Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 26 - A Spiritual Zone Conference & Fireside, Giving Blessings, and Hacking at Trees with a Machete

Selamat Siang!!!!!

This past few weeks have been very very busy and there is lots to talk about. I'll try to describe them in order so you can kind of get a feel of how the past two weeks have gone.

Elder Funk and his wife came to Indonesia. He is the Area seventy in Asia and was doing a mission tour. Elder Funk served his mission here quite a few years ago. The spirit was so strong in the meeting. One thing that was very powerful was he invited a family that he baptized when he opened a new area. They stood up front as Elder Funk told the story. It was a very powerful story. This family was very high up in another church and when he learned about Priesthood Authority he told his church that he didn't have the authority to be doing what he was doing. At that time it was hard for his family but they endured. Elder Funk had received news from someone that this man would become the first patriarch in Jawa Tengah. Not to long ago this man was called as the first patriarch of Jawa Tengah. This husband and wife shared their testimonies and with tears in their eyes told us to not care about anything at this point except finding the people who are ready and sharing the Gospel.

Later that night we had English class. All of the other missionaries had appointments so it was just Elder B and I. About a month ago a man whose name is H started coming to class. His english is already really good. He arrived and when I was helping other smaller kids with their english just opened up to me about his past. He said that he has waited so long to tell someone who would understand everything. This is someone who is ready to receive the Gospel. I gave him a Book of Mormon and I asked him to read a chapter. When the other Elders met with him, because he actually lives in the other ward, he had already read his homework. He has come to church the past two weeks and came to the Christmas party for his ward. Even though he is in the other ward I was very happy to help him out and happy to still have the opportunity to talk to him weekly.

All the missionaries had a service project in Solo. A less-active member had a lot of trees that they wanted to cut down. If you can imagine Elders and a couple Sisters hacking at trees with a machete until they fell down, that's what happened. It was actually a lot of fun!! 

We held a fireside as missionaries that was a success because investigators came and the spirit was strong and it also strengthened the members as they talked about it for the next few days. 

A new member in our ward that was baptized a few weeks ago was in the hospital. He asked us for a priesthood blessing but of course, the adversary is at work. We left the house with plenty of time to visit him between the visiting hours. However, right away problems started. Our bikes broke far away from a place where we could get them fixed. We walked to get them fixed and the guy said that it would be a long time. We just left our bikes on the side of the road at this place and tried to flag down taxis. Every taxi that went by said no they wouldn't take us. The time to visit this member was shrinking. We finally found a Becok and he took us to the hospital, we were able to give the blessing with 5 minutes left to visit him. He was able to return home 8 PM Christmas Eve. 

There is so much but so little time, here is a quick summary of the rest:

-my birthday and the birthday traditions here with flour and egg
- a meeting for a member that passed away 100 days ago
- sharing American Christmas music with primary kids that we visit
-skyping the family on Christmas day
-getting spoiled with gifts here as missionaries from the ward and other people
-meeting Elder Boenari's Grandpa as it is common for Indonesian Elders to meet parts of their families on their mission.

One more story before I end this email. One day we were proselyting and we weren't having a lot of success. We decided to talk to one more person and then we would go to the church. We talked to people on the street and they directed us to this ladies house. She let us in and we got to know her. Her husband passed away a couple years ago at the age of 54 in an accident with a train. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and with the questions she asked, I'm sure she knows more about the Plan of Salvation than some members. She is AWESOME and her questions are equally as good. When we asked for her number and try to call her phone she jumped off the couch and ran to get her phone. It caught both of us by surprise but truly a miracle.

SELAMAT TAHUN BARU to you all. I think they celebrate it here almost the same with fireworks and staying out late, but for us missionaries, it will be just a normal day.

I'm grateful for this time of year and all that has happened. Hopefuly great things to you all!!!

AWESOME CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!! You all look great! I have not seen a nativity here though.

Miss you all! 

