Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 56 - Branch Conference, PLD in Surabaya, and Crazy Dreams

Hello everybody! Nothing too exciting to report on this last week. To make the beginning of this interesting, this past week I have had some weird dreams! If you have ever been a missionary or are a missionary I think you understand that sometimes the dreams that we have can get a little strange! However, to actually remember the science behind dreams from High school is the struggle. :) 

We got a little rain on Wednesday which slowed things down just a bit but returned back to normal in just a couple of hours! On Thursday we were able to have another futsal activity that was very highly attended with more less-actives coming and it giving us an opportunity to speak to them. We have had a little more success meeting with less-actives this past week. To top it off, some of them have been coming to church! It is always great as a missionary to see others that you visit and teach follow up with their commitments. When they keep their commitments they are more blessed and seem to be enjoying themselves more. We are still in a 3-some so combing the two areas is a little hard so we spend enough and equal time in each area.

Yesterday was Branch conference! The church was FULL! It has been such a blessing to come here where the number attending has been around 55-60 and almost every week floating around 70+ now. You would be surprised how much difference 10 people makes in a branch! With that being said, on Saturday the Sisters had a baptism which went very well and she was confirmed yesterday at church! I was the lucky one to be asked to baptize her!

Tomorrow we have PLD which includes interviews with President Donald and a day of training. Manado is a little far out there so tomorrow morning we will hop on a plane and fly to Surabaya. I'm super excited because I'm hoping there will be time to go visit the family that only a couple of months ago my companion and I were able to baptize! 

All is well here! We are working hard to help these people!! I hope all is well there!!

It is awesome to hear that Max got his mission call!!!! It is kind of funny that he leaves before everyone else too HAHA!!! However, The Lord has a plan for everyone! He will be a great missionary. I can't wait to hear where Kesa will be called to.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 55 - A Call to Repentance, End of Ramadan - Idul Fitri, and a Wendy's Frosty

What another wonderful week it has been!!! I'm going to start right away with a great experience I had last Monday! As you know, P-day is every Monday. Our district didn't have much planned so we went to various malls and treated ourselves with a Wendy's frosty. All day long I just had the slightest feeling that I needed to repent of a few things, I'm not sure why but it was nagging me. When it was time to start working, I said a quick prayer asking for forgiveness for certain things. We left the house and made our way to our appointment. On the way there we got a phone call from a member that actually lives in Jakarta but is visiting her family here in Manado. With a worried sounding voice explained the situation she was in and asked if the Elders could make their way to the hospital and give her son a blessing if test results came back where her son would have to go to the hospital. After our appointment she called again and said that her son would have to go to the hospital. We got to the hospital and I was asked to give the blessing! I gave the blessing and yesterday he came to church smiling, all healthy like nothing had happened! I know that those promptings were divine knowing that later that night I would be called upon to give a blessing!

This past week was the end of Ramadan. The holiday is called Idul Fitri. The Indonesian missionaries were given the opportunity to skype and call this day because they didn't when it was Mother's day in America! Basically, on the 17th there is huge parties in the streets with incredibly loud music and people just going crazy! It was pretty fun to watch. The next day consists of NOBODY ON THE STREETS AND NOWHERE OPEN TO EAT.....except McD's and KFC. Needless to say I was surprised and we ate McD's. 

Another miracle happened at lunch this past week. We sat down and the guy sitting at the next table over asks if he could see the Book of Mormon. We gave a background of the Book and he had to leave and we ate. We got his contact information and will hopefully will be able to meet sometime soon. 

My new companion is Elder S. If you remember from a long time ago, he was serving in Solo the time that I arrived to Solo. We currently are in a 3-some consisting of Elder S, Elder B (the missionary that I trained) and myself! 2 Indonesians and 1 Bule Elder. I will say that my language was good but in like a couple days has gotten to the point of native!! We are waiting for one of the new missionaries from America to arrive so hopefully they can get their visas soon!

This week has been a good one. We've been busy teaching spiritual filled lessons and helping others!!

Hope all is well!!

Elder Hayes

p.s. we spent all morning deep cleaning our house!! It is so beautiful!! 

In the Jungle - and a View

Last Photo w/ Elder S. 


A Sunset in Manado

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 54 - Spice Island Miracle, New White Shirts, Teaching with the Spirit

Selamat dari Pulau Sulawesi, khususnya di Manado!!

