Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 65 - A Whole New World in Jakarta

WOW!!! Boy is the city a fast-paced, crowded, busy place! It is literally a whole new world! I have had to do a lot of adjusting this past week with lots of new things. My new companion's name is Elder P. He too is from Medan on the island of Sumatera. So far to this point in my mission, I have been companions from Medan twice! Here is Elder P's story which is a pretty cool one. When he was 8-years old, he lived on the same street as the church in Medan. One day as an 8-year old, by himself wondered into church and attended. He made friends, as any 8-year old would and the missionaries ended up going home with him and asking his parents if they could teach him. His parents gave them permission and that was that, he was baptized along with his mom. Unfortunately, his mom passed away right before he left on his mission. He is for sure a unique person with a big sense of humor. He was actually trained by Elder James if you remember him from Virginia! Good stuff!

With the new assignment, we get up and start normal studies. At about 10 we go up to the office and start working, meetings, and all sorts of stuff.....we get VERY busy!! That's what a normal day but sometimes President Donald comes in to the house or sends a texts and says that we need to start meetings earlier and we just head up and get to work. In the afternoon we leave and just talk to everybody that we can see. A lot of our lessons our a lot different to lessons I have taught in the past. A lot of them come over phone, Facebook, email, and just riding the public busway we just start teaching there. It is very hard to get to people's houses here. 

Here in Jakarta there is 3 wards, 1 english branch and two Indonesian wards. We are serving in one of the Indonesian wards. It has been almost a year since serving in a ward so that number of names that I have to learn just shot up! :)

One of the crazy things that I see here is white people!! 100% honest, they scare me!! It's almost like I forgot how to talk to people hahaha but the Indonesian people are just so much easier to talk to! All the white people I've seen in the mission up to this point were tourists but the ones here are truly here for work or school. It is just a whole different atmosphere!!

The traffic is absolutely terrible, we ride the public busway to get places, the streets show the poorest of the poorest and then you take one step into the mall across the street and we have the richest of the richest. For the record, I have seen a Porsche 9/11 turbo racing down the road as well as a slick black Lamborghini. It is just mind blowing to experience what this city has!!

I have lost my voice but I'll just blame that one on all the teaching that goes on here. Lots of great things and good things to come! I am oh so excited to continue on!!

The pictures look great and OUCH BYU hopefully will learn from that one. Well, I think that is enough for this week. I love you all!!

Elder Hayes

Me and my New Companion Elder P.

One of the Many Great Families in Manado

Last Day in Manado

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 64 - Off to the Big City

Well, my time in Manado (a mini heaven on earth) has come to an end and I will be making the move to Jakarta. One of, if not the most densely populated city in the entire world! I actually leave later tonight! President Donald, Sister Donald, the AP's, and the Sister training leaders all came to visit Manado this week. I think that the district here has maybe started a little buzz and they just had to come see and witness for themselves! It has been a great last week with lots of great things. Yesterday at church we almost reached 100 people in the tiny church that we have and boy was it blistering hot in there! I was beyond grateful to serve here in Manado for the past 4.5 months but it is now time to hit the city of Jakarta!
To answer EVERYBODY'S question about the rat, it did not taste bad nor taste good. It was almost tasteless but chewy! Therefore it was not my favorite but I did not hate it!!

The Sisters had a baptism on Saturday and she has to be one of the most fired-up people I have ever met! She makes me laugh every time her mouth opens but it was such a great experience for her and her family. I know sometime in the future her husband will join her as during the baptism, he leans over to me and says, "you're going to baptize me right?" It just goes to shows that the spirit (truth) is manifested in the ordinances (somewhere in Doctrine and Covenants).
We have had splits with different missionaries, we visited the members, investigators with baptismal dates and it was just a great week, a super hot one, but a great one!!

I know that this church is true and that the priesthood authority has been restored!
Love you all,

Elder Hayes

J's Baptisim

Another Baptisim
I Just Liked This Picture

On the Way to an Appointment.

Beautiful Manado

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 63 - Eating Rat, More Baptisms, and Awesomeness

Another just rewarding week of some great missionary work!

