Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 43 - Bonus Letter and Pictures

We had a nice surprise in the mail today from Spencer. Even though he wrote this back in March and it took over a month to get here, it was still wonderful to read. -- We are grateful for technology like e-mail that allows us to be more connected even though he is half-way around the world.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 43 - Blessings on Blessings, The Power of Testimony, and Hit by a Car

Salam from the Islands!!

This week has been another week where we just saw the Lord pouring out blessings upon us!! Yesterday we had 4 investigators attend church again. We had a family come and that was just amazing! We met them just on the street and we ended up teaching them the first lesson and inviting them to church and they have come the past two weeks! When we went there to teach them this past week, the spirit was so so strong!! We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and when I went to testify, the spirit just took over and in a few tears I bore my testimony. They came back to church and it turns out that the mom actually knows one of the members here and it is going great. They haven't received a baptismal date, but this experience of just teaching a WHOLE family is so inspiring and strong! They are a blessing!

Another miracle happened when we went to visit a less active that usually turns missionaries down, not in a bad way just doesn't think there is a need for them to come to his house. On Wednesday we went to his house and he came out and was the same. He told us that there was no need to come by, that he was still healthy and that everything was still good. After about 5 minutes of conversing in the front of his house he proceeded to let us in. As we sat down and started talking a little more a lady pulled up and just was totally convinced that we were Jehovah's Witnesses. We explained that we are not and we are missionaries from a different church! She took not only one Book of Mormon but 2, one to give to her friend, and she came to church yesterday! Not only that, this less-active was willing to open up his house to have this lady be taught in his house with a follow-up appointment later tonight!! Another tender mercy from the Lord!!

We are still working with P S and he is excited to move forward as well. Yesterday he was not able to come to church. After church we stopped by and the wife had said that he had gotten a phone call earlier that morning and left so he wasn't home on Sunday!

Just blessings are pouring out upon us!!

This week has been fun as I have been hit by a car and a motorcycle! However, there is no need to worry because they have no match for me!! I won both times by not getting hurt and just being a rock!! I still am confused how they ended up hitting me but as it happened I moved on and just had to laugh because the events aren't very clear to me HAHA!!!! 

Lately we have been able to play some futsal and basketball and it has been a lot of fun!! Exercise feels great when I actually do it!

As for service and all that good stuff, things are way way different in Surabaya than they are in Solo. The missionary work as well is just different. As for set service projects there are none here but just throughout the day we look for opportunities to serve!! As usual there are those people that reject and want nothing to do with us but that is part of the missionary work!!

For the skype call I think we will just do it on Monday morning so that is Sunday night there for you! I will work to get some what early in the morning so that it is not too late for you all there!! 

It sounds like everyone has had a pretty good week! Keep up the great work and I look forward to hear from you all soon!!

Elder Hayes

Twin Eddie Bauer Rain Jackets

The Champ

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 42 - Wild Animals, PLD, Handing out CTR Rings

Things be great here on the islands!!

This past week has been great!! On Tuesday and Wednesday we had our PLD conference with President and the AP's. It was my first one in Surabaya and the spirit coming out of those meetings is always so strong getting us pumped up to go out and be better missionaries than before! One of the things that was totally awesome was that President, in my interview was reading from the 100th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and put my name in there and it was just a super powerful moment that I am called here, at this time, for some reason and that the Lord is pleased with what I already am doing. It was a comforting thing especially sometimes when you feel like you haven't done a whole lot in an area!

As maybe you have seen, last Monday we were able to go Taman Safari which is a wild animal park and that was really cool. That is why last week's email came super early and the awesome pictures will shortly follow! Some of the experiences were taking pictures with orangutans, white tigers, baby tigers, and a lion. I also was able to ride an elephant which was way cool! 

We had 4 investigators make it to church yesterday which was a miracle!!! I have never had any investigator attend church and yesterday 4 of them came!! One of them P S, we met when we first moved to the area but only met him once before he fell off the face of the earth with his work. This past week we were able to meet with him again, give him a baptismal date and he came to church with his wife so we will be working closely with him to see this happen. The others we have only met once but they were interested with the message of the Restoration and came to church with the follow-up lesson this Tuesday! A very gracious miracle!

Also this week, we were teaching M who is from Japan but is living here in Indonesia and has lived in America before. He just became Christian from not having a religion and does not understand church because it is in Indonesian and could be in Javanese. We taught him the Restoration and why there are tons of churches and he was serious about learning and actually understanding. One of our hooks was that if he was able to come to church we would translate for him as we already do for other members. He was excited except his family got super mad that we came to their house and M has asked us not to come back. However, the seed has been planted. During the lesson one of our investigators that we haven't been able to meet with called and asked if we could meet at the church. After high-tailing it out of there to the church that investigator never showed up but was a small miracle that he called us to meet. 

Just a funny story..... after teaching M, there was a bunch of kids crowding around and I yelled out, " Siapa suka cincin?" (Who likes rings?) They went NUTS and I was able to hand out a bunch of "Choose the Right" rings to the little kids who were very happy and smiling that they got a free gift from a bule! 

Things are staying pretty hot here in Surabaya. The other day we were only out for a little bit in the sun but my arms were red but quickly went away overnight and just continue to get darker and darker.

