Elder Keato's Address

Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda, Angola

Friday, June 29, 2012


So pretty much the most spiritually amazing week of my life. This week was full of some pretty awesome things. To start it all off, on Saturday night all of the missionaries who are getting new mission presidents got to get together with all the missionaries going to their mission and hang out with their new mission president! There are 7 of us going to Angola (2 of them leave this week if their visas come) and 2 going to Mozambique. We all met up in one of our classrooms and got to chill and talk with President and Sister Kretly! They are waaaaaay cool people! Even though I'll have a counselor in my mission acting as the mission president, it was still way cool to meet President Kretly. From what he said, it sounds like he is going to be a lot more involved in Angola than the current mission president. He told us that he will be there in the middle of August for a mission tour so we will all get to see him then. They both sound so incredibly excited to get there, they are going to be awesome! Just from the hour or so that we spent with them, we all think that they are the coolest people ever. We met with them again on Tuesday night because they forgot to get a picture with us and they suprised us with some candy and then gave us these little foot brushes. He really doesn't want any of us to have to deal with ingrown toenails (connor) or bad feet so he made us promise him we would wash our feet everyday. Again, they're awesome! I have a picture on my camera of all of us, but they have blog that they said they were going to post it on: presidentandsisterkretly.blogspot.com.br  Check it out!
 As I said in my last email I was asked to participate in the Mission President's Seminar Sacrament Metting. Wow. I don't even know where to start. It was most definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life. We knew it was a big deal when we had to practice passing the sacrament 3 times before the actual sacrament meeting. haha. I guess in the past one of the bretheren was bugged that they took too long so they wanted to make sure we did it reverently but quickly. On Sunday morning we had to be there at 7:30 to practice one more time and prepare the sacrament. Then  we just sat there from 9:00 to 10:00 waiting for the meeting to start. The meeting was full of all of the new mission presidents and their wives and then all of the local GA's. I saw and gave President Mckonkey a hug. He said he was going to call and tell you hi for me. So, once everyone in the congregation had filed in the big guns started to walk in. Elder Bednar, Cook, Christopherson, Anderson, Holland, Ballard, Perry, Oaks, Scott, and Nelson. All of the Apostles were there except Packer and Hales. Wow. Wait it gets better. So then after they all sat down, they all jumped right back up, along with the whole congregation. Our hearts all started racing. In came Prophet! Along, with Eyring and Uchtdorf. Holy cow!!!! It was a packed house! Along with me and my companion, the two Elders from New Zealand were asked to help as well. They were going crazy! They had never really even seen an apostle before and now they were in the presence of practically all of them and the prophet! It was awesome, they both started crying when they saw the prophet. We are so blessed to be able to live here in Utah and see them as often as we do. Elder Nelson conducted the meeting, I had no idea who was going to be speaking or what was going on. He then announced that President Monson would be the only speaker!!!!!!!! WHAT??? Yeah I was going crazy. Elder Nelson bore a strong testimony of the Prophet and then let him speak. The spirit was already so strong, but once he stood up there it was incredible how strong the spirit was. It was the Mission President Seminar sacrament meeting so most of his talk he just counselled the mission presidents on how to motivate missionaries and how to be the best they could be. I still got a ton out of the meeting though. He said one thing that really hit me. He said "Who the lord calls, the lord qualifies." That was really reasurring to hear, cause this is going to be hard! It's nice to hear that the Lord will be on my side, from his chosen Prophet! It was incredible how funny he was, it seemed like the congregation was always laughing because President Monson was constantly telling hilarious yet uplifting  stories. He spoke for a little over an hour straight! The most spiritual hour probably of my whole life. He is such an inspired man. I was so blessed to be one of the few (36) Elders that got to be in that room and witness the Prophet of God bear his testimony of missionary work. I wish I could send my notes home from the meeting... I got some good ones.
Tuesday night was awesome aswell! For the Tuesday night devotional Elder Perry spoke to us. He was on the stand with all of the apostles except Packer and Hales again. It was kind of a different talk, he spoke to us about all of the physical blessing of the church. He had a way cool powerpoint that gave some statistics on LDS people. One that was way cool was that male members of the church live an average of 10 years longer than non members and member females live an average of 5 years longer. The word of wisdom is an awesome thing! He also said that members who fast once a month are 40% less likely to get diagnosed with clogged arteries. I guess all of the research was done by some research agency out of CA. Pretty cool stuff! It was cool to see actual statistics about the blessings. Another thing that he said that I liked was that the more educated members of our church are the more active they are. Where in other faith's it is usually the opposite. Way cool devotional! I invited these two Elders from Africa to come and sit by Elder Brown and I during the devotional, they have way cool stories. One of them is 24 from Kenya. And the other is 21 from Zimbabwe. He has a way cool/sad story. I was talking to him about his family and he said that his parents passed away about 10 years ago... He was converted about 3 years ago because he knew that he was going to be with his parents again. Big testimony builder. I'm so excited to go to Africa! It was cool we saw them at the temple last week, going through for the first time.
My testimony grew a ton this week! I am so glad that I am where I am right now. I can already see all of the amazing experiences I would have missed out on. The church is true! I know it more and more every day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Concrete Jungle

