Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 30 - Zone Conference (PLD), Preparing for Transfers, and Roti Bakar

Hello Family!!!

Thank you all for your emails, thoughts and prayers. They are felt as a I go throughout the week! This past week was busy but just another week in the life of a missionary!

On Tuesday and Wednesday we had our PLD meetings and if things don't change I will be transferred! I will be leaving the almost village like city and area of Solo, Banjarsari, and hitting the big streets in the second largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya. Surabaya is said to be the hottest city in the entire mission and if not mistaken we are talking one of the biggest cities in the entire world! Solo has been amazing, but also it will be fun to start up in a whole new place! 6 months in an area and you really grow in the people and things that are around you. If all goes to plan the transfer will happen on February 3rd! I'm not sure if there will be a slight change in date because my Kitas expires on the 31st, you know that document that says that I can live in Indonesia! But we will see!!!

I'm not really sure where that story happened but the sacrifice to attend the temple here is something that is common throughout the entire country especially the funds to attend. It's something we help active members with too. What can they do to help them be able to attend the temple? 

This week we have been rejected over and over, nothing new, but there is still growth in others. H. has already received the priesthood and is progressing and learning so much! I was able to get his information the other day just in case things change and I don't see him again. Our less active did not come to church and it was very sad but next week I think he will come. We had another less active come who has been coming to sacrament a lot more and then going to work which is a whole lot better than not coming at all!

I can't believe I'm saying this but I actually got cold this week. Wednesday night we were coming home and it was raining and boy was it cold! We had to stop and get some hot honey milk and some roti bakar! :) I'm pretty sure roti bakar is the cause of my slight weight gain!! I probably shouldn't say that because I don't think that I will be saying it again! I'll be heating up with this transfer!

I see the progression in my language every day and it is really nice being to have a conversation with random people and understanding what they are saying. With that being said, Dad, your google translated sentence is almost correct! :) 

It sounds like it is cold as anything there and I'm grateful that it is warm here. Oh yeah,  I got an email from Kiersten and it talked about Spring Break. What are the plans this year for that? It better not be like a cruise or something like that because I'm not there!

Well, there wasn't a whole lot of different things happen this week so I'll keep this one short! I love you all and hope that this week goes great! 

Elder Hayes

Thank You to the Greene's I can have facial hair :)

Missionaries from the same MTC group at PLD!!
One of the church buildings in Solo!

Nasi Goreng-- one of my favorite dishes!!!!!!!

Playing a little pool for P-day with missionaries from the zone

Spent a day proselyting here

Raining and an example of an address

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week 29 - A Baptism, Small Miracles, and Bat Hunting

All is well down in the land of the islands. Last week was a week of hard work and finding new people. Sometimes I take for granted the small daily miracles and focus too much on the big miracles. As a missionary small miracles happen DAILY!!!!!! Whether it be, being able to speak to people and they understand, being in a lesson when it rains, finding the golden investigator, or something that happens that is a blessing to you! It happens everyday.
These past 2 weeks I've been getting everyone's packages and letters. I am so grateful for all of that support and love, it is truly felt. With that being said the chocolates and everything has faired a lot better than I thought it actually would. Just a little melted with the same great taste! :)
We have spent a lot of mornings and nights this week bat hunting. Yes bat hunting! Every night they fly into our house and make a mess and it sucks to clean up so we as Elders have taken matters into our own hands! :) So far we've taken down 2 and yes properly disposed of them. Hopefully their friends realize whats going on and the problem will lessen.

Just a funny story....... on Saturday we were heading home to prepare for futsal. Elder B. wanted to stop by the ATM. When we stopped by it started pouring and pouring and not stopping. The street flooded but that doesn't stop people here. Motorcycles were wizzing by and trucks and we as missionaries were just getting splashed as we stood on the side waiting for the rain to stop. We were already wet and just decided to go home instead of waiting. I could have swam in the water if I wanted. Every pedal it got deeper and deeper and deeper until we were pedaling in water up to our knees on the bikes! That was quite the experience!! 

This marks the beginning of my last week of training! Tomorrow and Wednesday we have PLD so President and the AP's are coming for interviews and lessons and all that fun stuff!!

