Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 87 - I really am so blessed to be here right now

This week's been crazy! First off all, the weather's been amazing for the last two weeks. It's warm and the sun's always out and it's great!!

We were able to start teaching this family called the Nunez. The father is actually a member but his wife isn't and either is his daughter, who turns 9 pretty soon. They are a super nice family, although the wife isn't very interested and is actually opposed to their daughter being baptized :( We aren't sure how to help them progress. We will keep meeting with them though and want to focus on the father and getting him fully reactivated.

We also started teaching this lady named Peggy who requested a free Bible off of mormon.org. At first we weren't sure how capable she was of comprehending things, but we think she is slowly starting to grasp what we are teaching her. She even came to stake conference yesterday and seemed to enjoy it! We will see if she continues to progress. We'll just be teaching little by little!

We were very blessed this week to be honest. We were able to meet so many new people and teach so many of them! It has been wonderful. I think it's really just because we are trying so hard to talk to everyone we see. Lots of people are out walking around because of the nice weather so we've just been going out of our way to invite everyone to learn about the gospel, and people have been receptive surprisingly!!

I love working with Elder Soutas. Him and I get along and are doings lots of good in this area :)

We saw Audrey this week, and she confessed that although she went to church last week, she actually didn't want to go again because she felt that the Sacrament Meeting was too irreverent. She thinks all the kids should be put in a daycare so it's not so loud and that there were too many people talking and not paying attention to the speaker. It's really sad but hopefully be able to help her see why we sit as families for the first meeting and also coordinate with the Bishop to help the ward with being more respectful.

I really am so blessed to be here right now. I know it's where God needs me to be! I love you all!! :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: I turned 20 on the 16th and we made a cake with some mix my mom sent us :) we had some skittles and sour patch kids so we decided to throw those into the cake too to make it better. Turned out awesome!!!
Photo 2: that pink squiggle to the right of me is a balloon. lol



Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 86 - Springfield is really an awesome city

Lots of miracles this week! I am loving my new area! Springfield is a really awesome city and I have met some great people!!

Elder Soutas is a great companion. He is from South Jordan, UT and has been on his mission for a little over 10 months! We get along great and are working hard.

My first day here we met a lady who had referred herself on mormon.org​ named Audrey. She's from Mexico but has been living here for a while! She has some Mormon family members and a brother who is investigating in Champaign (about an hour from here)! She told us that she wanted to learn more because she had seen how happy it had made her family and wanted that for herself. She is pretty much golden! The next day we had a lesson with her and she made us some super good burgers where the patties were made out of black beans or something. They tasted great!! Audrey is so humble and wants to be baptized! It really is a huge miracle that the very first day I get here we get to start working with someone solid who I can practice Spanish with :)

We also met a man from Nigeria named Netty! We talked to him on the street not too far from where we live, actually! Later that week we visited him and taught his entire family about the Book of Mormon! They are Christian but are still super nice and willing to learn!! We have been amazed by the amount of diversity here. Especially in all the apartments near ours, we have been meeting all kinds of people jut walking around! Yesterday we met some people from France and two ladies from Togo (a French-speaking African country)! It is such a huge blessing! They are all so humble and willing to listen to us.

Sunday was a great day honestly. Audrey came to church!! She had to leave right after Sacrament Meeting but promised she would stay for the full three hours next week :) We will hopefully be setting a baptism date with her tomorrow. Pray for Audrey! She is so awesome!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again-- I love being a missionary! It has been such a wonderful experience to help people come closer to Christ and I am so grateful for this chance I have to serve in Springfield. I know I'm here for a reason! And even though things are going good now, we are determined to not get complacent or slow down :) This gospel is true!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo: Elder Soutas and me!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 85 - Springfield, Illinois - I know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us

SPRINGFIELD!! That is the name of my new area :) I leave tomorrow and I am super excited! It's a lot bigger than Effingham and also happens to be the capital of Illinois! It is going to be super cool. I will continue to be a district leader over there and my new companion will be Elder Soutas. I know nothing about him... but hopefully we will get along :)

I will be serving in a ward, which will be different from Effingham! I really liked being in a small branch. I got to know everyone so well and it's just so much more cozy. I'm sure I'll like my new ward though :) 

Elder Cheney will be getting another missionary who I don't know very well, but who is still a hard worker from what I have heard. I'm glad Effingham and my trainee will be in good hands :) Training a new missionary has been such a good experience for me. It really is humbling and I have learned and grown so much from it. I'll miss him for sure!

It's been an interesting last week. We got to meet a lot of cool people who I wish I could continue to teach, but I will just have to pray for them and ask Elder Cheney how things go with them. Yesterday we got to teach this super cool black guy named Steve who said he would come to church next Sunday with his two daughters! Super cool!! We also set an appointment with a lady named Marjorie who has lived in the US for 30 years but is Nigerian. Effingham has very little black people, so it's been kind of funny how we're finding all of them!

We weren't able to meet with Roy or Mayra this week... both of them cancelled their appointments and didn't make it to church :( We are sad but hopefully they will start progressing more here soon. There is still lots of potential with them and some of our other investigators :)

I thank God every day for the privilege it was to serve in the Effingham branch and for all the wonderful people I've gotten to meet out here. It's been great! I'm excited for what these next few months have in store. I know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and is aware of us. Jesus Christ lives!

As soon as I know it, I will send out my new address so you can send me stuff!! :)

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: the district!!
Photo 2: chillin outside of a restaurant in casey, il. elders peterson, trautman, cheney, and me!
Photo 3: the Angel family!! Super cool investigators! I will miss them and their cooking!!




Week 84-- Last week in Effingham

I have been in Effingham for so long! Six months is quite some time. This coming week will be my last week here, so we're getting ready to make it the best ever! And it's looking like it will be!!

This week was a decent one. General Conference was definitely the highlight of it all! How can it not be? The best part was that for the Sunday Morning Session, Roy was able to come watch it at the church with us! For those who don't remember, he's the guy who moved into the apartment below us a month or so. He came to church but then missed the next few weeks, so it was really good for him to make it this time! We'll be teaching him tonight, so hopefully things go well :)

Another great moment was getting to teach Mayra yesterday. We hadn't met with her in a couple weeks, so it was good to catch up with her! She is super cool and like I mentioned once, is from the Dominican Republic! We taught in English and Spanish, and review the Restoration with her. She really seemed to like what we were saying, and felt bad about not reading since last time. We explained how important it is for her to read so she can receive an answer for herself! She promised she'd do it :) She's also getting a ride from a member to church tomorrow! We're super excited for her!! :)

Although I'm a little tired of the area itself, I will definitely miss a lot of the people I've met here. I hope people like Roy and Mayra continue to progress even after I leave!

I found out Saturday night where I'm going to go! Will I go back to the Spanish branch? Will I go somewhere else? Will I train another missionary? Who knows!!

General Conference really reaffirmed my testimony of prophets. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's authorized representative here on earth and that Jesus Christ leads His church through him and his apostles. Serving a mission is such a privilege! I love it!

My address for the next week is still:

404 W Edgar Ave Apt 1
Effingham, IL 62401

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo: a cool wooden covered bridge we drove through. really not that cool but I thought it was.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Elder Hayes' Video - One Year Mark

Enjoy this video I put together for Elder Hayes! The song is very beautiful. Can't believe it's been a year already. Love you, son! (Don't forget to click HD on the bottom right for the best quality!)

Posted by Beverly Zayas Hayes on Monday, August 31, 2015
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