AWESOME Week!! Also, a very unique week for the MTC. Momma thanks so much for the package! We love the flag, it spices up our classroom. The pictures were great also! I love the ones of me and the Lukey man. I also got one from Camille last Friday which fantastic as well! I'm spoiled...
So let's see... Saturday and Sunday were just great. Half of our zone left on Tuesday so on Saturday we had a big last soccer game as a zone. It was legit! It's really fun playing with the foreigners, they get REALLY in to it. One of the Elders that left is from England, Elder Herycz (Hair Itch), he's super fun to play with. Whenever I would miss a shot he would always yell "Real Salt Lake!" Funny stuff. Sunday was a fantastic day as always. In the morning I always have branch council and then we have Preisthood as a zone. Then we always have a district meeting where we reflect on the past week and see what went good and what we need to work on. We also talk about out "investigators" and how we can better teach them. Good times. Then at around 2 we have sacrament meeting as a zone. It's my favorite part of the day for sure. The branch president picks two out of the congregation to speak and then a member of the branch presidency usually speaks with their wife. Sunday's are nice and relaxing, we still study quite a bit but we also get some time to relax. For this Sunday's fireside Shery Dew spoke. It was awesome! She spoke on the importance of keeping the long-term perspective in mind. My favorite quote was "This life isn't about this life, It's about the next." She's an incredible speaker. Everyone was so jealous when they found out that she teaches instute in Bountiful. I went up and said Hi to her and told her to tell the gang hi for me. Remind her when she teaches next cause I don't really think she was really listening to me. Haha 
We knew that this week we were supposed to be going to New York for our Visa's but he hadn't heard anything from the Travel Office so we weren't sure if we were going to go. But, then at about 5 o'clock they came on the loud speaker and asked for us all to go down to the travel office. We were stoked! They told us that we would be flying out the next night (Tuesday) for New York! They said that we would be leaving at 8:30 on Tuesday night to catch the Red Eye. Waa HOOOOO! Tuesday night there is always a fireside that ends around 8 so we were super glad that we were going to be able to still go to the Fireside. This week it was Elder Robbins of the Seventy. He spoke about how we can better receive revelation through the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. I took some good notes that I think will really help through out the mish. Oh I almost forgot! Also, on Tuesday I got paged on the loud speaker to go down to President Brown's (MTC President) office. I was freaking out... I had no clue why I was going there, but luckily once I got in there his seceretary informed me that the Family was all fine and that he just wanted to talk to me :) So this week is when all of the Mission Presidents come for their big Seminar with the quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency. When I got in his office he asked me if I would want to pass the sacrament in the big Seminar Sacrament meeting. YES!! He then told me who was all going to be there, all of the mission presidents and their wives, the quorum (not sure how many), and also you can guess who will most likely be Presiding... I was freaking out! He told me to keep it a secret cause there are only a few missionaries out of the 2,000 that get to do it. So, shhhhhhh. Oh, and he told me I had to go and get a hair cut... You better believe next week's email will be all about it. We have two practices before Sunday, one tonight and one tomorrow night. I've never practiced passing the sacrament! But it should be fun! Also, this week's tuesday night Devotional is going to be a pretty stacked line up as well since all of the mission presidents will still be here. We're planning on getting in line pretty early so we can make sure we get good seats. It is going to be a very good week!!!
