Elder Keato's Address

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Christmas to Remember

Well, I'll get right to the point. This Christmas was one that I will never forget. I think it was the first Christmas that I truly felt the truespirit of Christmas. Our day wasn't about receiving or new toys but about serving. For Angolans Christmas isn't much different from any other day, they get together as family and eat. It was sad as I asked little Children about Santa and they either didn't know who he was or they said he wasn't coming. So with that in mind our district decided to dedicate the day to "saving Christmas". We all live together in the same house so that made things easy. We practiced some of our favorite Christmas hymns, each companionship picked a few families in their area, and then we hit the road. It was so satisfying, seeing the faces of the members lite up as we sang to them. It wasn't much, but it put smiles on some faces and I was happy! It was an awesome experience, one that I will never forget. The spirit of Christmas truly is the spirit of Christ, I have a testimony of that now. 

Christmas certainly was the highlight of the week but there were many other highlights as well. We have found several new families as we have been knocking doors over the past few weeks and it has been so great teaching them. I have faith that a few of them will make it to baptism. I have mentioned Evandro before, his wife was a less active member and they are preparing for marriage so that he can be baptized as well. They are doing so great! Evandro went home teaching last week with a member! Haha It's sad when you have to take investigators to go visit less actives... haha. But we're so excited for him! I am loving this area so much. It's really small so we are really able to focus in on those that we have to teach. 

The church is SO true! I have no doubt. I spoke yesterday in church about the importance of sacrifice and obedience, and as I did I realized how much my testimony has grown on those principles over the past little while. Their eternal principles that we've got to master in this life or else the next is going to be tough... I love this work and I love these people!

Have the greatest week ever! I love you all.

Elder Hyde

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Nothing beats Christmas... There is literally no better time of the year. What a blessing it is to celebrate Christmas in the mission field, serving those that you love. There's no snow, my family is on the other side of the world, yet I am feeling the Christmas spirit more than I think I ever have. It is such a special experience being a representative of Christ this time of year. 

This week flew right by just like the rest. We got back from our trip with President on Tuesday night and then we were back to work in our area. It felt good to be back to work! We knocked a lot of doors this week and saw some major miracles! On 3 different occasions this week we started knocking doors and the first door that we knocked on was a family waiting and willing to hear us. It was so special. On all 3 occasions we went in and taught them the restoration and left with beaming smiles knowing that the Spirit had lead us to those people's houses. I love being a missionary!

Well, I hope that you all have the best Christmas ever as you remember the true meaning behind Christmas and feel of the Savior's love. This is the best time of the year! I love you all so much! Thanks for the love and the support!

Love,

Elder Hyde







Monday, December 16, 2013

Good Times!

What a beautiful week. I know I usually say it was a great or awesome week but I think beautiful is the best way to describe this week. So last Thursday Elder Clifford and I hit the road with President and Sister to go and make some visits to the Elders down in the provinces, Lubango and Huambo, to see how the work is going and to have a little Christmas devotional with them. The drives have been absolutely awing. This country is so beautiful. It is the rainy season so everything is super green and lush. I am currently in Huambo so I will send pictures next week when we are back in Luanda. It was so fun to be back in Lubango. It still feels like I'm coming home everytime that I pull into the city. I love it and its people SO much. We took Elders Dunkley and Money down with us because they are going to be serving in my new area. I took a day to show them around the area and to introduce them to the members in the area. It was so good to see them again! But it was even better to see them still active and living the Gospel. After a few days in Lubango we hit the road again and headed to Huambo. I was there 6 months ago when it was made a branch and it was cool to see the growth that has taken place. They are few in the branch but there was such a special feeling during church on Sunday. We will be having the Christmas devotional with them tonight, and then heading for Luanda tomorrow morning.  We watched the First Presidency Christmad Devotional with Lubango and I loved it! It's so nice to be reminded about the true meaning of Christmas. Christ. Elder Nelson's talk was so good. What a unique opportunity it is to be a representative of Christ during this special season. He has given us so much and has asked for so little in return. I hope that you all have a great week and that you are enjoying the Christmas season! I sure am. The Savior lives!
 
Love,
 
Elder Hyde

Monday, December 9, 2013

Great Week!

This week was SO good. I learned so much. Let me see if I can convey it to you all...

So the highlight of the week was the visit of Elder Hamilton form the 70. Him and his wife are awesome people and taught us all so much. He got in on Tuesday and wanted to "meet" with the assistants so we were pretty nervous about that. haha. Instead of having a meeting with us he interviewed each of us and it was so cool. He gave me a lot of really great advice and council. I think the thing that I learned most from him was the principle of Christlike leadership, showing how rather than telling how. Christ truly was the perfect leader and example. On Wednesday we had mission conference and got a lot of really inspiring trainings. Elder Hamilton helped us to realize the grand scheme of things in the work of salvation. A lot of times we get our eyes to set on baptism and forget about what comes next. He kept emphasizing that the straight and narrow path leads through the temple. So true! It was so great to have them here with us this week. 

