Elder Keato's Address

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

Monday, July 29, 2013


Wow. This week was absolutely incredible. Let´s see if I can get it all into this quick email.

I´ll start with the highlight of our week, the baptism of Fulai (Fly) and Salvador. We started working with these young men a little over a month ago and they have come so far and changed so much in preparing themselves for baptism. Their uncle is already a member and was super helpful in the process. So this week all of the youth in the district had a big camping trip for youth conference and went to a place called Funda about 2 hours outside of Luanda. Fulai and Salvador already being super involved with the young men were able to go, and we received permission from President Merrill to hold the baptism there at the camp in a river that runs behind the property that they would be using. On Saturday morning we left Luanda with President and Sister Merrill to go out to the campout. When we got there it was so cool to see all of the youth all together. I got to see a lot of the kids from other branches that I had gotten super close with. They had it set up super well. Then it was time for the baptism all of the youth gathered around the bank of the river and sang hymns while the 4 of us got dressed, then when we came out the branch president from our branch spoke a little bit and then it was show time. They had jerry rigged a little latter thing that we used to get into the water and then we walked about 15 feet out or so to where it was deep enough and performed the baptism. It was such a special experience. I had the opportunity of baptizing Fulai and he was so nervous and excited, he said that before the baptism his heart was beating super fast but as soon as he left the water he had an overwhelming feeling of peace come over him and he was calm. It was so special for all of the youth to be there and to support them. Elder McCune then baptized Salvador. These two young men are studs to say the least, I cannot wait to follow all of them over the years and see where they go. After we got all changed President and Sister Merrill said some things and then all the youth prepared for a prosyliting activity that they had planned. All of us went to a near by Seventh Day Adventist church near by and handed out Book of Mormons. The church was expecting us and had chairs all set up for us and everything, it was super cool to see how this church in this tiny village did things. They had one preacher yelling in Portuguese and another translating and yelling in their dialect, Embundo. After their meeting they let us talk a little bit and hand out the Book of Mormons. It will be really cool when missionaries get to that little village in who knows how long and sees that seeds had already been planted. This day was definitely one of the best day on my mission, so full of the spirit and the spirit of missionary work. All the youth that we were with there are the future of the church here in Angola and it was so good to see that all the leaders are helping them prepare. It was incredible, I can´t say it enough. 

The rest of the week was incredible as well. Last week I mentioned how seeds are so important in missionary work, well this week I gained a huge testimony of that. This week we started sitting with 3 people who already had a little seed planted in them. One stopped us on Monday night and said that she had been to our church in Portugal and that she wants to know how she could get involved here, one ran into the Elders in Italy the day he was leaving and they promised him that he would find us here one day, and the other had sat with the Elders here in Luanda a good time ago and was interested in learning more again. We all need to do our part and plant seeds when we can. Who knows if our seed will be the one that converts that person, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Heavenly Father is watching over that person and will help the seeds that we plant to grow when the time is right. Mission work is a team sport and we all need to work together. I hope that it is the time for these 3 people! I will keep you updated on them. 

I am writing all this with a smile on my face! Things are going so great here and I am so grateful for all of the blessing and tender mercies of the Lord in this work. We couldn´t and shouldn´t do it without him. 

I hope that you all had just as good of a week as I did! Thank you all so much for the prayers and support! I LOVE YOU ALL!


Elder Hyde

Monday, July 22, 2013

Great Week

Hey everyone! It was another great week. Let me tell you about it. 

So a week or two ago we started teaching a less active member that lives in our area named Michel. He was baptized in Portugal and when he moved back to Angola he kind of fell away from the church and started living with his girlfriend. We started teaching the girlfriend this week and things are going great with them. They came to church two weeks in a row. That´s a big deal! This past Sunday we taught them the Law of Chastity and they are now preparing themselves for marriage. Marriage here in Angola is a mess... Most people just don´t get married because it is so expensive and such a hassle. But they are starting to get all of their documents together so that they can get married here in the next month or so. His girlfriend is super excited to get baptized now too. She was a little upset when we told them that they would need to get married first but they understand why. So that was a cool experience! We had a lot of other great experiences this week too. On Wednesday we were on our way to an investigators house when a man stopped us as he was driving by and pulled out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and asked if we were from the same church as the missionaries that gave him the pamphlet. We told absolutely and marked an appointment with him for the next day. He´s a super cool guy named Mavinga. He showed up to church on Sunday too so that´s a good sign that this guy is really interested. We plan on teaching his wife this week too so that´ll be good! It´s super interesting how the Lord works through seeds. Planting seeds is such a big part of missionary work! 

This coming Saturday we have a pretty special baptism. There is a district youth camping activity this weekend and the two young men that are getting baptized will be baptized up in a river at the campout. We´re super excited! We get to go to it too! It´s like two hours out of Luanda. Woot! I let you know how it goes!

I´m loving the work and am happier than ever! This Gospel is such a powerful thing! 

Thanks for all of your prayers and support! I love you all!


Elder Hyde

Monday, July 15, 2013

Great Week!

