Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week 86 - Splits in Solo, Power of Priesthood Blessings, and Stressed

I'm still trying to wrap my head around how one can have such a great week and come out of it stressing their brains out.....that is me! 

This past week flew by starting with 3 missionaries finishing their service up last Monday. We held their farewell devotional and sent them back to their families where I am sure they were greatly missed. 

We had the wonderful opportunity to hold splits with the zone leaders in Solo. On Wednesday we flew out there and actually split the first day with one of the district leaders and then the second day with the Zone leaders. We came back Saturday. It was really fun to serve a couple days in that cultured city. One of the coolest things was that I was able to meet with H again. I don't know if you remember him, but he is the one that my companion and I found and then the other companionship baptized. He told me a testimony building story that almost brought me to tears that goes like this. He was sick for three months and actually in the hospital for most of it. The doctors were unable to diagnose him and were confused. One day a member visited him and suggested that he meet with the bishop, "he will have the solution." When he finally had the strength to visit the bishop, he did. The bishop gave a couple suggestions and a solution and finally gave him a priesthood blessing. H then explains, " I was healed!" He said that he had spent 3 months in the hospital but with one simple priesthood blessing was healed! He told me how that just strengthened his faith. It also lifted me up and was a wonderful experience. 

We made it back Saturday and met with our Wml. We discussed the less actives and the investigators that we are working with. Sunday came around and no one came to church! In fact, there was only a total of like 25 people at church because of the morning rain. We are working with these people trying to move them towards baptism but getting stuck. Hopefully their testimonies will continue to grow. However, after church, suddenly a couple walked into the church and mentioned that they had met with missionaries before and that they are interested in learning about the church. How much bigger of a miracle could you get? We taught them just a little and got their contact information and will meet with them again later this week.The miracles continued yesterday! We were riding the bus for the day because of the rain. The miracle started with this Papuan man that stood about 5'2 walking and taking a seat next to us and super interested. From that discussion, another man came over just looking awkwardly at the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy and started teaching him and he was very interested. From that conversation, there was a guy the same age as me next to me that started asking questions. This is all from the very first one. It was like a chain of contacts and teaching that lead us to home where we finished haha! 

My foot is healed!  

It is for sure rainy season in full swing. It rains everyday and here in Jakarta our access to a lot of the city is cut off and lots of members and others' houses flood. We are expecting to be doing a lot more service here in the next few weeks. 

As a mission, we are starting the 80 day challenge again. We will be reading the Book of Mormon in 80 days starting tomorrow, the first. I'm super excited!! 

I'm still trying to figure out how a week can be so good but at the end be stressed. The work carries on! 

Elder Hayes

First Day of Splits in Solo

2nd Day of Splits

Out of the City and Back on a Bike for a Few Days
Heading off to Solo for Splits

H. & I

Back in the Concrete Jungle

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week 85 - His Grace is Sufficient, Miracles, and Sea World Indonesia Style

"Little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle."  -CS Lewis

This past week has gone by faster than a turtle can beat the hare in a other words, it went by fast!! There is just a special joy about being a missionary that comes that is just happiness. No matter how often you do it or who you share it with, it never gets old. The fun part is coming up with how to share it. Elder Hariyadi and I have experienced a lot of miracles as we have been out and about this past week seeking for the chosen ones. We decided to take our searching to one of the national monuments here in Jakarta. We just started approaching people and sharing the gospel. At the time, the volleyball court was filled with a ton of people from Papua. Even though the church is not there yet, almost all Papuans are Christian. We sat on the bench and talked to one of them and shared about the Restoration with him. As we left, everybody had stopped playing volleyball asking the guy that we met what we had shared with him. Two of them that were playing ended up chasing us down and asking for the Book of Mormon. We sat down and right away just taught them. As we were teaching them, one of the security guards came over and was overhearing. Out of the blue, he leaned over and asked if he could have a look at the Book of Mormon. He asked if he could take it. We taught him as well. Just awesome miracles that put a smile on a face that there are people that just want to know about the wonderful message of the Restoration.