It was a super productive week in our area as well. We are finding some awesome people. We have some couples that we are working with that should be getting married here in a few months that I am really excited about. It has been so cool to see these husbands and wives grow to love each other more and more as they have grown closer to the Savior. This work is so satisfying! I LOVE IT!

Oh yeah, today was transfers and I´m getting a new companion, Elder Clifford. We are super close friends so I´m excited about serving with him. We will accomplish a lot together.  We leave on Thursday on a trip with President and Sister down to the provinces to have a Christmas devotional with them and to see how things are going. It´ll be a great experience! 

The church is true and I love you all!

Elder Hyde

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a week! It flew right by... I know I always say that but really... This week was a quickie. It was great! I love Thanksgiving cause it´s a great opportunity to sit back and think about all that we have been blessed with. I am SO grateful for my amazing family and for all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I´m especially grateful for this mission. I don´t know what I would have done without it... I have learned so much and still have so much to learn. We were able to come together as a mission and celebrate Thanksgiving together, it was a blast. President and Sister Merrill had an awesome day prepared. In the morning we had the first annual Turkey Cup. A big tournement against the districts. It was SO fun. Our district made it to the Finals but wasn´t able to pull it together in the final and lost... I´m over it though... haha. Then after soccer we had an incredible Thanksgiving dinner prepared by the senior couples and the Merrill´s. As always I stayed away from the turkey but was still satisfied. 

This week we also had two baptisms! I don´t think I have ever mentioned the people but they are both so cool. Gizela is 21 and her whole family had been baptized but her and she finally decided to get baptized a few weeks ago. She is a super cool girl and will do a lot for our branch. The other is Guilherme, his mom is a member and he has been coming to church for the last few years. It was so cute to see him bare his testimony after the baptism. He was crying and it was so cool. His Mom and Dad aren´t married so we´re working hard on getting them married so that his dad can get baptized too. He´s been progressing really well and hopefully soon next year they will be married. They´re both in the picture. I am loving this area so far, there are some really cool people that we are working with. Sorry for the lack of detail but I´ve gotta run! 

Thanks for all of the love and support! I hope that you have a great week!  All is well here in Angola! I am happy and learning! 

Love,

Elder Hyde



Monday, November 25, 2013

The Good Life

Ya know, I am never going to get sick of being a missionary... I have never been more busy or more tired in my life, but I am so content and grateful for this opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to serve Him and His children here in Angola. People always ask, "But aren´t you losing so much time and schooling during these two years?" We always, with a big smile on our faces, respond telling them how much experience and knowledge we are gaining during these two years of service. I wouldn´t trade these 2 years for anything! I only have 6 months left so Ineed to take advantage of every last second! 

I had an incredible week this past week. I got to go to Lubango! It was SO great to see all of the people that I love so much. The bus ride was quite the experience. The bus was suprisingly pretty nice, the air conditioning actually worked! I was hoping to get caught up on a lot of sleep but that didn´t happen... haha. I don´t know what it is but Angolans can talk and sing all night long without any problem... haha. I was the only white guy on both bus rides and on the way home I was pinned between a new mom and her month old baby and I don´t think she stopped breast feeding the whole ride. This is life! I love it! It was so good seeing the poeple I taught still strong and active in the church. I suprised Albertina and Alex and their reactions were priceless. It was so nice to sit down with them and catch up a little bit. We were thereMonday through Friday and it flew by.. My heart is still in that city! It still felt like home walking those streets. It was a great week! Sorry for the lack of detail...

Thanks for everything! Have the greatest week ever!

Love, 

Elder Hyde




Monday, November 18, 2013

They Keep Getting Better and Better

It is crazy that it is Monday already... I don´t know where the time is going. But, it was still a week never to be forgotten. I am learning SO much. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has evolved over the past few months or so. I still have so far to go but I am so happy right now. These past few weeks we have been focusing a lot with those we teach on Heavenly Father, sadly we realized that that is a point the we too often skip over and don´t give the deserved time too. It is critical that those we teach know who their Heavenly Father is, if they don´t it´s difficult for them to understand the plan that he has for them and their eternal potential. As we´ve focused on it it has been really interesting seeing what people´s beliefs are about God, but it´s also been cool seeing their eyes be opened as they realize who He truly is. 

We had some really cool experiences this week in our area. It was a great. We were focusing a lot on finding and found some very prepared people. One of those people is Princesa. We started teaching her this week and she is already on her way to baptism. She understood the restoration SO well. It is so easy to teach her! When the real teacher, the Spirit, is present in lesson it is so easy to know, because it doesn´t matter what you say or how you explain the principle, they understand. As we taught the restoration I was tripping all over my words but it didn´t matter, the Spirit taught what she needed to know. I´ll keep you updated on her! 

