Monday, June 30, 2014

Elder Hays here reporting for duty

Hello Familie.  Elder Hays here reporting for duty. 
This week was great!  I will tell you about a little miracle that we had this week.  We had a great referral yesterday from a member out of Lankwitz. She called us about a week ago and told us about this appointment yesterday and said we would be doing a stop smoking workshop. We headed there after our eating appointment and the man named R--- ended up bringing 2 friends with! One of them had already meet with missionaries before and had interest. We went and sat in a park, everybody was looking out their windows so we prayed really loud. We then started in. One of the friends of Rene named Tino said he didn't want to pray because he didn't believe in anything. He was on the bench about 3 meters away just listening so I went to talk to him as Elder Lloyd and the member were conversing with the others. He actually did have interest about the church and had a great desire to quit smoking as well. He will be calling us this week to come and check out the church and then we will all meet again next Sunday to discuss smoking more fully and start the 7 day plan. It was really cool.
We had a few good appointments happen this week where we taught the first lesson and they loved it!  A problem is, is that 2 of these people live out of our area so we have to give them off to other missionaries here soon.  That's a bummer but at least they will be taught. 
I have really learned a lot about the Atonement and Discipleship lately. I have been reading the Book of Mormon on the topic but I have also taken a couple of talks off of and have listened to them while getting ready for the day. It has really helped me realized what is needed to step up to the plate and to really follow the Lord. I love in particularly John 8 and how bold the Lord is. It is just like Alma and Almulek and also what Elder Holland said about defending what you know and your faith. I really am going to be working on becoming more bold in my everyday work but also topping it with a cherry of love. Sometimes the phrase,'What would Jesus do?', doesn't always bring the sweetest answer. He called people to repentance. I will do the same :)
Yes mom I say my prayers everyday and brush my teeth. 

I love you!
Elder Hays
Elder Hays lives next to a field with horses:)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fast timing

Another weeks is vorbei!  It's crazy.  Gotta love how fast time goes by right?  I don't like it.  But I will have to deal with it. 

Do you want to know what I LOVE?  I'll tell you...Alma 5.  I read it over and over and I love it.  It just calls you to repentance and I feel and recieve so much personal revelation each time I read it.  It is the time in life where you evaluate yourself.  You have learned so so much up to this point and now you come to Alma 5 and you ask yourself questions and realize you have a long way to go haha.  I think that is really important in life.  Like I mentioned before, time just flies by; if we aren't paying attention, we will miss everything.  It is important to take time and to evaluate yourself towards Heavenly Father, your family, your friends and your personal progression.  It slows down time and helps you realize not the exact steps that you need to take but HOW you need to take them and make them more effective.  Like President Uchtdorf said, don't sleep through the restoration because we just go through the motions.  ( I love that we have apostles.)

This week we have been teaching a guy out of Greece and is doing well!  He is our next potential baptism here but the one step he needs to make is to find the time to come to church.  He is just so busy with work and other things that he doesn't have the time.  What is cool is that he is quiting his job soon because he is sick of not having time :)  Gotta love how the Lord works, and it just shows us that we need to kick it into gear now because now he will have the time to learn about something that will bless his life. 

N______is doing great after his baptism.  He is integrated in the ward and is loving it all.  We are still visiting him every week with his home teachers and he is still progressing like he should. 
So this week we are allowed to watch the USA vs. Germany soccer game which will be interesting.  We are going to a member's house to watch so it will be fun.  I don't know if I completly like the idea of doing this as a missionary but now that the members know about it, we are tied haha.  They are excited that we can come.  Even though we are allowed, I feel like it's not something that I'm supposed to do...who knows.  I will try my best to live up to my purpose when I'm there. 

Doing well :)
Love, Elder Hays

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sending love

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe you are turning 24....It is really a curse you have, you know, looking as young as you do.  I have a picture that Melissa took of us right before the mission and it is the first picture in the book that I show members and the first thing they say, 'You have a pretty girlfriend!'  Me: 'That's my mom.'  Them: 'WHAT?!'  Me: 'I know right.'      You see mom?  You are getting compliments at every eating appointment I have. 

This week was good!  We visited a couple of district meetings and also went on exchange with the Dahlem Elders.  Elder Lloyd has a bunch of friends from the Air Force who came and visited Berlin and we all went out to dinner and got a pizza, which was a METER in diameter.  Safe to say we destroyed that thing.  It was a lot of fun to get to know them.  We invited them to church and one of them came!  They aren't members of the church but they are great people.  One young lady came to church and enjoyed it. 

