Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 13 - Working Sun Up to Sun Down, Giving Blessings, and Putting a Smile On People's Faces

The picture's last week were of Elder Mangum, another Elder in our house. I'm still companions with Elder King. There are 4 Elders in our house, well 3 right now but we get a brand new one from the MTC on Wednesday! Another thing is, you can't tell me anything about conference because we don't get to watch until a week after it comes out so it can be translated. I hope that we will be able to watch it in English too because I only know gospel terms so if they were to tell a story, I would be so lost!!!!!!!! 

All of those pictures looked awesome! Looks like things are are fun and Zach doesn't look too bad in his new glasses! Hopefully with school and other things they are starting to settle in. And as for pictures, I only like to send a little because they have a huge problem with viruses here and I don't want to lose all of my pictures!

This week has been hot as always, it has yet to rain. Elder King and I were sitting at a potential investigators house and there was a newspaper sitting on the table and we were looking at it and in the surrounding cities there are numerous places without water. Rainy season is expected to start here very soon, which I think I have mixed feelings about at this point HAHAHA! Other weekly highlights include:

- Elder Supriyanto, Elder Mangum's companion moved because we are getting a fresh new Elder so we have been a trio
- There was one day where there wasn't a lot of pollution and we could actually see the mountains that are only like 30 minutes away, so I took a picture.
- I have overheard some music in some public places and didn't recognize a single song!
- Another Funeral (later today we are going to go dedicate the grave)
- Giving blessings, which is a powerful thing and Elder King and I have had the opportunity to give a number of them.
- Whenever we visit a member's house we ask about their conversion story and they are all really good and interesting. 
- Another week of working from sun up to sun down

The work is difficult here and re-activating is a whole new challenge. There is someone however that is just waiting for this gospel. We just have to keep doing what we are doing and they will show up. 

I love this whole new experience. This is something that can never be imagined. A mission is lived and everyday you never know what is going to happen. One thing that I never pictured myself doing that I do is sing in the choir. It's the norm for the missionaries to sing with them and whenever we show up to something cultural or they see us playing or something they just want to shake our hands and join us because it's a huge honor to them. On Saturday night, we have a sports night and we played beach volleyball where we got to meet some people who just had a great time playing and wanting to play with us some more.

There is nothing better than just talking with someone and seeing the smile on their face. IT's awesome. I love you all and hope things get better and continue to get better. 

With love,

Elder Hayes

Elder Supriyanto and I with our glasses

Finally got to see the mountains because there wasn't as much pollution that day

Thankful for clean rivers at home - but a little taste of the tropical foliage

Yellow Watermelon (Enak Banget (Delicious))

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 12 - Wild Monkeys, Miracles, and the Plan of Salvation


I'm so grateful for all the support that I receive from all of you. I have a slight confession, my spelling and English grammar is getting worse and worse everyday. It's because the Indonesian language! It sounds like crazy things are happening all around the lives of you all.

First, it is sad to hear that Great Grandma has passed on. However, there is a plan of Salvation and through that along with the ordinances that take place, she will be with her Heavenly Father in a state of Paradise. That state of Paradise is probably a lot better than Earth life right now for her. It's important that we have a church that can answer these questions for us so that we aren't so set on someone being lost forever or suffering but someone that is rejoicing. Why anybody wouldn't want to hear a message of rejoicing, I don't know. 

Next item of business is the fact that Kiersten has her license. Yeah, I'm so glad that I'm on the other side of the world for that one. :) But then again it sounds like you are happy because she doesn't have to be driven around by anyone and she can take Kaitlyn. NOTE FOR KIERSTEN: Don't kill anyone and be safe. I need the truck alive for when I get back! :)

It sounds like everything in the sports world is just going great for all the teams that I like!!! YAHOOO!!!!!! Hopefully that keeps that up.

I did finally get the package. President Donald came to Solo on Saturday and he brought it with him. Thank You so much!!! The candy was probably gone in under an hour HAHAHA!!!!!! So I'm sending out letters later today. 

