Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 53 - Emilia gets baptized

It's been a different week! I went on an exchange to Florissant, MO for a day and then I was on another exchange in St. Charles, which wasn't too far from where we live haha. It was weird being out of the area for a few days but it was fun! I learned a lot from the missionaries I was with. Lots of good examples out here!

We also went to see Gabriel for his baptismal interview and everything is good! He will be baptized, woohoo!! :) We are so excited for him, he is so prepared and excited! Elder Fullmer is the missionary I was with for the day, and while he was interviewing Gabriel in the room over, Gabriel's wife started asking some questions! Her name is Jamie and she is actually white and doesn't speak Spanish, haha. Gabriel was originally found by sister missionaries who referred him to us after meeting Jamie one day. Jamie was not interested at all but Gabriel overheard and was like, "Hey, I'm interested!" In fact, Jamie was so against it that after our first lesson with Gabriel she put up a "THIS HOME IS CATHOLIC" sign on the front door, hahaha :)

Anyway, while Gabriel was being interviewed she asked some questions she had about polygamy and what "mormon" meant and a few other things. When Elder Fullmer was done we asked her if she'd be interested in meeting with the sister missionaries and she said she would! She's opening up!! :) It was so awesome to see and the sister missionaries were so excited to hear that she was willing to listen to them. We didn't see it coming! A few of his kids might be baptism age too, so they're next ;)

I got to go to the temple!! It was so amazing! I still can't believe it has been over a year since I left. The temple was so neat and it was cool getting together with all the other missionaries I entered the mission field with. In our mission we got to go to the temple once a year, so it's not too often! The Spirit was very strong and I can't wait till I get to go again! It's such a beautiful and peaceful place :)

I think I mentioned this a few weeks back, but Emilia is someone we started teaching because my companion, Elder Solis, knew her already. The sister missionaries took over half way and she was baptized last Saturday! It was a pretty cool experience :) Pics included!!

It's been an awesome week! This is probably my last week in the Spanish branch for now, unless President throws a curve ball and keeps me here even longer... hahah we don't see it happening though. I'll miss it for sure!

Thanks everyone for the support!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: the st. louis temple!!
Photo 2: me and elder vergara, my mtc companion!!
Photo 3: emilia's baptism!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 52 - "Hey, I am Fabian, and yesterday... I found God"

This week has been awesome! I feel like I say that a lot let me tell ya I wouldn't say it if it weren't true :) Things are great over here! No complaints :)

On Wednesday we taught a lady named Luz from Puerto Rico! We found her last week and this week we got to review the Restoration and explain our purpose a little bit more. She is really nice and open to learning more. Funnily enough, at one point she was like, "Oh, I know this is true!" and we were like, "...what" haha it's cool that she's open to accepting it but we also don't want her to just believe everything we say without thinking about it. We'll work with her :)

A few weeks ago we started teaching the son of a member in the branch named Fabian! He is like 24 and so ready. He has been baptized in tons of churches and has tried a lot but has yet to find one that he likes. Most of his family is Mormon but he never really got into it. We had an awesome lesson with him this week and he came to church too to see his younger brother get the priesthood! During the third hour when Fabian introduced himself he was like, "Hey I'm Fabian, and yesterday... I found God" referencing our lesson! Elder Solis and I were like, "whaat!" So great! :)

Gabriel was not able to make it to church but promised us that he would make it next week! He is getting baptized on September 5th, which will most likely be my last Saturday in this area for now. We taught him about the priesthood and temples and he understands everything so well! He expressed some concerns about his family and how they are all kind of judging him but he doesn't let that stop him from doing what he knows is right :) Two weeks and he'll be a member!! Woohoo!!

Graciela is another investigator who we just set a baptism date with for next month!! She is doing so great, this week we were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation, set that date, and give her and her house a blessing! We have so many investigators that are actually progressing :)

We have seen tons of blessing this week. It is so amazing to see our efforts finally pay off. Being a missionary is very rewarding and you really learn to appreciate times like these after spending so much time in areas where people weren't as open. This gospel is true! This Thursday I get to go to the temple with all the missionaries I came out with a year ago. I can't believe how fast the time has gone but it truly has been wonderful :) I'm so excited!!

