Elder Keato's Address

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

Monday, September 24, 2012


Whoops, I'm slackin. I accidentally forgot to post this on the 3rd. Sorry ya'll!

Man! I can´t believe that I have already been here for a month! It has been the fastest/slowest/craziest/awesomest month of my life. I truly have learned so much already about this Gospel and about myself.

President and Sister Thompson got hear on Saturday! Woo! All of us missionaries were really excited! I only got to meet him breifly but he seems like an amazing man!

This week went by really well, we were all kind of curious as to see what elections would be like, but they turned out to be fairly calm. We made sure that we avoided any possible trouble, and the members were good to let us know about anything that was going to happen. Like I mentioned in my last email we were in the house a little earlier for a few days just to be safe and then on Friday we all stayed in our houses and from what I hear so did the rest of Angola. haha. The people that we talked to said that Friday has been the most calm day in a really long time. But hey, better safe than sorry!

Even though the week was kind of slow we still had a lot of cool experiences. This last sunday (yesterday) we had a member of the 70 at our branch which was so cool! It was Elder Bricknell, from South Africa. Super cool man! He was just what the branch and us missionaries needed to hear. During Priesthood he spoke to the branch about missionary work and it should be done on their part! Woo! We definitely could use some help from the members. He talked to them about the importance of simply just getting them to church, if they can do that then they can introduce them to us and works a lot smoothly that way. He really just got them pumped up and helped them realize the importance of it. It was also good for the members to see someone a little higher up in church, most of them are really super new and haven´t had the opportunity of hearing from someone like him. He also spoke to us a little about truly giving everything that we have to this work. We need to serve 24 month missions and not 22 month missions. And what he meant by that was don´t waste any time. It really got us pumped and ready to go out and work 10 times harder. 

And the really cool thing is that this week we get another 70! On Tuesday we are having a training with Elder Renland of the 70 and President Thompson. President Kretly was going to come from Mosambique but he had Visa problems. But I think he is coming here in the next few weeks. The training will be with all of us Elders here in Luanda, I think there are about 20. I´m super excited! In the MTC we were blessed to hear from a 70 almost twice a week. So it will be really nice! Elder Renland is also going to have a devotional for all of the members on Tuesday night, it will be super good for them. We are going to try super hard to get a lot of our investigators there to feel the spirit that will most definitely be there. 

We have been making some really good contacts lately, like I said before, everyone is super open to hear what we have to say. 

This week I also went on a few divisions cause my companion is District Leader. And it was really nice to see how other Elders teach and do things. I really got an idea of what potential Elder Hobbs and I have. 

With us having to stay in the house a little more than normal I have been able to get a lot of good studying in. I love the scriptures! I don´t think I really appreciated them as much as I could have before the mission.

Oh yeah! Somehow we got a little keyboard in our house and I am killer on the piano... Not really.. But I can play a few hymns haha. Fun stuff. 

Go UTES!!!!! I´m happy to hear that we got our first win of the season!

Big shout out to Connor and his B-day this week! 22! 

That´s all from me here! I love you all! Keep on keepin´on!

Fica Bem,

Elder Hyde

Luke- Keep workin hard at football buddy!
Sam- Props on making Varsity!
Squid- I´m jealous you got to go to that concert!
Con- 22 never looked so good!

Weekly Letter

Is it really Monday again? Time is really starting to pick up!

It was a really solid week here in Luanda! Elder Hobbs and I were able to get a lot of lessons in and make some really good progress with our investigators. Also, this week we had a baptism! WOO! It was such a special meeting. The girls name is Loreana, she´s 15 and just moved to Angola about a year ago. Her Dad is a super strong member of the church and served a mission in Congo. It was so cool to see him baptize his daughter and then the next day give her the Holy Ghost. We´re now going to start teaching his wife who isn´t a member but has been coming to church with them for the last few weeks. This family is awesome and pretty soon is going to be eternal! At the Baptisimal service on Saturday we had 12 baptisms! It was so cool to see all of these people absolutley beaming after they were baptized. There is only one font here in Luanda so we all get to do them together, which is acutally super cool. The church is on the move here in Angola!

