Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 34 - A Quick Move Across Town, A New District Leader, An Open Sewer System (Yuck)

Hello everybody!!!

I would first off like to thank everybody for the stories and all the crazy things that are happening there. They all made me laugh and I don't think they will happen to me here as it is blazing hot and rains like none other!!!

As for this week, on Wednesday morning I got a call from President saying that my companion and I were moving from the Surabaya branch to the Surabaya Timur branch and that I was going to be DL in the district here.That definitely was a surprise especially when I was just starting to get close to all the members and start to learn the area so no I didn't get to use any danish phrases and all that because I moved! However, President has given us permission to still work with S until he is baptized which if all goes as plans is next week! :) This week has been a tough one I went from one side of the city where the work is on fire to the other side where we have only a couple investigators which is better than nothing but it's a big change!! Everything as a DL is new to me too. The branch here in Surabaya Timur has GREAT leadership the only problem is they don't have enough people to do everything. They are working there best and are looking for a lot of help from the missionaries. This move only required a taxi so not even a plane this time! :))

I have found the closest thing to American Ice cream and that would be Dairy Queen!!!!!!! Man was that tasty to the tongue!!! As for new places to eat, there is a Carl's Jr. not too far from the new house and is actually in my new area so I may have to try it out sometime. There was a question if I cook. The food here is soooooo cheap that usually I just buy it off the street but here in Surabaya it is a little more expensive so I think I may start cooking more frequently!! 

To give an idea of when it rains, if you can imagine a hurricane with high winds for about 2 hours then you know how it rains here. Yes, it truly rains sideways!!!! :) With that being said, it FLOODS almost daily!!! We usually end up riding our bikes in places where the water is up to our shins and it does not make for a fun experience with the shoes and socks!!! Also, if you think of what is in the actual water that can be a little disturbing too.... I will just say they have an open sewer system here! 

Other than that, this week has been my companion and I proselyting and learning streets because we are white washing here. I think later today we are going to venture off to one of the gigantic malls here and see maybe what Hugo Boss has to offer or something like that!!! ;)

I know this may sound totally weird but the most spiritual experience this week was actually in one of my dreams. President Donald has asked our mission to read the Book of Mormon in 80 days so we read 3 chapters everyday and we started on Saturday. Well everybody has read the Nephi story about a 100 times because they read that and then start over and start over again in their lives. Well we were reading it and that night I like dreamed the story but in modern times with like texting and all that good stuff. I woke up with a complete remembrance of it and just had the chills. It sounds really weird but it was totally cool!!! 

Well, I'll leave you all to the butt cold as I'm sweating just writing this email. I thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

Elder Hayes

Normal Flooding in Surabaya

Normal Flooding in Surabaya
My Companion with his Self Portrait

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 33 - Hot & Wet, Grateful for McDonald's Delivery, and Some Korean Ping Pong

Selamat Siang semuanya!

This week has been a good week. There is so much potential in Surabaya, now it just needs to be worked on and grow. As for the weather you have nailed it on the spot, HOT and WET!!! So you are either sweating or soaked, I don't think there is a dry time. The heat however helps the clothes dry almost instantly even though the clothes may look dirtier after washing than they did before! :) 

As for this week there are just a few things I will share. The first is that I am grateful for McDonald's delivery! One night my companion and I were teaching a few lessons so we hadn't eaten since earlier that morning so we were starving. We stopped by all the places on the street that we normally would stop by and ALL of them had already run out of food. After trying 4 or 5 places and it already late we decided that it would be better if we went home and planned. As we did we tried to call McD's but the phone was busy and we weren't able to order. Eventaully, the phones cleared up and we were able to make the phone call and save ourselves of hunger. Thank ypu McD's delivery!

I tried the BEST sate ayam I have had in Indonesia this week and now know where to buy it!! It's spicy and sweet and is just satisfying!

