Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 94 - Time Flies, Last Round of Zone Conferences, and A New Girlfriend ;)

Keeping track of time has become meaningless in the sense that it is flying by! I read Elder Peterson's email and have to agree with his statement that I wake up and it feels like I go to bed just an hour later! 

This past week was a crazy one! It was the LAST round of PLD's that I will have in the mission along with President and Sister Donald! The spirit was so strong and you would be surprised the things the spirit tells you after you have seen the same thing more than once. It is pretty hard to even think that it was the last round. We talked more about repentance and roll played teaching it better to our investigators. Other big topics that we discussed include: Bike safety due to all of the accidetns, obedience, Using our time wisely, the characteristics of Christ, and following up with ourselves to be on a mission and also our investigators. It was awesome, I loved every bit of it!

Last P-day before all of these conferences started, we had a pretty neat activity. As a district we went to a place called Taman mini. It is like an Indonesian Epcot kind of place. It has a lot of the traditional foods and housing for all of the different cultures here in Indonesia! It was pretty cool. We held snakes, saw some traditional clothing, and had a great time!

Other than that, not a whole lot happened this past week. We were just gone for most of it. Saturday and Sunday we were teaching people. We have one investigator that really wants to get baptized and do all of the right things. He has absolutely no money at all. He has made the decision that he will find himself work first and then when he has the means to make it to church more often he will get baptized! As a mission, 9 people were baptized this weekend! The work continues strong!

My beloved companion, Elder Hariyadi, finishes his mission on Wednesday and I will be receiving a new companion so look out for that! I have been with Elder Hariyadi longer than any of my previous companions totaling 4 months! 

Love you all!! 

Elder Hayes

APs and President Donald at the Airport

At Zone Conference 
Where is the tall white guy? - hahaha 
with a bunch of the indonesian missionaries

More Zone Conference Pictures

The Tallest in the Mission

The giant castle!

My companion and I

 remember these guys from Solo?? Just the best ayam bakar in Indonesia!!

More Pictures from Zone Conference

Solo Zone Conference 
My version of Titanic 

My new girl friend -- ;)  Just glad it wasn't a tight squeeze.

a style of house you would find in Padang. (no missionaries in that city yet)

found some traditional clothing of my companion's area in Indonesia!

Surabaya Zone Conference

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 93 - Zone Conferences, Back to Futsal, Traffic, Teaching The Gospel Over Skype

The zone conferences are off to a start!! This past week was the first of the round here in Jakarta! Everything went very well and the spirit was there! We are super excited for this week because it is filled with traveling and holding other zone conferences. Tuesday and Wednesday we will be in Solo and then Thursday and Friday we will be in Surabaya!  

It was nice, I was finally able to play futsal. The day before the actual conference, President holds interviews and then at night, all the missionaries have time to play some futsal together. It is a nice way to get the mind off the stresses of the work. Last time I wasn't able to play anything because my foot was not in working condition. This week we will have more futsal and some basketball!

This past week, the ward organized a badminton activity on Saturday. We invited some investigators and 2 of them showed up. The two that are probably the closest with the ward yet rarely go to church! These 2 investigators are from a part member family and missionaries have been working with them for a while now. They know people in the ward, they know the missionaries pretty well just haven't gotten that spiritual confirmation. It was a nice activity to spend with them. They really enjoyed it and asked if we could do it again so the quorum President booked it again! Little by little we are working with them! 

As for other investigators, we picked up a couple new ones this past week. We had 1 investigator come to church yesterday. This is the investigator that always comes to church and has been coming to church for a couple months now, but doesn't really want to meet with us to learn.....I don't understand! In all reality, we have a good amount of investigators, the hard part is meeting with them all! 

We had an English class of 15+ people this week!! 3 of the students are refugees from Afghanistan and the rest are Indonesian! It was nice to have a big Englsih class! Here in Jakarta, the people that come, they usually already have decent English which is different from other places where they come and they don't understand a lick of English!

Other than that, this week was filled with MACET (traffic) and weather that was not clear! 1 hour it was blazing hot, the next we were in what looked and felt like Monsoon rains! The weather changes almost instantly!  My companion has his last hoorah this week as he will be finishing and heading home next week! It is a little funny, he is from Surabaya so we will be there.....he will most likely meet his family, come back here to finish up a couple things and then a couple days later return home. His group of missionaries will be going to the Indonesia wide young single adult activity the first week of May. They are all pretty excited! 

Crazy story! 

There is a lady that was an investigator in 2009. She moved to where there was no church so never was baptized! Recently she contacted the missionaries again and they taught her over skype and this past week right before she moved back to Bali she was baptized. It was a pretty cool story and now, we are going to try and teach her fiance who is from England over skype!!

I know the church is true, and the spreading of the Gospel continues on!

Elder Hayes

Elder Saudners and I! (trained by the same trainer)

Jakarta Zone Conference

A Little Office Fun
Sisters had a baptism!!!!! 