Last Monday, we watched Lego Movie and I thought it was great!! There were some really funny parts and Zach would love it! We played basketball. And to top it off, I ate a whole pint of ice cream at one sitting and it was delicious! :) Tuesday, we ran into someone who wanted to debate with us and we fell into the trap but quickly left because the spirit had no way of entering at all, we simply bore our testimonies and then left. On Wednesday, I SAW MY FIRST WILD MONKEYS!!!! Here in Solo wild monkeys are really rare. However, when I went to get the camera to take a picture, they were swinging all over in the trees down the street away from us so I couldn't quite get one but it was the craziest/coolest thing!

The rest of the week was teaching and talking to others. My weeks are usually around the same thing HAHAHA!!! 

Zach what the heck dude!!! I better get a picture of you with your glasses!! Hopefully those will help you out and it sounds like there was a little miracle with that. When you're following the Lord's commandments and doing things right miracles happen. I see them all the time here. One night, we were finished getting dinner about to head home and in our mission motto the last thing says "one more contact" so I just simply told a man "goodnight" he proceeded to turn around and tell us exactly who were are. We asked him if he was a member and he said yes and hasn't been to church for 25 years. We haven't had the time to meet with him yet but we really want to and it was because of that one last contact that we found someone that was less active and we would have never found him if we never opened his mouth. That was one miracle.

The other miracle was in the middle of the day. We had stopped on the side of the road to make some phone calls when a man that we had contacted in the park that we clean every Thursday morning walks up to us. He has the Restoration pamphlet and it looks like he has had that thing for years even though it has only been a couple days. He said it was wonderful and asked if we had any more things for him to read and study. We gave him the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and the Book of Mormon. He is originally from Bali but he is looking for a house to rent. Whoever teaches him which will either be us or the sisters has an investigator that is learning on his own will which is amazing. I know that the Lord put him in our path so that we could give him more to study. 

That sums up my week basically. Today we are going to go play futsol!!!! :)

I hope everything is going well and things will continue to go well.

Elder Hayes

Playing a little Basketball! 
I'm definitely buying one one of these when I get back 

Saw this guy doing some crazy things on the Motorcycle

Elder Mangum eating freshly made Sambal which is super spicy, needless to say, he was crying and sweating for a while 

Elder Mangum climbing through the window 

We now know we can escape through the window in case of a fire.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 11 - Funeral, Mangos, Missionary Work and a Few Bug Bites.

This week was sooooooooooo HOT!!!!! Everyday was the struggle. I haven't seen any rain yet. Here in Solo they say that the rainy season comes whenever and ends whenever so we are anticipating it to start anytime soon now! Then I will know what it truly means to be baptized. :) Elder King and I have been trying to build up a decent teaching pool because the people we have been going to are not going anywhere. They are so set on the ways of their Fathers that to change their hearts something really has to change. This week we've seen at least three people who really want to read the Book of Mormon and we gave out 4 others and some of these people are really great. One of them is high up in another church and has a huge knowledge of not only the Bible, but also the Al Qur'an and the Hindu Book so once he reads the Book of Mormon, I think he will see the truthfulness. Another we handed out to a man who has had a broken leg for 4 years but doesn't have the money to get it fixed. He has the most faith I've seen out of anyone here. Just talking with him and listening to him was awesome and he also wants to read the Book of Mormon. Hopefully things will take off soon.
Other than that this week includes the following highlights:

- Mango season is in full swing and boy are they absolutely delicious!
- We dealt with the 7-way intersection that has train tracks running right through the middle of it and no traffic lights (and yes I didn't think they existed either until here) AKA Intersection from hell
-  We inhaled more pollution as always
-  Signs of the times
-  So many bug bites that I can't count them all :(
-  A funeral
-  AND ROTI BAKAR (Fried bread that's to die for!!!!!!)