On another occasion, we were riding the bus....which we do about 80% of the time due to traffic. There happened to be a fairer skinned man who I ended up talking to. Turns out he is from Hungary and has been here for about 3 months and will be heading back in like 2 months. He had heard about the church and actually asked if he could come. Yesterday, he showed up to church and we met with him and he said there was just a peace that he felt among the people. We shared the Book of Mormon and he accepted a baptismal date in March. A mircale! 

As for our other investigators, they are doing well. They are coming to church and reading and keeping their commitments but getting them personally set on baptism has been the challenge. I have the faith that they will join the church, it is just a matter of time. We have visited with less- actives this week and are seeing a few make small steps to coming back. In all of this, we have visited a lot of members to try and help them fulfill their missionary responsibilities. 

In my studies this past week, I have focused on "Our Heritage." It has been just a book that gives a great picture of the suffering the Saints had to do when the church first started to where we are now. Besides that book, I came across two talks that have been powerful. One titled, "His Grace is Sufficient," by Brad Wilcox and "Profile of a Prophet," by Hugh B. Brown. Both are very good. The second one is a testimony builder of a the prophet Joseph Smith. The one I want to focus on is the one on grace. "So grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light the moves us through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it is the finisher's touch (Hebrews 12:2)" All will be saved on the grace of Christ, but have we been changed through his grace? "Heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly." It was such a great talk about how Christ's grace is sufficient for everyone. 

Other things that happened this past week, last P-day we went to Seaworld (a small aquarium here in Jakarta), and pure greatness. I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Elder Hayes

Packed in the Bus

ridin' the good ol' bemo

in the bemo

The coast

District in the fish tank

 Back to being city slickers

enough said :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Week 84 - Time Warp, Custom Suits, and a Great Week of Missionary Leaders Conference

Selamat Hari Kasih Sayang!! (Happy Valentine's Day)

This past week flew by at about 250.456 KM per hour if that makes sense. I didn't know time could go so fast. I think somebody really has to come up with some formula for the speed of time. There were lots of good things that happened this past week.

Last Monday, all of the zone leaders flew in for the MLC meeting. A bunch of missionaries from the same MTC group as well as myself used our P-Day to go and make custom made suits. For a custom made suit, we payed under $120. Hopefully it turns out pretty good. Where else in the world can you pay a price like that and make the whole thing custom? It rained most of the day Monday and throughout the week, however when it didn't rain it was HOT!

MLC was awesome just as usual. It always uplifts spiritually and just is the best reminder of things that we should be doing as missionaries. We really focused on applying the principles we learned in the missionary broadcast and chapter 11 in PMG which is "We invite, They Commit, We follow Up." We role played giving certain commitments and helping others live them. All changes start from a commitment. Almost all commitments when learning of the Gospel come from the missionaries rather than themselves so we have to be ready to give them the right commitment at the right time to help others change. We also talked about Sanctification. We read scriptures highlighting this topic in Doctrine and Covenants 88:68-69, D&C 43:16, and D&C 88: 15-24;41. This is just a great topic for us to know not for this life but to prepare ourselves for the life to come and what degree of glory we will fall into. 

Right after MLC, we went back with Zone leaders from Tangerang and had a split with them. The split was great. We had just a great fundamental missionary day. We had some great lessons, we got rejected, we contacted people, received and contacted refferals, etc. It was a great day filled with hard work......and rain. We ate some delicious sate kambing (sate goat), the best I've had yet in Indonesia.