Elder Hayes

I may have to get me a hat like this


One of our English Classes

Fire Steak for my birthday

The backroads

a hill we hate so very much, a picture doesn't do any justice 
Missionaries dancing at the Ward Christmas Party

Had to get a picture with the brand new baby

MERRRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! where it's 90 degrees and humid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some Happy Missionaries at Zone Conference

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Week 25 - Christmas Eve Chat with Spencer

We had a great chat with Spencer on Christmas Eve. We were able to record the conversation and put just a bit of it here on the blog so people can hear a little bit more about his mission, and things he is experiencing. He also shared his testimony in Indonesian and that was cool to hear!

Our Family Picture.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week 25 - A Few Pictures & Getting Ready for Christmas

Spencer with Elder & Sister Funk (2nd Quorum of the Seventy) - He was our Stake President when we first moved to Colorado.

Becok Selfie

Primary Singing at the Mall

Got the Traditional Flour and Egg treatment for my Birthday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 24 - Jingle Bell Rock, Impromptu Sacrament Meeting Talk, and Lots of Rain.

Hello Family!!!!!

I have to start out with the bad news that next week I do not get to email, I only get to skype mom, dad, and the others at the house! But I'm sure that my dad can update you all! 

Things this week have been HOT!!! As for some of your questions with the rain, it had been raining pretty hard. When it rains it's basically like when there is a Hurricane passing Virginia! In solo, there hasn't been any major issues thank goodness. A lot of the flooding happens in the bigger cities!!! It would not surprise me if there is a lot of landslides. 

I did get the package and we had fun going through that. Hopefully later today I can get my package sent off and who knows when it will get there. There hasn't been any nativity sets, not even in the malls. A lot of people ask about the traditions here. Basically every church has their own parties and make invitations and all that good stuff but as for Christmas only the malls are decorated and the insides of houses. Other than that you will not find a whole lot of Christmas here. Last week we went to the mall and they have Christmas music playing. Not that a lot of people understand it, they love it!

Yesterday, I did meet the Shefield family. Sister Shefield finished her mission about three weeks ago and came back with her parents. They seem to loving it here!!! 

The story yesterday goes like this. On Friday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader and he got a phone call and he said that the youth speaker for Sunday won't be there so he asked if I could give a talk. I agreed to and asked what the topic was. He said that he didn't remember and would text me the topic. Well, Sunday came around and I hadn't gotten a topic so I texted him and didn't get a response. I showed up at church and asked am I still giving a talk and he said yes! I was like oh crap!!! I asked what the topic was and he gave it to me and in sacrament I was able to prepare and thank goodness the topic was pretty easy, Jesus Christ. However, it shows to go how far I have come with my language. The fact that I was able to give a talk in Indonesian with little preparation is the spirit at work right there.

The missionaries are given responsibility to sing at the ward Christmas party which will happen on Christmas Day! The Indonesian Elders heard Jingle Bell Rock and that is like their favorite song now and that is what we are singing next week. It is fun to teach them how we do things in America and they love to hear and learn about it because here it is just different. Elder B really was grateful for his birthday card and says thank you and hello!

As far as lessons go this week it was average. We went to one of our investigators house and their pendata was there (I forgot pendata in English, you'll have to translate) and I was like oh crap he is going to want to just thrash the church. But after a while of just talking I just had like a strong sense of courage and faith and asked if we could share our message with him. He told us that he had to leave and that he didn't have time. Well, maybe 20 minutes later we left together and he didn't want to hear any message. It is sad to hear some of the things people say and then just not even want to listen. I didn't care that he went to school we wanted to teach. Elder Boenari and I think he was scared! :)) 

Well, I better go, I hope everything is going well for you and I can't wait to talk to you all soon!

Elder Hayes

An Indonesian Birthday tradition - Flour and Egg on the head!

The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that we sent. 