This week one of my old investigators from my old area, Germina, was baptized! She was so prepared. We met her at our investigator Mavinga´s house a little over a month ago. The Gospel was exactly what she needed and and she found it at the exact time that she needed it. I love this work SO much! There is so much joy in it. 

Tonight Elder Mariquele and I are catching a bus to go to Lubango! I am so excited to see all the people that I love so much there. It´s a 18 hour bus ride so hopefully I´ll get caught up on some sleep:) 

Life is good and once again, I´m happy! Thanks for your love and support! Have the greatest week ever!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Great Week







Once again it was an incredible week, full of learning and tender mercies of the Lord. We had a very busy week which made it absolutely fly by. I'll tell you about some of the highlights.

So I'll start with some of our new investigators, Santa and her family. Last Sunday we started teaching this new family that the Elders had miraculously found a few weeks ago knocking doors in our area. They were passing through Santa's little street when she opened the door and asked who knocked on her door. They were the only ones on the street and it wasn't them that knocked it. The Lord works in mysterious ways doesn't he? They took the opportunity to contact her and now we are teaching her and her wonderful family. Last Sunday we just got to know them and this Sunday we went back and taught the Restoration. They have a daughter who is Jehovah's Witness, and quite loud about it. haha. She's about 22. She came prepared to tell us how wrong we were. She read the Restoration pamphlet and everything. We told her that if she would sit through the lesson we would be happy to answer her many questions. It was frustrating her that we weren't really giving her the fight (Bible bash) that she wanted. But by the end she was contently listening like the rest of the family, and accepted the commitment to pray about the truthfulness of the message. I LOVE the message of the Restoration. You can't fight it. It makes so much sense. Especially to those who have been prepared by the Lord to hear it. This family seems to have real potential, I pray that they do our commitments and progress!

This week we got to go on a fun little trip around Luanda with President and Sister Merrill. It was so nice to see some of the beauty of this ginormous city. To give you an idea of how massive it is, we left at 11 and got back at about 7. We were stuck in traffic for a few hours, but still.. We went and saw a few government projects that city is working on to try and get rid of all of the congestion in the city, there are a few big Chinese companies building huge cities of apartments on the outskirts of the city to try to move some people out of the inner city. It's crazy. It was a really cool to see the whole city! 

I also started driving this week which was an adventure! I was worried that it would be difficult to get back into the groove with a stick but luckily it clicked right back:) The traffic is nuts here... Anything goes. 

Well, it was an awesome week! It flew right by! I'm loving my new area and I'm happy! Thanks once again for the love and support. Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, November 4, 2013

Great Week!

It was a great week! Transfer weeks are always bitter sweet because you have to say goodbye to the people that you have grown to love and adjust to a new area. But change is always good as a missionary! I am loving my new area and companion. We have a relatively small area which is cool. I´m really excited to get to know the branch better. I´ve loved what I´ve seen so far! My companion is a champ, I´m sure I am going to learn oodles from him. 

So this week we had some really awesome experiences that I would definitely call miracles. Let me tell you about one of them.. So on Saturday we were walking through our area knocking some doors and we decided to knock on a door that they had knocked on a few months ago and 24 year old girl came and got the door, we told her why we were there and she asked us to come back the next day. So yesterday we came back and had an incredible lesson with her and introduced our message to her. Before we ended with a prayer she opened up to us and kinda let it all out on the table. She said that she knows for a fact that the Lord sent us and that we were there for a reason because just before we knocked on her door the day before she had been praying that the Lord would show her some direction in her life. So cool! She is such a special lady! She then went on to tell us that one of her deep secrets that hardly anyone knows and said that she knew she could trust us and that we could help her. She told us that due to the war she was forced to be moved around a lot and has never been to school, she can´t read or write. We were shocked because she looked very well off. But we told her that we would do what we could to help and reassured her that the Lord sent us and that her life is about to change in a big way. It was such a cool experience! We look forward to working with her this week. 

I am never going to get tired of all of these things that I am experiencing here! It is such a blessing to be a missionary, especially at such a time as this. The church is true! Thank you for all of your love and support! Have the greatest weeks of your lives! 

Love,

Elder Hyde

Pics:


1. Elder Mariquele and I
2. Amelia, a girl that Elder Pimentel taught. She is Paulo´s sister.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Transfers!

Hey! This week was great! I´m not really sure where to start...  So I´ll start with the some fun news, I´m getting transfered! I didn´t see it coming but I´m super excited for the new challenges and experiences ahead. I´m being transfered to the Benfica branch which has only been a branch for about 8 months now, it´s really new but very well organized so I´m really excited. I get to serve with an Elder named Elder Mariquelle, he is from Mozambique and he is a stud. I am going to learn a lot from him. We will be serving as assistants to the president. I am still kind of in shock with the new assignment... but we´ll see how it goes! Hopefully I don´t screw up too much.. Elder Mariquelle has been assistant for a few transfers now so I´m looking forward to learning from him. 