The funeral was eye opening. The lady was 88 years old and she was the mother of one of the sisters in the ward. We have been going to that house frequently to work with the sister's son because he is less-active but a really great guy. But they just hold the funeral in the house and the whole entire street shuts down which is a miracle in Indonesia but also common. Inside the house is the open casket and people of christian beliefs and outside were others of various religions. It was so different but yet so normal for them. They had the funeral that day after she died so I think all they do is shower the body and dress it. Then the people here just look different than in America. Not going to lie, probably one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. That ate the whole day.

To answer your question about laundry, our house actually has the best machine in the entire mission because it's from a mission couple and they were getting rid of it so we took it and it is glorious! For food, we feed ourselves but the food on the street is so dang good and so cheep that we most of the time just buy from there. The members in our ward feed us too much hahaha! If you go to a member's house they feed you even if they don't have any money and we feel so bad but they force it upon us. I may not know what I'm eating, but I'm still alive so that's all that matters!

On 9/11 Elder King and I wore Red, white, and blue! Other than that, we're just grindin!

I love to hear all of the things that are going on back home such as BYU getting another win and Tuscarora doing their thing. We work from sun up to sun down. 

I hope everything is going great with all of you! I love and miss you all! If you have any questions, please ask. Things here are amazing and this is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

With love,

Elder Hayes
Elder Hayes & Elder King - Sporting Red, White & Blue for September 11th

A well that's give or take 50 feet deep that we draw water from for a member

Sign of the Times.  :)
Lending a Hand

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 10 - A Bible a Bible, Advice to Siblings, and 'Oh Crap They Found Me!'

Selamat Pagi!!

This week's emails and pictures were amazing! Thank You so much!!!!!!!! Hearing and reading what's going on is amazing! Plus it's always good to hear that BYU is thrashing and Tuscaroa. Hopefully BYU can keep that up!! Keep the updates coming because we get none of that HAHAHA!!!
Kiersten-- Good work with soccer! I still think that you should try out for the school team and hopefully that the basketball is going well. I never get to play basketball here. They love soccer here, but I never really get to play it in my area so to workout, I jump rope and do push-ups and pull-ups and body-weight stuff. I hope behind the wheel goes well for you as mom and dad really want you to get your license, just don't kill anyone. Hopefully school is going great for you. I still haven't heard who your teachers are. Who are they? Hopefully, you are keeping lists of things that I need to try and do when I get back! Saya mengasihi anda!!!

Kaitlyn- SELAMAT ULANG TAHUN!!!!!!!!! (Happy Birthday) I won't write you before your birthday so I have to do it now. Hopefully High School hasn't been to hard to get used to and you're liking it. My advice for you is to do all of your homework. My other advice is use your FLEX because I got so much homework done during that time. I love you and hopefully basketball and softball will go good for you.

Zach- DUDE! YOU STOLE MY BACKPACK!!!!! HAHA hopefully you're liking school. You have to tell me about all the sports. I've heard your football team is doing pretty well. Tell Mr. Opawski hello for me. Tell him that they don't wear bow ties in Indonesia! I love you bud and hopefully things keep going well for you.

Mom and Dad and everyone else- you get the general email until I get your letters and can handwrite those. Anyways this week we ran into rejection after rejection after rejection. We were struggling for lessons and every lesson that we get, they agree with EVERYTHING we say but then say no, I have a bible and as a matter of fact, most of them haven't even read the bible so when we run into someone who actually knows the bible it makes us happy because we can show them that a Bible isn't enough and their hearts are so hard that it's tough. The only somewhat decent investigator we had was crazy and wanted to marry us so we gave her to the Sisters. We continue to talk to new people everyday just trying to get someone to take a Book of Mormon. Also, we try reactivate like crazy. This week, we went to someone new and when we should up the Sister's face was priceless. It was the expression of "Oh Crap they found me!" It was funny. 

We had ZTM and other spots in our mission are doing really well. I was able to meet the other missionaries in our zone and that was cool. 

