Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 52 - Holy Cow - 1 Year! Ramadan, Lord's Standards are Unchanging.

HOLY COW!!!! Where has the time gone??? It has already been one year since the departing of Braedon and myself! As I look back, I can still ask the question, "What have I gotten myself into?" There have been innumerable hardships on the mission, but the things that I vividly remember are the times I was having fun, the spiritual things, and mostly when the good things happened!!! I'm looking forward to more of that!!! 

As many of you know, it is Ramadan. Manado is VERY different from other parts of Indonesia when it comes to this month. In Manado, everything is open and there just happens to be even more food options for us as missionaries this month. We do however highly respect their beliefs and watch out  for them. We usually eat inside places and not outside as well as drink. However, on Java it is a totally different story. Everything is closed, it is harder for the missionaries to eat and you do not eat or drink outside as it is very rude and then you get yelled at. I find myself very lucky to be serving here. I will tell you this past week, we had some pork ribs that were oh so delicious!!!! :)

My companion and I had a great week! We are so busy and I am just tired ALL of the time!! One thing I miss is just being able to do nothing sometimes!! Hopefully we will see a couple baptisms happen here in the next few weeks. We did however had a full church on Sunday because of the number of less-actives that came. It is always a blessing to see them at church!!

I have heard one of the Supreme Courts decisions to legalize same-sex marriage. I did not hear if there were any more big things if there were, I'm very interested. When I heard of that ruling and read a little bit of it on it was just a small but simple testimony builder that the Lord's standards WILL NOT EVER CHANGE!!!! It's crazy to think about the things that go on in the world and to experience some of these things as a missionary!! I'm very grateful for the restored Gospel and the knowledge that I have as well as the testimony that I continue to develop.

It is good to hear about others back home! It sounds like Summer is just taking off! It has been very hot here as well and the rain has cut back! We are getting ready for some changes here in a few weeks as a bunch of missionaries will be finishing there service and a bunch are actually coming in! It will be an exciting time!

I did hear that S was baptized and I was SUPER EXCITED to hear that!! He is such a great kid and will do great things!!!

I did pull out some money so that seems to still be working!!

I love you all!! If Zach is already 84 lbs. holy cow I'm in for a real surprise in a year!!! 

Elder Hayes

The Manado District

My Companion and I at a Lake that Changes Colors 
The Color Changing Lake

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 51 - Hunting Rats, Mini-Miracles, and 'Mister....Bule'

Hello Everybody!!
I finally have a decent computer that I can send some pictures on but with that the payment might be a shorter email. I hope that doesn't bother a lot of people! This last week has been a good one!!  There has been a lot of good things and there is always those few things that go wrong!!

We will be pushing back the baptismal date of our investigator because they have been sick and haven't been able to come to church. There are no worries there because they are more than ready to get baptized just a few more times at church won't hurt them!! However, we did have 2 other investigators make it to church this past week because their family invited them. It was a mini miracle. 

We had a great hunting adventure this week. If you can imagine ravish missionaries screaming and yelling when we finally got the rat under control that's what happened! Rats I will say are a more than typical thing but I have learned to laugh at the hate for them and missionaries love to take care of them.

To answer the questions about food..... I don't eat as much McD's here because whether I eat there or on the street the price is the same. Things in Manado are pretty expensive compared to food and other things on Java. Usually here the typical meal is rice and some fish that has been gutted slapped on a grill with some seasonings that I don't know of but always satisfies with taste!

To answer the question of what I like to do as a missionary. I love to spend time with the members who have a great time because getting yelled at on the street gets old. It will be a big change when I don't walk outside and here "MISTER.......BULE!!" I'm not sure if it will be nice or not.

We were able to play some futsal with a few members and some non-members and I am out of shape!!!

I love you all! Until Next week!

Elder Hayes

Sunset on the Beach

Rainy Day and Other Islands off in the Distance

My Companion from Medan and I in an Angkot
View of Monado from the Air

View of Jakarta from the Air

Manado and its beauty

Local Volcano near Manado

Rat hunting
Streets of Manado

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 50 - Member Referrals are the Best and Preping for Baptisms

Hello All!!!
We have been experiencing rain and flooding in the streets and very hot weather when it is not raining! However, that does not take away from the beauty of this place! We had a great week as we made some finalizations for a baptism of a teenage girl and her grandma. The plan is to see them get baptized on the 27th of this month and hopefully her older brother who is the same age of myself will also prepare himself for this wonderful thing as well! Their story is a cool one. Their mom is actually a brand new baptized member in Malaysia and sent us a message on Facebook that she wants her family to learn and so that is what has been happening! MEMBER REFERRALS are the best no matter where they come from in the world!

I am so very excited and had a remembrance of feelings when I read that Owen had got his mission call and the date he will be leaving! I was hoping for Indonesia but California is probably just a wonderful place to serve!!! He'll be an awesome Elder!!!! It has been a blessing see the gospel grow in his life and the decisions that he has made and what difference he will make in the lives of others!! Add the news that A has made the decision to be baptized and that is also wonderful!!! After hearing the reaction, a couple scriptures shot straight to my mind that I share often with those that experience opposition! The first: 1 Nephi 3:7 

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lordhath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, savehe shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
This is almost like, when there's a will, there's a way!!! The Lord knows that baptism is a commandment so there is already a road prepared!!!
The second 2 Nephi 2:11:

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

This scripture comforts me because it explains that there is always an opposite whether that be good or bad!! As a missionary sometimes we like to see the opposition because that is where it really tests the faith. If the faith is there then we know that the previous scripture will take action! She will be baptized!
Things are great here! the work continues to go on! I love you all!
Elder Hayes

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 49 - The Message of the Restoration

Hello Friends and family! 