We are continuing to work with S and with the Korean Elders. This past week we were able to pick a baptism date for March 1st and he is very excited!!!!! His mom has been coming back to church with him and things are going perfectly with them, Lately, he has been busy because he has been preparing to head back to Korea in either June and July and he is trying to get into a good high school there so he has been preparing to take some big English tests to get into these schools!! When we visited him this last week his aunt and his mom were kind enough to make us korean food and it was soooo good!!! It was like a curry thing and couldn't tell you the name but it was so good. It started to rain at that time so they had us stay over a little longer and they moved the kitchen table over pulled out ping-pong paddles and you best believe we played ping-pong on the kitchen table. If you can imagine 2 korean ladies watching ping-pong that's how it was HAHAHAHA!!!! He is so awesome and I love working with him amd seeing his progress.

A few days ago it was Valentines day and sadly as missionaries we don't really get valentines but one of the little primary girls gave me chocolates so that was awesome!!! :)))

I'm still learning the streets of a big city and sometimes it is frustrating and other times I have the hang of it. My companion. Elder S, is awesome and loves being out here. When someone needs to laugh, they usually go to him he is quite the jokester!! 

About the piano, there is usually 1 or 2 people in every ward or branch here that can play. The one here in Surabaya is 12 years old and she is a piano prodigy. Saying that she can twinkle the ivory is an understatement. With that being said, I will say that I have been able to pick up the piano pretty fast on my mission. I can play a couple hymns and the rest I would just have to take time and practice. 

It's awesome to hear about A. The first step is getting the friend and she already has the friend. Now she just needs the missionaries. To be honest one of the best time for the missionaries, I don't know about there, but here is right after church. You just pick a room, you're already at the church, and they can teach with a member present. 

Hopefully Zach feels better soon!!!

Thank you all for your support!!!!!

Elder Hayes

Striking a Pose for Valentines Day

Ping Pong
Some Awesome Korean Food.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 32 - Welcome to Surabaya, and the Gospel in Indonesian, Korean, English and Danish

Hello Everyone!!
Things are very very hot here in Surabaya!!! If you can imagine a modern city with streets like DC and tall buildings, lots of GIGANTIC malls, neighborhoods that range from better than Beacon hill all the way down to the old broken down inner city buildings where people live it is all here in Surabaya. To get to appointmets it takes 15 minutes + riding a bike. Whether there is traffic or it is just far it is something different. In Solo if I rode my bike for 15 minutes I would probably already be in the other city!! With a big city comes A LOT of people and the city life. Riding bikes here is a whole new challenge with the traffic and giant roads that I don't know where they go!! With that being said, everything I've done here I have loved!!
My new companion is Elder S and he is also from Bekasi just like my last companion just different wards. If you can think of just this short little funny guy, that is him. He actually just finished his trainig as well but is a great missionary. I would have to say that he is already fluent in English becasue he understands EVERYTHING but speaking he would rather speak Indonesian. So his english is very good. As the time I spend with him I'm sure there will be more stories.
I will talk about one of the investigators I came to here in Surabaya. His name is S and he is 16 years old and is actually from Korea, He lives here with his aunt and uncle who speak a little Indonesian, english, and Korean. S speaks Korean and english and his mom came here with him and knows a little english but talks in Korean. But he is amazing. We go to his house and becasue the gospel terms are a little hard to understand he learns with the korean Elders through Skype. After he is taught we kind of just follow up on what he learned and help him work towards his baptism. He originally had a baptismal date for this last Saturday but it didn't happen so we are hoping to set a new one with him this week so he can enter the waters of baptism. He will actually return home to Korea and June and our goals out of this are him to get baptized and his mom who is a less active to return to church. It was exciting to see them at church yesterday.
You are all probably wondering well if he doesn't speak Indonesian how does he come to church and understand....
There is actually a whole family that moved here about 6 months ago from Denmark, the Eriksons, and they too don't understand Indonesian.
That's when the missionaries step in. We translate for all the people in our branch that can't speak Indonesian. I have heard that there is about 3 families who cannot speak Indonesian but have only met 2. So Dad, if you have any Danish phrases I can say send them this way!!!!!!!! We actually went to the Erikson's floor I should say yesterday. You take an elevator up to there personal floor and that is like their front door. They spoiled us!!!! We ate lasagna and garlic bread and had like chocolate brownies!!!!! I didn't want to leave!!! We shared a message and there was 3 languages going on; English, danish, and Indonesian. It was an amazing experience. That's also kind of how it is with S when we are at his house except it is English, Korean, and Indonesian.
Surabaya is still a branch and small but is growing rapidly!!!! The city may be a little dirty but there are some parts that are just beautiful!!
There was a question about where we live. We live in the Suburbs and in a house. There is 4 of us; 2 Indonesians and 2 people from America.
I don't have a whole lot of time this week but I'm sure there will be more to come!!!
It was cool to see that you met Sister Sperry and from the topic of her talk I can tell that is really good becasue that's what we focus on here!!
I love you all and keep up the good work!!
Elder Hayes

