Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29

Hey everybody!! This week has been a great week!! I'd like you all to
give a heartfelt welcome to Elder Prestera, who is now on his fifth
day here in Suriname! Me and him have been getting along great, he's a
good guy and there's lots to learn from him as well as to teach!
What's cool about elder Prestera is that he's actually twenty-three!
He and I have a five year difference between the two of us! Crazy
right?? Hahah but it's still been a good time and we have a couple of
cool investigators we're working with, he's been enjoying the work a
lot so far and I'm guessing that trend will continue hopefully our
entire time together! One of them is named Brother 'S,' a referral
from a friend who's came to church the past two weeks in a row, if all
goes will we really want to extend a baptismal date with him this week
so I'll let you guys know how that goes! Elder Prestera has been
soaking everything in pretty well so far, he's amazed at the amount of
stray dogs, and how many people get out of their cars just to pee on
the side of the road, and the fact he's in the jungle... Hahah the
only thing that's probably been the same is the Gospel he's been
teaching but he's been really good at that and he's learning Dutch
really quick! We bought him a bike the day he came in and it's pretty
nice I'm a little jealous, it's silver and European, so pretty fancy.
It's been so crazy showing someone all of the exact same things
someone showed me nearly 9 months ago! Hahah even down to the little
cracks in the road while we're biking. I know the city of Paramaribo
like the back of my hand at this point so it's going to be bittersweet
to pass it off to someone else! we've been lucky with the rain, i
don't think i got soaked this week fortunately, Elder Prestera keeps
praying for it, on the other hand, hahah he's dying to see a real
jungle downpour, I'm hoping that our prayers can just cancel each
other out or something, not positive how that works exactly but we'll
see. I planned all of the pday activities with the zone leaders last
week and it sounds like we have some cool stuff coming up! We'll be
playing sports on my birthday, and apparently there's a place called
overbrug with a cool view and a volleyball net we want to go to, so it
should be a good transfer for pday's! That's most of what's happening
with me for this week, I love my trainee and I still love being a
missionary!! I'll talk to you all next week!!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22

Hey everybody and happy father's day! This week went by quick and is
also going to be my last with Elder Van Den Herik! :( We got transfer
calls and he is going to an area in Tammenga, the building where we
take all the baptism pictures at! I'm super excited for him and it's a
great area to serve in but we're definitely going to miss serving
together! The news I was staying came during my interview with
president Mehr, I will spend at least one more transfer here and my
new companion will be..... Elder Prestera! A completely new elder
coming from the MTC who I will be training! I'm super excited to be a
trainer and I'll meet my new companion on wednesday night or thursday
morning depending on what time his flight gets in. I will still be
fulfilling my role as district leader at the same time so I will
probably be a pretty busy missionary these next couple weeks from what
it seems like! I'm super excited at the same time though I hope he's a
great elder and I know we'll have a great time together. In other news
me and elder Van Den Herik biked up the commewijne bridge the other
night for fun and it's a MASSIVE bridge and I almost died on the bike
ride up, and then actually almost died on the way down when my brakes
started to burn up!! hahahah but luckily I'm still here to tell the
story, it was a great view, the pictures weren't that great though
since it was dark and everything was so far away, but it was a
stunning sight. For p-day paramaribo district played some basketball
and did some slacklining, it was a pretty good time all around, and
then to show off to everyone I did a backflip off a tree and people
were pretty impressed! hahah it was a relaxing day and pretty fun, me
and elder Prestera will have a pretty big teaching pool when he comes
in and I'm certain we'll see some success in our time together. He was
probably one of the first people called to the "Trinidad Port of
Spain" mission instead of the West indies which is pretty crazy to
think about! The whole mission is looking forward to president Egbert
coming in just next week! We will certainly miss president Mehr though
he's an awesome guy and I've loved having him as my mission president.
He's super excited about the split though and said that it's a really
good sign of growth for all of us and proof of the Lord hastening his
work all over the world! I'll let you all know next week how my first
couple of days as a trainer go!! I love you all and I hope you have an
awesome week!
Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A day late due to Zone Conference

Hey everyone! I have had an awesome week! We just had zone conference yesterday, the last one from President Mehr! He taught an awesome lesson and is such an inspired guy, I've always been super impressed with him and I'm going to be sad to see him and sister Mehr go! My favorite thing that was said was probably when president mehr was talking about trials, and explaining how without trials, we aren't capable of being as happy! There isn't a greater feeling than being brought low, and then brought up by God again to experience real happiness and the difference between the two! I thought the whole conference was great and I feel like I learned a lot! More good news me and Elder Van Den Herik had a baptism this week! 'A,' who we found way back in January, made the choice this week to be baptized!! I was so excited for her and the whole thing went great! She's got a very strong testimony and was a little hesitant about why she needed to be baptized again but after taking some time to work out her concerns, she became very prepared and excited to take this step to follow Christ and become closer with him. I got a hint from President Mehr in my interview that I'm staying in paramaribo one more transfer, but probably with a different companion! I was thinking, and realized that I am going to have spent half of my mission in ONE area!!! Paramaribo south and Munder are for the most part combined, we gave a portion of it to the new sisters who came in this last week but the rest was absorbed into south, or the place where I started off, and after this next transfer,  I'll only have a year left! I was kind of freaking out when I was thinking about how long i've been in one place but hey if it's where the lord needs me to be then so be it! We had a couple other elders from french guyana come and stay with us and they were awesome and we had a great time, one was elder savard and the other was elder Chedister, the first from canada the second from california, they were hilarious and great guys it was cool to have them with us for a couple of days. It was a superrrrrr busy week and me and elder van den herik are sad at the idea of having to split up but other than that I'm doing awesome and still loving it out here, I hope you all have a great week and I'll be back on Monday to let you guys know where I'm going and who my companion is for sure!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8

