Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday, December 30th 2013

I just talked to you in almost real life!  It was so great to see you all.  I cried afterwards but not for too long I promise.  It was so cool to see you on Christmas as well!   What a special day it was.  I appreciate you all sending your testimonies to me in the mail.  They all melted my heart and loved them all.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to rely on my family to have strong testimonies. 
This week was fun!  I told you about it already but after skyping...let's see.  Yesterday was a lot of fun!  D*** was at church as well as H***** who are both fairly new to the church.  They are both doing really well.  We had a part member family there only because we sung as a district in church.  I really hope that they felt the spirit! 
Transfer calls are on Saturday so we will see what happens with that.  I really have no idea what will happen but it will probably end up with me leaving.  We will see.  There isn't a ton to talk about this week because of the craziness of the week because of the Christmas season and such but yeah.  Next week will definitely be better.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and change that PS4 out for a PMG :) 
Change a life this week, call someone who you haven't talked to in a long time, take an old couple out on a double date, read the Book of Mormon in a week, invite a non-member friend over for dinner, bare your testimony to your family and allow the Holy Ghost, the true and everlasting spirit of God, lead your week throughout your efforts. 
I love you all :) 
Elderly Häis

Friday, December 27, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year . . .

...It's the most won...wonderful time...of the year :)


...I'm not excited if you can't tell.

Thank you so much for the package!  I can't wait to open it all up and see the treasures inside. On Christmas morning, we are waking up at 4:00 AM to go to a Kruezchor concert in the Frauen Kirche!  If you haven't heard the Kruezchor sing you need to.  See if they are on Youtube.

We had our Christmas concert yesterday at the church which was truly incredible.  Our ward here in Dresden is incredibly musical.  We have 2 composers (like legit) and many players.  A great hour and a half of straight Christmas music!  Of course the missionaries sung a beautiful song, which President has asked us to perform in 3 other instances, it was the song El-Shaddai which is sung by Amy Grant.  We are actually super good at it and our voices blend magnificently. 
This week was us inviting many people to this concert to have them feel the spirit of the church building and the music.  More than half of the people there were non-members and the concert was great. 

We are continuing to find, and to teach.  I am grateful to my Older Brother for His example in showing me exatly how to do that.  I am almost done reading Jesus the Christ.  I have learned so much not from this book but while reading this book, one has to study the New Testament as well.  Really applying every sentence to the life of a person can change perspectives.  I will tell you a little bit about what I have learned from 3 great parables this last week.  The parable of the Lost Sheep, the parable of the Lost Coin, and the parable of the Lost Son:

The Lost Sheep
If we look at the lost sheep we can infer that he wandered off on his own.  The story doesn't explain an outside force in this specific parable.  Who is the lost sheep?  Is it some friend who has seen some green pasture afar off and yearns for the taste thereof?  Is it the action of ourselves; wandering unnoticed into the state of dissipation?  I believe that sometimes, we must stop, look around and pray, and ponder about our current state of being.  Am I happy where I am?  Is this the correct course to my eternal goals?  Do I like the things that see around me?  What do I need to change about my situation?  Is one of my friends wandering?  I invite you to ponder about someone who may have started to deviate from the path to salvation. 

The Lost Coin
This coin did not wander off on its did it get lost?  This coin was acted upon by a person outside of itself.  The coin mentioned is a Drachma, which is a days worth of pay for people back then.  This coin was obviously misplaced and forgotten about.  Can this coin not be compared to forgotten friends, members or family?  Are these coins not important and hold worth?  Have we forgotten somebody who may have needed help?  Have we as members put someone to the side and have neglected their worth by laying them, maybe unconciously, to the side?  Let us look around to see if we have lost somebody.  In search of our coin, the situation would allow us to clean out every corner, sweep every cobweb and clean every spot in search of this worthy soul.  Let us clean our eyes, heart and ears to hear the drop of a coin, falling underneath the deserted dresser. 

