Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 39 - Savior's Love is Infinite, Panas Banget (It's Very Hot), and Just a Good Week.

Hello All!!

 The pictures in Florida look great and it looks like you are having a great time. The temperature has shot up here in Surabaya hence I put my head into the freezer. To give you a glimpse of how hot, it never feels like you have showered. You shower, get dressed while already sweaty, and then when you sit down, sometimes the fan isn't enjoyable because it just blows super hot air. Thank goodness for the one room that has AC in the house! :)

This week my companion started out with some allergic reaction that put a toll on his body but a few medicines put an end to that and then it was back to work, work, work!!!! This week was awesome!!! As missionaries we can't go door to door so we just talk to people on the street or red lights or wherever. Well this week we got a lesson from just handing a guy a pass along cars at a red light. I'm not sure he is totally interested but a blessing to get something out of a 5 second red light contact!

 Also this week we had a night where things had all canceled so we went to the park to proselyte. While there we got a phone call and the guy on the other end ended up dialing the wrong number. You would think that it would stop with that and we ended up texting him for a little. He wasn't interested but he gave us a referral. It was a mini miracle to get a contact and a referral from somebody that we had never in our entire life ever met. We haven't been able to get a hold of the referral but who knows what will happen this week!!

One day to pick our proselyting spot my companion and I closed our eyes and pointed to the map. Wherever we pointed that was the same was the spot that we wanted to proselyte. Lo and behold we got a spot not knowing what was there except that it was a FAR bike ride! We went to the area talked to 2 people got 2 lessons out of it! The first family may be a little interested and the second guy clearly took his stand that he isn't interested! When we were there we were told that the bridge to Madura was right around the corner. Lo and behold right around the corner was the bridge to Madura. Madura is a totally whole different island and they have their own language too and I occasionally hear it here in Surabaya!! We took those pictures and then had our English class that night!!

With this week of work things are starting to pick up a little! We are finding more people and things are getting good.

Yesterday, the other Elders in our ward had a baptism and that was such a spiritual experience to see and hopefully just gets the whole branch fired up to do missionary work as well!!

I did finish Jesus the Christ and WOW!!!! That book has totally changed my perspective on things and has strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ SOO MUCH!!!! I know that his love for us is INFINITE! As the human race we cannot even comprehend INFINITE unless you're like supernatural or something!!! I'm excited for general conference whenever I will have the chance to hear it!!! We have a prophet in these last days that leads and guides us just like the prophets of old because we have a Heavenly Father who loves us! 

As for the CTR rings I have plans to hand them out to some of the kids in the families that I teach and maybe some of the primary kids. I haven't yet but that is the plan. 

In conclusion, It's PANAS BANGET!!! The work is starting to pick up, the church is true, I'm holding you to your word for that family vacation when I get back and it turns out that revelation for a March Madness bracket is not in the realm of a missionary!!! 

Elder Hayes

P.S. someone can eat a french pastry for me 

Bridge to Madura

Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere!

My Companion and I with R.
Bridge to Madura 
Bridge to Madura


Sometimes I just need to stick my head in the freezer to cool off.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 38 - Patience, Integrity Toward the Faith, and Small and Simple Things.

Selamat Pagi from the island of Java!!!

This past week I continue to learn the principle of patience because I do not have it!! We had a zone meeting on Friday and each companionship in the zone was assigned to teach a topic and our companionship had the assignment to teach patience and that was the one principle I wanted to sit and learn about. Obviously, I still need to learn something about patience!! 

This past week my companion has been sick off and on so it has been hard to leave the house some days but he is hanging in there. As he has been resting to try and get better I have had the opportunity to listen and read older conference talks and that is always something inspiring. One quote that I picked out and liked a lot earlier this week was given by Elder Holland and it goes a little something like this, 

The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue, it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know."  

I thought this was cool and for any missionary or any person because there are things that will happen that test us and as long as we act on just the littlest belief we will be blessed. This sentence gives me comfort because it doesn't matter where I stand as long as I have the INTEGRITY towards what I have. I am a very blessed person and without a savior I would be nowhere!!! 

As far as people that we have worked with this week it included a lot of the less-actives and a new member. Surabaya is such a big city that some of our appointments can be 1 hr. 30 min. away!! The culture and the people here are so different than they were in Solo. In Solo they CANNOT say "No." Here we have a younger group of people because of the big universities and the people are a little more straight forward here and will tell you straight up that they don't want it. Here is one contact story this week: 

There was a man sitting down in the park and we right away just started talking to him and he also attends one of the churches here in Surabaya. He was wearing sunglasses and started off a little harsh not wanting to talk to me but he told a story that when he was in high school he tried to go to other churches but didn't find anything so he stayed at his church. I started talking to him about Priesthood authority and a prophet and the Book of Mormon and a restored church. He proceeded to take off his sunglasses and open up and hear more about what we had to say needless to say he is already high up in the church he attends. As soon as his wife came over she told us that they didn't want it. The husband looked a little confused but they left.