Week 24 - A Sunday Morning Suprise

This morning we awoke to a wonderful surprise from the Sheffield family who is visiting Indonesia with their daughter who came home last month. They ran into Spencer in Solo and sent us this e-mail:

"We were visiting Solo today with our daughter who just got home last month and ran into you son.  He looks so happy and did a great job taking in sacrament meeting about Jesus Christ.  He said he just got his Christmas package and loved it and looks forward to talking with you at Christmas.The Sheffield Family"
 Now we got to look forward to our evening letter from Spencer! -- A Double Bonus day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 23 - Finished the Doctrine & Covenants, Ward Baptism, and Introducing Indonesians to American Christmas Music

Selamat Siang semuanya!! 

This week has been a little long! Well, Saturday and Sunday were long. It rained like crazy those two days and when we tried to visit people, not a single person let us in or they didn't want to meet. It was just a long day. However, I think there are a couple things that could have gone worse HAHA!!! 

In answer to some or your questions about the holidays here: Only the malls or the insides of houses are decorated for Christmas, that's it and a lot of the time the people don't even have enough money to have decorations or a tree. As for us [Elders] we have started to decorate our house a little bit. There will have to be a picture in the future. I think for the Christian families Christmas is almost the same but 90% of this country is Muslim so it isn't advertised or anything. The ward Christmas party is on Christmas day. I think it will be fun and hopefully we can get non-members or less-actives there because this is the only ward activity they've had since I have been here. If you have sent anything, I haven't got it. Maybe this week because on Wednesday there is a zone meeting.

As for Elder K. B's birthday (I have to add the K because there are actually 2 Elder B's in the mission) it was good. There was a mountain of food for him at a place called Pak Jon's where we eat every Tuesday and Friday after English class. Yes, the food is good enough to eat twice a week every week! :) The birthday tradition here is to throw eggs and dump flour on them and water!! That's always fun to do!!

As for the skype call, I don't know any details yet. I would imagine there will be instruction on Wednesday in our zone meeting on how we as missionaries are supposed to go about doing that. 

In our house we have been singing and listening to Christmas music and it's awesome. The Indonesian Elders haven't heard a few of the songs so when they hear one they get excited and really like it!

It's good to hear about Kiersten and Zach in their sports. And congratulations to Noah Reimers. He works hard at everything he does. 

The national Christmas tree sounds like a blast and of course our name gets called when I'm gone! HAHAHA and of course Zach asks for a snowboard and XBOX one!! Maybe he'll get one of those...... who knows??! 

This week in my personal study, I finished the Doctrine and Covenants which I wanted to read again because last time I really studied it was freshman year in high school. It is truly scripture that can be applied to every aspect of anybody's life at this day in age. It's a book of scripture that causes me to really think and ponder about the future and also the early saints and how blessed we are to live in this time period where things are different. 

Yesterday, the Sisters in our ward had a baptism. It was really good for the ward and the people who were involved with that. Before he entered the font they were practicing how it ws going to go and it was just funny to watch because outside of the water and inside of the water are two different places. But they only had to baptize him one time so that was good. Plus it was fast Sunday, so we opened our fast as a ward and had a mini feast! Our ward eats together every week after church. 

I hope things continue to be great for you all!  I miss you all!!!

Elder Hayes

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 22 - Families can be Together Forever, Missing Snow, & Thanksgiving in Indonesia

I'm not going to lie, that snow and the talk of snow is something that I really miss. The talk of snow usually meant snow days, or basketball, or football, or a whole bunch of stuff! Thanksgiving was not the same but the mission couple and the missionaries from America tried to make it as real as possible for the missionaries in Indonesia. There was turkey and pies and vegetables and all that good stuff. One thing was cool was that we all went around the room and said one thing that we were thankful for and every single Indonesian missionary said their one thing in English even if their English was poor. It truly was awesome. Then again, I think they thought we were weird for ever eating this much.

My appetite has changed so much. A lot of people say that I"ve become Indonesian because I can't get full until I eat rice. I'm not sure that is the reason, but it is worth giving it a test. 

So yesterday was the primary program in our ward and there are exactly 16 members in our primary! They did an awesome job and the theme was families can be together forever! It was something just way awesome as a missionary to see because I'm far from my family yet so close to them as I serve here in Indonesia.

