Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15 ten days.....

Hello everyone!! What a wonderful week!! We had 22 in church!! More
than a lot of the elders in uitkijk have said this branch has seen in
a long time!! It has been so strange, yet also so cool to know that I
will have the opportunity to begin to go further with life in just a
matter of days, and also to see my family again!! I have been so
grateful for the experiences I've had and looking back am continually
amazed at the blessings and trials I've been given. All of which have
contributed to tremendous growth. I love these people and I have felt
like it was a privilege to be the one to share what I know to the
benefit of others and to serve others in such a selfless capacity.
Thank you all for your love and support! It has been very greatly
appreciated! I might be on next week, but in case not I just want to
leave you with a testimony that I know I was called of God to be here.
and I know that God loves his children, and I hope he has been able to
work through me to bless the lives of those he loves. I can't wait to
talk to you all again! I'll see you all soon!!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8 Not an iguana!

Hello family and friends!!! I am really starting to run out of time it
seems huh? hahah but no worries we are getting some good stuff done.
Uitkijk had 19 people at church yesterday which was great, we are
slowly getting it to start rising which was one of our goals. I had a
pretty funny experience with brother ronoredjo, one of our members
here, when he told me the other day that he caught an iguana and put
it in the freezer. He asked if i wanted to see it so i said of course
and he told me to open the freezer chest that it was inside. Upon
opening his freezer I was greeted by a five foot long Cayman
Alligator! Still in perfect condition but it had been shot dead just
earlier that day. I almost fell over at first but after I finally got
myself together they told me they were going to cook it and make some
for us the next time we go over, so Elder Carpenter will be eating
alligator this week it seems. Anyways I am so very excited to see all
of you again!!! I said goodbye to a couple families here already I
know I won't get the chance to see in the next two weeks and that was
so hard!! But it's possible to get through knowing that I can see my
family again very soon. Oh and also as a side note Elder Hardy almost
killed us by leaving our gas stove on all night but the spirit told me
to go check it in the morning before we cooked anything and I saved
both our lives... Hahah so God protects missionaries! Don't worry mom
I'm fairly certain I'll come back in one piece. I love you all and
you'll hear from me at least one more time!!!
Elder Carpenter
Not an iguana!!!
One of Elder Carpenter's favorite families
Legend of Zelda in Suriname???

August 1 Count your many blessings

Hello everyone! It seems I survived another week out here in the
jungle. We had a great week and I felt like we were very blessed, we
had a really cool experience on thursday when a less active got ahold
of us and asked if we could come and give her baby son a blessing, she
said that she had taken him to the doctor and he had high fevers and
couldn't sleep through the night very well. We came by and blessed the
baby, the next morning she called us again asking us to give another
blessing, we weren't sure if she understood that it would probably be
a little soon to give her son another blessing if he was still sick
but when we got there we found out that she actually didn't want the
blessing for her son, but for her little brother! Her son had made a
full recovery and was running around and smiling. She was so impressed
she wanted us to come give her little brother a blessing too since he
had a cold. It was a great testimony builder for me and also the power
of the priesthood. I also went on exchanges with a mini missionary who
is serving temporarily named Jason, while on exchanges we helped
someone assemble an antenna! It was an old guyanese man named 'S.'
He was so happy for our help and said "Me been breakin me head all dey
tryin to do dis. me been prayin to god for en angel!" hahah it was so
great he was an awesome guy. I love this area and the people are
wonderful. 'A' came to church and is still on track for his date on
the 20th! I hope you all continue to do well, have a great week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25 we have a runner!!

