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!


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!
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! 


Elder Hyde