With that being said, 2 less actives came to church yesterday and I couldn't be more happy!!!! I've been working on just being happy all the time and always smiling. Even when things are hard and not going that well I just smile and move on. Every person has their choices and I have mine. I kind of learned this when I was cut from the basketball team a year ago. Smile move on, people have their choices and I have mine. 

Also, there will be some point in this mission where I understand everything somebody says. HAHAHA When I talk to someone and they say just one thing that I don't understand it throws the whole sentence off but it's coming! 

It looks like everything was good for all of you and I hope things continue to get better and better.

Elder Hayes

By the way Brianne, that was very convincing. And Kiersten chick fil a is a good thing to be thankful for because that is something I will not have until I get back!!!!  (**Spencer's response to a video we sent this week with each of the family telling him one thing we were thankful for.)

A Little A&W Never Hurts the Soul

Thank You Potomac Crossing Priests Quorum! 
A Little Thanksgiving Pie!

Thanksgiving Dinner in Indonesia! (Looks pretty normal)

Typical Road in Solo

A Nice View

A Monument in the Park We Clean  

A Scorpion and Other Bugs in the Bathroom

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 21 - Anarchy in Solo, Increased Testimony of the Plan of Salvation, and Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Everybody!!!!!

I hope all of your Thanksgiving and all of that good stuff was awesome! The other day I got a card from the priests quorum back home which was way awesome to get!! As for the holidays here, they are not the same at all!!!! However, later today, we are going to have our own little Thanksgiving dinner! I'm excited and some of the Indonesians are excited because there isn't anything like it here.

As far as the week goes, it was good. Always HOT AND WET!!!!! So on Tuesday, Elder B proselyted and proselyted and proselyted some more. Not a single person let us into their house. We were like this is so weird usually we can get a few lessons out of this but everyone that we talked to turned around and walked into their house. We weren't having success so we decided to try a less active's house. We were talking to him and he didn't let us in. All he said was you need to get out of here there is this, this, and this. Well I didn't understand a single word he was saying but Elder Boenari was like okay we need to leave and this is the way we have to go. Well turns out there was Anarchy right in the areas that Elder B and I were talking to people so no wonder they wouldn't let us in! Shops and whole streets were closed down. So that ate the whole day!!!!

Other than that, we talked to a few people who are potentials and we found the one guy who went to theological school and didn't want any part of us. So we sat there and listened to him as he rambled off on things that didn't make sense at all and kindly left. 

Another less active passed away. Last week I forgot to mention that. I think of it as kind of a spiritual moment. I had gone to this less active's house every week and brought the sacrament because he couldn't walk. Well a few weeks later he got terribly sick and so he couldn't take sacrament but he just wanted the spiritual message form the Elders! We went there every week and visited him, sometimes even twice a week. Well last Wednesday night, I just had the feeling that we should go and just see how he is doing. On Thursday when we got there everything was set up for a funeral and we asked who it was for and they said the name of the less active. They said they tried to contact someone from our church to tell us because they knew the Elders came every week but they weren't able to tell anybody until we just showed up. I was able to see the man that I visited and to see him suffer and see him one last time was good. IT just is increasing my testimony on the Plan of Salvation. It now makes three or four people I've taught pass away, I forget!

Yesterday was like a little different sacrament meeting. Next week there is the primary program but yesterday was like a young women's program. There is more leaders than there is young women in our ward. The Sister missionaries helped out with that a lot too. 

I thank you all for the support and Love! This truly is an eye opening experience and a learning one too. 

As for foods this week I had the craziest milk that I have ever drunken in my life and it was actually really good. It consisted of milk, eggs, honey, and ginger!! Sounds gross I know, but it was way tasty!!!

I hope everything continues to go well for all of you!!! I hope you all had a great holiday and this is the season to reach out to others so please do!!!