Hellooooo everyone! This week just flew by! Me and elder Van Den Herik
had a great week and taught a ton of people! We set up a baptismal
date with one of our investigators 'A' this saturday and I have
full faith it will hopefully go through! 'S's' mom is still being
a little difficult despite the fact she's 18 but we're going to try to
keep working to soften her mother's heart, the work in our area is
doing really well and I think we have some cool things coming up
hopefully. One cool thing that happened this week was our whole
mission did a mission wide fast to help increase our success and find
prepared people to teach and what do you know we picked up a new
investigator from a less active family who says that she wants to get
baptized! It was a cool experience and a real testimony builder to me
about fasting and how miraculous things can come from it. This p-day
was also pretty insane! The plan was to go to brownsberg and so we had
to wake up at 4 in the morning to go, see everything and hike, and get
back home in time. We drove on some pretty sketchy roads and our
mission van almost got stuck on more than one occasion it was crazy!!!
Shortly after we discovered a problem, the road we need to take was
completely overtaken by a massive stream with a huge current! We
debated trying to drive through hahah but decided we all still have
long lives to live and decided it was better not to risk it. Instead
we went to a place called broko pondo close by, which is what
brownsberg gives you a good view of, In my opinion we actually saw
cooler things by going directly there and we had some stunning views
so I was quite happy about it! I have some pictures attached but it
was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time, it was a good
reminder that I'm pretty literally in the middle of the jungle, hahah
I let that fact slip away from me sometimes so I thought it was a
great time. I got some pretty awesome pictures that i'll attach for
you guys, we also had a pretty funny competition by the river to see
who could throw rocks the farthest and I had the opportunity to show
off and impress everyone which also felt pretty nice as well. I'm
super happy to be a missionary right now and it's crazy to think how
far i've already come! I've been extremely blessed and I know that
i've been able to do a lot of good here and I'm hoping this trend
continues throughout, I love and miss you all and I'll talk to you
again next week!
Elder Carpenter


Monday, June 1, 2015

It must be picture week!!!

Hey everyone! Its been another great week for me and Elder Van Den
Herik, we are killing it out here and a lot of cool stuff has been
happening! I'll update you with our most progressing investigator
'S,' who we challenged to be baptized this saturday but we don't
think it will go through yet because she has some opposition from her
mom who is Hindu. Her dad, a converted hindu, is pushing for it, but
since her parents are divorced and she lives with her mom we're going
to have some trouble this week convincing her mom to let her be
baptized. But I'm hoping and praying her mom's heart can be softened.
I conducted my first baptism interview this week! Sister 'C,' who
has been investigating the church for the past 8 months, finally made
the decision to be baptized! She was super prepared and my companion,
elder Van Den Herik, was the one who baptized her! Mostly due to the
fact he taught her for 5 of those months and she asked if he could
baptize her. What's also cool is I baptized someone as well! One of
the sets of sisters had a cool investigator named 'E who got
baptized this week and they asked me to baptize her! She's 15 and goes
to the branch next to ours but she's really cool and she was excited
to join the church. That's most of what happened with missionary work
this week, we work with a ton of people and we're working on getting a
few people baptismal dates so I'll keep you all updated on how it goes
and how they're doing. I'll move on to the story of the week now which
is as follows: During church, one of our members invited us to give
one of his family members a blessing, we met him on a street corner
and walked together and to our surprise, the entire 'S' extended
family was there too! There were at least 20 people there if not more,
all assembled for the sole purpose of watching the blessing! We
explained to them what a blessing was and taught them a little bit
about priesthood, I could tell they all felt the spirit when we gave
the blessing and afterwards 'S' invited us to share something with
everyone! Unprepared but happy to do so, we taught them all about the
plan of salvation and restoration. It was super cool and we met a lot
of new people through it! 'S' is awesome and I'm so grateful I've
got members like him in my branch! It's still been raining A TON out
here, and we've gotten pretty soaked the past few days which is a
little annoying, so I'll be very grateful when the stupid monsoon
season here is finally over. I've had to resort to wearing my crocs a
couple times after both of my nice pairs of shoes get soaked it's
pretty ridiculous out here some days. In other news I went on my first
exchanges as a district leader and also shadowed the sisters for a day
and both went great! They're all working hard and doing their best out
here and I'm super happy with all of them! I have an awesome district
and they're making awesome progress! I love you guys and I'll write
you all again next week!
Elder Carpenter

 The name of this street is "forget me not" street

 Calvin is not loving monsoon season