One cool thing that some of the members got to do was take a trip of about 50 and go to the temple in that Philippines and take out their endowments and spend a whole week there and do temple work. It's really exciting for them because other than that they don't have the money to go otherwise. 

Other than that it was a pretty uneventful week. And if you are complaining about the heat I'm just going to laugh because here it is ridiculously hot always. I usually don't realize I'm sweating until I sit down at someone's house and it just runs down my face. Hopefully this week will go better work wise.

I hope things there will start to work out. Eventually they will and you'll be glad you had the challenges that you had.

Saya Mengasihi anda semau!!!

Elder Hayes

Taman (Garden)

View From the House

Another View From House

My Desk

A Restaurant in Solo

Elder Hayes with Sister Sperry who is also from the Ashburn Stake

Eating a Chicken Foot

Elder King - Current Companion
Elder Hayes & Others at Zone Training Meeting

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 9 - Reactivation Activities, Good Bread, and Right Place Right Time.

WOW, WHAT A WEEK!!!! Indonesia is the bomb, even though I sweat through my white shirts not even 20 minutes outside the door! Sounds like things with all of you are going great and it is the best to hear that Tuscarora won! Hopefully they stay that way! I'll try to fit everything about this week that was good that I can, but it's a lot.
I'll start with last night. You're probably thinking why in the world would I start with last night, but with a long week and two Elders ready to go home and just sleep knowing that today is P-day, you can imagine our attitudes. To go along with that, the only person we had left to go see was Brother H. Brother H received the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1990 and hasn't been to church since so the situation is bad. He has one of the hardest hearts out of anyone I have met thus far here. When we got there, he invited us in and refused to listen to anything we said. Elder King, my companion, lets just say took him through a journey through the bible. HAHAHA Afterwards of constant praying during the lesson and debate, all he could do was laugh and asked where we went to school. We laughed back and told him we taught ourselves. Him and his wife accepted the Book of Mormon and we hope sometime soon he will remember the covenants he made 25ish years ago. The spirit was so strong that I can't even put into words everything that went on. 

Earlier in the week, we had an investigator accept the commitment to baptism but history with her includes, 4 different husbands and one child with each husband. So, this week we are going to hand her off to the sisters to see if she really wants to learn or if she is just looking for a white husband, which is mad creepy! Other than that, she is very knowledgeable with the Book of Mormon.
Other lessons include rejection and the same general problem here that most of them believe that if their church believes in Christ and our church believes in Christ that we are all the same. If we both believe in the Bible we are all good, we just believe in more "Words of God." It is the consistent problem here. 

To answer some of all your questions........ We do have a church service like in America just the buildings are a little different but they are real churches and we do have bread. As a matter of fact, the bread here is sooooo good. I don't really know why, but it is. We serve in a ward and there are about 50-60 that are active but there is 200 total. REALLY SAD!!! Elder King teaches Gospel principles each Sunday and I usually just add a few things and we teach English twice a week.The church is about a 5 minute bike ride from our house so not that far. Hopefully these answered some of your questions that you wanted to know.
One more story. Sorry for the UN-organization of my emails, I only have an hour and I have so much to say. Saturday morning while making plans for the day, Elder King found a name Brother S. Next to his name, it said DO NOT TRY TO FIND. His address was from mojosongo. Elder King and I were a little sad because that's the name we wanted to talk to. We just moved on from that name. Later that day we were proselyting and the area we were in is said to be RED ZONE which means missionaries aren't usually welcome because of other religious backgrounds so we were very careful. We were leaving and we hear, "Elder!!!" Only members of the church and past investigators know that name. He said he knew the name from his friend in mojosongo. Right before we left, we asked him his name and he said, P. S! So, we don't know if he is a less active but we have a strong feeling that he is and we actually found him accidentally. Later this week we will follow up with him and find out.

I have a few more pictures this week and hope things back home continue to go well for you all. Seek the Lord in all that you do. Open your mouth with others because they are curious and always keep me up to date.

Love you all and miss you a lot!

Elder Hayes