I love all of you! Have a great week :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1 : last monday we went to the city museum. it's more like a giant playground inside a ten-story building with parts outside of it too! this is me flying an airplane ;)
Photo 2: a member in st. louis taught us how to make homemade tortillas!! yumm!!!
Photo 3: me and elder solis with graciela, and mando and ivon (two members who fellowship her)
Photo 4: me chillin on a couch with elder lloyd. what im holding is called a kendama and i got it at a thrift store. it's super fun and i'm getting pretty good at it :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 51: My first talk in Spanish

Since​ last week was so great I was worried this week would be a disappointment in comparison, but it ended up being a good one!! The weather is still pretty hot but I think in a few weeks it will finally start to cool off.

To be honest although it was a really good week in my opinion, there isn't anything that really stands out except yesterday when we were at church. Elder Solis and I spake at Sacrament Meeting and gave talks on missionary work. It was my first time ever giving a talk in Spanish! Haha, I thought I did alright even if I felt a little nervous. I shared a story that Elder Bednar shared in General Conference last October in which he talks about one of his kids feeling better after his older brother puts ointment on his cut and wanting to give all his friends ointment because of how good it made him feel. Here's a link if you wanna read it, it's one of my faves :) (

I'm on a mission because I want to share the joy this gospel brings to everyone! What we have is something everyone needs, and they can't get it unless we open our mouths and share it with them :)

Gabriel came to church again! This is the first time my entire mission so far where an investigator has come twice in a row, lol. Sad, right? It was awesome to see though. He came alone this time but we were still happy to see him there and he loved it of course :) He even stayed for the third hour this time!

Later that evening we saw him again and taught him the Law of Chastity, which he admitted was something he had struggled with in the past but that was slowly improving on. It's awesome because with every new invitation we give him he admits that it'll be tough to give up but doesn't twice about because he knows it's from God! We also gave him an illustrated kids Book of Mormon for him to read to his seven kids!! He is way solid and pray that he will be able to be baptized this month!!

This last year has been a great one! I've learned so much and although I have had some tougher moments, like I mentioned last week the good far outweighs the bad :)

Love, Elder Hayes

(photos to come next week!)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 50: Days like these make me forget about the not-so-great days!

This week has been fantastic! I really don't know where to begin. So many amazing things have happened it is crazy!! We are being blessed so much!! I just love this area and wish I could stay longer. I will probably be leaving the branch in like four weeks but we honestly don't know... who knows!

So most of the week was alright and average up until the last few days. We went to Firestone to get the oil changed in our car when we found out that our registration and license plates were expired!! We were driving illegally, haha! I then remembered that a few months ago I had been mailed a letter with some stickers in it for our plates that I was supposed to have put on the car but I forgot and left it in the trunk! We looked and looked and looked but couldn't find it anywhere. Long story short we were stressed because we needed our car and found them in a trash can at the church building! While cleaning out our car we had accidentally tossed it. Our prayers were definitely answered! :)

Yesterday we started the day going to church at the Maryland Heights ward, the new ward we are now covering. It was cool and I was able to meet the Hispanic members there and everything! Then halfway through sacrament meeting we get a text telling us that Gabriel, one of our investigators, was at church at the branch with his wife and two kids!! What!! We were freaking out because his wife has originally been against him meeting with us at all but he got her to go to church with him! Their youngest daughter went to nursery and it was so wonderful. After sacrament meeting we rushed over to the branch to see them and made it halfway through Gospel Principles class. It was all just great and all the members did an awesome job at fellowshipping then even if we weren't there for part of it.

Later that evening we actually had an appointment with Gabriel so we went over and he told us how he had liked church a lot even if it was different, haha. He then expressed how he has been reading and praying more and that he knows his answer won't come all at once in a big vision but little by little. He said that every day he feels more and more like this is the right path for him to be taking. Then his brother and sister-in-law came over and Gabriel was like "Oh yeah I invited them to come listen to you guys, is that okay?" and we're just like, "um... yes!!" We taught them and are going to start teaching them as well. It is incredible being able to see how happy this has made Gabriel and how quickly he's been able to see the blessings that come from living the gospel.

We had dinner at the branch president's house. We got to see a few members who had moved out of the branch but still lived near who we hadn't seen in a while!! Overall, what stood out to me the most throughout the whole day is how much love I have for everyone here. I love Gabriel and his family and want the best for them!! I love all the members here and am so grateful for their support and for the friendships I've made with everyone. I love Jesus Christ and love being able to be a missionary for His church :) I know this is true! Serving a mission is the greatest!! Days like these make me forget all about the not-so-great days!!

