Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 90 - Happy Easter, Shooting Some Hoops, and If Jesus Was Here

Selamat Hari Paskah! 

It was a beautiful Easter day yesterday here in Indonesia. A VERY HOT one, but still nice. If you haven't seen the Hallelujah video, I encourage you to watch it. If you are interested in hearing a little more of what Indonesian sounds like, the church has translated it and you can watch it here, In our district meeting this past week, we watch one of the bible videos on Christ's Resurrection and then one by one shared our testimonies on Christ. It was an awesome spiritual meeting! I hope you all had a great Easter!

As for other events of the week, all sorts of things happened. My companion and I this past Wednesday went to the basketball court that is pretty close to our house in purpose to meet more people. There were a lot of people there. We played some basketball and met some pretty cool people. It has already been 7 months since I last played and did alright. Apparently one of the Indonesian national players was there. That was a pretty cool experience as well. 

Our most progressive investigator that was ready for baptism is now gone. :( We invited him to the ward activity on Friday and he responded that he was already in a different city on a different island. He had been accepted for work on a ship and left. It was so sad! His older sister, who is also a member was sad about it as well. He will be baptized, I just do not know when. I hope that he returns fast enough that I will still be here. I am however glad to see that he got work. He dedicated his life and education to get the job that we got. 

We do have a newer awesome investigator. It has been so interesting teaching him because he grew up Buddhist and is now Muslim. This past week he explained, "Elders, I don't know what it is, but I always have this feeling I need to be talking to you." We taught him about the Holy Ghost and how answers can come in answer to our prayers. He prayed for the first time at the end of the lesson and the spirit was so strong. At the end of the lesson, he accepted a baptismal date in April. It was an awesome experience. His faith in Jesus Christ is starting to grow and it is so cool to witness it. 

Friday we had a ward activity where we played some Badminton. I quickly learned that they play way different than the Badminton I'm used to in elementary school. It was cool to play with them and play an activity that the whole nation of Indonesia likes. We finished the activity at a members' home and had a short lesson there. Saturday was just a rough day for me. I picked up a head cold and had a headache for the day. All of our appointments fell through including our back-ups. Easter Sunday came around and I was already feeling better which was  a mini miracle. We had an interesting experience. This past week we received a referral from the church website. We called him and made an appointment for Sunday. Of course he lives way out there. We made the appointment but yesterday he was not picking up the phone. We went out to fins the house by ourselves. That didn't happen, once we found the street, then numbers went like this, 2, 54, 76, 3, 43, 1, 6, 6, 27..... and so on. Out of all of them, there was no number 24!! We searched up and down and finally gave in. We made our way back and when we were switching buses a person comes up and says, "You're Elder, I have some questions for you." We sat down and got his number and answered a few of his questions right there. While that was happening, my companion met like 3 other people that were on their way home from church. I truly felt that this was lead by the Lord. Even though we didn't find the first guy, He needed us there at the bus stop at that time to meet those people.

One last thing before I close. A topic of discussion this past week was, "If Jesus Christ were here right now, what would he teach?" We came up with the clear answer that he would teach his doctrine found in 2 Nephi 31 and throughout the scriptures. He would teach faith, repentance. baptism, the gifht of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. That is what we do as missionaries and our purpose, To help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Love you all and have a good week!

Elder Hayes

BOOM!! Styling!

With the basketball gang!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 89 - When you Leave the Assistants in Charge!

Howdy Folks! 

This past week was jam packed with busyness! I'm not even sure that busyness is a word, but spell check didn't underline it so we'll move on. We have been reading the Book of Mormon as a mission and this past week finished up 2 Nephi and Jacob. The end of 2 Nephi has really become one of my favorite places in the Book of Mormon to get me excited and hyped up. It has been pretty awesome! I hope you all have the chance to read from the Book of Mormon everyday or the New Testament and really learn about Christ's life. 

"Tidak tahukah kamu bahwa ada lebih banyak bangsa daripada satu? Tidak tahukah kamu bahwa Aku, Tuhan Allahmu, telah menciptakan semua orang, dan bahwa Aku mengingat mereka yang berada di atas pulau-pulaudi laut; dan bahwa Aku berkuasa di langit di atas dan di bumi di bawah; dan Aku menampilkan firman-Ku kepada anak-anak manusia, ya, bahkan ke atas segala bangsa di bumi?" 2 Nephi 29:7 
( Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?)

I love this verse especially the words, 'pulau-pulau di laut' (isles of the sea). It doesn't get more clearer than that for Indonesia. The spice islands as well as other places are included here so that we all know the true God!

So, this past week President and Sister Donald were in Hong Kong for a mission president seminar from Tuesday until Friday. He left us, the assistants in charge of the mission! :) For your information, all is safe and well here. No world-ending disaster happened. 

Update on the investigators. We have a pretty good size teaching pool right now and have some pretty good investigators. V, is really progressing and has been coming to church for a while now and takes notes and is reading the Book of Mormon, just we are having a hard time setting a baptismal date with him. Another one of our investigators calls us yesterday at 6:30 in the morning saying he is waiting for us near the church. Church didn't start until 9 haha. poor guy had to wait all that time. As for others, we have a couple old investigators that have come back onto the map and some new ones as well. One of our brand new ones is super cool. His name is D. He was Buddhist for most of his life and has just recently became Muslim but is now questioning religion and is very open to meet. He wanted to come to church yesterday but sent us a text saying he woke up too late. We are really working hard. We have the people, we just are at a wrestling point with commitments. I'm sure good things will happen with a few of these people here in the near future.

