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

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17

Hello and greetings from your favorite south american missionary,
there are some cool things to report on this week, namely the fact
we've gotten five new missionaries in the country! 3 elders and 2
sisters came in sometime around wednesday night. From what I can tell
so far I really like all of them and I think they're going to be a
great addition and strength to us here. Every single set of elders in
the north zone is training this transfer which is pretty crazy, and so
our thoughts have begun to turn to a younger generation and making
sure they adapt comfortably and learn everything they have to about
being a missionary! It's been really fun to get new people and the
branch is excited about it as well, speaking of which I just gave a
talk yesterday that I had kind of forgotten about until the last
minute! I only got one notice and with how busy our schedule is I
totally forgot until we were actually in the church building, hahah. I
thought winging talks was difficult enough as is but to do it in dutch
is a whole nother story! hahah But in all honesty I think it went well
and a few people came up to me and said it was good so I took
confidence in that at least, hahah. In other news our area got broken
up since elders came back into paramaribo last transfer, and we lost
almost all of our investigators to them :( but it's how the boundaries
used to be before sisters came no one expected them to leave this
transfer though, but it's okay. it just means we'll have to spend some
time building up our teaching pool this transfer which will be no
problem for us. Anyways I think that's about it this week I don't have
a lot of time since this cyber cafe is closing early for some reason,
but i miss you guys and I'll talk to you again next week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10

Hey everyone! I hope you've all had a great week! We were blessed with
a couple of cool success stories this week, I think first and foremost
with a less active named 'C,' who was baptized since she was
little but probably hasn't stepped inside the church building for
nearly 4 years now! She went less active after her grandpa, a former
branch president and one of the first here in Suriname, passed away.
Now she's grown up and has an adorable one year old child. We used to
stop by her about once a week but a few months ago it got hard to
schedule appointments with her so it had been a while. Until a couple
of days ago, however, when she called us and told us we needed to come
over that day! We stopped by and she told us how she was sitting on
her bed that day, and had a feeling to go and sing a hymn! The hymn
was super inspiring for her and she started to cry and felt inspired
to call us, she told us she has had a very strong confirmation to go
back and plans to return to church for the first time in years this
coming sunday! I thought it was a miraculous change of heart and it
made my week. We hiked to the top of the big commewijne bridge again
this monday with a couple other missionaries and it was really cool to
see it from the top during the daytime! In other news sister 'H,'
another less active came to church for the second time in a row and is
making so much progress! I'm noticing a change in her and the fact I
was able to help her get to that point really means a lot to me. I got
my transfer call and I was told I am spending one more transfer here
to complete the training of elder prestera, I'm happy that I'm still
needed here, this place will always be special to me and it's going to
make leaving really hard, there was a lot the lord needed me here to
do and I hope I've been able to fulfill the needs of the people I've
been able to serve here. Until next week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3

Hey guys, this week was a blast and there was a lot of cool stuff! We
had a really cool senior couple stop by suriname for a couple days for
the Bakers who were super cool, and they were even nice enough to buy
all of the missionaries lunch which was super nice of them! We loved
having them and it made me wish we had senior couples of our own!
Hahah in other news our district tried to implement a new contacting
activity and started a free lemonade stand! Although maybe not
organized to perfection we executed it quite well and were able to
meet quite a few new people. One of the funniest parts was when an
american guy we know who is friends with someone in the ward saw us
and swerved over to the side and got out to start helping us flag
people, hahah he himself isn't even a member but we're really good
friends with him, he's here about every other month to consult for a
car company he and his wife, who is originally from suriname, run
together. In other news we were able to see success with a couple less
active members this week, brother "d," who has been to church every
week this past month, has officially been counted as re-activated!
Another, named sister "H," came to church again for the first time
in nearly six months! So I think this week we were really blessed to
see a lot of success there. What I really loved about this week was we
planned a really cool activity to a place called overbrug, which is a
resort area with a pretty cool beach and an area to hang out, play
volleyball, and eat food. We left early this morning and the water was
super high with no one else there which was great and we just hung out
and played some games. It was a pday activity worth doing again, the
only problem was it's about an hour or so away which makes it tough to
go and grab everyone sometimes. And we had a pretty interesting
experience as well when one of the missionaries just simply couldn't
wait any longer to use the bathroom on the way and we totally had to
make a jungle pitstop. It was pretty sketchy and I'm sure it will be a
memorable journal entry for that poor elder. But anyways thats about
all this guys got this week but I hope you all have a good one I'll
talk to you soon!
Elder Carpenter