Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 47 - No Addresses, Spelunking, More Service Opportunities

First off that is awesome to hear that Brandon Scott received his mission call! He'll love it as the mission is a blast!! The missionaries here are awesome!! I am the only American in the district with 3 Indonesians (including Elder B who I trained in Solo) and 2 missionaries from Australia!!! We are doing some great work here in Manado and it is a beautiful city with so much in store!! The work here is a little different here as it has been in my other areas!! We have a lot more service opportunities here. This past week we went to one of our investigator's houses and helped him paint! It does take a little longer to get around here so we don't get as many lessons but still have the opportunity to talk to tons of people!!

One of the craziest things here is there is NO ADDRESSES!!! Basically, you hop on the transportation that takes you to the mountain of your destination (It's just mountains and the beach here) you hop off and basically start hiking in the mountains and there is just a ton of houses with no street name and no house number. You just have to remember the houses of the members and the investigators!! It makes for a huge adventure and craziness but the people are soo nice!! A lot of them have the mentality that we are all one family if you live in Manado so it is really nice! We do have a branch with a small 3-story building to meet in and there is about 50 people that attend! The number of part-member families here is out of the roof because in  typical house, 8 people will live there and maybe only 3 will get baptized but the whole family has great relations with the missionaries! It's just a cultural thing that is different!

The food dishes here are made up of rice and fish!! With that, I am already starting to lose weight but there is KFC and McD's 2 minute walk from the house right on the coast! :)

Elder S (from Medan and my companion) and I were able to give 6 baptismal commitments this last week. No one came to church but that was a miracle in itself!! 

I don't have a lot of time left but things are going GREAT!!! As a mission we are seeing things just sky rocket here and the mission is always better when you are having a great time! I can easily say that I'm having a BLAST!!!

The Church is true!!

Elder Hayes


Service Project

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 46 - A Baptism!!, A Transfer, and an Iguana

Well, the great and awesome adventure in Surabaya has ended and I have found myself upon the gorgeous city of Manado!! If you imagine cleaner air with mountains, the ocean, lots of people and all then you have Manado! It is beautiful!!!!

As for great news, that wonderful family that we have been teaching was BAPTIZED on Saturday and then on Sunday received the Holy Ghost!!!!! They are all so awesome and it was a blessing to find, teach, baptize, and become friends with them! They are a family that has greatly blessed my life and it will be a huge blessing to keep in contact with them and watch them grow in the Gospel!!! I attached a picture of this wonderful moment!!!!

Usually you ask what was the weirdest food that I had eaten and it is safe to say that this week I tried Iguana!!! We were proselyting a little bit when the whole street started freaking out and yelling that we had to see what was in this bag!! Well as we usually do, we went along with it. While in there the guy pulls out a 10 kg Iguana still living and such and it was CRAZY!!!! The people in the house went on to say that they were going to give us some of it to eat. There was already some prepared so we ate it and it was SUPER SPICY! I had tears running down my face. The people saw that and then they went on to help me so that it wasn't so spicy and they say "eat this!" Well next thing I knew they were handing me the skin from the Iguana all fried up! I have now eaten Iguana and Iguana skin!!!

The miracles in Surabaya continued and the Elders there will enjoy it a lot!!! As for my first P-day in Manado, we took a 45 minute bus ride to who knows where and visited a Buddhist place. There were very decorated shrines and some of the cultural things! It was really cool to experience that and for the first P-day it was awesome!!!!! You're right, it is not as hot here, but it is still hot! Manado actually lies above the equator so that is cool too!!!! I'm excited to be here and search the blessings of the Lord! Instead of mosques everywhere, there are churches everywhere and like I said before most people here are Christian. As missionaries here, we do not ride bikes, we walk and use public transportation which includes buses and something called the angkot!!! I've heard there is some tasty fish here so I can't wait to try that and all!!!!

When you open up your email and see that there are a couple emails with the subject "prom pics" I had to freak out a little!!! All the pictures look great and wonderful. It sounds like they had a pretty good time!!! As for pics for me, I'll try to send a good chunk so that you can see!!

The work continues on and I hope that things continue to go great especially with school winding down. Last week was awesome on the skype call and I really enjoyed that!!

Until next week with more news

Elder Hayes

An Awesome Family!
The Manado District

10kg Iguana

Airport Bathrooms -- Hahahah

Welcome to Manado 
Buddhist Shrine

Buddhist Shrine Area

View from the Top

Buddhist Shrine Area

Buddhist Shrine Area

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 45 - Mother's Day Video Chat!

We had a great time speaking with Spencer on Mother's Day!

We learned he is being transferred at the end of the week - (More to come on that).

He had his bike stolen. :(

We recorded some of our conversation so that extended family such as Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles could hear how things are going and some of the things he is experiencing.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 44 - The Works is Like Popcorn! Chuck Norris, And a God of Miracles

Who knew that Chuck Norris was a worldwide known thing.....Even the people of Indonesia know who that is!

This week has been a good one. Lots of blessings and miracles have happened and Surabaya is like popcorn with people interested in joining the church. It's DELICIOUS!!!! Last Monday night we had our lesson with our miracle investigator who we taught at a less-actives house. She did accept a baptismal date but won't quite be ready for the date that we set. Before she showed up the less-active member started listing of missionaries that have taught him. One of the previous Elder's reminded the less-active of Chuck Norris, I'm not sure why, but now I know that Chuck Norris is worldwide known.

The miracles continued on Tuesday right after a rain storm. We went home changed our pants and socks because just being wet is uncomfortable. On our way back out a man on a motorcycle pulls over and flags us down. He asked if we knew who he was. We were for sure puzzled because my companion and I had no idea who it was. He told us that he used to learn with the Elders and wants to the Elders to come back and learn again. Lo and behold a couple days later we went to his place and taught him. He is actually from NTT which is all the million small islands you see in Indonesia basically. We have found a lost investigator!

Another investigator of ours has been super hard to meet so Elder S and myself were on the verge of dropping him until later that day, we got a call asking if we could all meet at the church. Out of our surprise we went to the church, there he was, and he is great! The one thing that is holding this investigator back from being baptized is the family pressures that he gets at his house.

There is a family of 4 that is progressing so well!!!!! They are all amazing and such a miracle to teach. They have come to church the past 3 or 4 weeks and all have baptismal dates. They are just a wonderful family and see blessings that come from the church. They should all be getting baptized on the 16th!

One night in the middle of planning, we got a text. "There is a referal from Facebook. He lives here and says that he wants to join the church. His mom and his younger sibling are members in Bogor." Well, what another miracle. We called the referal from Facebook and he is currently out of town but expressed his interest over the phone as well. This week we will be meeting with him!!

With that being said, yesterday there were 5 investigators that came to church. The family and one other. Surabaya is popping with investigators and with jokes about Chuck Norris! The miraculous events are happening because 

19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

God hasn't ceased his miracles and I testify of that!!

Elder Hayes