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...

Anyways.

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Oops... My Bad!!!

Okay so my last email, I forgot to explain the title.

A guy stood up in sacrament meeting and he wasn't a member. But he complimented the church and gave $150 to the congregation for Boy/Girl Scouts. He wants a flag. So later, my companion and I are going to go see him.

$150 for a flag? How about the gospel instead?

Let's see what I can remember before Wednesday. I didn't win Exploding Kittens this time. But that's okay, it's fun to just play. Gonna miss it though.

Umm... What else happened before Wednesday besides I have found that I still hate cameras. And that it's a cures to be short. (Then again my last two companions were shorter than me if you can believe that.)

My first day in this area we had dinner with a family who had a son with quote "The Biggest Imagination Ever". There was a Relief Society activity right after that. I was taught that the best scent ever is cotton candy perfume that a lady in the ward wears. Haven't smelled it yet but like five or six of the women in the ward agreed.

Speaking of activities, we went to New Beginnings as well. It was Cinderella theme, all the girls changed into pjs afterward and had a dinner and played games.

Nothing much in the way of teaching. Still trying to meet people and get to know the ward, so I really don't have anything exciting to share. Now that I've said that I probably will have too much to write next week.

-Sister Hayes

Monday, February 8, 2016

Oops. I skipped a week.

Sorry everyone. I skipped writing last week because I was beating some of the elders in my district at "exploding kittens." So, I'm going to write as if this was last week...

Being a missionary over singles ward is interesting. Well I say that but it's more different then interesting. Tracking is so hard. I think since I've been out here, I've ran into one age limit and unmarried. And that's Michael.

Speaking of which, although he doesn't know it yet, he has somewhat of a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We asked him how he was doing on his reading and he said that he had read but that day had been a hard day so he was going to read it that night because he knew it would make him feel better. We also invited him to an activity, but he didn't come. *soft groan* (It feels like Thursday will NEVER come.)

Random fact... I had sushi for the first time. Wasn't bad. I can't say much more but the titles of the sushi were.... Interesting.... And yes I meant it as interesting that time.

This week on temporary exchanges I found out something bomb in Jacob chapter 7.

3And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me.

4And he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me.

Think about it. To me it sounds like he had heard about Jacob but hadn't met him yet. And "sought much opportunity that he might come unto Jacob."

For some reason I always pictured it as they met in the street or something.

6And it cam to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto me, saying: Brother Jacob, I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto you; for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which ye call to group, or the doctrine of Christ.

7And it came to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto me, saying: Brother Jacob, I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto you.

First thing he says to Jacob. He tells him he sought much opportunity to speak to him.

So in my mind, I'm thinking Jacob isn't a fool. He sees this going about and I imagine it didn't happen all in one day. So he's avoiding Sherem because Jacob knows what he wants and what he's going to try to do. Now I am going to skip a couple verses real quick.

22Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had request it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.

We know he prayed about before. But I bet the prayer wasn't just for his people (that's what the verse before was about). I bet part of it was for himself. Give him courage to face the trial that was surely going to come. Give him the strength and the words to say in the battle of words.

His two answers to his prayers:
8 But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words.

21 And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the eart.

Naturally, I applied it to myself and about how we can pray for things that ware going to come that we don't want to face, and that God will answer our prayers.

Anyway, small thought.

Time on a mission is super weird. I already feel like I've been here like three months and then I try to teach and I'm like nope. I've only been here three days!!! Haha

One last story/thought before I go.

Yesterday to save miles we got a ride to church, but they couldn't give us a ride back so we got a ride home with someone else. She almost forgot us but we caught her in time.

On the way home, her clutch broke. We were stuck in third gear. She said she could get us to her house as long as we didn't stop.

Naturally, a car was driving the opposite way at a stop sign so we had to stop. And the car got stuck.

She tried calling people for help and my companion and I tried to figure out how to pop the hood to see if the trouble was under there. (We don't know all that much about cars.)

Anyway, we finally got it out of third gear and into neutral so we started walking and pushing to the nearest parking lot.

Two guys hopped out of their cars to help us push which was super nice of them.

Back at the members home, we all talked about it. God knew her clutch was going to break. Had she been alone it would be hard for her. and having both guys help could have gotten dangerous with her being alone. Sure. Maybe nothing would have happened but it was better that my companion and I were there...

But I suppose if nothing else, it's another testament that God IS there and very aware of us.

-Sister Hayes

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My second group email to let you know what's up

Hey!!!