So..... New York! We left the MTC at about 8:30 and were off into the "Real World"! Super wierd feeling... We got to the airport and checked in and all that jazz and had about an hour and half to kill so we went to find some "real" food! You better believe we went straight to Cafe Rio!! I was in heaven, I have a picture that demonstrates this heaven on my next memory card. Get excited. Our flight took off at 11:55, I got the isle seat which I usually love, except when it's the red eye and all i want to do is sleep. I could never really get comfortable so I kinda just sat there for 4 hours. haha. So we landed at about 6:00 NYC time and got picked up by some big Italian dude named Chucky. He was quite the character, he drove a pretty G Lincoln. The 5 of us had to pile in to 4 seats which made for quite the adventure. I felt like I was going to throw up by the time he dropped us off at the temple. So yeah, he dropped us off at the temple, where all the administration offices are and we met up with a few senior missionaries who are serving a public affairs mission. One of them, Elder Jones used to be the Supreme Court Justice in Arizona, pretty cool. And the other, Elder Lynn or something like that was from Bountiful. It was nice to talk about B-town with somebody. I guess he lives on Bountiful Ridge. So they took us to get some Breakfast next door at a super good Cafe. I got some waffles which were amazing. Then they let us go take an hour nap in some of the offices, we needed it! I'm still tired... haha. At about 10 we went and hopped on the Subway to go to the Embassy. Which is right next door to the UN. I had some good memories as we walked by the Julliard where Pops and I saw South Pacific. Good times. By the way, it was like 100 degrees in NY so we were sweating like dogs in our suits. So after about an hour we got to the embassy and applied for our Visa's which only took about 45 minutes, and then we were done! Chucky picked us back up and took us back to the Airport. He took us on a scenic way back so that we could all get some cool pictures. Me and one othere guy were the only ones that had been to New York before so the other 3 guys were loving it! It was a really cool experience, but also very eye opening. It was very different being out in the real world, especially New York, as a missionary! Every, one was staring at us. Haha One lady even came up to us in the airport and asked us if we were there working for Romney. Come on lady! It's sad how little some people know about the church. We explained to her that we were'n't out working for Romney but getting our Visas so we could go to Angola and preach the Gospel. Very cool experience. The flight home was good, I got some good studying in. It was weird landing in Salt Lake and walking down the escalator after only being in the mission for 3 weeks haha... I got a nice video of it. Good stuff. We grabbed some more real food and then were off back to the good ol' MTC! We got back at around 8:30 I'm not going to lie, it was kind of nice being back int he MTC... never thaugh I'd say that but it's the truth. haha. We were super tired after our 18 hour trip to NYC... We were in the air more than we were actually in New York. But, I'm not complaining. It was awesome!
The Portuguese is coming along pretty well. We usually teach about 2 lessons a day in Portuguese so that is helping a ton. Even though in our lessons we can't say everything that we want to say the spirit is definitely present.
I'm super happy and loving life! I can definitely feel all of your prayers.
I love you guys! Keep on Keepin on!
SAM: I hope you had a fantastic Sweet 16!! Also, I hope you got my letter. Tell all those boys to back off. :) 
Lukey: Wassup big slugger! I heard that you won the home run derby! That's my boy! You're the man! Also, thanks for your note in my package! I hung it on my wall so I see it every day. Have fun in NYC buddy!
Con: You're the maaaaan maaaan. It looks like you had a fun date! Tell me bout it!
Syd: Have fun in NEW YORK! You're going to do awesome! Keep workin hard!