Thank you everyone for all you have done for me. This Thursday I hit one year and I couldn't have done it without ya :) Sorry this was a little longer than usual!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: we went to the st. louis science center and planetarium!! this is me next to a life-size portrayal of the tallest man who's ever lived lol.
Photo 2: this is one of that guy's real shoes!!
Photo 3: how much money it would cost to send a milk carton to space
Photo 4: how much money it would cost to send ME to space :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 9 - My first discussion in Spanish!

Best week ever!! Seriously! It was so awesome, the weather was nice and we've been working hard and just having so much fun. I really love my ward and everyone is just so nice! We had dinner appointments nearly ever night, so that's always good :) Really what made the week was that we actually got an investigator!!

I few weeks back I mentioned a guy named Eddy who we have been talking with. He is like 30 and isn't religious but has always like Mormons cause we're "good people" and "aren't pushy" haha :) Pretty much we haven't been able to have an actual lesson with him, so we haven't been able to count him as an investigator... until now! On Wednesday we asked if we could sit down with him and read Alma 32 together and he was like sure and let us in! We opened and closed with a prayer and everything! The funny thing is I wasn't even there because we were on exchanges, but Elder Mattson was and he said it was awesome! We hope to get to teach him this week again :)
A member from the Weldon Spring ward (the other ward in our building) talked to her friend from work the other day and apparently her friend has some questions about her beliefs! We got her address and went over to see her on Sunday and it was awesome! Her name is Quinn and she is a nice single black lady with two kids. We gave her a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and set an appointment for next Sunday! She even said that she wanted her kids to be there "in case they have any questions" :) Seriously so cool! I am so excited, she has so much potential! I really love seeing how God has prepared people to receive the restored gospel!

We are finally seeing the fruits of our labors and it is just awesome. We still have a lot of tracting to do, but we have talked about making it fun by rewarding ourselves with Sour Patch or something whenever we hand out a Book of Mormon haha :) Maybe that will help!

While Elder Mattson was on exchanges him and Elder Fullmer (one of the Weldon Spring elders) found a potential who didn't speak English named Bidal from Guatemala. The area for the Spanish branch covers like six regular areas so it is huge! Since I'm not in a Spanish speaking ward at the moment, if we find Spanish speakers we are supposed to refer them to the elders in the Spanish branch! Elder Mattson thought it'd be good for me to practice however, so we went over Sunday morning and taught him the Restoration! I taught a lesson in SPANISH! It was pretty nerve-wracking but I think I did a decent job for doing it by myself! I taught Elder Mattson how to bear a very simple testimony so he could contribute, haha :) After we taught him we referred him to the Spanish elders, so maybe when I'm transferred to the Spanish area I'll see him again! Crazy but fun experience :)

I also gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting on how scripture study prepares me to preach the gospel. I was pretty nervous but like always once I got up there I did pretty good! I also didn't read it, which I had never done before! I am a pro :)

I forgot to mention this last week, but Tuesday was Elder Mattson's 20th birthday! His mom sent him a package full of cool stuff and also included a present for me! It's a yoyo and I have been playing with it nonstop. I wish I knew some cool tricks but it is still super fun and addicting, haha!

I am so excited for the future, especially with all these good things happening! Life is good :) I love all of you so much, you guys ROCK!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: our cool new doorhanger we leave on our apartment door whenever we leave :)
Photo 2: yo yo yo
Photo 3: yo yo yo pt. 2

(i couldn't decide which yoyo pic i liked better so i added both haha)

Week 8: Love meeting so many new people

Hey everyone! Another great week in the land of Missouri :) I am really enjoying my time here, although we still haven't been able to teach anyone. However we have really been progressing with a few other people we have been talking with!

Michael is a guy who we have been seeing for a while but whenever we see him it's usually just a doorstep conversation. However this last time we saw him we decided to just make it a lesson so we even said a prayer and everything! You need a closing prayer to count it as a lesson which we forgot to do so that's a bummer but it still went great! We taught him the entire Restoration and he really likes having us over. He says that he always feels good when he talks to us and that although he is not a reader that he is "one step closer" to opening the Book of Mormon and reading a little! :) He even said that he feels that God sent us to him when he needed it the most because he had been going through a tough time the first time we saw him and that on another day he might have just said no thanks! So awesome! I love seeing how the Lord has prepared so many people to hear the gospel. I just hope we can actually make him an investigator sometime this transfer! :)

Dylan is a guy we got to meet this week! He said he used to be religious and even read the entire Bible cover to cover but that he now considers himself to be agnostic! He is super friendly and cool and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon on his doorstep. We left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet and he said that he would read the entire book in one month and to come back in four weeks! We wish we could see him sooner but we will have to wait and see if he's serious.

