Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 8 - Eating Fido, Language Challenges and Building the Teach Pool

First off, thank you so much for all the support and emails. They really make my day. As for Solo, I told my area a little wrong. Instead of Solo Jebres, I'm in Solo Banjarsari. I have already met Sister Sperry, so I will try and get a picture with her this upcoming week. As for other photos we'll see how they go, there is very little time to take some because of all the work and appointments we have everyday! My new companion's Elder King and he is from Fort Worth, Texas and for the record, I asked him if he knew any Marshalesse speakers there and he hasn't even heard of that hahaha!

It is a whole new world in Solo than it is in Jakarta. Jakarta is a super super huge city and Solo is kind of like a small village. It's not as hot here in Solo as I thought it was going to be and I'm thankful for that. Also, I'm thankful for our house! Apparently it is the biggest and one of the nicest in the mission and I totally believe it, it is pretty large. Here in Solo we ride bikes so if you can imagine we look like the typical missionaries haha!

Well, I have to confess, I have already eaten things that you could probably never even imagine eating. I've eaten dog! Yes i know weird! It was not the greatest tasting thing in the world, but some members gave it to us and I didn't want to be rude so I ate it. Along with that, I've eaten Chicken liver, cow liver, and so much more that I don't even know what it is, I just eat it. The people here feed us until we are about to die. If you finish your plate they add more without even asking and honestly it gets to be too much! Things are spicy but the food is sooooo delicious! I have a new found love for Susi and Juice. Susi is sweet and condensed milk with ice, coconut milk that is freshly drained, water, and freshly scooped coconut. OH my, it is to die for!! Then juice is great. You tell them what fruit you want and they take the fresh fruit and just blend it with sugar and basically it's a smoothy and it is so good. We'll have to see how much weirder the food actually gets.

There is a tie store here and it is so cheap. Ties that would normally be $50+ in America are the equivalent to only $5 being the most expensive here! I love that store and plan on buying lots and lots of ties because I can and they are the greatest things ever.

For this weeks work, Elder King and I have kind of been trying to build up our teaching pool. The one thing here is that there is a church that teaches that any church that believes in Jesus Christ will all end up in the same spot and that is the hardest thing. They don't ever read from the Book of Mormon and try because they think that we are all the same when clearly we aren't. Also, the number of inactives is out of the roof. They kind of just forget their covenants and all that they made and it is really sad to watch them think they are happy but in the life to come they are going to receive all Hell, Fire, and Damnation. Elder King and I have had that come across our minds a few times but we think it better come from Heavenly Father and not us. However, one sister that apparently hasn't come to church in a very long time came this last week which was really exciting!

With that being said. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK PEOPLE ARE SAYING! I really thought I had a good grasp on Indonesian but I can't understand anything they say. Plus they speak Jawa here so that mixed with Indonesian has my mind all over the place. I can't wait until I can understand it and speak it better.

The little kids here are crazy! They say like one thing in English and then laugh until they realize we can speak Indonesian and they really all know where we live.

Today's P-day is being spent fixing Elder King's bike. Needless to say he had a rough Saturday with it so it is being repaired today.

One story from this week..... So I was looking through a very old Potential investigator sheet and I read the name of P.. J.. and just felt really good about that name, I didn't know why. When I say old from 2012 and 2007. Elder King called him up and he knew exactly who we are. We met with him and he still had the old translation of the Book Of Mormon, so we gave him the new one and he took the lesson so well. Hopefully, we can really get far with him. Another lady stopped us and asked for the Book Of Mormon. She immediately went home and read it and the next day finished it and has wanted to come to church and learn more but she has been sick so she is hopeful too.

Anyways, I'll try and take more pictures but I'll send the few new ones that I have. I love you all and hope school and everything that you do will all go great.

With Love,

Elder Hayes

Elder Hayes & Sister Ingersoll traveling to Solo

Elder Hayes & Sister Ingersoll traveling to Solo

Elder Hayes & Sister Ingersoll traveling to Solo 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 7 - A Few Items About Solo

A few items about Solo from Wikipedia.