Love you guys so much! Thanks for all that you do for me! Safe travels!

Elder Keato with his companion Elder Brown

 One of Keato's friends from high school

Keato and his district on their temple walk

We're thinking this is the picture they took with the folks from BBC Radio

Friday, June 15, 2012

Elder Radio Star

I've been here for 16 days! That's crazy! The first week kinda dragged on but know the days are just flying by. I'll be out of here before I know it. Thank you so much for the awesome package! There's nothing better than Camille's indoor smores. All the Elders on our floor love them too. David makes sure he gets one every night. haha.
So here's the deal with the BBC. On Friday night the head of Operations here at the MTC came into our class and informed us that the BBC would be here on Monday and that they wanted to Interview our district. What the?! We had only been in the MTC for a week at that time so we were pretty confused. He said that they had done some research and picked us for a reason. He said  that the interview had something to do with a segment on Romney. So he went on to prep us with questions that they were likely to ask us. "Why are you serving a mission?" "Why did you pick Angola?" "Are they controlling your every move?" "Are you serving so that you can be a better missionary?". Yeah our jaws dropped as I'm sure yours has too. We thought it was going to be a nice easy interview, but nope they were preparing us to get drilled! Luckily he said that the Church Public affairs guy, Doug Anderson, was going to be there. So, he said if we didn't want to answer any questions we could direct the question to Doug. He then went on the tell us how 110,000,000 people watch the BBC, so we shouldn't be nervous... yeah right... We were pretty pumped yet scared out of our pants. So then monday rolled around and we all felt pretty ready for it. We cleaned our classroom, pollished our shoes, and were looking pretty fresh. 10:30 came around and in walked this big English guy rockin' a bright pink shirts, tons of chest hair hangin out, and bright red socks with his black pants and shoes. AWESOME. But we noticed that there were no cameras... I guess it was just for the BBC radio, but still, way cool! He didn't ask us the questions that we were prepared for. He just asked us questions about being Mormon and growing up Mormon. Things like "How does it feel when people are misinformed on your religion?" "What do you do for fun since you can't drink?". Weird stuff like that.. It was easy. I guess it aired this Wednesday all across Europe. They are going to send us the clip so that we can listen to it. I'll be sure to send it on to you guys as well. We got a picture with the crew so watch for that when I send my Memory card. That was the exciting part of the week!
Sunday was an awesome day. The sabbath is bomb here in the MTC. We had sacrament meeting and President Mciff was there cause we were getting a new counselor in our branch presidency. It's always good to see him and his wife. They are the greatest! Sunday's we always get to go on a walk up to the temple and just hang out for a bit which I love! I got a ton of good pictures with my zone, district, etc. Then on Sunday night there is always a fireside, this week it was Stephen Allen, he's like the managing director of the Missionary Department. It was super good, he spoke on the importance of not being critical (yeah, you know I needed that, haha). He showed a bunch of the church's old commercials. It was great.
The thing I look forward to most everyday is gym:) Pretty much our whole zone plays soccer, it's the best! We have two English guys, two Kiwis (who try to play like rugby and take everyone out), and then a few latinos, so it's super fun! I had a really good game on monday, I had like two goals or something, it's too bad that Just Go Disco didn't have the same kind of game as me... haha.
Half of our zone leaves on Tuesday so that is going ot be super sad, there's like 22 of them or something like that. I've grown pretty close to a few of them, but I'm pumped that they get to go out to the field. Our zone is just going to be my district and the one other district that came in with us. And we're not supposed to get new missionaries for like 3 weeks, so there will only be 13 of us in the zone for a while. Good thing they are all way cool guys. I love the other district. Two of them are going to Angola, Stewart and Cafferty, they're super cool guys, we are going to have an awersome two years together.
For the Tuesday night Devotional, Elder Per Malm from Sweden spoke to us. He is hilarious! He spoke to us about the attributes of a succesful missionary. Desire, Work, and Faith. I took some good notes, I'm sure they'll help me through out my mission. After each devotional we have a district meeting and talk about what we liked, our branch president, President Braithwaite and his wife came and joined us. It was great. PS. Did she ever send you a picture of us at the temple? She said she was going to text it to our moms if we gave her your number. Hopefully you got it! If not I'm sending home my memory card today with all the picture I have this far :)
I have loved getting all of your Dear Elders! Keep um comin! I love hearing from you guys.
Sam: I didn't hear from you yet this week but I'm sure it's on it's way! I hope you had an awesome week and enjoyed your last few day as a 15 year old! I'll throw a party for you here in the MTC. It sucks that I'm missing another birthday... I'll be there for your 18th though! Love you!
Syder: I haven't heard from you either, but I'm sure its on the way too! Camille said your Dance thing was awesome! I hope you had a good week! Love you sis!
Luke: DUDE! I need to see that picture of you with the Wolfman and Devonte! I'm glad you went to that camp! Dad said you had way fun! I love you buddy and hope that you're having a good summer!
Have fun at the cab! I love you guys so much and really do appreciate your support! Ya'll are the best!!!
Keep it real!
Elder Keats

