Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 100 - Wow!

Week 100.... wow!!

It was a great week :) We are seeing so many miracles, it is amazing!! Biggest one would have to be someone we started teaching named Samantha.

Samantha recently moved in with a less-active member named Lucretia. Lucretia's parents are both active and in the same ward! They all went up to Nauvoo for a Saturday and Samantha had the best experience and was really interested in learning more about what we're all about! They then came to church that Sunday AND the next Sunday! So we just had to talk to them!! We ended up setting up a time to come meet with them, and she loved it and said she wanted to be baptized. WHAT!!

It gets even better :) Then we met with her AGAIN a few days later and taught part of the Plan of Salvation and she had read and prayed and felt that what we were teaching was true. We then decided she was ready and invited her to be baptized... on AUGUST 13THAnd she said yes!!!

She was at church again yesterday and is doing so awesome. I have been praying for a miracle like this and am so grateful for it! Please pray for Samantha so that nothing comes up last minute! She seems to be super excited and even told everyone in Relief Society that it was happening... so it better! :)

We also got to meet with Courtney again! If you don't remember, we were teaching her a few weeks ago. She is really solid too for the most part. We asked her if she remembered what we had been teaching her, and she recalled perfectly the entire Restoration AND Plan of Salvation perfectly! It was very impressive to be honest. People never seem to remember but she understood everything great!! Her having to work on Sunday is really her only hold-back currently.

On Saturday we went with a member to go help Samantha and Lucretia with a big pile of trash they had in their yard they needed to burn. We poured gas all over it and then I was entrusted with the task of lighting it. The gas lit way faster than I thought and I jumped back like WHOA!! Hahaha it was pretty funny. Then that night I realized it totally signed my eyebrows! No joke!! Nothing crazy but the top of my eyebrows were kind of blond-looking lol. You really can't tell unless I point it out though.

Crazy week! Lots of awesome stuff happening. Thank you everyone for all the support! Please please pray for me and for Samantha! She is great!! :) I know God answers prayers and that this is His work. Love you all!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo #1: us with sister king! she is coming back to church now!!! she's so awesome!!!!! :)
Photo #2: Me with my comp, and then us walking dramatically in the ghetto!!!

Week 99 - D&C 43:15

This week has been so awesome!! It has been raining on and off all week. It'll pour one day, then the next day it'll be sunny and SUPER humid. Then it'll rain again. Kind of fun!

On Tuesday we had an awesome meeting where the Zone Leaders trained us on preparing to teach during our morning studies! It helped me out a ton because I feel like I do get a lot of my studies but they don't prepare me for the day as much as they could. They shared this scripture:

"...Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit" (D&C 43:15)

We were invited to study not to be taught, but to teach! In other words, to base our studies on the people we'll be teaching instead of what WE want to know. It was a good meeting!

Wednesday we had a super good lesson with a cool older black lady named Desiree! We found her sitting out on her porch a couple weeks ago and have gotten to teach her twice so far. Then she got a ride to church on Sunday and loved it!! It was so awesome! Recently it's been hard to get people to church, so it was a real blessing to see her there.

I'm always worried for investigators at church when people start talking about things that they haven't been taught yet that might be confusing or not make sense, but I've realized that they usually don't mind it because they still feel the Spirit and what they DO understand really helps them out. So great!! :)

Another miracle we've seen is a less-active member named Lucretia here in the ward recently had a friend of hers move in with her named Samantha. Long story short, Lucretia went with her family to Nauvoo and Samantha got to go to and had a great experience! She isn't a member, but really felt the Spirit there and wants to learn more! She's already been to church twice and seems to really like it too. We're going to start teaching her this week! Ahhh!!! So excited! :D

It's been great! Things have been good here, but it's about to get even better. I love it so much! I know this work is true!! Love you all!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: cuttin it close!! zero miles to empty.... we rolled into the gas station just in time lol
Photo 2: elder dial and i with the brother nunez and his daughter waleska!