It has been raining like crazy this past week. Of course my umbrella is lost hahaha. No worries, we are still staying pretty much dry. We played badminton with an investigator this past week and have a badminton activity planned on Friday with the ward. Good things going on! 

Love you all!

Elder Hayes

just a selfie emailing
a typical haircut place 

with one of our investigators 
walking to a member's house 

Some Instant Potatoes.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 88 - 10 Seconds Too Late, Zone Conference in Bogor, and the Value of Being in a Home

Selamat Pagi! 

This past week has kind of been all over the place. There has been leadership meetings, lots of things that didn't go as planned, ZTM in Bogor, visiting people, and making sure that I make a fool of myself! :)

On Monday, all of the zone leaders came in for the MLC on Tuesday. We learned a lot about faith and relying on the spirit. That is how this marvelous work is even possible yet, these two things are the easiest to forget and sometimes pretty hard to put into action. I personally feel that I have gone down with these things over the past little while so it was a great pick up to continue on.

On Wednesday, we went to a meeting with the bishops and ward mission leaders in the Jakarta stake and helped President present a couple things that would help missionary work in wards. President wasn't feeling too great so he brought us along. It also happened to be a public holiday, I'm just not sure which holiday it was. There are soo many public holidays in this country haha. As for the eclipse, I only briefly heard about one happening, I never knew what day or anything. I think we kind of noticed, and I have no pictures of it. 

Friday, we attended ZTM down in Bogor, the kota hujan (rainy city). Lets just say we made it to the train station about 10 seconds too late! ZTM was a blast and it was also pretty cool to have had the opportunity to attend the one for a different zone. We rode train there and came back on train just in time for everybody else to cancel on us for the rest of the day.

It is pretty crazy how much more you learn about somebody when you can go to their house. Here in Jakarta we rarely ever have the opportunity to go to someone's house because it is hard to get anywhere here. This past week, we visited one of the newer members in the ward at his house. I knew more and understood more about his life than the previous 6 months I've been here. What else was nice was, we went from the hustle and bustle of the city to just a nice peaceful, calm area where not only did we teach him, I personally took time just to sit there and enjoy the things that I forget are available for us. 

Saturday night came around and we visited another member. We had squid for dinner so I guess you could put that on the weird list. Like a whole squid about the size of my hand. I was trying to cut the squid when thing I know, half of my food was on the floor and just embarrassing, needless to say, we had to move to the table. I guess it never really is a good visit it without those moments.

We had a couple miracle lessons that happened this past week. One was a former investigator from a different city that moved to Jakarta. He has suffered a stroke and having a hard time. the other was a person that I met over a month ago and he asked to meet. A huge problem here is that we meet soooo many people and then the next they are gone because of just how many we meet. 

Things are going along!

Elder Hayes

 I don't really fit anywhere in this country

some delicious squid

March madness bracket......can missionaries receive revelation for march madness??

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 87 - Work, Work, Work

A week of just hard work and spreading the Gospel among Heavenly Father's children! We have had lots happen this past week that have just been awesome!

As a mission, we started the 80- day challenge and will read the Book of Mormon in 80 days. Right now we are in 1 Nephi and will enter into 2 Nephi either today or tomorrow. I am reading it in Indonesian and it has already been a wonderful blessing where we feel the spirit and just enjoy it. 

We have MLC tomorrow, so all the zone leaders are coming in today. It will be nice to spend some time with them today and tomorrow to be spiritually uplifted and edified in the greatness of the gospel and the task to spread it with others. 

As for other things that have happened this week. Failed service hahaha. Due to the floods we are really searching for service opportunities. On Tuesday, somebody agreed that we go to their house and help them clean up. When we showed up, the person had already cleaned it themselves. A failed service project, but we were able to share a message about service and that part went well. the weather this week however has been all over the place. Somedays it rains like a monsoon hit, somedays it is hotter than you can say hot, and somedays it is just absolutely beautiful. With weather like this, it kind of throws us around, we don't know what to expect. There was an earthquake earlier this week off the shore of Sumatera but we did not feel it here. 

Some funny things that happened this week. Here we are standing on the bus and low and behold there are people talking about you and they just start going off. It really is kind of awkward because I understand every word of it and it is hard not to laugh. I'm not sure what is funnier, the part when you just sit there and continue to listen, or the part when you start talking to them in their own language and they start to freak out and really think about what they have said hahaha! Another funny story happened at the bus stop. We were waiting for the bus and started talking to somebody. He ran onto a bus that we were not ready for but it was a great contact so I turned around grabbed my companion by the shirt and hopped on the bus. It ended up being worth it because we taught him there and gave a Book of Mormon and he is pretty interested. 

We picked up a new awesome investigator this past week who is just searching for the important things of life right now. He couldn't make it to church because he got sick but is really excited to meet again.

Elder Hariyadi and I had 4 investigators at church yesterday which was awesome! Two of them have set baptismal dates for the 27th which happens to be Easter! To teach them, we split with members after church and teaching them was amazing. The one I taught was almost in tears the whole time of the feelings that he was having. He offered the closing prayer and turns to us and says, "Elder, I feel released." It was such a powerful moment. We are looking forward to the next few weeks! 

All is well here. The work continues on and there is so much to do and not enough of us haha. Love you all!

Elder Hayes

Sorry there isn't any pictures this week, I didn't really take many this week