Monday, June 11, 2012

Elder Keato Hits the Big Screen!

Yo family,
This has to be short, but I had to tell you! So today a guy came into our class and informed us that our district is going to be filmed by the BBC! 110,000,000 viewers! They are going to come and film our district. It has something to do with Romney.
So by the time you get this it'll already have happened. They're coming in Monday to do it. It won't be on for a few weeks though. I don't really know much yet... I just had to tell ya'll! It's pretty nuts! Of all the districts in the MTC they picked us! It'll be a super good experience and opportunity! I'll let you know how it goes! 110,000,000 peeps! All of Europe but still! I'll let you know where you can watch it too. Let Camille know! "I just think it's really rude" (he's talking about the time he was interviewed by Fox when he was 12 after their lacrosse goals got stolen, thats all he could say about the incident, we don't really let him forget it) Hopefully I do a little better this time!
Love Ya!
Elder Hyde

Friday, June 8, 2012

One Week Down, 71 More To Go!

Sorry it's taken me so long to be able to send my first email. But, I have loved getting all of the Dear Elders! Oh, and the package you and Camille sent me was absolutely awesome!!! Thank you so much!
My district is really cool. There are only 6 of us, 3 of us are going to Angola, and the other 3 are going to Portugal. We're all really close already and I know that is going to be an awesome 9 weeks with all of them. My zone is awesome too! There are 5 districts and we're all speaking Portuguese. We all have the same schedule so we all go and play soccer and stuff during gym time. Super fun! We have quite a few international kids in the zone which makes it way fun! There are 2 from the UK and 2 from New Zealand. You know how much I love accents... :) I've got my British accent pretty down. The other disctrict that came in with us has 2 kids going to Angola as well, so we've gotten really close. It's going to be awesome to spend the next 2 years with them. They're all super level headed guys.
On last Wednesday when you dropped me off it was pretty emotional, but once I got into the building I had a feeling of peace and then I was fine. My host took me around to pick up all of my stuff and then dropped me off at the classroom. I saw like 3 people I knew in that short walk, so that was nice. When I got to the classroom Elder Clifford was there, he's from Mesa, Arizona. He's one of the 3 goingto Angola. He likes wakeboarding and snowboarding so we hit it off pretty quick. We've grown to be pretty good friends. The two of us sat there for a while and then they all started pilling in. Everyone was pretty shy at first but after a few days we are all joking around with eachother and havin' fun.
Like I said in my letter I was asked to come up during the "Welcome Missionaries" meeting. Thanks Aunt Kris :) It was cool though to look out and see 400 new missionaries. I only had to say a few things so it wasn't too bad.
My companion is Elder Brown, as you saw in the picture. He has been at BYU for the last year... boo. But, he's from Southern California and is a pretty cool kid. We get a long pretty well. On Friday night we had to teach our first lesson in Portuguese.... NUTS! It was pretty intimidating but once we got in there the spirit kind of took over and then it wasnn't too bad. I can't believe how fast we are learning the language. It probably has something to do with the Gift of Toungues... haha Our teacher Sister Hart served in Brazil and like I said in my letter speaks Port. to us like 95% of the time. It was really frustrating at the start but I can already tell that it's helped us out a ton! She's a super cool teacher. We just got another teacher yesterday as well who is Brazillian. His name is Brother Villanova. He has really good english and is going to be a super awesome teacher.
On Sunday night we had a way awesome divotional with Elder Jensen, he's like the church doctor or something. Right before the devotional President Mciff came up to me at Dinner and slipped me a note that said "I saved a seat for you and your companion up front." THAT WAS COOL! So before the devotional i went up to the front and then saw Aunt Kris, Josh, Jess, and Greg! I'm sure the look on my face was pretty awesome. I was so happy to see them, even though it was only 4 days in. I hope I get to see them again before I leave.
So it's been way fun so far, I really haven't been bored or homesick yet. People always say "You just have to make it through the first week..." I don't know what thats all about cause to be honest I have loved it!
JUST GO DISCO!! Win the Championship for me POR FAVOR! I'm playing soccer every day and missing the team. Just remember who you are and what your fighting for... me.
The church is true, I know it more now than I ever have. The spirit is so strong here at the MTC and my testimony truly has grown immensly!
I'll write you guys a letter also... a half hour isn't quite enough time...
I love you guys so much!! Thanks for all of the love and support! You guys are awesome!!
Elder Hyde