This past week has been a good one! there were plenty of miracles and great things going on. To start off I will answer some of the questions that I got. When I travel to Jakarta I travel by myself and the other Elders are in a 3-some until I get back. I'm there from anywhere from 2-3 days. My trainer, Elder K, is the new AP so I was able to spend time with him and work a little bit in Jakarta with him which was a ton of fun. The cool thing about this mission is that every city is like a whole different mission! It is always interesting to experience the different areas!  

When I came back it was back to work. I can now say I know the pains of traveling and just being tired all the time! :) This past week, my companion and I have seen many miracles through our testimonies of the Restoration. One day when we were trying to visit a list of people, none of them could meet. On our way to one of the last houses there was a guy on the steet making a fence. We stopped and asked if we could help him with the fence but he said that there was no need and that he was almost done. He wasn't too interested in a message so we continued on. The very next person we saw on the street we talked to and he invited us in without knowing who we were, what we were doing, and ya. We sat down taught a small portion of the Restoration and he ended with "Thank you, I hope this book can help with direction in my life." He was willing to listen to what we had to say and becasue of that, he felt the truthfulness. Hopefully great things will come out of this. He was so grateful that he gave us a ride in his car to the next house we wanted to visit.

 Only a few people were home so we decided that another time would be better to visit. When we turned around 2 guys pulled up on their motorcylces. In the middle of conversation, one of them kind of pulled away and approached us and asked if he could see the Book of Mormon. He mentioned that he always sees us walking in this one area and has always wanted to stop us and talk to us but when he does his friends tell him not to, that we are of the devil. Well, we met him at this random house and he said that this was maybe a warning to him because he has never talked to us but we met at some random house out in the middle of no where. Well, we taught the restoration again and his friend overheard and he too asked for the Book of Mormon and asked for our number. We asked for an address and they actually live in an area we are not allowed to proselyte in so there would be no way we found them at their houses. We and they believe that meeting was supposed to happen! 2 great miracles!

We did have a debator this week. He ripped into us and honestly it was a blow on the faith but afterwards we moved on and just kept on going!!

Yesterday, church attendance jumped about 20 people! Every companionship had less-active families come and then there were a total of 4 investigators at church! Elder S and myself had 2 and it was amazing to see how much potential the church has here!! Great things!!!

Things are going great here! We have a washer and we air dry our clothes. We see many miracles and are all healthy. The Lord is watching over his missionaries and we feel that power!!!! Manado is staying beautiful with clean air and great things comingf!!!!

It sounds like that little fire at home was a little scare but all is well. It sounds like things are going well and I hope they go well. It was super exciting to hear about Abby's mission call!! She'll just love the mission!!! I cannot wait to hear about Owen. I can pray that he too is sent to Indonesia and I become his trainer! :) I hope to continue to hear good news like that!!!

Until next week!

Elder Hayes

Older Picture from a Few Weeks Ago - Elders with their Magnum Ice Cream Bars!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 48 - The Work Continues On, Member Missionary Work, and Plane Trip to Jakarta

Another week of hard work has come and gone! I'm pretty sure the time just seems to be speeding up and nothing is slowing down! For good news, we were able to add 2 more baptismal commitments to have 8 right now and as of right now 1 of them is looking highly possible! It is one of the coolest things to experience when people go from doing nothing to just keeping one commitment in the Gospel how much that influences their conversion whether they be a non-member or a member! 

As for other service opportunities we always ask but is culture of Indonesia that they do it themselves. If they want help we are more than happy to offer it. A lot of the service here is more humanitarian whereas the other cities I have served was like cleaning or in Surabaya harder to find service opportunities because it was a city that was a little better off. 

As for miracles this week. We had an appointment with an investigator at the church. Well, he came as he always does but this time he brought a friend who was 14- years old who after listening to the lesson of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would like to learn with his friend! Well, the same day the other companionship had a meeting with one of the members that lives in our area and after we got home they were happy to tell us that the family they visited had friends over and these friends are now wanting to here the gospel! The work here is a little different as I have mentioned before, the members bring a lot of people, but also a lot more people reject because they are happy in their own church! The work is still moving forward rapidly! 

It sounds like things are winding down there as things are picking up here! Early this morning I had to catch a plane to fly to Jakarta for MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) as that is one of the responsibilities that I have! I will say it was pretty amazing flying over the ocean and having the opportunity to catch a small glimpse of other islands in Indonesia! 

I can't wait to hear where people are called to as there have already been a couple calls! I remember when I opened my call and thinking "what have I gotten myself into" and now I can maybe say that my Indonesian is better than my English at some times! 

To answer some of the questions that I received, we do have a church building.... kind of. It is a rented out, 3-story, building on the Marina which has a sacrament room and other rooms but is very squishy! As for mutual, they do not have that here but occasionally the missionaries will hold like sports nights or other activities and we invite the youth. Every once and a while there will be a youth activity and I know that this summer all of Indonesia has a youth conference so all of the youth in Indonesia can gather and meet each other!

It is sad to hear that Elder L. Tom Perry has passed on but his work service was up. As for the other apostles I think there will be a few that follow here shortly. 

Well, things are progressing very fast!!!!!! The work continues on!! 

Elder Hayes