Hey everyone! I'm actually in the city today on the computer because
we have an activity with the other missionaries today. The jungle
continues to suit me very well I'll be honest. I have been having a
blast this past week with Elder Hardy. He's a great missionary and I'm
grateful to be with him during the last weeks of my mission. I have
been doing a lot of biking, and Elder Hardy has finally convinced me
to go running with him in the mornings hahah so we've been getting
into pretty good shape! At the beginning of church yesterday we had a
grand total of 6! hahah but after awhile a couple families came in and
we had about 20 or so. It was so funny sitting in an almost empty room
when the branch president got up and started the meeting, but that's
just how it goes here in Uitkijk. We helped a lady in a village stamp
some material so that she could make some pots out of it. That's her
whole profession pretty much, then she goes to the city to sell them.
We also taught a less active who has a pet monkey that is the exact
same one from night at the museum! It even looks exactly the same it
was pretty sweet. When me and Elder Hardy go running we run to a
bridge by the apartment and it's super beautiful from up there. I love
this area a ton. There are a lot of stressful things that come with
it, mainly just how far away everything and everyone is. But i've
enjoyed having such a beautiful area and teaching such humble people.
I hope that this finds you all well and that you have a great week!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18 They eat monkey's. (not the missionaries. the people who live there)

Hello everyone! I don't have a ton of time today since i need to print
out a form and do some other stuff today but Uitkijk is awesome!! It's
such a cool area, i've seen like 20 snakes already! Hahah and the
roads are so long they just go on forever it seems like... The
farthest place we bike to is a place called Groningen and it's about
an hour and a half, over like 20 or 30 kilometers away or something
like that, it's just insane. But it is so beautiful and I loved church
this sunday. We are the smallest branch, we had 15 people yesterday
and that is pretty normal, sometimes more and sometimes less. I loved
it though it's just such a cool little atmosphere. We already put a
guy on date! His name is 'A' and one of the brothers from the
church named Br. B picked him up for us and brought him! He
expressed a desire to be baptized while in the church service and so
it looks like Uitkijk's attendance will be going up by one just now!
Elder Hardy is also just the coolest guy. We quote star wars and
spongebob together most of the hours while we're biking together and
so it's a great time naturally, hahah. He is from Las Vegas and is a
very good and hard working missionary. So far it has been just a great
time and some good memories, which I'm sure will continue the next 5
weeks!! Anyways I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!
Elder Carpenter

 A Kingsnake he assured me was not poisonous
 Saying goodbye to Elder Geigenmiller

  Pet birds.  They used to have a pet monkey......then they ate it! :O not. kidding. :(

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11 Uitkijk

Hey everybody! I hope that you're all doing well, I am doing
fantastic! Because I just found out that I'm going to the Jungle in
UITKIJK!!! Hahah I am going to spend my last transfer there with Elder
Hardy! He is a super cool Elder and I am so excited for it! The
uitkijk area is crazy, it's huge and the furthest away from the city.
Some of the members live over an hour bike ride away! So it seems like
I'll be returning home not only with honor, but with some really solid
thighs. Hahah they only get like 8 or 9 people in church some weeks
which will definitely take some getting used to but the area is
beautiful and it's the area with the highest chance of seeing
anacondas, crocodiles, and sloths :) hahah I am very excited for the
opportunity to go here, although saying goodbye to everyone here in
wanica south has been very difficult so far :( I love the people here
but i know that Uitkijk is where I'm needed next. I hope that I can
fulfill my purposes there these next few weeks and really make it a
meaningful time. We had a really cool experience just a couple of days
ago as well when we heard that one of our investigators sons was in
the hospital! We visited them the night he got released and he asked
us if we could pray for him, we told him we could do more than just
that and give him a blessing with the priesthood. He readily said that
he would like that, and we gave him a powerful blessing. The next
Sunday, he came to church with our investigator! And is now taking the
lessons and is close to receiving a baptismal date, his name is 'M'
and I am so excited to see how he progresses after I leave. I hope you
all have a wonderful week and I will tell you all about Uitkijk next
Elder Carpenter

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4 Happy Birthday America!