Surakarta (often called Solo and less commonly Sala, is a city in Central Java, Indonesia of more than 520,061 people (2009) with a population density of 11,811.5 people/km2. The 44 km2 city adjoins Karanganyar Regency and Boyolali Regency to the north,Karanganyar Regency and Sukoharjo Regency to the east and west, and Sukoharjo Regency to the south. On the eastern side of Solo lies Bengawan Solo River. The city is the seat of Surakarta Sunanate kraton (palace/court). Together with Yogyakarta, Surakarta is the heir of the Mataram Kingdom that was split into two kingdoms in 1755.

Surakarta together with Yogyakarta is well known as the cultural heartland of Java. As the centre of surviving Javanese court (kraton), Surakarta is famous for its refined, highly polished aesthetic, and sophisticated Javanese art. The Kraton served as an important center dedicated for the preservation of Javanese culture. Several important traditional Javanese ceremonies such as Satu Suro and Sekaten rituals were observed in high importance among its people. The Sunan (king) of Surakarta, although today no longer holds official actual political power, is still revered and holds important position as cultural symbol among Javanese people.

Banjarsari District is located in downtown Surakarta. It is located in the district of Solo Racing stations serving a train trip to Jakarta / Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Semarang. In addition, there is also the Terminal Tirtonadi which is a bus terminal.

Also in this district is the Mangkunagaran temple, the royal palace Mangkunagara, one of the heirs of Mataram kingdom New. This district is the largest districts in Surakarta and incidentally also the richest districts. Many international five-star hotel is located in this district. In addition there are three important cemetery in this district: TPU Bonoloyo, Nayu North Astana, Astana Bibis and Noble.



Week 7 - First Email from Indonesia, Grateful for America, Heading to Solo

HELLO FAMILY!! I'M IN INDONESIA and I have the slightest clue what people say to me or what the heck is going on. To start off, we are still in Jakarta because before we head to our first areas, we must wait for something called a kitas. I believe we are going tomorrow for that. With that being said, my first area is in Solo Jeberas (I hope I spelled that right hahaha) and I leave Wednesday for that. I'm so excited. My temporary companion's name is Elder Sutarno and he is actually from Solo. When I get to Solo, my trainer will be Elder King. I've heard he's pretty cool so I will have to see. I've only been here not even a week and I love everything about it! The people are so nice and they call white people Bule, so when little kids are outside they start yelling it and following me practicing their English, it is really funny! In Jakarta you would probably kill me already for the things that we do hahahaha. First off, they take a two-lane road and turn it into 5-lanes and they really don't have traffic laws so to cross the street, you kind of just got to walk in the middle of the street and pick and choose where to run in front of cars. The first time that happened I was so scared! Now, it's just like everyday life. So, in Jakarta there is no middle class. It only has super super rich people or super super poor people. So I did go to the mall and buy a bag and a Indonesian to English translator that President Donald said we should buy! The malls here seriously put any mall in America to shame not even kidding. They are all like 6 floors jam packed with stores and in some of them there is like an ice skating rink or amusement park. They are so crazy. To get around in Jakarta, we walk or talk public transportation and boy let me tell you they don't care how full anything is, they continue to pile in there. In Solo and most other places I think they have bikes. I have a funny story. So, we were riding the busway back home one night and we got on the bus. At that point there were not that many people but every stop we picked people up and nobody was getting off. I'm like a giant to them all and underneath me there was just all these little Indonesians and the bus was probably 20 degrees hotter than normal. It was so crazy. 

I am so grateful for the things in America and honestly took them all for granted as I've come here and seen what they live with and in. It is so humbling to just say Selamat Pagi (Good morning) to them and see the biggest smile on their faces. Elder Sutarno and I have already taught a few lessons one of which was to a man guy named Derry. Derry has his baptism date set for September so I'll miss it, but the people here really really love smoking, drinking coffee, and drinking tea. He was really into drinking tea. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and it was the coolest thing to hear him say, "I really like drinking tea, but after coming to church today and becoming friends with you, I know this something I will do." He said he was going to quit cold turkey and that was so awesome.

The members in Jakarta are all really funny and when they say something I don't really know what they say. So they just laugh. This is the coolest thing I've ever done in my life.I watch people and just imagine what they would be like if they had the Gospel in their lives. 