Well ya'll it was another great week over here in Angola! I'm absolutely loving life as a missionary. The time is flying by so fast... I can't believe we're already halfway through July. Crazy stuff...
So the highlight of the week was definitely the baptism of Paulo and Valdemar. Unfortunately their buddy Pedro still hasn't gotten his mom to sign his form so we're still waiting on him. But hopefully by the end of the month he'll be baptized. It was so awesome to see how excited they were to get baptized. We got to use the baptismal font at our chapel for the first time. Up until now everyone in Luanda has been using the same font but our branch finally got one put in, so now we don't have to drive across the crazy city to watch baptisms. Woot! Paulo and Valdemar are studs. I'm so excited to stay in contact with them throughout the years. They're already excited to get out on missions in a few years. They've already caught the missionary spirit too, a few of there other friends should be baptized here in the coming weeks. 
Yesterday I got to speak in church, it was awesome. It was wierd speaking in a little bit bigger branch. In Lubango there was usually an average of 70 people there and here in our branch of Luanda 2 we usually have about 130. I spoke on missionary work and the importance of diligence. I used a lot of President Monson talk on seeing people as what they can come to be rather than how they are right now. The Gospel changes people. There is no doubt about that. I have gained such a testimony of that since I've been here. People turn to alcohol and drugs when they don't have anything meaningful or fulfilling in their life, but when they learn about the Gospel and the Atonement of our Savior the transformation takes place fairly quickly. It is such a blessing to be able to witness these miracles first hand. 
The work is coming along great! Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Have a great week!
Elder Hyde

Monday, July 8, 2013

What A Week!

This week was quite eventful! We saw some really good things happen in our area. The Lord has been blessing us for sure. Let me tell you about it.

To start off I will tell you about 3 friends, Paulo, Pedro, and Valdemar. There are all 17 years old and have been coming to church together for the past little while, but they had never really sat with the missionaries. They had some friends at church so they went. But last Sunday my companion and I asked if it would be cool if we met with them and started teaching them some of the basics of the Gospel. We invited them to baptism, and they said they have been waiting for an invite and that it is what they have all wanted. These kids are STUDS! They are so willing to do what is right and they are trying super hard to be their best. These kids are going to be stellar missionaries. They are all going to be baptized this coming Saturday and they could not be happier. Paulo and Valdemar´s families are supportive but unfortunately Pedro´s family isn´t quite getting the picture. Since they are all minors it is neccessary to get the permission of their parents and unfortunately we´re having some troubles with Pedro´s mom... He asked if we would come and talk with her and we obviously accepted. On Saturday night we sat down with her and probably had one of the cooler lessons that I have had on my mission. She sat down and the first thing she said was that, "My son will not be baptized again! I baptized him when he was a baby and that is good enough! You are welcome to sit with him and teach him, but he will not be baptized again!" Wo... We knew that it was going to be a fun conversaition... haha. We decided to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how Faith and Repentance are 2 of the preliminary steps. I honestly didn´t have to much faith that this lady´s mind would be changed, but we trusted in the spirit and hoped for the best. We talked about the importance of agency in decisions, especially with big decisions like baptism. She accepted the fact that he didn´t really have the choice. At the end I boldly asked her if she would let her son follow what he knows is right and be baptized. And basically she sat in the back of her chair and said, "well, he´s a big boy now. he can make his own decisions. If this is what he wants to do then he can do it." WOOT! It was an incredibly lesson, that was completely guided by the spirit. What would we do with out the spirit in this work? Probably not have a whole lot of success. Sadly Pedro is still kinda in a tough spot, she´ll let him be baptized but she refuses to sign the paper giving him permission. "I´ll be condemned if I sign that paper." We would just have his dad sign it but unfortunately he lives 6 hours away... It might come down to him going there for the signiture but for now we´re just praying that his mom´s heart will be softened so he can be baptized with his buddies. Pray for him! 

This week we also had our first mission conference as a mission! It was awesome! President and Sister Merrill are such incredible people that were without a doubt sent here for a reason. They are perfect for us and for the Angolan people. We are all so excited! 

It was a great week! I am loving life! There are some really good things in the works in our area. We should have 3 or so more baptisms at the end of the month. Good stuff! God is good!

I hope you are all having a great summer! I sure am! Thanks for your love and support!


Elder Hyde

Monday, July 1, 2013

Independence Day

As of today we are officially our own mission!! Woot!!! We are all so excited. President Merrill got here on Saturday and when all first saw him we went crazy. We probably seemed like a bunch of teenage girls meeting Justin Beiber. Him and his wife seem so awesome. We are so excited to get to know them. We're having a mission conference on Thursday and Friday to get to know them. I am SO excited! That was definitely the highlight of my week.
On Tuesday I got to go around and say goodbye to my family in Lubango. It was a great experience. There were some tearful goodbyes that I'll never forget. I'm so excited to hear about the progress down there. But Wednesday morning it was time for a new adventure, they took me to the airport and I was on my way back to the mayhem of Luanda. And the heat. haha. I am now serving in the Luanda 2 branch, which is actually the biggest branch here in Angola. We had 156 people at church today. I was in awe.. haha. It is a very organized branch and I'm super excited to get to know all of the members. My companion's name is Elder Mccune. He's a super funny kid and ready to work. He's been out for about 6 months now. Our area has a ton of potential and I'm really looking forward to working here. We had a super cool experience on Saturday night. One of our appointments fell through and we were thinking what to do, we came to the conclusion to just contact to try and build up our area little bit. But before we did that we stopped at a bakery to pick up some bread, as we were ordering at the bakery the lady wasn't really understanding us and a guy leaned over and in English said, "Portuguese is hard isn't it." I thought it was funny. But then the guy came up and started talking to us, his name is Alex and is about 23 years old, he's lived in South Africa for the last 17 years and is currently living alone. We got talking and I told him that we were going to the same way as him and we started walking. Thank goodness the chapel was on the way. Long story short, we gave him a tour of the chapel and had one of the coolest lessons of my mission with him. He is by far the smartest guy I've ever taught. He was asking the most perfect questions. He told us that right before he ran into he was on the phone with his mom and she was expressing how she's worried about his spirituality, and that he should find God. The Lord absolutely made us cross paths for a reason. He is a computer programmer and thinks very analytically, but we're confident that he'll progress really well. It was an awesome experience! I'll keep you updated on him.
Well it was an awesome week! I have no complaints! I hope that all is well over there and that you're all happy! Keep on keepin' on!!
Elder Hyde