HELLO EVERYONE!! This was a wonderful week! I hope that you all are
having a wonderful fourth of july right now!!!
We saw a lot of cool things happen this week, we set a baptismal date
with a woman named 'C' and her daughter for august 6th and she's
super excited!! One of our investigators also just got up in sacrament
meeting and gave her testimony! Her name is sister 'S' and she
talked about how much she loved the church and how much she loves when
we come by and visit her, she is also super close to accepting a date
as well! We are so excited for all of the cool things and grateful as
well. This is the last week of the transfer which means in a few days
I'll find out where I die! :O But not to worry me and Elder
Geigenmiller have been very good at sprinting to the end and I don't
think that will change regardless of who I'm with or where I am. I
love the time I have to be a missionary! I am grateful for the people
I serve and for all of the wonderful people who help and support me. I
hope that you all have a great day and I'll be sure to let you all
know where I'm headed next week!!
Elder Carpenter

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June 27 Nearing the end..... Of rainy season

Hello family and friends, I was prettyyyyyy sick this week :( but i am
since then recovered and so there's no need to worry :p I don't even
know if it was a jungle virus or the flu or what but it was pretty
annoying. Despite the setbacks we still had a great week and we were
able to baptize 'G!' He was so excited to get baptized and there
were a lot of people who came to support him and it was great to see.
We also have a great new investigator named 'C,' she has a
mother who is a member but she's very old and sick, and 'C' goes
by almost every day to visit and take care of her, they talk a lot and
recently 'C' has been getting more interested in the church and
so we've started to teach her. She has a great understanding which is
a nice change of pace and I could really see her becoming a great
member someday! People are saying that the rainy season is about to
come to an end and I'm very grateful for that as well. I can finally
stop carrying my giant umbrella around, it sticks off my bike like 3
feet and has probably brought me closer to death than all of my
mosquito borne illnesses combined. People just drive way too close to
you while you're biking but that's just life here I suppose. Anyways I
hope that you all have a great week!
Elder Carpenter

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 20 two months and 5 days. But who's counting.

Hello! As I am writing this it is dumping tons of rain outside, it appears
we are still not out of the rainy season yet. I bought a huge umbrella
though and have started to just bike around with it so that actually keeps
me very dry most of the time now. We moved 'G's' baptism just one more
week back and so you will all probably get the pictures from that next
week. We needed some time to finish reviewing the lessons since there were
a couple of things we asked him about he didn't actually understand. He has
a mother who talks for a REALLYYY long time and so we have decided to just
meet with him individually and he gets so much more out of it. His dutch is
also not the best and so we just have to take it really slow and help him
to understand what a lot of words mean and why these things are important.
In other news, 'W,' our recent convert, is having a very strange
problem at the moment, in that he has been claiming to be attacked by
demons who keep telling him to burn his book of Mormon... we are going to
go dedicate his house this week with the branch president and are trying to
help W understand that spirits can't force him to do things and that
he has power over them. It has been very stressful. hahah but we are making
do. I hope that you all have a great start to your summer and you'll
hear from me again soon!
Elder Carpenter

Creepy nasty beetle!!
Two of the boys of the 'D' family. They get pretty wild and crazy when they're trying to teach lessons. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13 the long road home

Hello Everyone!! This week was pretty weird for the most part. We had
one night in particular that really took it out of me, we were riding
to an appointment pretty far away when my back tire went flat! I
called the missionaries with the van but the van was getting repaired
so we were left alone to figure it out:p Hahah But it actually turned
out to be a good experience because as we were walking to the nearest
member's house to drop our bikes off for the night to catch a bus
home, we had a really cool opportunity to help a family in need who
were on the side of the road sitting on a couple of benches. They
didn't have anywhere to stay that night and were asking us for help,
we were able to help them out substantially and they were very
grateful, I felt like we were probably supposed to help them that
night, and I was happy to be able to help someone in need. This week a
young girl named 'S' was baptized, she turned 8 and her family are
recent converts to the church, since we teach the family they invited
us to the baptism and it went really well. Next week, one of our
investigators 'G' will be getting baptized! He is really excited
and we are looking forward to that a lot as well. I hope you are all
doing well and that you have a great week!