This last Tuesday we also had another awesome Zone (mission) conference. President Kretly and his wife flew in for a mission tour and were here for about a week. They are so awesome! We had some really awesome trainings with him and President Thompson. They are both so inspiring and loving. President Kretly talked to us a lot about potential, our personal potential and the potential of this country. He reiterated the 4 things President Hinkley said were key to being a good missionary. The one I liked the most was to smile. There is incredible power in a simple smile. That is something I really have discovered here. A simple smile and a thumbs up to either the kids or anyone on the street will just make them beam. It´s something I have really been working on doing since I´ve got here and it has actually helped us make some pretty good contacts. SWEET! We also talked a lot about we need to focus on the most here in Angola to build a strong foundation for the church. Families. This Gospel truly does bless families so much and they are the strongest forces in the branches here. He introduced something called Qualified Contacts to us. Basically just looking for married (legally.....) men, 25+, that are already Christian. We are already seeing some awesome effects from it. President Kretly is an incredibly motivational man that made all of us feel like we can conquer the world. It was a really awesome conference. 

Our branch has been doing so well this last month! Yesterday we had 120 people in Sacrament Meeting. WOW! The house that we are using as the church doesn´t even fit all of the people anymore, which is a pretty good problem to have. We need chapels!

My Portuguese is making good progress! I´ve found that the more and more I step out of my comfort zone and don´t worry aobut making mistakes the better I do. Our teaching as a companionship is probably about 50/50 now. Which I love! I teach a lot more simply obviously but as long as the spirit is present it really doesn´t matter. I truly have seen some amazing blessing from the Lord in the 2 short months that I have been here. It´s all about trust. If we truly trust in him he WILL bless us.

The next few weeks are going to be really good! The next baptisimal service, 2 weeks, Elder Hobbs and I should have about 4 investigators being baptized. I love this work!!!

I love you all! Keep on keepin´on!

Com amor,

Elder Hyde

Sam~Good luck this week yo! I´m so proud of you!
Luke~I heard about your awesome game dude! I hope that interception was for me!
Con~Holla bruh. Thats dope that your so involved there at the U.
Syd~I hope you had a good week sista!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Transfer #2 Begins!

Another really good week! This week was transfers but since I'm being trained it was no surprise that I'll be staying with Elder Hobbs in our area. Which I am totally okay with!
I feel like we really accomplished a lot this week, and made some really good progress with our investigators. On Saturday night we were able to set 5 baptisimal dates. AWESOME! We were able to have a really good lesson with Samuel (the guy from last week) and his brother Alberto. We talked about Baptism and the importance of authority, they had both already been baptized into other churchs but were super open and understood that authority is important. At the end of the lessons we set the date of October 6th for them to be baptized. They have definitely been prepared by the Lord! It's easy teaching them cause most of the time they do the teaching. haha.
So there is this member named Helena (the mom of Rebecca and Peugar, I sent pictures of them) who has been having a lot of money problems lately. She hasn't been able to find work in about 6 months... Basically long story short Elder Hobbs, Helena, and I all fasted on Saturday hoping that she would be able to find some sort of work, because her rent is due at the end of the month and she won't be able to pay it. She came up to us at Church the next day and said that she got a call from one of the places she applied and got the job! Wow! We were all so excited and grateful! My testimony of fasting definitely grew that day. The Lord truly will bless us if we put our faith in him.
Let me talk about our house for a bit.. haha. Out of the past 7 days we have had power for maybe 3. Usually the power just goes out for a few hours and then comes back on but it doesn't really seem to be coming back on lately... haha. It makes things interesting that's for sure. We still have water, but with out energy it doesn't get sent throughout the house so we get to bucket it out:) I really hope that it comes back on soon cause I really need to wash my clothes...haha. But that's just the blessing of Africa! We just need to tough it up and go with what we have! Because there are definitely a lot more people 100X worse off then us here in Luanda.
The one thing that I feel like I have really learned these past 7 weeks is that the Spirit truly does speak all languages. It doesn't matter that I am still kind of speaking Portuguese like a cave man. After all it's not me and my companion that are teaching, its the spirit.  And trust me I am so grateful for that!!
Big shout out to the UTES this week! Sounds like a pretty crazy game!
Com amor,
Elder Hyde
Luke- It sounds like you had a sweet game this week!! Keep killin it!
Con- Stoked that you made it on ESPN!
Sam- Glad to hear that your a tennis champ!
Syd- Thanks for the email sista!!!
1. There's everything here in Luanda! We made it out to the beach last PDay
2. Me and my two favorite kids from the orphanage. Jelson and Alberto
3. All of us with President and Sister Renlund

