Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week 82 - Zone Conferences (PLD), World Wide Missionary Broadcast, and Just Some Good Ol' Missionary Work!

Each week as I start a new email, I try to think of new and interesting ways to start it. This week will just start with a good ol' HOWDY FOLKS!

This past week has been a great one! We have traveling around with President ans Sister Donald visiting Jawa Tengah and Jawa Timur where we held our zone conferences. For the zone conference, we have been watching the worldwide missionary broadcast and boy is it a good one. Honestly, there is absolutely nothing new that I heard but when you hear it from an Apostle, there is just something different about it. It helped me realize exactly what I wasn't doing and what I should be doing better. One of the cool things that I really liked was said by Dallin H. Oaks. He said, "sometimes we forget that the church on the Earth was established and built on a Heavenly Law..... we are not just called to serve, but called to establish His church." I think that is so true! Some say they saw Max, I have not. The first time I watched, I was listening intensely so maybe I was taking notes when they showed him and the second one, I translated for the Indonesian missionaries so my head was wrapped around one language coming in, another language coming out. Tomorrow, I will watch it for the third time for the last zone conference and will look for him. 

Sunday was a pretty good day as we had 3 investigators to church. 2 of them were here in Jakarta and 1 of them was our investigator in Bali. One of them has a baptismal date for the 14th of February and is looking pretty good and on track. The other 2 we are hoping will accept baptismal dates this upcoming week so we can see them enter the waters as well and join the church. We are working with a lot of other people, but it is like a hit or miss type of thing if we can meet with them!
We have been trying to visit a part member family for a couple of weeks now. We were finally able to get an appointment with them on Saturday. We went there, got a little lost of course because this city is so confusing. When we found them everything was great. Apparently, the husband of this member is already reading the Book of Mormon with the Sister and they are already at the end of Alma. That was awesome to hear. When he said they were at the end of Alma he turned to us and said, "Elder, it is just continuous war!" I laughed inside. 

As for those missionaries that have their call. The office couple has already written their names on the board and their dates. Yes, it is true, those are the missionaries that will be replacing us. It is a scary thought to think about and I'm not sure I'm know, I just got here.

Well, we do not have snow here, but we do have rain. It rains almost everyday at this point of the year so we are watching out for flooding and all that good stuff. Returning to Jakarta just reminded me of how frustrated I get in traffic and that good stuff. 

Well, this week should be another good one. Hope you all have a good week.

Elder Hayes

Zone Conference in Solo

Selfie w/ MTC Comp.

Selfie w/ Elder Eyre

Surabaya Zone Conference

Surabaya Zone Conference

Selfie w/ Elder Zollinger
City View

My and My Companion

With President and Sister Donald

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 81 - On the Mend and Back to Work!

Selamat pagi semuanya!!

Looks like Viriginia has just shut down by the looks of those pictures! I can't tell you how ridiculously cold that looks! I bet you everybody is praying so that midterms will be canceled as well. Poor Puggers has to find his way in all of that hahaha! With a couple days off and all you know me, I might try to find my way to the slopes and have a good day or something.

As for me, nothing has held me back this week except for the fact I am extremely tired. Once I heard that everything was okay, it was back to work. My foot has kind of slowed me down this week but it just takes me a little bit longer to get around to places, no big deal. The doctor said my foot might be like this for about 3 weeks at least so I'll just live with that. I'm sure there are other things wrong with me but going to the doctor to find that out doesn't really excite me so we'll just put that one off for a little. As long as I'm living, I'm doing good.

I'm pretty confident that my companion and I will be seeing lots of people join the church in the near future. We have been working with lots of people and some of them are coming to church and progressing. We have been at this point for a while. Lots of people have lots of progress but we have had a hard time getting them in the water. I hope and pray that in the near future, a few of them will enter into the waters of baptism. It is one of the greatest blessings to watch a clean soul come out of the water. I know the blessings that await them are countless! We have had some pretty good success with some less-actives making it back to church and helping them feel the Savior's love towards them and the peace they can feel as they partake of the sacrament. 

We have been preparing ourselves for this upcoming week. We will be traveling around to Solo and Surabaya starting tomorrow for PLD meetings and all of that. I'm pretty excited for the week. It's a bummer that I won't be able to join the other missionaries in playing futsal but will be great to still spend time with them and learn together. There was a worldwide missionary broadcast on the 20th but we didn't watch it because we decided to save it and watch it with all of the missionaries for the PLD meetings and discuss that. I already had my interview with President Donald which was a great one. Every interview there is like a small reminder of maybe some of the small things that I should be doing more often and that it is exactly what I need to just keep going!  