Elder Carpenter
South zone before the transfer

Saturday, June 4, 2016

May 30

Hello! I hope that you all are doing well, I received a transfer call
the other day that told me that I will be staying here with Elder
Geigenmiller for one more transfer! And so it looks like he will be my
4th companion that I have for 3 transfers or more :o I am excited
about the area Wanica South right now because we have lots of people
to teach which is really good. We have two people on baptismal dates
for later in june or early july and I am hoping that they both make
it. One of them is an extended family member of the 'A' family, he is 15 and a great kid who has come to church the past two
months in a row without missing a day! He comes with the bus together
with the 'A' family to church ever sunday. The other is 'P' who I
mentioned last week, he is trying to overcome an addiction right now
and with a little help will hopefully be able to get baptized in the
following months if it goes well. He has a strong desire so I know
that the Lord will help him. This week rained a decent amount, but
that's not out of the usual, I do hope that the rain stops sometime
this transfer though. We did a service project for a member and
returned missionary also named 'W' and helped him cut a bunch of
grass and trees with machetes. He was complaining the whole time how
he's 27 and trying to find a wife. He said one of his few candidates
at the moment is 'A.'  A member in paramaribo who i baptized!
Hahah when I told him that he said that I am going to be the master of
ceremonies so I hope it works out between them. Anyways, I hope you
all have a great week and you'll hear from me again soon!
All the missionaries in Suriname 
Elder Geigenmiller hugging a cactus
Their bikes in front of a house

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23

Hey family and friends! This was a good week, with both ups and downs,
the good news is that we had a couple new people come to church, one
was a man named 'P' who is an ex-hindu who has been really interested
in the lessons that we teach. The other was an older lady who is the
mother of one of the recent converts in the branch. Both really seemed
to enjoy church and I'm excited to go back and teach them. I'm really
tired of the rain. This is transfer week. We will find out Saturday so I'll let you guys know next week. I also saw an anaconda! it was like 10 feet long but i dont have any pictures since it was raining and i didnt bring the camera. I
know that's totally lame to say and then not have any pictures to back
it up but i guess you just have to believe me that it was huge. We
went to the city for pday today to hang out with the north zone
missionaries and it was pretty fun. 
What's cool about the guy 'P'
we're teaching is that he is actually known around this side of town
for just being a lazy bum who drinks a lot but we are seeing a real
change in his life and I could tell everyone was very impressed when
he came to church this sunday. I thought that was probably the coolest
experience of this week. I love you guys and hope you all have a great
Lobi, Elder Carpenter

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16 baptism!

My fellow Americans, this week was full of events, including a zone
conference, district fireside, and my favorite, 'W's' baptism! The
baptism was attended by ALL of the suriname missionaries AND President
Egbert! Mostly because it was right after zone conference and so
everyone just stayed after to support the baptism. It went really well
though and I feel very blessed to have been able to find and teach
W. Just last night, Me and Elder Geigenmiller were asked to
present a role play at a district Fireside. Almost all the members in
the ENTIRE country were there! I know almost all of them but it was
still a little nerve wracking. It ended up going very well though and
I thought it was a success. We talked about introducing the Book of
Mormon, even to member families, and how we should all be meeting
often with the missionaries and strengthening our testimonies through
daily scripture study, I have learned how important it is to read
daily from the scriptures and have found that to be something that if
left undone, can often leave a large hole in our hearts, and they
become heavy. I'm thankful for the chance I have to be here and I love
that I can be happy even in less than desirable circumstances. I hope
you all have a good week and I'll see you all soon!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9 cows, goats and the viper

Hello and happy day after mother's day!! It's been a great week here
in 'Nam and 'W' is still good for his baptism this saturday so all
is good at the moment. We've been trying really hard to set some more
baptismal dates and that's been going well, I had to use a spare bike
this whole week which was absolutely terrible :p it went like 3 miles
an hour and was a test of patience for sure. I am trying to think if
anything crazy happened but this week was pretty bland. I was a
litttle disappointed in it. I tried to give a restoration pamphlet to
a goat and a cow tried to charge me but other than that there wasn't a
whole lot. I drank straight out of a coconut as well though and that
was weird, I decided it wasn't my thing but everyone here loves them.
The highlight for sure was probably just skyping my family. They are
the best!! I'm so grateful for the chance I had to see them again. I
miss you guys and hope you have a good one. Until next week!
Elder Carpenter
This large cow likes to charge passers by.

The viper Elder Geigenmiller ran over that tried to bite him!!

The goat is in the middle of the road...I guess we need to turn around.

Contacting a goat.