Ice Skating in Jakarta

Elders with the Erikson's in Surabaya

New Companion
Transfer Day


Surabaya at Night

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 31 - Kitas Renewal in Jakarta, Heading to Surabaya, and Jesus The Christ

Hello Everybody,

So I am officially writing this email in Jakarta. Last night I took a plane from Solo to Jakarta because earlier we renewed our Kitas. Usually they last for a year but ours were weird and only lasted 6 months so who knows the next time I will be back here. I'm a little stuffed up so that made the last part of that plane ride just not that fun at all. I think I'm stuffed because this last week my companion has been sick! To go along with that, when we arrived at the airport and looked for a taxi we took the first when that we found because there was just lots of people. We got in and it was a little sketchy. There was no company name on the car and on the inside there was no meter and no credentials for the driver. A little sketchy but we made it safely even though he asked for a ridiculous price! I bargained a little bit and got the price down to where it should be, so I'm pretty proud of a successful bargain! :)  I should be leaving sometime tomorrow to head to Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia, the hottest and LOTS and LOTS of people. It will definitely be a huge change but I'm excited. 

Just a quick note that Sister Sperry will be flying home sometime this week so maybe you can keep an eye out for her and meet her and ask her questions too.

This last week in Solo I have just been making sure that Elder B knows the houses and the streets and visiting a few last people. Being able to train him was such an uplifting, new experience. The culture here is way different and when you mix it with the culture that we come from, it is 2 different worlds. Yesterday, sitting at the airport I was thinking that there is probably a handful of members from my last ward that don't even know where the airport is even though it is only like 20 minutes away. Things are just different here. I will miss how cheap the food is in Solo. We are talking like 50-60 cents a meal!!! 

Today, I renewed my kitas and I think the plan for later is to go ice skating at the mall, hopefully we don't get lost, :)

Other than that not much happened this week. I did forget a story in last weeks email but I'll tell it this week. So one night on our way home we stopped at the little convenient store to buy like a snack and a drink. On my way in this little crazy lady comes up and just grabs my arm and starts reaching for my nose. I was shocked and it took me a little while to process what the heck she was saying as she was yelling, "INDAH, INDAH, INDAH, INDAH!!!" It means beautiful but the whole nose grabbing was awkward. The ladies holding the door open for my were just standing with a blank stare not knowing what the heck they just witnessed and the others in the store were dying laughing. On the way out the cashier walked outside as the lady was preparing to attack again and told her not to do it in Javenese and we went on our merry way. Well, when we returned to the store she was there again and she stood up to attack but we slipped in just in time. Once again on the way out the cashier had to tell her not to approach. When it happened I was a little freaked out but afterwards it is just a really funny thing that happened.   

I am currently studying "Jesus The Christ" and let me tell you that it is a LIFE CHANGING book. It just takes the most simple things of the life of Jesus Christ and breaks it down even more and it is just wonderful!!! If you haven't read it, you may want to look into it. I tell you, LIFE CHANGING!!!

Well my next email will be in Surabaya so until then Mari!!

Elder Hayes

Maybe one of the nastiest fruits.....Durian

P J and his sister--- some of the best people to know in Indonesia
One last pic with the elders in the solo house!!

Solo House