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ola familia! Tudo bem?! Thank you so much for the cinnamon rolls :)! They were splendid! And the Reese's! Things are going great here! I won't be able to email until next Friday... I'm not sure when dad heard that I emailed... cause I haven't, haha. Everything starting to feel normal, it feels normal to wake up at 6:30 and all that stuff. I'm not really having a hard time with anything but the language... IT's tough, but I'll get it! Our teacher is really awesome and only speaks to us in Port. So that helps :). Last night we got to teach our first Portuguese lesson... oh boy... It was rough but we got through it. I can understand really well, I just can't say what I want to say back... haha. I'm getting there! On Thursday I was made District Leader, so thats cool! It'll be nice to start leading before I'm out in the field. Our zone is really awesome, we have two kids from New Zealand and they're way cool! I love talking to them cause I love their accent so much, haha. We also have two elders from England in our zone, so I talk to them a lot too. I love the accents! I only have one picture on my camera... so I'll take some more so I can send a memory card. The vibe here is really awesome, everyone is fun and happy. It makes it easy. At night its like a party in halls, good times. I hope Con's date went good Thursday and that the girls and Luke are loving being out of school! I'm happy and loving it like I said earlier! Ive seen tons of people that I know. David Davies, Glade Morely, Caleb Cannon, and a few kids from oh, and Connor Hellberg. Tell Brandon he looks awesome! I'll start getting pictures with them. I hope everything is going well back home! I'm sure it is! Your love and support helps a ton and I hope you can read this (he wrote all of this in a letter and I'm just typing it, but yes, it is very hard to read) Thank heavens for email.
Love you all!!!
Elder Keato

Sunday, June 3, 2012

1st Letter From Elder Hyde!

...so...this place...is awesome! It really has been awesome the last few days. People always say the first day is the worst. If thats the case, then this shouldn't be too bad!
My comp's name is Elder Brown. He's a super cool kid from SoCal. My district consists of 6 elders. Me, Brown, and Clifford are going to Angola and then Love, Singer, and Tyler are going to Portugal. 4 of us are in 1 room and the others are in another.
So the first day we had a welcome conference with the MTC presidency. They announced that there were 422 if us new elders. Guess out of those 422 got to go up and say a few things...me!!! Tell Greg thanks for me! Haha, it was good though :)
Our Portuguese teacher is cool. She served in Brazil, her name is Sister Hart. She only speaks to us in Portuguese, which is fine. I'll just learn it faster.
Sorry this has to be quick, they only let us send you guys one letter to tell you that we're safe! I'm safe! My P-Day is Friday so thats when I'll be emailing. Don't worry about me! I'm loving it!
Oh yeah, and my first night I found out that David Davies is roomed right next to me! So that was nice :)
I love you guys and will email on Friday! You guys are awesome! Tudo bem! 
Elder Hyde

Keato and his new companion Elder Brown from California at a fireside

Elder Hyde and his cousin Josh at a fireside on Sunday