I have learned so much in my 3 transferes here in this branch (Luanda 2). These people have taught me SO much! I think this has been the time that I have grown the most on my mission. As I look back on the experiences that Lord has blessed me with these past 4 months or so I am so grateful... I have truly gained a testimony of the eternal principle of obedience during these transfers. It has been incredible to see the Lord trust us as he has seen that we´re willing to do His work His way. I remember hearing talks and what not about it in the MTC, but I don´t think I really understood it until now. There´s no better way to gain a testimony of something than through experience! The branch that I am getting transfered to shares the same chapel as my current branch so I am really excited to be able to see everyone still. 

My testimony has grown so much as I´ve been on my mission. What would I do without this chance to serve? I love the Lord and am willing to do what ever he asks. Sorry that this email is so short... But I hope you know that I am happy and doing well! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, October 21, 2013

WOW!

Wow. This week was incredible. It´s crazy how much the Lord is at work here in Angola. There were a lot of highs this week and a few necessary lows, but none the less, it was an incredible week. Let me try to tell you about it...

So I´ll start of with the highs. This last Saturday was awesome! We were able to see 4 of our investigators enter the waters of baptism and receive the joy that comes from it. There is nothing better than a baptismal service as a missionary. The great Swing was baptized along with Eliza, Natália and Costa. I haven´t talked much about Eliza but she is the cousin of Flora and a few other members, she is an awesome girl. Natália and Costa are the family of Fulai, Salvador, Mimi, Manucha, etc. We have been working with them for about 2 months now so it was so great to see them make it to baptism. They were both so excited! But, I don´t think I´ve ever seen any one as excited as Swing, this man came prepared. He has strengthened my testimony so much over the past 2 weeks. Yesterday when he received the Holy Ghost he was beaming, and after the blessing was done he jumped out of his chair and gave us big hugs, it was a great experience. I am confident that this guy is going to be a great leader of the church here in Angola. It has been insane to see how fast he learns, he just sucks it all up. He´s already read a solid 200 pages of the Book of Mormon and understands it better than I do. He has been prepared for a long time to receive the restored Gospel, and now that he has it he isn´t going anywhere but up. What an awesome experience it has been to be involved in his conversion. 

Now, I´m sure you´re all wondering about Necat, our Muslim friend. Let me tell you about the crazy week that we had with him. So I told him that I would be getting back to him on Tuesday after I talked to President about his situation and on Monday night he sent me a text saying, "I´m hope to hear good news from you tomorrow. I hope JESUS will accept me." That cut me to the core! This man wants so bad to know Christ and be accepted by him! Little does he know that Christ waiting for him with open arms. So on Tuesday I called him scheduling the interview that he needed to have with President for Saturday afternoon and he was excited and said that he´d be there. But then on Wednesday I got a call that rocked my world. Necat called me telling me that his work had found out about his meeting with us and that they now could not trust him and that he was being sent back to Turkey the next day.... WHAT!? I felt so bad... I appologized and appologized but he reassured me that it was him that called us and that we were just doing our jobs. He said that it is all for the better and that now he gets to return to his family and continue his search. So with that news we quickly scheduled a meeting with him the next day before he flew out. Us and President sat with him to show him our support but really the support of our Heavenly Father in his search. President explained that he will need to go to a country where the church is accepted and from there we can teach him and help his family become eternal. He realizes that it is going to be hard to get out of Turkey, especially as a Muslim, but he isn´t going to give up. This man is incredible! I wrote him a quick letter of encouragement and gave it to him as he left. I pray that everything will work out for him! It makes me wonder how many Necats there are out there... How many people are thirsty for the Gospel but don´t know where or how to find it? Thank goodness that God´s plan is perfect and merciful! I am so grateful that I was born into the circumstances I was born into and that I have had the Gospel my whole life! We can´t take it for granted! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for Necat and that everything will fall into place for him. What an experience! 

The mission is so full of life changing experiences such as these. I don´t know what I would do without out these 2 years.. The Lord has been teaching me SO much. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers! I love you all so much! Have an incredible week!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Pics:
1. SWING!!
2. Eliza
3. Natália and Costa


Monday, October 14, 2013

Great Week!

Well it was another great week! The Lord has been blessing us with some really great experiences these last few weeks and I am so grateful. He´s been teaching me so much through the people we work with, it´s been incredible.

So my week  had quite a few highlights. I´ll start with one of the most prepared people I have met and taught my whole mission. I talked about him a little last week. His name is Swing. We have sat with him everyday since last Sunday and he is getting baptizedon Saturday! He has been literally eating right up everything that we have taught. He is SO ready for the Gospel. It has been an incredible experience to see it. He will be a big leader in the church one day. His day basically consists of work, reading in the Book of Mormon, and meeting with us. And the good thing is is that he loves it! His son lives here in Luanda, his wife and 2 other kids live in S. Africa still but they´re working on saving money so they can be together again. His son Junior is living with his sister in another part of the city so that he can be close to his school but this weekend he went and got him and brought him to church and he loved it! He´s 10. It´ll be so cool to see Swing baptized his son here in a few weeks or so. It so cool to see these people find the truth and then want to share it with everyone, Swing has committed himself to bring all of his family into the church. He´s the man. Last Monday we had a really special lesson with him. We taught the Plan of Salvation to him right after I heard about Grandma Claire. I think that was the first time I really taught the Plan of Salvation, the spirit was so strong! I am so grateful for the knowledge we have! 

