Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27

Hello and hoe gaat het everyone, This week has been pretty relaxed, we had a couple cool things happen though and I'll say overall that it's been a pretty good week! The baptism of 'O' and 'V' had to be pushed back a bit since they weren't able to make it to church yesterday. It was the first time in a while they hadn't been and so we're going to go by tonight or tomorrow to see what happened. Hopefully they just had trouble catching a ride or something and it won't be an issue. we have also been plagued with a couple of bike problems but we're keeping morale at an all time high nonetheless. We did a little bit of contacting and met some pretty interesting people, a muslim pastor kept us talking with him for about a half hour until someone walked by and told us who he was. Hahah he kept trying to convince us that EVERYONE is right, and that I should be happy because we will all be saved. It was a pretty funny conversation because normally I'm the one bringing the good news, but I felt like I was the guy bringing him down when he tries to use a philosophy like that. I could tell he didn't like me killing his vibe. But it was a good time all around and we met a few nice people who seemed happy to let us come back another time and so we'll try to follow up with them soon! Everyone in Suriname is talking about a storm that just went through, I heard claims that there was actually a small tornado for about 15 minutes! hahah with the way these people exaggerate their stories sometimes I can't give you any promises as to the truth of that but it's the most exciting news they have hear at the moment so it seems like everyones talking about it! A huge tree even fell on someone, and while biking around yesterday we actually found it! It was massive and I have no idea if the poor guy survived it or not, but it was pretty crazy. I've also noticed I see A LOT more car crashes, these people drive crazy, I'd say I see the aftermath of one about once every two weeks, and I've already seen two happen while I was there! Hahah it's a jungle out here in just about every applicable sense you can think of. Anyways, not to worry I'm still set in survival mode so fingers crossed I'll make it back home alive. I miss you guys and thank you so much for your continued support you're the best!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20

Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well, this was a super busy week
but I enjoyed it a lot! We met up with our two investigators with
baptismal dates for this coming week and if all goes well they should
be scheduled for either this saturday or August 1st depending on if we
get a chance to teach all of the lessons to 'V' in time. But
they're super excited about it and have been great investigators.
'O' especially is a great kid and super funny, working with them
has been a blast. We have a couple other people we're keeping an eye
out for but in the immediate future we're working on building our
teaching pool up a little bit. We decided to go by a couple people
less frequently since they haven't really been making any progress
unfortunately but I've got a good feeling about this week and
hopefully we can get someone else prepared to start moving forward as
well! I have a couple stories to tell you guys, one kind of funny the
other a little sad, I'll start off with the funny one so you don't
have the sad one on your mind while you read it. While biking home
from a district meeting, we start getting honked at from some guy on a
moped. We were already on the left side but apparently not far enough
for his liking. He continued to lay on his horn and turned his head a
full 180 degrees just to give us a really disgusted look. Where the
story gets funny is while he was too busy trying to turn his head like
an owl his moped totally caught the curb and he biffed it! He wasn't
going very fast so he was perfectly fine. I would have stopped and
helped him but he immediately just got up and yelled at us and so I
figured it would actually be more christlike to just keep on biking
rather than get in a fight. We were laughing pretty hard though I'm
not going to lie, I know I'm a mormon missionary but I was partially
converted to the doctrine of Karma after seeing that. Hahah now for
the kind of sad story, unfortunately. Again while biking, we pass
through some local neighborhood streets and out of the corner of my
eye I see a guy on the ground getting beaten up! I immediately turned
my bike around to try and help the guy and everyone started yelling at
us trying to tell us to go away. We called the police and upon talking
to one of the people there discovered that apparently the guy getting
beat up was a thief who they caught trying to steal something! It
explained the treatment but I was still a little disgusted by the way
they were hitting him over and over again. We waited until the police
came and were able to stop them from beating up the guy further so it
was good, but also just a crazy experience in general. The way the
"justice system" seems to work here is quite different from back home
and so it made me very grateful for where I live! That's about it for
interesting things but like I said it was a crazy week! I hope you all
have a good one and you'll hear from me again soon!
Elder Carpenter

 While waiting for the police.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A fight, a cake and being chased by a rabid (?) dog