The power of things so simple touch the hearts of everybody. I know that the guy will ponder what we told him!!!

The rainy season may be slowing down a little bit as the heat has been picking up in Surabaya and it is getting HOT!!! Don't get me wrong it still rains!!! I'm sure my companion will love the jacket and there is still plenty of time to use it for him because he has longer than I do!! 

I love you ALL!!!

Elder Hayes

photoshoot coming home - soaked!! 

A Little March Madness

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 37 - Missionaries are Like Detectives, Service Is Truly An Amazing Thing, and the Novelty of a Tall White Boy in Indonesia.

Because I left it out in my email last week and so that I don't forget today, I did get my Valentine's packet two weeks ago right after emailing and then I forgot to include that bit of information last week....oops!!!

Anyways, all is well here out in the islands!!! It continues to rain and be scorching hot but no worries!!! This week I learned how much the life of a missionary is like the life of a Policeman, here is the story:

Earlier this week my companion and I wanted to find a less active. We had his number and his teaching record and that was about it. We called him and he said that we could maybe meet but he never gave us his address. Days went by and one night we get a text asking when we could meet. We replied and said tomorrow and he agreed. We get there and we walk in prepared to teach a member that was baptized and right away went inactive but we get the questions like, "Is this the Catholic church, Christen, what is this church?" "What kind of message do you have?" We asked him if he has been baptized and even heard of the church, he told us no. We were SOOOO confused out of our minds!! We ended up teaching the first lesson. When we were finished he tried to force us to take money. We talked with a member about the whole situation he told us the truth and turns out he lied about the whole thing to get out of something. So this week we have to return and straighten things out. Moral of the story even with religion people will lie to get out of something! ;)

Earlier this week we were able to package together some rice, noodles, oil, and sugar so that some people who are in need could receive it and be able to eat! We helped a member do that and then we shared Mosiah 2:17 about service and it helped remind me that no matter what service you do you are serving your Heavenly Father. The feelings a person can get from serving others is just incredible and then the people who get served are happy as well. Service is truly an amazing thing.

My new Friday night proselyting activity is going to one of the local parks because thousands of people are there with their families and it is honestly NUTS how many people are there. Well as a white person, you can stand there and people just come up to you and talk to you which makes it SUPER easy to talk to them about religion and why the heck is a white boy doing in Indonesia. We haven't been able to follow up but that was something really funny and fun!! 

It's a bummer to hear that the girls basketball team lost! Hopefully they are proud to how far they made it? Has soccer started???  

Some of you added translated phrases and I must say, they are translated pretty well jadi saya ingin ucapkan terima kasih dan bahwa aku mengasihi kalian juga!!!

Terima Kasih!!!

Elder Hayes

I'm Not Crazy, I Promise! 
Our Toaster Makes Smiley Faces

Outside the Church

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 36 - Talking to Everybody We See, The Belief that All Churches are the Same, and Carl's Jr.

Apa Kabar semuanya?!

This week has had some huge tests of patience and growth! As a district we had about 10 people commit to come to church and not a single one came! We spent most of our time this week proselyting and finding more people. Everybody and there family will let us in and listen to the message. However, in Indonesia, EVERY CHURCH IS THE SAME!! That mindset has been the hardship of the work here. Even people of other religions say that it is all the same! So that challenge has and will still be the challenge of a mission! 

As for news with the other people. We have not actually been able to meet with the family again because he has been working overtime like crazy. Seungdo is actually in America this month so I won't hear news about him for a while. We have been trying to meet with the Washington
Redskins contact but he hasn't been answering his phone so hopefully this week will get better.

In other news, this week there were splits with the ZL's and we just talked to everyone and that we saw. It didn't matter if we were riding a bike or what we talked to EVERYONE!! We met some pretty interesting people and had an interesting day. One of our first contact's husband had passed away 100 days ago. We talked a little about the Plan of Salvation. On the street this lady began to cry and said we can come back another time and share a message but it's all the same! We met a guy who just started listing off random facts in American history in English. We went to his house and talked to his 87 year old mom who repeated the same sentence probably about 10 times before we were able to leave. Later that night, it started pouring and flooding and it was dark. We couldn't see anything so we stopped and ended up at a barber shop. There were 3 other people waiting there too. They asked if we would like to smoke with them and we right away talked about the Word of Wisdom and said that we have a way to stop smoking. One of the other guys said if you have a way or belief to stop smoking is there a way you can extend my life to 125 years old. !20 isn't enough but 125 sounds about right. We looked at each other puzzled and just went right into the Plan of Salvation. After explaining that he gave the pamphlet back and told us it was just the same. 