We also had a really special experience this week with a man that stopped us on the street last Tuesday. So as we were walking down one of the side streets in our area a white european looking fella called us over and said that he wanted to talk to us, but that he couldn´t right then and that he would call us. He spoke English but had a strange accent and you could tell english wan´t his first language. Anyways long story short, on Saturday we met with him and he just let it all out on the table. He is Turkish, Muslim, and wants a new life. I was kind of in shock as we was talking... He said that as we walked by something told him that we could help him. He has been looking for a way out of the muslim life and culture for 10 years and hasn´t found how yet. He has family in Turkey and wants to be happy with them. I told him that we would do everything we could but that we couldn´t promise anything. President Merrill is going to need to chat with him before we move forward. It was so cool though! The light of Christ is truly in all of us! Even those who don´t know anything about Christ. I hope and pray that we can help this man! I directed him to Mormon.org so hopefully he can start doing a little on his own. I´ll keep you updated on him!

Everything is going great and most importantly I am happy! I am so grateful for this time I have to serve the Lord. I have been learning so much from the Angolan people! I don´t know what I would do without my mission! I love you all and am so grateful for all of you! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, October 7, 2013

Keep on Keepin On



Well, my week was incredible. But I will not lie, I am at a loss for words right now as I have learned about the passing of one of the worlds best, Grandma Claire. It all now comes down to me and to us to continue in faith doing what she and our Heavenly Father would have us do. I am so grateful for the testimony that I have of The Plan of Salvation, I KNOW with a certainty that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and that the goal of that plan is to help us be happy. What a life she lived. She was the perfect example of what it means to keep covenants and receive the promised blessing, happiness. She was happy. Always. I am at such peace knowing that she now feels no pain, and that she is with those that were waiting for her on the other side. That we can all stay strong, and remember the incredible life that she lived!
Last Monday I was nervous. After leaving email I was nervous about the news I received of grandma´s condition. I asked for a blessing from my companion that I would be able to focus on the work, and as I slept that night I went to bed feeling that all was well. When I woke up it was just like another day, and this week was one of the better weeks of my mission as I saw the Lord change the lives of many. On Saturday 3 of our investigators were baptized, it was an incredible service. Cristiano was giddy as he waited for his turn. He has strengthened my testimony so much as I have seen the Atonement change his life. Manucha and Mendes were also baptized and all of their siblings were there to watch, it was great. These kids are amazing. There are now 6 of them baptized in their family, and there are many that are following their footsteps.
This week we have been working hard on contacting to grow our teaching pool and it has been so cool to see the Lord at work. On Friday I was on a division in another area and while I was on that division the Elders in my area found an elect. His name is Swing. He is much like Cristiano in the sense that he is thirsty for the Gospel. Here is a brief background of Swing. He has lived in S. Africa for the last 14 years and came to Angola about a year ago to work. His wife is still in S. Africa and is actually a member of the church. They were married in an LDS Chapel in 2005. She is not active and he really doesn´t know much about the church. But as he has come here has been looking for "the true church", a church that would make him happy and build his faith. But he´s been coming up short. He´s been praying to God asking that he would show to him what he needs to do. He has been jobless for about 6 months now and has been looking hard for work. On Friday he went and handed in some resumés and for some odd reason, he said, he decided to come home at a time that he usually didn´t. That was when he ran into the Elders. They sat with him and he was so joyful knowing that God had answered his prayers. Saturday he got a job and he attributes that to his new encounter with the truth. Yesterday he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting expressing how he knows that this is where he needs to be. We sat with him yesterday and taught him the restoration and he ate it right up. We left him with the commitment to read the Book of Mormon, he said that he would so that he can confirm the testimony that he already has of the church.  I don´t think I have ever met someone so excited in my life. We set a baptismal date with him and he should be baptized in a few short weeks. He is so excited to call and tell his wife. Little does he know, but his family will soon become eternal!
I am so grateful for this mission and the opportunity that I have to share this knowledge that we have with the Angolan people. I have been so blessed to know of this my whole life. I truly don´t know what I would do with this mission and the experiences I am having here and the lessons I am learning here. This church is so true and the Gospel truly is our only way to happiness. Of the few things I know, that is one of them. Stay strong and keep on keepin on! I love you!
Elder Hyde

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Update

Well it was another productive week here in Luanda! Things are going great with our investigators and I´m happy! The Lord has really blessed us with a great teaching pool. I am very grateful.

