Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy Happy Easter

Happy Easter!!! (Yesterday!!)

We saw the guy who gave $150 to the congregation yesterday. (I forgot to mention he got the money back.) He's still planning on coming to conference next week!

We also saw the pastors wife again. She's really awesome. I love her so much. The only issues is she works the night shift, so she's asleep all day. The only time we can meet with here is on Tuesday and it would be easier if we could meet with her more then once a week. But it's all good.

This week, Sister Camilleri and I met a lady that was selling her house. We were just walking, she waved at us and we went over to talk to her. (Why pass up an invitation like that?) After talking to her a bit, she let us come inside so she could show us what she remodeled in her house. We got a tour, she showed us she has those secure window things (can't remember what they are called.) What's interesting about the whole thing is she kept telling us she doesn't even let her neighbors come in her house. Maybe the only reason she let us in, was so we could tell everyone about her house. But i'm continuously surprised at how much strangers trust us sometimes. For example, we are just going door to door tracting and some people, (not all) tell us their whole life story, (no we don't ask them to us it either) and what's weird is they don't know why they trust us. It's not like we did something amazing to deserve that trust.
Yeahhhhhhhh... Lost my train of thought...


Awesome experience of the week!
So the elders before us met a guy named Alex. We have been trying to get a hold of him bu he's never been home. This week when we went over there to see if he was home, his mom answered the door. She said we could come back later in the week. (She wasn't feeling good that day.) We came back on Thursday and had a lesson. Just before we started talking about Joseph Smith, we asked if she had any questions. She told us that she doesn't understand why there are so many churches when we asll serve the same God. It was a perfect transition.

Speaking of which, I'm always mind blown when we share the Joseph Smith story. I expected more people to think we are crazy or say something about how that's impossible. But everyone just sits back quietly and listens. I was told (it was in the MTC or with Sister Reed) that we just have to speak the truth. It doesn't need to be fancily worded. Just clear truth. (Example: God loves you, or telling the First Vision in Joseph Smith's words.) When to teach doctrine in clear simple truth, it gives the Holy Ghost the opportunity to testify. And that is a HUGE testimony builder for me.

We thought we were going to have three investigators at Church so we asked the gospel principles teacher to teach a lesson on prophets. (The spirit of the Lord told us that prophets was the lesson our investigators needed to hear.) Only one showed up at church and he didn't come to class. But it was good because the teacher really needed to teach that lesson.

All and all, a fantastic week! :)

-Sister Hayes
(28 March 2016)

Formers, Referrals, Investigators! Oh My! (Not to be confused with "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My")

Hello again!!!

Sister Camilleri and I have been throughly blessed this week. We have contacted a lot of less actives that  are willing to meet with us-formers, referrals, (one that was busy, even asked us to come back until we get in touch with them again.) And we have a Progressing Investigator again. Actually since our former progressing investigator came to church yesterday, we have two progressing! And a former has promised to come to church next week!

The only real annoyance was the microwave. Stupid thing wouldn't stop beeping, and randomly start cooking. (The keypad was shorted-yelling and hitting it with a foam sword didn't work...) But we got that fixed! :)

The other not so happy, brief, but terrifying moment of my week was seeing a rat for the first time! And no they are nothing like the rats in the "Gregor the Overlander" series. Which is good if you think about it, that rat was big enough the size it was.

Finally got to help someone pack! Three times... But it was good! Service is awesome, the lady we were helping had gone on a mission to France so it was cool to swap stories as we packed.

Had corn beef for the first time. I have been so scared to try it. The family we it with said they don't put the seasonings on it,because they don't like the seasonings. Wasn't all bad.I'd eat it again. I think the seasonings are what make people who don't like it, hate corn beef.

Went on exchanges again. Walked. A LOT! Good learning experience though. I did teach a lesson all by myself. Wasn't fantastic, he got to talking about politics, but I turned it back around to the lesson smoothly. (I think). Also, learned I need to learn my area better. Sister Camilleri and I don't think we will be together next transfer. (She's sure she's leaving. And she thinks I'll be training. SCARY!)

My first zone conference was this week too. It was really good and I learned and relearned a lot of stuff about self conversion.

Stay Awesome!
(That sounds corny...)

Sister Hayes
(21 March 2016)

Keeping an Elder's promise I knew nothing about.

Great news!!!!!

We saw the guy who gave $150 to the congregation again!!! :D We have been going over almost every night since February 7th (the Sunday he bore his testimony). Sister Camilleri lost hope and I had too. I've been thinking about dropping him for a while, to be honest, but I hate having to drop people. So yesterday, Sister Camilleri and I agreed that if we didn't see him, we would drop him. I was heartbroken. We went over right after church. He was in his garage and I was immediately overjoyed!!!! He's planning on coming to General Conference and wants us to come over in three weeks.