Yesterday we had a Mission Conference (which is why I didn't email until today) where we had the entire mission together for one big conference!! President Morgan said that this was the first time he's seen this and probably the last time! So crazy! Elder Sitati of the Seventy and his wife spoke to us and it was so great. He talked a little about how we can't convert past our own conversion and how important it is to strengthen our own testimonies before trying to help others! It was a great day!

Near the end of the conference (or so we thought), President Morgan got up and told us that the new movie Meet the Mormons had been doing super well in the box office and then announced that he had it right there on his laptop and that we were going to watch it! Everyone cheered super loudly (probably a little louder than we should have been) but it was the best thing ever. It is an amazing movie and I encourage all of you to see it! I loved it :)

The other day Elder Mattson and I were driving back to the apartment when we saw that Hardee's had BOGO cheeseburgers for only that day so we decided to go through the drivethru and get some... I had never had Hardee's/Carl's Jr. ever so it was a first!! And it was delicious, though I'd hate to see how many calories I ate, haha...

I love being a missionary and love meeting so many new people. I love this gospel and am so lucky to have it in my life! I love all of you!! Have a wonderful week :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo: Late-night Hardee's :)

Week 6: D&C 60:7-8

Hello everyone! I have been on my mission for almost a month and a half now!! Crazy! Time has flown so fast but I am loving every second of it! This week has been good, even if we still have no people to teach, haha! It is a little discouraging at times but at the end of the day we still feel accomplished and know that our efforts aren't wasted.

So to count someone as an investigator we have to teach them a lesson and have a return appointment set for the next one! A lesson has to include an opening and closing prayer and at least one gospel principle or something like that. We have three people who we see regularly but we just talk on their porch so we can't count it as a lesson! It pretty much is though.

First, there's Gabe! I don't know if I've talked about him in past emails but he is a guy who grew up Mormon but is now kind of agnostic. He can talk forever!! Seriously, he just keeps rambling haha! It is pretty funny but tiring. We visited him on Saturday and he was like "Sure, I got a few minutes!" and he came outside to talk to us. We left his house like an hour and a half later... haha pretty much it's just us trying to answer his questions and concerns and standing there listening to him! He has some very strange ideas for sure!! He is nice though, that's for sure.

Michael is another guy we visit about once a week and apparently his wife doesn't like Mormons but he thinks we're pretty cool. He can also talk a lot, but thankfully not as much as Gabe, haha! Our visits are also a lot shorter with him but still meaningful! This week he told us that he had been going through some marital problems and that talking to us made him feel a lot better! We think he has a lot of potential, but he hasn't read through the Book of Mormon or the pamphlets we've left him. He's a great guy, though!

Eddy is someone who we met by accident! We went to see a potential investigator and it turned out the the potential had moved but Eddy was like "Hey it's cool it's cool, you guys are good people! Come on by whenever you want!" and we were like oh okay awesome! So he a little agnostic as well and the funny thing is when we visited him the second time is was like total deja vu, he had no recollection of the previous visit! He pretty much said the same exact thing and when Elder Mattson asked if it had been him we had talked to the other day he was like "I don't think so man", but it was definitely the same guy... we think he must have been drunk or something haha! Anyway he is really nice and fun to talk to and he definitely has potential as well!

So our district has three companionships, and they are me and Elder Mattson, Elder Jones and Elder Hansen, and Sister Richey and Sister Reed! We aren't allowed to really hang out with the sisters so they're like an awkward third wheel, haha. We see them once a week at District Meetings and during lunch afterwards. It is pretty funny. Elder Jones and Elder Hansen are with us a lot though and they are really fun. Elder Jones twisted his foot while playing frisbee and so we went on exchanges again for a night so his companion didn't have to spend all day inside with him! It went pretty well and I got to drive for the first time since I left! It was pretty good, but it felt weird.

So we actually never went and visited the family I talked about last week! We had other appointments come up and so we are seeing them this week I think. Brother Hente (our ward mission leader) is still a little wary about teaching them because we aren't sure how fully committed they are. Who knows!!