I will say, everything is SUPER SUPER SUPER cheap! However, they have adjusted our missionary budget to be fair. Even with that we have a lot. We buy a lot of food off the street vendors and it puts like all American food to shame! 

I hope I included everything that's happened thus far in Indonesia. The time has taken a little time of getting used to but it's settling in. Crazy things happen everyday that make me thankful for America. One last thing, instead of basketball courts, they have futsol courts outside and they live and die soccer and futsol here. We've had the opportunity to play a few times already and it's a blast. Time is flying by, but I cannot wait for the day when I can understand the people and actually speak the language. That's my biggest challenge right now I think. I thank you all for your letters and all of your support. If you need anything, seek the Lord first he helps the most and then maybe talk to someone else. I love Elder Sutarno even though he is only my temporary companion and I love Indonesia and the people in it. Their smiles and desire just to talk to me are amazing. If you have any questions or anything lust let me know.

Sampai Nanti (Until later)

Elder Hayes

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Week 6 - Done with the MTC and Arrival In Indonesia

Instead of an e-mail this week we were able to talk with Spencer for a few minutes on the phone before he boarded his flight to Indonesia. - We received two different e-mails - one from an instructor in the MTC, and the other from the Mission President this morning with a picture indicating they were all there safe and sound.

A note from one of the MTC Instructors:

Brother and Sister Hayes,

My name is Jesse.  I got back from my mission to Indonesia about 1.5 years ago and was blessed with the opportunity to work with Elder Hayes while he was at the MTC.  I just wanted to thank you for raising up such an awesome missionary.  I just sent him and his companion off on Monday.  Hopefully you were able to talk to him while he was at the airport.  He was such a hard worker from the second he got to the MTC and was always trying to improve and get better.  He was kind to everyone he was around and was really humble.  I was impressed on how fast he picked up on the language and how he was not afraid to speak it.  He did such a great job here at the MTC and he is going to be great out in Indonesia.  Indonesia is the best place ever to serve a mission and he is going to love it!  I know that you guys will be blessed greatly through the service and sacrifices he will make while he is gone.  Thank you once again.

And the brief note from President and Sister Donald:

All of our missionaries arrived safely . Thank you these wonderful men and women, what a blessing to have them serve with us in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. 
President and Sister Donald 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Week 5 - Last E-Mail from the MTC - Focus on The Restoration and the Temple

4 DAYS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This is my very last email in the MTC!! I am so beyond excited to get on my way!! I've been preparing and studying the language and I can just hope that I say things correctly so that when I get there, I can immediately begin talking to people! The MTC was good, but sitting at a desk all day is not really what I want to be doing! We've been teaching everyday and practicing different lessons and I can comfortably have a great conversation about the Gospel. The thing that helps the most is simply reading the Book of Mormon with non-members and helping them understand and then asking inspired questions that get them thinking. After those are taken care of, then lessons and the people's conversion is so much easier!

MONDAY is the day!! We will actually get to ride in a car for the first time in over a month and really see real people! Our flight times are really ridiculous! We leave from SLC at 10 PM and then fly to San Francisco. At 2 AM we get on a flight and head to Taipei, Taiwan which will be crazy because there will be Chinese characters everywhere maybe mixed with a little English. Also because we cross the international date line, we skip forward a whole day, we land at like 6 AM the next day and then from there we make our final journey to Jakarta where we will arrive Wednesday afternoon.
I can only hope that my trainer will help me out a ton! My first area wherever it will be will be the greatest! Along with that, if I need anything I'll look first in Indonesia and then if I can't find what I need I'll let you know.   

One cool thing that happened this past week was on Sunday. In the morning, as a district we were working on memorizing the words of Joseph Smith's first vision. The rest of the day, including mission conference, devotional, and film after were all focused on the Restoration. It was truly inspiring and almost wish that I had the opportunity to see it in person but also very glad to be living in this day in age! My testimony has grown so much and sharing it is as easy as doing an action. I never really thought about that, but if you don't bear your testimony by word, then you better be bearing it by your actions.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to host again! That is really cool and sad at the same time because sometimes you take an Elder away from their family that is just in tears. Other families, the parents and family are so happy and excited to see them go that you don't feel as bad! I met a missionary headed to the Italy, Rome mission and a few others but that is the one I remember because it was the first Elder! 

