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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 16 - Zone PLD in Solo, Going to be a Trainer, and 'Thrashing Nations'

Selamat Siang Everybody!!!!!!

First things first, SELAMAT ULANG TAHUN ZACH!!!!!!!! ANDA TUA BANGET!!!!!!

Another hot week has come upon us and usually rainy season is supposed to start in October but it has only rained a total of like 10 minutes a couple weeks ago so we have been really anticipating that to come soon. Not only do we want it to cool things down, but we need it to clean things off too because there is dirt everywhere! However, as far as cities go, Solo is actually one of the cooler ones, there are others that are way hotter!!!! So I'll take that for what it's worth!

On Wednesday and Thursday we had PLD. The whole zone came to Solo and President. On Wednesday we had our interview and he told me that I will be training a new missionary from the MTC already!!! I'm not sure if it's an American or an Indonesian yet, but that has put a little stress on me because I haven't even finished my own training! But, I know that if we just get to work and I do what President told me to do and what our goals as trainers are then he will turn out as a great Elder, I'm sure of it. That will be happening in 2 or 3 weeks. Then on Thursday, we kind of had the classroom day where we got instruction from our leaders and it was all great stuff. I would like to draw your attention to Wednesday night though. If you  can imagine 15 Elders in one house yeah that's all I will say about the matter HAHA!!!

I think I'm pretty adjusted. I got lucky and never really had a problem in the first place which I'm grateful for because I know others get sick and it does not look fun at all!

One thing that happened this week that I never pictured was playing street ball in Indonesia. HAHAHAHA yes street basketball!!! The street ball here is a little different because the culture is so different and everybody is so nice to each other when they play, it's great sportsmanship. But it still contains all the moves and whatever street ballers like to do. With my height it made things a little easy though. It was fun and great exercise. Usually, exercise is sometimes a little hard to do. 

On monday, Elder King thought he was ready to give his first haircut so he proceeded to give Elder Mangum his haircut. It an all reality it wasn't that bad, just not professionally done so that was very funny to witness and clean up!

Elder King and I now have a motto and yes it has scriptural evidence to back it up


Just read D&C 35:13 for your evidence! :)

Other than that, It's just missionary work. For less actives we are going to try and implement Family History to see if we can get anywhere with this because the ultimate goal behind it is to set others sights back on the temple. Our first lesson that we are going to try and use it will be tonight. 

It sounds like you are all busy with everything! Hopefully that keeps up. I haven't eaten anything more weird. Sometimes it is really nice when the whole city knows where you live because we can just text like the juice people and they deliver it to us. 

As ideas for upcoming Christmas and birthday, I'm not really sure. A huge bag of Hi-Chews would be awesome. I'm not really sure other than that but hopefully that will get ideas started. 

I love you all and wish the best for all of you! Keep up the hard work and blessings will come! 

Elder Hayes

The 'Four Elders' in the House

The Entire Zone at Pak Jon's

A Drink of Ginger

The Infamous Haircut w/ Elder King & Magnum

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week 15 - Conference, Priesthood Blessings, Relying on the Lord

Thank you all for your letters and your thoughts!!! I finally got watch conference and what I actually understood was awesome! So with that being said, the language is still coming along. It is very hard sometimes and other times I can understand every word. The javanese still throws me off too sometimes. It might as well just be Indonesian that I don't understand yet, but needless to say, the language is definitely getting better.

It sounds like sports have been up and down there. Hopefully they will go the way we want them to. As for the 3rd grade boys basketball team, that could be way funny! Hopefully he enjoys it and can succeed like it sounds like his football team. 

As for this week, work, work, work! We invited EVERYONE to come from conference. We invited all the less actives that we visit, our investigators, and just people that we would meet on the street to come and not a single one showed up even with reminders. It was a little sad and they would have definitely benefited from it. We'll just move on and try to get others to come to church.

