Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 25

Hello and Hoe gaat het everybody, this week was great, me and elder
Van Den Herik work amazing together, it's only been a week but I can
already say he's one of my favorite companions! We had 4
investigators in church yesterday and one of them has a baptismal
date! Her name is 'S,' she's a daughter of one of the less actives
in our branch we've recently re-activated. She's 18 and lives with her
mom, who's not a member, but we've gotten her to come to church the
past 3 sundays in a row and she's making awesome progress! With any
luck she'll be baptized on her date or if not then close by at least.
We're also working with a cool family named the 'V's,' 
We're doing a lot of good in this area this transfer and I'm
really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish! Exciting
things are happening! In other news the huge elections for Suriname's
next president are today! There's a helicopter that keeps circling the
city to make sure there aren't any parties or riots, and there's a
decent amount of police on the street, pretty crazy stuff! A couple
people have told us it might not be a bad idea to stay off the
streets, but these are the same people who believe that when a drop of
rain falls on your head you're down sick for the next week and that
there are two foot tall devils with big eyes who roam the streets of
suriname at night so i tend to take their advice with a grain of salt.
Everybody thinks the biggest party, named "NDP" will win, and I agree,
that's who is in power right now so I anticipate they'll stay there,
elections are only every 5 years so it's a pretty cool opportunity to
be here while they're happening! Also being district leader has been a
blast, I like getting to call the other missionaries every night to
see how they're doing and I've already scheduled exchanges with most
of them so I'm excited to work with everybody in the coming weeks! I
planned the next few pday activities with the zone leaders a few days
ago and we have some fun things coming up, one of them is a huge lake
in suriname named Broko Pondo, apparently it's a cool place to hike
and take pictures, so that will be in a couple weeks probably! Anyways
I think that's about it but I had a great week and I'm looking forward
to a lot more with Elder Van Den Herik! I love and miss you guys!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, May 18, 2015

transfers are in!

Hey everybody! I got my transfer call on Saturday from President Mehr and I will be serving in Paramaribo munder and south combined!! We were supposed to get sisters to take over Munder this transfer but they're having visa problems so they're coming in the next one. I'll be serving with Elder Van Den Herik, as elder Orton is going to Wanica in the south zone! In addition to taking over both areas this transfer, I will also be serving as the district leader! That means I will be in charge of teaching district meetings every week, planning exchanges, and doing baptismal interviews. President Mehr thanked me for doing well in this area and thought I would be the best fit for this district and so I'm very excited to serve in this position and do my best to help all the missionaries in my area. We have a lot of cool people we're teaching who I think might start to make some real progress soon so it's an exciting time to be here! I'll be taking the place of my trainer, elder Dom, who was the district leader before me. He did a great job so with any luck I can ask him for some advice before he leaves this Wednesday to go home!! Tonight we're going to a couple places so Elder Orton can say goodbye to people and I'll probably begin packing since we decided it would be easier for the work if I come to move into south's apartment. Elder Van Den Herik and I get along great and I'm super excited to serve with the Dutchman, by the end of this transfer hopefully I'll be speaking dutch circles around all of the surinamese people I meet. I'm super stoked for this new assignment and for the chance to help both of the areas I'm in charge of grow! I love and miss you guys and I'll let you know how everything goes and who progresses next week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11

Yet another week goes by here in Suriname and there continues to be
new experiences abound! Just the other day me and elder Orton attended
a crazy Hindu festival hosted by close family friends of someone in
our ward! They have a tradition where they throw a huge party for
their newly born baby and everyone gathers around as they play music,
dance, and shave the baby's head!! It was pretty crazy! Me and elder
Orton couldn't stay very long but I tried some new Hindu food which
was pretty interesting. They make these weird donuts but in place of
sugar or being sweet they fill them with a lot of spices! It was
strange at first, especially because they still call them Donuts. It's
nothing like any donut I've ever had but I decided I liked them. Me
and Elder Orton have been working on finding more people lately, we
found out our area is being given to sisters next transfer so we're
trying to grow the teaching pool so that they have people to see when
they get here! We're losing 4 elders next transfer but getting zero
new ones! :O There's a lot of speculations on where everyone is going
to have to go to fill in the gaps but we won't know anything for sure
until transfer calls this weekend, which you guys will probably here
about next week! I'm hoping I get to be companions with someone from
my MTC group, and seeing as how there's only 8 elders left in this
entire country I think my chances are pretty good, but I'm keeping my
fingers crossed! I felt bad for my littlest sister, Sydney, because I
have not yet named an animal after her, so last night while we were
skyping I decided to name the Gecko that runs out of our drain every
time we shower after her. He's a tiny little guy and super fast, I try
to catch him pretty much every night but he always evades me... -_- If
I have any success in the future with that i'll let you all know. I
also took a pretty sweet picture of some flowers, I know that's pretty
lame compared to the sloth picture last week but come on guys give me
a break I'm trying. I loved skyping with my family yesterday!! It was
so great to see all of them and I was so glad to hear how well they're
all doing, marley has a sweet setup and gets a 25% discount where she
works while Jesse is finishing up his rotations to be a physicians
assistant! Bailey is doing well in High school and I saw a clip of one
of her concerts she had for a class in school and she did amazing!
Sydney has taken up golfing and from what it sounds like will probably
be much better than me by the time I get back home! I'm also grateful
for the chance I had to wish my Mom a happy Mother's day!! She's the
best and has done an outstanding job raising her only (and best) son.
My parents deserve some sort of medal or something, I'll put it on my
list of potential souvenirs. That's about it from this guy, I hope you
all have a stellar week and you'll hear about my transfer call and
where I'm going next week!! Mi lobi yu <3

 'Sydney' the gecko
 A different view of his kitchen.  I told him to do an extra good job cleaning because they are being transferred next week, and Sister Missionaries are moving in to their apartment. 
The Hindu party.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Baptism, albino peacock, and Calvin's dream come true!!

Well Everyone, I'm pretty sure I'm going home. I finally found my sloth and so I'm not really sure what the point of staying anymore is! Hahah the area above us found him and when we heard about it we made a bee-line straight there, he was chilling in a little palm tree and he exceeded all of my hopes and expectations. It was hilarious and I got some great pictures, hahaha I'm still so excited about it my life is pretty much complete. All of the other missionaries were sooo jealous, not a lot of people see them! And as if that wasn't enough awesomeness packed into this week, I had the amazing opportunity to baptize 'D!' His baptismal service went fantastic, 'D' was truly a miracle. I've never met someone so prepared and so full of faith on my entire mission, I know with certainty he will stay a strong member of the church, I can feel his conversion when we teach him and by how fast his testimony has grown! It was a great feeling to be blessed with success this transfer and I'm never going to forget the awesome converts we met! What was really cool was that President Mehr was in Suriname during his baptism and talked to him for a little while after, and he was in church with us Sunday when he got confirmed! That was really cool because it's not often we see him! And so one of the few times he was here we were having a baptism so that was a cool experience. President Mehr is a SUPER busy guy, he's in charge of missionary work in at least 5 different countries!! That will change when the mission splits on July 1st though, Our new president, president Egbert, will only have half as many missionaries and should be able to give areas more time and attention, so I'm looking forward to that in a couple months! I'm also looking forward to skyping with my family this Sunday on Mother's Day!! This week was awesome and I'm looking forward to another great one coming! I've been seeing a lot of blessings these past couple weeks and I know it's stemming from the work I've been putting in, I know that God won't deny me and the people here the blessings of accepting the gospel if I keep working hard and with faith! I love and miss you guys, and You'll hear from me again next week!
Elder Carpenter