WOW!!! What a week! There is so much to talk about and not a lot of time (the life of missionaries)!! The week started off in Jakarta Monday and Tuesday. Monday was P-day and I fancied myself to a mall called Blok-M. I found a pretty cool fake watch and made the purchase. I left it in Jakarta with a few of my other things so that will be something to go back to! As you know I have passed the year mark and while I was in Jakarta I brought the other half of my white shirts back with me! I now have fresh new white shirts and can get rid of the yellow stained older ones! On Monday night, I was able to work with one of the Elders from my MTC group and we had a blast teaching a great lesson. Little did we know that we were going to meet him 41 floors high up in a building....that was a cool view! Tuesday was the meeting which is always spiritually hyping and the plane ride back!

This whole week we have had great lessons! One thing I have really been working on as a missionary is my ability to teach to the spiritual promptings that I receive a lot better. This past week I have really felt the spirit work through me and my testimony spark questions in investigators! It has been a very spiritually growing week! I can see a big difference when I teach as well that I'm really doing it for them rather than for myself or anybody else! 

As many of you know, the mission here is about to have some big changes, a lot of missionaries going home and a lot coming in. One of the Elders from Australia finished his 2 years here and we had a great week with him doing some fun things. One of which was a district lunch and we went to Wendy's and treated ourselves with some frosty's and other food from there! District lunch like this also creates unity which, without unity nothing would get done!! With that being said, it leaves the 3 Elders in a 3-some for now. I will be getting a new companion on Friday but we will still be in the 3-some.

The other day my companion and I were able to meet with a new member that hasn't been coming to church but promised that he would come on Sunday. When we got to church, sure enough he was there. We pray that he will continue to come and grow in his knowledge of the Gospel.

Our other miracle was a miracle of all miracles. On Saturday night, Elder B gets a phone call from some random number saying that he wants to come to church. We didn't disagree but very confused as to who this was. We decided that waiting until Sunday would be good because then we might be able to recognize the face. Well, on Sunday he came to church. When we met him none of the Elders knew who he was, yet he was claiming to have met us before. It turns out he was contacted by the missionaries many months ago but he went back to his home island which is on the border of the Philippines and just came back to Manado. He's about 25, big smiles all around, and chizzled like a male statue! He enjoyed church and we made an appointment to go to his house later this week and teach him more!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!?

Other than that, all healthy and all good here down in the spice islands!

Elder Hayes

Manado off in the distance

Elder H. finishing up the 'best two years' in the early morning.
Close to the Ocean

Manado is Beautiful

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 53 - Happy Independence Day, Unity, Peace be Unto Thy Soul

Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan!!! 

The 4th happened this past week and I rocked an American tie! It was a mini blessing because it sparked many conversations as I went throughout the day. As for Indonesia, it's independence day is the 17th of August so that will be coming up pretty soon! 

This past week has been a good one. It has been hot and toasty with lots of great things going on. This morning I had to catch a plane and fly to Jakarta as there is an MLC meeting tomorrow. Going between the 2 cities is very different, especially this month where most of the people in Jakarta are fasting. 

One of the biggest blessings of the week was at our sports night we have. Every other Thursday we play futsal. Well, this past Thursday, a less-active showed up who I have never met and can never meet at his house. He is a huge fan of futsal and was very open and very excited. It was a blessing not only to talk with him for a little bit but also to find an activity that the branch and other people enjoy. I've really learned that unity is the key to a lot of things in life. If there is no unity things can only go so far. My companion, Elder S and I are doing great and we build off of each other to see the blessings and the good things in life. 

The other great thing was the huge change the branch has made in about a month! When I first arrived, every week there was about 50-60 people that came to church. This past month, there has only been one week where the branch has been under 70 in attendance. Things are really moving forward and the Lord is building his church! 

This past week I was a little stressed with things, investigators, and other things. I was reading in the little stress book that they give to all the missionaries a few of the points that it says and D&C 121 popped into my head  

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment .  

Surely enough, the scripture was true and things only lasted for a little bit and I went on my way. It goes to show how applicable the scriptures have on lives. The scriptures bring comfort when needed and give us not only a sense of direction but the eternal truth. It was time for Boyd K. Packer to go and I think he is very happy on the other side, which will make for a very interesting conference. 

It sounds like this past week there was a fun one with other things about to start up. All the pictures were really cool! I hope things continue to go well and all is well. 

Other than that, I don't really know what else to write, I hope this will suffice for this week until the next!

Elder Hayes