This week, Elder Mangum and his companion, Elder Hymas have been a little sick so Elder King and I have been working on not getting sick! I'm not too worried though. 

One of the cool things that I've been able to do quite a few times is give priesthood blessings. A lot of people here do get health problems but they sometimes don't have the money to get to a hospital and take care of it. Elder King and I have had many opportunities to bless others. That has been a wonderful experience.

The work continues on. This week we have PLD, so president and the AP's are coming and it's a 2 day thing. First day consists of interviews and the second is instruction. The whole zone is coming to Solo so that should be fun.  I'm pretty sure the plan on Wednesday night is to play some futsol with everyone! There really isn't a whole lot of opportunity to play sports in our area so when we get the chance, we take it!

One awesome thing that happened this week was Elder King and I had the opportunity to teach I. S., an investigator for the sisters and the ZL's. However, the ZL's were in a different town and the sisters were sick so they gave us the chance to go and teach her. She is amazing! She can only speak Javanese so when we teach her we go very slow and she repeats the words that she understands back to you and then there is a member that can translate into Javanese if needs be. Her spirit is so bright and she smiles the whole time. It was just so awesome! She has a lot of energy and I have no idea how they found her because she lives far right along the river in just a small house. It was awesome! 

It continues to be hot everyday here, but it is so worth it! I've sent quite a few pictures that I think are cool. I hope everything is going well for you all! Remember that Christ lives. There is no power stronger than the power that the Lord gives us. Through him, we can do all things. We need to rely on him even though we may not feel anything because at some point we are going to need it.

With Love,

Elder Hayes

Oh yeah I forgot, Elder King and I saw the trailer for the "Meet the Mormons" movie and to us it looks really good but I'm just curious if any of you have seen it yet and how is it?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 14 - Eating Snail, ZTM in Yogyakarta, and Sacrifice Day (Eid al-Adha/Idul Adha)

What the heck is BYU losing for!!?? Anyways, it sounds like conference was all good for you! Unfortunately, we don't get to watch it until next week so I have seen anything. Also, I may not understand it at all too! :( I think the plan next monday though, is to watch it in English so we understand it. 

Anyways, it sounds like everything is going good there and nothing is really changing. Kind of the same goes for here. Here is a little run-down of this week.

Last Monday it was Elder Sinaga's birthday (an Elder in our district) so we celebrated his birthday and had cake and played ping-pong and that was fun. Before that we went to dedicate a grave with the bishop and just the culture behind the whole funeral and other things is way different here. That night, we went to a member's house and we ate snail!! It tasted like beef jerky just a little chewier so that was good.

On Tuesday, it was just a busy day nothing really crazy happened just taught lessons. We didn't have English class like we normally do because the power was out and when the power goes out, the whole entire city is out.

On Wednesday, Elder Hymas from Thornton, Colorado came  so Elder King and I went back to just the two of us. 

On Thursday, we went to Yogyakarta for ZTM by train. That was pretty cool because I hadn't been out of Solo before that. 

On Friday, I had my first split and I was the one leading. I was really nervous at first of getting lost or something going wrong but it was an awesome day!!

Saturday, was sacrifice day. Yes I have a video and pictures and I'm almost 100% sure that you don't want to see those ones. It was really interesting to go and watch something so cultural to the people here. That night, it rained for the first time I've been in Indonesia!! That was exciting and also very dirty.

Sunday, we had the opportunity to eat some of the sacrificed goat and cow. It was really delicious and the people that cooked it for us, we are really great friends with and they are so amazing and love the missionaries.  

Today, we went to 2 waterfalls and they were so AWESOME!!! There was monkeys everywhere and we were high up into the mountains so it wasn't hot or anything is was awesome!!

Well, that is all that really happened this week. We are always busy and working hard so that's a good thing. It sounds like everyone is doing great and I can't wait to hear from you all soon.

Elder Hayes

One of the waterfalls from our P-Day Hike.

Indonesian Cemetery - pictures doesn't do any justice for this cemetery.