Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 74 - The Holy Ghost can give us all customized counsel through personal revelation

What a week!! Lots of things happened! After it was pretty cold for a few days, it's been warming up a tiny bit and this week shouldn't be as bad.

For some reason the last couple weeks have been a little rough on us with finding new people to teach. The ones we are currently teaching are all doing great but we just haven't been able to find any recently :\ It's alright though! We've set some good goals and this next week should be better!!

Good news: We set a baptism date with a lady named Hillary for February 27th!! She is pretty solid. I'm not sure if I've mentioned her in the past, but she lives about a half hour south of Effingham. We found her knocking some doors a few weeks ago and this was our third lesson we've had. She likes her current church but is interested in hearing what we have to offer. It's cool to see how she is really willing to give everything a chance. She says she doesn't want to turn us away without first seeing if what we offer is something better than what she has! Pretty cool! She is excited to be baptized!!

We saw her Saturday night and she was committed to come to Church the following morning but didn't come!! We were sooo bummed! Like last week, we had a lot of people committed to attend but only one showed up :( We aren't sure what more we can do for them! They all seem to want to come but then just don't make it :( We are sad for them but recognize that we are doing our part and that we shouldn't get too down on ourselves when things don't quite work out :)

Elder Cheney is doing well! He seems to have adjusted pretty quickly! It was a great week but hopefully this next week is even better!

Something that's become clear this week is how the Holy Ghost can give us all customized counsel through personal revelation. He will tell us what we need to improve on if we ask with real intent! During Priesthood on Sunday we read the talk "What Lack I Yet?" which outlines this pretty well. It was good and something I've been trying to incorporate into my prayers :)

I love this work and I know it's real! Thank you everyone for the support! Time continues flying by :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: so dramatic!!!!!
Photo 2: awesome after-storm sunset!!
Photo 3: Me with Elder Christiansen and some people we do service for every week! They actually aren't members but still love missionaries and appreciate our help :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 73 - I know this work is true and thank God every day

Hey everyone! Sorry I couldn't email earlier, we had some stuff going on this morning and yesterday the library was closed :) It has been quite the week, let me tell ya! It has definitely had its ups and downs. I will start with the ups though :)

My trainee is named Elder Cheney! He grew up in Las Vegas, but about three years ago moved to Ephraim, Utah. He is very excited to be a missionary and so far we have been getting along. I find myself being reminded of how awkward and not confident I was when I first entered the mission field, haha. I loved my trainer so I am trying to be a good example and to do the things that I liked about my training experience. So far so good!! :)

I think I have mentioned him in the past, but we recently set a baptism date with a man named Brian! His wife was a referral from a ward member, but he ended up being the only one really willing to progress. He is older and grew up Baptist but is no longer active! He didn't make it to church this week due to a sickness he had, but he is better now and he is planning on being baptized on the 13th of February! We are soo excited for him!! He is very humble and has had a couple close friends and family members pass away recently, but says that since he's attended the church and learned about it that it has somehow helped him feel at peace. So great!

So sad news, a member from the branch passed away on Thursday, one day before his 70th birthday! He was super funny and such a good man, so it's sad to not see him anymore. He attended his funeral yesterday and it was sad but also a very uplifting service.

On Sunday we were super pumped because we had SIX people committed to come to sacrament meeting! SIX!! We were so excited but were quite disappointed when​ not a single one showed up :( We were pretty sad but got over it fairly quickly. I actually gave a talk too! My topic was enduring to the end, and I thought it went very well! I received several compliments from different members saying how impressed they were by it. I was quite flattered, lol!! :)

Anyway, I'm excited to keep helping Elder Cheney. Training is fun but also a bit tougher than my past companionships have been! I know this work is true and thank God every day for the opportunity I have to be here at this time. Love you all!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: me with my boy!!
Photo 2: close up!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 72 - I'm gonna be a dad!

