunch and he answered a bunch of cool ones people
had. He really isn't someone who looks impressive, but once he starts
talking and teaching its crazy how much he had to teach us! He would
also say funny things like "Buckle up your seatbelts!" when he got
ready to hit us with something interesting which i thought was
hilarious, hahahah he was great, and we learned a lot of cool things
about missionary work and how to make what we're doing more efficient!
There was once again a focus on members, and the best way to do
missionary work, which is to teach their investigators, not have the
members teach your investigators, which i thought was a very
interesting insight. Anyways it was an awesome and fun week and I'll
keep you all updated with our investigators and who's progressing next
week! Love and miss you guys!!
Elder Carpenter
 A family they did service for.
About the goats, Calvin said:  
"They have them staked to areas of grass everywhere around here
so i just go up and pet them they're actually super nice, they just
ignore you for the most part since they're always so busy eating."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 16

Hey everybody!! I was happy to hear from so many of you this week! The
past 7 days have been super busy for me and elder orton but also super
good! We had a lot of success finding new people this week, and the
greatest part about it was that a lot of them found us! We had two
people just come up and start talking to us about the gospel and what
we share and they've both turned into new investigators! We're still
working with a lot of our other ones too, in fact I have a funny story
about one of them. Her name is 'T'(Don't even try to pronounce
that, i've had 3 weeks of practice and it's still wrong). And during
our last lesson with her we brought a member, and she didn't have
enough chairs for all of us to sit outside! In suriname it's very rude
to sit on the ground and if they don't have enough chairs we're mostly
just stuck standing. And that's exactly what this 80 year old
investigator tried to do! She tried to give ME the chair and stand! I
told her "U bent tachtig!!!" Or "You're eighty!!!" hahah and she
finally gave in and let me stand while she took the chair. We also had
a lot of success with less actives this week, we visited 13 of them!
And we saw a couple people in church this week who hadn't been there
in a long time I was really happy to see that. We also had the
opportunity to give one of the members a blessing, she was shaking
during our lesson and very weak, that next sunday she was great and
super excited to see us! She looked much better and it was a strong
testimony builder to me of the priesthood that we have and how it
really does set us apart. In other news our favorite member in our
branch sister marlene left this morning to America for a month :(
She's just visiting family for awhile but we were sad to see her go!
She's awesome and a great member of our branch, we had an awesome
lesson with a less active and we brought her along to talk about
temples, we knew she would be helpful but when the less active
expressed financial concerns about going to the temple sister marlene
told him she would pay for his ticket!! Hahah she really is an angel
and she does a ton to help us and our branch out. Another funny story
is about a group of kids we have in our area, they're mostly
teenagers, probably 15 and 16 for the most part, and they totally want
to rob us, they're just a little lacking in the self confidence
department. They like to ask us to give them our money, but when we
say no they don't really do anything they just kind of walk away
hahah, I like to just joke around with them at this point, if I ever
see them in their neighborhood hangout spot I like to shout "Goed
bezig dames" which means "keep up the good work ladies" hahah it's
pretty funny and they all start saying "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" hahah it's
great. Anyways I think that's about all this week, we only had 1
investigator in church everyone else bailed :( but it looks like this
week is promising and hopefully our hard work will pay off with our
investigators and we can retain the less actives we've just brought
back! I love and miss you guys I hope you have a great week!
Elder Carpenter
 Last week's p-day game of risk


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FBI? Nope. Missionaries!!

Hey everybody! This week was super busy but also eventful!! I'll start it off by wishing all of you a happy Paghwa! You guys probably don't really know what that is but it's a national holiday here. It's the Hindu holiday where they throw all of the colors, from what I heard from the people here it has something to do with good overcoming evil. But everything shut down in the city for it and we went to a member's house for lunch to celebrate it with her and her family! It was super fun and the white shirt I was wearing is going to make a great souvenir (it's not good for much else now to be honest) but I had a ton of fun and I thought it was a really cool opportunity to see the difference in culture and how they celebrate their holidays. My favorite part of the day was when a truck with forty or so Hindu people came down the street and we all threw colors at each other it was sweet, and afterwards we were totally on tv! When a news guy came by and saw a bunch of white guys celebrating paghwa here in suriname he stopped and interviewed us, we told him we were missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints and we were from America and i think it was a really good opportunity to let people see who we are and that we're not just boring all the time. There's also the wierdest rumour that goes around that we're FBI hahah so hopefully our TV appearance puts that theory to rest as well. In other news we had a baptism just yesterday! One of the less actives in our area who we recently re-activated just asked us if her son could be baptized! So we were really excited about that and everything went great! We picked up a lot of new investigators this week and worked really hard to meet new people and I have no doubt our efforts are being blessed with success! I'm so grateful to be here and to be serving these awesome people, and I've found that the burdens of missionary work are always outweighed by the satisfaction I receive from helping so many of these people change their lives for the better and grow closer to their savior. I hope all of you know how much of a difference this experience has already made and will continue to make as I do my best to help the people here. When you truly start to love the people and make them your focus everything else falls into place and works out. I'm grateful for all of you guys and love and miss you all I hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

6 months

Fawaka (that's srnan tongo for what's up) This week was a good week
and my first in my new area! Things are moving right along down here
when it comes to missionary work just this week we picked up 7 new
investigators and were able to set two baptismal dates! It won't mean
anything if they don't come to church (and that tends to be the hard
part) but it was great to see me and elder Orton make some early
progress in our new area. I like the area a lot and there's a bunch of
cool stuff about it. We have the two best grocery stores close by and
they sell a lot more american things which after weeks of doing our
shopping at sketchy chinese shops is an epic upgrade. There's also a
really cool road called the Ringweg that we take a lot that has a
really cool river in between the two lanes and there's always people
out fishing in it who wave to you as you go by its pretty peaceful and
it makes biking more fun. The two people who we scheduled baptismal
dates are both superrrr old, One was born in 1934! And the other turns
80 later this month... Hahah but theyre both super active, the one
born in 1934 still rides his bike around! And told us that he would
ride to church this sunday. He was shocked when I told him I was 18,
and I about fell off my chair when he told me he was 80! hahah in
other news there was yet another drunk guy giving us trouble the other
day, we were teaching a lesson when he started yelling to me asking me
to "borrow" my bike, hahah obviously the answer was no and he said
"God says you're supposed to share!" And then started yelling at us in
Srnan Tongo hahah it was an interesting experience to say the least.
In other news I totally learned how to make pizza. I'm surviving out
here and things are going well! I know for a fact that we were led to
the investigators we met this week and that they were prepared for us
to teach. I hope you all have a great first week of March and You'll
hear from me next week!
Elder Carpenter