Heyyyyyy everyone! I hope you're all doing well! I had a blast this
week, and me and Elder Prestera managed to get a lot done! We were
able to set a couple baptismal dates with investigators this week so
I'll keep you all posted on the latest and who's progressing! Today
for Pday we went with a couple other missionaries to the zoo again
since they hadn't been and it was a pretty good time. Shortly after we
got some lunch and got in a little argument with some lady who thought
we cut her in line (She cut in front of us) and it was probably a
little bit of a race thing (we are the only white people) but we were
able to eventually settle things without inciting a race riot against
us hahah. In other news the sister missionaries in my area were kind
enough to make me a birthday cake!!! They said I couldn't make my own
birthday cake so I gave it to them and they were nice enough to make
it for me! Hahah I know you're probably all thinking i just pawned it
off on them but they really were nice enough to offer. In other news
me and Elder Prestera are getting along great and I think he's an
awesome guy! He seems to be enjoying his first month out here in
Suriname and is making lots of progress with his Dutch! We had a
pretty funny experience this week where I totally kicked my first dog
who was chasing me on my bike. I know what you're all thinking, oh my
goodness Elder Carpenter is a terrible person and an animal abuser but
please sit down and realize that these are not your average
neighborhood American strays. Two missionaries have already had to get
a series of rabies shots imported from Trinidad for dog bites and I
really didn't feel like being the third. So when this stray dog
started sprinting next to me and snapping at my ankles I'll be honest
no remorse went through me when I sent him flying with a swift kick to
the face. It's a whole nother world out here sometimes and despite not
liking it you've just got to adapt, It's pretty funny being the guide
for someone else now, I hardly feel like I know what I'm doing
sometimes but we seem to get by okay! Being out here is definitely
making me grateful for a lot of things and I know I'm becoming a
better person! I hope you all have an awesome week and I'll talk to
you again soon!
Love, Elder Carpenter

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Elder Carpenter!!

Hello everyone!!! And Happy Birthday to myself!! (I hope that doesn't
sound too conceited) I had a great day today! We started this pday off
with a combined zone sports activity, once again north against south
and we came out victorious once again! We won 4-3 and it was a nice
way to start off the day. We also barbequed some stuff while we were
there which was great, I was so tired that we went back and showered
and fell asleep for a little and now here I am!! My parents were so
kind as to send me a MASSIVE birthday package which I got a couple
days ago. They will be proud to know that I was indeed patient enough
to wait until my birthday to open the wrapped presents that were
inside. Not going to lie it was pretty difficult but Elder Prestera
kept me strong. I love the other missionaries here and we get along
great! Everyone sung happy birthday to me which was pretty funny and
we had a great day all around. When I first started my mission my next
birthday seemed so far away I never thought it would come but here we
are!! The time is flying by, but it seems like so much happens while
I'm away! I almost feel like its the speed of light effect where I'll
come home 20 and everyone is already old and gray! Hahah but I've
loved the time out here so far and it's been a ton of fun!! I've met
tons of awesome people who I would never had a chance to meet
otherwise! Also to help people in the capacity that I do and help them
make some of the changes they've made have really made me happy in a
whole different way I've ever been used to! We have a couple of cool
investigators who we're working with and me and Elder Prestera are
working really hard to see as many people as possible and help them
realize what they're missing in their life!! He's really motivated and
so far I think we work well together, we've been seeing a lot of
success and even miracles with a couple less actives who have come
back to church and so I think we're doing things right!! Thank all of
you for the birthday wishes and everything you guys have done to help
support me!! You guys are the best!! I love you and I'll talk to you
all next week!!!
 Calvin's dream car? keep dreaming!
 Calvin's companion Elder Prestera at the police parade

 We had a whole email conversation today about how he has SHOES on the counter on the wall behind him with FOOD.  I brought attention to it because I zoomed in and saw a container of marshmallow fluff, and he said,
"I'm sorry mom but you have no sway here, our apartment is just how we like it"
Then I replied, "Well, when you're fluff tastes like feet, I hope you're going to be able to stomach it! haha"
He said, 
"It's going to taste like freedom."
I said, "Freedom tastes like feet."
 Elder Prestera
 Calvin got a new raincoat.  It's monsoon season, and he was tired of being soaked.