Here's a random story! So a couple nights ago at like 4:30am a car alarm started going off in the apartment complex parking lot!! I wanted to die! Elder Mattson moved to the couch in the living room but I had some earplugs so I just put those in. However the earplugs didn't completely block out the sound so I didn't sleep much the rest of the night!! It was pretty annoying. Now that I type it out I realize how lame of a story it is but I guess it's a "you had to be there" kind of thing :)

Here's a scripture I found this week that I love!
"And in this place let them left up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you.
And let the residue take their journey from St. Louis, two by two, and preach the word, not in haste, among the congregations of the wicked, until they return to the churches from whence they came." (D&C 60:7-8)

It actually does say St. Louis haha! How much more applicable could that be to me?! I love it! :)
I love all of you!! Thank you for always being amazing and for the support you've given me :)

Love, Elder Hayes

2103 Woodale Ln.
St. Peters, MO 63376

Photo: I didn't take many photos this week haha sorry!! This is me chilling by my desk. I made my name out of cards :)

Week 5: The earth moves around the sun

Hello everyone!! So September 13th was my one month anniversary!! I am 1/24th done with my mission! Maybe I shouldn't think about that... haha anyway I can't believe how fast the time goes! Each week goes by faster than the last, and I love it!

So this area is definitely a tough one. We still have ZERO investigators! Some of the potentials we have been checking in on have some promise but most of them still haven't read the pamphlets we've left them and just won't make time to see us. It's okay though because this week things are really going to change!!

So I went on my first exchange! I spent a day with Elder Hansen from Utah (like all the Elders are from Utah lol) and it was fun! We had McDonald's for lunch which was cool. I love McDonald's... anyway it was pretty awesome!!

Also fun story of the week, we got a FLAT TIRE! Elder Mattson and I were driving when we saw the the air pressure was randomly low all of a sudden and turns out we ran over a nail or something and our front right tire was slowly deflating! Haha it was a party. Luckily he knew how to put the spare on, and we took the tire over to a Firestone to have it fixed. We spent most of that day dealing with car stuff, but it was fun :)

The week was normal up until yesterday! So our area covers most of the St. Peters city area but also extends really northward! We only get to go up north like once a week with Brother Hente (our ward mission leader) because it is just country land really and we can't afford to drive up there all the time!

So a while back this lady ran out of gas in front of Brother Hente's house and had asked him for help. Long story short, he has been helping this family out for a couple weeks and they need so much!! He has been giving them things that they need because they are super poor. On Sunday night we went with him to take them some space heaters he had and WOW!!

So the family is like five people and they consist of this lady and her son and daughter and another lady with her son. It is pretty complicated like I don't know how they started living together. Well they live in this trailer house in the middle of nowhere and it is sooo dirty!! There are like holes in the walls and there is dust everywhere and it is just so shocking! Literally everything is falling apart, it is so sad to see! Also like half of the people there are recovering from drug addictions. It is pretty sketchy!!

They actually want to become Mormon, or so they say! We don't know if they are sincere or if they just want welfare or what, so it is just complicated. We have an appointment with them this Thursday so we will see how it goes!! Really is just made me so grateful for everything I have. It was such a humbling experience seeing how these people lived with practically nothing!! I have so much to be grateful for that I take for granted every day! I love my family and the home I grew up in and my friends and everything! Thank you everyone for making me the person I am today :)

So here's a random fun thing I found out! In Helaman 12:15, Nephi (the son of Helaman) says that the Earth moves around the sun and not vice versa!! This was in about 7 BC!! He knew it before Galileo or whatever discovered it (I don't know who actually discovered it haha) Anyway I thought that was cool, to me at least :)

Sorry if this is too much to read haha! I love you all so much! Thanks for everything! Have a great week :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: Me standing my a street named after someone I once knew... ;)
Photo 2: Me waking up from a nap I think??
Photo 3: Changing the tire!! (I helped a little)
Photo 4: I got a Polar Pop from Circle K!! It's a 44oz fountain drink for like 79 cents! Love it :)

Week 4: The field is white already to harvest

Hello everyone!
Do you see that subject line?? Week FOUR! How crazy is that!! The time has gone by so fast and it's awesome! I love Missouri more and more each day it is so different but I love it! I don't think I described how Missouri looks very well (if at all) so I'll tell you now! First of all it is super flat! There are absolutely no mountains which is super weird, like if you're up high all you see is a flat expanse of green extending forever haha!! It is super green and pretty though which I enjoy! Trees EVERYWHERE! The weather is super hot and humid but starting with yesterday it cooled down considerably and now it feels amazing! It's a fun place :)

So this week has been another of trying to find potential investigators from people in our Area Book with little success! We still have no investigators at all haha!! It is kind of pathetic but we are still trying! This next week we are coming back to visit some people who said we could so hopefully we'll at least get to teach a lesson or two.