Elder Hayes

Picture from last week after singing in the choir.
With the Kingdom People
Me and My Companion Elder B.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 20 - What Earthquake?, Marrow in the Bones, Missionary Work is Way Tough.

Your emails and letters and thoughts are very uplifting. For the record, I actually did not feel any earthquake but, that doesn't mean that missionaries that are more near the coast didn't. That's crazy!! As missionaries, we don't get any news like that! 

It rains everyday!! The weather is a heck of a lot nicer and bearable when it rains. There are a couple foods that when it rains, the smell just carries and everybody craves it. As on the food front, for weird foods of the week, this week was marrow. I'm not sure really where it came from, but it apparently is a traditional Javanese food. They were saying that when people work hard for a couple days or however long they celebrate by eating this marrow stuff because it's good for you. It was good!! Unfortunately I don't have a picture.

In answer to some of your questions. In our house there is a microwave but it's not really used that often, in general people don't have microwaves because if they were to use it, the power would go out. As for ovens we have like a box thing that you stick on the stove. I've never used it! Most houses don't have ovens I don't think either.

As far as the missionary work goes, I'm gonna be honest, it is way tough. We had one person with a baptism date and when we went there they told us that their kids don't want us coming back and that they are comfortable in their own church. So there went the one and only person with a date. Since the time I've been here, there hasn't been a progressive investigator, only 2 less-actives have come to church both only came one time. And yeah! That sums up right now. But, it pushes me to work harder. These people NEED the gospel. Elder B and I are working hard to find the right people. 

The language in some aspects gets easier and easier and other aspects I'm like what the heck is going on! It's nuts! 

I hope everything continues to get better for all of you and thank you for your prayers and everything. Have a great week!!!

Elder Hayes

Dear Kaitlyn,

I hate to hear that about basketball. But you know what, don't worry about it and move on. Last year when I was cut from the team I cared too much for too long. I hope that maybe getting but will just want you to try again later. I hope that you try again later. It's one thing I've also learned on my mission too. Maybe things don't go the way we want them to go. Since my time here, I've visited a few less actives EVERY single week and they still haven't come to church. I've been in hundreds of lessons and I have not yet had an investigator that is progressive. But with that said, it just drives me to work harder so that the Lord can help me so that I can bring people into his kingdom. Maybe you try something and it just isn't for you. High school is that time to find out who you are and what you are good at. It sounds like school has been treating you well. Keep up the good work. I love you!

Your big brother,

Elder Hayes

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 19 - Officially a Trainer, When it Rains it Pours (Literally), A Giant Among Men.

Selemat Siang!!!

HAHA yes, Dad your sentence made sense. As for the rest of you, How are you??? Some aspects of this week have been really slow and other aspects have been way fast!!!!!! Many things have happened including a couple birthdays, transfers, Stake Conference, and just being a missionary.

So on Thursday, most of the missionaries in Solo were being transferred so there was only three Elders at the time. We were working together that day. That night was when everybody was arriving. Around 6 it started down pouring and when it rains here, it FREAKING RAINS here! There is no sprinkle, there is no light rain, only the down pour!! We had to do a couple of things like duplicate a key and we were riding our bikes. There was no time to put rain coats or anything on so we just went for it! We were soaked!!!!!!! The good thing is my pants dried in about 2 hours which was nice because any longer it would have not been fun!!!

I got my companion and have officially started training him. He is from a city called Bekasi, it is near Jakarta.His name is Elder B and his birthday is December 3rd which is pretty close to mine except he is a year older. Yes, I am like a foot and a half taller than him. Speaking of that I have a funny story. So Saturday night, our ward was the choir for that session of Stake conference. Everyone wanted to match and all the Brothers wanted to wear suits. Well, us missionaries don't have our suits so they had us go to a members house and pick out a jacket to use. We got them and his was way too big and mine was too small!!! It was funny. To continue when we stood it was all short Indonesians and then this giant white guy in the middle of them all!!!