Week 98 - Hard to believe it's coming to an end

​Hey everyone!! Hard to believe it's already been another week!

This week definitely had its ups and downs! We were blessed with a few new people to teach, but sadly everyone else we had been teaching had to reschedule or cancel, so that kind of bummed us out a little bit... :( Not a big deal though! We have felt recently that while finding people to talk to isn't a problem here, we need to focus on not just finding people who will talk to us, but people who will act! It's a bit tougher... haha :)

Things are great here though! One cool lesson we had was with the Akpulonu family. I've talked about them before, but they're from Nigeria and are pretty much the coolest. They went to church on Father's Day, and all the talks talked all about the priesthood, which they had lots of questions about. They believe we can all have the priesthood just by believing in Jesus Christ. We aren't sure how to address some of their concerns... but they are definitely sincere and want to find out for themselves! So that's great :)

On Sunday we were surprised to see two less-active members we've been working with come again! It was their second time making it back. They both came a few weeks ago and don't know each other, but both just happened to make it again at the same time. So that was definitely a tender mercy. Elder Dial and I also had the fun opportunity to teach a class of 13 year old boys about covenants, so that was fun! Kids are super funny hahaha. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was 13!!

Sacrament Meeting was great too! We heard from a Brother Inostroza, who told us about how when he was first taught by missionaries in Chile, he couldn't understand their English since they were both new and didn't speak very well, haha! But he then went on to say that although he couldn't understand everything, he felt something that day and that is why he is here today. It was a really good talk and it made me think about what my goal is when I teach people. Of course I want them to understand, but more important than that is creating an environment in which they can feel the Spirit! It was a great Sunday :)

I love being here! Hard to believe it's coming to an end, but I am SO grateful for the chance I have to serve these people at this point in my life. I know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that I am here for a reason! Love you all!!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo 1: dragon street art!!
Photo 2: fourth of july!!
Photo 3: fourth of july!! pt. 2
Photo 4: so cool!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 97 - Jesus Christ lives and this is His Church

It's been quite the week! We're emailing now because the libraries were closed yesterday. It's been wild!! Good news: it's a new transfer and Elder Dial and I are both staying in Springfield! Sooo I will be finishing my mission here! Woohoo!!! We are both super excited. It's going to be so great!

It's been pretty good recently. The coolest thing that happened was probably on Sunday. We had a few people who told us they would be at church, however when we tried to check with them the morning of, most of them told us something came up so we were pretty bummed out and didn't really expect anyone to show up. Then suddenly our phone buzzed about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting and it was Jean! He is a guy we're teaching from the Congo. He told us he was on his way!! So Elder Dial and I went out into the foyer to wait for him and he made it! He was a half hour late, but he still made it. We were pretty happy about that :)

Courtney is doing good too. Sadly, she got called in to work last minute (of course) on Sunday and couldn't make it :( So since she still hasn't made it to a sacrament meeting, her baptism date will need to be postponed. Hopefully it still happens, though!

Lots of missionaries in our district are changing so it will be fun to see some new faces. One of them will be a brand new missionary, so that will be interesting!! It feels like just yesterday that was me. I can't believe time has flown so fast!

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but people out here get really creative with their names. Like... REALLY creative. We met a lady the other day who told us her name was "tuh-keeria" and then spelled it for us. She told is it was Spanish or something. It was then when I realized that her name is a Spanish word for a taco restaurant. TAQUERIA. I about died. I don't think she knows what it means... hahaha I thought that was super funny.

Nothing huge happened on the Fourth of July. We played pool at someone's house with some other elders and then watched some fireworks outside our apartment. It was a good day! I am having a blast here. We are working with some great people who I really hope I get to see be baptized either while I'm here or down the road. They have great potential! Jesus Christ lives and this is His church! Love you all!

Love, Elder Hayes

Photo: MURICA!!!!

(i had so many more photos but i definitely forgot my camera today. so next week you'll get a TON)

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