Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept. 28

Hey everybody!! I'm happy to report that everything in this area has
been running fairly smoothly despite the lack of experience and
knowledge of the area exhibited both by me and my companion Elder
James, who has only been here one transfer more than me. Our "senior
couple" responsibilities are pretty crazy and we find ourselves
running around A LOT doing stuff for the other missionaries and making
sure everybody stays legal in this country! We have to visit the visa
offices of suriname which can be pretty intimidating to speak dutch
with them sometimes, along with driving people to the airports, and
looking after people with presidency callings every time they come to
visit Suriname, which is pretty crazy. To make it simple there's a
veryyyyy long list of responsibilities that we have that pretty much
just let missionary work in this country keep on running. hahah it's
crazy to think of it that way but in this area and with this
assignment that's pretty much exactly how it is. We take care of
everything for everybody else so they don't have to and can focus on
doing missionary work and teaching people. We do still get a chance to
do teaching of our own, however, and have a really cool couple we are
teaching with a baptismal date for next week! I'm super excited about
them, they have two little kids who are adorable and both of the
parents are super prepared and love what we teach them. Being one of
the only missionaries in a car has been stellar as well. Not only do
we get everywhere faster but it takes one of the most annoying parts
of my job away which is biking around in the sun :p This week a cool
experience we had was when we were looking for something to do around
8 and decided to pray and asked to be sent where we were needed most.
We decided to go to a member's house but she wasn't home and so we
decided to walk the dark street and talk to a couple people. Both of
the people we talked to were super interested in what we had to say,
and one of the ladies was so thankful she told us to sit down while
she cooked us food! Hahah they were so nice and I can't wait to go
back and see them again. It was great proof to me that God hears and
answers prayers. I hope you all have a great week I love and miss you
guys and I'll talk to you again soon!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sept 21 early transfer! Senior couple!...??? ;)

Crazy news!! I'm finally getting transferred! After spending over half
my mission in Paramaribo, I am finally getting sent somewhere else! I
found out two days ago that I would be sent to Kwatta! It's one of the
areas that belongs to our main church, where you see the baptismal
photos, and I'm super excited about it! I will be companions with our
current zone leader Elder James which means I am one of only two sets
of missionaries with a car! The reason why is because my new position
is technically to be a senior couple! Hahah we will still be doing
normal missionary work but as the acting senior couple for suriname I
now have the responsibility to deal with bikes, visas, passports,
transportation, packages, and a whole long list of other things. It's
going to be a lot different than what I'm used to probably but I'm
really excited for the change. I've been working really hard in
Paramaribo and so maybe that's why they chose me for the job. Or they
just really need to humble my rampant sense of pride-I haven't decided which,
but I will give you an update after this transfer. In other news Elder
Prestera left already!! We dropped him off at the airport at 3:45
this morning :O He's going to Guyana and he will be missed!  I've gotten like 3 hours of sleep today but am somehow miraculously still functioning. I'm
currently with my new companion right now along with his companion
since we haven't technically switched off yet. The reason im here early is because Elder Prestera had to leave so unexpectedly to his next area, we barely even had time to pack with how much of a heads up they gave us. (We knew he was leaving about 5 hours in advance) 
In other news, 'I' came
to church again this week! It looks like the next elders who come in
after us are going to have a quick reactivation and so I'm excited
about that, he's such a nice kid. The new branch i'm going to be in is
the biggest in Suriname with about 100 people in Sacrament meeting
each week. I'm really excited to work in a more developed branch where
I have a lot of member support I think that's going to be a really
useful tool I plan on taking advantage of. I know a lot of the members
already and so with any luck I can start this week off on the right
foot with everybody and start making some new friends!! I'm super
excited to be with elder james as well, he was in my MTC group and
this will be his second transfer as a zone leader, he's a great guy
and a hard worker and I have a lot of respect for him, I know we're
going to get a lot of good stuff done. They did something different
this transfer in that they split the zone leaders and so now there's
actually going to be a zone leader in my old area, it will be a little
weird at first I think, but I'm sure it's going to work out just fine.
I can't wait to start this week in this new area! It's going to be
great and I can't wait to tell you all how it goes next week! Until
Elder Carpenter

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept 14

Hello World! What a crazy week this was! I'll start off with a pretty crazy experience I had this week that probably caused my parents quite a headache. We were biking and found a cool lady to contact, upon taking a book of mormon out of my bag to give to her, I completely forgot to rezip my bag before we biked off... (slaps forehead) It wasn't until our last appointment at 8 o clock fell through that I realized my pocket was open and my wallet was missing.  The next hour was spent biking a good 5 miles or so backtracking and praying we would find it but to no avail. The story does have a good side, however, in that upon speaking with the senior couple about my lost debit and credit cards, they told me I had to call home as soon as possible to tell my parents to cancel them! Hahah and so getting to have that conversation with them over the phone was pretty funny and turned a terrible situation into an alright one. In terms of missionary work, the coolest success story I have for you guys this week is a kid we found named 'I,' or "Rush" if he's on the streets apparently, hahaha we had never met him before our first visit and were referred to him by the elders in the area next to us. We heard he was a member who was 17 but hadn't been to church in years since his mother died. We called and scheduled an appointment and I felt like I really clicked with him. He was so excited to meet with us, and comes from very humble circumstances. To illustrate for you with what he has to live with, a fight broke out about 40 feet from us between these two guys over a parking space, hahah that's how you know you're in the hood apparently. But moral of the story we had a great lesson and guess who came to church this week for the first time in years??? 'I'!!! I was so glad to see him there and I set him up with some of the other young men his age so he had some people to fellowship him. He seemed really happy and I can't wait to meet with him more! Last but not least our pday activity was a hike to Brownsberg! We had to get up at 4:30 hahah but it was worth it to see the view and crazy jungle waterfalls :O I'll attach some pictures so you guys can see but it was amazing!! This week couldn't have gone better and I feel very blessed to be a missionary here right now. Miss you guys a ton and talk to you next week!
Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept 7

What's up everyone, our normal cyber cafe was closed today and so we've resorted to plan B which is a sketchy little chinese place and so I'm just hoping that this email goes through. Me and elder Prestera had a really good week and worked really hard, our greatest success was probably with 'K V,' who committed to get married sometime in October! This is what she's been waiting on to be baptized and so we were super excited for her when she told us she felt like she had waited long enough and wanted to be baptized! We are currently in the process of finding a person to marry them and will most likely hold the wedding by the Tammenga church you guys see my baptism photos at. More details will probably follow later, we played soccer today for P day and had a good time, I am ashamed to announce, however, that the north zone finally lost to the south zone 2-0. But we have plans to regroup and take it to them next time. In other news I rode a unicycle for the first time in my life, totally goofed and didn't have my camera with me though, I'll try pretty hard to get a picture for you guys. I can take about two pedals before it slips out from under me, not really sure how to fix that but it's alright. I feel like it's cooler to just say you tried than to show everyone you took the time to actually learn how. A funny story we were walking into a store when a ten dollar surinamese bill fell out of my pocket. I turned around and picked it up and started walking back inside when a guy yelled "Hey! That was mine!" hahah I just looked him right in the eye and veryyyyy slowly closed the door. Luckily he didn't try to pursue us inside because I didn't really feel like dealing with that scenario. The work in our area has been going really well and we have been putting up some real solid numbers the past few weeks, we've been blessed with a lot of referrals from members and other missionaries and so we always have some cool people to teach. I love and miss you guys and I hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Carpenter