So this coming Saturday a few of our investigators will be baptized, Cristiano, Mendes, and Manucha. You all know Cristiano, he is continuing to completely amaze me every visit. He will be a great addition to the branch. He is so willing to do what the Lord wants him to do. You can tell a lot about the willingness of a person by when you teach them the Word of Wisdom. Most people react in a "Ah... I guess I´ll try" kinda way. But Cristiano basically just said, "consider it done". He likes his coffee and beer, but as soon as he heard it was a commandment he dropped them on the spot. This man is SO prepared. I´ll send you pictures of him next week. Mendes and Manucha are part of Fulai, Salvador, and Mimi´s family. Manucha is Mimi´s sister and Mendes is their cousin. They are both about 17 years old. They´re super excited! It has been so cool to see the Gospel change their family. The ones that used to be not interested are now seeing the changes in those that are coming to church and sitting with us and want what they have. It´s been a great experience. 

We had a big Zone Conference this week too which was great. It´s always so fun to get together with all of the Elders and get taught. Elder Pimentel (my companion) and I gave a training on working with less actives and recent converts and it went great! I love all of these Elders here so much, they are complete studs.

Today we got to go back to the orphanage that we used to go to! It has been a year since I´d been there and it was so fun to see all of the kids again! I attached some pictures:)

This work is incredible. It is such an great opportunity to be here. My testimony has grown so much as I have seen people completely change their lives to follow the Savior. I now know that the Lord has a plan for us, and that he is always watching out for us. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support! I hope that you all have a great week! LOVES!

Love,

Elder Hyde


Monday, September 23, 2013

Familiar Faces

Well it was another good week here in Luanda. Our area is progressing well and I feel like I´m progressing. Week after week I continue to learn more and more. These people have taught me so much over the past year or so, their humility and faithfulness is incredible. The Angolan people are without a doubt a God fearing people, they want so bad to please Him. 

Last week I talked a little bit about our investigator Cristiano. This man is my hero. He has been doing so well! He is so anxious to be baptized and is doing everything that he can to be prepared. He´s been lost for most of his life and is ready to come back to the fold. 

This past monday I got to see Albertina from Lubango! She was up here in Luanda for a wedding or something and her bus station just so happened to be in my area so we ran by to see her. It was awesome! She is the most amazing woman, the things that she has gone through are incredible. Hopefully one day I´ll be able to tell some of her stories, I don´t think it´s possible through email. It´s crazy that she has almost been a member for a year now... This week was full of seeing familiar faces. This weekend we had District Conference here in Luanda. It was so awesome to see all of the members come together. It put such a smile on my face seeing the people from the first branch that I served in. It has been exactly a year since I´ve seen them. At conference yesterday there was a total of 689 people in attendance. The church truly is growing here, there may not be many members yet, but man are they strong. 

It was a great week! I hope that everything is well on the home front and that you are all happy! I´m happy!

Love,

Elder Hyde




Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Week!

The weeks just keep getting better and better. The Lord is blessing us with a lot of work and we are so grateful for fit. These week was full of a quite a few experiences that I will never forget. Let me tell you about one of them.

I´ll start by telling you about a man named Cristiano. Cristiano was introduced to the Gospel by a friend that he met on a hospital bed. They were both together in the same hospital room for a few days and this man that he met loved him enough to share the Gospel with him. This man´s name is Jose and he was baptized about 4 months ago in another branch. As they layed there together in the hospital Jose told Cristiano of the joy and peace that the Gospel has brought in his life and it motivated Cristiano to want to learn more. 2 Sundays ago he came to church for the first time and loved it. We got his contact and set an appointment to meet with him later in the week. This man is incredible. We went to his humble home where he lives alone with one of his sons (20 years old) and introduced him to the Restoration. We expressed to him the love that Heavenly Father has for everyone of us and the power that the Atonement can have in our lives. As he told us a little bit about is past he started crying, he said that he can´t help but cry thinking back on all of the mistakes that he´s made. He lived and fought through the war and it really took a toll on him. He has 6 kids, each of which is with another woman. He wants so bad to feel at peace with himself and is willing to do whatever it takes to have a clean conscious. Our first meeting ended with us leaving him with the commitment to read the pamphlet on the Restoration. When we came back two days later he had that thing down. It was the easiest lesson that I´ve ever taught. Usually it´s your companion that finishs your sentences not the investigator. It was incredible. As we invited him to baptism at the end of the lesson, he reacted in a way that I will never forget. He just let out a "Halleluyah" and said how he will do whatever it takes. We set the date of the 5th of October with him. I love this man! I am so glad that the Lord has trusted us with him. And I am so glad that Jose had the desire to share the Gospel with him! I feel so bad for the millions of people out there that find themselves in the same situation that Cristiano was in. Absolutely miserable because of their past mistakes, suffering from the weight of guilt, and wishing that they could start over. The Savior has already suffered for all of our sins and mistakes, we don´t need to! I am so grateful for the Atonement! It has changed my life and I am seeing it change the lives of so many people here in Angola. There is nothing that makes us feel the love of the Savior like feeling the peace that comes through repentance. We are so lucky to have the knowledge of the Atonement, we HAVE to share it. 