This past week we held a district leader meeting, sent a couple missionaries off to Singapore to renew their visas and were here to welcome them back, taught lots of people, and just got back to work! I know the church is true and I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of his Children. 

Elder Hayes

Elder Shaner and I e-mailing

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 80 - A Crazy Week with Bombings, and Dengue Fever

To all friends and family, I AM STILL ALIVE!!

As many of you have heard, there were the bombings not far at all from the mission home, as a matter of fact we as missionaries often go there to grab a bite to eat. I know with a perfect knowledge that the Lord is watching over us as there is more to the story. Here it is. The night before, we had our nightly planning as we do everyday. We decided that we needed to go visit one of the less actives who right now has returned active and received the priesthood but the past two weeks has been slipping a little. You can probably guess where he lives, and you can probably guess what time we had planned to visit him? He lives right there just around the corner. That morning, he called us and told us that maybe that day wasn't the best day to visit him and moved the appointment. Just as typical missionaries we hung up the phone pretty upset. About 30 minutes later we walked upstairs and heard the news. We were not angry about the appointment being changed anymore. Jakarta was pretty crazy so all the missionaries had to stay in for the day and then the following day when we were allowed to leave, President Donald gave us our regulations of what we needed to do and we went about doing the Lord's work! I for sure feel blessed and protected without a single doubt of fear.

That was part 1 of the craziness. Part 2 was being diagnosed with dengue fever. Let me tell you, I have never been so weak in my life!!! Basically Dengue is transmitted through mosquitoes that bite during the daytime. After English class on Friday night, I started just to get the biggest headache. It got to the point that walking home was kind of difficult. I stopped by the store and bought a 2 liter bottle of Pocari Sweat (AKA angel tears, not really, but really) when we got home, I went straight to bed thinking that in the morning the headache would be gone and life would move on....that wasn't the case. When I woke up, I was in so much pain I just had the hardest time standing up, moving my arms, I felt my own face and could tell that I had a fever, and my eyes were just pure red. I waddled out of the room and fell and the couch and was just too weak to move. I told Sister Donald and President came down, took one look at me and said, "you have dengue, let's go to the doctor." I somehow found the strength to take a shower and get dressed. I had my blood tested and it came back positive for Dengue. Because this is a virus, there is no specific drug that can help and I can't take Ibuprofen because that thins the blood. I've had the worst headache for the past 3 days, It's been pretty hard to sleep, and I've just been resting trying to regain strength back. I do not want this again!!!  The good news is, this morning I went back to the doctor, my fever has dropped from 101 to know 99 and my blood is still at a stable level. I also got my feet checked, I had 3 warts removed and now have athlete's foot. I'm honestly scared to find out if there is anything else wrong with me. I'm doing a lot better!

As for investigators and all that good stuff, we had some investigators make it to church even though we didn't make it. The members said it went really well and will be following up. We have a progressive investigator in Bali who we teach over skype. He has been to church for the past 3 weeks and is doing really well. He almost accepted a baptismal date this past week but didn't we are praying that he will be accepting one this upcoming week. 

One thing that has really helped me as a missionary this past week has been this quote. 

"Convert people to Jesus Christ, don't convert them to the church."

That is just a super powerful statement. Now that I have suffered to some limits this week I cannot even think of the pain and suffering that the Savior went through. He felt the pain of every person that has had dengue and I'm barely withstanding a mild case of it on my own. The church is true and as long as we are being obedient and here going about doing the Lord's work, we will be protected!

Elder Hayes

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 79 - MLC, Volcanoes Messing with Travel, and Skype as a Missionary Tool

Not a whole lot to report on for the week. Missionary work sees the same miracles over and over just at different times. So as I give an account of what happened this past week, you may have already heard it about a hundred times...yet they never get old. 

As a mission we are really focusing on talking to more people as we are looking to increase the number of new members in the year of 2016. Keep in mind, we already talk to a ton of people...we just need to talk to even more! On Monday, the Zone leaders flew in because on Tuesday we had our MLC meeting. Monday night was great. Myself and two other Elders positioned ourselves on separate benches in the busiest bus station. From 6 PM until 9 PM we were busy just talking to people. At some points we were rejected, at other points we were able to right away teach the first lesson and at one point somebody got off the bus ran over and says, "I know your church, I want to learn, I know Joseph Smith, and I know Thomas S. Monson, I want a missionary planner, here is my number and name," and off running he went. I'm not exactly sure why he asked for a missionary planner but okay. That was a miracle and we will be following up with him soon, last week was a very busy week.

