Elder Keato's Address

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Summit

It is absolutely insane to think that one year ago today I was getting set apart and that this journey was beginning. It's seems like it was just yesterday... I am so grateful for this past year that I have had, I have learned so much about myself and about my Savior. There is no doubt that this past year has been the hardest year of my life but I am so grateful for it. The Lord has taught me so much through my trials, I feel like a totally different person. I wish I could express through email all that I have learned and all that has happened but it truly isn't possible. I love my mission so much, and am so excited for this coming year that I have to give it all that I have!  

So this past weekend the four of us took a long bus ride up to Huambo for Zone Conference with President Kretly. It was quite the trip. The bus was exactly as you would picture it. Chickens on the floor. Angolans sitting in the isle. The emergency escape hatch missing from the cieling (that gave a nice breeze the whole ride). It was an experience. The trip in total to Huambo from Lubango was about 8 hours. It's really not that far away, but only half of the road on the way there is paved. BUMPY. When we finally got to Huambo it was nice to see the other Elders and catch up. There are also 4 elders in Huambo. The other reason we were there was to see Huambo become a branch, they have only been a group for the past year or so. It was so cool to see how happy the members were to see all of their hard work pay off. President Kretly made all of the callings and now they are ready to go! After church President pulled us all in to one of the classrooms and gave us a little pep talk and told us that the rest of the day we would be out contacting looking for the next branch president (an Elder was made branch president). So we all divided up and were on our way, I worked with an Elder named Elder Ferguson. It was a super good time. We found some super cool people. We knocked on this one families door and they insisted that we would come in and tell them a little about the message, so that we did! They loved it. It was fun to spend a whole day out contacting. Tiring, but fun. The next day we had our Zone Conference. President Kretly killed it! It was so motivating! He based it off of Elder Hollan'ds talk from conference. He is an incredible man and we are really going to miss him. It was sad to say goodbye to him and his wife. Tuesday morning we were already back on the bus on our way home. It took a little longer on the way back... 10 hours.. Woot! 

A few weeks ago I mentioned a family that we started teaching called Team Lito. It's a big family of cousins, uncles, and so on. Lito's the oldest so we gave him the honor. They are so cool! So far we have 4 of them committed to be baptized on the 22nd and the other we have them committed to get married so that they can too. They are all so willing and excited. I love teaching them cause I feel like a preacher with a big congregation. The last time we were there I think I counted 16 people. haha. So much fun!

Have a great week! The work goes on!


Elder Hyde

Monday, May 20, 2013

What A Week!

Another great week in the books! 

The highlight of the week was definitely the baptismal service on Saturday night. There is nothing better than seeing your investigators turn into members and the look on their face as they leave the water. Our investigator Alex was baptized, and it was probably one of the coolest baptisms I've witnessed yet. This whole week leading up to the batpism he was so excited and giddy. He caught malaria last week so he was worried that he wouldn't be able to be baptized, but he asked for a blessing and he was just fine. The faith of this man is incredible. This week he is going to South Africa on business and is so excited to go to the temple. Unfortunately he can't go in and do baptisms cause there won't be time for him to get the Aaronic Priesthood before he leaves, but regardless he is exstatic. 

The rest of our week was great and full of teaching, over the last transfer we have really refined our investigator pool and as for right now we have a pretty solid set investigators. Over this next month we should see a few more baptisms. 

The comp and I are doing really great together, the work is so much easier when you have synergy in the companionship. He is a really good guy and teaching me a lot. 

This weekend the four of us are going up to another Province called Huambo to meet with the other 4 missionaries up there because President Kretly is coming for the last time before we become our own mission. Huambo is also becoming a branch which is super cool! They've just been a group for a little over a year now. It should be a good time. 

I hope you all have a great week! Thank you for all of the prayers and support!


Elder Hyde

Have a good last few weeks of school kiddies!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Good Times!

I had another really great week! You guys are probably starting to think that I just say that every week no matter how the week was, but I'm serious! It was an awesome week!

We were able to make some real progress with a few of our investigators. My man Alex (Phillipino) is doing so incredibly well. I absolutely love when we go to his house because he expresses just how much the Gospel is changing his life. He is so excited to be able to get out and serve the Lord. He has girlfriend that lives in Saudi Arabia that introduced him to the church and they already planning their wedding in South Africa. He said they're probably going to wait until they can go to the temple though, which will be one year from Saturday. He is such a champ! He has been on his death bed twice and gives 100% of the credit to the Lord for saving his life. He said that they are going to work for another 5 years or so and then he wants to repay the lord by serving a mission. I am so excited for his baptism this Saturday!

Last night after getting off Skype with the family Elder Yeanoplos and I went and taught a new family that we metSaturday night at another investigators house. We got into their house and they told us to wait a minute because there were other people that wanted to come hear. By the time we started there were about 7 of them in the room. We taught them the Restoration and it looked like their minds were absolutely blown. haha. They were all so excited! It's always a good sign when they ask if you can come back tomorrow night. We invited them all to pray about what we taught and when they have an answer to be baptized, they all accepted. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on people's faces when they learn the truth. I'll keep you updated on this family for sure.

Our area is doing great and we are being kept super busy! This next transfer is going to be a super good one, I'm sure of it. 

It was so good talking with you guys yesterday! You all look so good and happy! I am still so giddy! 

I hope that you all have an incredible week! Thanks for all of the prayers and support! 


Elder Hyde

Con: Have a good week bruh! Ride my bike hard
Sam: You looked so good yesterday swammers!
Syd: You too kiddo! Have a fun last month of Junior High!
Lukey: Thanks for flexing for me bro. You looked huge! Did you turn 9 or 16?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Conference Weekend

Conference Weekend!!! Only a month late... haha. We finally were able
to watch conference and it was so great. All of the talks were so
powerful and obviously inspired. I heard a lot of things that I really
needed to hear to help me be a better missionary. All of the talks on
marriage were great for a lot of our investigators. It was really cool
to see everyone realize just how big the church really is, it was the
first time seeing conference for probably about 70% of the people
there. It was so good for them to hear Elder Anderson's talk on
marriage. Especially the part about Mozambique. The quote he shared
was awesome. "We had to choose to follow the traditions of our fathers
or to follow Christ. We chose Christ." There are so many traditions
here that go against, or not in line with the Gospel. Hopefully we'll
see some changes in the hearts of some of our investigators over the
coming weeks. I can't wait to get the conference ensign in another few
months or so.

I am starting to realze the role of the Spirit a little bit more every
day. I have been trying really hard to "get out of the way" and let
the Spirit fulfill it's purpose. I have book by Elder Bednar and he
talks a lot about getting out of the way as we teach, be it as a
missionary or a sunday school teacher. At times as teachers we think
that we're the light, but really we're just the conduits and channels
of the light. It is so cool to see the Spirit work inside of an
investigator as they try to make big decisions like baptism. Example:
This week we were talking with one of our investigators named Jeff
about his baptism that should be in a few weeks, and we asked him what
he thaught of the date and he said he thinks he needs more time, that
it seems to soon. We just kinda brushed it off and finished teaching
the lesson. By the end we asked him again, and he said "how many weeks
are there?" We said three. And he replied "That's plenty of time!" We
just need to supply an atmosphere worthy of the Spirit and it'll do
the teaching.

The work is going great! I am so happy!

Thanks for all that you do! Have a great week! I love you all!


Elder Hyde

Con: Sick business idea bruh. Hit that up.
Syd: Props on the competition yo!
Sam: You looked gorgeous yet again at the dance!
Luke: Play hard for me brutha!!