We got fed dinner literally every single night last week which was super awesome!! But unfortunately we only have one appointment set up this week... it seems like everyone signed up for the first week of the month just so they could say they fed us and not have to worry again till October... but oh well haha!

So updates on a few people we have been talking to!
Mr. Ward: Kind older black man we talked to last week and gave a Restoration pamphlet to! He said we could come back later but when we did he said he had been drinking and that it wasn't a good time lol. He did say he'll read the pamphlet though!
Gabe: A really weird guy we met while walking past his house one day. He grew up Mormon but is now more agnostic! He talks so much and it is hard to keep the conversation focused on the message. He also has a very colorful vocabulary which is always a joy to hear! He always says we can come back though so that's nice.
There are lots of more but like I said they are all potential investigators not investigators! No lessons taught yet, but we will get there soon haha. Usually they say we can come back a certain day but then they're never home...

So for the most part people here are nice but everyone already seems to have a religion they are happy with. There have been a few grumps though. Last week we were tracting and walking up to the next house and while we were like twenty feet from the door a guy slammed it open and came outside and yelled, "Get off my property right now! MOVE!!" like if we were trying to kidnap his kids or something!! It kind of scared me! It is sad because I feel like he wouldn't have been such a jerk if we weren't wearing our nametags. Some people will judge us simply because of that! It got me down for a little but as Elder Mattson and I talked about it I felt better because even if some people might be mean it is worth it to get to the people who are ready for the gospel! None of our efforts are in vain even if it seems like it sometimes. "The field is white already to harvest"!! We are harvesting the field every day even if it means going through a few weeds! The wheat is out there waiting for us!!

That was really the only negative thing that has happened so far! Overall I love being out here and love being a missionary! It is tough sometimes but it really isn't anything I can't handle. I learn more and more every day and my testimony grows every day too! The Church is true :)
I love you guys! I'm so sorry I have no photos this week I just didn't think of it! I'll be sure to send some next week.

Have a great week everyone!
Love, Elder Hayes

In case you forgot my address is:
2013 Woodale Ln.
St. Peters, MO 63376

I'd love some mail ;)

Week 3: St Peters, MO

Okay so Missouri is awesome!! It is definitely a huge change from Idaho but I love it! Sorry I didn't email yesterday like normally, my P-Day is on Monday but since it was Labor Day the library was closed!! So here I am :)

On Tuesday we left the MTC at around 5am and took a train to Salt Lake and flew out from there! I got to call home at the airport which was pretty fun! Payphones are pretty cool but confusing. I wonder how many people have touched those keypads... but yeah it was great! We were in a group of about 18 missionaries all going to St. Louis so that was definitely a party! I also saw Trent Cichos from Rexburg at the airport so that was fun and unexpected haha!!

When we got there it was so dang hot!! Like 95 or something and we were in our suits so wow it was sweaty!! Very humid! We spent the night in the mission home which was really fun! President and Sister Morgan made the best dinner and breakfast the next day oh my gosh it was delicious!! The basement is like dedicated to keeping missionaries so there are tons of bunks and it is really cool! At nighttime we went outside and I saw a few fireflies which was really cool! They look like random little blinks of light in the darkness if that makes sense... I hope I see more!

The next day we left to our new areas! My companion is Elder Mattson and he is from West Jordan, Utah. He's 19 and has been out eight months! Also, it turns out that there are only four Spanish speaking missionaries in the whole mission including me! There is also only one Spanish area and I am not in that area at the moment unfortunately... but it is still great!

My first area is in St. Peters, Missouri and the name of the area is Dardenne Creek! It is pretty cool here. It's a city area but not huge. Look it up on Google Maps or something... but yeah I like it! Pretty much all week we've just been looking in the Area Book for potential investigators, which are people who have said we could come back sometime in the future but no one has followed up on them yet. There are a lot of them! Most of them say they aren't interested but it is still fun actually.