This week was incredible! I wish so bad that I could tell you everything... But time doesn´t exactly permit. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for you constant prayers and support. Have the greatest week of your lives!

Love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, September 9, 2013

What A Week!

Well this week was a swell one. It was probably one of the most progressive weeks that I´ve had in this area. The Lord is really blessing us with some very prepared and elect people to teach. I cannot express how great it is to teach someone that is ready to hear that we´re teaching, they absorb it all in and apply it. Let me tell you about some of this weeks experiences. 

So awhile back I talked about an investigator of ours named Betinha. We started teaching her and her 3 kids about a month ago (her husband died a few years ago). Her sister is a member in Portugal and somehow got her contact to us. Anyways, they are probably one of the most faithful families that I have met here in Angola. They know their Bible well and they have been raised with great standards. It´s rare to see a son hug his mother here. Betinha´s kids hug her and love her, I love it. Last week they made it to church for the first time and we were so excited. They hadn´t been able to come the previous 4 weeks because they are super strong in their baptist church and have some responsibilities there. But this week we had 3 really powerful lessons with them and committed them all to be baptized the 5th of next month. They all accepted under the stipulation that they have to receive a confirmation that it is what Heavenly Father wants for them. We reassured them that He most definitely will confirm it to them. They are reading the Book of Mormon daily and understanding it better than I do. It´s incredible. She made it to church again this week. There are great things in the future for this family! I´ll keep you updated. 

This week we also started teaching the women that I talked about last week. (The one whose son was baptized in Portuga) She is so incredibly prepared. On Saturday night we sat and had a lesson with her and she just broke down in tears expressing to us her needs and problems. She has a 15 year old son that is giving her a ton of grief, he got kicked out of school, leaves the house when ever he wants, and never talks to her. Her father passed away last month. And she just doesn´t know what more she can do. We bore testimony of the power of the Gospel when practiced properly and promised her that this is exactly what she needs right now. She was so grateful and you could tell that a part of her burden was lifted off her shoulders. Yesterday her she showed up with her kids at church and loved it! Even her trouble child came. And I think he really liked the Young Men in the branch. I´m super excited for this family! We are going to teach them again tomorrownight. I´ll keep you updated on their progress!

Also Mimi was baptized this week! Woot! She was so excited! Her whole family came to watch too which was so cool. Even her dad Mateus came. It got him really excited for his baptism in a month. He had kind of a tough week, he relapsed once, but we´re not losing hope on him. At church yesterday he walked into the Gospel Principles class right as they started talking about alchool and he took that as a big punch in the face that it´s time to stop. We´re so excited for him and his family. He has 3 other daughters that are all wanting to follow Mimi´s footsteps and be baptized too. Cool stuff! 

Well anyways I hope that helps you have a little idea of what´s going on! I hope that you all had an awesome week! Keep on keepin´ on! LOVES!

Love,

Elder Hyde


Here are some pics of the baptism. Mateus is the man on my left.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Howdy!

I had a really awesome week! I learned a lot, and we a lot of tender mercies of the Lord. 

First I´ll tell you about something really cool that happened yesterday. So yesterday about an hour after church got out we met this woman that was driving around looking for the church. We were out on the curb waiting for a taxi and she pulled up to talk to us. She said that her son was baptized in Portugal and that he has been nagging her for the last month to go and find the church. She said he is happier than he has ever been so she figured that she should go check it out. Anyways, she ended up getting out of her car to talk to us and she was beaming, you could tell how excited she was to meet us and to finally find the church. It was super interesting, for some reason it had taken us a lot longer to get out of the church than usual, and it just so happened that as we were walking out of the church´s big gate she drove by. The Lord works in mysterious ways! If worthy of it he will always guide our steps and use us as his insturements.

So Mimi wasn´t baptized this week, due to her dad´s work. But this week she made it clear that daddy or no daddy she is getting baptized. She is such an awesome girl, she is being an awesome example to her family. Through her example and the example of Fulai and Salvador majority of their family is now sitting with us. Her and dad and aunt both made it to church this week and have already accepted baptismal dates. It is so true that our example really speak so much louder than our words. I talked a little about her dad last week, Mateus. He has a drinking problem but has decided that it´s time to change, and he knows that the Gospel is what is going to make that change. Yesterday we had a real heart to heart with him and he expressed how much he wants his daughters to love him and respect him. He´s a single dad and hasn´t necessarily been the greatest poppa. But now he´s ready to step up his game. He asked us to start passing by everyday so that he can get rid of this stupid addiction that he has. I am so excited to see the change in this man! He has already shown a big change and I´m confident that it´s all up hill from here for him and his whole family. 