"Unique" architecture in Suriname.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2 on Carpenter Street

Hello everyone! This week was really good, we continue to teach
'W,' who gets more and more excited for his baptismal date as it
draws closer, and also were able to teach some really powerful lessons
where we challenged a lot of people to baptism and to come to church.
We have been focusing really hard recently on teaching what the spirit
would have us say instead of being comfortable with just getting
lessons across. It has been going well so far and I'm excited to see
what kind of a difference it can make. Elder Geigenmiller ran over a
snake with his bike that almost tried to bite us after so that was
pretty funny, we took a picture of it and someone told us it was a
kind of viper! hahaha so we may have almost died but it's all a part
of the job i guess. For the first time since i've been in this area we
actually got a really good member referral! It was actually really
good and it was for a lady named 'S.' we had one appointment and
she was really happy to see us, she also lives on a street called
temremanstraat, which is srnan tongo for carpenter street! So I think
that's a good sign, anyways, i hope you all have a good week and I'll
talk to you all again soon.
Elder Carpenter

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25 Contacting on the go

Hello fellow Americans, I did a lot of biking in the rain this week
and it was pretty awful. We had a lot of lessons though so that was
nice. I am very tired and also got a haircut today but it looks pretty
weird. Me and Elder Geigenmiller were both complaining about them for
a good while. 'W' biked to church again this week though! He is on
track to get baptized may 14th still so keep looking forward to that.
It will also be the same week when President Egbert visits Suriname so
maybe he can see him get baptized and talk to him! That would be
really cool. We have had some really cool experiences with finding
people recently, long story short being that we've been working really
hard and we get blessed with a lot of small miracles like people
inviting us in or giving us people to teach. Elder Geigenmiller's
dutch is getting a lot better and he is making a good adjustment into
Suriname. In other news I contacted a driving car and threw a pamphlet
inside, anyways I hope that you all have a good week and I'll talk to
you all again next week!
Elder Carpenter
With a baby anaconda
Contacting the moving car
Lunch last pday
Crazy street names in Suriname
They use branches instead of 2X4's!

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18 mud, beetle, and a dog race

Well another good week, I found out that I'll be staying again with
Elder Geigenmiller! Good news since we get a lot of stuff done
together. He's a really nice guy and a good companion. Unfortunately
I'll be losing the car since they called another zone leader this
transfer but that's alright. It was a good run while it lasted and I
learned a lot. I'm glad I don't have to worry about so many other
responsibilities and can just focus on missionary work again. We had a
lot of successes this week, the biggest was probably bringing our
investigator Winston to church! We biked to his house and we all biked
to the church together which was a good time. Elder Jennings, the
other zone leader, also got our van stuck the other day during a
service project and it was literally inches from tipping over... hahah
I don't know why I ever let him drive but it's okay now i guess, a
huge 4000 kilo truck just happened to come by and help us out. the
first attempt broke our steel cable, but luckily they had a thick
chain that was able to get us out and save the church a whole lot of
tithing money. We also witnessed something pretty crazy coming home
from our last appointment on saturday night, where we saw a huge truck
upside down in a ditch! There was a huge crowd gathered in the middle
of the street and we saw that there was also a wrecked bike and a man
lying on the road, luckily his injuries weren't life threatening but
it was pretty scary to see the whole scene. On a unrelated note I had
a huge beetle fly literally into my eye and it freaked me out in the
middle of one of our lessons. the beetle fell to the ground and got
eaten by a toad though so I feel good knowing it got what it deserved.
I also raced a dog on my bike and won. he had me beat with
acceleration but my top speed was too much for him to handle. I hope
you all have a great week and I'll talk to you again soon!
Elder Carpenter

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11 Trinidad and third time is the charm?