Last week we were able to go the Suku temple which was really cool. One of the oldest temples in the Jawa Island up in the mountains. There is no such thing as switch backs here and with manual cars there is a fright here and there. :) It was a really cool place to visit and see.

As for larger miracles that happened this week:

The youth that we have been working with has now come 2 weeks in a row to church and actively comes to futsal. Every week he is more open and smiling and laughing. His progress has been awesome and if he keeps up the friendship he has started with the other youth, he will easily be able to serve a mission in a couple of years. I love working with him and love seeing his progress in the Gospel.

Our investigator that has been fighting the word of wisdom is giving his all and is sick. He is down to 1 pack of cigarettes and 1-2 cups of coffee a day. He still agree to a baptismal date because he will feel terrible if it doesn't happen on that day. We are still working with him to come to church. That is a different hurdle of its own! He will be baptized whether that be in 3 months or 3 years he feels the truthfulness every time and wants to baptized.

Lately we have been asking members to write their testimonies in the Books of Mormon so they can share with their friends. The other night we decided to visit a member that lives pretty fair. We got their and did our lesson and asked them to share the gospel. The brother went on to say that they just had a family home evening with each other on sharing the Gospel. He said that they have been praying as a family to share it and we came with the Books of Mormon. He said, " I guess this is the first step in sharing the gospel is getting the Books of Mormon." They took 2 of them and the Lord will help them out. -- it just goes to show that the counsel in D&C is true that we must obtain the word before we give it......Literally!

Yesterday H was baptized into the Jebres ward. I was super happy to be a part of that because Elder B and I were the ones to kind of find him (he found us) give him the Book Of Mormon and teach him the first lesson. His progress in the gospel has been something amazing to watch. Although my part was small in his conversion, to me it was a big part. 

It sounds like things are going well for you all. Thank you! Keep up the good work???

Elder Hayes

At H.'s Baptism

At Suku Temple
Bat Hunting in our Apartment
At this temple there was like three levels and this building was the first level

Suku Temple

The View

This is why the word of wisdom is an issue...... ALL TEA!!!!!

RAMBUTAN!!!!!!!!! A very very very tasty fruit!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 28 - ZTM in Djogia, A Murphy's Law Kinda Week, and The Power of Youth

Hello Family!!!!!

This week was another week of hard work!! Even though there was a lot of hardship and rejection there came blessings. One of which happened on Tuesday. All of our lessons and plans had failed not even 30 minutes after eating lunch. WHAT THE HECK WERE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?? We called one of our investigators that we usually visit on Wednesdays and he said that he could meet. We biked there and he said this is perfect yesterday I wasn't here but I'm here today and we can meet. Last week we taught him about the word of Wisdom and we followed up as missionaries do. In his words, "Maybe when I die I can stop smoking and drinking coffee." We immediately testified to him and asked how his progress has been so far. He said that he went from smoking 2 packs a day to now only 1 pack a day and 7 cups of coffee to 3. We were very happy to see his progress and little by little he will be able to give it up. He said he wants to be baptized and eventually will be baptized, but he won't pick any date. He won't come to church until he is following all the other commandments first because he is scared of sinning against God. I guess in a way that is good but also there are a few things he must do too. He is awesome and it was a blessing that day!

Our house was really dirty and unorganized so we "spring cleaned" you could call it. Now our house is super clean!!!!! The brother who owns our house saw us cleaning and was super impressed and took all the trash for us so we didn't have to deal with it. 

Here is an example of how our days went this week. Everything fails so we pick a proselyting activity. We decide we want to proselyte on the Angkot. We get on and there is only one person on it, however it is already a member that is active! HAHAHAHA

On Friday we had ZTM in Djogja. It's always fun to ride the train and see other cities like that. It was a great meeting just leading up to the PLD meeting we have on the 20-21st of this month. 