We have a car but were out of miles so for a few days we had to walk everywhere! I got lots of blisters but it's not a big deal they are mostly healed now haha! I like walking actually because we have met a few people on the street and in front of their houses that we wouldn't have met otherwise. Every once in a while someone will wave at us to so that's always fun too!

We have dinner appointments like every night it is awesome! Everyone makes really good food and it is just a blast. We have like one investigator right now so really we've just been trying to find people, but not much luck so far! We have met some cool people though. Yesterday we were walking by a house and there was a 50-something year old black man sitting in front of his garage with a fan and a stereo, and he gave me a big wave so I waved back and then told Elder Mattson that we looked friendly and we should go talk to him! We did and he was super nice! He said his name was Mr. Ward and that he knew all about Mormons because he had lived in Salt Lake 30 years ago!! We talked to him for a bit and he said we could come by sometime later this week! He also said he is in the process of becoming a Jehovah's Witness which is a little weird but it's all good! :)

I'm sorry if this email is too long! I have lots to talk about!!
Pretty much every night here there are huge thunderstorms!! They are so awesome, it has yet to rain and not be a lightning storm haha! I've never heard thunder so loud and the lightning lights up my room like nobody else #onedirection

Here is a random joke I remembered I heard in the MTC! It is Spanish (sorry gringos)
Cual es la diferencia de una pera y la nobia de un misionero?
Uno es pera y la otra no espera!!

Hahaha it's a classic! I lol everytime!
Also, my new address is:
2103 Woodale Ln.
St. Peters, Missouri 63376

Thank you everyone!! Send me stuff! I love you all, have a great week :)
Love, Elder Hayes

MTC - Week 2: The exact thing I prayed for happened!

Hello everyone! Guess what? I leave for St. Louis TOMORROW!! Ahhh!! These past two weeks have gone by so fast! At first I was a little unsure but I absolutely love the MTC! I am such good friends with everyone and love everyone in my district! It is hard to believe how little time we have spent together. Crazy!! Since I leave tomorrow my P-Day this week was today instead of Tuesday :)

Anyway, this week has been awesome! I am such a better teacher than I was when I got here. Elder Vergara and I are so much more united which is awesome! He is only my companion for like more day though so I hope my next one is as cool! :)
The food is seriously so delicious I can't handle it. Recently I have been limiting myself to only water instead of soda and not having too much bread or desserts. I know it's lame but my body will thank me later (if bodies could talk)

So yesterday was Sunday and we had to go to the Main Campus for the devotional! We have to take buses to get there and it it is just a blast. Anyway before it started I found Braeden in the crowd and said hi to him, and was like "alright I've find you afterwards" but then afterwards I couldn't find him! I had lost him! After the devotional we all go to classrooms to watch our gospel video of choice, so we're not all together anymore! After our video I was leaving to board the bus back to West Campus and prayed that somehow Braeden would come find me so I could say bye to him before leaving the MTC! I was literally stepping into the bus when I heard someone shout and saw him right behind me!!  He had seen me from far away and ran over before I could leave! I said bye to him and was so relieved!
It might seem kind of small and dumb but I thought it was cool that the exact thing I prayed for happened. The Lord really does hear our prayers! Even if you think it's a dumb thing to ask for :)

Also some random funny stuff, we were watching a video in English and someone wanted subtitles so we put it on but the subtitles were like automated so they just tried to type what the voice was saying but it totally messed up on some words!! Like the guy said "close quote" and the subtitles said "Costco" and I was dying!! Haha so funny. Maybe you had to be there for it to be funny? Also I saw an Elder Shakespeare which is pretty cool. I didn't know that was a real name. Okay I guess it was a real name at some point but I had never seen one in real life haha!!

We had a departure devotional yesterday too and our district sang the EFY I Am A Child of God/Army of Helaman song in Spanish! It sounded pretty good, and I got to conduct it haha! It was fun, even if some of them aren't the... greatest singers ;) It was awesome!!

I love you all so much! Keep sending the Dear Elders, they are seriously the best! I know I sound desperate, but I really do love them haha. ;)

Also I think my mission home address is on my Facebook but I will try to update everyone on my address next week when I'm in Missouri!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: my first package!!
Photo 2: me and the boyzz
Photo 3: me and the boyzz pt. 2
Photo 4: we had a cream soda party!! (i promise it's cream soda) ;)
Photo 5: a picture i drew on the whiteboard on my desk!! it's two missionaries talking to a guy in mexico :)

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