made it back alive, so you can all stop holding your breath, I had a
wonderful week in Trinidad and loved the missionary leadership
conference! Trinidad is so cool! The mission home is just as beautiful
as I remembered it a year and a half ago, hahah. While we were there
they actually had a small earthquake! It was while one of the senior
couples was giving us a seminar on how to do reports when everything
in the mission office started shaking!! Hahah the funniest part was
that Elder Bevins, the one giving the address, didn't even notice so
that was great. I got to go teaching with some of the elders there,
one of whom was my long lost son! Elder prestera was one of the elders
I got to serve with and we had a great time together! Hahah it was
great to catch up with him and see how things were going, he looks like he is really enjoying his mission a lot.  I ate some crazy food in trinidad and enjoyed meeting a bunch of people who I'd never seen before. I'm very jealous of the trinidad elders since they have so many things we don't but at the same time I
like our independence and how close we are in Suriname and it wouldn't
be worth to trade in my mind. I also got chikungunya for like the THIRD time and have some weird rash all over my body that has only just now started to go away lol so wish me luck with that. I got home
and slept for 18 HOURS straight so that's a new record or something. I
was dying I won't lie but now that I finally had time to rest I feel
much better and am looking forward to a great week back in Suriname!!
Elder Carpenter
With Elder Hood and Elder Prestera (his 'son') in Trinidad
He hasn't seen hills in a year and a half! 
More Trinidad

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4 BUSTED!

Helloooooo Friends and family! This week was so crazy, I am just dead
tired right now. We took a trip to Brownsberg again, and had a great
time, unfortunately doing that trip requres us to wake up at like 3:30
a.m. but it was worth it. There were a lot of missionaries who hadn't
gone yet which is the reason we planned it. The highlight of the trip
though, was definitely on the way home, hahah where I got pulled over
by the good ol' surinamese police force. Long story short though it
really wasn't a fair ticket. and so I called our Branch President,
(who is also a police officer) and thanks to his intervention the
surinamese police station might have just miraculously "lost" all
record of my "ticket" hahahah so that was pretty sweet. I loved
general conference, I loved Elder Bednar's talk and also both of
Uchtdorf's talks that focused on rescuing. I felt that I could relate
to them a lot with the kind of work we do here. We have a lot more
investigators right now thanks to our recent contacting craze and have
had some good follow up lessons, we have a few people who are doing
especially well, a couple, named A& J, are especially
interested in what we teach and literally gave us an applause after
our last lesson, hahah so they're pretty cool. Despite my tiredness I
am still glad to be a missionary, and am proud of the work me and
Elder Geigenmiller have accomplished thus far, we are really trying
our best and I see a lot of blessings because of it. Anywho, I wish
you all the finest of weeks and would like to say happy Birthday to my
Dad!!!! Best man in the world!!!
Elder Carpenter
Waiting in LINE with Elder Van Den Herik to get his ticket with all the others 
Top of the waterfall with Elder Geigenmiller at Brownsberg
Climbing up a waterfall at Brownsberg with Elder Oldroyd 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 29 Second Easter!

Hello everybody!! Worry not, I still draw breath. We were asked to
move our P-day since yesterday is also technically a holiday in the
caribbean called "second easter" hahah and they wanted us to proselyte
on it so that we could find more families and what not. Me and Elder
Geigenmiller had an awesome week though, we got 13 new investigators
this week and beat last week's previous record of 12! Hahah it was so
crazy, we were very blessed, it was mostly due to this awesome new
family we found, their last name is pretty weird but I think it sounds
something like 'P' or i dont know but they are great. The way we
found them was nothing short of miraculous in my opinion. Long story
short it's Easter Day, and we were biking in the rain with nothing to
do. We decided to just start walking up a dirt road in the far south
corner of our area when a car puts it's window down and says "Why
don't you elders visit the 'P' family anymore?" I replied, "I don't
know them! But we can!" hahah we followed her to their house on the
street where the whole family was super excited to see us! They were
so cool, and we learned that missionaries hadn't been there in about a
year and a half or so! We had a short lesson on the atonement with
them since it was easter but I am really excited to go back and teach
them some more. In other news, I get to go to Trinidad in a couple of
weeks!!! They are holding a large mission leadership conference and
are flying us all over there! I'm super pumped, I haven't been to the
mission home in a year and a half!! Anyways, love and miss all you
guys and hope you all have a great week!
Elder Carpenter

 craziest picture this week... a live cayman alligator! this guy was
like steve irwin or something. just holding it barehanded...

 guy riding a horse on the road