We also saw the mom who wants to put her boys in scouts. We didn't teach a lesson or anything. (She had a migraine and hadn't been feeling well for a while.) We did do service and helped her boys do their homework though. We met her husband, who was thankful for our help. It was good. We are going over again tonight to see how she's doing.

Also, we contacted a former. He's in construction and left on Saturday, he won't be back until April. Apparently he was told by the elders some time ago that they would get in touch with him again and explain about Christ coming to the Americas. He admired the fact that we kept their promise (which of course we knew nothing about). So that was cool.

On Sunday, I got a little girl who came up to me after sacrament meeting and hugged my leg, which surprised me because I remember seeing her but I just thought I saw her before at church. It was sweet though. Then we went into the five-year-old class becuase the teacher asked us to share with her class how they can be a missionary now. When we walked in, they all started bouncing in their chairs shouting "It's the missionaries! Those are my missionaries!!!!" Then all of them went on to say taht we had dinner at all of their houses. (The little girl that hugged me earlier was in there.) It was really sweet. They were all super cute.

All in all, a good week. I can't wait to see how the next one turns out!

-Sister Hayes
(14 March, 2016)

A short email...

So. I have some news about Michael. He took three lessons. He's still reading the Book of Mormon. But he doesn't want to change his life style. Still praying for him though.

Met with three inactive in one night. Yay for us!!!

We met with some members on Thursday. They gave me Lemon Meringue pie. Thank goodness it was Thursday.

We also met a potential this week. She was receptive and said she didn't understand why there are so many churches when we all serve the same God. We talked about the restoration and she agreed with all of it. We think she will be really solid if her husband, the pastor, doesn't deter her.

I forgot my list of stuff that happened this week and this is all I can remember. So, sorry it's a short one this week.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Just Skip the Big Paragraph

Hi Everyone! (Seriously, just ignore this one.)

Not a ton to talk about but I'll make it as interesting as possible.

Soon after I got transferred to this ward we were told that a lady wanted to meet with us and hear more about the Boy Scout program for her sons. Up until this week she has either not been home and not calling or texting us back. (We talked to her on the phone once and scheduled an appointment, but she wasn't home when we went over.) But we finally met her and her family! She was really nice and we had fun talking through, though she asked about the differences in our churches and we ended up talking about pretty much everything. She didn't seem overwhelmed (Yay!) and asked us to come back. So. I'm pretty happy about it.

We went to the temple this week. Since it's not in our mission, we have to get member rides. Until almost the last second,(Slight exaggeration,. I'm not sure when she texted.) We didn't have a ride, and I was getting kinda worried. Our ride saw that our ward mission leader's wife put up a page asking for a member to give us a ride on Facebook. At first sdhe wasn't going to text us, but then she did. The spirit prompted her and we were all ables to go. She said she really need to be at the temple that day. So that was a testimony builder for me. (Also I saw my old MTC companion, Sister Kent!!)

This Saturday our mission did something called sacrifice Saturday. I do love our ward but it's not very missionary minded. Twice I've heard of, at least, they started going back to their church. It might not be THE church but at least it's a church. And while yes, that's true. They can get spiritually filled in their church, but they still are missing the fullness. They think we do all the work and they just generally point in a direction. I mean they feed us and we get fed every night, but other then that not really. Gordon B. Hinckley said that "Anyone who is familiar with this work, knows there's a better way." I can't find or remember the title of the talk, but basically it's about how we as missionaries need help from the members. We can go and knock on 100 doors a day and just do tracting but how many will open? How many will even listen? How many of those will we ever see again? When on the other hand you 100 people in a ward and they think of one friend who MIGHT be interested. Some will agree to come and I think you see where I'm going here. The thing is we really CAN'T do this alone. Yes. This is God's work and yes, He helps us put the best He can. I've been to two baptisms on my mission and I'm teaching someone that might be baptized. All three (yes I realize it's a small number) have friends who brought them to church, invited the missionaries over while they were there, shared testimonies, or literally (in our investigator's case) literally dragged them to a missionary lesson. We as missionaries can go out there and maybe bring in 15 people to the fold (Just as an example) but unless they are fellow shipped, they might not stay. Bringing a friend means they already have someone to fall back on and trust. And they are more likely to stay. I'm not saying all this to on a rant or complain about numbers. These people are more than numbers. They are people. They have souls, they have wishes and dreams, aspirations, and they can feel lost too. They have trials and hardships just like the rest of us. They have something missing int their lives and they aren't always quite sure what it is.