We have had the opportunity to eat at Carl's Jr. a number of times and boy is it just TASTY!!!!! We may have to slow down as the prices are pretty close to the American prices.

I mentioned that we have been reading the Book of Mormon as a mission and these past few days have been the back end of 2 Nephi!! Just a wonderful part. The Lord talks about how he only invites people to come unto him and read the Book of Mormon but there is so many that won't and he explains in depth what will happen to them. As a missionary I invite and teach, the others exercise their free agency. It has been comforting and a lot of learning from the Book of Mormon.

In the sports world, I better hear about March Madness. Maybe that madness will calm the madness that a missionary experiences. :) Hopefully the girls cherish the moment to play on a big stage because it is one of a kind and truly is awesome. It's even better when you win.

Look at the old man getting glasses and such!! 

As for the weather update, I don't even know what the word dry even means. I don't know how my shoes and clothes are holding up but they are still hanging in there. There is a request from my companion if a rain jacket like mine can be obtained from Eddie Bauer he would be excited!! 

There was a question about the Malaysian language. Indonesian and malaysian are practically the same. There are a few words that are different but I understand and can talk with them and all that good stuff. The Singapore mission has so many languages too!!! 

Things are hard, but they are happening for a reason! The Lord has his way and will do it his way I will just do my part! 

Love you all!

Elder Hayes

Cloud During the Rainy Season

A Permanent Tan Line

Cooking Up Some Nasi Goreng

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week 35 - Looking for People to Teach, Finding the Tender Mercies in the Small Things

Many of you are anticipating baptismal photos but I hate to say that S's baptism did not happen. There are a few things that he has to learn and understand a little more before he steps into the water. He, as a 16 year old who has the greatest desire to get baptized was very frustrated! With his baptism not happening, he has officially become the investigator of the Elders that just moved there. I am very sad to not work with him but hope the very best for him and he will get to where he wants to go, it is just a matter of time.

With that happening and still an area that is fairly new we don't have very many other people to teach so we proselyte EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG! One of the days my companion and I were very frustrated because nothing was happening. Nobody was listening, everybody was running just a terrible day. At night where it is unpolite to actually proselyte in their home areas we decided to go to a park that is always crowded at night. Even though nobody wanted to listen there we were actually able to talk to people because they would just come up and take photos with me so even though nothing came out of it, we were able to at least talk to people. 

The very next day, it started off the same way. We met people and they just wanted none of it and the ones that we were able to get into their house they were all very hard-hearted and just thought they could prove us wrong. We kindly left those houses and were tired so we wanted to change areas to proselyte. As we were getting our bikes that we parked a little ways a way a man pulls up on his scooter and asks, "From what church?" We responded and he didn't really have a reaction. We asked if he had a moment to talk at his house which was the area we just proselyted and were told that there were no Christians. He invited us over and we shared the first lesson. We didn't know why but both of us focused on the family a lot in the first lesson. After the lesson, this man said that he has been looking for a church that focuses on the family and has teachings that are in accordance with his own beliefs. His family is still very young as he is 35 and he has two kids that are 6 and 10. He accepted the commitment to come to church and read the Book of Mormon. Sunday came around and about 45 minutes before church he sent us a text saying that he was unable to come because a family member had passed away over night. This is by far the biggest tender mercy this week and a miracle. My companion will be working close with this family and look forward to what the future has in store for them. Later that night I was listening to conference talks randomly and the talk by Elder Bednar about Tender Mercies came on. Needless to say I was almost in tears.

As for other investigator stories go. We found basically a golden investigator but turns out he lives in another area. The last story I have was a man just on the street. He was wearing a Washington Redskins shirt so I literally stopped in the middle of the road, in the middle of traffic to contact this guy. Turns out he is Christian and we were able to teach him two days after that. Things are starting to pick up and the days were we feel left alone are turning into miracles.

One day we were trying to find a less active member that a set of Elders had taught about a year ago. When we found the address the lady said that he passed away. When I asked how long ago, she replied 4 years ago. Making the situation awkward we left and are going to find the less active that was taught a little less than a year ago but apparently passed away about 4 years ago. HAHAHA :)

It sounds like Kiersten and her team are on their way to something amazing. I remember playing in states for soccer and just the feeling of getting that far and playing on a stage that big was a great feeling. I will say that losing does suck so DON'T LOSE!!!!! 

Earlier there were some questions:

Yes I did take out money earlier this week. The fact that it was only $75 caught me by surprise because that means the value of the dollar is going up and here it seems cheaper. Our house does have A/C in the room that we sleep in. Where we study and all the other places we each have a fan. It is so hot here that I usually sweat even with my fan on. I have not received the Valentines box and as for things that I really miss there is a lot but just things that I don't necessarily need right now.

I love you all and thank you for your support!!

Elder Hayes

If you know who got into what schools that would be cool to here!!! :)