One last story. There is a less active youth who is 15 years old. Since I've been here I've gone to his house almost every week and only met him maybe 3 total times. He disobeys his parents and isn't in the best situation. We made like a sports night as missionaries so we play futsal every Saturday night and youth, investigators, and whoever wants to come can come. We tried inviting him to that but he didn't come. We asked one of the youth in the ward if he could invite him and he said that he would try. He didn't come the first week that he tried but 2 weeks ago he came and seemed to enjoy himself. 2 weeks ago he didn't come to church. :( Well, on Saturday, he came to the futsal activity again with the same youth and we all invited him to church again. Yesterday he came to church and was laughing and joking and having fun with the other youth. Later when we went to his house the youth that have been helping came and we were able to meet with him. He has become great friends with the youth and I see him serving a mission in the future if he continually comes which I think, hope, and pray he will do.His parents were vary happy as well. This is one blessing that happened this week as well. 

One other less active came so yesterday we had a total of 2 come and they are different than the 2 that came last week! 

It hasn't rained a whole lot this past week which means it has been HOT!!!!! 

just a few notes:

-It's crazy that Jacob is married!!!  
-I still get bit by mosquitoes occasionally 
- THE GREENE'S ARE MOVING, what the heck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Next pinewood derby just add rocket boosters

As for today, we have plans to visit a couple Buddhist or Hindu temples that are very old and maybe a waterfall so that will be fun. 

I miss you all and love you all!!!

Elder Hayes
Fortune Strong!
P-Day at the Mall

An Indonesian Sunset

A kid in the primary who makes me laugh! 
A Street in My Area
Jalan Malioboro - Popular Shopping area in Yogyakarta

Jalan Malioboro - Popular Shopping area in Yogyakarta
Arriving in Jogja

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 27 - A New Bike, Getting Hands Read, A Huge Blessing from a Simple Act.

Selamat Pagi semuanya!!!!!

There are a few important things to get out of the way first. That is that Wendy's IS NOT THE SAME!!!!! I was so excited to go to Wendy's last monday and get a frosty. I walked in and asked and they said that they don't sell frostys!!! That was a bummer but just an item of business that I had to say.

This past week has had its ups and downs. On Tuesday I had to buy a new bike. My last bike broke and ever where I took it they couldn't fix it. The new bike is really nice!!!! No issues with the gears and the brakes and it allows us to work!!! Later that day I was on a split and worked in another area.The story goes:

                  The other ward has a member that's not active and apparently he can read hands. I asked him to read my hand and he said that a lot of people will be very thankful for me and that later a lot of people will like me. He said when I want to get married that I will have plenty of options because so many people will like me."

I think with that hand reading and my patriarchal blessing, I am set! :)

On New Years it was just a typical day but us missionaries tried to celebrate by ourselves. We went to a place called Tiga Tjeret and ate there. At 9 we went home and actually just went straight to bed. However the power went out and when the power goes out it is not fun because there is no A/C no nothing and it gets miserable. We turned the light on so that when the power came on we would wake up and turn on the A/C. At 11:58 PM the power came back on and all we heard was fireworks and celebrating outside the house. We turned on the A/C said happy new year to eachother and fell back asleep. I guess you could count that as a little miracle because we were up for the new year.

As far as the work goes this week it was a little slow because barely anybody was home and still on vacation visiting family. However, yesterday two members who have been less active for a very long time came!!!!!!! I visit these people every week and they finally came. I was so happy and it was a huge blessing to me. Hopefully they will continue to come. It is a small reward of hard work and with the light of Christ they will come back.

The other day I got a package from the Todd's for Christmas!! Even though it was sent like a month and a half ago it arrived in one piece. It contained candy of various sorts and a "Fortune Strong" shirt! I am very grateful for that so please give my thanks to them.

It sounds like things are going good. Finding expensive truffles, driving a new car, and new callings. I hope things continue to get better. Love and miss you all!

If I'm not wrong transfers might come at the end of this month so we will see!

Oh yeah one more thing. So in India a law has been passed that everybody must return or convert to Hindu. Right now here in Indonesia there is talk of people trying to pass a law that prohibits people outside the country to teach religion. President asked us to focus our fast on that and fast as a mission so that something like this won't happen because that affects this whole mission as more than half of the missionaries are from outside Indonesia. We want this work to continue because it is the work of the Lord. 

Elder Hayes

On the side, every lesson we go into asks about the plane but because we don't get news as missionaries I don't know a lot about it. All I heard was that it was lost and they found it and there were no survivors. 

New Years Eve Dinner!

Contacting on the Bus

Me and my companion

Just Messing Around