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