To answer the question about what food we eat. We have been eating a lot of Carl's Jr. and McD's even though it is pretty expensive because for the last little bit our house has had some stomach problems and we are worried that it may be the unclean food or something so we do still eat quite a bit of these other places as well.

As far as goals go, we also do have a goal for 20 lessons a week. We try to visit members that live in our areas but in our area there are only 3 families that are active and 5 who are less active that we have tried to find but there addresses are like the only ones not there. If there house number is 23 there is 20,21,22,24,25...... or if it;s 5  there is 2,3,4,6,7,8..... It is really weird so we move on. 

The pictures look great. Kiersten looks old. Kaitlyn looks good with her new glasses and Zach is a stud in this pictures. I do have to say that pitching picture shows that he has pretty decent looking form already!!! 

Keep up all the great work and I love you!!

Elder Hayes

Sitting with the Pranksters

Nice Kitty.

White Tiger

Maybe I'll bring one home.

Komodo Dragon - (For Zach)
Riding an Elephant

Companion and I pointing to our area in Surabaya

More From PLD

Our District at PLD

On Our Way To Taman Safari

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 41 - Twas I but Tis not I


To begin conference was that BEST! All of the talks were amazing but the one that just hit me straight to the heart and filled me with the spirit was Elder Eyring's opening talk on fasting and our fast offerings! I'm serving in a country that may benefit highly from our willingness to pay a generous fast offering! I had the opportunity to listen to conference throughout the week in English and then watched it in Indonesian. I will say that my Indonesian is a whole heck of a lot better than last conference! WIth that being said, I've learned the importance of communication and language. I understood almost all of conference in Indonesian, but the feelings are just way different than hearing it in English. However, the spirit was abundant while listening. 

The picture of the Ocampos is amazing!!! A family that can be together forever is the eternal happiness and I think that Elder L. Tom Perry hit that one hard in conference that maybe a good portion of the world has some of the same views as the Latter-Day Saints do. However, other people don't have the authority and don't look at anything in the eternal view as we do. I think that talk helped me out as a missionary teaching people that think everything is the same, it may help them to see why this is important in the eternal perspective rather than just an important decision now. This is something I'll change. Twas I but Tis not I. 

On Tuesday, we were able to get a short break from the heat with a light drizzle all day long and it felt great!! My companion hasn't gotten his rain jacket, but it may come tomorrow as we have our PLD meeting. We will be having our interviews and instruction from the the leadership in the mission. 

As for other experiences this week, we went to an investigator's house who had given a copy of the Book of Mormon to his friend who lives just a couple houses down so we went there and he just started going off and didn't stop. He ended up saying, "It's not Godlike to change people's beliefs." Well as a missionary you move and and find people who have been prepared. He isn't prepared yet but the seed has been planted. On the other hand, when we first moved to Surabaya Timur, we had an investigator who didn't come to church because he spent 2 hours trying to find it. After that we hadn't been able to meet with him. This past week, we swung by lo and behold there he was and he was very excited to see us. He was not able to come to conference because of a family thing but said that this up coming week he should be able to come now that he knows where the church is! He is such a humble man and I totally believe he is prepared!!

There was a question about food here in Surabaya. There is 2 sets of Elders in our branch so our area is split and all of the members really live in the other area except like 2 or 3 families. So we don't have that many dinner appointments just because there isn't a lot of members so we are by ourselves most of the time here. But no worries, stopping on the side of the road paying a dollar for a full meal is well worth it!!! :) At times we get adventurous and cook for ourselves and my companion is actually a great cook and likes to cook so that is a bonus!! :)

Hopefully Kiersten has fun! Those events were always a good time! WHOA, dad turns into a soccer coach......what's up with that!?!  Hopefully all the sports go well and we see success in them!

I love you all and the atoning sacrifice is real! We can be forgiven and I feel forgiven every single day of my life as I am so not perfect. Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf made that clear that the Lord will stretch out his all powerful hands when we are willing and in the end we will be able to say 

Twas I but Tis not I

Elder Hayes 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 40 - SELAMAT PASKAH! (Happy Easter)

Sorry this is late, but SELAMAT PASKAH! (Happy Easter)

Easter here is a little different. When I say that, Easter is celebrated from Friday to Sunday but a lot of the focus is Friday and Saturday. Everyone that is Christian goes to church and remembers the events of those days. Then on Sunday you have the typical people who just want to find a church to attend and we had those. They were totally lost out of their mind because it was Fast and testimony meeting but a great one. 

I don't have a lot of time but the events of this week. 

-my companion was pretty sick this week :(

- one miracle was that we went to the store to buy envelopes and one guy noticed who we were and we started talking with him and he was collecting the money for all the motorcycles. He told maybe 5 or 6 people who left who we were and it was nothing big but for sure a miracle that was small.

- An Elder's worst nightmare happened this week and the washer broke....... but when things were almost bad, we got a brand new washer and we are very grateful!!!
- I got my Easter box with lots of candy and all of that tasty stuff
- There were lots of splits because of sick Elders this past week


- we had PASKAH, the day to remember the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He died for us and now we will have the opportunity to live again!! The gospel is true and I love you all!!!

Elder Hayes

P.S. Riley is so grown up!!!!!!!

I don't think I could free climb the tree!

Made it to the top.

Bubur Ayam (a dish that is eaten for breakfast. It's like soaked rice with chicken and peanuts) TASTY!!!