The Lost Son
This parable is a choice; a use of personal agency agaist the authority of his father.  These things we cannot do anything against.  What did this father do to the son who has planned to take everything and leave?  For whatever reason why, we do not know.  To these people, we give something for them to remember.  To this lost son, it was the love and compassion of his father.  If we leave the people who walk away from the fold, who deliberatly go agaist authority with something compassionate, loving and charitable to think back on, they will remember, and it will not leave their mind.  When they are in trouble down this destructive path, ALLOW THEM TO HAVE SOMEONE TO TURN TO.  When they leave, give no anger and give no fear.  Have faith that they will return, leave them with a word and action of love and compassion and pour...your heart, soul, thoughts, intentions, plans and faith to your God.  Put your trust in Him who can do all things.  ...'only belive'...  I remember the words of my humble father, echoing in my heart in struggling times, ' I love you Brandon'.  I know who I can turn to and that is what we leave to those lost 'sons' in this world. 

I love the stories of the Savior and I advise the close study of His teachings.  I am grateful for the testimony and conversion that He has given me.  I will not let a person pass me without me leaving a personal earthquake beneath their feet. 

Thank you for all of the letters I have received!  They are all so great and soul warming. 

Love, Elder Hays

Just a clip of our conversation with Elder Hays on Christmas....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Send Elder Hays a Christmas wish!!!

I'm sure Elder Hays would love to hear from you . . .

Letters only:
Elder Brandon Hays
Werner Str. 38
01159 Dresden


Packages and letters:
Elder Brandon Scott Hays
Germany Berlin Mission
Zerbster StraBe 42
12209 Berlin

Come Follow Me

We have a young woman in our ward whose parents are very active but the boyfriend is not.  She has been inactive for a very long time and lives with this boyfriend.  I happen to be very good friends with her boyfriend and the Sisters are very good friends with this young women.  We have been working forever with them to get them to do something in the Gospel.  They used to go to church all the time but the boyfriend was never baptized, mainly because the mother of the girl was really pushy.  That being said...they came to church yesterday!  It was so amazing.  I sat next to them and they had a great time.  I hope they felt the spirit.

I have had a question in my heart for a while now that has gone unanswered.  Maybe because of my inexertion to really ponder and pray but yeah...In search for my answer, I turned mostly to the scriptures and prayer.  My question was something personal but it has to do with investigators feeling the spirit.  I feel like I shouldn't share it but if you read in Alma 31, you will find out how I was feeling and have said many similar prayers according to this one that Alma speaks.  I love the scriptures so much...Even though missionaries have struggles, it is important that we come out on top.  If missionaries are feeling stressed out, nervous, consumed or anything of that sort, it is becuase they aren't pondering and turning to the Lord enough.  Turning to the Lord includes scriptures, District Leaders, prayer, and pondering.

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go and do service for a big charity organization that I had worked with.  We went to a big complex, helped set up tables and food.  It was made up for kids in the city of Dresden who wouldn't get a Christmas this year becuase of lack of resources.  This organization gave them something that I personally won't ever forget.  450 kids showed up with their single parents, 16 year old mothers with nothing.  Families who had left their country for a better life with nothing.  We served cakes and muffins and hot chocolate to everyone and it was just so perfect.  We then got to sit back for a while as they sang and danced to different songs.  Then came Santa!  It was so incredible.  He came in with a personal gift for each child.  To see the look on the mothers' faces and the tears and the gratitude was overwhelming.  To see a nine year old rip open a package for the first time in years is something new for me.  I can do more...and I think everyone can do more...

 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the apoor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (Luke 18:22-24)

I know that as we give ourselves this holiday season, we will grow in our testimony of the Savior, for He truly gave Himself; is there genuinely something we can do more?  Ask yourself, what more do I lacketh?  'Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:  and come, and follow me.' 

He states two things that I find interesting.  1. Do we strive for a treasure in heaven?  Or one on earth?  For I say unto you this day that the treasures laid up on this earth will melt away along with your soul.  2. 'Come and follow me', only after you have sold what you have; only after you have sacrificed the flesh of this reprehensible world; only after you have left your family and friends and have given your life to the work; only after you will stand before kings and magistries......are you 'Come and follow Me'.  

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matt 6:20)

I love you all :)  Facetime at 17 O'clock my time and 9:00 your time?  Christmas morning?  Let me know next week.  

Love, Elder Hays

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday was amazing

Sunday was amazing...I feel like everything is just working out like the Lord wants it too and He has finally shown me what His plan is.  It's great to be in touch with Him :)  Bishop Menzel gave a great message about the princlple of Christmas.  In short words: feed the hungry and clothe the cold.  Investigators came, in-active member reactivated (Family even) and hearts touched. 