MACET - (Traffic)

More Jakarta

 Elder Hariyadi and I attempted to make our own Sop buah....not too shabby

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 92 - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Feeling Like 'Fried Chicken', and Getting Ready for Zone Conference

Conference was AWESOME!! It went hand in hand with what we talked about in our MLC meeting this past week. There just is a special power when we hear it from the mouths of the Prophet and the Apostles. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sums it up in one of my favortie songs:

"Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I'll praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above"

Every time I listen to this song, the spirit just fills me. It applies to me so perfectly as well. 

A couple months ago, we received an online referral. We contacted him but he said that he lived in a certain city. Unfortunately, there are no missionaries in that city and the church is still far. Well, since that moment a couple months have passed. His name for some reason was still on our desks. When my companion and I were cleaning things up and calling referrals we found his name still in the pile. We called him again and he mentioned that he is now living in Jakarta. We set an appointment and visited him. As we sat down our whole discussion went to happiness and what true happiness really is. The spirit was so strong. This man told us the story that he was one day online just with lots of questions about happiness and ended up finding the church's website. This was a true miracle. He lives in the other ward's boundaries.....which we learned after visiting him! So we handed him over to the right missionaries!  

Another awesome experience was with one of our investigators. He called us on Tuesday night saying, "Elder, tomorrow I would like to meet." We set the appointment and he came. Our plan was to talk about repentance with him. In our MLC meeting that is what we really focused on, teaching repentance. We sat down and went straight into it. We went step by step how to repent and why we need to repent. The spirit was so strong throughout the whole lesson. This investigator at the end just broke down in tears knowing that this is what he needs to do. He came to conference yesterday and listened to every talk! It was so cool to experience this with him.

This past week the focus has been on repentance. In conference and in our MLC we have talked a lot about it as well as the zone training meeting that was held on Friday. The principle of repentance is so precious to me and is summed up in the lyrics above, especially verses 3 and 4. 

Our travels start this week. We have our PLD meetings and will still be talking about repentance. Our first one will be held here in Jakarta on Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week we will be traveling to Solo and Surabaya. The heater here is starting to crank up. IT IS HOT! I feel like I'm becoming "ayam goreng" (fried chicken) somedays! 

I love you all. The atonement of Jesus Christ is real! We can all repent because we all are "Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." Have a good week.

Elder Hayes

look at these good lookin' studs

just some tasty Bubur Ayam!! (That porridge like rice meal)

just some classic tasty nasi goreng

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 91 - Recognizing Tender Mercies, and a Bit of A Dry Patch

Selamat Pagi!

I think this week has gone by faster than Lightning McQueen in his big race. Also, Heavenly Father has turned up the heater here in Indonesia. 

I can't believe it is already April! We have a very, very, very busy month ahead of us. The zone leaders will be flying in today as tomorrow is our MLC meeting. We have been sitting down with President and preparing for it and the other things that will be taking place this month as well. It is just an awesome experience to be in these meetings lead by the spirit telling us what needs to go on in the mission. I am super excited for tomorrow and the beginning of all the craziness that will take place in these next couple weeks.

This past week, I listened to Elder Bednar's talk on tender mercies. That was a tender mercy in itself. I left the house that day just filled with the spirit and feeling really good. I know that tender mercies do not come randomly and are God given. Heavenly Father prepares us to be in the position to realize that what we are experiencing are tender mercies. Saturday's weather was a tender mercy for me. It was just an absolutely beautiful day. Even though the day didn't go how we wanted, things were still smiling. There was a tender mercy in sacrament meeting yesterday. I was sitting there pondering my testimony and the things that I've done on the mission. I was filled once again with the spirit with the most adrenaline rushed feeling that this church is true and there is no doubt in my mind about it. As we prepared for our meetings with President and talked about repentance and felt the spirit there makes up another tender mercy. The public affairs missionary couple put on a community event to watch the Messiah which the Mormon Tabernacle just sang. We were asked to help with the event by welcoming and ushering people. Listening to that music was a tender mercy and an awesome experience.

As of lately, we have been struggling with investigators. The progressing ones have gone away and the ones that we have, hardly can be contacted. We spend a lot of our time out trying to find people. This past week has been a tough one. We met tons and tons of people. The number that are actually interested in the Gospel I would say is close to none out of these people. My companion and I are praying and know that there are people ready, we just don't know where they are yet.

I know this church is true and is lead by leaders that the Lord has selected by his own hand. I know that the priesthood authority has been restored to the Earth through a living prophet. The ordinances and commandments are what we have to do to return to our Father in Heaven and if we fall, we have a loving Savior that has paid the price for our sins. Saya sangat bersyukur atas keanggotaan saya di gereja ini dan segala berkat yang datang dari itu. Saya tahu dan bersaksi bahwa Bapa Surgawi mengenal kita semua secara pribadi dan mengasihi kita. 

I can't wait to watch conference next week! Love you all!

Elder Hayes  

sop buah-- like a fruit soup (one of my favorite snacks) 
 just a neat picture

 a good ol' bajaj (a form of transportation here)

 there are Grasshoppers of unusual size here

my companion enjoying his sop buah! :)