SUCH a good week!! So many crazy things happened. First of all we it's transfer week and I got some big news! Drumroll please...

I'm TRAINING!! I'm gonna be a dad!

A brand spankin' new missionary will be coming into Effingham on Wednesday. He's so new is literally still in the MTC, lol. I can't believe it! I am a little nervous but mostly excited to find out who it is. I'm sure we will get along! It'll be a pretty big responsibility but I think it will be awesome. Yay for new responsibilities!!

It's been fun serving with Elder Christiansen. He's a great guy and I've actually learned a lot from him. I've also learned a lot about myself and since Elder Christiansen was my first "kind of green" companion, I think it's prepared me to train so hopefully I do alright :) Pray for me!!

I think the coolest part of the week was yesterday. It was a pretty packed day! We had an awesome lesson with this less-active member named Sarah and her two daughters, Nadine (16) and Lana (10). The daughters are not members, and a couple months ago we actually taught them part of the Restoration! With the holidays and other stuff, it's been tough to meet with them more since then but we were finally able to meet again! We brought a member and her daughter to the lesson and we watched the Restoration DVD with them. It all went really well! Nadine felt more comfortable having someone her age there too, we think. It was so awesome! They said they would come to church next week. We are SO excited! Hopefully we get to keep meeting with them :)

We also had the awesome privilege to have yet another mission conference, in which we got to hear from Elder Rasband of the Twelve and Elder Martino of the Seventy. Something Elder Rasband talked a lot about was how special are calling really is and how we need to make sure we take advantage of this time we have to serve full-time. We have two full years to be laser-focused on nothing but the Lord's work. Pretty cool!

He also mentioned that when he was first asked to be a general authority by Gordon B. Hinckley, that he was asked "Brother Rasband, does the testimony of Jesus Christ still burn in your bosom as it did when you were a young missionary?" It was pretty cool to hear how close we are as missionaries to God and how we should strive to keep that afterwards. It was such a great conference!!

It was a good week. It's getting cold but we're doing fine!! :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 71 - I know this work is real

Hey everyone! We've been picking things up this week for sure!! Firstly, (is that a word)​ our car was towed out of the hole Thursday morning. After five days of being car-less we finally got it back! The road was too narrow so they actually had to bring a tiny tractor to come pull it out. Pretty embarrassing... but things are all okay now! :) Woohoo!!

Not a ton happened on New Years. We had dinner with a family but didn't stay super late or anything. We were pretty tired so we just went to bed at the usual time. It was a good day though!

This week we've been able to find a couple new people to teach! One of them is named Shirley, and she is actually the grandma of someone we've been teaching for a while now-- Kennedy! Kennedy lives in her house, and we just never got around to talking to her until this week. She is pretty cool and thinks very highly of us. She thinks it's awesome that we are willing to give up our time to do this. She is also going to start reading the Book of Mormon with Kennedy which will be awesome for their relationship. They don't always get along,  but this should really help them :)

The other people we found are Ben and Dana. They are a super nice Pentecostal couple! They are really active in their church but are still willing to have us over and to read! We will see if anything comes of it. They have their 10-year-old son enrolled in this program called Bible Quizzing, which Pentecostals apparently really like doing. It involves different competitions and by the end of the program, they basically know the Bible incredibly well. We asked him if he knew what James 1:5 said and he quoted it back to us perfectly... pretty impressive! Anyway they're super cool and we're excited to see what they think of the Book of Mormon :)

It's been a cool week! We are glad we finally have a car again. I can't believe it's 2016 already. 2015 was an awesome year and I have a feeling 2016 is going to be just as great :) I'm so excited for the future!! I know this work is real and that we really do have a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for us.

In about a week Elder Christiansen will most likely be taking off. I've enjoyed working with him and am excited to find out who I'll be getting next!!

Love ya!!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo: the weekend we got stuck the amount of rain was apparently record-breaking for illinois. this isn't the road we got stuck on! and we also didn't drive across it, don't worry lol

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