This morning was our last temple session for two whole years! I'm really going to miss it! Talking to these families about sacrifices will be difficult because a lot of them already don't have a lot. I encourage you all to go to the temple as often as you can! I've only been like 3 total times because it's been closed, but every time I go the feeling is unreal! There is so much to be learned there that we will never obtain it all in this lifetime! 

I've had a few questions about laundry and to be honest I have absolutely no idea if I do it right. I just kind of do whatever and then yeah they seem clean to me. I haven't had any problems thankfully until today when some of my slacks came out wrinkly randomly. Hopefully I find a solution hahahaha.

I love the pictures that you send me. Kiersten, you didn't attach the photos correctly, so I can't see them. Try and re-send them. Thank you for all of the emails and packages and letters from you all! Reading them is one of the best times of the week because it is so different! It's good to hear things going on in your lives and I pray that things continue to stay great!

I will probably have more to write when I get to Indonesia, but if there is anything you want to know, feel free to ask and then I will answer it. Love you all and the next time I'll be writing you all will probably be on some old, slow computer that I will need to learn patience with from the awesome country of Indonesia!

Elder Hayes

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 4 - Rock Paper Scissors Indonesian Style & An Abundance of Food

Hello Family!!!

How are things going with everyone? Thank you all for the emails, letters and packages. With that being said, I hope that I have received them all! Here is a funny story about the package that my Dad put together for me.

-- A couple days ago, I was sitting at dinner when Elder Peterson comes up to me and says, "You're Dad hooked it up with the package!" I had no idea what he was talking about because I had not got mine. After dinner I headed over to the post office place and got my package and all I hear in the back room is, "Oh WOW!!" The other lady went back there to help the first lady bring it out. When I first saw the box it was a box for a huge speaker and microphone. Now, I asked Dad for a speaker (a portable one) and when I saw that I was like, "What the heck am I going to do with that?!" I went back to the room and opened it and thankfully it was just food and pictures! Not that I needed anymore food because I already have so much but it is nice to receive! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have to go the cafeteria for the next 6 weeks even if I still had that time!

Anyways, things are going great! Earlier this morning we did a session at the temple and that was really amazing! Other than that, things are pretty much the same! Yesterday, the 12 of us had the opportunity to be the host missionary for the new missionaries that were arriving! My first missionary was foreign. He was from Tongo heading to Oakland, CA speaking tagalog so he was already fluent and it was interesting to talk with him as this is his first experience in America. My other missionaries that I hosted one was going to Guam and the other to Detroit, MI! Yes, I was the mean missionary that only had to allow the family 3 minutes with each other before I took the missionary started with their work! That was really fun!

Just a few spiritual things for the week are the devotionals as always. Sunday's speaker was Stephen B. Allen and he was so funny but when he got serious, he wasn't messing around. He shared a story about a companionship that separated for only maybe 30 seconds and now one is in prison because someone accused one Elder of doing something wrong and he couldn't prove his innocence so that scared pretty much everyone! On Tuesday, the speaker was John Groberg from "The Other Side of Heaven." His talk was about bearing testimony and how as missionaries no matter what we are doing, we are bearing testimony! I really enjoyed that!

This week we learned how to play Rock, paper, scissors in Indonesian. It's just weird because it goes Elephant, human, ant (Gajah, orang, semut)! We now settle things by playing that! Also we have been practicing our contacting skills. In America, if you talk to a stranger, you typicall ask how they are doing, or talk about the day. Nope, in Indonesia, you come out with the stalker questions of "Where are you going?" "Where are you from?" "Tell me about your family" It's been interesting to get used to saying and thinking that's what we are saying to people.

I'm not exactly sure when we get our travel plans but I sure hope it is SOON!!!!!! 

You MUST TELL CARL THAT I SAY HELLLLOOOO!!!!!!!!! I want to know how he is doing and he is the perfect coach for Zach! Although that practice schedule seems intense for an 8 year old! As for the girls, they better do so well in their sports that they make the news in Indonesia so that members can tell me all about it! ;) 

I Love you all!! I got my second Japanese Encephalitis shot so hopefully I don't pick that up now! My district is so cool and we are all really close! Things will only get better from here!

Elder Hayes