Just to keep people on their toes I'll start with a pretty crazy story. This past week we had made an appointment with a member. We showed up at the appointment and right away he invites us to eat before the lesson rather than after the lesson. No Elder is going to turn that down. We sat down and away we went. There was a peculiar dish that I nor my native companion were familiar with. We both asked what it was but the member told us just to eat it.....maybe for the better. Moments later another member had pulled up to the house and the one member calls out the window and says, "come on in, there is fish and rat!" My companion looked at each other with blank stares and continued to ask the member if really the dish we were eating was rat! I can now say I have eaten Rat!!!

Last Monday night was one of the craziest lessons I have ever taught on the mission. We went to the house of a lady that we had contacted. She was home. After shaking her hand, not even joking one-by-one about 17 people filed into the house shaking our hands and the lady was just rambling off, "this is my aunt, this is my cousin, this is my nephew, my brother......" It was NUTS!!! The 18 or so people all found a place in the small house and we began the first lesson. We kind of felt like Jesus Christ in the midst of this small multitude of people! The spirit was super strong and nerves had settled and the spirit just took over! It was awesome!

On Tuesday I caught a plane to Jakarta and came back Wednesday night. There was a meeting there for the leadership as we have our monthly meetings. We talked about setting goals and what we have to do as individuals and companionships to achieve them. It was super spiritual and motivating that really ANY goal that we want to make can be achieved, it's what and how we put our efforts into it! I now have some wild dream ideas running through my mind, but nothing is impossible!! :)

The first of Bro. A's children was baptized on Saturday. Bro. A suffered a stroke about 6 months ago and physically cannot baptize but a member baptized her and it was a wonderful experience to see! Her name is J and turns 17 in October. The church here in Manado is like a rocket! If not mistaken the Sisters have a baptism lined up for this week! Almost every week this last little bit has had a baptism! The Lord's work is just taking off!

A little miracle for Sunday. We had enough food to cook ourselves but both lunch and dinner were provided by just random means by others. It was a mini miracle for us because we didn't have to cook and was able to enjoy some great food! :)

Time is just flying out here!! To be honest, I don't know where most of it has gone! I'm healthy, happy, and wise!! Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. Many of you know that Timur Leste was opened for missionary work in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. At this point there are no missionaries except 2 humanitarian mission couples there! A fun fact, Timur Leste won its independence from Indonesia so technically it is it's own county but still falls under our mission!

Until next week!

Elder Hayes

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 62 - Just a Darn Good Week, Non-stop Work, and Way Tired.

It has just been a week of some fine old missionary work with tons and tons of success! I can easily see that this is an area that the Lord has made a little "hot spot" with the work but as we all know, Satan will do whatever he can to try and stop it! There ain't no time for stoppin'!!

We were able to have splits this past week. I worked with Elder B and Elder P, one day each! We did some good work! It is always nice to go out with a different companion and know that you share the exact same Gospel in your area. We went out and shared the Gospel!! 

I will say I am way tired this week but I blame that on the non-stop work that has gone on this past week. We have lots of people on deck to baptized and lots of cool things! Yesterday, every companionship had at least one investigator to church. Church was very full to say the least. My companion and myself were able to see 5 investigators make it to church, 2 of them have baptismal dates including this Saturday, and the others are on their way to making dates!! The hand of the Lord is pushing things along here!!

To answer the question about that investigator near the Philippines, he actually is back on his home island helping his parents build a house so when he gets back he said he will get right back to church! He is on a little standby! :)

Other than that, I don't have a lot of other things to say this week. I'm still healthy and doing great!!

That BYU play was AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Hopefully that win will help them do well this year!! :) There is a die hard BYU football fan (Sister) in my district and she was very appreciative of the play! So am I!! 

I thank you all for your prayers and your love!

Elder Hayes

p.s. I felt bad for throwing eggs and soaking my companion on his birthday so I bought him a good lookin, great tastin' cake for his 20th. I hope he enjoyed it! A picture will be added later!

Love preaching the Gospel in beautiful Manado

The cake I bought my companion

Nice view!