Tuesday consisted of our very spiritual MLC! The spirit was so strong. It is so interesting to see and experience listening to the same words yet the spirit tells and teaches everybody something different! It was a great meeting to start off the year excited to achieve higher goals and to help the Lord in this marvelous work. It was a little crazy at night because we got a phone call from one of the Elders. They cancelled his flight because there was a volcano erupting in his area and they had to shut down the airport. He came back and spent the night and the next day with us before he could get a flight back. What other mission in the world has this problem?!?!

On Wednesday, all the new missionaries were able to go to immigration and get their kitas as well as head out to their new areas. There was another airport that was shut down due to a volcano going off but we were able to work around that one and send them to a different airport. Sometimes our house is very full with people and then the next day it returns to just the two of us. There are always missionaries coming in and out. Later on in the evening, we had our skype lesson with our progressing investigator in Bali. He is awesome and is sincerely seeking the truth. What is cool is that we teach him and the rest of the responsibility is on the members their to make sure he is getting to church and helping him out. Yesterday, he went to church with one of his daughters. We are striving so that the whole family will learn as well. It is pretty cool how a small thing like skype allows us to teach people virtually anywhere about the Gospel. We tried setting a baptismal date but he didn't accept it right away but we have complete faith that he will accept one either this week or the near future!

Friday was our Zone training meeting where the zone leaders teach us what we learned at MLC. That was another spiritual uplifting meeting that really helped me in my planning. The rest of the time was spent doing office work, teaching people, and talking to others. We are working with one of our investigators as he has been to church the past three weeks and has a baptismal date for the end of the month. He is doing really well and the Gospel is just bringing calmness and happiness into his life.

Yesterday was a pretty crazy experience as we went to a place called Kota tua to start talking to others and to teach. We arrived and for probably about 3 hours I stood and took pictures with people!!!!!!! It was CRAZY!!!!! It was a blessing because everybody that came up to us we were able to talk to and found some really interested people. We will probably do it again as there were tons of people all in one place and we were able to talk to hundreds. Just CRAZY I tell you but also miraculous. 

Hope you all have a good week. the church is true and I know it as I continue to share the precious message of the Restoration with others!

Elder Hayes

My quote of the week that I really liked is from Howard W. Hunter, 

“Those who are filled with the love of Christ do not seek to force others to do better; they inspire others to do better!”


McLaren - Missionary Dream Car. :)

Jakarta at Night

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 78 - Happy New Year and I Have Learned that Not Shrinking is More Important than Surviving.

Selamat Tahun Baru!

This past week has probably been one of the weirdest weeks of my whole mission in terms of adjusting to this and that. With new missionaries coming in, New Year's, and transfers and other work that we have had to get done....thank goodness things this week will maybe return to normal haha. 

The biggest miracle of the week to was we went from 0 people to having baptismal commitments to having 4 by the end of the week. We were inviting everybody, of course lead by the spirit! Most of them are new people and out of the 4, one of them is really progressing! He has come to church the past two weeks and we have met with him and have another appointment to meet with him on Tuesday! I am coming into the New Year just fired up ready to go and work! 

This past week, we had transfers which seemed to go smoothly, it is always nice to get the calls that they made it safely. On the same days as transfers, 12 new missionaries came in! The Indonesian missionaries left straight for their areas on the 31st and the American missionaries are still here waiting to head to immigration to get their kitas. My companion and I have been working with Elder Bell and Elder Fowler! You can already tell they will be great missionaries. Basically our missionary efforts have doubled because this past week we went from 1 companionship to being able to split and having 2! 

We got a referral from a member in Bali and have been trying to make an appointment on skype. He has been a little busy with traveling because of the new year. This will be an exciting opportunity for us to  teach him. He has already seen a baptism and went to the branch Christmas party there. When we called to set up a skype appointment, he yelled into the phone, "OH YAAAAAAAA, Yes, Yes, Yes!" He was super excited to hear our voices! 

As for New Years, we spent it nicely watching our dreams! Nothing too exciting, we went to bed at 10:30 and woke up the next morning and went on with life. Apparently there was fireworks all over the city, we just did not hear them! 

2016 is here....which is crazy! My quote for this week comes from Neal A. Maxwell,

"I Have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving."

This has been the quote that I really liked from my studying this past week and has a lot of meaning!

Elder Hayes