We've had a few lessons together and it is funny afterwards because Elder B will say that he is confused. And he should be because I'm still confused. We tell the people straight up that our church is different and explain the differences and they will still say that every church is the same and say that our church is the same and it's fun to teach him how to handle things like this.

We've only had a couple days together, but I'm sure as the time goes we'll have a blast!! My language has already gotten better with him because he knows just a little English. It's fun to live with someone from a different culture and see how they live. I'm learning a lot and I know he is learning a lot from me.

It continues to be crazy hot!!!!! However when it does rain, it tends to cool off just a little bit which is nice!!! 

It sounds like there is a few changes going on there. Honestly, at this point I can't even imagine what cold feels like!!! It's crazy to here how fast things change there as things are the same here. I have found my favorite food. It is tempe!!!!!!!!!!! Tempe is really only fried soy beans and it is sooooo good!!!! They have like a million different kinds of it, but it is so good!! I want to learn how to make it but apparently it takes a minimum of like 3 days to make it. :(

Next week I'll have more about Elder B as I get to know him more and more! :)

I've had the question of people wanting a few things from here. What are people interested in??? 

Other than that it sounds like everything is good! I hope it is. Sorry this one is a little short, the time finished way fast!!! 

Sampai minggu depan,

Elder Hayes
Holy Bananas!
The Cobra Shop

The Final Product.


Draining the Insides

The Drink.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 18 - Eating Cobra, Feeling Under the Weather, and Ready for His "Greenie"

Selamat Siang!!!

Selamat Halloween!!! Even though they don't really celebrate that here. However, that doesn't stop two elders from switching name tags and dressing up as each other for the Holiday. 

As I hear about the weather there, I will be happy to tell you that it is still hotter than ever here! There probably isn't a moment of the day when I'm not sweating! We still wait for rainy season! 

This week I got sick with just a head cold! I'm not exactly sure how I acquired it but on Thursday we were only able to work half of the day before I couldn't give any more. We went home and I just rested. Friday wasn't any better but thank goodness we had a district meeting and Elder King and I planned for the week so it was basically another day to rest. By Saturday I was just stuffed and feeling a lot better and it was way better to work. Now I just have that lingering cough.

So I think I'll share the funniest story of the week first.So today is Elder King's birthday and he is turning 20 but last Monday the bishop and another family in the Ward took us to dinner because Elder King is moving thins week to Bogor. So we were eating and the restaurant was way cool and rather cheep, so cheep that it fits in the missionary budget. :) So we were just eating and we got on the topic of birthdays and Elder King had mentioned that he is turning 20 and next thing we hear in English from one of the Sister are the words, "Baby Face!" We started laughing so hard! First of all because it was in English and second of all because she just told it straight!!! Both Elder King and I were dying laughing!

Now for the craziest thing that happened! On Tuesday we went and got Cobra. We drank the blood and then ate the meat which was cooked in various ways. It wasn't terrible but the blood was just way strong of whatever flavor it was. The meat was actually good! The whole deal was crazy because the lady grabs the snake out of the bag and then holds it and then chops off the head, drains the blood, and adds the gall bladder and the bone marrow to the drink and you drink it all. The snake is still moving and wrapping itself and the head is still moving and it was just a crazy experience!! It may happen again, it may not, I'm not sure!!!

Other than that, it has been a pretty normal week. I will give birth to my kid (the elder I'm training) on Thursday and I'm pretty excited for that. My language these past couple weeks has gotten way better and with a native I think it will get even more better. We've been visiting quite a few less actives and yesterday one came to church that we've been teaching and visiting for a while now. I truly hops that he continues to come! 

We've been visiting a lot of the members too because Elder King is moving and the members are just awesome here. They have strong testimonies and are striving to get a temple here. Word on the street is that Indonesia only needs two more stakes and they will qualify for a temple which is awesome because these people really need one. 

I'm not really sure what I want for my birthday and Christmas other than that big bag of Hi-Chews, and maybe a little extra money in the account. I'm not sure. Maybe just add some American candy. I will have a native companion so I think I will have a lot of fun sharing how Americans celebrate Christmas. 