I am glad that you all got my package that I sent!  The chocolate is great in Germany haha.  I actually went to a family's house a while ago and they gave me Hershey's chocolate.  That was just a terrible experience!  She asked if it was good 'to have a little taste of home' and I told her that it was delicious of course but....ewwwwww.  I'm sorry but I lied to her.  I repented :)

I have studied the 4th Chapter in 2nd Nephi this week.  Basically what happens is that Lehi dies.  I have no idea what he could have been feeling to have his mentor, father, teacher and prophet die before his eyes.  As this was happening, he realizes that he is the one who has to carry on this great legacy of faith and trust.  Pressure?  Probably not a good enough word to describe his feelings.  I basically put my self in his shoes and have studied this for hours.  Nephi is a great example to all of us in the way of faith, dilligence and forgivness. I will just write you what came into my head for myself as I read these words:

Are not the ways of God great?  His knowledge and glory, does it not exceed the highest mountains?  Does it not carry love in the morning wind?  Does it not ascertain itself as rain falls upon the humblest faces?  How blessed am I, to recieve blessings enough to augment my understanding.  Sin surrounds the saints of God like wolfs surrounding an unsuspecting sheep.  The world around me functions in the ways of man; chaos, war, divorce, hate and bitterness cuts the thread that binds you to the threshold of Heaven.  I know who I put my trust in and I will stand upon the rock of Emmanuel, for He is truly with us.  I have felt the pains of sin and have seen the flesh fail.  I know the power of the devil and his wishes, for I have seen his animosity.  I have felt the love of God.  He has lifted me to mountains where I have sung praises in His name.  I have prayed with all of my being in the salvation of my brothers and sisters, and have wrestled with the spirit for justification.  I have seen, heard and felt many and marvelous things; He has heard my cries.  After all that He has done for me; all of the blessings; why would I give my soul to the lusts of the flesh?  Why do I let room in my heart to commission evil to enter in?  Why am I mad because of the enemy?  AWAKE MY SOUL!  Do not sit any longer in tribulation or sadness.  Rip off the gravitaion that contrains me to this world.  Let my heart appropriate joy so that evil can have no place there.  Don't be mad because of the enemy; permit no influence.  Don't let my strength disintregrate because of blinded eyes.  Oh Lord, dress me with the robes of rightousness!  My life is built upon your rock and your rock only.  I don't rely on the arm of flesh but on the principles of viture and devotion.  Cursed is the person who puts his trust in the flesh.  Lift me up oh Lord, so that while I am here in Germany...I can grasp the hands that need grasped, fill the hearts that need filled, and love the soul that needs love. 

That is a rough draft of MY 2nd Nephi 4.  :D

We will see eachother soon!  I will use a ipad so it will be over face time okay?  Can't wait :)

I have studied a lot more I promise but that is what helped this week.  I hope you all had great birthdays!  I love you and am grateful for your prayers. 

I love you!  Elder Hays

Monday, December 2, 2013

Well hi

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!  Know that I ate?...what did I eat?...a cookie!...and a apple for thanksgiving dinner :D  I'm spoilded I know.

No, but Thanksgiving was good, it was just a normal day haha Elder Young and I made some turkey that we had bought but it was just the breast and nothing special.  I made a list of things that I am thankful for though!  It was a good thinking process and it came pretty easily because of the amazing things that I have been blessed with.

This week we taught W** and H** more.  They are both just great guys and are making progress. 
Elder Young and I have really been fasting a lot (4 times in the last few weeks) for the baptism that we need this transfer.  I can tell that it has improved my personal study to become a better missionary and has blessed the lives of the investigators in a way that they are more open in their speech.

Mein Englisch ist so schlimm...ich hasse es wie schlect es geworden ist.  Es tut mir Leid daß ich mit euch auf englisch sprechen muss.

I am still studying the parables of Jesus Christ which just have been great.  I really love learning about how great He was and what He did for all of us.

Did you all get my package this week?  I hope so.  Sorry I am kind of brain dead today.  That is why it is our pday haha.  We have a beautiful Christmas display that we get to go to today!  I'm really excited for it.

I hope you are all doing well and guess what?!  I am coming home a year from today!  How crazy is that??  I have been crying all morning because of it so don't make fun.  I have promised myself  that I will give it my all every day so that at the end of my mission I can say that I have done all that I could have. 

I love you all!  Thank you for the pictures!  

Love, Elder Hays