There are good things in the works! I am so grateful for the fact that we don´t have to do this work alone. It would be impossible without the Spirit´s guidence. It´s all true!!!!! 

Love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cause This Is Africa!

This week was a special one for sure! Not only did the work progress but we got a little taste of Africa as well. Let me tell you about it.

So first off the important stuff. This week we had Flora´s baptism and it was awesome! She was so excited and ready. Mimi´s baptism we moved back a week so that her Dad will be able to attend it. It´s acutally a pretty intersting story with her dad. He was the first one of all of his family to start taking the lessons, but then after a little while he kind of took a little detour and got into drinking and all that not so good stuff. But since he started taking the lessons 5 people from his family have been baptized. But anyways, this week we started teaching him again and are trying help him find his way. We sat with him yesterday and he really opened up and expressed how he just kind of lost himself and that he does know how he is going to get out of the rut he´s in. We assured him that we have just the tool to get him out. He expressed how he has seen his family change as they´ve been going to church and as some of them have been baptized (Fulai and Salvador) and how he is kind of jealous. We are really looking forward to working with him and helping him get out of this rut. It´s pretty incredible how the Gospel truly can fix any problem that we face in this life. This Saturday his daughter Mimi should be baptized and then after that it is going to be all uphill for his family. It was great, as we left our lesson with him, his name is Mateus by the way, his daughters came up and thanked us, they hate the route that their dad has taken and they want a responsible father figure again. It was even greater that they realized that the Gospel is just what he needs. I am loving this area!

Now I´ll talk about the other less important stuff. We went on a safari today!!!! It was awesome! We went to a safari park about 2 hours outside of Luanda. About half of the mission went with President and Sister Merrill and Elder and Sister Lopes, one of the brazillian couples. I think the rest of the mission is going next week. But anyways.. It was so cool! As we drove into the park there were giraffes welcoming us, standing in the middle of the dirt rode. That got us pretty excited! It was about a 40 minute drive from the entrance of the park to where we would meet the truck that was going to be taking us on the safari. Once we got to the trucks they took us out and we started our journey! We first went back and saw the family of giraffs that had migrated a little bit more into the bush and they took us up real close to them. Way cool. Then from there we kept going and then we found an elephant up in the trees a ways of the trail. The truck driver had no fear, the second we saw it he started climbing the hill in the truck, driving over trees and what not. He got us right up close to the elephant. Beautiful. After that we kept going and found a group of wildabeasts and their friends the onix. The wildabeasts let us take pictures but the onix got out of there pretty quick when they saw us. It was so beautiful!! There is no way I can come close to explaining what it was like in this email. Sorry... Hopefully you can get some idea from the pictures. We unfortunately didn´t see any zebras or anything else, but we were all satisfied. It was nice to get out of the big city and into Africa. 

Well it was another great week! Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Have a good first week of school!

I love you all!

Elder Hyde









Monday, August 19, 2013

Howdy

Well, it was another great week! Let me tell you about some of it.

So a while back I mentioned something about one of our new investigators named Bela. I thought I would give a little update on her. Her and her family are probably some of the most prepared people that I have teached this far on my mission. So the family consists of Bela and her two kids, Isangela and Cicilia, Bela´s nephew Wilson, Bela´s brother Martins (he´s the one thats bed ridden), and Bela´s neice Luana. They are awesome. About a week ago we started reading the Book of Mormon with them just to give them a little push and now they are loving it. They read together nightly and actually understand! It is incredible, Cicilia and Luana are only 12 years old and are understanding the Book of Mormon better than I do. Unfortunately they haven´t been able to make it to church yet because of wedding and funerals but they´ll make it this week. We started teaching them the Plan of Salvation this past week and it has been so cool to see the light bulbs go off as we´ve taught. It is so easy to feel the spirit when we are there with them. It makes our job so much easier when they want  to feel and learn from the spirit. We plan on committing them to a baptismal date this week.

This week Elder Fontaine and I had the opportunity of helping with the districts big Helping Hands activity. This year they did a blood drive and a lot of people showed up to help. There is a huge lack of blood here in Angola and a huge need for it. It was cool to see the members so willing to help in a good cause. There was a clinic that came to do the blood work and it was a great opportunity for mission work. They were all given Book of Mormons and we explained a little about it to them. It was cool, I talked to the head doctor who is from Cuba for about 15 minutes, he spoke spanish and I suprisingly understood mostly everything. It was a super cool experience. There is nothing better than service!

This week Mimi and Flora are getting baptized. I don´t know if I have mentioned anything about Mimi yet but she is the neice and cousin of a few members in the branch. She is cousins with Fulai and Salvador that were baptized at the camping trip. They are both so excited for their baptisms! As am I! It has been super special to see them change over the past month. I´ll be sure to send pictures next week.

The work is going great and I am loving life as a missionary! Sorry this email is kind of lame... There is just no way to explain everything in a short email. 

I love you all and hope that you have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Hyde