I'm not trying to give anyone a guilt trip. I'm guilty of this. But there are moments on my mission when I realized just how vital the gospel is in our life and it really is my decision on whether the guy smoking, with tattoos and saggy pants, or the man behind the door with the evil dog and the flashlight in my face, accepts the gospel or not. And what if they don't. Am I in the wrong for asking? NO. They just don't understand. They don't understand how much hope they can find and how much happiness they can have. Getting a little off topic here but since I'm thinking about it, there is honestly no worse feeling as a missionary then dropping someone. I feel like my heart gets jerked a bit. Even if I haven't met them it just hurts. Because they don't know or understand. I feel desperate to try again and again if they don't answer and if they do and flat out tell us, hey we aren't interested anymore it cuts like nothing else. Am I saying it's worse then any cut, no I'm not. It's different. You come out into the field and you dedicate so much and you pray for them and sometimes fast and then you feel the Saviors love for them and it fills you with such charity. And when you have to let it all go, it effects you.

Okay enough with all the deep talk. I can't even remember what my original point was.

So interesting things of the week we met  a lady in the ward who had over 100 baby dolls in glass cases. That scared Sister Camilleri so first the animals for Sister Diaz and then dolls for Sister Camilleri wonder what obsession is going to scare me... We bought foam swords last week and used them for companion inventory. It was fun. Both ripped but I got a work out. I also bought a doctor who water bottle to help motivate me to drink 6 bottles of water a day. So far, so good.

And that's all I have to say for now so I'm signing off.

(P.S. I'm sorry if you did read all of this.)

Sister Hayes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Taxidermies

Transfer calls came in this week. I'm staying! It really is a relief though because our ward has had way to many many changes this last transfer people got worried when we went on exchanges.

So I have been in a trio since Wednesday. The other sister's companion in our zone, went home for medical reasons, so she's been with us. And their ward has been through a lot of changes too. (Not as crazy as ours but as many as ours.)

Now before I go into this story, I want to get my bases covered. I love the sister that went home. I miss her and I'm sorry she had to go home when she had only five days left in her mission. But we went to a members home for dinner (interesting fact, they had at LEAST 25 taxidermies in their living room and dining room). Anyway after dinner and spiritual thought, one of the members asked us a question. I couldn't think of the answer and my companion wasn't sure what to say. But the third sister who's companion just went home and was able to answer her question. As the member talked, I became very aware that she need to hear the answer that the other sister gave. She had bee praying about it and it was a testimony for her and for me. I don't know honestly why God sent the sister home five days early. That might be the reason, that might be part of the reason, but i know that since the member was in our ward and the other sister never would have been able to answer her question had her companion not gone home.

We revisited the three potentials, two rescheduled one wasn't home.

At district meeting, we talked about people in the Book of Mormon who didn't get to see the fruit of their labors. The three that came to my mind were Abinidi, Samuel the Lamanite, and Moroni. And it kinda hit me that I don't know who I've made an impact on. My point is, as long as I'm being obedient and doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I am going to have an impact on someone. Maybe just the members of the ward that have never had sister before. And I probably won't see all my efforts accomplish but that doesn't mean they didn't impact somebody.

So two testimonies, one letter. The smaller news is that we visited two fo the potentials from last week and have appointments scheduled. And we went to five hours of church this week. Since wee were covering three different wards.

Till Next Week.
Sister Hyaes.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Annoying Alarm

Sorry. Myldsmail kinda was having problems last week so some of my emails didn't send. This is last weeks.

Went on 2 exchanges this week. The first we were woken up by "you've got a friend in me" at 1:50 in the morning... And it went off three times. My companion put a nap alarm on the phone but instead of setting it as PM, she set it as AM. So we were tired but we did a lot of tracting and found three potential investigators!
We helped a lady move her Italian couch and pack all her glass using blankets. My first service project as a missionary.
So we decorated for a Valentine's dance. We put on chair body suits. Not really how else to describe them... It looked good though.
My Valentine's Day was fantastic. The scouts heart attacked our door, we had an exciting "romantic" dinner with a fantastically wild family. And for the first time since my first day in the field, I slept the entire night!
Once on exchanges, I taught a guy named Mike. He got baptized and when he came up out of the water, he threw his fists in the air in victory.
And it's moments like that, that makes all the rockier parts of missionary life worth it. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many people yell, swear, or flip us off. It doesn't matter that some beg us to look into our religion, get angry at us, or say they got to what the sisters and I call "the great and abominable church." (They have hate Mormon classes.) The headaches, the early mornings, waking up every night because you dream of going to meetings (that's just me though), the big dogs you can't see through the screen barking at you. It's that one email telling you that you have a referral, the one person who doesn't shoo us away when they see us coming, the one that lets us stay and talk, the one who says they will let us back, the one that's taking the lessons, that one little miracle of the day. That's what makes it worth it. That's what pulls you out of bed in the early morning, it's what makes you say "one more house then we will go to dinner", it's way brings you hope and a realization that your assisting in something much bigger then anything you have ever been a part of.
-Sister Hayes