Monday, September 10, 2012

WOOOOOOOOO!!! Awesome Week!!

This week was awesome! Probably my best one yet. Let me tell ya about it..
So on Tuesday we had a big zone (mission) conference with Elder Renlund of the 70. He is such an awesome man! It was so nice to be able to spend the day together as a mission with our President and the President of the Area.  We had some really good trainings and learned a lot of really good things that we all need to apply to our teaching and overall work. He talked a lot about the importance of simplicity. These investigators don´t need to know everything all of the deep/complicated doctrine. But, luckily for me, since I can´t exactly speek fluently it´s kinda hard for me to complicate things. haha. Each of us got to sit down with him for a few minutes and chat with him. It was so cool to be able to hear his council and wisdom. Later that night at about 7 he had a devotional for everyone in Luanda, it was AWESOME! About 140 people showed up, which was so cool. He spoke to everyone about the importance of the restoration and how any question about the church can be answered by refering back to the Restoration. It was awesome to see all of the members so contently listening and loving it.
 Yesterday was an amazing Sunday. We had 116 people at church! I think the record is 122 so we´re pretty close to breaking it. There are 3 companionships in our district and together we were able to bring something like 12 investigators. Awesome! We also got a lot of inactives there which is just as good.
A few weeks ago we met a man on a road fairly close to our house named Samuel. We were giving this drunk man that always bugs us a Book of Mormon and he came up and said that he would love one too. So I talked with him for a bit and got his info, and this week we started teaching him. He is such an awesome guy! Elder Davis were on a division on Wednesday and taught him for the first time, it was such a powerful lesson. Samuel is about 25 and has a ton of faith. He showed up to church yesterday and loved every minute of it. I think I´ve found my first "Golden" investigator. Since Wednesday we have taught him 3 times and he has started inviting his brothers cause he wants them to hear our great messege. I´ll keep you updated on his progress! So like I said I was on a division with Elder Davis this week and it was awesome! Our day went perfectly as planned and we had a lot of awesome lessons. He´s a stud and I have learned a ton from him.
We also got to go to the Orphanage again this week. We´re making it a weekly thing which I am so excited about! The kids are all so awesome and happy. We started by having some English lessons and then after just kind of hung out and played games with them to get to know them. This next week we hope to sing some hymns with them and get them feeling the converting power of the spirit. Mom, you would love it!
It truly was such an awesome week, and I´m confident that this next week will be too! Elder Hobbs and I are making a lot of progress in our area and as of right now have 5 people with a Baptisimal date. The next baptisimal service will be on the 22nd and combined with all of the Missionaries in Luanda we will have 15 baptisms! Woo! We have 1 girl that will be baptized on that day who is awesome! We started teaching her about 3 weeks, her dad served a mission in Congo about 10 years ago and for some reason has never pushed the church on his family so that´s where we come in! We´re starting with his oldest daught Loriana who is 15 and after her his wife wants us to teach her. They are going to be an awesome family!
It is so cool to see how the spirit works on people! It´s a pretty powerful thing!
I love you all so much! Keep on keepin´on!
And come on Utes....
Elder Hyde
Lukey- Keep your head up buddy! I heard you had a sick catch!
Sam- Tennis star! Thanks for the email!
Squid- I hear you had a crazy busy week as always! You rock!
Con- Holla at the 22 year old! and thanks for the updates.