Our investigators are doing really well. Our investigator in Bali is still going pretty well, we haven't been able to meet with him for the last little while because we have not been here when he has the time to meet. He still does not have a baptismal date but hopefully will be get one here in the near future. Other than him, we have two investigators that are progressing really well here in Jakarta! They have been coming to church every week for the last little while and we are teaching them and the spirit is always strong. Both of them do want to get baptized at some point, we are working very hard for them to receive their answers. Another one of our investigators was our miracle this past week. This is the husband of a pretty recent convert of the church. He at one point avoided the missionaries but we felt that it would be good to visit him once a week. Now that we have started, he has really opened up to us and expressed his desires. This last week we were able to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why it is so essential to repent and be baptized. There was probably a pause for about a minute of silence and in a soft tone we said, "that is what I should do isn't it?" The spirit was so strong. He said that he wasn't quite ready but knows that he needs to do it. It was a tender mercy from the Lord. I know that one day, he will become a new member in this church and be strong!

On the bus ride home from our lesson, there was a man sitting across the aisle and to me he looked different from all the others and I felt that I should contact him. There was just some special light about him. When I sat there and pondered how to even start talking to this guy and never got anywhere. So when we got off the bus, I told him that I felt like I needed to talk to him and I didn't know why. Turns out he is from Manado and Christian but soon ran off catching his next bus. I've really thought about why the spirit told me to talk to him but all that came from it was his name, face, and place he was from. I do have the faith that there was a reason.

As for the rest of the week, we had our Zone training meeting on Friday, Valentine's Day was yesterday and church was really good...we learned about eternal marriage in Gospel Principles HAHA! It rained everyday except Saturday where it was blazing hot.

I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon is true! I hope you all have a good week and I love you all!

Elder Hayes


More of Indonesia, I just love this country!

This is why it is takes an hour to get to church!!

 A good motto to have

Just a good ol' classic Missionary picture

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 83 - Moving In His Majesty and Power

Hello friends and family!!

This past week has been a rollercoaster! There has been ups and downs and loops and headaches and just a whole lot of things that are related with can use your own imagination!

We finished up the rounds of PLD here in Jakarta on Monday and Tuesday. I was able to watch the missionary broadcast for the third time and it was just as spiritual as the first time. I really payed attention to see Max and there he was sitting there. I had to translate the broadcast again but it was pretty easy because I had already seen it twice and I had translated it once before. It is always a great time to gather with other missionaries and share funny stories and just different things that happen. 

This past week I had a pink eye scare. I woke up one day and my eye was redder than red. It was super itchy and driving me nuts and it wouldn't go away. I had to buy some eye drop things from the pharmacy but actually had this feeling right after buying them had this feeling to actually wait and use the drops. I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning feeling better. By the following day, my eye was clear and I didn't have to use the drops at all. So, I'm not too actually sure if it was pink eye or not....the important thing is that I'm healthy. My foot still has a hole in it but I think is closing up slowly but surely.

This past week studying has been a great one. President Donald told me to read, "Moving In His Majesty and Power," by Neal A. Maxwell. There was so many great insight in that book and really opened my eyes to different gospel topics like our agency. "Do we realize that 'putting off' or 'no decision' at all is actually a decision? That was just one of the great things that I really liked from his book on agency. The book also lead me to find this wonderful scripture in Mosiah 23:21

Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith."

This scripture has really uplifted me this week. I really feel that my faith and hope has been tested this past week and just found a lot of peace in this scripture. I hope that I can have more faith and hope in my life. Especially when we face lots and lots of rejection as we did this past week.

As for our investigators, we have more that have committed but we are having a little trouble keeping them at church for the full three hours. One of them is the younger sibling of a member. HE IS AWESOME!! He is one of my most favorite people and I see that he is wanting to learn about this Gospel. I know that one day he will join the church, he enjoys and feels the spirit often. We had a total of 3 investigators at church and they are moving slowly but surely. Every time we meet with them it is a little miracle. The spirit is truly the teacher and these people are moving forward.

We will hold MLC tomorrow so there are extra missionaries here and it should be another spiritual uplifitng thing. I love you all and wish all the best!!

Elder Hayes 

Zone Conference in Jakarta
Just the typical traffic 
GONG XI FA CAI Today is Chinese New Year!

Spending some time with other missionaries