I'm in Vegas!! I'm greener then green and super pumped to get to work.
My companion is Sister Reed and she is AMAZING!!!!
Right after we left the church building where we met, we arrived at the casita where we live. I dropped off my stuff and immediately after we had dinner, went to FHE, and met some other members in our ward. (It's a YSA(Young Single Adult) Ward.)
Next day was super good but two of our appointments canceled but on the plus side we met a guy named Michael, gave him a Book of Mormon and scheduled a meeting with him for not this Thursday but next Thursday. (It's a test of patience on my part.)
(No. Seriously. Is it normal to be this excited?!) We texted yesterday to see if he's read the introduction to the Book of Mormon yet. He said he hasn't. (COME ON!!)
Sister Reed says it s normal though because it's like all we can think about and they get busy throughout their day and completely forget about it so we just send reminders every once in a while. We are going to ask again on Wednesday. (Another test of patience for me.)
I met some recent converts and they are like ULTRA awesome. I am blown away by their joy and testimonies, their excitement is a great reminder just how important this work is.
We also recently got another investigator (actually just yesterday.)
We went over there to visit with her sister. (She's never there when we go.) We have talked with the younger sister twice now-both times were door visits. (But they count because a lesson consists of a prayer, a lesson taught, and a commitment given.)
I'm pretty excited though. There's a woman getting baptized this month. SUPER EXCITING! And there's another woman that I haven't met yet, praying about baptism next month. (She sent us a scripture on Tuesday!!!!)
Again their excitement just fills me with joy. One of the most amazing things I've seen though is when my companion Sister Reed is telling Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision and the room gets quiet even if there was loudness and laughter only minutes before and as she tells them not only do I feel my testimony grow, but I can see it in the people's eyes that we are teaching. It blows me away how we can already know something and believe it with all our hears but within three minutes it rings true again and we feel it even deeper then we did before. If that makes sense.

Talk to you all again soon. I love you and don't forget to smile!!!

Love,
Sister Hayes

Yes I'm ALIVE!!! :D

Hey!!!

Thanks for your emails. I absolutely loved them!

Sorry I'm not attaching pictures. Not exactly sure how to them on here.

First week has been busy. I've been learning TONS!!!
The food is good, the new year has thrown some confusion in our schedule, its been cold so I bought tights.... If you can imagine me being desperate enought to wear them. The Elders think I'm being dramatic about the cold so I have to remind them that they are wearing pants and I am stuck in a skirt, the tights help a LOT though.
Already our district is close and tight, kind of like family away from family. We swapped emails last night. We enjoy singing as a group. (Though sometimes we have difficulty with our notes and then we end up laughing.)

Our zone got bigger yesterday because of all the new missionaries. So that's going to be exciting actually meeting them.

Yesterday we were joking about how the most common questions you get here are "Where are you going?" Shortly followed by "Where are you from?" So one of the teachers said a better icebreaker is "What kind of toothpaste do you use?" It's a pretty clever icebreaker I must say. Haha

As I mentioned before I have learned A LOT! And I think the message has finally hit me. I'm not here to answer the investigator's questions. I'm not here to share all that I know. I'm not here to solve their life issues. I'm not supposed to make sure they have a life changing experience where the Holy Ghost is there during the lesson. It isn't our job to be eloquent in our speech and words because sometimes they might not have the faintest idea what we are talking about. Amazingly enough I'm not even here to get them to be baptized.

My job is to INVITE. I can't make them do anything. But I can invite them to read the Book of Mormon, invite them to be baptized, and invite them to pray to their Heavenly Father.
As my teacher said last night. When my companion and I leave and the lesson is over, if we have invited them, they might just open up the Book of Mormon and pray and all of that happens when we are on the other side of the door. More growth happens when we are not even there.
We need to invite and let them and the spirit do the rest. What's really important is that their relationship with God grows. And I think that's what matters. Okay so maybe they say no and completely refuse. AT LEAST WE INVITED. Because if we don't then they DEFINITELY won't be baptized. Besides at least we gave them the idea, we planted the seed, let them have something to think about.

Oh this entire week has brought me to my knees in tears praising my Heavenly Father more than I ever have in my life time, and I will praise Him till the day I die.
He loves me, He cares about me, He knows what I am going through and what I feel. He wants me here and even though I am far from perfect he wants me to start the way I am and become better. And because of this it doesn't matter how hard my mission gets or my life after my mission.
God loves, hears, and answers us and that means the world.

I love you all dearly and I can't wait to hear from you!

All my love,
Sister Hayes

Thursday, January 14, 2016

And She is off!!!!

Two weeks ago, Makayla left on her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and reported to the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. Its been such a blessing to be able to help her prepare to serve the Lord and to see her off! God be with you 'til we meet again Makayla! We all love you!!!