What else...
I hope you are taking naps dad...taking rests everyonce in a while is good to :)  Okay, I'm sorry!  Thank you for all that you do and the many times you have helped me in life.  I wouldn't be where I am today, if you weren't the uncomparably great example that you arrayed for me.  Although we had times of hardships, your love broke those walls.  No matter what happened to me in life, I always knew that my father loved me and that meant and means more to me than you know.  I notice everyday how I mirror you, even though we are seperated by thousands of kilometers.  You showed me everything I know.  For that I am eternally grateful because without that, I wouldn't be here.  You have helped me to this point without force but with compassion and love.  I work hard to make you proud.  I love you dad and am grateful for your teachings. 
I love you all!
Elder Hays

Monday, June 9, 2014

The work is going good

The work is going good.  N*** got the gift of the Holy Ghost on sunday and I also gave a talk on the Restoration and talked for too long of course.  I just stood up and talked and bore testimony of the Restoration and shed a few tears.  IT REALLY IS SO COOL.  THE CHURCH IS JUST TRUE.  Elder Lloyd and I just watch these videos about the church and Joseph and we just look at each other and say, 'the church is just TRUE.'  We can't prove it wrong if we wanted to.  I love it.  I invite you to ponder the blessings of the Restoration.  What do we have now that they don't have? 

I just read this chapter in the Book of Mormon.  Alma chapter 5.  For right now it is my favorite chapter but I am still reading and learning so my favorite changes but for today it is my favorite.  It just lays it all on the table and I love that he does it in the form of questions!  It allows you to ponder and think about what you need to do to prepare to meet God.  I know that a lot of people won't actually read so I will put it here.  
(Jacob 1:19)

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually‍ been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change‍ in your hearts? 15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created‍ you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised‍ in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged‍ according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
17 Or do ye imagine‍ to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance‍ of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image‍ of God engraven upon your countenances?
20 I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects‍ to the devil?
21 I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved; for there can no man be saved except his garments‍ are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified‍ until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.
22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood‍ and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?
23 Behold will they not testify‍ that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty‍ of all manner of wickedness?
24 Behold, my brethren, do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white?
25 I say unto you, Nay; except ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning, or suppose that he is a liar from the beginning, ye cannot suppose that such can have place in the kingdom of heaven; but they shall be cast out for they are the children‍ of the kingdom of the devil.
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change‍ of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song‍ of redeeming love, I would ask, can‍ ye feel so now?

I give testimony that this is all true.  It is the word of God and it pierces the heart.

Oh yeah...President Dyches came to visit us from the Seventy and I talked to him a lot about my future!  For some reason I always get the time to talk with the Seventy's when they visit.  He told me that I should go to BYU for the rest of my undergraduate work and I have been praying about it for a while now and so if I can get in I will go to BYU.

I love you
Elder Hays

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy 21st Birthday - 6 months left!

N*** was baptized!  He is great and has been meeting with missionaries for YEARS.  Elder Guccione's (My trainer) first area was Neuk├Âlln and he taught him as well!  It is such a blessing that we were able to see this great step.  He has been coming to church for the last 3 years every week and loves it all so he will be a great active member.  During the time when N*** and Manuel were getting changed, Elder Lloyd and I taught the first lesson to the people waiting.  There were about 10 people there visiting the baptism and we thought it to be a good idea.  We taught it in about 5 or so minutes and bore hard testimony of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I felt the spirit so strong and knew that the spirit was touching the hearts of the audience.  Right after our testimonies, we watched the church's video about the first vision.  It was a really spiritual moment for me and also for the people there. 

We had our Mission Leadership council this last week and talked a lot about the change that needs to come about in our mission to help others progress.  Like I mentioned last week,
we are reading the Book of Mormon together and really enjoying it.  We as zone leaders are on the phone at night just helping and following up with missionaries to help them get the most out of their studies.  If we really understand the Doctrine of Christ, we would really have the pure desire to take the happy message to the world and have no fear whatsoever. 

I have learned a lot this week about my Father in Heaven.  I have felt the spirit so strong just this whole week and I am so grateful for these opportunities.  They only come to those who seek and desire for them.  We on earth are here, really to please God.  That was the goal of Jesus Christ, not to please man but His Father.  As we try to live in accordance to His divine Doctrine, we will be able to help others to realize this as well.  It is important to have a balance.  Spiritual, physical, and social.  Gordan B. Hinckley in my opinion was the perfect example for that :)  May we use the tools and abilities that our Father has given us to improve our own state and the state of others.  Don't let them go to waste because if they aren't used, they will be taken from us.  As we walk the path of rightousness, we will gain more knowledge, truth, and peace.  AND JOY.  Where are our eyes pointed?  Let Heaven guide us.  We have the tools to work out our salvation; let's use them to our full potential.  If you don't know where to start, read that blessing that a Partriarch gave you all those years ago.  Set goals.  Work hard.  Have joy :) 

Happy 21st Birthday Elder Hays!!!
Quote of the day...'It's your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude in life.'  -Dave Dean.

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes!  I love you all and good job Erika on graduating! 

Love, Elder Hays