The pictures are awesome and a huge congratulations to Zach and everyone for their success. From the pictures it looks like things are cold and fun! The time really is flying here and the days feel like weeks because usually everything falls through and the weeks feel like days.

Indonesia is such an awesome place, I probably will never be able to stop saying that! 

I love you all and continue to wish the best for you!!

Good luck to Kiersten as she takes the worst test ever and yeah.

Sampai Minggu depan!!!

Elder Hayes

Zone Conference

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 17 - Family History as a Teaching Method, Funerals, and Singing in the Choir.


How it be going?? This week has been another hot busy one and one that has gone a little interesting. HAHAHA let's start with that fact that as a citizen of the U.S. and currently residing in another country, we still have to comply with the affordable health care act and we've been instructed by President Donald to enter our Social Security numbers. It's always great to still have to worry about that garbage even though I'm not even there. 

I can now say that I have been to 4 funerals all for people in our ward and I strongly believe one more is going to happen in the next week or two. As Elder King and I teach these people mostly because they are too sick to come to church, when we see them resting they truly look more healthier and it just reiterates the importance of the Plan of Salvation. One cultural thing that is pretty cool here is when someone passes away they count the days and after 7, 45, 100, 1 year, 2 year, and 1,000 days they have penghiburan (basically a meeting a comfort) it goes to show how much the people here really love their families here. 

Other than that, Elder King and I have been busy as always. We have started to implement family history into some of our lessons and there is just something about it that sets these people off. We usually ask them to share one story about their Grandma and they love it, they just light up and tell us like 2 or 3 stories. We are hoping some success comes out of this. 

I don't know what it was about this week, but we've had quite a few members be able to come to lessons and it is amazing because they really know what our investigators are saying and it just makes understanding and the whole lesson better. When I say we are busy, we are averaging about 17-20 lessons a week, especially when we bike everywhere. Things are starting to pick up here in Solo.

We continue to wait for rainy season as it is the end of October and it still has yet to start. Who knows, maybe it's just saving up for a really bad rainy season. 

To answer some of your questions. We wash our clothes in a washing machine and then they have to air dry. When we serve others it's a variety of things and all depends on the needs of the family or the moment that it's in. We draw water out of a well weekly for one of the families so that they have water in their bathroom. Other times if something is too high for them to reach, they usually have the Elders do it because we tower over them. One thing that we also do is sing in the choir with them. Choir here is something important to them and they put a lot of time and effort into it so we sing with them and give advice if they ask. I'm not sure why they ask me because I can't sing and yes I have been on the verge of losing my voice because of all the singing I do now that I have never done before.

An interesting thing that happened this week was the Javanese new year. So it was a holiday here for the people which meant they were home and families were together. The festivities started Friday night into Saturday morning but we couldn't participate in them because they were too late.

The pictures that you all send are awesome and truly different than here. 

As far as the language goes, it's off and on when i understand HAHAHA!!! 

Other than that, it sounds like things are busy there and things are finally starting to take off in the direction you want them to. It is always great to hear what is going on. Keep in touch and keep the questions coming. 

I love you all and miss you.

Elder Hayes

Yeah, I have an extra 5 minutes so why not fill it with another letter. :)

I'm not sure what to write in this one. So in Jakarta there is an import store and they have syrup so Sister Donald brought some for us and that is why we made pancakes because we had American syrup and it was sooooooo good!!!

Is there any good new movies and new music. I hope Kiersten is making a list of everything. 

Catch some big fish for me!!!!!! 

I almost forgot........ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!

They don't really celebrate that here I don't think. Zach better get 15 pounds of candy. 

Well time is up now haha. 

Sampai kita bisa email lagi!!!'

Elder Hayes

Elder King and I in our Solo shirts and our sarung

We made pancakes!

Goats in the Graveyard.

Just a little chicken feet soup for you :)

Elder King enjoying Chicken Feet Soup

Gnawing on Chicken Feet.